While it might seem as though Resident Evil Village, like its predecessor, only has a superficial connection to the franchise’s wider lore, the truth couldn’t be more different.

Make no mistake, the primary narrative of this year’s entry is undoubtedly focused on Ethan Winters and his quest to rescue Rose from the clutches of Mother Miranda, but one need only look in the right places to realize that this seemingly remote European hamlet hides a dark and fascinating history. As series veterans will have no doubt spotted in pre-release trailers, the Umbrella Corporation’s symbol features prominently throughout the campaign, most notably on the Giant’s Chalice – a device that predates any known records.

Not until towards the very end of the game, however, when the player takes control of Chris Redfield, do the answers reveal themselves.

Upon infiltrating the underground caverns housing the Megamycete, Chris discovers the private quarters of Miranda. In addition to numerous books documenting the creation of her failed experiments (i.e. the Four Lords), the former S.T.A.R.S. member finds an old letter penned by one Ozwell E. Spencer.

In it, the deceased founder of Umbrella recalls his younger years as a disciple and lover of the village ruler, citing the pair’s vastly different ambitions as the reason for his departure. Spencer describes his plans to create a pharmaceutical institution acting as a veil for human T-Virus experimentation, with the iconic red and white-banded emblem – found on ancient wall paintings – repurposed as the company’s trademark.

The origin story serves as terrific fan service for longtime followers, then, but it’ll be interesting to see if the discovery has any future ramifications for the inevitable sequel to Resident Evil Village. As always, let us know what you thought of the surprising revelation down below!