Resident Evil (titled Biohazard in Japan) is a landmark series of Japanese video games that started in 1996.
It was hugely successful (though some sequels are poorly regarded) and exemplifies the “survival horror” gaming genreFacing deadly menaces and horrific events while being vulnerable and at a disadvantage..
Chris and his partner Jill were the playable characters of the very first game.
Since then, he’s had quite a few appearances. And quite a few developments with story, characterization, and of course stats.
This profile has S P O I L E R S about multiple Resident Evil games. The section about Resident Evil Village is kept separate and with an additional S P O I L E R warning, since it’s recent-ish as of this writing.
This profile is presented in two halves, for the sake of smartphone-using readers. The second half is there.
- Real Name: Chris Redfield.
- Known Relatives: Unnamed parents (deceased), Claire Redfield (younger sister).
- Group Affiliation: US Air Force (1990-1995), STARS Alpha Team (point man, 1996-1998), Private Anti-Biohazard Service (operative, former, 2003), Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance (operative, current 2003-), Special Operations Agent (agent, former, 2005-2009), Special Operations Unit (captain, current, 2009-), Silver Dagger Squad (captain, current, 2014-), Hound Wolf Squad (captain, current, 2018-).
- Base of Operations: Mobile.
- Height: 6’1” (1.85m). Weight: 220 lbs. (100 Kg.).
- Eyes: Brown. Hair: Brown.
Powers & Abilities
Chris is an elite operative with decades of experience. He survived countless nightmares such as zombies and even “bio-organic weapons”. BOWs are monsters capable of taking out whole teams of specialist operators.
He’s had extensive weapons training. Chris was one of the best shots in the Racoon City PD, and won numerous contests for his marksmanship.
He’s also no slouch in hand-to-hand combat. Mr. Redfield was able to engage the superhumanly fast Albert Wesker in fisticuffs. While Wesker clearly had the upper hand in their various encounters it is nevertheless impressive that a normal human could go toe to toe with him.
Chris’ bio states that he joined the US Air Force and received training as a pilot.
This likely means that he was trained to fly various aircrafts under stealth conditions. Such as flying low to the ground and under the cover of darkness.
However, one suspects that the bulk of the training he received there was as a Special Reconnaissance Airman. Which is essentially a Special Operations scout/military intelligence MOS.
I want muscle, hoo hoo hoo
Chris’ niche among the RE playable characters is that of the strongman. For instance, he famously could deflect a three-ton boulder rolling toward him with a punch.
RE games are a bit more realistic than most. So this presumably isn’t a regular occurrence – but a combination of a good roll and Hero PointsDC Heroes RPG concept expressing narrative importance/immunity..
Still, we’ll assume that Chris Redfield has peak human strength. Using a generous definition of “peak human”.
Chris and his sister Claire lost their parents before 1998, in unrevealed circumstances. They were left on their own.
Chris joined the US Air Force. Another operator, named Barry Burton, became a lifelong friend. Chris also won some contests in marksmanship during this period.
An unrevealed incident then occurred, with Redfield refusing orders for ethical reasons. He either resigned in protest or was dishonorably discharged for insubordination.
When STARS were born
In 1996 Chris was scouted by Albert Wesker. Wesker was putting together an elite SWAT team, the Special Tactics and Rescue Squad, for the Racoon City Police Department.
Barry Burton was also accepted into the unit. The STARS was highly regarded, and solved many difficult situations.
However Redfield often acted on his own, frequently disobeyed orders and resorted to unconventional techniques. This landed him in hot water with Wesker.
But there was no denying that he got results, so his punishment was usually limited to verbal warnings.
Wesker recognized Redfield’s skills, and made him the point man of the Alpha Team. Chris also continued to win shooting competitions for the Racoon City PD.
Chris often ran with his teammates Joseph Frost and Forest Spyer. The trio reportedly headed out to the suburbs during weekends and got into all sorts of trouble.
He also developed a strong mutual respect for another teammate, Jill Valentine.
Furthermore, he found time to pass his skills onto his little sister, so she knew how to defend herself. He also gifted her with:
- His official STARS knife (as he preferred a much larger blade).
- A special edition old-fashioned Zippo lighter with the STARS logo.
In the spring of 98, Racoon City was rocked by a series of bizarre murders.
