Resident Evil first began as a spiritual successor to Capcom’s 1989 NES survival horror RPG Sweet Home, which was in turn based on a Japanese horror film from that year. And as soon as Resident Evil hit the Sony PlayStation, it became a major hit. But the game was originally headed to the SNES, according to a report from Game Informer.
While chatting with Mega Man 11 director Koji Oda, Game Informer learned that Resident Evil started off in production on the SNES before eventually making the jump to PlayStation 1. Back in those days, Resident Evil’s codename was simply “horror game,” and most games were generally developed in half a year.
“It’s not that well known, but before Resident Evil went to the PlayStation, I was working on it for the Super NES,” Oda told Game Informer. “On the SNES, we were working with limited hard drive space, so it’s not like we could dump a movie in there. If we had actually completed it on the SNES, I’m sure it would have been considerably different.”
Oda explained that the SNES version originally took place in a world that “had nothing to do with reality,” calling it “more of a hellish place.” If so, then the game most likely went through some considerable changes after the PlayStation came out in 1994.
It’s unclear if any concept art or design documents from those early days are still around, but either way, it’s probably for the best that Capcom took advantage of the PlayStation’s advanced video rendering and data storage capabilities.