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What You Need To Know Before Watching Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness

On March 22, 1996, Capcom released their first "Resident Evil" title in Japan, and a North American release followed one week later. The game, which takes place in a zombie-infested mansion, helped popularize the survival horror genre and sparked an impressive wave of sequels, spin-offs, and remakes. This year, Capcom is celebrating its 25th anniversary with the franchise, and with the recent release of the latest game in the series, "Resident Evil Village," fans are also getting a bevy of other cool projects.

Besides an upcoming live-action series, Netflix is set to premiere "Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness" on July 8, 2021. Initially announced in September 2020, the project is a CG animated series produced by TMS Entertainment and Quebico and features input from Capcom Producer Hiroyuki Kobayashi. "Infinite Darkness" seems to be canon as far as the franchise's lore, as it will occur within the main games' timeline. However, considering there are so many sequels, numerous spin-offs, multiple movies and comic books, keeping track of the plot and characters of the series can seem more daunting than dealing with Nemesis on Hardcore in "Resident Evil 3."

To help prepare for the animated series, here's everything you need to know before checking out "Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness."

Who are Leon S. Kennedy and Claire Redfield?

As Capcom revealed for "Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness," the animated series centers on two fan favorite protagonists: Leon S. Kennedy and Claire Redfield. The two made their series debut in "Resident Evil 2," which traded in the mansion setting of the first game and expanded into the heart of Racoon City. In the game, Leon is a Raccoon City Police Department rookie officer, late for his first day on the job, while Claire is a college student searching for her brother, "Resident Evil" co-protagonist Chris Redfield. The two are forced to shoot their way through hordes of T-Virus-infected creatures, uncover more about the evil Umbrella Corporation's relation to the zombie outbreak, and ultimately escape Raccoon City.

Both Leon and Claire's "Resident Evil 2" campaigns essentially contained their own plots that would intersect at crucial moments and bring them together. As InVerse noted, It looks like "Infinite Darkness" will continue this trend. As the "Infinite Darkness" synopsis from Capcom reveals, Leon is dealing with a zombie outbreak while serving as a federal agent, while Claire is investigating a possible infection as a member of TerraSave. Much like the game, the two will probably uncover their own details but will still have to work together. Also, as a bonus for fans of "Resident Evil 2: Remake," Leon and Claire's voice actors, Nick Apostolides and Stephanie Panisello, are reprising their roles for the animated series (via Capcom).

What were Leon and Claire up to before Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness?

After the events of "Resident Evil 2," Leon and Claire were involved in many of the series' adventures. However, before "Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness," we can narrow their activity to a few main games in the "Resident Evil" timeline. Three months after the events of "Resident Evil 2," Claire found herself as the protagonist for "Resident Evil: Code Veronica." Per Den Of Geek, the game took place in 1998, and revolved around Claire searching and finally reuniting with her brother Chris while still dealing with the Umbrella Corporation.

Meanwhile, Leon starred in "Resident Evil 4," a title considered by many to be the series' best. Via Den Of Geek, the game took place in 2004. Following the events of "Resident Evil 2," it's revealed that Leon has gone from a rookie cop to a U.S. Federal Agent tasked with saving the President of the United States' daughter from a village of infested folk. While "Infinite Darkness" reunites Leon and Claire, it isn't the first time they've been together since their escape from Raccoon City. The duo appeared together in the 2008 CG movie, "Resident Evil: Degeneration," which takes place roughly a year after "Resident Evil 4." Leon is still an agent, and Claire is working for TerraSave, a biohazard prevention organization. Unlike the live-action "Resident Evil" movies, "Degeneration" is considered canon to the main series (via CBR).

Where does Resident: Infinite Darkness fit into the series timeline?

Via Capcom, "Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness" takes place in 2006. Looking at that year in the "Resident Evil" timeline, we find that it's a great point to set the animated series. It's also probably a safe option, as it nicely fits into an empty period. Per Screen Rant, "Resident Evil 4" takes place in 2004. The series' next main installment, "Resident Evil 5," moves forward significantly, taking place in 2009. While there are spin-off games like "Resident Evil Revelations" that take place between "4" and "5," there's still a significant gap between the two games.

"Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness" takes place two years after "Resident Evil 4" and three years before the major events of "Resident Evil 5." Its placement allows the animated series to fill in that four-year gap between the main games with an interesting storyline that won't interrupt the main chronological events already set in place. It's a safer option for Capcom as they continue to figure out where to take the story after "Village" or possibly revisit another main entry through another remake title.

Who are the new characters in Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness?

With each installment of "Resident Evil," it's not uncommon for the games to introduce new supporting characters during the main campaigns. For instance, in "Resident Evil 2," fans were introduced to the spy, Ada Wong, during Leon's campaign, and the young Sherry Birkin during Claire's. Based on the official trailer for "Infinite Darkness," it looks like we're getting introduced to some new characters to the franchise.

First, we see Jason, a member of the U.S. Army Mad Dogs, a special forces unit that unfortunately encounters the undead while on a mission. The trailer shows him painfully recounting the incident to Leon. In addition, we're also introduced to U.S. federal agent Shen May, who is also shown to be involved in a mission with Leon. We won't know their ultimate fate in the series until it premieres. Still, given that the two new characters have their own posters along with Leon and Claire on Capcom's "Resident Evil" portal, it's a safe bet that the two will play noteworthy parts in the animated series.