BIO HAZARD (January 1998)

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Published January 29, 1998
BIO HAZARD The Wicked North Sea

A postscript written by Hirohiko Araki in BIO HAZARD The Wicked North Sea (バイオハザード 北海の妖獣, Baiohazādo Hokkai no Yōjū), a light novel based on the Resident Evil series.[1]


RE, it's combining duality.[a]

I don't know if it's because of my profession or the times, but I often imagine what would happen if the world had 'collapsed' and I was the only one left alive? On the one hand, I'm sure that there would be nothing but 'despair', but on the other hand, there would also be lots of fun things, like "shoplifting all I want in department stores", "stealing a police car without a licence and driving off at high speed without getting caught", "going into other people's houses without permission and if it's too cold I can go to the next one".

'It's a terrifying situation and I want to escape immediately, but on the other hand I want to stay immersed in this world forever' - that's the appeal of 'Resident Evil' in a few words. In order to escape or save friends, the appeal of intellectual curiosity is to solve various mysteries and fight against monsters for survival. This combination of 'intelligence' and 'instinctual violence' - is exquisite, and I rate the quality of the game as so high that it can be described as a work of art, beyond a game. It is a masterpiece among masterpieces.

'Resident Evil' fans may say they already know what they're getting into, but let's take a look at the appeal in detail.

The first thing I like is that when the game starts, the 'sound' completely disappears, leaving only the sound of the main character's 'footsteps'. My uneasy imagination grew tremendously, and the sound of my own footsteps made me too scared to turn around the corner of a corridor, making me want to run away saying, "Stop it already!". And the splendour of art in the rooms and corridors. This amplifies the sense of fear. Each room has its own unique design and individuality, and the three-dimensional space creates a sense of life that 'people used to live here'. This comes to the player as a 'silent sadness', that the wishes of those who once lived there have not been fulfilled.

"Death comes slowly but surely." - the zombies seem to symbolise this. This is also good. Their 'movements' and 'groans' have a horrifying 'sadness' that they were once human, but on the other hand, they are also monsters, so there is a sense of 'exhilaration" when you destroy them. With your belongings restricted, what you should take with you on the adventure? As if contrary to the 'intellectual appeal', the 'instinct of violence' is stimulated and makes you scared.

It's a strange feeling, the combination of these two opposite charms (sometimes I dare to fight with a knife for the thrill of it).

This is why I highly praise 'Resident Evil'.

There are so many other charms that I could go on and on about, but at the end of the day, as a fan, I really want to know.

The main character, Jill, is so cute and pretty, so I wonder how someone like her ended up in such a grim occupation? It seems far too scary for her. There must have been some sort of event or experience in her past that made her the way she is.

If so, I'm sure she thinks her mission to kill monsters is nothing compared to the harshness of the real world.

[Translated by Morganstedmanms and LocacacaFarmer]



『恐ろしくてすぐにでも逃げ出したい状況だけれど、一方ではいつまでもこの世界に浸っていたい』——それがこのゲーム「バイオハザード」を一言で言っての魅力である。脱出、あるいは仲間を救うために、いろいろな謎を解いていくという知的好奇心の魅力に対し、生存(サバイバル)のために怪物どもをやっつけに立ち向かっていく。この「知性」と「原始の本能」の二面の魅力の融合感が絶妙で、その完成度はゲームを越え 「芸術作品」 と言っても良い、高い品質(クオリティー)であるとぼくは評価する。傑作中の傑作である。


まずぼくが気に入ったのは、ゲームが始まると「音」がまったく消えて主人公の「靴音」だけになってしまう点だ。 不安の想像力がとてつもなく増大してきて、コツコツとい自分の足音の響きに、廊下の角とかがビビって曲がれず「もうやめてくれよ」と逃げ出したくなる。そして部屋や通路の美術の素晴らしさ。これが恐怖心を増幅する。 各部屋ひとつひとつにそれぞれ違ったデザインと個性があり、その立体空間にはたった今まで「人が住んでたんだよ」っていう生活感の演出がほどこされている。それはかつて住んでいた者の望みが達せられなかった「無言の悲しみ」としてゲームをする者に迫ってくるのだ。





主人公の女の子・ジルは、あんなにカワイイのになぜこんな恐ろしい仕事に携わっているのだろう? 任務とはいえ恐ろしすぎる。きっと彼女の過去には、その行動の動機となったなにか出来事とか体験があるはずなのだ。




  1. Resident Evil is known as "Biohazard" (バイオハザード) in Japan.


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