At first wild animals were suspected. But further investigation found human teeth marks, plus remains of complete evisceration and cannibalism.
Subsequent investigations narrowed the source down to the Arklay Mountains. The theory was that it was some sort of drugged-out cult there, performing human sacrifices.
The body count kept growing. After two months the Racoon City PD sent in STARS Bravo Team to investigate. But they quickly lost contact.
The HD remaster version of the trailer for the 1996 game.
The Mansion Incident (Resident Evil 1)
Two days later Chris Alpha Team was dispatched to investigate. They found the remains of the Bravo Team pilot Kevin Dooly, seemingly ripped apart by wild animals.
Before the team could investigate further, they too were attacked by a pack of rabid dogs. Chris’s teammate and friend Frost was killed.
Their pilot Brad Vickers panicked and took off without them. The survivors were forced to flee and take shelter in a nearby mansion.
Only four of them made it – Redfield, Wesker, Burton, Valentine. In typical horror movie fashion, they split up to search the building.
Ella, ella, ella, eh
Chris found Rebecca Chambers, Bravo Team’s medic.
The pair discovered that the mansion was owned by the Umbrella Corporation. This pharmaceutical juggernaut had been using their secret underground lab and Federal funds to create unspeakable biological horrors.
But things had predictably gone awry. Leakage of their T-Virus had caused the workers and surrounding wildlife to mutate into zombie-like monsters.
Furthermore, Wesker was an Umbrella double agent. He sought to destroy the lab to cover up the incident. But a powerful T-Virus mutant, the Tyrant, seemingly slew him.
The lab’s self-destruct sequence was nevertheless triggered, forcing the few survivors to flee. However, the Tyrant followed them out and they had to defeat it before they escaped.
Luckily for them their shamed teammate Brad Vickers had been looking for them all night in his helicopter. When he saw them, he tossed down a rocket launcher. Either Jill or Chris used it to blow the monster to hell.
The only survivors of the incident were Chris Redfield, Rebecca Chambers, Jill Valentine, Barry Burton and Brad Vickers.
Unto a scheme of Irons
Once the survivors were released from the hospital, they discovered that Police Chief Brian Irons was burying their evidence.
When pressed, he disbanded STARS.
They investigated independently. Chris obtained samples of the G-virus, Umbrella’s new and improved weapon. He passed his information along to the FBI, who investigated both Umbrella and Irons’ corruption.
The team then split up.
- Jill investigated the possibility that Umbrella had another secret lab near Racoon City.
- Barry and Chris raided Umbrella’s main HQ in Europe.
But after all he had been through Chris was losing his temper. This led to an ugly incident in which he assaulted another agent.
In actuality, Chris had long suspected that he was under surveillance. The incident had been faked to throw his pursuers off his tracks so he could continue investigating.
Ye olde Code Veronica trailer.
Resident Evil Code Veronica
Chris’ sister Claire came to Raccoon City looking for her brother. As it turned out Umbrella did have another secret lab there. And another T-Virus leak turned most residents into zombies.
Claire teamed up with newly sworn-in Racoon City Police Officer Leon Scott Kennedy. After harrowing adventures, the pair was among the very few Raccoon City survivors.
Ms. Redfield also traveled to Europe to investigate. She was caught and ended up in a secret Umbrella prison camp in France. But of course it got taken over by zombies. She escaped, and sent information to Leon.
Leon Kennedy had gone on to join the US Strategic Command (US-STRACOM). This was an early effort at governmental response for the emerging biological terror threat. He therefore couldn’t come to help Claire, but he reached Chris.
Chris thus came to Claire’s rescue a bit late. Once he realised she had already escaped, he ran into Wesker. Not only was the traitor still alive, he now had superhuman powers.
After beating Chris, he mentioned that Claire was hounding Umbrella in Antarctica. After licking his wounds Chris commandeered a plane and went after Claire.
The Antarctica Showdown
Chris found Claire in Umbrella’s facility on the Ross Ice Shelf. Wesker was there too, looking for Alexia Ashford and the last remaining sample of the t-Veronica Virus.
Albert fought a mutated Alexia, but fled – forcing Chris to destroy the monstrosity.
Claire’s ally Steve Burnside triggered the base’s self-destruct mechanism. But Alexia returned and attacked. After a long battle they vaporised her using the Linear Launcher, an experimental energy weapon Umbrella had been working on.
