Resident Evil Timeline Explained: From RE1 to Village

Resident Evil is one of the most successful survival horror franchises of all time, with its influence having spread into live-action films, stage plays, novels, and more – but of course, the heart of the series lies in its wonderful, lore-rich games. Multiple different continuities have been shaped throughout various forms of RE media, but the main timeline explored in Capcom’s beloved games is known as the Prime Universe. As its name would imply, it’s the most expansive and canon continuity, and it constitutes the majority of mainline Resident Evil games.


In March 2023, Capcom released a remake of Resident Evil 4, and it boasted a plethora of changes to the original 2005 title. Many such changes revolved around gameplay and quality-of-life improvements, such as the best update in the Resident Evil 4 remake – Ashley’s lack of a health bar and new Formations, which give players more control over her movement. However, there were also some minor changes to the game’s plot, which are important to keep in mind when considering the complete Resident Evil timeline.

Related: Resident Evil 4 Remake’s 5 Most Annoying Changes

Resident Evil 0 – July 1998

Rebecca and Billy from Resident Evil 0, ready for battle with their pistols out.

The Resident Evil Prime Universe starts with Resident Evil 0, the prequel to Resident Evil. Shortly before the S.T.A.R.S. Alpha Team infiltrates the Spencer Mansion, Bravo Team member Rebecca Chambers has to face her own nightmare. Just like the S.T.A.R.S. Alpha team, Bravo is investigating a string of cannibalistic murders in the Arklay Mountains, which eventually leads Rebecca to investigate the mysteriously stalled Ecliptic Express.

Rebecca teams up with escaped convict Billy Coen as the pair discover that all the train’s passengers have been turned into zombies. When the train stops at an Umbrella Corporation facility, Rebecca discovers the project of the company’s co-founder Dr. James Marcus, who unearthed a progenitor virus and decided to combine it with leech DNA. Resident Evil 0 also provides a bit more context on Albert Wesker’s betrayal of S.T.A.R.S. and the history of the Umbrella Corporation’s creation of bioweapons.

Resident Evil – July 1998

Jill Valentine and Chris Redfield on the cover of Resident Evil 1 HD Remaster.

However, it’s in the Spencer Mansion of Resident Evil where things really start to pick up. Here, the S.T.A.R.S. Alpha Team is investigating the disappearance of Bravo, with Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine at the heart of everything. In the mansion and connecting research facility, the team learns about the illegal experiments conducted by the Umbrella Corporation, wherein humans and other creatures were exposed to the T-Virus, turning them into zombies and undead creatures.

While exploring the Umbrella laboratory, the S.T.A.R.S. members also discover a terrifying bio-organic weapon named Tyrant. The leader of Alpha Team, Albert Wesker, reveals his role as a double agent alongside his plan to wipe out S.T.A.R.S. using said Tyrant. In the end, Jill and Chris defeat both Wesker and Tyrant, and they manage to escape the mansion after activating its self-destruct protocol. However, Wesker is the best video game villain, and he didn’t actually die in the mansion, meaning he has a lot more in store for the heroes.

Resident Evil 2 – September/October 1998

Resident Evil 2 Remake key art featuring Leon and Claire back to back pointing guns

The Raccoon City incident is the first major biological outbreak in the series, and it sets the stage for the entire Resident Evil timeline. Resident Evil 2 introduces Leon Kennedy and Claire Redfield, and it explores the duo’s struggle to survive in a city overrun by zombies and other nightmarish creatures. Leon arrives in the city for his first day as a police officer, only to find out his entire precinct has been brutally wiped out. Meanwhile, Claire is on the hunt for her brother, Chris Redfield.

Throughout the course of the game, it’s revealed that the Raccoon City Police Chief was hiding evidence of Umbrella’s experiments at the Spencer Mansion and its outskirts, and Leon meets a woman named Ada Wong, who claims to be an FBI agent investigating the company. Both characters are relentlessly stalked by Mr. X, a more powerful version of the Tyrant. While Ada and Leon infiltrate Umbrella’s underground laboratory, Claire meets a young girl named Sherry Birkin, who is the daughter of William Birkin (the creator of the G-Virus).

