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Production Information

Developer: CAPCOM Planning Room 2
Publishers: CAPCOM
Platforms: PSX, PC, N64, DC, GC,



BIOHAZARD 2 (バイオハザード2, RESIDENT EVIL 2) was the second game in the series released in 1998. It took place two months after the events of the first game and was set in Raccoon City, where the t-virus had now infected most of its citizens. The game starred two new characters, rookie police officer Leon S. Kennedy and Claire Redfield, sister of the male protagonist in the first game.


On July 25, 1998, the surviving officers of S.T.A.R.S. (Special Tactics and Rescue Service) returned to the R.P.D. (Raccoon Police Department) and filed reports on the incident in the Spencer Mansion the night before, which involved mutant organisms created through illegal biological weapons development conducted by the international pharmaceutical company, the Umbrella Corporation.

However, the claims of the S.T.A.R.S. survivors were dismissed due to a lack of evidence caused by the explosion of the mansion. As a result, Umbrella continued its experiments and development and produced many new and deadlier creations. Chris Redfield contacted the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) and requested secret investigations into Umbrella and his own Chief of Police, Brian Irons. In August, reports of monster sightings within the city began to increase, and Redfield concluded that Umbrella's experiments were not over. The t-virus had leaked into the city. On August 24, Redfield, Jill Valentine and Barry Burton decided to begin their own investigation of Umbrella's headquarters in Europe.

In mid-September, Umbrella executives issued an order for the U.S.S. (Umbrella Security Service) to infiltrate the secret underground laboratory of their best scientist, William Birkin. The objective was to seize the new G-virus he developed with power surpassing that of the t-virus. On September 20, R.P.D. Sergeant Neil Carlson spotted one of these agents in the city sewers, but failed to apprehend them. On September 23, the U.S.S. confronted Birkin and seized a case containing the two viruses, fatally wounded Birkin in the process.

In an effort to prolong his life, Birkin injected himself with a sample of the G-virus in his pocket. His body quickly began to mutate into a monstrous creature known only as "G" and pursued the agents into the sewers. With the phenomenal strength and vitality granted by the G-virus, Birkin killed most of the U.S.S. teams. He ingested the remaining samples of the G-virus to prevent anyone from recovering them, and smashed the t-virus samples in the process. As a result, the rodent and insect population of the sewers ingested the t-virus and began to spread it throughout the city.

Umbrella issued notices to its conspirators within the city, including Chief of Police Brian Irons, who reveals his long-hidden depraved insanity at the advent of the hopeless and desperate situation. He enacts a plot to weaken the R.P.D. and stifle their efforts to help the citizens, then begins to hunt down and murder his subordinates within the police station.

Six days later, September 29, the day of Raccoon City’s St. Michael Festival, a truck driver is bitten by a gas station attendant just outside Raccoon City and unknowingly infected with the t-virus. Meanwhile, rookie police officer Leon S. Kennedy drives to the city for his first day as a member of the R.P.D., after initially oversleeping due to passing out at a motel while drinking away the sorrow of a breakup. Meanwhile, Chris Redfield's younger sister, bike-loving college student Claire Redfield rides her way into the city in search of her brother. She is attacked by a Zombie and saved by Kennedy, and together they find a police cruiser and drive to the police station. However, a Zombie in the car attacks them and causes the two to crash. At the same time, the now Zombie truck driver plows through the streets and crashes into their cruiser. They barely escape the crash, but are separated and determine to meet up at the R.P.D.

Leon and Claire go through the city streets and witness the left-over chaos that gripped the city over the past week. As they arrive in the R.P.D., a surviving police officer is attacked on the roof and accidentally causes a police helicopter to crash into the building. Soon after, an unmarked military helicopter drops a large orange cylinder into the roof of the building. Leon and Claire find themselves confronted by a towering man in a trenchcoat, an improved and miniaturized version of the “Tyrant” B.O.W. encountered by S.T.A.R.S.

In the underground parking lot, Leon encounters a mysterious woman by the name of Ada Wong, claiming to be looking for her boyfriend, an employee of the Umbrella Chicago branch named John Clemens. He agrees to help her find the reporter Ben Bertolucci, who had been locked in the jail cells after being caught investigating the past of the police chief. After finding him, Ada disappears and Leon is left alone once again. Meanwhile, Claire meets chief Irons and finds a little girl named Sherry Birkin. While Leon makes his way into the sewers, Irons is impregnated with an embryo by “G” and Claire is forced to fight the deformed off-spring.

While Sherry attempts to find her father in the sewers, she runs into Ada and believes her to be another Zombie, dropping her pendant out of fear. After picking up the pendant, Ada discovers that it contains a sample of the G-virus, marking her mission complete. Leon reunites with Ada in the sewers, where he is shot while saving her life. Bewildered by his sacrifice, Ada pursues the shooter Annette Birkin but is cornered. After noticing her daughter’s pendant on Ada, the two women get into a short fight that leaves Annette plummeting into the water below. Shortly after, she meets Claire and reveals to her G’s intention of impregnating her.

While Ada returns to patch up Leon’s wound, Claire recovers Sherry and together they make their way to the secret turntable entrance to Umbrella’s underground laboratory. Claire encounters Annette, seriously wounded by her former husband, who gives her instructions on the creation of a vaccine able to cure Sherry. Meanwhile, Ada saves Leon’s life in a fatal confrontation with the Tyrant, but seemingly at the cost of her own life. Leon takes the pendant from Ada’s body and throws it away, at which point it is recovered by surviving U.S.S. agent HUNK.

Leon, Claire and Sherry reach the underground transport tunnels, where the Tyrant attacks. Leon is assisted by Ada, who throws a rocket launcher which allows him to blow the Tyrant into pieces. With no further obstacles blocking their path, the trio escape on a transport train. Claire reaffirms her resolve to find her brother, while Leon bids farewell to Ada. However, “G” returns in a grotesque blob form, causing the train’s self-destruct sequence to initiate. As the creature closes in, Sherry manages to stop the train, and the three escape the tunnel just before its explosion.

Leon declares his own resolve to bring down Umbrella. However, due to his injury and Sherry’s weakened condition, he refuses to follow Claire and tells her to look for her brother alone. Initially shocked by his words, Claire understands and departs, leaving a saddened Sherry. Following Claire’s departure, Leon and Sherry are taken into custody by the U.S. Army and separated. A man claiming to be a U.S. intelligence agent interrogates Leon and announces that he has skills and experience the government requires. He offers him a deal to ensure Sherry’s safety in exchange for his cooperation. Leon bites his lip and accepts, while Sherry enters a long life as a research subject.

Development History

Development of BIOHAZARD 2 began in June 1996, one month after the release of its predecessor. The game was officially announced when early footage was shown at the V-JUMP Festival '96 in July. Hideki Kamiya, chief planner of the first game, was appointed as director by previous director Shinji Mikami, who became a producer distanced from frontline development. The basic setting of BIO2 was decided by Mikami, and in the initial stages of development, he often had creative disagreements with Kamiya and tried to influence the team with his own direction, but eventually stepped back to an overseeing role and only demanded to be shown the game's current build once a month. Development was carried out by a 40-50 person group composed of newer CAPCOM employees and over half of the staff from the original game. Meetings were held twice a week.

The scenario was written by director Kamiya while artist Isao Oishi, influenced by the movie Back to the Future II, devised a storytelling device known as the "Zapping System", in which the stories of the two main characters would intersect and provide different points of view to the same events. This new storytelling system served as a replacement to the “choose your own adventure” style in the original game. However, the scenario was criticized by general manager Yoshiki Okamoto for several problems, including the fact that it seemed too conclusive despite the team having planned a tentative conclusion for a third game. During a period in which the team made no progress rewriting the scenario, Okamoto was introduced to professional screenwriter Noboru Sugimura who was enthusiastic about the first game's story. Sugimura was initially consulted on a trial basis and joined in the reshaping of the game, impressing Okamoto with the ease with which he came up with solutions to problems.

One issue Sugimura had with the old scenario was the lack of connections to the previous game, to which director Kamiya initially objected but later relented. After continued meetings, the team decided that the lead female character Elza Walker would be rewritten as the younger sister of Chris Redfield, and her name was changed to Claire on the spot. Believing the game's assets to be good individually but not yet satisfactory as a whole, Mikami expected that everything would coalesce in the three months leading up to the projected May 1997 release date. However, while rewriting the scenario, Sugimura eventually suggested that the team start over. Mikami agreed based on his own issues with the game, and it was scrapped at a 60-80% complete stage.

