Chris Redfield made his first appearance in Resident Evil in 1996. Since then, the iconic hero has shifted in and out of the spotlight throughout the franchise. He will appear for one game, then disappear in the next, then come back for a piece of downloadable content in another. With Redfield playing a role in the upcoming Resident Evil Village, you might want to know where he’s been, what he’s been up to, and why Redfield now fully embraces the world-weary, combat experienced aura that he now seems to possess.
With that, it’s time for regular series star Leon Kennedy to move over. Chris Redfield has returned to steal the spotlight, and he’s more extreme and awesome than ever before. But first, dive headfirst into his humble beginnings, his adventures throughout the Resident Evil story, and what the future might hold for him. This is Chris Redfield’s entire Resident Evil timeline explained.
Chris Redfield the older brother
Before Chris Redfield was introduced in the original Resident Evil, before his foray into S.T.A.R.S. or the Bio-Terrorism Security Assessment Alliance (BSAA), the iconic hero was nothing more heroic than an older brother to another icon of the franchise: Claire Redfield. Despite his extensive experience tackling bio-terrorist threats worldwide, little was known about Chris Redfield before he makes his initial appearance in 1996. One thing that was made clear, sadly, is that Claire and Chris Redfield lost their parents sometime before the events at the Spencer Mansion in 1996.
As such, Claire and Chris raised themselves, becoming the only family each knew and relied on for years until Chris eventually partnered with Jill Valentine. Unfortunately, despite their deep connection, Claire and Chris parted ways in their professional lives, though they did meet up again in other areas of the Resident Evil timeline. Their most notable reunion occurred in Resident Evil – Code: Veronica.
Chris Redfield the fighter pilot
One of Chris Redfield’s earliest adult moves was enlisting in the United States Air Force. There, he received extensive training to pilot both airplanes and helicopters — a true maverick in the sky. During his time in the military, Redfield met a number of characters, some of whom will feature in Resident Evil games, such as Barry Burton.
In true Chris Redfield fashion, his stalwart convictions led him to constantly argue with command officers, which led to either a resignation or dishonorable discharge for insubordination. But thanks to his extensive flight experience, a variety of weapon proficiencies, including knives, hand-to-hand combat, and marksmanship, Redfield was immediately scouted by Special Tactics and Rescue Service (S.T.A.R.S.) in Raccoon City upon leaving the United States Air Force. The decision is history, as the events of Resident Evil take place soon after his service ends.
Chris Redfield joined S.T.A.R.S.
With combat experience and multiple weapon proficiencies under his belt, Chris Redfield proved himself the perfect operative, destined for S.T.A.R.S. and beyond. The agency recruited him for their Raccoon City unit straight out of the United States Air Force, and Redfield was immediately appointed point man for Alpha Team.
Redfield, the ever-achiever, sought recognition and lateral movement, so he proved himself time and time again using his marksman abilities. In one such case, Redfield won trophies participating in the Raccoon City Police Department’s intramural shooting competition.
Redfield was not alone in proving himself, though. Joined by Barry Burton once more, Redfield helped to solve numerous tough cases in Raccoon City, though his methodology left much to be desired by the top brass. Captain Albert Wesker, however, saw his abilities and brushed aside any infractions in the line of duty time and time again.
Chris Redfield and the Mansion Incident – Resident Evil
The first Resident Evil game launched in 1996. This survival horror foray was the first introduction to Chris Redfield. The premise of the game focused on Spencer Mansion and a mysterious case involving cannibalistic murders and animal attacks in Raccoon Forest. The whole ordeal was colloquially referred to as ‘The Mansion Incident.’
Racoon Police Department, wholly inexperienced and underequipped, found themselves unable to tackle the murder case and put S.T.A.R.S. on the job instead. On July 23, Bravo Team traveled into the woods but crash landed due to a severe storm. In response, Alpha Team, consisting of Chris Redfield, Barry Burton, Albert Wesker, and Jill Valentine, were dispatched. The group, facing off against horrors in the woods, took shelter inside the Spencer Mansion, where further horrors took place.
