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Resident Evil Monsters That Were Left On The Cutting Room Floor

Resident Evil — A.K.A. Biohazard in Japan — is a horror institution. It's a multimedia phenomenon. It is the series that quite literally coined the term, "survival horror," establishing the various tropes that would come to define an entire genre of video games. In the decades since the first entry in the zombie-infested franchise debuted in March 1996, Resident Evil has spawned novels, weirdly inaccurate moviesaction figures — even musical comedy plays (in Japan, of course).

The kind of success that Resident Evil has enjoyed means that plenty of ideas — be they plotlines, settings, characters, or enemies — have been, and will continue to be, tossed around between developers. That means that for every one of Resident Evil's dream-haunting horrors, there's a nightmare out there — tucked away in some Capcom artist's filing cabinet — that gamers will never get to encounter.

These are the Resident Evil monsters that got canned before they could get a taste of that sweet, sweet S.T.A.R.S. blood.

Resident Evil 2 - Zombie Ape

Old-school zombies of the "shambling former people" variety might be Resident Evil's bread and butter. Still, the survival horror franchise has never shied away from showcasing the cruelty that the evil Umbrella Corporation and its ilk have enacted onto the furriest of friends. Think of the average Resident Evil baddie's lab like a really screwed up Noah's Ark, only instead of transporting animals to repopulate the Earth, they shoot 'em up with experimental viruses and drop 'em off in a quaint Midwestern suburb.

From poor zombified puppers to a putrefied pachyderm of prodigious proportions, no living creature is safe from the depths of these groups' cruelty. And, if the original build of Resident Evil 2 — dubbed Resident Evil 1.5 during its development — had ever hit store shelves, gorillas would've joined those rotten ranks.

Predating the Eliminator — a monkey Bio Organic Weapon (B.O.W.) that debuted in 2002's Resident Evil 0 — by five years, the aptly named "Zombie Ape" was to be the franchise's first primate predator. Alas, despite the Resident Evil 1.5 team completing 70% of the game, development screeched to a halt in 1997 — and along with it, players' hopes and dreams of going toe-to-toe with Furious George.

Resident Evil 2 - Golgotha and Zeiram

Sure, they might have names that sound like Pokémon from a parallel universe — and, sure, maybe they look like something out of a kaiju monster movie artist's sketchbook, but Golgotha and Zeiram were actually two candidates for the final boss of Resident Evil 2. It takes approximately .25 seconds of staring at these two monstrosities to realize the aesthetic legacy they left behind after they were cut from the game during the concept art phase. From Golgotha's elongated shark-like nose to the animalistic gait that the two abominations share, it seems that they may have influenced the G4 phase of William Birkin's transformation — that's the one that looks like a shark-bear-fiji mermaid type deal that projectile vomits approximately all the teeth in the world.

Another interesting tidbit about these two: While Golgotha is literally the full name of the G-Virus that Birkin injects himself with, it's not the former Umbrella virologist whose, uhh... face decorates Golgotha's tail. Rather, Golgotha's concept art shows that recurring villain Albert Wesker's face appears to be growing from its tail. The implication here seems to be that Golgotha was meant to be a mutated form of Wesker. Yeah. Resident Evil is wild.

Resident Evil: Code Veronica - Contamination Monster

Some monsters, like Resident Evil 1.5's Zombie Ape, are pretty straightforward. It's an ape, it's a zombie, it's out to getcha. It's not rocket science. And then, there's... the contamination monster.

Not much is known about the so-called "Contamination Monster," a disturbing and yet somehow supremely awkward-looking creature that would have appeared in 2000's Resident Evil: Code Veronica. Designed by freelance concept artist Satoshi Nakai, the Contamination Monster resembles a zombified humanoid who found themselves on Umbrella's ish-list right around the time that they participated in a Nathan's hot dog eating contest. Between the monster's bloated torso and its anguished (and possibly constipated) expression, nobody's about to argue that this dude's having a good time. 

