Wrapping up Resident Evil Village shows how it connects to both Resident Evil 7 and the rest of the franchise--and provides clues about where Resident Evil could head next.
Throughout Resident Evil Village, you'll see allusions to the Umbrella Corporation's iconic logo. As with trailers and marketing images, it all raises a serious question--what does this strange Eastern European village have to do with the evil company responsible for the creation of the T-Virus, the destruction of Raccoon City, and the years of monster-based bioterrorism that have gripped the Resident Evil world ever since? Those answers come late in the game, and they work to recontextualize the founding of Umbrella and the events of Resident Evil 7, Village's immediate predecessor.
As you hit the end of Village and Ethan Winters as he fights to rescue his missing daughter, Rose, you finally run into series mainstay Chris Redfield. It was Chris that kicked off all these shenanigans, and he's been cagey about answering questions ever since. Ethan and Chris have a history--it was Chris and a strike force from the Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance, or BSAA, that ultimately rescued Ethan and Mia from the Baker house at the end of Resident Evil 7. In the three years between 7 and Village, Chris and the BSAA have put Ethan and Mia in hiding in Europe to avoid the crime syndicate that was behind the incident, called The Connections.
The Umbrella Connection And The Connections Connection
When you finally find Chris in Heisenberg's factory, you get the full scoop on what's been happening. First, Chris has been investigating The Connections all this time. This shadowy group originally used a strange mold called the mutamycete to create Eveline, a young girl who was also a bioweapon. Eveline was capable of creating the mold from RE7 that made people into super-regenerative, near-unkillable monsters, and which allowed Eveline to control their minds. Mia secretly worked for The Connections and was tasked with playing caretaker, bodyguard, and possibly executioner to Eveline; when The Connections were moving Eveline by tanker ship, she escaped and destroyed it, causing it to wash up in the bayou near the Bakers' house. When Jack Baker found the shipwreck and Eveline inside, she infected him and the rest of the family. Jack also found Mia, the only other survivor, and she was infected too.
So The Connections have been looking for Mia and Ethan, who were ostensibly cured of their mutamycete infections in Resident Evil 7, and that's why Chris had them in hiding. But when Mia and Ethan had a baby, they drew the attention of Mother Miranda, the chief boss of Resident Evil Village. Miranda wanted that baby for her own ends.
See, Mother Miranda is a nearly immortal woman who lived in the village at the heart of the game for more than a century before its start. About a hundred years before the events of the game, Miranda lost her daughter Eva to the Spanish Flu and, becoming despondent, wandered into a cave beneath the village to await death. There she discovered the original source of the mutamycete mold--the megamycete. It infected her and gave her ridiculous power--Miranda gained regenerative abilities that staved off aging and illness, and eventually cultivated the power to rearrange her own cells to become a shapeshifter. Miranda can make herself wings or any number of other gross limbs; she can also completely change her appearance to mimic any other person.
Miranda spent years studying the megamycete to unlock its full potential--she became a full-on scientist, and when you find her secret lair, you find pictures to that end. She even worked with other scientists and researchers and functioned as a teacher as part of her legitimate, non-monster life. Sometime around 1951, she worked with then-medical student Ozwell Spencer to do research on using separate organisms to mutate humans--namely, the megamycete mold. You might remember Spencer as one of the three founders of the Umbrella Corporation. Spencer, in fact, was Miranda's student and held her in high regard.
Spencer was fascinated by Miranda's idea that the mold could be used to completely alter people, but the teacher and student had differing goals. Miranda wanted to use her theories to resurrect her dead daughter, but Spencer wanted to transform all of humanity and remake it in his own image in a much more eugenicist, Nazi-like approach. He decided the mold wasn't contagious enough to do that, but thought a virus might be. So Spencer and Miranda parted ways.
Spencer and his pals went on to discover the Sonnentreppe flower in Africa, and with it, the Progenitor virus, in 1966. That's what he and his Umbrella co-founders would use to eventually create the undeadifying T-Virus from the original Resident Evil. But Spencer looked back fondly at his time with Miranda and even used the frescoes of the village, which had an octagonal image meant to depict its four founders, as inspiration for the Umbrella logo. So that's why that logo seems to appear all around the village--Miranda inspired Spencer to start the research that would lead to the T-Virus, and he stole his company logo from local art.
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Throughout her research, Miranda has been working to try to change people into something else, because she specifically wants to bring her daughter back from the dead. Miranda thinks she can do that because of the nature of the megamycete, which apparently works like a giant hard drive--it "breaks down and absorbs" the consciousness of anyone who is infected with the mold. Their minds are basically stored within the megamycete colony. Miranda thinks she can use the mold to literally bring her daughter back to life, because her daughter is part of the mold and, so, still "alive" inside it.