Inside Spencer Mansion, Bravo Team split up to investigate and soon discovered that Umbrella U.S.A. built an underground laboratory designed for illegal bio-weapons research and development beneath the mansion in the woods. As you may know, the t-Virus escaped containment, infecting the lab’s staff, and creating both the zombies and the Tyrant (T-002).
Redfield investigated Umbrella Corp. – Resident Evil – Code: Veronica
After discovering proof of Umbrella Corporation’s involvement in the Mansion Incident of 1998, Chris Redfield performed an exhaustive search through Umbrella headquarters for further evidence and a conviction. His search came to a halt, however, when his sister Claire was captured by Umbrella and sent off to Rockfort Island. That served as the beginning to Resident Evil – Code: Veronica.
Unfortunately, as per the events of the above-mentioned game, the t-Virus engulfed Rockfort Island and turned the entire expanse into a warzone between Umbrella, S.T.A.R.S., HCF (led by Albert Wesker) and zombies. This marked the first time Chris Redfield interacted with Leon S. Kennedy, who relayed a message from Claire to Chris.
After fighting his way throughout Rockfort Island, Chris managed to rescue Claire using information gathered from Kennedy, then confronted and defeated Alexia Ashford, Alfred Ashford’s twin sister. Alexia spent years in cryogenic sleep following the T-Veronica virus injection.
Chris and Claire managed to escape the island before the facility self destructed.
Chris and Valentine formed an anti-B.O.W. agency – Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles
Following the events taking place in Raccoon City and Rockfort Island, Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine reunited to form an anti-B.O.W. (Bio Organic Weapon) organization. Their task was to prevent bio-terrorists from getting their hands on the t-Virus and its many strains used worldwide.
Early on in the organization’s lifespan, the two elite operatives traveled to the Caucasus region, where reports pointed to highly mutated and dangerous wolves attacking residents. Upon arriving to the Caucasus, Chris and Jill discovered yet another Umbrella laboratory working on a new strain of virus, leading to zombies and mutated animals once more.
The two faced off against codenamed t-A.L.O.S. — perhaps the strongest mutation to come out of an Umbrella laboratory. As the heroes of the day — and of the entire franchise as a whole — the two overcame this latest adversary and wiped out Umbrella seemingly for good this time around. Unfortunately, they noted Albert Wesker was still on the loose with his paramilitary outfit in search of the t-Virus.
Chris Redfield helped create the Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance (BSAA)
As if Chris Redfield wasn’t busy enough with his other anti-B.O.W. projects with Jill Valentine, the esteemed operative went on to form the Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance alongside Clive R. O’Brian, Jill Valentine, and Redfield’s latest partner, Jessica Sherawat.
The BSAA came together following the seemingly total collapse of Umbrella Corporation in 2003. The goal of the BSAA was to quickly and effectively respond to bio-weapons worldwide, including the Terragriga Panic and Il Veltro.
While investigating Il Veltro, a bioterrorist organization, in Finland, both Redfield and Sherawat lost radio contact with the BSAA and went missing entirely. Jill Valentine and Parker Luciani launched a rescue mission, discovering the two lead operatives had found an ocean liner with a secret lab aboard cranking out bio-weapons at an exorbitant rate. Redfield apparently couldn’t turn his back on this discovery, and dove headfirst into the Queen Zenobia to discover who was behind the bio-weapons.
Chris Redfield versus the t-Abyss virus – Resident Evil: Revelations
Chris Redfield had his work cut out for him while aboard the Queen Zenobia. He faced off against a sea monster, of all things, and countless hostiles aboard the ship itself. The Queen Zenobia was an ocean liner owned and operated by Paraguas Line Company up until 2003, when it went missing. After capturing the ocean liner, bioterrorist organization Il Veltro erected a bio-weapons laboratory, with full military funding, to test the t-Abyss virus.
Redfield discovered the true nature of "The Abyss." The man-made virus attacked all lifeforms, including animals, and mutates them extensively. The sea monster ahead of the Queen Zenobia was one such mutation. Another, the Malacoda, attacked later.
