Resident Evil Infinite Darkness Timeline Explained: What to Know Before Watching - VRGyani News and Media

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Thursday, August 26, 2021

Resident Evil Infinite Darkness Timeline Explained: What to Know Before Watching

Based on the popular series of video games released by Capcom, Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness places fans in the shoes of protagonists Leon S. Kennedy (Nick Apostolides) and Claire Redfield (Stephanie Panisello) once again as they investigate a story steeped in international subterfuge and governmental corruption. Director Hiroyuki Kobayashi’s Netflix animated series is heavy on social commentary about things such as the war in Afghanistan, PTSD, and American interventionism. However, there are still plenty of zombies and bio-organic creations to placate fans of the game series as well.

Given its newfound spotlight on Netflix and its relative lack of connection to the popular film series by Paul W.S. Anderson, new viewers may not be familiar with these versions of Leon and Claire and how they got to where they are. Infinite Darkness is sandwiched between the games Resident Evil 4 and 5, and the series relies heavily on past events that occurred in earlier iterations of the game. This is clearly a design choice to please Resident Evil fans, but those that aren’t familiar with the franchise’s long and convoluted history may feel a bit lost in the tangle of references. Before diving into Infinite Darkness, let’s examine the major events that shaped the show’s two main characters.

RELATED: 'Resident Evil' Games Timeline Explained: From T-Virus to C-Virus, and the Many Lives of Albert Wesker

Raccoon City’s Outbreak and Destruction (Resident Evil 2 & 3)

On September 3rd, 1998, hell was unleashed on the unsuspecting residents of Raccoon City. The city, nestled in the midwestern Arklay Mountain range, was heavily aligned with the pharmaceutical conglomerate Umbrella Corporation. Many of the city’s 100,000 inhabitants worked for the mega-corporation, and countless households throughout the world used its products. Unbeknownst to the population at large, Umbrella was conducting viral research and producing what they called “bio-organic weapons” (B.O.W.s). On that fateful night in 1998, one of Umbrella’s bioweapons known as the “Tyrant Virus” or “t-Virus” was leaked into the city’s water and sewage system. Infected rodents carried the virus quickly as a vector, and it wasn’t long before the city’s populace was afflicted. In a matter of hours, the virus had converted the infected into undead cannibals. The Raccoon Police Department was overwhelmed, and Umbrella proceeded to pour salt in the wound by releasing their experimental B.O.W.s on the city’s survivors. Not even the Army could contain the chaos.

Rookie police officer Leon S. Kennedy was heading into the city to report for his first day of work at Raccoon Police Station when he stumbled into the carnage. During his investigation, he met Claire Redfield, who was searching for her brother Chris (Roger Craig Smith), a member of Raccoon Police’s S.T.A.R.S (Special Tactics and Rescue Service) unit. Leon and Claire would both eventually encounter a mutated B.O.W., the result of Umbrella scientist William Birkin (Diego Matamoros) injecting himself with the “Golgotha Virus” or “G-Virus.” After rescuing Birkin’s daughter Sherry (Lisa Jai), Leon and Claire destroyed the ever-mutating scientist and escaped. Leon swore to take down Umbrella, and Claire would eventually leave him and Sherry to continue searching for her brother.

To hide the United States government’s involvement with Umbrella and to kill any remaining contaminants, a thermobaric missile was fired by the U.S. Air Force at the center of the city. Every person or creature was vaporized on impact and Raccoon City was reduced to a crater.

After some time traveling together, Leon and Sherry were apprehended by the Federal Government. After heavy interrogation, Leon was offered a position as an agent. Considering the amount of hell he had been through, the government had determined that he had an exceptional amount of experience in combat and survival. Leon accepted the offer on the condition that Sherry would be well taken care of. After subsequent training and performing many clandestine operations, Leon became a consummate special agent.

The Rockfort Island Incident (Resident Evil: Code Veronica)

Following her brother’s trail, Claire found herself at Umbrella’s Paris Laboratory in December of 1998. Despite her best infiltration efforts, she was captured by Umbrella’s security services and taken to a location in the Pacific known as Rockfort Island. H.C.F., the military arm of Umbrella’s rival corporation, released the t-Virus and B.O.W.s throughout the island.

After constant attempts on her life by Alfred Ashford (Peter Oldring), governor of Rockfort Island, Claire and her fellow prisoner Steve Burnside (Bill Houston) managed to escape the island via plane. Before she left, however, she relayed a message to Leon via computer. Leon received her message and alerted Chris to her whereabouts. Reaching Umbrella’s Antarctic Facility, Claire discovered yet another t-Virus outbreak originating from the fleeing members of the Rockfort Island staff.

Hampered by additional members of the Ashford family such as Alexia (Leila Johnson) and her mutated father Alexander, Claire was knocked unconscious after an escape attempt via truck. When she came to, her brother Chris had arrived, and Steve had been taken captive by Alexia Ashford, who transformed him into a B.O.W. However, even as a monstrosity, Steve refused to harm Claire and was subsequently euthanized. As Chris activated the facility’s self-destruct system, Claire was taken hostage. Her captor was Albert Wesker (D.C. Douglas/Richard Waugh), a superpowered rogue chief researcher for Umbrella and antagonist mastermind of the Resident Evil franchise for most of its existence. By goading Wesker into a one-on-one fight, Claire was able to prepare a jet to escape. Just as the battle concluded, the Redfield siblings escaped in the nick of time and avoided the facility’s explosion.

