Resident Evil 7's Most Intense Boss Battle Was Originally Completely Different

by Nathan Birch

WWGresidentevil710(Photo: Capcom)

Warning: The following post contains some early-game spoilers for Resident Evil 7.

Resident Evil 7 delivers a handful of pretty satisfying boss fights, but probably the best of the bunch is your first big showdown with Jack Baker. You don't really have a sense of his full powers yet and the battle quickly escalates into an orgy of over-the-top grindhouse ultraviolence. You run Jack over repeatedly with a car then blow him up and he still keeps coming. It's a gripping sequence and quite unlike any boss fight Resident Evil (or any other series) has served up before. So, how did the makers of Resident Evil 7 come up with it?

Well, in an interview with The Verge, Resident Evil 7 director Kōshi Nakanishi revealed the garage throwdown was originally a much more traditional boss battle...

At the conceptual stage, it was a completely different battle. Setting-wise, it was still set in the garage, but it was more of a traditional boss battle. We prototyped it to the point that we could test it out, but it became pretty clear to us that it was a bit lackluster as it was. We felt the need for the first boss encounter with the Baker family to be as memorable and impactful as possible, so that’s when we decided to start adding on to it.”

So, once it was decided something more was needed, how did they get to the total vehicular mayhem we see in the final game?

"In the beginning, the car was actually just a prop in the background that couldn’t be used. When we play tested, there were comments about wanting to drive the car. However, there was some pushback from the team on trying to implement automobile controls just for this particular scene. At the same time, we figured because of that, it would also elicit a “no way” type of surprise response from the player. I mean, let’s be real now. What gamer doesn’t enjoy running over someone in a video game?

Another thing that was important to us in this fight wasn’t so much, 'How do I defeat Jack?' but more so, 'How do I survive this situation?' Drawing a line between those two feelings was important in maintaining that feeling of the survival horror genre. Rather than having the satisfaction of defeating a boss, we wanted players to come out of the fight thinking, 'Yes! I survived against you!'[...] Up until that point, we aimed for a more ominous, stoic side of Jack to threaten the player, similar to the Jack character from The Shining. From there, we wanted to add something crazy. We imagined something from a Grindhouse movie or an ‘80s B-rated horror flick. It’s scary, but at the same time, there’s something entertaining about it. We wanted to create a scene that would make someone say, 'What the heck?'"

Well, Capcom definitely succeeded, because I was screaming “What the heck?” and a whole lot more during the garage battle.

Looking for an excuse to get back into Resident Evil 7? We've got a full review of the game's Banned Footage DLC, right here.

[via The Verge]