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A timeline of RE15's history and the hunt for it (1996-2013)

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  • #16
    Thoughts... excuse me these are just written at random.

    Any references to "Google Groups" prior to any possible posts from the last 5 years should be replaced, Google is just running archives of Usenet, which is what all internet communication started on in the 80's - it predates modern internet itself. The group in particular where all those posts were was (which I was a mod on few a few years until online boards replaced most of their use).

    On a personal note, I started Resident Evil A New Blood in 1999 after unsuccessful attempts working for other sites that went no where, I didn't create REFan - Roody did. I mearly merged with it in 2003 when I was stuggling to host a bandwidth hog of a site (visitor numbers were in the hundreds of thousands per month at that time and page impressions in the millions - average views were 6.something pages per visitor, it was absurd how much bandwidth was going and crippling my host). Roody was looking at closing and we kept both sites afloat that way. Project Omega now technically owns it. On that note in case anyone cares - RESitez started because Evil Online ran a webring which was very restrictive and elite with selected sites, so I wanted to support the community better which worked. RESitez closed in middle of 2004 simply because of server hosting issues, we couldn't afford to run the page impressions on REFan and RESitez off the same server.

    SurvivHor's been around longer than you stated. imacwesker will tell you the specifics, but I'm fairly certain it goes back to later part 1998 at least.

    Ditto on THIA itself. DotCal took over from Ice and it's been up since at least the very end of 1999 or start of 2000 as well. Ice and I used to trade materials here and there for quite a while. The Jan 05 thing was kinda of a relaunch with DotCal in charge only I believe. I also want to mention Marco from Totally RE (1999-2005) and Pure Evil (Milton) (who got me my first proper website space) who were also big prototype and community enthusiasts as well, and need to be mentioned in the early days because they, along with imacwesker, were some of the more sane people around the community with interest in early builds in those days. Along somewhat with Rammy from Biohazard Extreme of course.

    I'd love to know who sourced TRG's Beta 1 shots back to 1999 as well. I don't recall them appearing until the site redesigned and joined Evil-Online in early 2000, but I might be mistaken. Scream may know but I don't even know if he was involved with the site back then.

    Evil Online itself lasted for at least another couple of years.... it impoded mostly from it's community and Darkness (different than the one here I am always assuming), who was one of their mods, ran his own site off the back of it, Dark Legacy. He and the site was another one that Colvin used to have issues with for unknown reasons (he name checks them both in his rant in April 04 you quote).

    It's worth mentioning that one of White Umbrella's biggest pulls for the short time it lasted was the fact that most of the early games and regional variations of them were ripped and hosted as fully downloadable ISO's. I'm not sure how happy people would be of me mentioining this, but it's true.

    - One of EGM's reporters is visiting Capcom Japan at this time getting details on
    RE3 - the newest installment in the franchise. He asks about RE15, and is both
    shown the disc of the 80% build AND gets to play it for a limited time. He is
    so excited about this that he forgets to write down any details about what he
    experienced. Years later, he has to use the Bioflames collection images to
    remind himself of what happened, and he is unable to remember anything more
    beyond what is shown in those images.
    [THIA user Rombie, quoting CVXFreak from one of the 8-4 podcasts]
    Thats actually Mark M and John R who you mention via a 2005 post in the first file. CVX joined Mark for a Biohazard/RE Special podcast and they again discuss the 1.5 play they managed. If you can listen to it, it's worth grabbing the exact quotes for this document I think.

    I think thats all I can add. I stepped away from the drama at the very start of 2007 for personal reasons and just dabbled in staying in touch with the community and being a voice in the background, so I'm sure everyone else here knows far more about more modern events than I.
    Last edited by Rombie; 07-21-2013, 11:31 PM.


    • #17
      Just the kind of stuff I needed to know! Thanks, Rombie. And thank you too, Mark. I thought "Mark Grass" was an online alias or pseudonym. My apologies.

      Like I said before, this is a work in progress. There's a lot of stuff I've missed, and as it turned out I AM guilty (as I feared) of not correctly connecting all the dots due to incomplete data. This story is YOURS, guys -- not mine. I want to make sure I get it right -- or at least set in a form on which most of you can (or will?) agree.

      I've been involved with acquiring rare games back in my youth - I once owned an original Phantasy Star MD cart, for example, in mint condition complete with the packaging - but the story of RE15 is unlike anything I've ever seen or heard about with regards to rare games. I know there's some rare games out there that have had just as much drama, but perhaps not as publically or for so long. Some of you have already talked about them in other threads. THIS just stands out above all the other hunts. Even the academics have taken note of it, and that's why I had that quote from Professor Hantke's book. Somebody else is bound to want to learn the whole story - or, maybe to be more accurate, as much as can be (or might ever be) told. I'm a guy who believes in "living history," as told by the people who experienced it - like Heroditus, or William L. Shirer, or countless other examples. No, the hunt for RE15 isn't a world-shaking event, but I believe it's unique in videogame history. That's why I want to document it - NOW - while I can, while most of the principal actors are still present and their memories are still fresh.

