Resident Evil is one of Capcom's most prolific franchises, known for a great number of things: Its overall cheesy plot, its wide range of characters, its fun arsenal, its vast monster roster, its inexplicable inability to leave its own history untouched, and...oh, yeah, the stuff that the characters can take from the monsters and live.

There are two kinds of people in this universe: Those who fold after one B.O.W. attack (e.g. Joseph Frost, a trained special forces team member at the time of his horrific demise) and those who can sustain multiple such attacks so long as they can heal themselves (e.g. Sherry Birkin, an unarmed pre-pubescent girl at the time of her initial involvement). But if you look closely at what the heroes go through at the hands of the monsters, you realize that they're clearly made of tougher stuff than you or I. Truth is, there's only so much medicinal sprays and herbal poultices can do, especially against these bad boys...

VITAL NOTE: Non-revisionist titles only.

This title doesn't have a very big roster, just three different types of zombies with two palettes each and two different B.O.W.s. One of those types of zombies, though, has something that no other kind in the series doesn't: crowbars.

Each each time Barry, Lucia or Leon is attacked in this game, you can see that character's blood splattering as their health drops. With the crowbar zombies at medium range, though, that's not just a flesh wound; that's clearly a skull exploding from the impact. The kevlar, titanium and diamet armor's a nice touch, though I doubt they cover the characters' heads.

A huge fist is one thing, but this is a forged metal tool we're talking about here. More on that later.

In 1996, the year the original game came out and two years before it took place, Umbrella created a B.O.W. by taking a condemned criminal and hammering a metal rod into his frontal lobe, removing his eyes, drastically increasing his muscle mass, exposing his brain and turning his left hand into what looks like an exploded horn, and the T-virus probably played a part, too. The result? Pluto, left to wander the facility for the next six years.

When Bruce McGivern calls the elevator to take him and Fongling to the lower levels, Pluto shows up, ready for boss fight #3. His lack of eyes allows him to zero in on any sound's source and either punch it with his disfigured hand or, more disturbingly, squash it flat beneath his hulking mass. Fortunately, Bruce is a hero in this series, so he can just get up and keep blasting at Pluto's brain until he folds.

Incidentally, for years, I was under the impression that Bruce's slaying of Morpheus D. Duvall was the final nail in Umbrella's coffin, but it turns out that was actually done off-camera by Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine. The Umbrella Chronicles has that scenario, and I'd happily play it if it wasn't symbiotically attached to revisionist history, some of which was, itself, already revised.

For the first 6 & 2/3 years of the first game's existence, you'd never have guessed just from looking at Rebecca Chambers that she'd been been through anything particularly extreme just the night before. That changed when Capcom put out Resident Evil 0 in November of 2002. Before the Mansion incident, she'd been the first to fight zombies, met an accused war criminal, survived a train crash, fought a Tyrant that didn't need an anti-tank weapon to kill, and then there were the leeches. Big ones and plenty of 'em.

After all she and Billy Coen went through, they met the mastermind of both outbreaks occuring at the time: Dr. James Marcus, creator of the T-virus, who'd been assassinated ten years prior, but been revived through the power of his Queen Leech. After mutating into a hulking anthropomorphization thereof and falling rather easily to the two's combined firepower of .50 Magnum lead and 40mm napalm payloads, Queenie ditched the limbs and burst through a steel wall to exact her revenge on them. In addition to the gouts of acid, she used the aforementioned force to ram them around the room, but they still managed to get up and keep fighting.

Rebecca went on to retroactively be demoted from her former starring role to playing second fiddle to Chris (a fate that would later befall his sister, Claire, but we'll get to that), while Billy went into hiding, never to raise another finger against Umbrella.

There are a good number of claw attacks in this series that could've taken this spot on the list. Those of a Licker or one of deadlier breeds of Hunter might have sufficed, or even any of the Tyrants, but in the end, those of the abomination that was once Dr. William Birkin won out.

As Leon, William attacks him by shoving his growing claw through the roof of the cable car over wherever Leon's standing as he and Ada ride in it. Later on, as they ride the elevator down to the chemical plant, William shoves his massive claw through the reinforced wall of the car (apparently installed since RE0) and wounds Ada (although he apparently retracts it and grows a smaller one in Leon A). In the B games, he shows how much damage his claw can already do by ripping up the poor sap he didn't impregnate in the A game, especially if you're Claire. Speaking of whom, it's how Annette dies in her A game. Point is, by the time(s) you face him, whoever you're playing as and whatever side of the scenario you're on, you know you don't want to be on the business end of those claws.

Oh, and in Leon B, don't bother looking for Annette's body where it falls in Claire A, it's not there. I checked.

Like with the aforementioned claw attacks, there's a good number of bite attacks that could've been on here. Those of the Colmillos or Adjule from RE4 or 5, respectively, could've made it, or those of Grave Digger or Gulp Worm, further respectively from 3: Nemesis or Code: Veronica, or even those of Neptune from the first game or the giant alligators from 2 and Survivor could they not be outdone by ordinary, uninfected African crocodiles. That of Yawn won out, though, due to a combination of unnecessity and further unnecessary poison.

Yawn is a giant snake, big enough to swallow prey in one gulp and thus, has no need to bite said prey, let alone for said bite to be poisonous. And yet, both are present when either half of the duo that eventually goes on to topple Umbrella confronts the mighty serpent. I always get poisoned the first time I fight him, though that may or may not be deliberate. Chris and Jill might've been finished for sure if Yawn didn't play with his food. And, of course, let's not forget the hole he makes in the floor when the time comes to settle the score.

Also, one has to wonder how Richard Aiken got through not one, but two locked doors to meet his doom at the beast's fangs.

Ark Thompson was quite possibly the toughest protagonist of the franchise's Umbrella days. The man could take a long string of bites, pecks, claws, spit and even punches from Tyrants before he fell into the Caution range. But there was one attack in this game that really stood out among the others: Streams of good old-fashioned lead.

When Ark enters the hospital, amusement arcade or library, a new enemy shows up: The Cleaners, a squad of machine gun-toting grunts in non-bulletproof armor that apparently contain acid capsules with dead-man switches. If you enter the second of those three locales, you'll actually have to face them. If you're not fast enough on the draw, get ready to take a lot of lead. Even if you take a path where you never encounter them, they'll still appear when you activate the train towards the end and unavoidably take good chunks out of you, but you can still take them.

In the more recent, action-oriented titles, some of the tougher enemies wield Gatling guns and even operate gun turrets. In RE5, Chris and Sheva can clearly be seen taking bullets in the head, among other places. Apparently, even though Ark has, to date, only made the one appearance, his fighting spirit lives on in the others.

By the time this game takes place, Leon S. Kennedy has already been privy to two of the previous entries on this list (no matter what the doubters of Gaiden say), among others. Right at the outset, things take a turn for the different (read: worse) when a villager comes at him with a small axe, the first of hundreds of such occasions to come.

Over the course of the game, in addition to more small axes, Leon is assaulted with knives, sickles, pitchforks, lit torches, scythes, morning stars, spiked shields, swords, halberds, shock sticks, Gatling gun butts, hammers and, of course, chainsaws. Further of course, Leon can take all of these (at medium range for the chainsaw) and more, but can always heal himself. In fact, with the advent of the yellow herb (not to be confused with Gaiden's medium healer), he and Ashley can take more damage as the game progresses, though Ashley preferably gets through the ordeal unscathed.

Some of the non-forged attacks in this game could actually outdo any of what I've listed, but these beat any of them out for sheer volume.

Like Leon before them, Chris Redfield and Sheva Alomar have to contend with weapon-wielding mobs of once-human maniacs in this title. In Chapter 3, however, things begin to get more severe in that regard.

These Majini were once a tribe protecting justifiably sacred ground before being infected with Las Plagas. Among the weapons being wielded are the stereotypical tribal African weapon, the spear, which, if they connect, will find either you or your partner hanging by the newly-formed hole in their shoulder from the pole. Later on, they encounter an enhanced breed of B.O.W. encountered in Raccoon City and on Sheena Island: Lickers. A file from RE2 describes their tongues as being "capable of piercing a human torso in an instant", though it's not until now that we see this.

And yes, I'm well aware that the Iron Maidens in the previous non-revisionist installment could also impale you, but the examples in this game seem more severe.

When Jill Valentine witnesses the murder of Brad Vickers at the hands of Nemesis and subsequently either takes his S.T.A.R.S. card or enters the R.P.D. for her own, she's trapped in there, indicated by the banging on the doors that, for some reason, doesn't go any further than that before subsiding. Eventually, Jill finds the lockpick she left on her desk and starts back toward the entrance, but on the way out, Nemesis jumps through a window she passes, and this time, he's brought a friend: A rocket launcher.

Jill is one of two people who could have previously used such a weapon to destroy the Tyrant of Spencer Mansion, so she knows she shouldn't fare any better against its payload. However, a rocket to the head will only do some damage in addition to knocking her down, not even decapitating her should it be the fatal blow, while a tentacle through the head is guaranteed death. Later, should Jill choose to jump off the bridge and then to fire back at Nicholai in the chopper, but not be fast enough on the draw with the M66 she should have by this point, she'll be bombarded with missiles.

Play your cards right and you'll never see a hostile rocket outside of the cutscenes at the end of the game's first half. Oh, and did I mention that some Ganados and Majini in 4 & 5 also wield these?

Poor Claire Redfield. All she wanted was to see her brother. In her quest to do so, she got caught in not one, not two, but three T-virus outbreaks, gaining the attention of some the world's most evil beings along the way. And then, when the Redfields are finally reunited, what happens? Why, they get seperated again and she gets come after with the single most devastating attack in the series one can take and, for some reason, live.

When the effects of the T-Alexia (formerly T-Veronica) virus take overtake Steve Burnside, he takes in his mutated hands the giant axe previously pinning him to the wall and the iron grille begins to lower. An untrained player needs no less than one fully-healing item to survive more than one blow from that which causes suits of armor to crumble as they guide Claire to the point at which the axe narrowly misses her. However, there's a way to make sure that it never touches her. When the action resumes, move Claire in front of Steve and to his left (her right) and face to her left. When he rears back, start running clockwise around him. During the course of this, he'll take two more swings at you, getting the axe stuck in the walls as it did in the floor, allowing you to move further around him. Once a full circle has been done around him and you start running down the corridor, you'll gain enough distance that, by the time the axe is pulled out again, it'll never touch Claire (or, incidentally, the suits of armor), thus eliminating the need for restoratives.

If I had my way, this would've been the only way for Claire to survive. Like I said before, suits of armor crumble from the weapon's impact, so there's no way her flesh-and-blood self should've fared any better; Make players truly earn their first round against Alexia. Oh, and if she grabs Chris by the neck and sets him on fire? Instant death...just like the axe should've been.

So there you have it, ten attacks from the Resident Evil series that those affected had no business living through. So the next time you find yourself facing relentless hordes of bio-engineered terrors, wielding a wide variety of attacks that you just know you'd never survive were you to get hit with one...just try to be more careful, okay?

List by GigadeathWeapon (11/02/2012)

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