Resident Evil 7 Ending Explained: How it Ties into Every Other Resident Evil Game
Ending Explained is a series where we dissect video game endings and — you guessed it — explain them as simply as possible. You can check out all the games we’ve successfully explained right here. As you should have guessed, there will be spoilers for Resident Evil 7.
Resident Evil 7 may seem like it’s worlds apart from its predecessors, but while it is a bold new direction for the classic survivor horror franchise, it actually shares a lot in common with the original entries in the series that is outlined in the build-up to the game’s ending.
Aside from the obvious similarities between Resident Evil 7 and previous games — the puzzles, inventory management and ammunition conservation, the creepy and deceivingly huge setting — there are also direct links that can be made between the new game and the overarching Resident Evil story. Though developer Capcom decided to stray from the series’ conventions as a result of its plot having become maddeningly convoluted, Resident Evil 7 still features the likes of the big bad Umbrella Corporation, nods to Raccoon City and references to the original characters. Let’s take a closer look at the game, specifically its finale, to see how it ties in with the rest of the Resi universe.
Umbrella Corporation and the Baker family
The most obvious reference to the original games is the involvement of the Umbrella Corporation, with its task force (belatedly) picking you up from the Baker family’s residence after you’ve taken down the grossly mutated Eveline. While the Umbrella Corporation was previously the organization responsible for engineering the t-Virus, i.e. the bio-weapon that created a hell of a lot of zombies from the first Resident Evil onward, since its collapse in 2004 a mercenary group have adopted the moniker “Umbrella Corps,” as outlined in the (appropriately titled but otherwise terrible) game Resident Evil: Umbrella Corps.
The helicopter (rather confusingly) features the full name of the original organization, Umbrella Corporation, though ‘Umbrella Co’ is written above its logo, the commonly used name for the Umbrella Corps task force. The logo shares similarities with the one used in the Umbrella Corps spin-off game, albeit with it featuring blue and white coloring rather than red and white. It’s possible that Umbrella decided to go with something a little less sinister considering the history of the original Umbrella Corporation.
In the Resident Evil 7 demo Beginning Hour, players can find a photograph taken by one of the Baker family of an Umbrella Corps helicopter, with the words “Are they watching us from helicopter?” written on the back.
It’s clear that Umbrella Corps have been monitoring the Baker family for a while, then, but this begs the question: why did they not intervene sooner? According to a report found in a newspaper in the Baker residence’s main hall, “at least 20” people have gone missing in Dulvey, the game’s setting, over the course of the past two years. The report, penned by none other than Resident Evil: Outbreak‘s Alyssa Ashcroft, reads: “Police suspect foul play and believe there may be a connection between the incidents. Plans are in place to step up local interrogations and increase personnel to further the investigations.”
This means that the true intentions of Umbrella Corps is somewhat shady, with their mercenaries clearly monitoring the Baker family guest house but without pulling the plug on infiltrating the area. As indicated by the final boss fight, Umbrella Corps has weaponry that can kill Eveline (we’ll get to that later) but instead opts to maintain a reasonable distance, seemingly allowing people to die in the process. It’s possible that this is a result of Umbrella Corps wanting to take Eveline alive rather than kill her, something which they only allow as a last resort after she has grown out of control. This would also explain why they turn up so late to the party in the game’s finale. However, we have another theory that we’ll get to later.
Resident Evil 7‘s dramatically different take on the RE formula led to many believing that it was a hard reboot of the series. However, a magazine found in the wreckage of the ship in the game’s final act reveals that isn’t the case, with it alluding to the demise of the city where it all began.
“…the events of prior Resident Evil games are still canonical in Resident Evil 7“
Raccoon City was destroyed in a nuclear blast by the US government after the viral outbreak in Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, laying waste to what had become a breeding ground for the deadly t-Virus. A magazine excerpt found on the ship reads: “’16 years since the nightmare of Raccoon City, the survivors are still suffering.” This indicates that the events of prior Resident Evil games are still canonical in Resident Evil 7, even if the game is drastically different from the likes of Resident Evil 5 and 6.
Tentsu and Albert Wesker
Tentsu is the name branded on cases containing D-type prototypes, so is therefore the company that is most likely behind the creation of Eveline. Tentsu had a target placed on its head due to the success of its bio organic weaponry, with Eveline — referred to as E-001 as a result of her being Tentsu’s very first E-Type — being forced to remain under wraos in order to avoid her being destroyed or kidnapped by the company’s rivals. This is what eventually leads to her being transported on a ship with Mia Winters, a Tentsu agent going undercover as Eveline’s mother (or nanny, as she tells her husband Ethan, RE7’s protagonist).
Tentsu may be an unfamiliar name to Resident Evil fans, but it does share implied links with the series’ various nefarious companies. The series’ long-time antagonist Albert Wesker had his finger in a number of pies following the collapse of the Umbrella Corporation, including Umbrella’s rival Hive-Host Capture Force (H.C.F.) which served as his private military task force. The H.C.F’s involvement with the creation of Eveline and the Mold, the fungus that creates the humanoid monsters present throughout RE7, is referenced in a file titled ‘R and D Report (1 of 2)’ that can be found in the Salt Mines.
“This could mean that the identity of the mysterious “rival company” … has finally been uncovered as Tentsu.”
