This article contains RESIDENT EVIL VILLAGE spoilers.
Resident Evil Village may be one of the year’s biggest and scariest games, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t have a little fun from time to time. In fact, Village is packed with easter eggs and references that keep things light, even as you’re running away from the giant vampire ladies of its world.
While you’d expect the eighth major installment in the Resident Evil series to include a few nods to the previous games in the franchise, one of the most surprising things about Resident Evil Village is how it not only references some of the older games in the series (as well as a couple of horror movies) but how some of those callbacks have deeper meanings that expand this game’s lore and even set up future installments.
From the village’s familiar merchant to a brand of beer that shouldn’t be there, here are the easter eggs and references that we’ve found in Resident Evil Village so far.:
Joseph Kendo’s Self Defense Book (Likely a Gift From Chris)
Ethan and Mia’s house contains a few notable easter eggs, but one of the more interesting ones that’s easy to miss is a self-defense book found on the upstairs bookshelf written by someone named Joseph Kendo.
Does that name sound familiar? That’s probably because Joseph Kendo is the brother of Robert Kendo: the gun shop owner from Resident Evil 2. Joseph Kendo is also a former S.T.A.R.S. weapon instructor who made the pistol that Leon uses at the start of Resident Evil 4. It seems Ethan went to the best.
Covered Mirrors in Ethan and Mia’s House
Take a walk through Ethan and Mia’s house, and you may notice that most of the mirrors seem to be covered by sheets and blankets. The only mirror that isn’t covered (the bathroom mirror) appears to be fogged up. What’s the deal?
The game doesn’t outright explain this design choice, but it’s either part of an effort to prevent you from seeing Ethan’s face, who remains a faceless protagonist in his second outing, or it’s something Mother Miranda did when she assumed Mia’s form. Mirrors sometimes reveal true identities in horror fiction, such as in vampire stories, and it’s possible that Miranda covered them to prevent anyone from seeing the real her. That, or she didn’t want to look at her new face.
Ethan Winters’ Bobblehead Collection
Head upstairs in Ethan and Mia’s home and you’ll find a stack of boxes near the office area in the back. At the top of one of those boxes is a football player bobblehead that Ethan says he really should get rid of.
Considering that it’s the same kind of bobblehead found throughout the Baker house in Resident Evil 7, it’s not hard to see why the toy bothers him so much. It certainly seems like a strange keepsake from a dark time.
Ethan’s Hand Can’t Catch a Break
This one is less of an easter egg and more of a running joke, but it’s not long into Resident Evil Village before Ethan’s left hand is mutilated by a wolf. A little later on, one of his hands is even chopped off.
This is callback to Resident Evil 7 where Ethan loses his hand early on only to have it reattached later. For whatever reason, Ethan’s hands just can’t catch a break in these games. Like in the last installment, our hero also pours first aid med on his hand to heal.
Resident Evil 4’s Opening Sequence
You may have spotted this reference in some of Village‘s trailers and demos, but an early scene in Resident Evil Village’s…umm…village sees Ethan fight off a small army of werewolves and other unnamed horrors. From the way Ethan blocks doors to the staging of specific sections, this whole area feels like an elaborate callback to Resident Evil 4’s famous early scene in which Leon must evade waves of crazed villagers in a similar fashion.
Salvatore Moreau Turns into a Very Familiar Giant Fish
The battle against the otherwise timid Salvatore Moreau takes a dangerous turn when the lord of his house jumps into the water and transforms into a massive fish. This shocking moment will be a little less surprising to Resident Evil 4 fans who remember doing battle with a very similar giant fish in that game. The designs aren’t exactly the same, but given how many RE4 references are spread throughout Village, there’s no doubt this was an intentional callback.
The Duke References Resident Evil 4’s Merchant
Linger for a little while on the Duke’s shopping screen, and you might hear him say “What are you buying?” He’ll then laugh and mention that it’s just something an old friend of his used to say.
This is obviously a nod to Resident Evil 4. The friend that the Duke references is none other than Resi 4’s legendary merchant. It’s not entirely clear how those two characters know each other, but we suppose that it’s not unreasonable to suggest they could have met at the annual merchant trade show.
The P.T. Hallway and Giant Baby Monster in Donna Beneviento’s House
Dollmaker Donna Bneviento’s house is one of the scariest locations in Resident Evil Village. Then again, it should be scary considering that it’s clearly designed to resemble the house in one of the scariest games of all-time, P.T.
The house’s main hallway is nearly a 1:1 replica of the P.T. hallway. There’s even a phone in the corner of the hall that rings when you’re least expecting it. Incredibly, this area also features a clear nod to P.T.’s “baby in the sink,” although Village ups the ante in that regard with a giant baby monster that will truly haunt you.