After Umbrella's fall following Resident Evil 2, Miranda met and worked with The Connections. She gave them a part of the megamycete and Eva's DNA in hopes that the organization could help her resurrect her daughter. Miranda worked with the research team and they eventually created Eveline, but Eveline wasn't Eva. Miranda deemed the whole thing a failure and bailed on The Connections, returning to her work in the village.
What Miranda decided she needs is a body for her daughter to inhabit, so that's been the focus of her research. Over the years, Miranda has been experimenting on the people of the village, mixing the mold with a strange fetus-looking parasite called a cadou to transform them. As we saw in RE7, not everyone takes well to the mold--some people are killed by it, others turn into mindless monsters because of it. When the cadou affects you badly, you turn into a lycan. The Four Lords you meet in Resident Evil Village are cadou experiments that turned out better--Heisenberg was the best version and had the most power, followed by Lady Dimitrescu (who became a vampire because of a genetic disorder; she needs to constantly eat human flesh and blood to maintain her regenerative powers), then Donna Beneviento, and finally Moreau. Each of these people took to the cadou better than most, but none was quite perfect.
And Miranda wants someone who's perfect--because that person will be the vessel she uploads her daughter into.
When Miranda learns about Rose, Ethan and Mia's daughter, she decides that this will be the perfect person to use as her daughter's vessel. So she captures Mia, then uses her shapeshifter powers to impersonate her at Ethan's house. That's why Ethan felt Mia was acting so weird at the beginning of Village; he was actually talking to Miranda, who didn't really know about the events with the Bakers and other things about Mia. She kept shutting down discussion of the past because she didn't know the details and didn't want Ethan to figure out she wasn't who she appeared to be.
But Chris was onto Miranda somehow anyway. He and his BSAA special forces team, the Hound Wolf Squad, busted into Ethan's house and blasted Miranda-Mia with bullets at the start of the game. Thinking they'd killed Miranda (who still looked like Mia, but dead), they threw the body, Ethan, and Rose into a van to get them out of there. But Miranda was only playing dead; she revived in the van, killed everybody but the unconscious Ethan, and kidnapped Rose.
While Ethan is wandering the village during the game, Chris and Hound Wolf Squad are infiltrating it. They're searching for Rose, trying to uncover Miranda's whole deal, and also looking for evidence about The Connections, who are still at large three years after the Baker incident. As we learn from Chris' files and computer, though, they never do find anything about the crime syndicate; those folks are long gone.
What's The Deal With Ethan?
But why does Miranda want Rose? That's related to the other big twist of the game: Ethan is also a mold monster, just like the Bakers. He was killed and regenerated way back near the start of RE7.
Way back when he was first captured by Jack Baker in Resident Evil 7, Ethan was forced to eat the gross meat the family had at their dinner. He wasn't the first; this rancid meat was the means by which the Bakers and Eveline infected new members of their "family" with her mold. With Ethan, the mold took hold extremely well, just like with the Bakers. That's why Ethan can withstand so much punishment in RE7, including losing a hand and then just stapling it back on like nothing happened--he has mold-based regenerative powers. It's also why he's so damn hard to kill in Resident Evil Village.
Ethan and Mia got "cured" of their mold infections, to some degree, after Eveline was killed, but clearly it never really went away. Thus, Ethan has been some kind of mold-human hybrid ever since--and that means that Rose is also some kind of mold-human hybrid. When Heisenberg talks about wanting to use Rose's power, this is why. She's the successful version of what The Connections were trying to create with Eveline. She's the ultimate weapon.
(Side note: This is also why Miranda is able to crystalize Rose, break her into pieces, and put her in those weird flasks. She's not a regular human being, and her mold properties mean she can survive the process.)
While Ethan is fighting to save Rose, we also find out from Heisenberg that Miranda is, essentially, auditioning him to be her right-hand man. She wants him to wipe out her other "children" to prove how strong he is (while also eliminating any threat from the weaker Lords--Heisenberg is, after all, literally building an army for a rebellion). Of course, Ethan doesn't go for it, and defeats Miranda in the final battle. But at this point, it seems that Ethan has suffered too much to survive, even with mold powers. As we've seen with all the other mold people he's killed, the regenerative powers aren't infinite, so Ethan sacrifices himself to destroy the megamycete once and for all.
Except, of course, for one thing.
The Mid-Credits Scene
So this last item is a bit more cryptic, but at the very end of Village, we get one last scene. This one skips ahead in time a significant amount to find Rose as a teenager or young adult. She takes a bus to visit her father's grave, before a Secret Service-looking guy finds her--seemingly a member of Hound Wolf Squad.
We quickly get the impression that Rose is working with Chris and his special forces pals to fight monsters. Rose mentions her "tests," and immediately after that, spots the Hound Wolf soldier, muttering, "speak of the devil." That suggests the tests aren't related to school, but some kind of BSAA-related training.
