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Date: 22/06/2013

Title

Yasuhisa Kawamura Interview 2 (Project Umbrella)

Since our previous interview with Mr. Yasuhisa Kawamura, a former scenario writer and planner in the BIOHAZARD series most known for creating the scenario of BIOHAZARD 3 LAST ESCAPE, we requested a follow-up which goes into more detail on certain aspects mentioned or hinted at in the previous interview pertaining to subject's such as the ambition of William Birkin, the intended fates of Sherry Birkin and the motives of both Umbrella and the American government. Mr. Kawamura once again very kindly accepted.

Please Note: All of the story information below is based on the information at the time of BH3 during Mr. Kawamura's tenure. Although the information can be presently accepted as fact, subsequent games may change or remove some information at any time and there may be some discrepancies between the information below and the present series storyline.

Interview Transcript

Q. Here's the timeline we've been working on.

A. Well, this is a chronologically organized story. My memory isn't clear on dates. I think you're right about the general flow.

Q. Do you have any comments?

A. Dr. Birkin hadn't completed the G-Virus. It was at a near-complete stage.

Q. Oh, I see.

A. Birkin became bitter with the Chicago branch. He wished to study freely. He was required to report on the development status to the Chicago branch. However, he hated being controlled by the Chicago branch. Therefore, communication from him gradually became negligent, and the Chicago branch came to feel that he was difficult to handle.

Q. Why was it necessary for the USS to infiltrate the underground laboratory if the Chicago branch ruled over it? And what kind of opposition would they face against security guards?

A. Dr. William Birkin controlled the laboratory, but the Chicago branch had detailed blueprints of the research facility. Umbrella needed his talents, but they had to treat him as a dangerous individual if he couldn't be controlled. When the storm troops were dispatched by Umbrella, William knew he couldn't be saved. The laboratory's guards couldn't compete with the Special Forces. This setting wasn't clear at the time of BIOHAZARD 2. I studied BIOHAZARD 1 and BIOHAZARD 2 and thought about the reasons. How did a biohazard occur in the laboratory? How did the biohazard spread into Raccoon City? Why was Birkin going to steal the G-Virus? Why was Umbrella trying to kill Birkin? Birkin couldn't have been a fool. However, he issued contaminants exceeding the ability of the pollution processing facility. It was a matter of time before spies or the USS would come to abduct him. He didn't know the exact time they'd come but sensed impending danger soon approaching.

Q. Is there a reason why Dr. Birkin gave up his ambitions to became an executive officer after the final entry of the BIOHAZARD 2 file, "Mail to the Chief"?

A. I created BIO3's circumstances to explain the files of BIO2. In my interpretation, I thought Birkin didn't regard the G-Virus as raw material for creating biological weapons. The biggest difference between the T-Virus and G-Virus is whether it's a virus which produces mutations, or a virus of God for producing a new species. About the question whether he wanted to become an executive, you could say it's correct, even if it differs. Why was he an executive candidate? He wanted Umbrella's power. Don't doctors want patrons to support their research with full support? There's a difference between Birkin and Wesker. Wesker wanted immense power for his own sake. Wesker was also a researcher, but I think he was a prisoner of power. Thus, unlike Birkin, he took off the white robes. Birkin would've wanted to have abundant research funds through holding Umbrella's power. He probably didn't necessarily want to become a billionaire or politician, and wanted to be an executive. What's the difference? However, in my opinion, I think Umbrella's demands were always different from Birkin's wishes. It's the same with us designers, the thoughts of managers are different.

Q. Are you referring to the Chicago branch in the BIOHAZARD 3 file, "FAX from the Directorate of Operations"?

A. I think it's okay to believe so, but I don't think it was under the command of the Chicago branch alone. Although the Directorate of Operations was definitely set-up by the Chicago branch, I think key figures of the head office had control over the chain of command. The Chicago branch was the top American branch, but the head office was European. I thought there was some competition between the head office and the Chicago branch. Therefore, I added the settings of the American-made Hunter and Tyrant to BIOHAZARD 3.

Q. Do you remember if the Paris Laboratory from the opening of BIOHAZARD CODE:Veronica was supposed to be Umbrella Headquarters?

