Resident Evil 4: Stereotypes about Spain

**SPOILERS**. If you haven’t played the game and plan to do so stop reading now. Below I reveal some things about the plot.

I have just finished playing Resident Evil 4. It’s a very good action game. Lots of violence, a good story … in one word: Just simple old fun.

It was even more interesting to me since I am from Spain and the game takes place in Spain.

OK, they never say that but:

  • “Somewhere in Europe…”
  • The locals speak Spanish
  • The currency is the “Peseta”. The former currency of Spain before we got the Euro.
  • The cops at the beginning of the game wear the uniform of the Spanish police
  • I could go on…

Reportedly, Hiroyuki Kobayashi, the game producer, said that the game does not take place in Spain but well, I guess he said that because he didn’t want any problems that such a claim could carry.

The game includes some stereotypes about Spain and Spaniards. Now, I’m not one who gets mad at these kind of things, nor I try to find hidden interests and political agendas in them, but I’m going to talk about them. Mainly for fun.

-The policemen:

This one is really good. They haven’t shaved for several days, they’re also unhelpful and cocky. The looks I actually find them quite authentic. The depiction of attitude ..well I guess that stereotype can be applied to cops from anywhere in the world.

Spain is depicted as a rural place inhabited only for old people:

I guess this one in more a matter of creating the right atmosphere for the game than trying to make a statement about Spain. I mean, villages and old people are scarier than young people living in a city.

Something that is true, is that the transition of people from small villages to cities happened later in Spain than in other western european countries. Still, nowadays there’s not many people left in villages like that of the game.

-The villagers in the game are controlled by an evil religious group. They are busy attacking an intruder but when the church bell rings they go running to pray. Mmm…

OK, I know this is just a part of the plot of a game, but is hard no to see some criticism against the Catholic Church in Spain.

Well that’s all for today. Add your comments and opinions about this.

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12 comentarios to “Resident Evil 4: Stereotypes about Spain”

  1. Alvaro Says:

    That description was awseome, yo tambien soy de España y desde el principio sabia que el lugar es España. When they speak in english you can tell it is a Spaniard speaking english.

  2. iampiti Says:

    Yeah, it’s a good depiction. Stereotypical yes, but it was positive for creating the scary setting. It does not really reflect modern Spain but it was fun playing a game set in my country (how many games take place in Spain?).

  3. Satori Says:

    I know this is an old post but I just wanted to mention some other details that I’ve noticed while playing the Wii Edition of Resident Evil 4.

    1. The Ganados speak with a Mexican accent. Actually, they speak with what is known as “español neutro” (neutral spanish) and that is commonly used in the Americas. The reason for this, is that Capcom hired local actors living in Los Angeles, California. That’s where they hold their Voice Over work. And most of the Latin actors in Los Angeles happen to be either Mexican, Cuban or Puerto Rican. Almost no Spanish actors are there.

    2. Despite the game taking place in Spain (or a country that is supposed to be Spain), I noticed that a lot of the signs or writings that are visible on machinery, doors, etc. are written in English and not in Spanish. So the Ganados are actually bilingual!

    3. Another clue that the game takes place in Spain, is Luis Sera. He mentions that he was a police officer in Madrid, Spain.

    In regards to a perceived attack on the Catholic church, I don’t think that’s the case here. The game was made by Japanese who have no hidden agenda against the church. They simply took the legend of the “Iluminati” or masons and applied that to the ‘Illuminados” seen in the game. There are really no Christian or Catholic references made other than a church being used for prayers.

    • iampiti Says:

      @Satori, Ok it’s old but it doesn’t mean I welcome new comments.
      You’re right about the ganados, although I seem to remember some of them had latin american accents and others sounded like native spaniards.
      The church thing, yeah, I guess it wasn’t intentional, the religious elements were probably added to make it scarier (not that religious people scare me :P)

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