      I'd eventually like to write a proper narrative history, of course - an online book complete with illustrations, like some I've done in the past. Gotta lay the foundation first, of course. That's where this outline comes in. Once everything's lined up and ready, THEN the rest can follow.

      Oh, and thanks for the suggested book cover, Zombie_X. You're really good. Now I know who I can turn to for graphics in the future.

      I've got a couple of days off coming up in my real-world job. I'll try to read everything and update the sections then.

      Thanks, everyone - including my critics. I mean that. It may raise my hackles at times, but I'm honest enough to admit that good criticism always helps make a work better.
      Last edited by RMandel; 07-22-2013, 02:43 AM.
      Do you know where I can find the final build of Resident Evil 1.5?
      Please contact me if so!


      • #18
        Originally posted by Rombie View Post
        SurvivHor's been around longer than you stated. imacwesker will tell you the specifics, but I'm fairly certain it goes back to later part 1998 at least.
        Well... SurvivHor was created in late 1999 but I had a few other websites previously to this date ;)
        Here is how my internet story goes:

        For visuals, you can check

        As an experiment, trying to learn web design, I create my first RE-only website in 1996, Survivrez-vous à l'horreur? (Can you survive the horror?)

        In 1997, my host cancel my subscription and I work on other people's websites (English and French, about Resident Evil, Tomb Raider, etc). I start to create "storage websites" on Geocities where I take dozens of screenshots of videos and let other webmasters use them on their own pages.
        This is why the "falling head" of the zombie in RE2 beta animated gif survived for so long: it was hosted online, not stored in one of my hard drives.

        In 1998, I create Play 2 Power - A website about survival-horror games/adventures games/RPG/games for Macintosh.

        Early 1999, I create Maximum Play (every previous games non-RE) and RE Inedit (everything RE) and merge them later during the year into one site called SurvivHor.
        The website's name is the contraction of "survival-horror" and a play on the word "survivor". The website is about every survival-horror games available at that time.

        End of the year 1999, I buy the domain name (I don't own it anymore).

        In 2001, I decide to focus SurvivHor only on RE betas. There are half a dozen people helping me with the website and the forums since a few years. They all have their own agendas and interests in the series. I remember Evil Online from a few years back and decide to give them their own websites, hosted inside a portal. That's how and why Biohazard France is created.

        On a side note, I decide to leave the RE community in 2004 for various personal reasons. Then I have a car accident and to prevent myself to become crazy during the long painful rehab process, I polish and complete most of my files during 2005. In 2007, after I move to the US, I complete the last files and "close" the website.
        Of course, that's when Curator starts his whole mess
        Since 2007, I have "moved" to THIA because this website is the only one focusing so much on the RE betas, since I closed SurvivHor. Still, I stay quiet most of the time and just lurk in the shadows...

        Originally posted by RMandel View Post
        Text 3 - "This is how c2keo got involved with the RE15 effort, since he was called in to replace yami as the project's primary background artist."
        I read somewhere else that you were talking of Yami and Dominion has if they are 2 different persons. They aren't. Dominion is Yami.
        Not sure if you want to talk about the modding community in your 4th text. Dominion, Markgrass, Darkness, etc. have also their influence on the whole RE1.5 story.

        In case you want to do it, here is what's publicly known about him. Dominion is a Spaniard, fluent in English and Japanese. He is also some kind of hacking genius. He has been helping me/SurvivHor/BiohazardFrance since 1998. Because of the economic situation in Spain, he has been incredibly scarce the last 5 years.

        Dominion, like most of the "old hands", as you call us, is fascinated with RE1.5. This is obvious in his various MOD.
        In 2008, I have made a "walkthrough" video showing his various MOD here:
        1ere partie de la beta du MOD de Dominion.c2keo est le createur des decors 3D de Dark Biohazard.Une fois termine, le MOD sera distribue GRATUITEMENT. Vous au...

        2e partie de la beta du MOD de Dominion.c2keo est le createur des decors 3D de Dark Biohazard.Une fois termine, le MOD sera distribue GRATUITEMENT. Vous aure...

        John/Dot50Cal has been kind enough to do the voice over.

        Dominion also provided countless gems to the RE community:
        - tons of Action Replay codes for all RE betas and demos publicly available
        - first translation of the Trevor's Letters ( ) back in 1999-2000
        He was the first to dig into several demo and find
        - The "tazer" from Rebirth was already build for the original RE1 ( )
        - The zombie's "falling head" from RE2 beta ( )
        - There was a Partner Menu a la RE Zero created for RE2 beta (or a late version of RE1.5) and a watch was part of the inventory (replaced by the lighter in the final version) ( )
        Bloodborne: my Facebook page and my Youtube page


        • #19
          Originally posted by Zombie_X View Post
          Here should be the cover of the book:

          I bow down to RMandel
          Last edited by Deathlygasm; 07-22-2013, 01:00 PM.


          • #20
            I'd just like to give some additional information on my entry in PART 2 ...

            "sometime in 1999 or 2000"

            - Eteponge relates the following personal experience from his early days in the
            hunt for RE15 ....