Real talk: Nakai's work runs the gamut from profoundly terrifying and obviously influential to Resident Evil's scariest baddies to... well, the contamination monster. According to SegaBits, Capcom has only released a "fraction" of Nakai's work throughout the years. 

Resident Evil 4 - Hook Man and Living Dolls

Resident Evil 4 was a turning point for the franchise, marking the series' transition from tank controls and pre-rendered backgrounds to over-the-shoulder action against a backdrop of fully three-dimensional terror. It also marked the moment that the franchise popped the "survival" part of "survival horror" off of its genre harder than Leon's head meeting the business end of Dr. Salvador's chainsaw.

Still, what we could have gotten when RE4 dropped strayed even further from Resi tradition. Enter: the "Hallucination" build. The original build of Resident Evil 4 boasted, among other things, a spooky gothic castle and a living fog-like virus that would infect protagonist Leon S. Kennedy and cause hallucinations, which would manifest as real threats. 

The E3 2003 trailer gives a pretty good impression of the scrapped build's brand of pseudo-paranormal/psychological horror. As shown in the trailer, two of the most prominent would-be baddies squaring off against Leon were a bunch of knife-wielding living dolls — complete with malicious giggling — and the so-called "Hook Man." Little is known about these entities, save for the fact that they existed solely within Leon's mind — but it's hard not to hope that Capcom doesn't revisit them in future titles.

Resident Evil 0 - D.A.L.I.

A prequel exploring events taking place prior to Resident Evil's Mansion Incident, Resident Evil 0 is a treasure trove of unused content. After all, filling in the blanks before the start of Resident Evil's canon meant designers likely felt compelled to chuck idea after idea at the proverbial wall to see what stuck. And stuck plenty did. Experimenting with brand new creatures and general lore resulted in the grotesque Queen Leech, its Final Fantasy-cosplaying James Marcus flesh-suit, and some of the slipperiest, slimiest leech-zombies this side of Slither. Some of the ideas that didn't stick, however, are just as terrifying (and very slippery/slimy) in their own right.

Take, for instance, the D.A.L.I. According to Resident Evil 0 producer Tsukasa Takenaka, the D.A.L.I. creature was designed to hang from the ceiling, eventually bursting out of its evolutionary cocoon to attack. However, Takenaka claimed that it was eventually scrapped partly because RE0's camera made it difficult to show the ceilings — plus, it didn't exactly fit with the rest of the game's more insectoid enemies. Eventually, D.A.L.I. was redesigned to fit with the game's creepy, crawly sensibilities and was dubbed the Plague Crawler.

Resident Evil 0 - Spider-Infested Zombie

The name "Spider-Infested Zombie" alone should be enough to send a full body squirm through even the most iron-willed gamer's spine. And, yet, the concept art for this scrapped Resident Evil 0 enemy is somehow so, so much worse than its name implies. Equal parts gargantuan eight-legged freak and mush-for-brain, muscle-bound zomboid, this hybrid predator's the perfect foe for arachnophobic zombie hunters everywhere.

In case any aspiring mad scientists are looking to DIY themselves one of these freaky fellas, here are some instructions gleaned from its conceptual illustration: First, grab a giant spider. Next, find an unsuspecting test subject — possibly one injected with a healthy dose of whatever experimental virus you've got laying around. Finally, jam the arachnid's legs through the guy's limbs like a marionette from hell's adaptation of Pinocchio — and, voila! According to Resident Evil 0 producer Tsukasa Takenaka, the "Spider-Infested Zombie" was going to share both a spider's and a humanoid's movements. In other words: two times the fun, two times the RUUUN!

Despite its nightmarish appearance, "Spider-Infested Zombie" was ultimately cut from RE 0 for being ill-matched with the rest of the game's beasties.

