RE2 Monsters Rated On Hotness (By Someone Who Has Never Played The Game)

UNMARKED SPOILERS, body horror, gore, and the dark unsanctified depths of my garbage soul below. None of the images used were captured or created by me in any capacity. Click for full-view.

That’s The Internet, Baby!

I believe in honesty on the front end, as evidenced by the title. I come at this from a purely design-based point of view, informed by pop culture osmosis and the few cutscenes and boss fights I saw when I ventured out of my room. The sheer nothing I know about this series and how it plays inspired the joke amongst my gamier friends that we do a Twitch Stream; the gimmick would be that I, the player, had no experience, and the two friends who were experienced could give me (alternatingly) horrible and solid advice. People could watch me flounder for schandenfreuder-fueled amusment and a good time would be had by all.

My limited information tells me that this player was having An Extremely Bad Time.

I don’t think that’s gonna happen. So. This suits me better anyway. Gotta stay on brand.

Resident Evil 2 Remake Monsters, Rated On Hotness.

Zombie

The stolid, respectable mook of the game, which is included more for completion than anything else. They’re gory rotting corpses and they love to serve as environmental hazards. One jumped through a window while I was watching and I screamed even though I wasn’t even the one playing. This says loads about the game’s atmosphere and direction, but not much about the zombie itself. Not much to say about the zombie.

Verdict: ()()()()(). You weren’t even in the running, man…

Ivy

A more artsy screenshot, for I enjoyed Ivy as an aesthetic concept more than anything else. The fleshy face splitting like a Venus Flytrap was quite nice. The tumorous weak-points disrupt an otherwise sleek silhouette in a way I found more ‘eh’ than interesting. There was a visual of a person, I think? They were mashed up against a window. That was pretty cool. But none of it inspired anything other than a “well that’s a nice design, ain’t it?”

Verdict: ()()()()(). Not off to a great start, Capcom…

Licker

Now here we go! Lickers are horrific abominations so, naturally, I adore them. Design-wise, they display very well the fact that you only have to tweak the human body-shape a little bit to get some very alien stuff going. In the Licker’s case, it looks like a frog. In Bloodborne (I think???) there are tick-women that are the same type of horrific.

Shreds of fibrous tissue clinging to the exposed, glistening muscle is a great touch, reminds one that this was a human being who exploded into horror. The distorted mouth full of needle teeth is just splendid. I thought it’d be cool if the tummy bulged when the tongue was undeployed, then sucked in when they attacked. Like the tongue is its guts, weaponized by the mutagen, y’know? Apparently this is not the case.

Licker looks like something you’d see in the corner of your ceiling during a sleep-paralysis hallucination. It looks like it would whisper horrid secrets to you. Its body posture is feral and utterly inhuman, though the face is where most of the horror is. These are all good points.

Unfortunately, I’m just not a fan of exposed brains. It makes me feel like the creature is too vulnerable to be any threat. Not just vulnerable to bullets; some lint or a stiff, icy breeze could floor something with its brains out.

Verdict: ***()(). A superbly grotesque creature. The render makes it clear how many disgusting textures are at play here, how horrible this thing would be to touch. A ferocious, terrifying creature of feral misery. Absolute boyfriend material.

Sewer Bastard

This is a hard one to get a pin on, mostly because I only saw it while it was flailing wildly in shit. Not a great first impression. Also, finding screenshots of this thing is HARD. Even the Steam Community I got most of these from had slim pickings.

Once you can actually get a good look at the Sewer Bastard (G-Type Adult, I guess is the correct name, but I didn’t know it), you can see that in motion, it has a really good silhouette. The extended head that splits open like a flower, revealing its nasty, wriggling teeth is so, SO choice. The area surrounding the eye is interestingly cratered; the liberal arts student in me is apt to say it’s a visual metaphor for the virus crashing into its host and laying waste to its genome, transforming it into something unlivable, like a meteor.

It, uh, it probably ain’t that deep.