            Back in 1999 or 2000, I began searching for the game online, through
            prototype collectors, traders, etc, and after a few months of jumping
            through hoops, I found a lead, a person gave me the contact of a person
            who allegedly had the game. I contacted this person via email, asking for
            proof he had the game, and he sent me a few scanned camera photos of the
            game being played on a TV set in a living room (I remember distinctly the
            selection scene of choosing Leon or Elza and the opening areas), but he
            said he wasn't interested in trading or selling it, and that he wouldn't
            burn me an ISO of it either. (This was many computers ago, and sadly, I
            don't have those screens or email contact anymore.)
            In one of my online searches for RE 1.5 in 1999 or 2000, I had been scouting through various IRC channels in the Playstation iso trading scene. (Basically a bunch of people who would mail trade burned isos of PSX titles among others who also played burned isos on their modded playstation consoles, this was back in the 56k dial up days.) I came across a channel called #psxtrade I believe (on either EFnet, DALnet, or Espernet, those were the IRC networks I hung out at back then). I noticed on some people's "list of titles" in the channel they had various beta and prototype games in iso form for trade (such as Thrill Kill for PS1). So, I asked around if anyone knew anyone with a copy of Resident Evil 1.5, and I got a PM response from one of the Main OPs in the channel, as well as from one of the normal regulars, who both told me separately that they had traded a lot for a burned copy of the game from a particular former OP there, whom they were close friends with, and gave me his email address. They wouldn't trade it to me, but told me to contact him. So, I contacted him, asked him for proof, and he sent me a few screenshots of him playing the game on his TV in his living room, it shown the character selection screen, the RPD very beginning rooms, and it looked like the same build or at least same era we have now. He wouldn't trade me the game, and came across as a total asshole. I then spent the next few months pestering the two others from the IRC channel for a burned copy, and they still refused, got all paranoid, and stopped talking to me all together. That experience is what got me so hell bent on playing a copy. So close, but the owner was an asshole, and his friends started ignoring me. This was MANY computers ago, so I don't have the screenshots or email from back then anymore. Whoever the guy was, two of his personal friends of his on IRC got a copy, then clammed up. And since it wasn't leaked until recently, they clearly kept it quiet and all to themselves.
            Last edited by Eteponge; 07-22-2013, 08:52 PM.


            • #21
              This is an excellent read, RMandel! It really helps paint a picture of the earlier years for those of us who weren't around at the time. It's fascinating that one beta is able to inspire such a vast history of drama and intrigue.
              Obligatory signature ad for things I've made:

              You can find out more at my website or Facebook


              • #22
                RE1.5 is not the only beta to spark a shit storm. I know someone who's in possession of an extremely rare Soul Reaver beta and that thing is so sought after. I has the Turrelim Clan territory in it as well as early vampires. This guys own the only known version of this beta.
                My Head-Fi Page


                • #23
                  Eteponge, when you say that it looked like the game was of the same era as the one we have now, is this because the pictures only depicted areas which were already available in the PSM build?


                  • #24
                    1.5 is legendary and deserves no less then a new york bestselling novel


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Enigmatism415 View Post
                      Eteponge, when you say that it looked like the game was of the same era as the one we have now, is this because the pictures only depicted areas which were already available in the PSM build?
                      Yes, it was just the character select screen, the first room, and the shutters room. I recall nothing that looked any different in those areas at least. But later on in the game it could be a different story. This same #psxtrade group back then where I found this guy was also passing around burned isos of other unreleased games like Thrill Kill and a few betas of other titles.


                      • #26
                        If these guys weren't from Japan, I'd wager that they were all trading around the PSM build.


                        • #27
                          This is one of the greatest forms of journalism I've seen been produced in the gaming community.

                          Congratulations for such a meticulous and thoroughly work, Mandel. I look forward reading the remaining section.

                          BioHazard YouTube Channel
                          BioHazard 2 Prototype Database Project


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Enigmatism415 View Post
                            If these guys weren't from Japan, I'd wager that they were all trading around the PSM build.
                            I'm pretty sure they were American. So yeah, probably the same PSM build we have now.


                            • #29
                              First the 1.5 story movies on youtube and now this, im counting on you to direct the 1.5 live action movie once IGAS finishes the game and we know all the plot.


                              • #30
                                The first part with the Capcom game development timeline of 1.5 would be great as HTML/PDF. Just add inline media with before/after background images changes, the voice sound files you talk about, trailers etc.

                                I like that "Umbrella Rising" cover art coming out of the woodwork again. I guess its quite suitable The other parts are kinda interesting if you wern't there I guess.

                                Rombie: I joined the RE scene in 2002 so don't know too much about RE2 beta 1 origins, however I was lurking on New Blood and I think THIA in 2001. They gave some inspiration in not just creating a site but realizing how awesome RE is (or was). I did have access to the Internet since around 1996 with AOL *shudders* but the dial up Internet plans at that time were so horrendously bad I only used it to experience the awesomeness that was Ultima Online rather than check RE/PlayStation stuff. Good times I'm surprised you guys were even making sites then.