Related: Forget RE4, You Can Already Play The Best Resident Evil Remake

Leon recovers the G-Virus sample and activates the self-destruct protocol of the lab, but is stopped by a mutated version of William Birkin. Eventually, Birkin is defeated, but Leon is betrayed by Ada, who reveals herself to be a mercenary looking to sell the G-Virus to the highest bidder. As the facility explodes, Ada seemingly falls to her death while holding the G-Virus, but Leon manages to escape and rendezvous with Claire and Sherry aboard a leaving train. Unfortunately, they’re once again ambushed by the mutated William Birkin, but finally manage to kill the scientist, allowing the trio to escape the horrors of Raccoon City.

Resident Evil 3 – September/October 1998

Jill Valentine, Chris Olivera, and Nemesis on the cover of the Resident evil 3 remake.

Resident Evil 3 starts one day before the events of Resident Evil 2, during which Jill Valentine has taken up residence in Raccoon City while investigating Umbrella. As the city falls apart, Jill and fellow S.T.A.R.S. member Brad Vickers are hunted by Nemesis, a new bioweapon created by Umbrella. While escaping the monster, Jill runs into Carlos Olivera, a member of the Umbrella Biohazard Countermeasure Service – a group designed to help save critical targets in the case of an outbreak. She meets the other members of the UBCS, including Nicholai Ginovaef, in the subway.

Jill, who could be brought back in Resident Evil 9, learns of subway cars that the team has set up to evacuate civilians; she leaves to reactivate the subway’s power system. Carlos and another member named Tyrell head to the Raccoon City Police department to find Dr. Nathaniel Bard, who may have a cure for the T-Virus. Unfortunately, as Carlos talks to Bard via a video call, he learns that he’s actually holed up at the hospital. At the same time, Jill – still pursued by Nemesis – ends up getting pounced and injected by the T-Virus. She falls unconscious.

En route to the hospital, Carlos discovers Jill and takes her to Dr. Bard’s location. Upon arrival, Carlos learns that Bard has been murdered, but he manages to administer a single dose of the vaccine to Jill. As Carlos and Tyrell learn of an impending missile strike on the city, Carlos travels to the underground Umbrella lab to try and find more doses of the vaccine. Jill wakes up on the day of the strike and learns from Tyrell that the government will call off the strike if they’re given the vaccine. As the pair follows Carlos to the Umbrella lab Nemesis appears once again, and murders Tyrell.

Still having to evade Nemesis, Jill manages to synthesize the vaccine but also learns that Nicholai, who’s been hampering her the whole time, is a double agent hired by an unknown party to sabotage Umbrella. The ever-persistent Nemesis once again attacks Jill, and Nicholai steals the vaccine and runs, leaving her to fight the creature. Jill finally manages to put Nemesis in the grave using a rail gun and pursues Nicholai. Cornered on a helipad, Nicholai destroys the vaccine before being taken down by Jill with the help of Carlos. The two manage to escape using Nicholai’s helicopter just before the missile strikes and levels Raccoon City.

Code: Veronica – December 1998

Claire and Chris Redfield on the cover of Code Veronica.

The Resident Evil timeline continues with Code: Veronica, three months after the events of Resident Evil 2 and 3. Claire is still searching for her brother, leading her to infiltrate an Umbrella facility in Paris. She’s discovered by the complex’s security forces and imprisoned on Rockfort Island. In a strange twist of events, she’s freed by the man that captured her and learns that there’s been a T-Virus outbreak on the island. As she explores, Claire meets an inmate named Steve Burnside, and the two team up to make it out alive.

Shortly thereafter, they encounter the warden of the island, Alfred Ashford, who houses a second personality of his sister, Alexia Ashford. It’s also revealed that Albert Wesker is on the island and is the one who started the outbreak. Making their way through, Claire and Steve find a seaplane and use it to escape to Umbrella’s facility in Antarctica, which has also been hit by an outbreak. There, Claire discovers that Alexia Ashford is actually alive but preserved in cryosleep. Alfred, who was hot on their trail, finds and attacks Claire. Before he dies, he revives his sister using the T-Veronica virus.