Umbrella Symbols and Oswell E. Spencer
Some fans noticed early on that Village’s trailers featured a strange symbol that resembled the Umbrella logo. Well, that logo actually appears several times throughout the main game and even has a starring role in some of the story’s most important cutscenes.
As we discussed elsewhere, it turns out that the logo’s appearances are much more than a nod to the original RE games. In fact, a letter we find towards the end of Village reveals that Umbrella’s founder, Oswell E. Spencer, spent quite a bit of time with Mother Miranda and used that ancient design as the basis for his company’s logo.
Dulvey Beer From Resident Evil 7
One of the villagers in Village is drinking heavily from a bottle that’s kind of hard to see. If you zoom in on it, though, you’ll discover that it’s actually a bottle of Dulvey Beer: the Louisiana craft beer seen throughout Resident Evil 7.
How did this bottle of craft beer make it all the way to a small village in Europe? Given that this is likely just a cute nod to the previous game, it’s best not to ask those kinds of questions.
The Black Goat from The Witch
The Witch is one of the best horror movies of the last 10 years and among the genre’s most influential recent films as well. The Witch may have even influenced the design of Village in ways both big and small.
One of the animals you’ll find in Village is a large black goat that seems to boast a more distinct look than some of the other killable creatures you encounter. That may be because this black goat appears to be a clear reference to Black Phillip from The Witch. Their designs are incredibly similar, and considering how Village‘s vibe and themes are generally reminiscent of The Witch, it’s likely that Capcom decided to include a more obvious wink to that movie as well.
The Shining Scarecrows
Resident Evil Village’s title screen, and a couple of sections of the game’s actual village area, prominently feature creepy-looking scarecrows who seem to be frozen. Take a closer look at the scarecrow and you’ll discover that they might actually be dead villagers whose bodies were repurposed.
More importantly, the design of these scarecrows appears to be a subtle nod to the end of The Shining. At the very least, their upward-looking dead eyes and mischievous grins recall the look that Jack Torrance had on his face when he was frozen in the snow at the end of Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 film.
The main villain of Resident Evil 7 reappears in Village, this time as a figment of Ethan’s imagination who needs to remind him of his true nature. We also learn that Mother Miranda provided the mold and Eva’s DNA to The Connections, the bio-terrorist group behind the events of the last game, who created Eveline.
Chris Redfield and the BSAA
Chris Redfield plays a major role in Village, effectively becoming the second protagonist of the story towards the final act of the game. In an installment that basically tells the origin story of the Umbrella Corporation, it makes sense that the series’ original hero is back, too. And just in time for the franchise’s 25th anniversary!
Meanwhile, the counter-terrorism organization Chris works for in the later games, the Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance, also returns, but this time to muck things up for Chris and his team towards the end of the game.
Mother Miranda’s Name
The neopagan cult leader main villain of the game is Mother Miranda. While there’s a very literal reason why she’s referred to as “mother” in Village, this may also be a reference to Italian filmmaker Dario Argento’s Three Mothers Trilogy of witchcraft movies. In that cycle of interconnected horror stories, each witch is named “Mother”: Mother Suspiriorum (Mother of Sighs), Mother Tenebrarum (Mother of Darkness), and Mother Lachrymarum (Mother of Tears).
Like those witches, Mother Miranda’s name also has a translation in Latin: “Mother to Admire,” which is very fitting considering she is worshipped by those she rules over. The way she could fit into that trio may also be why Village seems to be obsessed with the number four.
Cadou and Las Plagas
Mother Miranda uses a parasite called Cadou on the villagers in her search for a vessel for Eva. All Cadou seems to do to her unfortunate subjects is turn them into lycans, though.
While the early Resident Evil games focuse on the highly contagious viruses created by the Umbrella Corporation, Resident Evil 4 introduced the idea that a parasite could infect people and turn them into bloodthirsty killers, too. In that game’s case, the parasite was called Plagas.
Ada Wong Cameo?
As revealed by IGN, the Trauma Pack DLC features some behind-the-scenes artwork that reveals Capcom considered including fan-favorite spy Ada Wong in the game.
“Early plans had a mysterious masked person that saves Ethan,” reads the caption for the concept art. “This was going to be Ada Wong investigating the village, but this was cut due to a number of conflicting scenarios…An early plot point was to have Ada, disguising herself with a mask, help Ethan escape from his trial.”
Interestingly, Ada’s proposed costume in the game would not have been unlike Jill Valentine’s plague doctor-inspired costume in Resident Evil 5.
Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments!