Resident Evil CODE: Veronica (Biohazard CODE: Veronica in Japan) is the fifth game in the Resident Evil series, originally released for the Sega Dreamcast in 2000. The game was developed by Atsushi Inaba and produced by Shinji Mikami. It's notable for being the first Resident Evil title to debut on a non-Sony platform, as opposed to the first three installments, which were originally PlayStation games before being ported to other platforms. It was the first game in the series made for a sixth generation console (and also the first core title in the series, prior to the release of Resident Evil 4) to use full polygonal environments over the static, pre-rendered backgrounds that characterized the series. An eight-issue comic series based on the game was published in Hong Kong.
CODE: Veronica is the first Resident Evil game in the main series to use 3-D backgrounds instead of the traditional pre-rendered ones. Despite this, the camera does not follow the player around, but swings between semi-fixed angles (similar to the original Dino Crisis). However, two weapons in the game (a sniper rifle and a linear launcher) can be fired from the character's point of view and a first person view mode is available in the game's unlockable "Battle Mode" minigame.
Gameplay remained largely unchanged from Resident Evil 2, although features from Resident Evil 3: Nemesis (which was developed in tandem with CODE: Veronica) such as explosive oil drums and a 180-degree turn carried over to this game. Items from Resident Evil 2, such as upgradeable handgun parts and "side packs" for larger item capacity are featured, as well as new weapons such as crossbow arrows mixed with gun powder and Anti-B.O.W. rounds for the grenade launcher. A unique feature of CODE: Veronica is the inclusion of various dual wielding pistols, allowing the player to target two enemies at the same time. Some of the more subtle improvements in CODE: Veronica includes the addition of continues, allowing the player to retry a scene after a game over, and the ability to pick and use a healing herb when the character's inventory is full.
As with previous installments, CODE: Veronica features two protagonists. This time they are Claire Redfield and her brother Chris. Unlike Resident Evil 2, in which the player could choose to start the game with either character, CODE: Veronica forces players to take control of Claire for the first half of the game and then start the second half with Chris. All of Claire's weapons and items left in the item box are available for Chris to pick up in his half of the game. In addition, a third character, Steve Burnside, is briefly playable during Claire's half of the game and Claire herself is playable during a short portion of Chris' half of the game.
Like previous Resident Evil titles, there are hidden features that are unlocked after meeting certain requirements. After completing the main game, a "Battle Game" is unlocked in which the player can choose from one of five characters (Chris, Claire, an alternate version of her and two unlockable characters, Albert Wesker and Steve Burnside) and travel through a series of rooms, clearing each area of monsters and eventually defeating a character-specific boss in the quickest time possible. Both the main game and the "Battle Game" feature their respective unlockable weapons.
- Claire Redfield
- Steve Burnside
- Alfred Ashford
- Alexia Ashford
- Chris Redfield
- Albert Wesker
- Rodrigo Juan Raval
- Gulp Worm
- Mutated Steve
- T-078 Tyrant
- Giant Moth
- Ant - Small insects that pose little threat, although they carry the T-Veronica virus and attack in swarms if their home is invaded. They are all slowly dying, because they no longer have a queen.
- Tentacle - plant-like tendril coming through the walls of the Antarctic Base, controlled by Alexia Ashford's underground pod.
The game is set three months following the events depicted in Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil 3: Nemesis. The plot moves away from Raccoon City and onto Rockfort Island, a solitary private isle owned by the Umbrella Corporation, although much of the later portions of the game takes place in an Umbrella-owned transport terminal in Antarctica. Rockfort Island houses several facilities including a prison, a military training base, the Ashford family's palace, a private residence and an airport. The Antarctic transport terminal at the end of the game includes several facilities and a residence, including a replica of the lobby of the Spencer Mansion from the original Resident Evil.
CODE: Veronica sees the return of heroine Claire Redfield, who continues her search for her missing brother following the events in Raccoon City. During the course of the game, she teams up with Steve Burnside, a prisoner in Rockfort Island. Claire's brother, Chris Redfield also returns, and goes to Rockfort Island to save his sister.
The main antagonists of the game are the Ashford twins, Alfred and Alexia, both of whom are offspring of the titular CODE: Veronica project. Albert Wesker returns after being presumed dead after the events of the first Resident Evil, now endowed with superhuman strength and employed as an agent for a rival corporation against Umbrella.
The game begins with heroine Claire Redfield raiding one of the Umbrella Corporation's facilities in Paris. She is captured and imprisoned on Rockfort Island. The island is contaminated by the monster-creating T-Virus. Claire escapes and teams up with inmate Steve Burnside. They eventually escape via plane, but it crashes into the Antarctica facility. There they encounter old and new enemies as they try to survive.
Claire's brother, Chris arrives on Rockfort in search of her. He learns Claire is long gone and that old enemies are alive and well. Chris eventually finds his way to Antarctica where he is reunited with Claire. Steve is killed in battle and Chris and Claire barely escape a gigantic explosion in a stolen jet.
Resident Evil CODE: Veronica X
An updated version of the game titled Resident Evil CODE: Veronica X (Complete in Japan) was made for the Sega Dreamcast exclusively in Japan and the Sony PlayStation 2 in 2001, and later for the Nintendo GameCube in 2003. This definitive version included new improvements over the original release, including:
- Higher resolution graphics.
- Nine more minutes of dialogue to flesh out the story.
- A new version of the fight between Alexia and Wesker.
- Wesker running into Claire for a brief moment.
Arguably the finest addition comes in the form of a battle between Chris and Wesker, where players see Wesker for the first time without his trademark sunglasses. After they are knocked off in the fight, it is revealed that Wesker is no longer quite human. His eyes glow red, much like an android's. Wesker also states that Steve Burnside may be dead, but it is possible that he can be revived.
- A rodent named D.I.J. (intended as a joke character) appears six times in the X version of the game: just before Claire's encounter with the Bandersnatch when a shutter door comes crashing down, hiding behind a large vase after Wesker knocks Claire to the ground, on the plane watching Claire's battle with the Tyrant, jumping out of a locker at the Antarctic Base, watching Claire imprisoned in a jail cell, and scurrying over the bridge near Wesker's escape submarine. Apparently, this super-intelligent rodent wrote the entirety of a diary found in a slot machine in "Battle Game" mode. The diary shows that D.I.J. had been closely following Claire's exploits, witnessed the battle between Chris and Wesker, after which he escaped in the submarine. The diary states that, after an explosion: "I had to get out of there. I snuck through the hatch of the sub as it was about to close. Finally, I was released from a world of death and I was able to come back to a world where desire and power ruled."