Related: 10 Worst Resident Evil Viruses To Be Infected By, Ranked

Meanwhile, Chris Redfield arrives at Rockfort island looking for Claire, only to find out she’s not there. While he searches the island, Chris runs into Wesker and discovers his former ally now has superhuman abilities. Wesker’s goal is to recover a sample of the T-Veronica virus, and when he finds out that Alexia is alive, both he and Chris make their way to the facility independently.

When Chris arrives in Antarctica, he manages to save Claire, but the pair stumble upon Steve and find that he’s been the victim of various experiments and mutations. Claire manages to take down Steve, and he admits his love for her just before dying. At the same time, Wesker and Chris fight the mutated Alexia and defeat her, but Wesker manages to retrieve Steve’s body for further experimentation. Chris and Claire barely manage to escape before the facility explodes, sealing away its secrets forever (at least until a potential Code: Veronica remake).

Resident Evil 4 – Fall 2004

Resident Evil 4 Remake's Leon holds a shotgun while he protects Ashley, which is back-to-back with him.

Resident Evil 4 takes place six years later in 2004. Leon Kennedy, who is now a member of the Secret Service, is sent to a remote village in Spain to rescue the president’s daughter, Ashley Graham. A cult known as Los Iluminados is suspected of holding Ashley, and upon his arrival in the village, Leon is immediately attacked by its inhabitants. The village leader, Bitores Méndez, manages to overpower Leon and inject him with Las Plagas – a parasite that controls the mind of its host and turns them into a zombie-like being.

Leon finds himself imprisoned with RE4 remake’s more complex Luis Sera, who is a former Umbrella biologist and previous ally of Los Iluminados; the two work together to escape and then go their separate ways. Through a vision, Leon learns the true plan of Los Iluminados from its leader, Osmund Saddler. The cult plans to use the Plagas they infected Ashley with to force her to inject the President of the United States with a sample, thus granting them control over him.

Eventually, Leon locates Ashley inside a church. The two narrowly escape and are greeted with a horde of infected Ganados, but are saved by Luis, who helps them stand their ground in a cabin. Ashley’s condition worsens, and Luis reveals that there’s a way to remove the Las Plagas parasite to a mistrustful Leon. Luis leaves the group again, promising to contact them later, but runs into Ada Wong, who is surprisingly alive and well after the events of Resident Evil 2. The two are working together, and Luis is tasked with retrieving a resource called Amber in return for protection from Umbrella.

Leon and Ashley learn that the rescue helicopter isn’t able to land due to stormy weather, so they continue trekking through the village. In a slaughterhouse, they are confronted by an enraged Méndez, who Leon manages to take down. Luis contacts Leon and asks to meet in the castle courtyard, and so the two set off for their new destination. Inside the castle, they encounter Ramón Salazar, the castellan of the castle who demands that Leon hands Ashley over, but the pair manage to escape together.

Related: Which Resident Evil 4 Character Are You Based On Your Zodiac Sign?

Outside the courtyard, Saddler temporarily exerts mind control powers over Ashley, during which she attempts to attack Leon and subsequently run away in shame. Having been separated from Ashley, Leon searches the castle, wherein he briefly runs into an evasive Ada Wong. Shortly thereafter, Leon finds Ashley, but their reunion doesn’t last for long, as Ashley is kidnapped again by Salazar’s servant. Leon makes it to her location, but is ambushed in the process and falls into the castle’s underground laboratory.

There, Leon meets Luis, who gives him a suppressant and agrees to help save Ashley. The two make their way back up to the surface, but Luis is suddenly stabbed by Jack Krauser, Leon’s former military comrade. Krauser almost kills Leon, but Luis manages to shoot Krauser’s knife away with his last bit of strength, saving his friend. It’s revealed that Krauser is working for Los Iluminados, and that he’s responsible for Ashley’s kidnapping. Being the mastermind of the operation, it’s no surprise that he’s one of the best characters in RE4 remake’s Mercenaries DLC.

Leon makes his way back to the castle and kills Salazar, then hops on a boat with Ada Wong to pursue Krauser, who is taking Ashley to an island. He and Ada split as he infiltrates the island, and he eventually finds an unconscious Ashley and administers the suppressant to her. When she wakes, the two set off for Luis’ lab, which contains a machine with the power to remove Las Plagas. They run into Saddler, who uses his mind control ability to overpower both Ashley and Leon, and the two are separated yet again. In his pursuit to rescue Ashley, Leon runs into a mutated Krauser and kills him.

