Video Game Gothic Space Reflection: Resident Evil 4

For the Gothic Spaces project focused on the Resident Evil franchise, I started to replay Resident Evil 4 and found myself pleasantly surprised at the amount of Gothic themes found within the game. Just the plot of an American invading the poor villages of an unnamed town in Spain was enough for me to see the ties to Jonathan Harker traveling the eastern countryside. Even further, I found that like Harker, our protagonist Leon traverses through villages filled with peasants like zombies and eventually winds up at a large, Dracula like castle. The castle held a lot of interesting troupes to find that I never considered before such as the secret passages through the sewers like in Otranto and the labyrinthian Gardens that Leon must make his way through. Eventually he meets a cult that plans to invade America by infecting the president’s daughter and returning her to America so everyone in power will be controlled by the cult leader. This concept is very similar to the imperialist views that many gothic stories tell about one type of people taking over other lands. Specifically, this plan has extremely similar ties to Dracula’s plans by infesting London with vampires to expand his kingdom. Except the cult just wants the people in office infected, at least at first, so they have complete control over the remaining population of the U.S. I could go on forever discussing each and every since reference to Gothic tropes and media, but we would be here all day. So to close this reflection, let me just say that researching resident evil for the Gothic spaces project has not only reassured my appreciation for a masterpiece of a game, but taught me that the reason modern stories are still so amazing are due to the wonderful inspirations that many of these tales derive.