Chris Redfield exists in a world of horror, strife, and things that go bump in the night. He’s a mortal amongst undead gods, facing off against biological weapons bigger, stronger, and more violent than himself. Entire hordes of enemies want him dead, and even the rank-and-file enemies he faces are more dangerous than your average human being.
How does he come out on top against these overwhelming odds?
True, he bulked up and got stronger in order to better handle conflicts with the likes of Albert Wesker, but even so, Wesker is stronger and faster by a factor of at least two. Additionally, Chris is not the inhuman badass that, say, Kratos is, or even Duke Nukem. In fact, Chris is decidedly human and flawed.
Chris has experienced great loss repeatedly. First, the apparent death of his longtime partner, Jill Valentine, then again, with the loss of his squad to Ada Wong’s bio-attack. He falls into deep depression, drinking his life away in a smalltown bar. Even after he gets recruited again, he is irrational, angry, and revenge-oriented, putting the mission aside for the purpose of avenging his former colleagues.
This is not how the cookie-cutter soldier-badass operates. Most games featuring military characters(with the exception of a few, like Alex Mason in CoD), feature teflon robots; caricatures of people who don’t get upset or affected by the horrors around them. Chris, however, is deeply affected by the loss of his comrades, and the seemingly never-ending battle he fights.
Leon Kennedy eventually manages to slap some sense into the man, by showing him that everyone loses things, himself included, which puts Chris back in the professional mindset. But I honestly believe that his passion in loss is part of Chris’ strength. He has flaws, and weaknesses, and his enemies taking advantage of these actually makes him stronger, in a way, by forcing him to overcome his challenges to accomplish his goals, and by lighting a fire inside him to see them done.
Nothing of worth is gained without first overcoming adversity.
We talked about how caring for his teammates is one of the traits of Chris’ leadership style in our last post, and the despair feels at their loss comes hand-in-hand with that. However, this deep caring and cooperation with his teammates is also the secret to his strength. He could not do the things he does without the people he relies on.
Chris’ enemies in the Resident Evil series are genetic mutations, horrific monstrosities evolving into superior combat forms. Chris has his own evolution, however. In overcoming his difficulties and challenges, he becomes stronger. His passion in loss and victory drive him to overcome these challenges, and this emotionality is a defining human trait of his. Do you think Wesker cares if the latest brood of horrors he sends after S.T.A.R.S. dies? No, not at all.
When your only driving passions are selfish gain, and personal survival, it’s easy to fall short of your goals. Having something like companionship, friendship, and vengeance driving you, however, can turn you into an unstoppable force. You can only experience these things by exposing your own weaknesses to those you care about, however, and letting them get past your own personal barriers.
Chris Redfield is strong because he uses his weaknesses to drive his strengths, and his losses to fuel his gains.
A true champion overcomes adversity to become something better, and stronger, and Chris Redfield therefore embodies the character of a true champion.
On that note, we end our time with Mr. Redfield. Sunday is another fitness journey update for Jackie and myself. I know we’ve both been doing particularly well this week, so I’m excited to write it! I believe it’s also a photo update week, so look for that! Please don’t forget to like the blog on Facebook, and follow on Twitter and Tumblr. While you’re at it, if you enjoyed this post, please share/retweet it to your friends! We’ll see you on Sunday!. Until then, remember to live boldly, change the world, and continue to be awesome.
Dan “DaRatmastah” Wallace