Why is Leon and Claire most memorable protagonists and RE2 has the best in-game story in the series?


Pazazu's most devout follower
Its not just me speaking nostalgia out of RE2 which is the first I played. But I notice almost every fan of the series I met from those who started with the 1996 original to those who joined after 4 revolutionized the franchise seem to think Leon and Claire were the best debut characters for a new installment released (during 1998) for the Resident Evil franchise. Yes Jill has a lot of fans who loved her return in Nemesis and Leon began taking the bandwagon as franchise mascot in 4. But I notice the most praise for the characters as their portrayal for a single installment (and especially for their debut int he franchise) goes to Claire and Leon in RE2. Hell so many people who are Leon haters actually liked his incarnation in 2!

In addition I also notice many think 2 has the best story specific for a single installment. I don't just mean all the rich files, logs, and memoirs found all over in-game but just the game's basic writing from the plot to the dialogue and character interactions. I mean I seen people who hate RE for its B Movie plot especially starting in 5 and 6 and even those who been there from the start since Barry's Jill sandwich comment all agree RE2 has the best balance of the whole story-plot, character development and interaction, balance of horror, sci fi, comedy, and action genres, and much more.

Why is this? I personally though Code Veronica had the most complex (even if it wasn't well-executed) and Revelation 2's portrayal for Barry's family was well done. I will concede though RE2 executed Leon and Claire far better in a specific game's story than the rest of the franchise did with their specific protagonists.
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Magnolia Grandiflora

Kahnum of Outworld
I feel like Resident Evil 2 was so memorable because of the sheer massiveness of it. Everyone remembers those two discs and the fact that it wasn't just two stories it was technically four and you could play the game in different ways and the stories were so different. There were differences other than the fact that your main characters were different genders and the supporting characters were different; aspects of the gameplay were different.

Claire and Leon were also more developed than Chris and Jill. We saw motivations and personality ticks that we didn't see in the first one.

This was also the last game with two characters with opposing stories. After this it was Jill in Nemesis, Claire in Code Veronica, Leon in 4 and when we got two characters back in 5, it was co-op. The way they did this game was so huge and so popular but they decided not to repeat it and so of course people remember that one epic game that had two discs and four possible 'games' with different paths/goals and completely different stories.


You can't kill me.
I also quite liked Code Veronica X; it's actually my favorite Resident Evil game followed closely by Resident Evil 2. In RE2, I liked the music, the level design, the story, pretty much everything. Except for maybe the extended ending on the train, I didn't care for that fight. It was also the first Resident Evil I played (didn't play the first one until shortly after playing the second) so it has a little extra nostalgia value. I did like Leon in 2 even though in general I dislike him, you are right about that observation in my case. As for Claire... I don't know to be honest. I do like her as a character but I can't really say why. I guess she just wasn't annoying like some other female characters in the game and actually makes herself useful. She has a goal that can be sympathized with by anyone that has a sibling in the search for Chris, and the fact that she takes on a motherly role with Sherry makes her even more human. Come to think of it, I could say the same for CVX. The writers did a good job fleshing her out as it were, and I actually cared about her and her relationship with Steve, which honestly brought a tear to my eye the first time I played it. /ramble

Random thought: I really like your post Barkey, they actually have substance :) Interesting topics that I actually like to contribute to.

Cure Zombrex

Well-Known Member
I'd say Chris is the most important character, mainly because he has been there fighting Umbrella, since the beginning. The same with Jill. Maybe you could count Rebecca and Barry too, but they were always just supporting characters until Zero and Revelations 2. While I understand these characters are beloved, they are also arguably a distraction. The series started off as mainly a horror series, but now they're all too old and have dealt with monsters over and over again, to the point where the series has a hard time adapting to both the action and horror genres. That's what they are committed to stopping due to it changing their lives, sure, but it's like the games are war stories now with scary things coming at them, then they just finish off some mutant boss and villagers controlled with parasites, and that's all that it amounts to these days.

Do I like that? No. The series was at its best when it focused on horror and having to be careful with your supplies. These days, you hardly get scared of what threats you encounter in the games due to all the catchy one-liners and emphasis on guns, explosions and decapitations. That was why the series saw a decline in popularity.