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Everything you need to know before playing Resident Evil Village

Resident Evil Village arrives on May 7, continuing the smaller story of 2017’s Resident Evil 7. Although Village takes place in the larger Resident Evil world, it features the same protagonist from Resident Evil 7 and continues the events of that game. To get you started right, we’ve compiled everything you need to know before playing Resident Evil Village.

We’re covering the main story of Resident Evil 7 and its two story DLCs, End of Zoe and Not a Hero. Our story summary goes in chronological order, so we’ll bounce over to the DLC content when it makes sense. Also, it should go without saying, but there are massive spoilers below. We’re spoiling everything about Resident Evil 7, and we’ll talk a little about what could be in Resident Evil Village, so consider yourself warned.

The story so far

Resident Evil 7 begins with a brand-new protagonist: Ethan Winters. The game opens with a couple of vague tapes of Mia Winters, one celebrating the relationship between Mia and Ethan, and another warning Ethan to “stay away.” Mia’s referring to the abandoned Baker residence in Louisiana, where she went missing three years prior to the beginning of the game. She’s presumed dead, but Ethan decides to go looking for her anyway.

In Louisiana, Ethan finds a derelict house and, to his surprise, Mia. Things start tumbling downward shortly after, as Mia warns Ethan about “Daddy” coming to get them. Mia guides Ethan through the house frantically, clearly scared of what could be around the corner. During the escape, Mia turns from a scared spouse into a monster, attacking Ethan with a screwdriver and eventually cutting off his hand with a chainsaw. Ethan attacks and kills Mia during the assault — she’s not totally dead, as we’ll get to later — before being knocked out by “Daddy,” Jack Baker.

The Baker family

Ethan wakes up strapped to a chair at the Baker family’s supper. There’s Jack Baker, the father and leader of the family, Marguerite, his wife, and their son Lucas. An unnamed woman sits in a wheelchair by the table, too, and she continues to show up in various locations throughout the game. The family has a feast consisting of internal organs spread out across the table, fanatically going back and forth between eating and screaming.

From there, a lot of Resident Evil shenanigans ensue. An ill-fated police officer tries to rescue Ethan, you have to dart across the house looking for different keys, and members of the Baker family slowly track you, waiting for a misstep. The specifics here don’t really matter for Resident Evil Village, but the meat of the game reveals two important things: Zoe and the Molded.

Shortly after the dinner, you meet Zoe, who is also a member of the Baker family. She’s not crazy like the others, and she guides you through the Baker estate through phone calls. The Molded are zombielike creatures made out of humans. You learn that the Baker family, who is presumed dead in the area, is kidnapping tourists, killing and skinning them, and turning them into Molded. The family lives off the internal organs left behind.

Zoe tells Ethan that both she and Mia are infected and that he needs to gather the ingredients for a serum to cure them. After gathering the ingredients, Ethan starts having strange visions of a young girl, and Lucas snatches Mia and Zoe and locks them away. After a few puzzles and a big battle, Lucas flees and leaves Ethan to discover Mia and Zoe. But before he can cure them, a monstrous Jack Baker attacks, and Ethan is forced to use one of the vials of serum to kill him.

Zoe leads the trio to a back dock where they can escape, but with only one vial of serum, Ethan is forced to choose who to save. Players have a choice here, and depending on who the player chooses, they’ll get a different ending. Things make a lot more sense if the player chooses Mia, though, so that’s what we’re going with. A heartbroken Zoe stands on the dock as Mia and Ethan speed away in a small boat, knowing that she’ll never escape the nightmare at the Baker estate.

End of Zoe

End of Zoe is the last piece of DLC for Resident Evil 7, but it takes place immediately after the boat scene in the main game. After Mia and Ethan head away, Zoe is calcified by a being known as Eveline (we’ll get to her soon). Joe Baker, brother of Jack and uncle of Zoe, finds her in a crystal shape among a group of counter-bioterrorism soldiers. Joe knocks out the soldiers and drags one of them, along with Zoe, back to the house.

The solider tells Joe that there’s a cure for Zoe’s condition, but before he can lead Joe to it, a “swamp man” burns down the house and kills the solider. Joe and Zoe escape in a boat, and Joe eventually finds a cure. However, the swamp man, who’s actually a resurrected Jack Baker, attacks before Joe can administer the cure to Zoe. Jack throws Joe into the water, Joe escapes and follows Jack into the house, and Joe uses a bionic arm to kill Jack once and for all. Joe cures Zoe before a group of Blue Umbrella soldiers, including Chris Redfield, bust in and get the two to safety.

The Dulvey incident

Meanwhile, Mia and Ethan travel through the swamp before crashing near a massive ship. Players take control of Mia at this point, as she journeys through the ship looking for Ethan. You learn that Mia was actually onboard this ship three years ago when it crashed, working as an escort to a bioweapon known as Eveline. Obsessed with the concept of family, Eveline latches onto Mia and starts acting out on the ship. She has the power to infect people with a virus that brainwashes them and makes them susceptible to mind control.

Eveline eventually crashes the boat in the bayou of the fictional town of Dulvey, Louisiana. The Baker family stumbled upon the wrecked ship and brought Mia to safety, all before being taken over by Eveline. You learn that Eveline is inside the creepy grandma that follows players around the house, and that she’s been at the helm of everything that has happened (including Mia attacking Ethan). Ethan heads into a secret lab located in salt mines under the estate, using a piece of Eveline’s DNA to create a toxin that eventually kills her.

