Resident Evil Village is a thrill ride of a game, taking players through a series of rich environments and battles with distinct, memorable bosses. There’s a lot of detail to pick apart and examine in the game, but I’m stuck on one question: Why does Karl Heisenberg, a Lord of a highly cursed Romanian village, know that Chris Redfield punched a boulder while inside an active volcano one time?
[Ed. note: This article contains spoilers for Resident Evil Village.]
OK, let’s rewind so that question makes a little more sense. In Resident Evil 5, players control Chris Redfield as he hunts down his longtime nemesis, Albert Wesker. Wesker is in the middle of pulling off the nefarious plan of releasing a deadly virus with the goal of “complete global saturation.” It’s up to Chris and his new partner Sheva to stop Wesker, and nothing can get in their way. Nothing includes a giant boulder, leading to this incredible scene from Resident Evil history.
Wow! Impressive. The boulder punching scene is infamous among Resident Evil fans, because it’s the perfect example of the campy, action-heavy side of the franchise. Over time, that criticism has become more mild, and it’s more likely to be celebrated as a wonderful, cheesy moment. Fans joke about Chris Redfield and his absolutely massive guns all the time now, and Village reinforces that.
For instance, Karl Heisenberg calls Chris Redfield a “boulder-punching asshole,” which is incredible.
There are basically three possibilities here, and all of them are amazing. The first is that Chris Redfield has told everyone he punched a boulder, which is a reasonable thing to brag about. The second is that an eyewitness like Sheva, or someone reviewing drone footage, saw Chris Redfield punch a boulder and decided that everyone needed to hear about it. The third possibility is that Chris Redfield punches boulders on the regular, so even if no one saw him do it in Africa, he’s definitely done so in Norway or Manitoba, and everyone just has to deal with the aftermath of that.
Overall, Chris Redfield is one of the most interesting (and amusing) parts of Village. While Ethan Winters is thrown into a chaotic situation with no preparation, Chris knows what’s up from the start. He kicks off the events of the game by breaking into Ethan’s house and shooting Mia Winters at least a dozen times.
He has a reason for that, which you discover later in the game, but he doesn’t tell Ethan what’s up despite having multiple opportunities to do so. In fact, he seems vaguely annoyed that Ethan’s upset over the whole wife-shooting thing. There’s a bit in the game where you get to control Chris, and it’s like someone sneaked a little Call of Duty broccoli into the Village brownies.
It takes a lot of work for a video game character to remain compelling over 25 years, but Chris Redfield keeps things fresh. Why is he so big? Is that coat custom tailored? Seriously, what’s up with the boulder incident? These are questions that fans can ponder as we wait for more information on Resident Village and Capcom’s post-launch plans for the game.
We’ve reached out to Capcom to better understand Chris Redfield’s boulder-punching legacy in Resident Evil canon and will update this story when the company responds