You know what I love? Resident Evil. Yes sir, Raccoon City has been a happy playground for me over the years. Of all the RE games, though, Resident Evil 2 is and probably always will be my favourite. Yes, the Gamecube remake of RE1 is deeply beautiful as well as fantastically terrifying, and yes, RE4 is sublime from start to finish. But RE2 has something that keeps it lodged firmly at the forefront of my gaming conciousness. Possibly it's part nostalgia, or the fact that I played the demo so much that to this day I could probably do the first section up to the police station blindfolded. What it also has is probably the best cast of characters. Everyone loves Leon, Claire and Ada, but there is one man, one minor but gloriously realised character who will forever be my favourite. That man is the head of the R.P.D.: Chief Brian Irons.
Chief Irons appears in Claire's story, sitting at his desk upon which lies the body of the Mayor's daughter. He offers you some practical zombie-killing advice (which is nice of him), as well as slipping into real creepiness by describing the perfection of the Mayor's daughter's skin (which is not so nice). He asks you to leave, and as you search around (look! something's sparkling! Wait, this is a book. Books don't sparkle...) you find plenty of evidence that Chief Irons is a rapist, an embezeller and that he hunted down and killed the Mayor's daughter as though he was auditioning for the sequel to Hard Target. Nice. Later, he gets his just desserts: tentacles are involved, and it's no more than he deserves.
So, why does a character who is in the game for only a few minutes stick so firmly in the mind? Mostly, I think it's to do with the voice acting. Gary Krawford makes Irons sound like he's genuinely psychotic and he might snap at any moment. Whether that was intentional or just wonky voice acting, I can't say. It sure works, though.
Here's a little something else that I've noticed about Brian Irons. Zombie Nightmare is a 1986 horror film about a large, beefy man who is killed, comes back as a zombie and goes on to wreak his revenge. It's a pretty bad film. You might have seen it being ripped apart in the stomach-cripplingly funny episode of Mystery Science Theatre 3000. If you don't know what Mystery Science Theatre 3000 is, then you're really missing out and you should see some however you can.
Anyway, in Zombie Nightmare, the inimitable Adam West (of Batman fame) plays a police chief called Tom Churchman, a violent, corrupt head of police who has a history of abusing women, who now has a zombie problem in his town. Sound familiar? Also, Irons and Churchman look pretty similar.
The same moustache, similar hair, waistcoat and tie. Am I saying that Capcom based Brian Irons on a character in a crappy 80's horror movie filmed in Canada? Well, no, I guess not. But, by God, I would dearly love for it to be true.
Well, that's all for this installment. Watch this video and get a bit of Irons in your diet: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6UTa2YKBgw
And to think that taxidermy used to be my hobby...
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