Fans of Capcom‘s Resident Evil admire Claire Redfield for her impressive instincts and survival skills. After all, it’s not every day that a mere civilian can face off against a zombie. Moreover, it’s not all the time that an untrained civilian can endure a city-wide outbreak and survive the destruction of said city. Regardless, Claire proved that special forces training isn’t necessary when it comes to sibling love.
Interestingly, Claire’s search for her brother Chris Redfield will end up wrapping her in quite the conspiracy surrounding Umbrella Corporation and their research into bio-organic weapons. However, Claire steps up to the challenge as she becomes a force to be reckoned with, especially when civilian lives are on the line. Other than these, what else should fans know about Claire?
10 Originally Elza Walker, Motorcycle Racer
Fans might fondly remember Claire’s first appearance in Resident Evil 2 as perhaps her most iconic. Anyone would remember the auburn-haired Claire as her free-spirited nature drastically contrasted Leon Kennedy’s boy scout discipline. Moreover, Claire’s visual aesthetic vividly makes her independent nature apparent, thanks to her biker theme. However, this seems to be something developers meant to do.
Essentially, Claire’s initial design for Resident Evil 2 revolved around the aesthetic of a young motorcycle racer. However, these first drafts wouldn’t name her as Claire Redfield. Rather, Leon’s original Player 2 was supposed to be Elza Walker, a Raccoon University student, and motorcycle racer. Sadly, Elza Walker would not make the final cut.
9 The Red To Leon’s Blue
Interestingly, Capcom gave Elza’s story a makeover in one of the first revisions of RE2. This time around, Elza’s character needed to have a relationship with Chris Redfield. In turn, Capcom arrived with the idea of Claire. Moreover, Claire’s signature red aesthetic also falls under Capcom’s aesthetic plans. Essentially, Resident Evil 2 will have a more vibrant color scheme compared to the rather grayish first installment. In turn, Capcom’s redesigned Claire concept had to revolve around a “red” theme.
Moreover, Claire’s predominant red colors actively clashed with Leon’s “blue” theme, courtesy of his police uniform. Additionally, even their “sidekicks” had opposing color schemes. Sherry Birkin wore a blue dress to contrast Claire’s red biker outfit. Meanwhile, Ada Wong wore a red outfit to contrast Leon’s blue uniform.
8 Her Motorcycle Wasn’t Always A Harley-Davidson
On a more aesthetic note, Claire’s motorcycle that she used to arrive in Raccoon City was in fact a Harley-Davidson. In the case of the Remake, Capcom actually exclusively made a partnership with Harley-Davidson to get Claire her own motorbike. As a result, she rides a 1998 Harley-Davidson FXSTB Night Train. It’s also red in color, fitting her signature.
However, in her original Elza Walker design, her initial concept art revealed her motorcycle to be a Ducati. While the exact model remains unclear, it seems her Ducati is based on the 1970s Ducati 500 GTL.
7 Not Totally Without Training
Fans who play Resident Evil 2 might initially think that Claire had totally no combat experience during her experience in Raccoon City. However, fans might get surprised to learn that Claire actually had a bit of combat training even before her zombie outbreak adventures. For instance, it’s revealed that Chris already introduced fellow STARS member Barry Burton to Claire, as both men have also joined the Air Force.
Aside from this newfound friendship, Chris will also actively teach Claire some basics in firearms training and hand-to-hand combat whenever they met. Prior to Raccoon City, Claire will receive Chris’s STARS knife and a golden lighter. It’s unknown whether Chris still imparted lessons to Claire during his time with the BSAA.
6 Already Made Reservations
Cutscenes in Resident Evil 2 implied that Claire just happened to get into Raccoon City in search of her brother Chris Redfield. With this in mind, Claire’s eventual involvement in a city-wide zombie outbreak seems like an incredibly unfortunate circumstance. However, another game actually revealed that Claire’s visit to Raccoon City may have been planned beforehand.