Leon finds an unconscious Ashley and almost suffers the same fate before Ada Wong suddenly swoops in, shooting Saddler and giving the duo time to escape and make it to Luis’ lab. There, Leon and Ashley both operate the machine, finally removing the parasites from their bodies; they also learn of Luis’ agreement to help Ada secure Amber. On the surface, Leon engages in a final battle with Saddler alongside Ada.

Ada takes an Amber sample from Saddler’s body and leaves on a helicopter as Leon and Ashley escape a now self-destructing island together via jet ski. Meanwhile, Ada contacts her boss, Albert Wesker and learns that his grand plan involves using the Amber for world domination. Unbeknownst to Albert, she rejects his plan and orders the helicopter pilot to change course.

Related: Resident Evil 4 Remake: What Happens To Ada Wong After RE4

Resident Evil 5 – March 2009

Chris Redfield battles Las Plagas infected in Resident Evil 5.

Resident Evil 5 takes place in 2009, five years after the events of Resident Evil 4. As a member of the BSAA (Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance), Chris Redfield is sent to West Africa to hunt down a black market bioweapon dealer named Ricardo Irving. There he meets up with a new partner, Sheva Alomar, who will assist him in the task.

Following in the footsteps of the BSAA Alpha Team, the pair arrives in a remote town only to find its residents all infected by Las Plagas, now known as Majini. Chris and Sheva are saved by Delta Team, who have a photo with Chris’ old partner, Jill Valentine, who is supposed to be dead. Determined to find Jill, Chris decides not to report to HQ, and the pair pursue Irving.

Finally cornering Irving on his boat, he injects himself with the Plagas and transforms. With his dying breath, Irving directs Chris to a nearby cave, one which contains the plant that was used to create Umbrella’s previous viruses and a new strain named Uroboros. In the cave, Chris also finds evidence that Tricell, the company behind the BSAA, has continued Umbrella’s research in a secret underground lab that contains thousands of test pods, one of which is Jill Valentine’s, even though she’s not in it. Tricell’s CEO, Excella Gionne, reveals that she and Wesker plan to launch rockets filled with Uroboros all over the planet.

As Chris and Sheva are about to apprehend her, they’re stopped by Wesker and a mind-controlled Jill. Chris and Sheva manage to pry the mind-control device off of Jill, but Wesker and Gionne escape in the process. While pursuing Wesker, Chris and Sheva kill Gionne and take samples of the virus from her. Finally, the pair confronts Wesker in an active volcano. By using the samples from Gionne and plenty of weapons, Chris finally puts an end to the villain once and for all – though it’s possible that Resident Evil 9 could bring Wesker back.

Resident Evil 6 – December 2012 Through June 2013

Main image key art of all the Resident Evil 6 protagonists standing in mist.

Resident Evil‘s timeline continues in Resident Evil 6, which follows the stories of four different protagonists – Leon Kennedy, Chris Redfield, Jake Wesker, and Ada Wong – from December 2012 through June 2013. Chronologically, the story starts in a European country called Edonia with the biological son of Albert Wesker, Jake. A now-adult Sherry Birkin, who works for the Division of Security Operations (DSO), has been sent in to extract Jake out of the civil war, so that he can be used to create a vaccine for the C-Virus.

At the same time, Chris Redfield and his team from the BSAA are sent to Edonia to fight the infected, but most of his unit is wiped out by someone who appears to be Ada Wong. A traumatized Chris goes into exile, and Jake and Sherry are captured by the Ada doppelganger.

Six months later, the story picks up in Tall Oaks, after the US President admits his involvement in Raccoon City and mutates during a press conference. Leon Kennedy and his new partner Helena Harvey pursue National Security Advisor Derek Simmons to China, who’s a part of an organization called Neo-Umbrella and responsible for the outbreak in Tall Oaks. Everyone’s paths converge in Lanshiang, China, which is now in the middle of a massive C-Virus outbreak.

