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Production Information

Developer: CAPCOM Production Studio 4, Nextech, TOSE, FLAGSHIP
Publishers: CAPCOM
Platforms: DC, PS2, GCN, PS3, X360

Title

BIOHAZARD CODE:Veronica

BIOHAZARD CODE:Veronica (バイオハザード コード:ベロニカ / RESIDENT EVIL CODE:Veronica) is the fifth game in the BIOHAZARD series and the first to be announced for the SEGA Dreamcast. It continues directly after the events of BIOHAZARD 2 and features the Redfield siblings as the main playable characters. Initially a Dreamcast exclusive, it was later ported to the PlayStation 2 and Nintendo GameCube, with a high-definition re-mastered version released on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

Plot

Three months following the Raccoon City incident, Claire Redfield continues her search for her brother Chris and infiltrates a laboratory in Paris, France belonging to the Umbrella Corporation. She is discovered and captured after a prolonged chase and transported to a solitary island in the South Seas owned by Umbrella, named "Rockfort Island". Soon after her arrival on December 27, 1998, the island is suddenly attacked via air-strike and the t-virus is leaked. Released by her captor in order to fend for herself, Claire meets another young prisoner named Steve Burnside, who brushes her off. Soon after, she meets Steve again and discovers that Umbrella have been monitoring her brother. She sends an e-mail to Leon S. Kennedy, requesting that he inform Chris of her whereabouts.

Claire later encounters the commander of the island, Alfred Ashford, and becomes the subject of an elaborate "game" in the island's military training center. With the help of Steve, she survives. Making her way back to the island's palace she encounters the man who organized the attack on the island, a still-living Albert Wesker who attacks but spares her at the last minute in order for her to lead him to the whereabouts of his target: Alexia Ashford, who harbors a once lost virus in her body known as the "t-Veronica virus". Making her way to the private residence behind the palace, she discovers that Alfred has been masquerading as Alexia, his twin sister. In the confusion, Alfred escapes and activates the self-destruct sequence on the island, and releases a mass produced Tyrant to kill Claire. With Steve, Claire manages to escape from the island's airport via seaplane, but their relief is interrupted by the Tyrant having climbed on-board. After dispatching the Tyrant, control of the plane is overwritten by Alfred, who sets it to auto-pilot on a crash course for the Umbrella Antarctic Base.

Crashing into the base, Claire and Steve eventually manage to find a way to escape via snowmobile, but are interrupted by Alfred. In a final confrontation, Alfred is wounded and falls down a deep chasm. His scream awakens a creature in the facility, the mutated form of his father: "Nosferatu". After flooding the base, they make their way to the surface and are confronted by Nosferatu, who is killed by Claire. Finding the snowmobile, the two make their way towards an Australian observation base, but at that moment, Alexia Ashford awakens from her 15 year cryogenic sleep. Using giant tentacles emitting from her giant ant hill known as the "Alexia Pod", she interrupts the pair's escape and captures them. Claire is imprisoned in the underground laboratory, while Steve becomes Alexia's personal test subject for the new strain of t-Veronica flowing through her veins.

Chris Redfield arrives at Rockfort Island via boat in an attempt to rescue his younger sister, but finds from her captor that she has already left. Making his way through the island to escape himself, he encounters his former captain, Wesker. Before killing Chris, Wesker informs him that Claire is now in the South Pole. The pair is interrupted by Alexia's appearance on a video feed, and Wesker instead rushes to make his way to the South Pole via submarine. Chris eventually finds a V/TOL Harrier jet and travels there himself. He finds Claire in a replica of the mansion where he uncovered Umbrella's activities five months before, but their reunion is cut short by Alexia who separates them. Claire ventures in search of Steve and finds him, but he mutates as a result of being injected with the t-Veronica virus. Just before killing Claire, he manages to overcome the virus and instead saves her, but is seriously wounded in the process and reverts to his normal state. He confesses his love to Claire and breathes his last. Back in the laboratory, Wesker confronts Alexia in an attempt to capture her and a short battle ensues. As Alexia is powerful, Wesker instead pits her against Chris and escapes. Chris manages to subdue Alexia, and sets off in search of Claire.

Finding Claire behind a locked door, she informs him that all the locks in the facility open automatically once the self-destruct sequence is activated. Giving him the card key necessary, he activates the system and reunites with Claire again, but the siblings are once again interrupted by Alexia. In a prolonged battle, Chris uses the Umbrella-developed "Linear Launcher" to destroy Alexia as the base begins to explode around them. He finds Claire captured by Wesker, who reveals that he has taken Steve's body as it carries the t-Veronica virus he came for, and a confrontation between the former captain and former subordinate begins. Before he can kill the man who ruined his plans, Wesker is separated from him and burned by an explosion, promising that the next time they meet will be the last and then escaping via submarine. Chris rushes to the Harrier and escapes with Claire, announcing that Umbrella must be taken down.

Gameplay

CODE:Veronica utilizes fully 3D backgrounds, similar to BIOHAZARD GUN SURVIVOR. The camera uses semi-fixed angles and does not follow the player around. Explosive elements such as oil drums were added to the game along with the 180 degree turn motion which was not featured in BH2. One of the game's most unique features is the ability to dual wield certain weapons, as well as the ability to use the scopes on an additional two weapons.

Upon completing the main game, a mini-game known as "Battle Game" is unlocked and features five playable characters (Claire, Chris, Steve, Wesker and an alternative version of Claire). In this mode the game can be played in a first-person perspective as well as the normal third-person.