These guys are mostly just piles of meat, though, so aside from their flower-mouths and crater-eyes, there’s not a lot going for them. And they barf up their young on you which, honestly, if I wanted to get saddled with that kinda shit I’d stick to good old humanity.

Verdict: *()()()(). Sewer Bastard is aight. If it could just pick up and drag itself into someplace that wasn’t, you know, filthy with human excrement, it could be a real contender.

William Birkin, Stage ‘Hubris Man Strikes Again’

Ah, classic Birkin! He’s the realest bitch here, shot himself up with his own mutagen like it wasn’t even a thing. His initial stage is pretty basic, but GOD does it look painful. The monstrous flesh tearing itself from his body, ripping through the skin like it ripped through his clothes. This is the kind of detail I like in my body horror. It’s not really horrific unless it’s agonizing.

His awkwardly human legs, buckling under the weight of his new flesh, really make this stage work. A lumbering, half-baked creature, still practically human, waddling around like a big dumb baby. A big dumb baby made of naked meat, that can kill you. He really is a newborn, though, reborn through the virus.

Verdict: **()()(). Extremely cool-looking, but I feel like he’s probably rude to waitstaff, and megalomania isn’t great, my dude. Still, the kind of balls-to-the-wall, ride-or-die insanity that made him inject himself has to translate to some kind of hotness. I do love a good psychopath.

William Birkin, Stage ‘Now We’re Getting Somewhere’

When I first saw this design in motion, I didn’t see the head, and thought the one up top was the main head. This was outrageously cool to me, like bulk shifting around had flayed Birkin’s face right off, like the virus was flaying his personality away. Then I saw his hair and was disappointed.

Now that I’ve had time to muse on it, though, this still works. How pathetic, the brilliant scientist sucked up in the ever-expanding horror of his creation, a shriveled, tiny thing being absorbed by the monster. Again, this looks so, so painful. It’s truly a terrible fate, one that even Birkin probably didn’t deserve.

We’re still at the stage where a certain amount of pitifulness is important to the aesthetic and story. We needed more than one stage where you can see the human Birkin once was for the horror to be so multi-level and effectively disturbing. Misery is always more effective, horrorwise, to me than just the implication of physical violence, though Birkin still has that in spades.

The beady little eyes of the upper head are just human enough to bear a passing resemblance. That there are no sockets and they’re just yellow holes in the bone is great. This is an example of a wonderful unbalanced, chaotic design, everything flowing toward a single focal point to keep the chaos from being too much. In this case, the focal point is that magnificently horrid eye and those nastily-distorted claws.

Verdict: ****(). You can’t be rude to waitstaff if you’re barely cognizant of anything but agony and the desire to kill. The double-head thing is awkward, but works for the story so I can live with it. He’s still a bit ungainly, but I’m sure he will be vastly improved, and soon…

William Birkin, Stage ‘Oh No He’s Hot’

HOLY SHIT! I mean, DAMN, BOY! The logical evolution of the barely-formed face up-top has been reached, and oh boy is it a doozy. Calls back to the classic Xenomorphs with that extended skull and the frills of tissue beneath it. The wings play nicely into the God complex needed to shoot yourself up with ZombieMaker. A distorted angel of monstrosity, the herald of the teratogenic apocalypse Birkin engineered.

I watched this boss fight happen in real time. He threw things at the player and power-walked like a professional bodybuilder. Birkin, nebbish lunatic he was, is no longer there in any capacity. Everything about this design screams raw destructive power. The promise of violence with just enough grossness to make it disturbing. We have reached the peak of the virus and what it’s capable of. I believe in miracles since you came along. Miracles of science, that is.

Once again, the model does a great job showing the variety of truly unpleasant textures here. Birkin is mortifyingly organic, hideously biological. There is nothing sleek about him. Even his eyeballs seem bloodshot and dry, and his bone-spur claws are rough-textured like they’ve been treating in the sun. His tooth-ribs encase a cluster of developing eyes I’m sure won’t be relevant in any capacity.

