Thursday, November 30, 2023

How Capcom Designed Resident Evil Village’s Lady Dimitrescu & Why She’s So Great Online

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Resident Evil as a franchise casts a long shadow in video games, but Capcom has taken that literally with Resident Evil 8: Village. The last villain of the series, Lady Dimitrescu, is a 9ft 6in vampire whose imposing frame and elegant Edwardian fashion sense inspired a fervent response from her fans. Fanart, memes, and character cosplays have spread across the internet like the T-virus through Raccoon City – much to the delight of the developers of Village. Here’s how she was born and why she won over so many people.

A bewitching vampire

“At the start of planning, we decided to [a] castle and vampire designs, ”said Tomonori Takano, Artistic Director of the Village, in a recent interview with IGN. “However, we didn’t want to be constrained by the way vampires were portrayed in various forms of popular entertainment.”

Takano started with the concept of a ‘bewitching vampire’ and says they were inspired by characters like the famous 16th century Hungarian nobleman and serial killer Elizabeth Báthory, the Japanese urban legend. Hashaku-samaand Morticia Addams from Anjelica Huston.Lady Demitrescu certainly doesn’t look like a traditional vampire. Although she is pale and has bright yellow eyes, she looks more like a 1920s speakeasy than an Eastern European castle (and she probably stepped over people entirely on her way). “The very first concept art piece I drew was the scene from the trailer where Lady Dimitrescu goes to bed go through the door, ”Takano says. “From that moment on, I knew I had to do this scene.

An imposing reception

Takano’s instinct was right – when the scene appeared in a brief teaser in january, viral reactions began to pour in. One of YouTuber’s Suzi Hunter premieres was pretty concise:

“Like any good character who makes people excited, [Lady Demitrescu is] a combination of different niche fetishes, ”says Emily gaudette, a pop culture and relationship columnist who wrote about the intersection of kink and pop culture. “Obviously, she’s a vampire, and the fantasy of being eaten or consumed by a vampire is classic at this point. They desire something taboo about you – your blood, your life force – and they have to hurt you to get it, but the ecstasy of having your blood drained is still presented as sexual.

Gaudette says that for many men, the idea of ​​being physically overpowered by a woman is new and exciting – which would help explain why there are so many memes and jokes about being trampled on, chased or crushed by Lady Dimitrescu. “There’s been this proliferation of straight men who identify as ‘simps’ online,” she says. “It’s just a reversal of the typical straight sub / dom dynamic.”

“A lot of the memes I see are riffing on this idea that a player might lose on purpose to get reamed by the giant beautiful woman, and this is the kind of fun sex game that a sub / dom couple could get into. launch.”

Not your typical monster

It’s also worth noting how elegant Lady Dimitrescu is compared to the other Big Bads (no pun intended) in the Resident Evil franchise. One of the first scenes we saw her in sees her sitting in front of a mirror putting on makeup. Takano said they didn’t want to “lean too heavily on gothic horror designs for the whole village,” and incorporated “elements of the Great Depression era into the overall design.”

Even when compared to the old villains of the Resident Evil series, Lady Dimitrescu stands out. It is not too monstrous a creature like Lisa Trevor or someone of conventional appeal who turns into a monster like Alexia Ashford. Lady Dimitrescu falls in between as something quite unique and original for Capcom.

Takano says it’s a continuation of Capcom’s new direction for the series that started with Resident Evil 7: Biohazard. “We have analyzed the characters and elements of the Resident Evil series so far to see if they were really scary,” says Takano, “or if they had become so conventional that they lost their effectiveness in scaring people off. players. ” He says even longtime show producer Jun Takeuchi said, “If we want people to be afraid, we have to think beyond the stereotypical zombies.

Resident Evil 8 Village Showcase Screenshots

“I tried to forget about the design logic of the past and started thinking about the best ways to create fear,” says Takano. “For Resident Evil Village, we use similar concepts of “ evil ” as we did in Resident Evil 7 Biohazard, which was not based on normal humans or zombies. “

According to Takano, the response has been overwhelming, and even non-gaming outlets like The Guardian picked up on the new internet 9’6 ”obsession. “I think no one [on the team] could have predicted how the fans reacted to Lady Dimitrescu, “says Takano.” Personally, “I was particularly struck by comments like, ‘I want to be chased by her.’

Of course, the next chapter in the Resident Evil adventure isn’t just about tall ladies with even bigger hats. “What we’ve shown so far – Lady Dimitrescu, the village and the castle – only covers part of the village of Resident Evil,” says Takano. “We prepared a lot of other stuff that created a much bigger experience than Resident Evil 7 Biohazard.

But will we want to be trampled by one of them? Only time will tell.

Matt TM Kim is editor-in-chief of IGN.


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