The Resident Evil franchise is filled with all kinds of enemies. They’re the subject of experimentation from The Umbrella Corporation, at least for the most part. One of those enemies that stands out is from Resident Evil: Code Veronica. In this guide, we’ll cover the Bandersnatch Resident Evil lore. Including why this enemy exists and what it went on to inspire.
What is the Bandersnatch in Resident Evil: Code Veronica?
Resident Evil: Code Veronica is hailed by many series fans as the true third game in the mainline franchise. However, due to various reasons at Capcom, the game was instead made to be a spin-off entry. Even so, the game adds a lot of lore to the series that it would struggle to justify later games without.
The Bandersnatch is one of the only new types of enemy introduced in this. game. It’s a Tyrant B.O.W. model that was created around 1998 by Umbrella. The name comes from a combination of Lewis Carrol’s poems, The Hunting of the Shark, and Jabberwocky. Both of these poems give a description of such a creature, which is where it came from in creature design terms.
How Did Umbrella Make the Bandersnatch?
You can’t look at the Bandersnatch and not wonder how this abomination came to be. Originally, it was an offshoot of the Tyrant Project. That project aimed to create a supersoldier using the T-Virus, but had many failed attempts before coming to fruition.
The Bandersnatch offshoot was aimed at a single practical purpose. It was created as a way for those who don’t have the genes required to create a Tyrant to still be useful as experiments. While they couldn’t help with the super-soldier program, they could still become powerful B.O.W.s that would make a profit.
Tyrants are also very expensive to develop. That’s why being able to make something slightly more powerful than a zombie, but not as practical as an official Tyrant, could still help Umbrella with their revenue.
The cost-effective method of creating the Bandersnatches often led to atrophy in their limbs. This occurred as soon as they were created. The most common issue was arm atrophy, which is why most Bandersnatches only have one arm. More specifically, for an unknown reason, it was their left arm that took the hit.
Where do Bandersnatches fit in the Resident Evil Timeline?
Resident Evil: Code Veronica takes place after the events of Resident Evil 2 and 3. Claire Redfield is captured by Umbrella and taken to Rockfort Island Military Training Center. She was going to be used to accumulate data against Umbrella B.O.W.s, and the company was probably going to kill her while she was there.
However, as the game begins, an outbreak of the T-Virus is savaging the area. This is because of a raid that’s recently hit the center, and Bandersnatches were in the process of fighting trained soldiers when that raid hit. This led to the creatures escaping their containment, and that’s also why the T-Virus outbreak occurred.
This is when the Bandersnatches begin roaming the island. Their only goal is to kill, so they do just that when they find any living humans. Players will encounter many of these beasts throughout their time with the game.
The most unique thing about Bandersnatches is how they use their arm. They can leap over great distances. You’ll also see the arm stretch across corridors, grab a wall, and pull them to a new position.
This makes the Bandersnatch a more formidable foe in one sense. They can travel much faster than Tyrants and zombies, making them more of a threat. However, their missing arm and generally sub-par creation process make them weak defensively.
Further Development of the Bandersnatch
Within Resident Evil lore, the Bandersnatch research was taken from Rockfort Island by Albert Wesker. It was then used as a base to develop the Jabberwock S3.
This creature is present in Resident Evil: Darkside Chronicles. It’s a failed prototype, though some stock was still produced. The stock that players encounter was made by Javier Hidalgo before 2002.
While this creature is similar to the Bandersnatch in some ways, it’s also a vast improvement in others. It has been enhanced with the T-Veronica virus, making it similar to the mutations seen under that virus’s effect. If you’ve ever seen what happens to Steve Burnside, then you’ll know exactly what happened here.
The added mutation gives this creature eight arms instead of one. Clearly the atrophy has either claimed both human arms, or added new ones. The enemy will cover itself with its larger arms when being attacked. When it’s on the assault though, it’ll use them to inflict devastating damage.
The ideal thing about this offshoot is that it has higher-level intelligence. It can take orders and carry them out when needed.
However, the added mutations have brought about an issue present in the mainline Tyrant super soldiers. The creature’s heart is on show. It’s easier to kill as a result. This makes it completely useless as a profitable B.O.W. but very good for a warlord looking for great defences.
A Failed Experiment
Overall, while the Bandersnatch did provide the base for some further experimentation, it was a total failure. It shows that trying to speed up and lower the cost of the Tyrant creation process just doesn’t work. Too many things are put at risk, and it compromises the end result.
Umbrella did manage to perfect the Tyrant process, but by the time they achieved this, the company was heading down the drain. In the latest Resident Evil games, the company is but a shadow of its former self. Tyrants are no longer the focus.
Ultimately, this shows how misguided Umbrella was. The company focused too much on creating powerful soldiers, and not enough on what could be done with weaker forms.
Resident Evil 7 shows just what is possible with experimentation into forms that can change the way they look. This would have been a much better direction for the company to move in.