Much has been said about Ethan Winters’s hands in Resident Evil Village. A lot of it is on this very site. Specifically, he’s prone to losing the ding-dang things in little whoopsie doodles. It’s okay, though, because he can heal said booboos with magic medicine juice splashed thoroughly over his wrists! It even works on his jacket (for reasons that don’t make sense even after a certain Big Reveal at the end of the game).
The big vampire woman, Lady Dimitrescu, wasn’t the first person to lop off a Winters limb, however. He also lost several in Resident Evil VII, depending on choices you made in that game. Not to mention the little dork gets two fingers on his left hand more permanently removed at the start of Resident Evil Village.
This is where my horrible revelation arrives. Two hands. Two missing fingers. Simple subtraction leaves us with eight little digits remaining on Ethan’s detachable hands. You know… like Resident Evil VIII.
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Crucially (or at least as Capcom has reminded folks) the game is not called Resident Evil VIII, or Resident Evil 8, or even Resident Evil Eight. It does, however, follow in its predecessor’s footsteps by “hiding” the roman numeral in the first four letters of the word “village” on its box art. The developer has a history of cheekily hiding the sequel number inside and I don’t believe for a second that the hero’s hands aren’t a reference to this fact.
It wouldn’t be the first game to use filleted fingies as a coy play on a game title. Hell, it’s not even the first zombie game to specifically use them for that exact purpose. Left 4 Dead and its sequel both featured chomped-off thumbs to play off the titles. Left 4 Dead 2 in particular drew what feels like quaint controversy by today’s standards for its gory box art. It had to be censored in several countries before the Valve game was allowed to be rated. Remember when Valve used to make games?
Long story short: I’m mad. I’m mad because it’s incredibly corny, yes, but also I’m angry with myself. All the clues were there from nearly the beginning of the game and I didn’t figure it out until just this moment, weeks after I beat the sucker and deleted it from my PS5 to save space. We’re all still talking about Lady Dimitrescu from time to time, but Ethan Winters? I haven’t thought about that dude for one extra second. Not until this realization came crashing into my life. I feel like a fool and a clown and I don’t know why it took until now for my slow-ass brain to process the visual pun.
I’m gonna be seething about this all day. I might even clench my fists — ever reminding myself of what a big dummy I am and how unobservant I was. I really gotta applaud Capcom, though. The developer has a firm grasp on a good joke.