Verdict: *****. He’s perfect. He’s beyond reproach. He’s super icky. Love it. Absolutely love it. I’m torn between the cutesy ‘more limbs means more hugs’ impulse and the impulse to make wildly inappropriate suggestions regarding his… his everything. He’s great! Wow, I sure hope this is where Birkin’s transformations end.

William Birkin, Stage ‘Uh-Oh’

Something appears to have gone amiss. If I’ve got my form orders right, and I’m pretty sure I do, this would mark the point where Birkin’s genome begins to collapse under the weight of the mutations. I’d say it’s punishment for hubris if that hadn’t so clearly come earlier. This design is chaotic in the same way Ivy’s is, where there’s nowhere for the eye to rest, no real focal point. It works for what I think is going on here, but as far as hotness, it’s not doing Birkin any favors.

He looks like the God-Warrior from ‘Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind.’ His ribs coming out at odd angles from the melty flesh, the way the God-Warrior’s teeth fell apart even as it attacked. His bones stretch out the stringy meat and puncture through, reduced from the thick spurs to jagged, crooked, broken-branch fragments. The newly-formed head is subsuming back into the body. We’re back in the realm of the pathetic, though this form hardly seems pathetic as he’s whupping your ass, I’m assuming.

Verdict: *()()()(). I would want to comfort him if I wasn’t sure that even touching this thing would cause him pain. And that he would instantly attack and murder me, of course. There’s a certain amount of appeal in this shambling mess that’s so clearly broken but still dangerous.

William Birkin, Stage ‘Oh Fuck Go Back’

The final fate for the ultimate zombie. His own mutagenic inertia has carried him past concrete form and rendered him nothing but a slurry of indistinguishable body parts and teeth. The only thing recognizable is the remains of that newly emerged head, hollow-eyed, dead.

Verdict: ()()()()(). This is just tragic.

Tyrant

Well, it’s a meme, isn’t it? Everyone finds Mr. X hot. Implacable, emotionless, unstoppable monsters have been dropping underpants since the Terminator. Probably before. That’s really what the Tyrant is, in the end. Meaty Terminator.

Compared to the kaleidoscope of body horror that Birkin went through, the Tyrant is a bit dull, just a bald, wrinkled-looking giant. That’s because what makes Mr. X hot isn’t his design, though giving him a full-length leather trenchcoat was a stroke of horny genius. It’s that he’s huge and unstoppable and dominant to the point that he can eat a rocket to the face and just kneel down for a bit.

Look at that shit. This thing is the epitome of ‘your daughter calls me Daddy, too.’ That’s a helicopter he just one-hand pushed out of the way. What he lacks in an interesting design (excepting, once again, his impeccable costuming), he makes up for in sheer Big Dick Energy.

Verdict: *****. Terrifying enough to be a monster and human enough that your Twitter feed won’t think you’re a total freak, Mr. X is a one-size-fits-all monster. There’s not that much more to him. Big man big hands big punch. That’s all, right?

Super Tyrant

WRONG.

He’s on fire, he’s lost his jacket, he’s lost his hat, his lower jaw is gone and he’s got a big, meaty claw. And he is still! Coming! Mr. X is indeed going to give it to you!

Verdict: โˆž. Whoever designed this deserves a monument.

4 thoughts on “RE2 Monsters Rated On Hotness (By Someone Who Has Never Played The Game)

  1. Zombies – Don’t count on the hotness scale (when played in classic Romero style) because of the human factor. You KNOW that was someone’s dad, mom, kid, boss, (now ex-hot) convenience store clerk; perhaps yours. Tragic but also too personal to be hot.

    Ivy – Damn, those things got an upgrade from ‘venus fly trap with legs’ from the PlayStation 1 days!

