Even though Umbrella Corporation hasn’t been around in the Resident Evil chronology for a long time, the evil, corrupt organization still looms large over the series and everything to do with it. Players fought against Umbrella and its messed up antics for years, and once they were gone, we took up arms either in attempts to clean up the messes they’d left behind, or to quash the even bigger problems that only existed because of Umbrella’s own actions.
Of course, Umbrella Corporation were right in the thick of things once again quite recently, with the recent remakes of Resident Evil 2 and 3, but it’s quite possible that the villainous organization could have a role to play in the upcoming Resident Evil Village as well. In fact, I’d say that it’s not just quite possible- it’s entirely likely. And there are several things that point to that.
The first and most obvious reason for that belief is, of course, Resident Evil Village’s debut trailer. When Capcom first announced the game in last year, one particular shot from the trailer caught the attention of a lot of Resident Evil fans. The shot in question showed the classic logo of the Umbrella Corporation quite clearly, and Capcom obviously made sure to put that in the very first trailer we saw of the game for a reason. The reason, I think, is that Umbrella is going to be involved in the game’s story in a pretty major way.
One thing that’s become abundantly clear in all that we’ve seen of Resident Evil Village so far is that whatever is going on in the game’s titular village stems from things that were kicked into motion long before the game’s event kick off. The Maiden demo on the PS5, for instance, reveals that Lady Dimitrescu has been around since at least the late 1950s, and has had her vampiric abilities since around that time, if not even earlier.
That’s quite a long time before the events of Resident Evil Village, or even RE0, which is the first mainline game in the series’ chronology. But as Resident Evil 5 explains, Umbrella’s history is much longer than what earlier games in the series suggested. The corporation’s experiments with and studies of bioweapons and experimental viruses only began when they found the flower known as Stairway of the Sun in West Africa. That flower led to the creation of the Progenitor Virus, which, as its name suggests, is the root cause of all the countless viruses and bioweapons we’ve seen throughout the course of the series.
Umbrella discovered that flower in 1966, which, of course, is several years after what we know to be the earlier known indication of Lady Dimitrescu having her powers- but there has to be a very good reason for why Umbrella’s logo can be found in the village in such prominent fashion. Someone obviously put it there. The logo itself is surrounded by four other crests, and the whole thing seems to be a very ceremonial vibe to it. And sure, at this point, all we can do is speculate based on very little information, but some theories do seem plausible.
For instance, it’s entirely possible that the powers that reign over RE Village’s village are Lady Dimitrescu and possibly three other groups, each represented by one of the four crests I mentioned earlier. And it’s entirely sure that these four groups together, in some way, shape, or form, were either became involved with Umbrella not long after their work started, or may even have been responsible, in some fashion, for the corporation’s existence.
And why would they bother? Well, for obvious reasons. Umbrella co-founder Ozwell Spencer was driven by two primary motivations in all that he did. One was to create a superior form of humans to remake the world in his own village, and the other was to find a way to essentially become immortal and bring an end to the very concept of ageing.
Given the fact that Lady Dimitrescu is a super-powered woman in a position of power who doesn’t seem to age – and has been for a while – it’s clear that she aligns with Umbrella’s goals quite well. We have heard Dimitrescu talking to someone called Mother Miranda in the game’s trailers, and she seems to be in charge of the whole operation here- so it is possible that this Mother Miranda, or maybe even some other overseer, has been pulling the strings from behind the shadows for as long as there have been strings to pull?
And it’s obvious that Dimitrescu and her “daughters” are far from the only superpowered monstrosities that we’re going to be introduced to soon. This village has obviously been living in the shadow of terrifying things for a long time, and we’ve even seen werewolf-like creatures. Other creatures like massive giants and zombies have also been spotted. So isn’t it possible that the four theoretical groups of power we mentioned earlier came together to make this village they seem to reign over a massive lab of sorts for Umbrella? Perhaps Umbrella Corporation experimented with all manner of viruses and bioweapons here over many years, which is why we see all these different kinds of nightmarish creatures everywhere.
Resident Evil Village producer Peter Fabiano did recently state that all the creatures in the game would “it within the context of Resident Evil’s world” and that the game’s story would “take into account the overall world and history of the series.” Maybe this is just confirmation bias and I’m believing what I want to believe, but those statements sure do seem to indicate that Umbrella might have been responsible in some form or another for what we’re seeing in Resident Evil Village.
The fact that RE Village is set in Europe is also worth calling out. Starting with CODE – Veronica and most recently with Resident Evil 3’s remake, it’s been made abundantly clear that many of Umbrella Corporation’s most major operations were based in Europe. The close proximity of Umbrella Europe and the village might just be a coincidence, sure- but then again, maybe not.
Speaking of CODE – Veronica, it’s possible that Capcom set up a connection to that game back in Resident Evil 7 as well, which explains that the criminal syndicate The Connections that was responsible for the Mold bioweapon originally started working on the virus with the H.C.F. back in 2000. And what exactly was the HCF? That’s right- a group of highly trained soldiers led by none other than Albert Wesker himself.
Of course, there is one complication that we need to consider. Resident Evil 7 also introduced Blue Umbrella, a reformed PMC consisting of several former Umbrella members who have now become dedicated to cleaning up the messes left behind by the original corporation, and seem to be all about fighting the scourge of bioterrorism. Hell, even Chris Redfield is willing to work with them, and not in a million years would Chris Redfield, of all people, work with Umbrella Corporation. Based on all appearances, it seems like Blue Umbrella really do have the best of intentions.
But… maybe not? RE7’s Not a Hero DLC makes it clear that Chris doesn’t trust Blue Umbrella an awful lot, and he only seems to be working with them because they seem to share a common goal. And sure, Chris himself has seemingly turned to the dark side in RE Village, what with him having killed Mia and kidnapped Ethan’s daughter and everything, but it’s almost guaranteed that there’s more going on than meets the eye. Is it possible that Blue Umbrella is just a front for the actual Umbrella to continue its shady activities? Perhaps Chris was only working with them to be able to investigate them more closely? Perhaps he learned about their true intentions after he started working with them, some time between the events of RE7 and 8?
Clearly, there’s a lot of dots to connect here. Individually, much of this seems circumstantial at best, and again, it’s entirely possible that this is confirmation bias at play- maybe I just really want Umbrella to be back in the limelight again, so I’m reading between the lines and believing what I want to believe. But again, I keep coming back to that Umbrella logo in Resident Evil Village. It’s not just there for aesthetic purposes. It’s there for story reasons, and one way or another, Umbrella Corporation is going to have a major role to play in RE Village’s story. I would be extremely surprised if it didn’t.