As the base began to crumble Wesker took Claire hostage. Chris proposed that they fight instead. Wesker agreed, as personally killing Chris was more important to him than his mission.
Redfield took a bad beating, but triggered an avalanche of I-beams onto Wesker. Even this couldn’t kill the traitor, but the base’s self-destruction separated them.
Chris managed to get to a plane and fly his sister out of the exploding base. On the long flight back, Claire made him promise to never leave her alone again.
The older Umbrella Chronicles trailer.
Resident Evil Umbrella Chronicles
Chris and Jill Valentine reunited. For five years, they worked for an anti-bioweapon task force. The pair contained many BOWs (biological organism weapons) and became legends in the field.
In early 2003, they investigated rumors that a remote village in Caucasus was producing BOWs. But they found it deserted.
The only survivor seemed to be the chief’s daughter Anna. She said that the infection had taken over the village, and her father had hidden her within a closet.
Besieged by a zombie horde, they narrowly escaped. From there they found Wesker, but he denied being involved. Before they could question him further a pair of Hunters, mutant humanoid lizards, attacked Chris and Jill.
Soldiers with a cause
Wesker was the first to find Anna’s lost pendant. It was a key to her father’s safe, containing the secret research Albert was after.
But the safe was trapped. Chris, Jill, and Anna narrowly escaped from the explosion.
Anna’s last bit of intel was about a nearby chemical factory. Chris and Jill raided it, strongly suspecting that a new type of BOW was there.
They made it to the main room. But Sergei Vladimir, an old foe of Jill’s, had indeed created a new BOW class – the T-A.L.O.S.. He trapped them with one such monster, but they destroyed it.
The team seized large amounts of information to implicate Umbrella officials on the highest level. And Umbrella’s stock plummeted once the public became aware of their wrongdoing.
On the other hand, Wesker killed his rival Vladimir, then escaped. This and the fall of Umbrella created a huge power vacuum for him and his associates to fill.
The RE Revelations trailer.
Resident Evil: Revelations
Chris and Jill were instrumental in forming the Biological Security Assessment Alliance, an official arm of the UN that dealt with BOW threats.
In 2005, dreaded terrorist organization Il Veltro was reportedly making a comeback. BSAA director Clive O’Brian dispatched Chris and his new partner, Jessica Sherawat, to Finland. But contact was soon lost.
The pair investigated a plane crash, with the pilot likely being Il Vetro. After shooting their way through a mining town infested with monsters, they found an airfield and Il Vetro outpost.
From there they could reach the BSAA. Their intel sent Jill and her new partner Parker Luciani to investigate the stranded Queen Zenobia ship in the Mediterranean.
Valentine and Luciani went through a long battle against the undead aboard. Only to realise that the ship was the Queen Semiramis, a twin of the Zenobia. But they did find the correct coordinates for the Zenobia.
BSAA vs. Il Veltro
All four operatives searched the Queen Zenobia. They captured a masked Il Veltro operative, who turned out to be US Federal Bioterrorism Commission operative Raymond Vester.
The Zenobia then began sinking. The BSAA operatives delayed that long enough to prevent massive T-Abyss Virus leakage into the sea.
Jessica then turned out to be a mole, working for one Morgan Lansdale. The remaining three operatives slew a deadly attacking BOW, then escaped.
BSAA Director O’Brian had been withholding information from his operatives. That was because he’d been suspecting infiltration by Lansdale’s assets. Now that Sherawat had been exposed, more intel came up about:
- A third ship, the Queen Dido.
- Supposedly slain Il Veltro leader Jack Norman still being alive. A T-Abyss Virus infection had turned him into the Ultimate Abyss monster.
Chris and Jill killed this BOW, then retrieved intel about Morgan Lansdale’s operations on the Dido.
Chris was promoted to a level 10 Special Operations Agent, the highest BSAA field agent authority. He and Jill continued working for the BSAA to eradicate global bioterrorism.
Resident Evil 5 Prolog
In 2006 they received a reliable tip about Umbrella founder Oswald Spencer.
Investigating resulted in a firefight with Guardians of Insanity that had been left behind to protect Spencer’s interests.
In the meanwhile, Wesker slaughtered Spencer and his bodyguards. And he was too strong for even Chris and Jill. Jill had to save Chris by tackling the superhuman villain, but she and Albert fell off a cliff.