A. The location of Umbrella Headquarters is unknown. I was prevented from deciding when I was involved in development. But I think it could've been Mallet Island. For the time being, headquarters' location is unknown. The USA branch developed the Tyrant and Hunter and increased its voice of influence within Umbrella's organization. Each of the head office's European branches sensed impending danger and rushed the development of powerful new biological weapons.

Q. Mallet Island was created for the BIOHAZARD 4 version of DEVIL MAY CRY. So, Umbrella HQ was originally intended to be Mallet Island, then the castle from Mr. Sugimura's version, then your version?

A. My version was [the same as] Sugimura-sensei's version. I supported it. A branch office and laboratory near the head office developed the Hunter γ and Nemesis. After the incident of BIOHAZARD 3, it's expected that each American branch rapidly lost power, including the Chicago branch.

Q. You mean the Sixth Laboratory.

A. That's right. The Sixth Laboratory developed Nemesis. May I return to a subject? Birkin was trying to create a new race. Until now, all biological weapons created by Umbrella were mutations duplicated with cloning. However, the G-Virus was different. Organisms which were infected with the G-Virus and mutated would be able to perform reproductive activity and spread. What Birkin was trying to create wasn't a weapon.

Q. He was trying to create a race of superhumans, same as Wesker?

A. It wasn't Wesker's wish. Though Umbrella demanded results from Birkin and expected the development of more functional weapons, the results of his research are slightly different. The Chicago branch desired new and more effective weapons, and Birkin desired a new, more perfect species of life-form. I thought this produced their mutual conflict. The biological weapons developed by Birkin increased the American branch's voice of influence, but they couldn't control him and he couldn't be left free. The Chicago branch imposed sanctions on him, and he predicted that other scientists would take over all of his research data.

Q. Which method did Dr. Birkin use to contact the military? By telephone?

A. It wasn't so short-term. You can't ask for help on the telephone and the American military will be all "OK!" and come to help. The U.S. Armed Forces aren't Pizza Hut. Birkin entered into negotiations with the United States, the method isn't important. The U.S. purchased biological weapons from Umbrella, but Umbrella was a troublesome presence for the U.S. government. Other countries besides the U.S. often purchased Umbrella's weapons too. It was also considered that they would become opponents of U.S. soldiers. Birkin is American but the U.S. government couldn't freely use his knowledge and skills because of his affiliation with Umbrella. Birkin demanded protection from the U.S. Rather than deliver all the research results he knew to the U.S. government, he demanded protective custody and the right to study in an American research institute.

Q. Did you envision a particular military unit for the U.S. Special Forces?

A. In my interpretation, the U.S. Special Forces that entered Raccoon City were the Army. Although they were composed of soldiers who received training against Bio Organic Weapons, their training and experience wasn't enough since it was established in a short time. Maybe it was Delta Force. The negotiations between Birkin and the United States materialized, but there were also problems.

Q. The US Special Forces were supposedly wiped out in the battle with Tyrants. Is it possible that any of them survived?

A. The U.S. Special Forces were wiped out, but there's a possibility that an "actually, one survived" character could appear in the future. It's up to the discretion of CAPCOM's scenario writers. A problem was that time was needed in order for the U.S. forces to rescue Birkin. Umbrella collaborators lay hidden in the U.S. government and the U.S. military. The unit was organized so they wouldn't know about it, and they had to be very careful to prepare equipment and storm in. Another problem was that the U.S. government had insufficient information on Umbrella's research facility. The Raccoon City laboratory had complicated pathways of entry for the sake of being a secret facility, and it took time to analyze it. Although they received information from Birkin to some extent, planning of the operation still ran into difficulties and since Umbrella's interference was expected, countermeasures against Bio Organic Weapons were necessary. On the other hand, Umbrella's Chicago branch felt a sense of danger as-well. They were aware of Birkin's disturbing behavior, and when he would betray them, there was no telling if he'd take all of his research results. In addition, showing the above-mentioned results he brought to an American research institute would be a serious problem to Umbrella. That liability was investigated from the head office. As for the people of the Chicago branch, nearly all are American but they don't prioritize the interests of the United States.

