- Capcom needs to break the tradition of ageless female characters in Resident Evil 9 to address controversies and improve representation. #ResidentEvil #RepresentationMatters
- Resident Evil: Village provides a blueprint for Capcom to explore an interesting alternative – a returning female character who ages due to a previous infection. #ResidentEvil9 #CharacterDevelopment
- An ideal candidate for an aging female protagonist in Resident Evil 9 could be Rose Winters, whose inherited mold-related abilities could explore the complications of rapid aging. #RoseWinters #Continuation
Given how frequently Resident Evil reprises fan-favorite characters from across the series, Capcom needs to finally ditch a long-running and problematic trope if any of the series’ previous heroines return in Resident Evil 9. Despite the variety of characters, settings, and stories introduced with each new game, Resident Evil continues to bring back classic characters, such as Chris Redfield in Resident Evil: Village or Ada Wong in the Resident Evil 4 remake’s DLC. But over the years, it seems that only Resident Evil‘s male characters are showing their age, while the female leads remain suspiciously youthful.
However, this isn’t an oversight on Capcom’s behalf, as Resident Evil‘s reason for its ageless female characters is explained away by previous infections from various in-universe viruses. The convenience of anti-aging properties has enabled Resident Evil‘s reputation for bringing back both male and female characters, yet it seems only the former is susceptible to visibly growing old. Unfortunately, this only feeds into the broader controversies of tropes like “Immortality Begins at Twenty” and “Beauty is Never Tarnished,” meaning that Capcom would be wise to finally break from tradition for an older heroine to return in Resident Evil 9 before it’s too late.
Resident Evil 9 Should Finally Do Away with One Franchise Staple
Many Resident Evil games follow a similar structure, but the next major entry may be time to revise this formula’s common weak link.
The Importance of Representation in Resident Evil
Resident Evil’s Next Step is with Older Female Leads
Acknowledging that Resident Evil should be acutely aware of how important representation matters following the Resident Evil 5 controversy, the age difference between returning male and female characters will only become more obvious and less excusable over time. The trope of forever young and attractive female characters already walks an uncomfortable line when considering the male gaze, so Capcom needs to seize the opportunity to do better when it comes to Resident Evil 9. As part of Capcom’s ongoing efforts to improve representation, like Resident Evil 3‘s sexualization of Jill Valentine, Resident Evil 9 could take another positive step in the right direction.
Resident Evil: Village Could Provide a Blueprint for Resident Evil 9
Though Chris Redfield in Resident Evil: Village serves as an example of how classic characters should reflect their age whenever they return, the same game also offers a more interesting alternative that Capcom should consider exploring. Like other Resident Evil characters, Ethan Winters was revealed to have been infected by the mold, yet while he too gains special powers such as regenerative healing, expectations are subverted when his infection factors into Ethan’s sacrifice during Resident Evil: Village‘s ending. Resident Evil 9 could take this further by surprising fans with a returning female character whose previous infection is now causing them to age.
How Older Female Leads Could Feature in Resident Evil 9
Though earlier female characters are more well-known and popular among fans, the ideal candidate for an aging female protagonist due to a previous infection would be Rose, Ethan’s daughter. Since the Shadows of Rose DLC already showcased her inherited mold-related abilities and her relationship with them, an older Rose Winters could return in Resident Evil 9 with her story arc exploring the complications of rapid aging caused by the mold as seen with Eveline in Resident Evil 7: Biohazard. This would perfectly serve as a continuation of Resident Evil: Village‘s own story while also countering the series’ problematic trope of ageless female leads.
But between players growing tired of the Winters’ storyline and returning classic characters being a staple of Resident Evil games, it might be more likely that female leads such as Claire Redfield or Jill Valentine could first appear in future games before someone like Rose. Resident Evil 9 also doesn’t need to adopt the Metal Gear Solid 4-like idea of accelerated aging, as these characters could just be naturally older when they return, similar to Resident Evil: Village‘s Chris. In fact, with the experience of past events from Resident Evil games and the years in between, returning older female characters would still break traditions with fans satisfied regardless.
Resident Evil Village
- May 7, 2021
- Survival (dupe) , Horror
- RE Engine
- M for Mature: Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language
- How Long To Beat
- 10 Hours
- PS Plus Availability