Three months of searches failed to find the remains of either Valentine or Wesker.
Resident Evil 5
(RE5 was an infamously tone-deaf game with racist imagery. So we’ll stick to the basics).
In 2009, BSAA agents Chris Redfield and Sheva Aloma sought international weapons dealer Ricardo Irving in the Kijuju Autonomous Region. A BOW sale likely was underway.
By the time the pair came in, an entire BSAA team had been wiped out. A mortally wounded colleague passed on their intelligence before dying.
Their support helicopter was then shot down, and the pair had to repel an infected motorcycle gang.
Analysis of the intel also led Chris to suspect that Jill was in the area. There had been previous sightings, but as he had hoped this one was much clearer.
Irving escaped from Redfield and Aloma, and a monster named Ndesu killed more BSAA agents. They found Irving again at an oil factory, as well as supplies sent by pharma giant Tricell.
Irving mutated himself into a sea monster, but Chris and Sheva killed it.
Redfield vs. Wesker rematch
This led to a secret Umbrella/Tricell lab – with Wesker also seeming involved. After destroying the monster U-8, Chris found Jill’s cell – but it was empty.
Sheva and Chris then found Jill, brainwashed into working for Wesker and Tricell. They freed her, then chased Wesker aboard an oil tanker. Over the radio, Jill explained how to make him overdose on his mutation maintenance serum.
This forced Wesker to flee aboard a stealth bomber, but the two BSAA operatives boarded it. Sheva almost had to sacrifice herself to finish Albert off. But Chris, unwilling to lose another partner, made an heroic effort to prevent this.
With Jill’s support, Chris and Sheva then seemingly slew Wesker.
After recovering, Chris stepped up his efforts with the BSAA. His nemesis had finally been slain, but he recognised that more menaces would rise. Mr. Redfield trained agents to face those.
His old friend Barry Burton also joined the agency.
Resident Evil: The Marhawa Desire intro
(This was a RE6 prequel manga, published in episodes in Shōnen Jump ).
One recruit in particular caught Chris’ eye. He took Piers Nivans, a promising young recruit and skilled sniper directly under his wing.
The two conducted many missions.
Resident Evil: The Stage
(That one was an official Capcom theatre play in Tōkyō. No official word on when we’re going to get a musical with singing zombies).
Rebecca Chambers, the only survivor of the original STARS Bravo Team, had become a virologist. In this way, she could continue the fight against BOWs. She also advised the BSAA.
Chambers reported an outbreak in Australia – at her workplace at the Philosophy University. Chris, Piers and other BSAA agents responded.
One of the professors there, Mary Grey, had ties with Umbrella. She had been using their virus in an attempt to cure her fatal condition. This worked, but the mutation also enhanced her intelligence and made her nihilistic.
The agents prevented her from “resetting” life on Earth using the Virus. As per tradition, Chris blew Mary up using a rocket launcher.
Resident Evil: The Marhawa Desire Vol. 1
A year later, Chris Redfield added junior agent Merah Biji to his team. Though she had lost a sparring match against Piers Nivans, she had still demonstrated impressive skills.
The trio formed a close friendship. They fought bioterrorism in Asia and beyond.
They were then sent to look for Professor Wright. This BSAA consultant had gone incommunicado while lecturing at Marhawa University.
Unsurprisingly, they found the campus overrun by the undead. The sole survivor was Ricky Tozawa, Wright’s nephew.
Merah broke away from the team to personally arrest Bindi Bergara, the mastermind of the outbreak. Though Bergara had mutated, Biji vanquished her and returned to the team.
They then fought Bergara’s accomplice Nanan Hoshikawa. Harming her would release clouds of poison gas, but Ricky activated the ventilation system of the tunnel they were in. This allowed Redfield to safely destroy Hoshikawa.
They reached a helicopter to evacuate, but the remains of Bergara attacked anew. Biji sacrificed herself to save Nivans.
In the second half of this article, we’ll cover the rest of the history — RE6 to RE8 — plus the usual notes and game stats and lots of guns.
Source of Character: Resident Evil games and transmedia.
Helper(s): Infested zombie Sébastien Andrivet, Wikipedia.
Writeup completed on the 4th of August, 2021.