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BIOHAZARD 2 ("1.5" BUILD)

(Resident Evil 1.5 USA Articles Section) - (More Media found under Media Section)

Biohazard 2 was first announced at the Fall Tokyo Game Show in 1996, an unsurprising move for Capcom given the success of the first game. The first preview showed two characters in an overwhelmingly neon-blue Raccoon City Police Department: Leon S. Kennedy and Elza Walker, who would never make it into any playable version of the game together. This build was scrapped in 1997, two months before it's intended release and at a production stage of 70% complete. The game was so close to release that images were featured on the back of SCPH-5500 PlayStation system boxes. Additional information was also printed inside ‘Now Available’ PlayStation software pamphlets included with later released systems. Shinji Mikami indeed made a bold move, one he would replicate a few years later with Biohazard 4. The final game has a huge legacy among series fans, so few question the decision to scrap the first build. However, many still wonder what that nearly-completed version of the Biohazard 2 beta was like.



Over the years many dedicated fans have joined together in an effort to uncover additional information regarding the original build. Since 1996 various media has been made available, however nothing in playable form has surfaced. Over the course of thirteen years only two online auctions featuring a playable build of the game have surfaced, though both have been cancelled before finishing. Upon further investigation one of these auctions was indeed real, though the author was not compliant in handing over the rights to the beta. Following the auctions demise, a video pertaining to this particular beta was released by the PlayStation Museum in 2007. To add to the plot, PlayStation Museum has since taken down any trace of having posted the video. While footage and images have surfaced at random, not much progress has been made considering thirteen years have passed.


The information released in 1996 hasn't changed much, though nonetheless it is still intriguing. Leon went through a few changes within Biohazard 1.5's production. During the first preview of the game Leon was portrayed as a civilian with a buzzed hair style. This concept for Leon was scrapped almost immediately and in its place were various cop outfits, likely changing his storyline as well. The last beta build featured Leon in his now well known R.P.D. outfit. Elza Walker however remained consistent throughout the two known builds; however, she would later be replaced all together by Claire Redfield. Elza and Claire shared a similar build and both were motorcycle enthusiasts. The idea to scrap her was likely due to storyline implementation, seeing as Claire is Chris' younger sister. Creating a genetically similar sibling is an obvious cause for the appearance change.

In the summer of 1998 Capcom released a Biohazard 1.5 media disc, titled the Biohazard Complete Disc, with Biohazard Director's Cut Dual Shock. Releasing after the final build of Biohazard 2, this PlayStation formatted disc included four in-game videos from the previous builds. Within these clips various alterations to the main scenario are noticeable. In the beta Marvin Branagh escorts survivors through the city sewers, yet in the final build he never makes it out of the R.P.D. In addition, Raccoon City gun shop owner Robert Kendo helps assist Elza and Sherry. The trio ended up finding a secret entrance within the city streets. This differs greatly from the final build where Robert is killed within the first few minutes. Also noticeable is Ada Wong's character model in an Umbrella lab jacket. In the final release Ada was a spy sent to retrieve a sample, though it is unclear if her character model in the beta was doing so. Whether this was the ground work for a plot point or not, it remains a significant difference from beta to retail.

The sad fact of the matter is there are no playable forms of this game and it is likely there never will be. However, some of Biohazard 1.5’s inspiration can be found within other titles, namely Biohazard Outbreak. The Hive scenario in particular takes place in a hospital from Biohazard 3, though does not use the same assets. In remaking these areas much of Biohazard 1.5’s R.P.D. design and layout has been replicated. The entrance, lobby and even roof are presented in a similar fashion to the beta. While it is a far cry from Biohazard 1.5, it may be one of the only officially released titles to bare resemblance.


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