Part 1: Introduction to Trials
Determining Demo Builds
Shortly before the release
of Resident Evil 4 in the united states fans were shocked to learn certain retailers
were receiving stock of a very peculiar disc. Available only to those who pre-ordered,
it was titled "Resident Evil 4 Preview Disc". Given away at most Gamestops and
EB Games in the states, most of the stock was left unclaimed and therefore it
was decided to simply give the disc away to anyone who wanted one. This was
due in part because of the short amount of time from when the disc was released
to the Resident Evil 4 release. Lack of communication between the retailers
and those who preordered also aided in the confusion. While most insiders in
the community know of this disc, few know that there were other Demo's released
of Resident Evil 4 in the United States.
Less known, is the Resident Evil 4 Demo which was shipped to your home after
purchasing the Resident Evil 2 pack, Pure Evil. More uncommon is the Nintendo
Kiosk demo's which also contained Resident Evil 4 demos. So how many demo's
are known, and are any of them different? This article hopes to answer those
We will start with the first disc that was released, the Preview
Disc given to those who pre-ordered.
The packaging for the disc is inside a normal GameCube case and features Leon
on the front cover with various enemies encountered in Resident Evil 4 in the
background. It proudly displays the line "Includes Playable Demo!" on the front.
On the back of the case is a screen shot from each GameCube release of the Resident
Evil series. A paragraph found here sums up the discs contents:
"A History of Horror Prepare yourself for a scream-filled trip down
memory lane as you witness the terrifying legacy of the Resident Evil series
and then take your first steps into the future of survival horror. Watch the
thrilling history of Resident Evil in six grisly movies, including a trailer
for the forthcoming Nintendo GameCube release. Best of all, take control of
Leon as you try to survive a shocking playable demo of Resident Evil 4 that'll
be sure to take your breath...and maybe life...away."
So essentially the disc claims to have videos for every release in the series
that was put on GameCube. This includes:
Resident Evil 0
Resident Evil 2
Resident Evil 3: Nemesis
Resident Evil: Code Veronica X
Resident Evil 4
as well as a playable demo of Resident Evil 4. This would be the first introduction
to Resident Evil 4 for most USA fans*¹.
The disc itself contains the GameCube disc ID: DL-DOL-D4BE-USA
The second disc we will be focusing on is the Pure Evil release. If you recall,
Capcom released a bundle pack named Pure Evil which contained the Players Choice
versions of resident Evil and Resident Evil 0 for the GameCube. Inside the pack
was an offer to send away for a Resident Evil 4 demo. You were given a code,
and a web site URL. Once visiting the site and putting in your code you were
asked for your address details. A few weeks later (It turns out, AFTER Resident
Evil 4 was released) people received their copies. The disc was shipped inside
a small cardboard sleeve which only contained the demo itself. This was a very
cheap way of shipping it which ensured the costs would not be much for Capcom
to send them out.
On the front is your address details and a note letting you know what is inside
"Inside: Resident Evil 4 Demo and Resident Evil Retrospective". At first this
was promising. It made no mention of it being a Preview Disc, so it seemed it
was different. On the back is an ad for Viewtiful Joe and a reminder of when
Resident Evil 4 was to be released. Opening the case revealed the same exact
disc as the Preview version. However, I held out hope it would be different...
The third and Fourth demo's are essentially the same. Both were from Retailers
GameCube Kiosk demos, which were handed out to stores to help promote upcoming
GameCube games. Personally I have Demo Version 22 and Version 24. Both contain
a demo of Resident Evil 4. There are presumably more out there which contain
it, and if you have any information on which ones please let me know so I can
update this article.
The packing on the Kiosk demo's is very plain. With the front cover having
the version number along with possibly a high profile game that was included
on the disc. The back contains instructions on, of all things a tutorial on
how to turn your GameCube on. The discs themselves contain a bar code and a
warning "FOR DISPLAY ONLY NOT FOR RESALE". Though, this didn't stop the person
whom I bought them off (Lucky us).
With the packaging and descriptions of each release out of the way how will
we go about comparing the disc to the other releases you ask? The various methods
used are bordering on a gray area in the legal world, so suffice to say I was
able to get the ISO's of each game onto my hard drive and do a complete comparison
of each and every file. What I found was that every disc, while somehow being
different, be it packaging or other demo's bundled contained the exact same
demo build. Thus finally ending any claims that more than one version was released
in the USA.
Now with the USA releases out of the way, left focus on the known Japanese
releases of the trial editions. Currently there are two known releases. The
first, which I am sure most of you are familiar with was released on 10/29/2004
as part of a special Famtisu issue. The issue itself contained a DVD with various
trailers on it, and most importantly the worlds first public playable demo of
Biohazard 4. The issue was sold out in a matter of weeks and in the wake of
its success Famitsu has since released a second Capcom special magazine. Though,
this version was mostly overlooked as it seems the main draw for the first release
was of course the Biohazard 4 demo. The Special DVD contains some trailers worth
noting, There is a Biohazard 4 trailer and a Biohazard Outbreak File 2 trailer.
Also included is a Japanese trailer for Under the Skin which features a Raccoon
City level in the game. All three are available for download below.
The second known Japanese release was with the Biohazard Double Feature pack.
Like Pure Evil, this pack included both Biohazard and Biohazard 0. The Biohazard
4 trial however is included inside the package unlike the Pure Evil release.
The demo also comes with a set of instructions which appear to be the same as
from the Famitsu book above. Biohazard and Biohazard Zero both come with a memory
card as well.
So how do these two demo's compare? They are exactly the same,
file for file.
The last Trial Edition we will be showing you is the Resident Evil version
for the Playstation 2. Released shortly before the game went on sale it is very
limited in quantities. It was given away to those who showed interest in the
game at EB Games and Gamestop's around the USA. The demo itself comes in a hard
paper sleeve with the final USA box art on the cover. The rear shows you some
of the highlights of the PS2 port, included the new Ada missions. The disc is
a DVD as well.
So now that we have narrowed down all three releases to a single build we will
*¹Some had chosen to import the Famitsu Capcom Special
which contained a similar demo, albeit for the Japanese fans.