Q. I admire the passion and dedication you have for the series after so many years. You should consider returning to CAPCOM as the main series writer.

A. The reason is simple: because myself and others left CAPCOM. I like CAPCOM. I like BIOHAZARD. But my whole livelihood is in Tokyo, not in Osaka.

Q. I see. Now according to BIOHAZARD GUN SURVIVOR, Umbrella's European branch on Sheena Island held Dr. Birkin responsible for what happened in Raccoon City...

A. GUN SURVIVOR is like "Alien vs. Predator" to the original "Alien" movie. You should treat it as a separate entity.

Q. Just a moment. GUN SURVIVOR was written by the late Mr. Sugimura of FLAGSHIP, and was mentioned in the opening narration of "BIOHAZARD 0"...

A. "BIOHAZARD 0" was under the control of FLAGSHIP. In that sense, it's close to GUN SURVIVOR.

Q. Understood.

A. Let's get back to the story. Birkin felt a sense of impending danger in the slow moving operation to rescue him. He thought of a way to buy time. In my opinion, the biohazard in the laboratory wasn't an accident. Birkin intentionally caused the biohazard. As mentioned above, the elite troops of Umbrella wouldn't be held back by the laboratory's defensive traps and security guards. In addition, it was also difficult to hold back the infiltration of spies. It was a matter of time before Birkin would be either abducted or assassinated. However, penetration of the research facility wouldn't be easy if it was blocked with a biohazard. If Raccoon City was contaminated, the intrusion route would further fade away. The U.S. military's Special Forces were organized between that borrowed time and carried out an infiltration mission. Umbrella also took action to prevent Birkin's defection to the U.S. government. The elite U.S.S. was dispatched from the head office and sent into Raccoon City at the Chicago branch's request. Then six Tyrants carried in by helicopter were deployed to support the operation's expansion. As a consequence, Birkin was assassinated by the U.S.S. It was a result of the differing accuracy of the U.S. military's information. The U.S.S. was given detailed information on the secret facility and also had more combat experience with Bio Organic Weapons than the U.S. military's Special Forces. They were no match for Birkin infected with the G-Virus, but they were administered an advanced type of anti-viral drug and had the ability to eliminate Zombies without a problem. In the end, the U.S. government discovered that Birkin's rescue had failed and changed the objective. BIOHAZARD 3 is the story of its progress. When Birkin's rescue failed, the U.S. government feared that his research results would be recovered by Umbrella. If research results such as the G-Virus were brought to Umbrella, there was no telling what terrible weapons would be brought to enemies of the United States later on. Therefore, the U.S. hurried the execution of the "Sterilization Operation." The true purpose of that operation wasn't to prevent the spread of the virus. Raccoon City's setting was a city that existed in isolation within a Midwestern desert. Since it was surrounded by dry desert, there was no need to be nervous toward the virus spreading. It could be said that there was no danger to the extent that a new bomb had to be dropped and 100,000 victims had to be sacrificed. The U.S. government intended to prevent Umbrella taking Birkin's research results, in complete disregard of survivors. In my opinion.

Q. That's a lot of information. I wonder why CAPCOM only released bits and pieces in supplemental material like "biohazard archives."

A. Well, I didn't write that in detail but I told everything I knew to Producer Kobayashi and he wrote it. I'm thankful to him. Who was the victor of this battle? I've prepared some answers. First, the G-Virus was recovered by HUNK and Birkin was assassinated. As a result, Umbrella's entire objective was achieved. However there was accomplishment even in the United States. One was the opportunity of establishing a biological weapon countermeasure force. Although the soldiers trained until now were strong too, they weren't able to achieve results. Therefore the U.S. military planned a swift review of a military unit. This military organization hired Leon, and he'd be murdered if he didn't go along with it. He followed the U.S. government in order to ensure Sherry's safety. With that, the United States succeeded in training a strong specialist. It's like the movie G.I.JOE *laughs*. Another is the existence of Sherry. I imagined that Sherry had two futures. I planned to leave the interpretation of the G-Virus to people who'd make stories succeeding mine.

