Welcome to Under the Umbrella! A brand new series where we share memories and moments from the wide world of Resident Evil!
The inaugural topic we’re looking at today is the Spencer mansion, the setting of the first RE game. As an avid RE fan, I want to share my favorite memories of this famous locale. If you agree (or disagree), please share your thoughts and any memories of your own on social media with the #REBHFun hashtag!
From outside, the mansion itself is very noticeable, feeling somewhat out-of-place in the ocean of trees in the Raccoon Forest. That said, I actually missed it the first time I played (my excuse was that it was a night scene). Of course, in hindsight, we know that building it so deep in the forest was an excellent idea.
Even from the outside, the mansion looks just about as sinister and suspicious as its possible for a building to get – a place you would never want to enter. Of course, perceptions can change, especially when you’re seeking refuge from a pack of attacking bioweapons.
“Make for that mansion!” And with that order, the trap was sprung. It probably wasn’t the best idea, but it’s hard to make calm decisions in the midst of combat. You’d think S.T.A.R.S. would be trained better though... (looks at Wesker)
And once inside, we have truly entered the survival horror. Puzzles, traps and all manner of creatures await. So let’s take a look back at what this fateful mansion had in store.
It all begins here. The sprawling entrance hall (which could fit a small house of its own inside). This is where Wesker first disappears, Barry gives us a masterfully useful item, and if we ignore proper advice, we get chased around by zombie dogs.
That ceiling! Just when you’d got a shotgun and things are looking up, it all comes crashing down – literally. Just goes to show you shouldn’t take other people’s property! That said, this takes me back to my old teacher who looked the other way when I “checked out” equipment without permission.
Despite so many memorable scenes, one that really stays with me was the piano scene where you play Moonlight Sonata. I was taking piano lessons at the time, so while I couldn’t fight zombies or push statues around, I felt like this was the one puzzle I had the skills to do.
All in all, I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that the mansion, with it’s crazy creatures and ingenious traps can be considered one of the main characters of this game. What do you think?
Come to think of it, despite being over 30 years old, most of the traps and mechanisms still operated with deadly precision. Can’t help but admire the excellent work of the architect, George Trevor. (Posthumously anyway, poor George.)
Speaking of excellent work, while writing this, I happened to find an illustration from a recent Capcom Café/Resident Evil collaboration. I love how well it captures the character of each...um...character.
Something tells me, if this is how everybody behaved when they entered the grand hall, Lord Spencer might have just activated his Disintegration Field right away. (Joking)
There’s still so much more that I want to say about the mansion, but I’ll wrap it up for now. Thank you for joining me on this trip down memory lane!
What did I miss? What are your favorite memories from the mansion? Do you have any other topics you think are worth covering? Please let us know on social media with the hashtag #REBHFun!