Okamoto requested that Sugimura write the full scenario for the reconstruction, for which Oishi's draft was used as a basis. The concept of William Birkin betraying Umbrella was kept, but he was rewritten from a "good guy" into a more morally gray character with a different motive. The role of the G-virus was greatly expanded and became a much more central plot point. Police chief Brian Irons was changed to a villain in collusion with Umbrella, while Marvin Branagh's role was downsized and replaced Roy as an injured police officer encountered by the player who later becomes a Zombie. The character of John was also greatly downsized and rewritten as gun shop owner Robert Kendo, while Umbrella researcher Ada Wong became a spy for an unknown organization.

To fulfill the sales plan of two million copies, director Kamiya tried to attract new customers with an atmosphere closer to that of a Hollywood action movie. As Okamoto did not want to simply enforce the new direction, he had Sugimura discuss the plot revisions with the main development staff during meetings spanning several days. The planners completely redesigned the game to fit the changes while the programmers and other members of the team were sent to work on BIO HAZARD DIRECTOR'S CUT, which was shipped with a playable preview disc of BIO2 in order to promote the sequel and apologize to players for its delay. This was released on September 25 to account for the development of BIO2 coming together, in order to ensure there was enough material for the demo.

At Okamoto's request, the 1.5 engine was temporarily diverted to the initial development of a new PlayStation game named Onimusha, which he had originally conceived as a potential game in the series referred to by Okamoto as "Sengoku BIOHAZARD."

The game's voice actors were selected from an all-Canadian roster of ten people per role, and recorded before the actual cutscenes were completed. Thereafter, the team decided which scenes would be rendered as full-motion videos (FMVs), then these were created by filming stop motion animations of action figures which were then rendered to completed pictures with computer graphics tools. Ada's movie model could not be finished in time. Thus, she is the only main character not to appear in a pre-rendered cutscene. In particular, the Zombie voices in the game were recorded by the development team.

The music for BIO2 was composed by Masami Ueda, Shusaku Uchiyama, and Syun Nishigaki. The compositions were meant to convey "desperation" as their underlying theme. In his role as lead composer, Ueda provided the motifs, while Uchiyama was responsible for the horror-themed music used for the investigation and movie scenes. The main theme of the score, a versatile three-note motif, is utilized several times throughout the course of the story, being included in compositions such as "Prologue", "Raccoon City" and "The Third Malformation of G". Various musical styles ranging from ambient horror music to industrial pieces are used to represent the different environments of the game. For example, the streets of Raccoon City are emphasized with militaristic percussion-based music, while the police department features ominous piano underscores. Key events of the story are supported with orchestral and cinematic compositions - a move that was inspired by blockbuster films.

BIO2 development took one year and nine months to complete. Development of a Sega Saturn version of the game was originally planned similar to the first game. However, the team refused to sacrifice the game's quality for the port. In order to make up the loss to Sega fans, FLAGSHIP was commissioned to write a scenario for a new game to be released on the upcoming Sega Dreamcast, which became BIOHAZARD CODE:Veronica. Eventually, BIO2 was also ported to the Dreamcast.



Dual Shock Ver.

BIO2 was re-released in 1999 to incorporate the rumble and analog features of the new DUAL SHOCK controller. A new mini-game titled "Extreme Battle Mode" and an unlimited ammo cheat code were also included.

Nintendo 64

A port of the original PlayStation version was developed by Angel Studios under the supervision of CAPCOM Production Studio 3. The most significant attribute of this version is the compression methods used to fit the originally dual CD-ROM game with heavy emphasis on pre-rendered and FMV assets onto a single N64 cartridge. It included higher-quality models at the expense of noticeably smaller and compressed backgrounds, and also introduced a set of “EX Files” written by Tetsuya Oyama in order to bridge the game to the rest of the series being developed at the time, such as BIO3, BIOCV and BIO2’s own drama albums.


BIO2 was ported from the PlayStation to PC systems with several extras, including an artwork and cutscene gallery alongside higher quality texture rendering.


The PC version of BIO2 was directly ported to the SEGA Dreamcast. This version possessed all features introduced in the PC version with the addition of a unique use of the Dreamcast VMU (Virtual Memory Unit) to display the character’s health status.


In 2002, ghost developer TOSE was contracted by CAPCOM to port the entire main series to the GameCube. This was a direct port of the BIO2 Dual Shock Ver.