Q. Please continue.

A. The reason the G-Virus is a virus of God is that if male and female humans infected with the G-Virus have sex, a G-Human will be born. In other words, with the point of creating new individuals that can breed, a new race surpassing modern humans can be created. If dogs mutated by the G-Virus mate, a G-Puppy will be born. G-Dogs and G-Humans cannot breed. That's what I thought. It's fundamentally different from the T-Virus. However, please look at BIOHAZARD 2. Birkin, administered with the G-Virus, becomes a monster. It caused deformities. I believed that was far from Birkin's dream. Could it be because it was incomplete?

Q. I assumed it was due to the fatal gunshot wounds he sustained during the attack.

A. I concluded that it failed at the time of BIOHAZARD 2. However, in my opinion, there's another answer. Were any elements missing? I thought so. So assuming it failed because he was injured, why would Birkin administer the virus to avoid dying? Though you could also think to say it was from mere revenge, I'll add another interpretation. There was Annette's research. Dr. Annette had studied with Dr. William. She seems to have researched a G-Virus vaccine. However, think about it. Is a vaccine necessary for a virus created to transform creatures? The T-Virus was made for the purpose of creating biological weapons by applying mutations and wasn't something originally used for humans.

Q. The DEVIL vaccine.

A. I thought that DEVIL, which Annette was developing, wasn't a vaccine. DEVIL developed by Annette may have been a stabilizing agent for controlling the G-Virus' sudden mutation and prevention of becoming a mutation. The rewriting of DNA and RNA with the G-Virus is something very sudden, couldn't there be cases where it can't transform correctly into a new organism? In those cases, they become a monster like Birkin and may lose their rational mind. The two conclusions I prepared were tales which advanced with the conventional setting one. If the conventional setting is employed efficiently, Sherry becomes the only girl in the world with G-Virus antibodies. The U.S. government failed to recover the G-Virus, but recovered a human with G-Virus antibodies. Sherry was sheltered as the adopted child of a high-ranking government official, and a story was made in which she spent a painful youth as a research material. In the other ending I thought about, Sherry is infected with the G-Virus and mutates. She ostensibly seems to be cured by Annette's DEVIL, but in the story she's actually been transformed into a perfected G-Creature. Birkin was dying and gambled. He injected himself with the G-Virus without DEVIL and tried to withstand the mutation and be reborn as a new human. But that failed. To some extent, Annette predicted it. Thus she gave her daughter DEVIL at the risk of her life. Sherry's already not human and I considered a story in which she became a completely different life-form. If Sherry became a G-Creature, Sherry couldn't start a family even if she had sex with a human man. Sherry has no relatives and she possessed abilities surpassing humanity. She could oppose Wesker. A "Strong Sherry" who had become a new race due to her father's ambition could be made into the leading role. This was the second plan I considered. I think Dr. William Birkin was someone with very strong ambition. Birkin tried to achieve more valued research results than other past researchers. He needed to surpass Marcus' "T-Marcus." And he needed to surpass Alexia's "T-Veronica", she in particular was said to be a genius. To surpass their results, mutations had to be absent. It could be said that Birkin was trying to create a God. However, speaking of whether it was the effective weapon Umbrella desired, it may not be the case.

Q. Thank you very much.

A. However, even if you like my story, you mustn't compare it with the current story. My story's a thing of the past. I don't want to interfere with the work of the current creators.

Yasuhisa Kawamura

Resume:

Dino Crisis 1 (Movie and Event Part Scenario)
BIOHAZARD 3 LAST ESCAPE (Planning, Scenario, File Text, All Worldview)
BIOHAZARD 4 (Part Planning, Scenario)
Devil May Cry (Part Planning)
Clock Tower 3 (Movie Part Motion Capture Assistant Director)
Dino Crisis 3 (Movie and Event Part Scenario)
Meiwaku Seijin Panicmaker (Planning, Scenario, File Text, All Worldview)
Blade Dancer PSP (Quest Scenario)
biohazard DEGENERATION (Special Thanks)
El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron (Designer)
Rise of Nightmares (Designer)

Mr. Kawamura can be found on Twitter (@yas_kawamura). Although he is not fluent in English, he is able to read Twitter messages and sentences which are not too long, so feel free to thank him for his work on the series and for such an amazing interview.

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