Behind all the cheesy one-liners and over-the-top monster designs, Resident Evil has always been a series about the dangers of biological experimentation and financial greed, and since so many characters have been caught in the crossfire, it’s led to some incredibly sad backstories. Considering just how dangerous the world of Resident Evil is, with B.O.W attacks and viral outbreaks becoming a common occurrence, it’s inevitable that a few individuals would have a few sad stories about how they became involved in the series’ most prominent events.
However, Capcom really went the extra mile when telling the backstory of these characters listed below, not only to draw more sympathy for them as people, even if they’re villains, but also to remind fans just how unforgiving the Resident Evil universe can really be. Grab a box of tissues, as this list is going to break down the saddest backstories that have ever been revealed throughout the Resident Evil series.
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7 Steve Burnside
The Tragedy Of Steve’s Family Partly Justifies Why He Acts So Irrationally In Code Veronica
Resident Evil CODE:Veronica
- February 29, 2000
- Survival Horror
Steve gets a lot of flak from fans of the series, and it’s not hard to see why when hearing him whine about everything and anything during Code Veronica, but his backstory does at least provide some reason why he would be acting so irrationally in that game. After being forced to shoot his own zombie father, Steve eventually opens up to Claire, admitting that the reason he’s even on Rockfort Island is because his father was spying on Umbrella.
After being caught red-handed though, Steve and his father were thrown in prison on Rockfort Island, while his mother was killed. It’s also revealed that Steve’s dad wasn’t trying to expose Umbrella for the greater good, but instead, was simply looking to sell their high-class information to the highest bidder, not having a care in the world about the kind of effect it would have on his own family. Steve is still an incredibly annoying character to a lot of people, but his tragic past goes a long way to justify why he acts the way he does.
6 Ramon Salazar
Salazar Was “Cured” From A Deadly Illness By Los Illuminados
Resident Evil 4 Remake
- March 24, 2023
- Survival Horror
Ramon comes across as an irritating and incredibly unlikable antagonist when he shows up to stop Leon and Ashley in Resident Evil 4, but his past-life before he was taken under Saddler’s wing is actually quite sad to read about, especially in the remake. As a young boy, Salazar suffered from a rare illness which was expected to take his life before he could reach adulthood, but when a mysterious cult showed up with a supposed “cure” to the boy’s condition, his mother and father pleaded for them to help.
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Not realizing that the people they had just let into their home were actually members of the villainous Los Illuminados, both of Salazar’s parents were killed by Saddler and his cronies, before Salazar himself was implanted with a dominant species of the Plaga. While this did keep him alive, it also made him incredibly cruel and vicious as a person, with the Plaga completely twisting his personality, and even erasing his memories of his parents altogether.
5 Donna Beneviento
Beneviento Became Isolated From The World Around Her After The Loss Of Her Parents
Resident Evil Village
- May 7, 2021
- Survival (dupe) , Horror
While there are a few subtle hints scattered around House Beneviento that reference Donna’s past life, players can learn much more about it by picking up a secret file near the well as they’re leaving the house. It turns out that Donna, who isn’t actually seen in the game until Ethan accidentally stabs her, had a very tragic childhood which forced her into a life of isolation. After her parents took their own lives, Donna would eventually become so trapped in her own thoughts that she essentially removed herself from society, and instead, used her beloved doll Angie to speak to people rather than herself.
Things only got worse when she was found by Mother Miranda, who implanted her with the Cadou Parasite, lending Donna the psychoative powers that she showcases to Ethan during the events of Village. It’s easy to hate Beneviento after the amount of torment she puts the player through, but this emotional backstory manages to turn her into an incredibly sympathetic character by the end of her section.
4 Sheva Alomar
Sheva Was Forced To Flee Her Village After It Was Experimented On By Umbrella
Resident Evil 5
- March 5, 2009
- Survival Horror
While Sheva doesn’t talk too openly about her family or past life during the main story of Resident Evil 5, there’s actually a plethora of information about her in the Library section of the main menu. Here, it’s revealed that Sheva once lived in a small village which housed an Umbrella Facility, but in typical Umbrella fashion, they decided to start experimenting on the local population. When things got out of hand, the military was ordered to kill everyone in the village to hide any trace of the infection from getting out, and as a result, Sheva ran away and was eventually rescued by her uncle.
It wasn’t long before a young Sheva tried to return home in the hopes of finding her family somehow still alive, but after two days of running, she eventually collapsed due to malnutrition. Umbrella has been shown to have committed some truly heinous acts throughout the series, and this more personal example proves just how evil they really are as a company.
3 Chief Mendez
Believe It Or Not, Mendez Was Once A Kindhearted And Passionate Leader Before His Encounter With Saddler
Resident Evil 4
- PS4 , PS3 , PS2 , Xbox One , Xbox 360 , Switch , Wii , Nintendo GameCube , PC , Android , iOS
- January 11, 2005
- Survival Horror
Before he became the gigantic brute who stalks Leon and Ashley as they try to escape the village, Mendez was actually a kindhearted and well-intentioned chief who simply wanted the best for his people. By returning to his manor in the Resident Evil 4 Remake, players can find his personal diary where he talks about how he would love teaching the children literacy in the mornings and playing instruments with the adults during the evening.
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He genuinely seemed like a passionate man who all the people looked up to with great pride, but the one fatal mistake he ever made was letting the men with “black hoods” into the village. Unbeknownst to him, he had allowed the Los Illuminados into his herd, and as they would eventually infect Mendez with the Plaga, the chief himself would become a tyrannical and vicious leader whose compassion had been completely discarded.
2 Jack Baker
Resident Evil 7’s DLC Reveals The Tragedy That Struck Jack And His Family After Taking In Eveline
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
- January 24, 2017
- Survival Horror
After hunting Ethan through the Baker mansion for the first few hours of Resident Evil 7, it’s revealed near the end through a dream-like sequence that Jack is actually not the cruel and maniacal man that players had been led to believe. Instead, he talks in a calm and polite manner, pleading Ethan to stop Eveline from corrupting anyone else, just like she had done to his entire family which inevitably led to their deaths.
More of his backstory is revealed in the game’s DLC where Jack and Margarite are shown bringing Eveline into their home after finding her washed up in the middle of a storm. The family is kind and caring towards Eveline, but in an attempt to create her own family, she possesses each of them, taking away all the positive parts of their personalities and creating a family of terrifying monsters in the process.
1 Lisa Trevor
Lisa Became The Victim Of Horrific Experimentation For Over Twenty-Years
Resident Evil HD Remaster
- January 20, 2015
- Survival Horror
In the dark and gloomy underground caverns of the Spencer Mansion, Lisa Trevor can be found wandering around screaming out for her mother, and it’s incredibly sad to learn how Lisa ended up in such a state. Unlike her mother who was not fit to receive the Progenitor Virus, Lisa’s body reacted a lot more positively, and as a result, she became the main subject of experiment by Wesker and other scientists for a shocking twenty-eight years.
Throughout that time, Lisa’s body was grossly mutated, becoming pretty much unrecognizable, and the only thing she could still think about was her mother, who had long been dead by that point. The Resident Evil series does an excellent job at highlighting just how dangerous and disastrous biological experiments can be, but Lisa’s backstory takes the cake for showcasing this the best, due to how incredibly distressing it is.
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