Players of Resident Evil Outbreak should head to the Hellfire scenario to find this clue. As players explore the Apple Inn, they can stumble upon a hotel register item. Upon inspection, they will see Claire’s name as one of the guests. In turn, Claire may have made reservations to stay in Raccoon City prior to her visit.
5 Continuing The Fight Against Bioterror
Despite her horrific experiences in various outbreaks, Claire remained more adamant in becoming a force against bioterrorism in the world. After the incident in Raccoon City and her globe-trotting journey to find her brother, Claire got involved in a handful of anti-bioterrorism organizations. For instance, Claire became a member of TerraSave, an NGO that provides various forms of aid to bioterrorism attacks.
Courtesy of her brother, Claire also formed a connection with the BSAA or the Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance. This organization has a more combative approach to fighting bioterrorism. Moreover, thanks to her bond with Leon, Claire managed to help bolster the unity between the US Government and BSAA’s global efforts.
4 A Knack For Younger Sidekicks
Interestingly enough, of all Resident Evil protagonists, Claire has developed the most connections with proteges or sidekick-like figures. Moreover, save for the charismatic Steve Burnside, Claire actually had a penchant for caring over younger female figures. Some might say this serves as Claire acting like her brother Chris, who also deeply cared for her as a younger sibling.
For instance, Claire becomes associated with the young Sherry Birkin during the Raccoon City incident. Her bravery and protection towards Sherry motivated the younger to also develop a strong outlook against bioterrorism. Meanwhile, she also developed a close bond with Moira Burton, the daughter of Barry, in their fight to escape Sejm Island. The two also formed a bond with Natalia Korda, a young girl, who they escaped the island with.
3 Evolving Gameplay Reflects Growth
Fans who stuck with most of Resident Evil releases might have mixed feelings about Claire’s overall gameplay. However, hardcore players might soon realize that Claire’s “differing gameplay” in her appearances actually highlighted her evolution as a character. For instance, in 1998’s RE2, Claire has less Health compared to Leon. However, her signature weapons include the Grenade Launcher and Spark Shot, highlighting her craftiness. Subsequent appearances in games like Code: Veronica will make Claire have no observable differences from the protagonists.
However, her future appearances will soon highlight her growth. In The Mercenaries 3D, Claire not only has a better HP recovery rate. Moreover, Claire is the only character in the title that can do an attack cancel with her melee. Lastly, in Revelations 2 Claire also has a more expanded arsenal compared to the other characters.
2 Punk And Rock Through And Through
Fans might wonder if Claire’s biker theme simply extended to her “general” outfit in Resident Evil 2. However, it seems Capcom stayed consistent with some more intricate design themes in Claire’s other appearances. For instance, Claire’s main outfits in with RE2 and RE Code: Veronica actually had references to the band Queen. The design of her RE2 jacket had “Made in Heaven” while her CV jacket had “Let Me Live.” Both of these are popular Queen songs. Interestingly, Claire’s “punk”-ish look seems to reflect her adamant will to live despite the horrifying nature of the T-Virus.
Claire shares this design trait with Resident Evil 0‘s Billy Coen. In Coen’s case, the ex-convict has the tattoo “Mother Love,” which also serves as another Queen song.
1 Visual Appearances Had Hollywood Inspiration
Fans who want more insight into Claire’s designs might also thank Alyson Court for some interesting insights. Court served as Claire’s voice actress for six of her seven appearances (as of writing) in the series. According to her, Resident Evil 2 Claire had a likeness based on Neve Campbell, the actress who starred in the popular slasher series Scream. Meanwhile, Code: Veronica‘s Claire had a likeness to singer-actress Liv Tyler.
Interestingly, fans might take particular attention to the part that says RE2‘s Claire took inspiration from the likeness of Neve Campbell. For horror fans, Campbell’s portrayal of Sidney Prescott cemented the “sole survivor” trope of slasher films – which is evidently something Claire also shares, albeit from a zombie outbreak perspective.