The Resident Piano

Sunday, 14 August 2016

One of the most popular recurring items in the Resident Evil universe is undoubtedly the piano, which most of the times is also an important puzzle element. From the first Resident Evil games to the latest ones, there almost always seems to be a piano found somewhere - sometimes more than one.

The 'expensive-looking grand piano' that is in the bar of the Spencer Mansion in Resident Evil 1 is probably the most iconic one. 

 

To access that room, Chris or Jill must first find the Armor Key, and to be able to play the piano, they must combine the Musical Score found in the same room with the Missing Music Sheet found in a small backroom just before Yawn's lair in the barn. The music piece they have to play is The Moonlight Sonata, and playing it correctly reveals a secret area in this same room.

Chris isn't very good at it, so he cannot open the secret area by himself. He tries to play the piece, but the tune he puts together is quite the improvisation.


Rebecca comes to the rescue, but she has to practice a bit before she is able to play the piece properly.


Jill has no need for assistance, as she seems to be quite skilled.


Jill has the chance to show off her talent again much later, during the flashback story of Resident Evil 5: Lost in Nightmares. In that brief but memorable mini game, we get to see how Jill and Chris went back to the Spencer Mansion looking for answers. While exploring the creepy villa, they come across a grand piano in an empty room.


The music piece is again The Moonlight Sonata, so Chris does not even attempt to try it. When Jill plays the piece, part of the wall opens, revealing a secret passage.


What makes the difference in this case is that the player has to literally play the piano, as there are different prompts popping up while Jill is playing. If you press the wrong button, Jill presses the wrong key, makes a mistake, gets angry and stops playing, resetting the puzzle.

In Resident Evil Zero, Rebecca and Billy explore the Umbrella Training Facility which is naturally full of traps, enemies and puzzles. There is also a Piano Bar in the facility, because even bad guys with vicious intents need some entertainment.


The Piano Bar is a vintage-looking room, very atmospheric in its dim light. Again the piano is not there just for decoration, as playing it opens a hidden passage nearby.

It looks like that, unlike Jill, Rebecca was not always a good piano player. When she attemps to play, she messes up midway and gives up.


Which gives the chance to Billy to impress the crowds by unfolding his extraordinary piano playing skilks.


Billy plays the piece correctly and the wall nearby opens, giving access to the secret area.

In the recent remake of Resident Evil Zero, you get the chance to play the game in Wesker mode, where Billy is replaced by Wesker and you go through the whole adventure as him. When Wesker gets to the Piano Bar with Rebecca, he also shows off his great talent.


In Resident Evil 3, Jill comes across two pianos, both in the Clock Tower.

There is a grand piano in the anteroom of the Chapel.


And there is a regular one inside the Chapel.


Unfortunately neither one is playable, so we miss the chance to marvel at Jill's talent one more time.

In Resident Evil: Outbreak, there is a grand piano in the Art Gallery of the Raccoon City University.


This piano too is playable, but unless your character of choice is Cindy, you can't use it. Cindy seems to be the only one from the group of survivors who knows how to play the piano. Once she does, a statue behind her lowers its arm and a blue jewel, necessary for a puzzle later, becomes accessible.


In the beautiful but eery Ashford Mansion grounds, in Resident Evil: Code Veronica, there are two pianos. There is one in the main villa, in the Poker Room, which is locked and opens with the Silver Key that is hidden in the secret Residence.


It is a vintage grand piano, which is also a mechanical one, designed to read out data. Claire has to retrieve a Piano Roll from the torture chambers in the undergrounds of the prison area and place it in the respective slot on the piano to be able to use it. The piano then plays a haunting lullaby tune and an important item is revealed somewhere else in the room.

Claire finds one more piano, this time in the attic of the Residence. The Residence is hidden from the world, only accessed via a secret passage in a small office of the main villa. From there, a long ghostly path leads to an isolated tower, which is the house of the Ashfords. From another secret passage inside one of the bedrooms there, Claire goes up in the attic, which looks like a playground and is full of toys and musical instruments. There is a piano among them.


The piano in the Music Room of the Tall Oaks University in Resident Evil 6 seems to be a reminiscent of the one in the Raccoon City University.


This piano is not playable, but as you approach the room it is in, you can hear a piano melody echoing in the creepy silence. The melody stops abruptly as you kick open the door.

Something similar happens at the finale of Resident Evil: Revelations 2. As Barry and Natalia approach the final room, a piano melody is being heard from inside. Then in the room, they find a piano, but nobody is around.


This piano looks identical with the one in Tall Oaks (see above). Even the overturned chair is there. And it's not playable either.

In Resident Evil 6, there is one more piano in the Living Quarters of the Research Facility where Sherry and Jake are held captive. Once they manage to escape from the Research Center, they have to find a certain number of Medallions so as to unlock the Comms Room. While exploring the luxurious building, kicking the ass of any J'avo that gets in their way, they locate a fancy bar with billiards and a white piano.


This piano is playable, and once you play it you are rewarded with one of the Medallions. There is no specific piece you have to play and it doesn't matter if you play it correctly or not; you will get the Medallion anyway.

Sherry decides to play Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, admittedly not particularly well.


When it comes to Jake, he reveals an incredible talent, by playing the Revolutionary √Čtude by Chopin, an extremely demanding and difficult piece, like a virtuoso.


Well, he is a Wesker after all; his talents and skills could fill a book.

In Resident Evil 7, there are three pianos.

One in the guest house, which is the one that could be seen in the demo:


When you try to hit a key, the cover drops and shuts. A ghost piano, definitely.

There is another one in the old house, in the back room of Marguerite's altar:


On your second visit there, just as you are approaching, you can clearly hear someone playing and stopping abruptly but when you get in that room, of course there is noone inside.

And there is another one in Lucas's old bedroom:


When you try to play, Ethan says that it is broken.

1 comment:

mikegfy said...

I'm glad i'm not the only one that thought of this. I just beat RE2 yesterday and was wondering if I had passed any pianos. I couldn't think of any. I did remember at least 1 piano in all the other classic RE games, but didn't realize there were multiple in some of the games. Great job.