The report reads: “This project was instigated in 2000 as one of several concepts for the company’s NEXBAS (next-generation experimental battlefield superiority) initiative, working with technical assistance from H.C.F, to develop a bioweapon for neutralizing combatants en masse with minimal direct contact. NEXBAS was later folded, and all its assets diverted to this project.” The report goes on to state that the project eventually led to the creation of mutamycete, which was used in order to develop the Mold. This could therefore mean that the identity of the mysterious “rival company,” which Wesker was affiliated with in previous games but was never referred to by name, has finally been uncovered as Tentsu.
Finally, there’s the small matter of the gun Ethan uses to destroy Eveline, which has the distinctly unsubtle name ‘Albert-01’ and shares the appearance of Wesker’s familiar S.T.A.R.S. handgun. While many have speculated that Wesker is still alive during the events of Resident Evil 7, we’d argue against this being the case and wager that he remains firmly deceased following his death in Resident Evil 5. Considering that Capcom wanted to keep the story free of unnecessary complications, reintroducing a reanimated Wesker into the game wouldn’t exactly be in line with the developer’s new vision for the series, even though he seemingly had a major hand in the creation of the fungus that led to the events of Resident Evil 7.
“Redfield,” Ethan’s infection and why the Umbrella Corps could be the bad guys
After Ethan is “rescued” by the Umbrella Corps, a man introducing himself as “Redfield” lends him a helping hand from off the ground. Although he doesn’t look much like the series’ veteran protagonist Chris Redfield, it’s likely that Capcom has forced him to undergo a make-under in order to appear more like a mercenary and less like a Men’s Health model. Some have speculated that this isn’t Chris but rather the masked Umbrella operative Hunk, though this theory is undermined by the character being listed as Chris Redfield in the game’s credits.
Considering Umbrella Corps’ aforementioned reluctance when it comes tackling Eveline themselves, the morality of the mercenary team is still debatable. While the appearance of Redfield certainly adds credibility to the theory that they’re good guys who, for some reason, took their sweet time in launching a rescue mission (Ethan even acknowledges this, saying: “What the fuck took you guys so long?”), their squad swooping down at the last minute to pick him up would certainly make sense if they were looking to get their hands on Tentsu’s E-Type formula for themselves.
As previously noted, Tentsu had enlisted Mia to escort Eveline on the ship without arousing suspicion, as Eveline was being hunted down by the company’s rivals. There’s evidence of mercenaries having already attempted to capture her in the wreckage of the ship, with her having killed them prior to it washing up in Dulvey’s waters and their corpses littering its decks. If the Umbrella Corps had been trying to get their hands on a living sample of the E-Type, then it seems that they have completed their mission after retrieving Ethan.
It’s clear from the events of the Resident E vil 7 that Ethan had been infected by the Mold. The bacterium has amazing regenerative abilities, and not only is Ethan’s arm able to be reattached in the early stages of the game with minimal hassle, he’s also able to reattach his severed leg in a later fight against Jack Baker. He also experiences hallucinations, with him communicating with a pre-infected Jack while being held hostage by Eveline, along with hallucinating encounters with Mia in his return to the Baker home before the final boss battle. He also envisions Eveline as her young, 10-year-old self in the run-up to his climactic fight with her, up until he injects her with the toxin and she is revealed to be the old woman.
As outlined in the ‘R and D Report (1 of 2)’ file, Eveline uses the Mold in order to control those who have been infected. The file reads: “It is also of note that Eveline’s mutamycete imposes a profound control over body and mind when introduced into a host organism … Eveline’s control is exerted in a series of discrete stages, the first of which is hallucination.
“Almost immediately after infection, the subject begins to see images of Eveline (though she is not in fact there) and hear her voice (which is inaudible to anyone else).
“Auditions with infected subjects throughout the stages of infection reveal that at first, the phantom Eveline appears to be a normal young girl, sometimes desiring companionship or assistance. As time progresses, she begins making more and more extreme demands, including self-mutilation and attacks on other people.”
“It is therefore highly plausible that Umbrella Corps extracted Ethan in order to gain access to the Mold”
With Eveline having been killed, this means that Ethan has been infected with the Mold but is no longer potentially being controlled by her, nullifying his threat to Umbrella Corps. It is therefore highly plausible that Umbrella Corps extracted Ethan in order to safely gain access to the Mold, which may have been their task all along.
So where does that leave Redfield? If this is indeed the Chris Redfield from previous Resident Evil games, then him suddenly transforming into an amoral merc-for-hire wouldn’t be very befitting of the character. If we are to go with the theory that the Umbrella Corps have been working to extract the Mold virus, it is possible that Redfield has been manipulated into doing so — after all, the plot of Resident Evil: Umbrella Corps sees protagonist 3A-7 being set up by his superiors and left for dead, so it’s not exactly out of character for them to pull the wool over Redfield’s eyes, too.
This would even shed some light on the title of the game’s upcoming free DLC ‘Not A Hero’, which judging by its teaser image will focus upon Redfield and will likely establish why he’s hanging around with the Umbrella Corps all of a sudden, with him potentially being manipulated into believing he’s fighting for the good guys only to discover that he’s “not a hero” after all. We should find out more about Umbrella Corps’ involvement when this DLC rolls around, but for now it’s reasonable to assume that all is not what it seems when it comes to Ethan’s rescuers.