Resident Evil 0 - Wesker's Monster

Oh, Albert Wesker... What's there to say about the late, great, mass-extinction-aspiring supervillain that hasn't already been said? The dude stans Bio Organic Weapons, wears a mean trenchcoat, and, circa the events of Resident Evil 2, he may or may not have had a huge, creepy crush on 19-year-old S.T.A.R.S. rookie Rebecca Chambers. Oh, and if the "Wesker's Monster" creature wasn't yanked from Resident Evil 0's roster, he would've been best buds with a trained, mutated monkey/lemur monster that would pick off S.T.A.R.S. Bravo team members one by one. No. For real.

According to Resident Evil 0 producer Tsukasa Takenaka, Wesker's Monster was to be just that: a monster with a special link to Wesker. This, of course, was early in development — prior to the introduction of the mysterious villain that turned out to be the Queen Leech taking the form of deceased virologist James Marcus (again, Resident Evil is wild). Takenaka felt that gamers who'd played through the original Resident Evil wouldn't be surprised by the revelation that Wesker was behind the Bravo team attacks, given the similar "the guy who wears shades indoors and at night is bad" twist.

Resident Evil 7 - Diane

Resident Evil's take on the zombified dog trope is called Cerberus, and the moniker is a fitting one. Vicious, relentless, and gruesome as all get-out, the mutts are just as hellish as Hades' three-headed hound BFF — if not more so. "Diane," the name of a dog character that was rejected during the development of Resident Evil 7, doesn't exactly have the same oomph. That said, if the reference photo shown off briefly in Resident Evil's "Making of Part One: Beginning Hours" video can be trusted, RE7's artists wouldn't have designed Diane as some fluffy fur-baby. On the contrary, Diane's concept appears to have been inspired by a snarling German Shepherd.

In the behind the scenes video, Resident Evil 7 director Kōshi Nakanishi admitted that he "kind of [wishes they] could have kept" Diane in the game and that it was "a shame" to scrap the idea. He added that the dog would have played a role in the infamous dinner scene in which the Bakers, warped by Evie's influence, mercilessly torment protagonist Ethan Winters.

Judging by the crap the Bakers put Ethan through, one shudders at the thought of what the surely monstrous Diane would have contributed to the grisly scene.

Resident Evil 2 (remake) - The Condemned

It goes without saying that Umbrella doesn't give a fudge about the poor souls destroyed by the company's insidious experiments. Take Lisa Trevor: The daughter of Spencer Mansion architect, George Trevor, Lisa was subjected to excruciating experiments and injected with viruses and parasites that destroyed her mental faculties and mangled her body. The murder of her mother at the hands of Umbrella — and the continued torment that she endured — inspired an obsession for collecting the faces of female researchers she felt were impersonating her mother. She'd then sew these faces into a shawl she wore over her own skeletal visage.

As much of the cut content from Resident Evil games was scrapped before the creation of clear backstories, one can only assume that a humanoid enemy dubbed "The Condemned" suffered a similar fate as Lisa Trevor. Given this entity's youthful frame, along with the fact that it was set to appear in the orphanage section of Resident Evil 2, it's easy to surmise that this was an innocent orphan who met a terrible fate at the hands of Umbrella.

Resident Evil 2 (remake) - Licker Zombie

Next to Nemesis, William Birkin, and the many zombies that populate Resident Evil's titles, the horror franchise's most recognizable monster has got to be the licker. With its nasty, elongated tongue, fully exposed brain and muscle tissue, and those razor-sharp claws, it's hard to imagine that anyone who's played Resident Evil 2 could ever forget their first encounter with the licker. So when it was time for the team behind the Resident Evil 2 remake to start spitballing new ways to scare the living pants off of players, the "Licker Zombie" concept art must have seemed like a no-brainer — pun entirely intended.

With a face only a Bio Organic Weapon researcher could love, the so-called "Licker Zombie" is a sight to behold. Unlockable concept art in the Resident Evil 2 remake shows off the many stages of the creature's transformation from nondescript zombie to full-blown hellspawn Lickitung. The same file also showcases another unused asset: a zombie confined to a wheelchair, skin bursting with pustules, speech-generating devices likely spouting off all sorts of nonsensical phrases.