Resident Evil Was Originally an SNES Title

Limited evil?

By Robert Marrujo:: It's common knowledge that Nintendo created its own worst enemy by spurning Sony in a botched deal between the two companies to create new video game hardware. The duo were originally going to create a CD-ROM drive add-on for SNES dubbed "Play Station", but in the eleventh hour Nintendo backed out of the deal because of what it perceived as Sony having too much power in the arrangement. Needless to say, Sony wasn't happy that Nintendo dropped out, but with all the effort expended on the failed Play Station add-on, the electronics giant decided to delete that space between the two words and bring its PlayStation to market under its own steam.

The rest is video game history, with PlayStation bringing its CD-based brand of gaming to fans everywhere and causing fits for Nintendo in the years since. Among the casualties to Nintendo caused  by the launch of PlayStation was the loss of multiple different games and projects from third-party publishers. Capcom was one such partner that saw a shift away from Nintendo to work on Sony's new system, and one of the games that the company took with it was the then-untitled juggernaut that would become Resident Evil.

Speaking to GameInformer, director Koji Oda dropped the news about the beloved survival horror classic. Oda earned his stripes with Capcom starting in 1991 on titles like The Magical Quest Starring Mickey Mouse. He entered the industry at a time when development cycles were nowhere near as long and elaborate they are now, which allowed him to see a great deal of different games made in a short span of time. Among the games that he would work on during that period, the spiritual successor to survival horror game Sweet Home was one of them. According to Oda, "before Resident Evil went to the PlayStation, I was working on it for the Super NES.”

Oda went on a bit further:

“This was back before the name Resident Evil had even been assigned to it. “The codename for this was literally just ‘horror game.’ On the SNES, we were working with limited hard drive space, so it’s not like we could dump a movie in there. If we had actually completed it on the SNES, I’m sure it would have been considerably different. For example, it was originally set in a place that had nothing to do with reality – more of a hellish place.”

It's pretty hard to imagine as technical a game as Resident Evil dropping on a 16-bit console like SNES, but considering titles such as Donkey Kong Country and Killer Instinct were able to pull off graphical wonders on the console, who knows what Capcom may have been able to do with the title if PlayStation never came along. Of course, that then begs the question of how different Resident Evil would have been as a result and whether or not we'd even be talking about the game all these years later!

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