After a big fight, Ethan wakes up to a Blue Umbrella helicopter flying down to rescue him. Among the team is Chris Redfield, the iconic protagonist that has shown up in most mainline Resident Evil games. The ending also ties up a loose end with Lucas, suggesting that we was working with an unknown organization and only pretending to be under Eveline’s control to maintain his cover.

Not a Hero

Not a Hero is a free piece of DLC for Resident Evil 7, and it takes place immediately after the main game. After rescuing Ethan and Mia, Chris Redfield makes his way into the salt mines looking for Lucas Baker. He learns that Lucas has been working with a group called The Connections, which is a crime syndicate that sent Lucas to the Baker estate to gather information on the E-type virus that Eveline was infected with.

The mini-campaign ends with Chris Redfield killing a mutated Lucas and destroying the computer equipment in the lab. He’s quickly called back to the Blue Umbrella camp nearby to take a call. The game ends here, but the cliffhanger suggests the call somehow ties into Resident Evil Village. 

Key characters

There are a few key characters to understanding the story in Resident Evil 7 and the impact it will have in Village.

Chris Redfield

Chris Redfield is one of the two main protagonists in the original Resident Evil, and he has shown up in nearly all games in the series. After a stint in the Air Force, Redfield joined Racoon City’s Special Tactics and Rescue Service (S.T.A.R.S.) and joined the Bravo team to investigate a mansion, where the original game takes place. After the end of the Umbrella Corporation — seen in The Umbrella Chronicles — Chris Redfield joins the Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance (BSAA).

Between then and the events of Resident Evil 7, Redfield traveled around the world fighting bioterrorism. He’s suspected to be a main character in Resident Evil Village, working for the BSAA under the guidance of Blue Umbrella.

Mia Winters

Mia Winters is an operative working for the Connections bioterrorism syndicate. She joined the group as a researcher in 2010, and in 2014, she was designated as the caretaker of the E-type bioweapon Eveline. Mia hid her affiliation with The Connections from Ethan from 2010 until the Dulvey incident in 2017. After the events of Resident Evil 7, she moved to somewhere in Europe with Ethan. The couple had their first baby, Rosemary, between 2017 and 2021, where Resident Evil Village picks up.

Blue Umbrella

The Umbrella Corporation aided the U.S. government in researching bioweapons between the 1970s and the 1990s. After a viral weapon leaked and infected tens of thousands in Racoon City, the U.S. government shifted blame to Umbrella, eventually filing a class-action lawsuit known as the Racoon Trials. During this time, the executives of the business were arrested, and Umbrella’s subsidiaries declared bankruptcy.

Under the threat of a growing number of bioterrorists, Umbrella reorganized in 2007 into Blue Umbrella. Many people, including Chris Redfield, still distrust the organization. However, Redfield joined them to fight the spread of bioterrorism, helping Blue Umbrella respond to the Dulvey incident.

The Connections

The Connections is a criminal organization involved with bioweapon research. In 2000, The Connections created a new fungus that would eventually lead to the E-type bioweapon in 2014. This fungus, known as the “Mold,” can be used to mind-control people, and The Connections hoped to sell it to governments to take over regions without using traditional means. In 2014, the group created E-001 with the fungus, otherwise known as Eveline.

After crashing near the Baker residence, The Connections set up a lab in the Abercrombie Salt Mine to monitor the situation. They found that the E-type fungus rapidly aged the subject, leading Eveline to go from a young girl to an elderly woman within three years. The Connections brought in Lucas for hands-on research, and he eventually killed all other researchers in the salt mine at the request of The Connections. Lucas and Eveline died at the end of Resident Evil 7, but The Connections is likely to show up again in Resident Evil Village. 

What we know about Resident Evil Village

Resident Evil Maiden Demo

We don’t know much about Resident Evil Village yet, but trailers have provided some clues as to what happens between Resident Evil 7 and Village. We’re transitioning into spoiler territory for Resident Evil Village, so keep that in mind if you want to play the game with a clean slate.

After the Dulvey incident, Ethan and Mia move to Europe where they settle down. The couple gives birth to a baby, Rosemary, who is infected with the Mold passed down from Mia. Resident Evil Village opens with Chris Redfield and a group of soldiers executing Mia while Ethan watches. The group then kidnaps Rosemary.

Their house is set in the mountainous region near Castle Dimitrescu. This is where Village takes place, as Chris and Ethan go on radically different paths. There’s a lot that will happen in Village, but for right now, all we know is that the castle is ruled by a satanic witch cult that captures victims nearby and drains them of their blood to create an enriched wine known as Sanguis Virginis.

The leader, Alcina Dimitrescu, has been depicted with an orange glowing eye, and Village‘s box art shows Chris Redfield with the same glowing eye. This could point to a connection between Redfield and the castle, or perhaps it suggest that Redfield is under the control of the Dimitrescu family. Regardless, Capcom has confirmed that Village will bring an end to Ethan’s story. As for Chris Redfield, we’ll just have to wait until Resident Evil Village launches on May 7.

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Jacob Roach
Senior Staff Writer, Computing
Jacob Roach is a writer covering computing and gaming at Digital Trends. After realizing Crysis wouldn't run on a laptop, he…
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