The Resident Evil Village release date is still several months away, but Capcom gave us a teaser with The Maiden playable demo. Oftentimes a playable demo will be the beginnings of a game, giving you a taste to encourage you to invest in the full experience. The Maiden sets itself apart by being its own mini story. We don’t have many details of who the Maiden is, how she was captured, or even who her captors are, all questions that we’ll hopefully find answers to when playing through the full Resident Evil 8 game later this year. Despite its short runtime, The Maiden is jampacked full of little details and potential foreshadowing moments. Here are eight things we noticed in the Resident Evil Village demo. Spoilers for Resident Evil Village and The Maiden to follow.
1. Resident Evil Village Boss Foreshadowing
The Maiden puts you in control of an as-yet unknown character as she (we’ll assume maiden here means female) escapes the dungeons of a castle. Like previous Resident Evil titles, sound is expertly used to amp up your anxiety, from unseen footsteps to distant banging. At one point you encounter one of the enemies shown in the Resident Evil Village trailer, a mysterious woman swarmed by insects who attacks you. Before you even get to her, though, you can hear growls from a beast behind a barricaded door as he attempts to claw out. This seems to set up an eventual altercation between this potential werewolf-like creature and Resident Evil Village’s protagonist Ethan Winters.
2. Puzzle Foreshadowing
During the Resident Evil Showcase, it was explicitly mentioned that Resident Evil Village will feature many puzzles. Though the puzzle-solving in The Maiden was fairly light, there are some details of future key items to keep an eye out for. One in particular is a stray piece of paper that tells you more about Castle Dimitrescu and a character named Alcina Dimitrescu, who was a legendary winemaker in the 15th century. It tells you about a special, ornate bottle decorated with intricate silver flowers. This bottle holds Sanguis Virginis, translated to Maiden’s Blood. I wasn’t able to find this bottle in the wine storage while playing as the Maiden, but it’s possible locating the correct bottle in the full game could be a means to progress the story.
3. Lore Building
Resident Evil has had 25 years to build its lore, and The Maiden very quickly sets up the new characters and set pieces you’ll get to know when Resident Evil Village releases. Not only do you get to explore a beautifully (if often disgustingly bloody) castle, but documents laying around reveal more details about the ownership of the castle and some of the history. These few clues give us a little bit more detail about who these vampiresses are and how long they’ve been in operation. Also the barrels and cups of blood you come across, combined with rotting food that hasn’t been touched in ages, are just a couple of the other small details that add to the lore of your enemies.
4. Indirect Character Introductions
Much of The Maiden is spent in isolation, but an occasional voice or wrap on the wall confirms you’re not alone. There are two characters you directly meet: one of the vampiresses who attacks you with her swarm of insects, and the giant, weirdly sexy Vampire Lady whom the internet has been thirsting after. The final thing this woman says to you (before presumably killing you) is “So we finally meet,” indicating that she had no direct hand in the kidnapping, imprisoning, or potential torturing of the Maiden. This shouldn’t be surprising, as she clearly has a family of vampiric daughters who seem to do as she asks.
5. Establishing a Historical Timeline
One of the documents you can read in The Maiden is a series of diary entries from 1958. In these you read the account of a castle employee who becomes scared and unsure of his new employers. He doesn’t outright say they’re vampires, but he notices their violent tendencies and desire to not have the shades on the windows opened. This tells us that the Resident Evil Village antagonists have been inhabiting the castle for decades, likely luring and murdering people in the dungeons for years. This has been going on since at least the 1950s, but who knows what limits there are to their antiaging abilities.
6. Resident Evil 4-Inspired Level Design
It’s no secret that Resident Evil Village has connections to Resident Evil 4. How directly connected they are remains to be seen, but the level design is very reminiscent of that game, from the intricately decorated castle foyer to the damp, dark, and terrifying dungeon. These connections seem like a perfect opportunity to release a Resident Evil 4 remake in the months before or after the Resident Evil Village release date, but as the Resident Evil 4 remake was just quietly rebooted, it’s uncertain when we’ll see that game come to light.
7. A World Steeped in the Middle Ages
The medieval inspirations for this game are clear, from the costume and level design to the brazen mistreatment and torture of prisoners. One small detail that I liked was a phonograph with a reference to Danse Macabre, an allegory from the late-middle ages about the universality of death. It embraces the concept that everyone, from kings and popes to commoners and laborers, are all on the same track toward death. What’s more? In Renaissance art, there’s a motif that was developed from Danse Macabre that usually depicts two figures—a young woman being seized by the personification of Death. The name of these motifs? Death and the Maiden.
8. Who Is the Maiden?
This brings us to our final question: Who is The Maiden? In Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, Ethan was searching for his wife Mia, but there isn’t currently any evidence that The Maiden will have any connection to the Resident Evil Village protagonist. One potential clue to the Maiden’s identity is a scrap of paper that shows a list of candidates and rejects with no further explanation. On the list of candidates are three names: Irina. Mihaela. Lois. If the vampires are looking to expand their clan and not just feast on a warm body for sustenance, it’s likely that the reason the Maiden is still alive is because she is one of these potential candidates. But which one? And where did she come from? Only time will tell.
Did you get a chance to play The Maiden demo on PS5? What did you think, and where do you think the Resident Evil Village story will be taking us? Let us know in the comments!