For much of this month, I have been covering black figures in video gaming that I find cool. So far, I’ve done Taurus from Activision’s Interstate ’76, the Vances from Valve and Sierra’s Half-Life 2, Dudley and Elena from Capcom’s Street Fighter III, voice actors Terrence Carson and Greg Eagles, and Garcian Smith from Capcom’s Killer7. Tonight we’ll look at Sheva Alomar, the hard-boiled BSAA agent from Capcom’s Resident Evil 5.
Voiced and motion captured by Karen Dyer (who also voices Elena from Street Fighter) Sheva’s look was utilized (via face scan) the face of actress Michelle van der Water. According to her bio, at age eight, Sheva’s parents died in an accident at a factory owned by the nefarious Umbrella Corporation (the main enemy of the Resident Evil franchise) in her native Africa. After her parents’ death she went to live with her uncle, but ran away and was later taken in by a truck driver who found her wandering. The truck driver was a member of anti-government guerrilla group, which Sheva would eventually join. She would later discover her parents death was no accident; it was the result of Umbrella testing out a biological weapon (B.O.W.) with assistance from her homeland’s government.
Sheva stayed with the guerrilla group throughout her childhood. At 15, the U.S. government contacted her to sabotage Umbrella’s attempt to sell a B.O.W. Sheva helped the U.S., and managed to foil Umbrella’s plans. Upon graduating from college, Sheva joined the Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance (BSAA) and was later assigned to its West African department. Now back at home, she planned to get even with Umbrella for the death of her family.
Resident Evil 5 got me back into the Resident Evil series when I played it at a friends place several years back. My friend played as Chris Redfield and I played as a heavily loaded Sheva. There aren’t many chances in Resident Evil to play as a person of color, so I went for it.
For some reason, I got the bright idea using a shotgun as my main weapon, a grenade launcher as my backup and a magnum pistol as the last resort. It was a fun, albeit clunky way of playing the svelte and swift Sheva, but it worked.
Unfortunately, Resident Evil 5 is the first and last game to feature Sheva. Hopefully Capcom will bring her back in a future Resident Evil title, even if it’s only for the mini-game “The Mercenaries,” which allows you to select various Resident Evil characters to slay zombies (or “infected,” if you will) in a limited amount of time.
That’s all for this segment. Until next time.
Peace & Pixels
Image comes from the Resident Evil Wiki, which much of the information for this post.