    Lickers – See, given my taste in Nemesis, I should like these things better. (Tongue hug? Would it be as good as a tentacle hug?) But their body posture was always the thing that was a real turn off. Extremely creepy. And the brain thing.

    I do like your idea with the stomach bulging, but then I’d feel like some organs should be attached to the tongue when it shoots out. (Maybe cool for a bludgeoning attack.)

    Birkin – Ah. They seem to have updated William’s designs well while remaining true to the original. I do think you are right and they are showing moral repercussions through design. If you can find translations for some of the staff interviews, they go into some depth of what the artists were trying to represent and the meaning behind it. (At least from the old games. I haven’t played RE2 Remake yet for lack of a PS4. Thus, I haven’t looked up much about it.)

    In that top pic of V2 I think I see tattered lab coat remains clinging to his form. That’s a nice touch; the tatters of his humanity.

    Is V4 (the one with the red eye cluster) still a giant dog thing? I hope they changed that cause I remember being disappointed being chased by, essentially, a giant Cerebrus dog while waiting for the elevator to the train near the end.

    And we can both agree V6 is not the most inspired design. It had a nice ‘eww’ factor of being the nastiest jello you’d never eat back on the PS1 though.

    I always enjoyed Birkin for the (admittedly one dimensional typical mad scientist type) character he is. I got to admit that as much as I really loved the rest of RE Zero, they fuck over his characterization in that game. I’m interested to see what they added and changed about him in RE2’s remake and if they roll some of the RE Zero characteristics in or retcon them out.

    As for hotness, I was always more into Wesker. I can see a bit of Birkin in me (hell, the Birkin family) so that’s a turn off. Though I did read all the Wesker/Birkin yaoi I could find in my day. ๐Ÿ˜‰ (God, I sound old.) …Wait. I don’t ever remember reading any mutated Birkin/ Wesker! That’s a fucking travesty! To hell with the timeline, that shits got to exist somewhere. I gotta find it!

    As for Mr. X, I always thought him a Terminator ripoff to the extreme. And now he’s got an Inspector Gadget looking hat too. (And I played RE3 first and was therefore introduced to Nemesis first, and he’s much sexier.) So, meh. …I did look at Super X though and the thought ‘I wonder what he’d taste like if I licked him’ popped in my head. So either the sex appeal is there or I’ve contracted the T-virus from playing Resident Evil for so many years, lol. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I’m glad to see you’re still writing. Sorry I was totally AWOL for a long time. Been a few really high highs this year but more shit-tastic lows. And I feel the rollercoaster ride has made me very tired on top of already being very tired before.

    I hope to be back soon and maybe for Christmas have something faster and more pleasant to type on than this ageing phone with it’s infernal touch screen.

    I do hope that you have been well and that the future has many good things to bring.

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    1. Good point on the zombies, a factor I had not considered! Possibly because I did not give the zombies their due consideration. I am NOTORIOUS in my circles for hating (in a ‘god you’re so boring, go away’ sense) zombies, so I must admit a certain amount of bias that may have kept me from giving them a fair shake. Still, *klaxons* no stars!!!

      The updated graphics were a treat, at least according to the guys playing it. The big RE buff, the “piss drunk at 2AM flawlessly executing a speedrun because he’s played this game just that many times” had a uniquely good time seeing everyone updated. Secondhand joy from his experience is frankly half of what inspired me to transform this piece from a joke to an actual thing.

      Birkin, memes about Internet Sex Symbol Mr. X aside, was the crown jewel of the game. An excellent example of what I am now calling (maybe this is an actual thing but idk) “narrative design”–that is, his design tells its own story, and strongly informs the narrative around it. Symbolism, etcetera. Themes of the game were able to be alluded to in his design and fate without Leon having to pause the game, look me directly in the eyes, and say “perhaps hubris was his sin.” I didn’t get too much of his characterization, since I know there were scenes I missed, but the scenes I did see painted him as someone who was very desperate, whose arrogance came off almost as posturing over the terror. Someone highly intelligent but victim to his foibles, such as his sense of ownership over the Virus. Almost pathetic, even before he became a mosnter.