Il Veltro planned on unleashing "The Abyss" throughout the Mediterranean. The terrorist organization developed a cure but, as Redfield discovered, loose ends forced the organization’s hand. They unleashed the virus early, killing off the entire cruise liner, and causing yet another bio-weapons outbreak in the form of various mutations and zombies.
Chris Redfield investigated Spencer Estate – Resident Evil 5: Lost in Nightmares
Following the events aboard the Queen Zenobia, Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine received a tip from an unnamed reliable source that former Umbrella founder and board member, Oswell E. Spencer, resurfaced. Oswell was hiding at the Spencer Estate. Unfortunately for the two BSAA operatives, he wasn’t alone. The Spencer Estate, as they soon discovered, was in complete chaos. Spencer’s bodyguards laid dead and broken, torn to pieces, and mutations were abound.
But that’s not all. Redfield and Wesker remain destined to face off against one another. Wesker arrives at the Spencer Estate, juiced up with superhuman abilities thanks to the t-Virus, and proved an unstoppable foe for Redfield and Valentine. Then a key member of the BSAA went missing, leading to a three-month-long investigation by the organization to no avail. It took years for any tangible results to stem from said investigation, unfortunately.
Chris Redfield and the Kijuju Incident – Resident Evil 5
In Resident Evil 5, Chris Redfield and new partner Sheva Alomar investigated yet another bio-weapons event. This time around, a bioweapon deal in progress involving Ricardo Irving, a known bio-terrorist, kicked off the Kijuju Incident in the Kijuju Autonomous Zone in Africa.
Africa was in disarray. Kijuju fell victim to the Uroboros virus, which produced a new type of B.O.W. that, if you remember correctly, featured unhinged jaws, a mouth lined with sharp teeth, and the occasional mutant capable of wielding a chainsaw with reckless abandon.
Chris and Sheva tackled one problem after another, from zombies to Kipepeo, until they found themselves face-to-face with a mutated Irving. Despite the complexity of fighting the now highly-mutated Irving, who injected himself with the Las Plagas parasite, Chris and Sheva couldn’t rest. A superhuman Wesker arrived in Africa, proving once more that he was a formidable opponent.
Chris Redfield tended to the Philosophy University Outbreak
By now, the entire world knew of the existence of B.O.W.s following the Terragriga Panic. Even worse, though: bio-terrorists got their hands on variations of the t-Virus, and they started releasing it in cities worldwide. Philosophy University, Australia, was one such location where a bio-weapon let loose by terrorists wreaked havoc on the populace.
Chris Redfield, along with Rebecca Chambers, who had become an advisor to the BSAA, investigated a new t-Virus strain. The new t-Virus strain created a Tyrant — a terrifying mutation — that ripped through the university. Partnered with Piers Nivans, Redfield hunted down Mary Grey, a Philosophy University student experimenting with the t-Virus to accomplish her own nefarious goals. Mary intended to "reset" the world but wound up instead driving herself insane due to the virus. She then mutated herself.
Chris Redfield once more saved the day by firing a rocket at Mary while the remaining students on the campus escaped.
Chris Redfield tackled the Edonian Civil War
On Dec. 24, 2012, Chris Redfield and Piers Nivans, now partnered for the foreseeable future at the BSAA, worked alongside Ben Airhart, Carl Alfonso, Finn Macauley, and Andy Walker following reports of a new B.O.W. known as J’avo released in Edonia. The kicker here is that Edonia was, at the time, embroiled in an all out civil war.
Upon arrival to the Eastern European state, Redfield and company endured attacks by J’avo, who destroyed the BSAA APC, forcing the team to flee. Amidst the civil war, the bio-weapon — the C-Virus — released by Neo Umbrella, created Chrysalids and other mutations. A woman claiming to be Ada Wong captured the BSAA team, mutating Andy, Carl, Ben, and Finn using the C-Virus. Redfield and Nivans escaped, though Redfield suffered from post-traumatic amnesia as a result.
