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Elza Walker: The Truth About Resident Evil 2's Scrapped Protagonist

Resident Evil is one of the longest horror survival franchises of all time. The video game series offers players some of the most interesting story plots in the genre.

Resident Evil 1.5 was a development title for the first iteration of Resident Evil 2. The development title would become scrapped after much dissatisfaction from the developers. Resident Evil 2 would reach mass success — the game would go on to sell over 5.1 million copies. Fans would come to love the newest characters (at the time) of the series. Leon S. Kennedy and Claire Redfield would make their way into the hearts of many.

However, Claire Redfield was not always the first choice. Before Resident Evil 2 had Claire, there was Elza Walker. Elza Walker was a motorcycle racer who was also a student at Raccoon University. She was going to be the protagonist of Resident Evil 2, but the game would eventually be redeveloped and Elza would disappear from the script.

Why was she replaced?

During development, the game was seen as lackluster. The original iteration of Resident Evil 2 had taken a different approach to the gameplay. Hideki Kamiya, the director for Resident Evil 2, saw the game in a different light. He wanted the game to play differently from its predecessor. This was because Kamiya was not a fan of horror, but was instead into action films. Resident Evil 2 deviated from the original premise — this version just didn't offer the same frightening experience.

Resident Evil 2 would be completely overhauled as a result. Elza was replaced by Claire Redfield, but she was not completely abandoned. In fact, much of Claire's character is based on the original concept of Elza. For one thing, their love for motorcycles is crystal clear. In 2019, Capcom released a remake of Resident Evil 2, and the Deluxe Edition of the game features an Elza Walker costume for Claire.

The original idea for Resident Evil 2 and Elza Walker may have been scrapped, but there are still traces of her in the final game. Maybe one day she'll make her way back to the Resident Evil franchise.