Related: How Resident Evil 6 Became The Series’ Most Hated Game

A now-rejuvenated Chris Redfield and his partner Piers deploy in the city to fight the undead, while Jake and Sherry escape from the Neo-Umbrella facility. Leon and Helena encounter the real Ada and learn about the other fake Ada, who is actually a bioweapon working for Neo-Umbrella. After that, Leon and Sherry run into each other, and Sherry gives him Jake’s medical information for safekeeping. The four pursue Simmons, and while Leon and Helena corner him, Jake and Sherry are captured once again.

Leon contacts Chris and asks him to rescue Sherry and Jake, then with the help of the real Ada, they successfully kill Simmons. The pair evacuates the city after learning a missile is on the way. Meanwhile, Chris and Piers head to a Neo-Umbrella lab under an oil platform and save Sherry and Jake. A giant humanoid bioweapon named HAOS appears; Chris and Piers try to stop it while the others escape. Piers injects himself with the C-Virus to fight HAOS, then sacrifices himself so that Chris can escape.

Jake and Sherry, on the other hand, battle and kill another bioweapon named Ustanak, then ride a platform out of the facility to safety. Ada’s story reveals that the fake her was a woman named Carla Radames, who was forced to mutate into Ada by Simmons. The ending scenes of Resident Evil 6 show Leon and Helena returning to duty, Chris staying with the BSAA to command a new squad, Sherry continuing to work with the DSO, and Jake returning to the life of a mercenary fighting bioweapons in Resident Evil.

Resident Evil 7 – 2017

An in-game screenshot of the Baker family sat around the dinner table from Resident Evil 7 Biohazard.

Resident Evil 7 opens with a bang, with a new character named Ethan Winters traveling to Louisiana in search of his missing wife, Mia, in 2017. Ethan’s investigation takes him to an abandoned plantation, where he finds Mia imprisoned in the basement. While he tries to save her, Mia suddenly turns violent and attacks Ethan, forcing him to fight back and supposedly kill her. A mysterious girl named Zoe contacts Ethan and asks for his help recovering a serum, but soon Ethan is captured by Jack Baker and learns that the house belongs to the Baker family, who have all mutated. The house is also filled with strange, mold-like creatures.

While searching for the serums, Ethan kills Marguerite Baker, but Lucas Baker captures both Mia and Zoe. While trying to save the two, Ethan is confronted by Jack Baker, and he’s forced to use one of the serums to kill him. After rescuing Zoe and Mia Ethan is forced to choose who to give the serum. While players can choose to give the serum to Zoe, the Resident Evil timeline recognizes the canon recipient as Mia.

While fleeing the Baker mansion via boat, Ethan and Mia are attacked by a mysterious creature and split up. Mia’s memories are restored at this point, and it’s revealed she’s an agent from a criminal organization called The Connections. Mia was a handler for a new bioweapon codenamed E-001, who appears as a little girl named Eveline. Along with her partner Alan, Mia was transporting Eveline aboard a tanker ship, but the girl broke free, murdered Alan, and escaped the tanker, only to be found by Jack Baker in the swamp. Mia finds Ethan injured aboard the wrecked tanker and gives him a shot of Eveline’s genetic material to save him.

Related: Eveline’s Biggest Resident Evil 7 Secret Has Nothing To Do With Horror

Mia can resist Eveline’s control somewhat, and she locks Ethan out of the tanker, forcing him to explore the surrounding area. He stumbles upon a lab in an abandoned salt mine, where Lucas Baker monitored Eveline with the help of The Connections. Ethan learns that Eveline can infect people with a type of mold causing mutations, insanity, and more. This means the Baker family were basically servants – with the exceptions of Lucas, who was immunized in exchange for his work, and Zoe, who was surprisingly resistant to her influence. Eveline’s overwhelming desire for a family causes her to lure Mia and capture her before the events of the game.

Using the materials in the lab, Ethan synthesizes a toxin that can kill Eveline, and he makes his way back to the Baker house. After battling through hallucinations, he injects Eveline, and she reverts to the form of an elderly woman in a wheelchair, the one that’s appeared all around the Baker house during Ethan’s journey.