Upon awaking in an unknown hospital, Redfield, still unsure of who he was, took on work as a bodyguard. He was violent, drunk, and wandering Eastern Europe alone. Nivans and the BSAA tracked him down, just in time for the Lanshiang Incident.
Chris Redfield arrived in China – Resident Evil 6
In the events of Resident Evil 6, Chris Redfield, reuniting with the BSAA, agreed to return and dispatch another J’avo outbreak in Waiyip in the Chinese province of Lanshiang. The city suffered through a Neo Umbrella bio-terrorist attack, with chaos reigning in the streets.
Once in the city, Chris Redfield once more clashed with Leon Kennedy, who was dispatched to the Chinese city to protect "Ada Wong," which puts him at odds with Redfield, who then remembered the Edonian Civil War and her actions there. Her goal was to recreate the Raccoon City Incident globally, making her enemy number one of the BSAA.
To accomplish this goal, "Ada" and Neo Umbrella released HAOS, a new B.O.W. designed to spread the C-Virus worldwide. Redfield and Nivans battled HAOS, but Nivans contracted the C-Virus during the fight. Nivans, knowing he would turn, sacrificed himself to ensure Chris could escape successfully.
Chris Redfield and the New York Outbreak
Following the events in Lanshiang China, Chris Redfield continued to serve the BSAA, albeit with one less partner in tow. He turned his attention to North America, which had remained relatively free of B.O.W. outbreaks. Redfield was tasked with supervising a sting in Mexico to catch the infamous weapons dealer Glenn Arias, who was reported to be selling new batch of B.O.W.s in the near future.
Reports claimed Arias was holed up in an abandoned mansion in Querétaro. Upon arrival, Redfield and his team fought back an ambush of zombies, plus a new mutation that infected his soldiers. The Plaga parasite, released by Los Iluminados, was yet another mutation of the original t-Virus that creates unique and ever-dangerous B.O.W.s.
Redfield, outgunned and alone, turned to Leon Kennedy for help in tracking down Arias, who fled Mexico. Reports put the arms dealer in New York City, where he intended to release the Plaga parasite on the city’s denizens. In the film Resident Evil Vendetta, the BSAA was unsuccessful in stopping the virus as it ripped through the city that never sleeps.
Chris Redfield and the Dulvey Incident – Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
Following reports of the Mold Virus infecting residents in a backwoods Louisiana town, Chris Redfield, alongside what becomes known as Blue Umbrella, investigated the disturbances. He arrived at the very end of the horror show to rescue Mia and Ethan Winters. Redfield whisked Ethan and his wife, Mia, away on a helicopter, but continued his operation on the ground. He went in search of missing soldiers while in pursuit of Lucas Baker, who was a known accomplice of The Connections.
Baker, a host of the Mold virus plaguing the area, attacked Redfield and was subsequently shot for his efforts. The shooting, unfortunately, triggered his mutations. Lucas took on the form of a massive B.O.W., forcing Redfield to kill him outright. Chris then moved quickly to prevent any data transfer between Lucas, The Connections, and Umbrella’s local campsite in Louisiana.
Redfield, always the hero, then pushed forward to rescue Zoe Baker, who was later found safe alongside her uncle, Joe Baker.
Chris Redfield enters the Village – Resident Evil Village
When Capcom announced Resident Evil Village, folks were both excited and confused. A Resident Evil game with werewolves and vampires? That’s odd. But excitement continues to grow as more information releases. For instance, at the end of the announcement trailer, fans get a look at a seemingly revamped Chris Redfield — who is now a muscled mountain of a man — as he confronts Ethan and Mia Winters.
One theory considers the possibility that Chris Redfield is not aware of his actions. Folks think that Umbrella Corporation is controlling the former BSAA operative, using him to tie up loose ends, like killing Mia at the end of the trailer while Ethan begs for answers on the floor. For now, until more is known about Chris Redfield’s presence in Resident Evil Village, players are coming up with their own theories — some genuinely zany and others a little more grounded in Resident Evil lore.