The Colours As Magical Elements of Puzzles: The Gallery Puzzle in Resident Evil Remake

Tuesday 14 February 2017

Although we encounter colour-related puzzles in numerous games - and several Resident Evil games, for that matter - some of them are majorly prominent in the games where they are included and moreover seem to be closely connected in several ways to the characters that participate in the respective plots.

In Resident Evil Remake, there is a puzzle in the Spencer mansion that involves four vitrail paintings. It is located in the narrow U-shaped gallery at the far side of the villa, a place to which you gain access after getting the Armor Key. It is located opposite the short corridor that leads outside to the inner garden.

This gallery is consisted of two parallel narrow corridors now inhabited by crows; interestingly enough, if you press the wrong buttons, the otherwise harmless birds will instantly attack you severely.

Chris examines the U-shaped gallery under the surveillance of a crow

As you enter the room, there is one oil painting to your left, depicting three knights, with a message below it.

The cryptic message on the painting is the clue to solving the puzzle

There are three double-faced vitrail paintings  (you can see them from both corridors of the gallery) that show a sage wearing a pendant, a saint wearing a crown and a valiant wearing a bracelet. At the other end of the gallery, there is another vitrail painting, depicting a beautiful woman who is wearing a green crown, a yellow bracelet and a purple pendant.

There is a writing under the painting, defining the woman as 'Lisa, protected by the three spirits'. The puzzle requires you to press the correct buttons under the first three paintings so as to match the colours on the woman's portrait.

More specifically, what you have to do is to press the buttons under the three paintings on the correct side and in the correct order so that they light up the right way.

The valiant wearing a bracelet must light up in orange colour

The sage wearing a pendant must become purple

The saint with the crown has to go green

When all the paintings appear in the correct colour, the wall with Lisa's painting will raise up, revealing a hidden exit to a small yard. You could spot this yard from nearly the start of the game, but it was impossible to enter there before, because its gate was locked. Entering from the gallery's revealed passage, you can now unlock that gate with an old key, thus gaining a most necessary shortcut in the mazey mansion.

Lisa, the one protected by the three spirits, is the woman depicted in the portrait; she is also the hideous creature that strolls around the forest and the lower couryards of the mansion. Lisa once was human, but after some failed experiments carried out on her, she became no less than a monstrosity.

It's impossible to tell Lisa's former fine features below this horrific malformation

The three spirits that protect Lisa are represented by the three men shown in the three portraits on the walls of the gallery. Each one of these men holds a colour of identity and, due to this, seems to be somewhat connected to each one of the main male characters of the game.

Barry Burton, Jill Valentine's companion in her side of the story, is shown wearing a reddish vest that is close to orange. Barry is a family man, he adores his wife and two daughters, and he is also a brave and loyal officer; he is a protector by definition, although at some point he almost betrayed his partners while being blackmailed by Wesker.

Barry with his reddish-orangeish vest

From this aspect, Barry may be connected to the valiant in the orange light, shown in the gallery's painting; and Barry's 'bracelet' could be either his bond with his family which he could never let go, but could also indicate the connection that he has to his parteners whom he would never possibly let down; or it could very well be both.

Chris Redfield, one of the two main playable characters of the game, is wearing a green vest; but not only here - in almost all his appearances in the Resident Evil games, he is shown to be wearing green (it is also the main colour of the BSAA uniforms, so his preference is kind of obligatory; not to mention how much it fits him).

Chris with a vest of his trademark colour - green

This prominent and recurring element could connect Chris to the saint with the crown that lights up in green. His full name being Christopher, Chris, like the saint with the same name, seems to always be holding stuff from one 'world' to another (both literally and metaphorically), protecting precious things and values from imminent dangers. His 'crown' is of course his heroic status and excellent marksmanship.

Albert Wesker, the arch-villain of the game, is wearing a bluesih to dark purple shirt. Wesker may be an evil man, but he is also extremely gifted. Why he decided to use his brains to serve the evil side, is another stroy; the fact that remains is that he is a genious.

Wesker with his blueish - dark purple shirt

Consequently, Wesker might as well  respresent the sage lit in purple; and his 'pendant' is the legacy that he holds, all that rare scientific knowledge that he used the wrong way.

Then we get to the 'protection' part; how are these three men, practically unrelated to Lisa, actually protecting her - and in what way?

Lisa is nothing more than a lost soul now, wandering around the dungeons of the Spencer mansion, harming people because there is little else she can do; and obviously she cannot kill herself because she has lost all the human qualities and has neither will of her own nor conscience. Chris, Wesker and Barry all essentially 'help' her die; in the final confrontation with her in the cave where her mother's grave is located, Chris and Wesker work together to send her to her death.

As Wesker shoots at Lisa, Chris has to push down the cement blocks to unblock the exit

In that same place, in Jill's side of the story (and assuming you choose to play nice and have Jill keep her trust in Barry and give him back his magnum after having grabbed it from him when he attempted to shoot her) Barry helps his partner get rid of Lisa by shooting her with his magnum while Jill pushes away the cement blocks.

After Jill gives Barry back his magnum, he helps her out by shooting at Lisa

In both storylines, Lisa finds her mother's skull in the coffin, which obviously brings to the surface a little part of her human self, subsequently waking up her sentiment, and she kills herself by falling down the chasm.

Lisa falls to her death, with her mother's skull in her hands

Given the tragic state in which she's been for years, her death seems to be the only deliverance. In that sense, the three spirits / the valiant, the knight and the sage / Barry, Chris and Wesker, protect her in a sense, by causing her to find fragments of her human soul and free herself from her misery.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love this interpretation! Personally, I always imagined the three spirits to be visual representations of the various viruses within her - The T-virus (green), G-virus (purple), and possibly the Progenitor virus as orange, much like the Stairway of the Sun flower it was derived from.