The Japanese version of CODE:Veronica contained two difficulty settings ("Easy" and "Very Easy") in addition to the default "Normal" setting found in the NA and PAL versions of the game. "Very Easy" starts the player off with the Rocket Launcher and an unlimited supply of ink ribbons, and was included for potentially new players to the franchise who had only played on SEGA consoles.

Development History

CODE:Veronica began development in February 1998 following the decision to abandon development of the SEGA Saturn version of BIOHAZARD 2. Although the port could have been achieved if the game's quality was lowered, the producers refused. In response, they were told to release something specifically for SEGA fans. The team extended the development schedule and devised an original game with CAPCOM's stipulation that this new title required high-quality.

The new game was conceived as an exclusive for the next-generation SEGA Dreamcast console. At the time, BIO3 was already in development, and the team mused that movies tended to traditionally fail with "part three", so the decision was made to return to the traditional horror roots of BIO1. It was developed by a team of about 70 people across four separate companies. Programming, modelling and textures were handled by Nextech while the scenario was handled by FLAGSHIP, with enemy and character designs carried out by freelance artist Satoshi Nakai. Only about a handful of CAPCOM employees were involved in development with the rest of the staff comprised of employees of TOSE, a "ghost" development company.

The new scenario featured two new primary plot threads to the series: the revival of Albert Wesker and the first mention of the Progenitor Virus in the games themselves, previously known as the "Clay Virus." The lead writers were Noboru Sugimura and Hiroshi Soda, with support from Junichi Miyashita, Akira Asaka, Hideyuki Ishizeki and Yasuyuki Suzuki. The game was subtitled rather than numbered, which project supervisor Yoshiki Okamoto explained was due to the team's intention to use numbers solely for games on the PlayStation. In August 1998, it was among the initial 76 confirmed games for the Dreamcast. 1

The official reveal and first trailer of were unveiled on October 6, 1998 at the "SEGA New Challenge Conference II" in Tokyo, Japan. It was announced by Yoshiki Okamoto as an exclusive title for the next generation SEGA Dreamcast console, which was also unveiled at the same conference. 2A few days later, development was confirmed again during the Autumn Tokyo Game Show 1998. 3 The first public screenshots of the game were released in Sega Saturn Magazine in Japan. 4 At the New Challenge Conference in May 1999, SEGA announced a December release date for the game.

On October 4, 1999, CAPCOM Japan announced that the game's planned Winter release date was delayed and rescheduled to early 2000. In return for the delay, CAPCOM announced the release of a Dreamcast port of the second game, known as "BIOHAZARD 2 Value Plus" which featured several updates and came packaged with a demo of CODE:Veronica, which also featured a trailer of the game upon completion. 5 The November 1999 issue of Famitsu revealed the game's revised release date as February 3, 2000, while the demo would be released on December 23, 1999 with BIOHAZARD 2 Value Plus. 6 At the CAPCOM Gamers Day event in Las Vegas, Nevada on December 2, 1999, Shinji Mikami made a statement promising to finish development before the beginning of the new millennium. 7 Pre-orders for the game were announced days later and opened in Japan between December 22 and January 20, with pre-ordered "Limited Edition" versions coming with a slightly different title screen, a bonus Rockfort Prison plaque and a red "Let Me Live" slipcase. 8

Development was completed in mid-December 1999 and finally released on February 3, 2000 in Japan. The NA version was released on February 29 while the PAL version was released on May 26. Since its release, it has sold nearly 3 million copies worldwide. 9 Further enhancements and ports of the game were handled by Nextech.10

Re-releases and Ports

Complete Version / X

An updated version of the game titled "BIOHAZARD CODE:Veronica 完全版"(Kanzenban?, lit. "Complete Version", titled "RESIDENT EVIL CODE: Veronica X" outside of Japan). Superseding the original version, it included mild graphical changes and featured nine minutes of updated, extended and brand new cut-scenes which helped flesh out the scenario. It was released on the Dreamcast exclusively in Japan on March 22, 2001 and on the PlayStation 2 on the same date, with additional releases on August 21, 2001 in NA and September 14, 2001 in PAL regions.

GameCube

The GameCube port offered no changes to the game and was released on August 7, 2003 in Japan, December 3, 2003 in NA and March 12, 2004 in PAL regions.

BIOHAZARD REVIVAL SELECTION

A high-definition re-mastered version of CODE:Veronica was officially announced on March 23, 2011 alongside a similarly re-mastered biohazard 4 as part of the BIOHAZARD REVIVAL SELECTION (RESIDENT EVIL REVIVAL SELECTION in the West) for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Released on disc in Japan on September 8, 2011, the NA version was published digitally for the PlayStation Network for the PS3 and Games On Demand service for the 360 on September 27, 2011.

Other Media

A novelization of the original version of BHCV was written by S.D. Perry and published on December 1, 2001.

The game was also adapted into a manhua by Lee Chung Hing and published in Hong Kong, with an English version published by Wildstorm in North America as four collected graphic novels.

Footnotes

  1. 1. http://dreamcast.ign.com/articles/060/060091p1.html
  2. 2. http://web.archive.org/web/20011119192749/http://www.zdnet.co.jp/gamespo...
  3. 3. http://mmcafe.telnet.or.jp/tgs98f/tgs_capcom.htm
  4. 4. http://dreamcast.ign.com/articles/065/065215p1.html
  5. 5. http://dreamcast.ign.com/articles/070/070974p1.html
  6. 6. http://dreamcast.ign.com/articles/071/071406p1.html
  7. 7. http://gamespot.com/news/2447118.html
  8. 8. http://dreamcast.ign.com/articles/072/072756p1.html
  9. 9. http://ir.capcom.co.jp/english/data/million.html
  10. 10. Nex Entertainment Consumer Contents
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