      I included all the Birkin forms, so it seems your disappointment was widely felt. I enjoyed Jelly Birkin as a narrative bit, possibly because I was not the one who had to shoot at him. It does its job well, communicates a decent chunk of data and carries some pathos in it, and is suitably Yucky.

      The second guy I watched play is so into Wesker than his usernames on multiple sites reference the guy. To be fair, uh, Wesker is a twelve on a ten point scale of badness and a solid nine. (Not a ten because he is, sadly, not a disgusting monstrous creature or a girl, but I can admit that this entire article is nothing more than a wanton celebration of my biases so ยฏ\_(ใƒ„)_/ยฏ )

      The fact that you cannot recall Mutated!Birkin/Wesker slash is because we live in a world full of ๐—ณ๐˜‚๐—ฐ๐—ธ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐˜„๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ฑ๐˜€ too ๐—ฐ๐—ต๐—ถ๐—ฐ๐—ธ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐˜€๐—ต๐—ถ๐˜ to give us ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ฝ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐—บ๐—ผ ๐—ด๐—ผ๐—ผ๐—ฑ๐˜€.

      Mr. X is a little plain, but his sheer BDE carries him extremely well.

      I’m really glad to hear from you again! I was worried about you. This year seems to have been really horrific all around. I’ve had trouble being productive… I’m sorry to hear that you were suffering, too. Get as much rest as you need. I feel a lot better knowing you’re still kicking! Here’s to the future, that inscrutable motherfucker, y’know? Gotta take it a day, an hour, a minute at a time.

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      1. Hmm. Have you ever watched anyone play Resident Evil Revelations? If so, what did you think about Rachelโ€™s design? How about Alexia Ashford from Code Veronica? (Outside of zombies, those are the only two female monsters I can think of in the RE games Iโ€™ve played.) (Sadly, no 7 and no Revelations 2 yet. And still no RE2 remake either.) ๐Ÿ˜ฆ
        On the bright side, I got an old iPhone thatโ€™s much better to type on than what I had before. Needs a new battery soon though. *knocks on wood* I pray I never have to go back to my old phone.
        Sometime in December I tried to find some Mutated! Birkin/Wesker. I didnโ€™t find jack shit. I even went on some Japanese search engines and didnโ€™t turn up anything. (Which could just be because I had to rely on google translate AND I donโ€™t know what words they may use that I wouldnโ€™t know. But I tried around a dozen terms and nothing.) I feel like that it is just impossible that it doesnโ€™t exist.
        Well, itโ€™s a new year. Mine is having a rough start. I hope you are faring better. Happy New Year, happy trails, and hopes for much productive writing.

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      2. I never saw Revelations, but I looked it up just now, and IS THAT A FUCKING LAMPREY MOUTH??? Love it. I mean big spooky monster boobs are nice, but lamprey face? Choice. A plus. Alexia is… hm. Her first form is very whatever to me, but she picks up as she goes. She doesn’t get lost in the clutter of her mutating monstrous DNA the way Birkin, for instance, does, but I guess they thought we might forget she was a girl if they weren’t super careful??? Resident Evil 7 has such good monster designs. Such, such, SUCH good monster designs. I really enjoyed watching it.

        Fuck yeah to new phones, I hope I get to see more of you!

        Translating and back-translating using google and people’s blogs is a fun and not at all sanity-eroding process that I in no way curse every day as a necessary evil to get at the fanworks I want. I also have to use it to search for digital assets because the program I do all my art in is Japanese. Somewhere on Pixiv there’s GOTTA be Mutated!Birkin/Wesker. Maybe they just didn’t tag it? That happens with a lot of weirder stuff, especially when it’s older like a lot of RE media is.

        Thank you for your support! I know it’s been ground into the dirt as far as meaningfulness goes, but seriously, thoughts and prayers, Kitty.

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