Eveline turns into a massive creature in a final effort, and just as Ethan thinks his life is over, a mysterious military unit appears and helps him finally finish the bioweapon. The game’s final scenes reveal the military squad was led by none other than Chris Redfield, and Ethan and Mia are evacuated via a helicopter that bears a blue version of the Umbrella logo.

Resident Evil Village – February 2021

A screenshot of Lady Dimitrescu and her daughters from the game Resident Evil Village

The Resident Evil timeline picks back up with Resident Evil Village, which takes place in February 2021, roughly three and a half years after Resident Evil 7. Ethan and Mia Winters have moved to a remote location in Europe, and they have a newborn daughter named Rosemary. That quiet new life is thrown into chaos when Chris Redfield appears and brutally murders Mia, kidnapping Ethan and Rosemary in the process. Ethan wakes up in a remote village, with no idea what’s happening or where he is, and he’s kidnapped by a mutated man named Heisenberg.

Heisenberg takes him to the meet Mother Miranda, the village’s priest, and its other three mutated inhabitants – Lady Dimitrescu (who once started as Mia in Resident Evil Village), Salvatore Moreau, and Donna Beneviento – each of which have supernatural powers and own a manor alongside Heisenberg. After a dispute, Miranda decides to hand Ethan over to Heisenberg, giving him a ten-second head start, during which he’s able to escape. Shortly thereafter, he meets a friendly merchant named the Duke.

In hopes of finding his daughter, Ethan ventures into Lady Dimitrescu’s castle, only to be captured by her three vampiric daughters. Despite many trials and tribulations, he manages to kill them alongside Dimitrescu, who is revealed to be a giant dragon. He finds a flask containing Rosemary’s head, which Mother Miranda intends to use for a ritual, bringing the newborn back to life as the ideal host of the infectious fungus called Mold Root. However, the Duke informs him that he can revive his daughter if he finds the three remaining flasks.

Ethan makes his way through the village, first infiltrating House Beneviento, where he’s subject to devastating hallucinations of Rose and Mia, alongside violent dolls. He manages to kill Beneviento and then moves into Moreau’s territory, which consists of a dilapidated and flooded village, and obtains a flask. Then Ethan battles Moreau, who is revealed to be a large, monstrous fish, and obtains his flask too. Finally, he heads to Heisenberg’s factory, during which Heisenberg offers to help him if Rose assists in killing Mother Miranda. Ethan refuses to accept, and is forced to flee the factory without the flasks after Heisenberg attempts to trap him.

Related: How Resident Evil 7 & Village Fixed RE’s Villain Problem

Eventually, Ethan escapes and comes across Chris, who is planting explosives beneath the factory. Here, Chris explains that he never actually murdered Mia, but rather, a doppelganger of Mia who was Miranda in disguise. Chris then detonates the explosives, destroying the factory, and Ethan is left to maneuver a tank in hopes of killing Miranda. Unfortunately, she manages to kill Ethan instead, leaving Chris alone to save Rosemary and end the nightmare once and for all.

Chris finds the Mold Root and arms it with an explosive, then stumbles across Mother Miranda’s lab, where he learns that she helped create the T-virus over one hundred years ago. Heisenberg, Dimitrescu, Moreau, and Beneviento were all Miranda’s failed experiments, as were the werewolf-like creatures called Lycans and even Eveline. Each mutation was an attempt to revive her daughter Eva, who had died of the Spanish flu long ago. It was through the power of the Mold Root that Miranda was able to stay alive. Chris finally finds Mia, who informs him of Ethan’s powers, insinuating that he’s not dead yet.

Indeed, Ethan is trapped in a strange dream sequence, wherein Eveline reveals that he died long ago, and that her mold was the only thing keeping him alive. Ethan then wakes in real life, determined to sacrifice himself for Rosemary. He arrives at the ritual site, where Rose is revived instead of Eva, much to Mother Miranda’s despair.

Miranda absorbs Rose’s consciousness and battles Ethan, with the latter coming out victorious and Rose returning to life. In a final attempt at life, Miranda merges with the Mold Root itself, and in an ultimate sacrificial act, Ethan detonates the bomb while Mia, Rose, and Chris are transported to safety, concluding the Resident Evil timeline (for now).

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