After returning to the U.S., Claire would occasionally visit Sherry Birkin, still in government custody. This would lead Sherry into emulating Claire’s personality and belief system significantly.

Rescuing the First Daughter From Lost Illuminados (Resident Evil 4)

By 2004, Umbrella had completely fallen apart following the revelation of its involvement in the Raccoon City Incident. Though memories of the outbreak persisted in those who survived it, the public at large had forgotten, buying into the cover-up story that the U.S. Government had provided. The threat of bioterrorism had faded for a time, but not for Leon.

After the daughter of the President of the United States, Ashley Graham (Carolyn Lawrence), was abducted, Leon was sent to Ashley’s last known location in rural Spain to investigate her disappearance and bring her home. Almost immediately upon arrival in the community, Leon was attacked by monstrous locals. Unlike zombies, however, these assailants had a much higher intelligence and were more resistant to damage. Leon’s investigation would lead him to uncovering a cult known as Los Illuminados, led by a man named Osmund Saddler (Michael Gough). Members of the cult were implanted with a parasite known to the locals as Las Plagas, warping their bodies but keeping them mentally acute. Leon himself was captured by the cult quickly and was implanted with Plagas.

Saddler revealed that Ashley had also been infected, and that he intended to use her as a living bomb to release the parasite upon the United States. Saddler took Ashley to a nearby island where research for the cult was being conducted, and Leon gave pursuit. At the island, Leon faced both the cult’s own B.O.W.s as well as a turncoat from the U.S. Military named Jack Krauser (Jim Ward), who had served with Leon in South America. Krauser had admitted to faking his death and joining the organization who had kidnapped Ashley.

After defeating Krauser in combat, Leon and Ashley managed to find the cure for their Las Plagas affliction and quickly cleansed themselves of the parasites. Saddler was soon killed as well via rocket launcher, and the island was prepped with explosives. Leon and Ashley escaped on a jet-ski, returning stateside safely in time. A report was filed by Leon known as the “Kennedy Report,” which would lead to a renewed awareness and response to bioterrorism throughout the world.

Harvardville Incident (Resident Evil: Degeneration)

One year after the events in Spain, Claire Redfield joined a non-governmental organization known as TerraSave who handled rescue operations for victims of chemical and bioweapon attacks. During an arrival in Harvardville, a city largely dependent on a pharmaceutical company named WilPharma, the t-Virus reared its ugly head once again. During a demonstration against WilPharma’s research practices at Harvardville’s airport terminal, a swarm of zombies broke in and overwhelmed those inside. Claire just barely rescues a U.S. Senator named Ron Davis (Michael Sorich), who had been a vocal defender of WilPharma.

As the situation escalated and the sun slipped beneath the horizon, the United States Marine Corps locked down the terminal and quarantined any survivors for treatment. During deliberations between the USMC and a Special Response Team (S.R.T.), Leon arrives at the terminal and takes over authority of the Response Team’s operations. During a search for survivors, Claire finds the S.R.T. fleeing the zombies and the group collectively attempts to escape the terminal through its lobby while transporting Senator Davis. The group is nearly killed attempting to save a young girl named Rani (Michelle Ruff), but they manage to escape back to the military’s protected zone.

Just before the Harvardville outbreak, Claire had noticed a jaded WilPharma scientist named Curtis Miller (Roger Craig Smith), and suspected his involvement in the ongoing bio-attack. During Leon and Claire’s pursuit, the two discover that Miller lost his family in the Raccoon City Incident and is taking revenge due to the U.S. coverup. Injecting a sample of the G-Virus, Miller wipes out a contingent of marines after mutating into another monstrosity. Leon manages to fool Miller into falling into a chasm. With the Miller monster holding on for its life, Leon shoots it in the head and it falls into the abyss.

Returning to safety, Claire and Leon realize that the real culprit is a man from the terminal named Frederic Downing (Crispin Freeman), who had accompanied the group through the Harvardville Terminal and the WilPharma facility. Downing admits to releasing the virus outbreaks in order to demonstrate their efficacy to the president of a nation called Bajirib, a known state sponsor of terrorism.

Leon and Claire go their separate ways once more, hoping that their next meeting will be under improved circumstances. News breaks that Senator Davis has resigned due to the controversy of his investment in WilPharma, and the company is purchased by a new conglomerate known as TRICELL. It is then revealed to watchers that Senator Davis has been killed, his information on WilPharma and the viruses being purged from his computer. At the basement of the WilPharma facility, TRICELL discovers Miller’s mutated remains, and seals them away in a container.

Enter Infinite Darkness

It can be long, messy, and riddled with plot convenience, but the story of Leon Kennedy and Claire Redfield is a long one that has spanned decades’ worth of different media. The theme of corrupt authority runs deep, as it has since the original Resident Evil, and Infinite Darkness provides this in a different context. It pulls back somewhat from the hordes of undead and mutant abominations and provides a more sober and cynical look at international espionage and how the horrors of war change people. That said, there are still plenty of elements for both longtime fans and new watchers alike to enjoy, and now those uninitiated in Capcom’s franchise will be able to fill in the blanks where necessary.

KEEP READING: 'Resident Evil Village' Isn't All That Scary, and That's Okay



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