From what we can tell, Rose is an ally of the Hound Wolf Squad, but they're also keeping an eye on her. When the trooper mockingly refers to Rose as Eveline--you know, a living mold weapon in the form of a kid--Rosemary reacts in something of a threatening way at the insult. She tells the guard that if he ever calls her that again, she'll show him things she can do that not even Chris knows about. So we can surmise that Rosemary has the mold powers Miranda and Heisenberg expected, but she's using them to work with Chris on his ongoing anti-bioterrorism mission.
We then hear a quick bit of conversation over guard's radio, in which he tells a distant sniper not to take a shot at the kid. So Hound Wolf Squad is standing ready to take Rose down if she turns out to be an evil mold monster, instead of a good mold monster.
Rose's comments about Eveline and Ethan, two people she couldn't possibly have actually known, also seem to play into what Miranda said about the megamycete. This might be a stretch since Rosemary's comments are a bit cryptic, but if the megamycete acted as information storage for the personalities of all the people who were infected by it, then Rose may actually know them both--they (and everyone else) might actually be a literal part of her. That seemed to be what was going on in the scene in which Eveline reveals to Ethan his true nature as a mold man: through the megamycete, Eveline lives on, and thus was able to communicate with Ethan. A similar scene played out at the end of Resident Evil 7, when Jack Baker was able to communicate with Ethan, despite being, uh, dead. And that would explain Rose's intense reaction to being called Eveline. She may well feel the influence of both Eveline and her father pulling her in different directions. That would make for a cool extension of the story.
In any event, Rosemary's status as a human bioweapon, working with and under the protection (or pseudo-imprisonment) of Hound Wolf Squad, looks to be the lead-in for the next Resident Evil. As Village tells us at the end of the credits, the father's story is now done. I'd expect the daughter's story is about to begin. Rose is likely the protagonist of the series' next chapter, and her connection to Chris and Hound Wolf, plus all the things we learned about the megamycete and the people infected by it--as well as the hanging thread with The Connections--are probably essential to that story as well.
Some Unanswered Questions
Not everything gets wrapped up in the final moments of Resident Evil Village, however. First, there's the question of what else Miranda got up to during her hundred years of experimentation. The photos of her with Ozwell Spencer suggest the two were working on some kind of cold weather excavation in the 1950s, before Spencer began his Umbrella work. The photos aren't clear, but what they were looking for in that snowy locale could be mold-related. If there's more mold out there, what was Miranda looking for and what did she and Spencer find?
Another loose end in the village: The Duke. He possesses a preternatural ability to show up where you need him, and according to files you find in the village and the castle, he has business dealings with both the regular townspeople and the Four Lords and Mother Miranda. He knows way too much to just be a normal person, to say nothing of the fact that, like Lady Dimitrescu, he's physically larger than normal humans--he sits on high seats, yes, but it also seems like he's much taller than Ethan, even sitting down. Dimitrescu's physical size is a side effect of her cadou regenerative powers, so with the Duke, something similar could be going on. All that to say that the Duke seems to have a lot of similarities to the Four Lords; there's also that cryptic exchange with Ethan at the end of the game, when he asks who and what the Duke is. In concept art you can access after finishing the game, it's even noted that the Duke was going to be the fifth Lord in early drafts of the game. The merchant is cryptic in response--so what happened to the Duke in the end? Is he, in fact, something like the fifth Lord?
There's also the question of the BSAA incursion that happens at the end of the game when Chris and Hound Wolf Squad go after Miranda themselves. The BSAA sent its own soldiers, separate from Chris' team, to the village to attack Miranda. The question is, why? And why wouldn't Chris and pals know about it?
What's more, at the very end of the game, one of Chris' team remarks that the BSAA soldiers aren't soldiers at all--they're bioweapons. With a mask off, the BSAA soldier's body they're investigating looks more like a zombie or Umbrella-era Tyrant creature. That's altogether weird, since the BSAA is supposed to be fighting bioterrorism. But the BSAA has had strange ties to evildoers before. In Resident Evil 5, the pharmaceutical company Tricell, which funds the BSAA, is highly involved in all the monster shenanigans and even working with series villain Albert Wesker.
There's also Blue Umbrella, an organization created out of the remnants of the evil Umbrella, but with the aim of stopping bioweapon research and bioterrorism. Chris doesn't trust those folks, but was cooperating with them during the ending of RE7 when he saved Mia and Ethan. So what's they're deal?
Finally, the post-credits scene of Village ends on a strange image. The Hound Wolf car drives off from the cemetery, and in the distance, we see a lone figure walking down the dirt road toward it. Eventually, the figure and the car seem to meet and the car seemingly stops as the figure approaches--but then the scene just ends. Was the figure important? Why'd the car stop? Is that a tease of something more, or just a weird red herring in the final seconds of Resident Evil Village?
Seems like we might be waiting a bit to find out those answers. Then again, Capcom added a lot of context to Resident Evil 7 through DLC, including Not A Hero, the episode that starred Chris Redfield and fleshed out the ending of that story. So maybe more context is on the way, and we won't have to wait five years for a new Resident Evil game to tie off these threads.