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An Interview with RE1’s ‘Barry’s Mod’ Creator, Aydan Watkins

Our chat with the Master of Modding.

Resident Evil Barry's Mod
8 min read

Barry Burton has often been described as the most underrated character in the Resident Evil Universe. Despite featuring so heavily in the original Resident Evil as Jill’s ‘Guardian Angel’, Barry’s only real notable appearances in the Resident Evil Series (Bar his Cameo in RE3 and RE5‘s Mercenaries Reunion Mode) is the ill-fated Resident Evil Gaiden on GameBoy Colour, and his quest to find his Daughter Moira in Resident Evil Revelations 2, which was released at a time that Resident Evil was dipping its toes back into Survival Horror again.

It came as no surprise that fans have been craving a true representation of Barry in the classic series of Resident Evil‘s, and our friend Aydan Watkins has answered our prayers, creating a side-quest modification of the original Resident Evil on PC, entitled ‘Barry’s Mod‘.

Barry, Wesker, and Jill
Credit: AydanWatkins

Barry’s Mod‘ is a total conversion of Chris’ campaign in Resident Evil and features completely re-written cutscenes and storylines, music, textures and puzzle solutions to create an original Barry experience, as if he was in the game as one of the main characters all along. To give you all a unique insight into the modification, we’ve invited Aydan on to give his thoughts and answer some questions that the Resident Evil community wants to know.

What got you into the Resident Evil Modding Scene?

Aydan: Well, I kinda got into it myself somewhat. I love the original 4 games on PS1 (Yes even Survivor, don’t judge me!) and always wanted to play those games but with a new twist. Many games get modded and always wondered why no one really bothered to mod the original classic Resident Evil games. Especially since it has a very large and passionate following. I know the younger among us favour the more modern RE titles, but the originals seem to be very special to those of us that were there from the beginning.

Barry, Wesker, and Jill
Credit: AydanWatkins

Anyway, before I go too far off-topic, I was aware of some mods such as Mortal Night and Resident Evil Destiny and I just one day decided to look into the process of modding. Originally for my own amusement and then it grew from there!

Why did you choose Barry?

Aydan: Probably because he has the most interesting story to tell when it comes to making a mod for RE1. With the limitations of modding the engine and a lack of source code, making his story work in one of the 2 existing campaigns was the most logical.
For example, having Barry replacing Chris allows you to have Jill be your partner rather than Rebecca. That ties more into the ‘canon’ of RE1 so to speak as if you played Jill’s campaign. Y.ou would, of course, have Barry as your partner through the story. Also, who doesn’t love Barry and his endlessly quotable one-liners?!

Barry Burton and text
Credit: AydanWatkins

How long did it take you to produce a working version of Barry’s Mod?

Aydan: Well, you could argue it was playable from the moment I started since the game engine itself was already there and laid out for me. However, if you mean in terms of all the changes being made into what it is now… It took about 2 months or so of almost daily work. I’d finish my hours in my job, spend time with my wife, do my real-life responsibilities as and when needed and every other moment of free time I had was spent with this mod. The reason it took so long was learning how to actually change things within the game. Learning its little quirks in the engine.

I wish I could say the development process was easy… So much of it was trial and error at the start. For example, if you change an item in a room, it’s not just changing the actual Item ID. (So, for example, changing say a herb to a clip of ammo) It also involves extracting a 3d model of the new item and putting it back into the room data for the game, as well as getting the games X, Y, Z coordinates for the item to be at, etc. Then sometimes if you were to add enemies or change things the game would crash so it would be a constant battle of changing something, testing it, if it crashes, change something else, test it… you get the idea…

Another aspect of trial and error was putting my own text in the game. The trick I used was to replace the subtitles which would be in the Japanese version of the game. Then rewrite what is actually being said which allowed me to expand greatly and change the tone of the game. But doing it was crazy as none of the dialogue is there already. So it would be a case of rewriting the subtitles, testing the scene, and then rewriting more.

Not every line the character speaks is directly after the other, so, for example, Barry saying ‘Hello’ could be Text01 and the Reply from Jill would be Text08. Meaning you could have to test each line to see which one comes after the other… It’s very time consuming but seeing it slowly come together
really motivated me and kept me going.

What are the future plans for Barry’s Mod?

Aydan: For the most part, I think I’m quite happy with how Barry’s Mod as turned out. There are a few things I would like to change but they’re hardcoded deep into the game. So right now I’m not quite able to do it. Though in the future it may be possible… For example, the Red Jewel still gives you a magnum despite Barry starting with one… I’d also like to change the infamous Jail Cell scene which has brought many chuckles to players!

A lot of people have also mentioned the voice acting rather than text. It’s certainly possible, but being able to get people to record the lines with a
serious tone, good quality microphone and time on their hands to do it may be difficult. I know there are some decent Voice Actors out there, but I kinda have the problem of not wanting to settle for average. If I was to go through the effort of putting voices in (which is also a nightmare as all the voices and conversations are in many different separate files which aren’t in order!) I’d want it to be of a semi/professional quality.

Perhaps if more modding support is provided in the future, I can expand Barry’s Mod and make v3.0 the ultimate version!

Outside of Barry’s Mod, is there anything you can reveal that you are working on that we can get excited for?

Aydan: Well, I have started working on a smaller scale mod for fun which I plan to last around an hour or so gameplay wise which takes the layout of the mansion and completely changes it, so when you go into a room it would be completely different to what you thought it was. I don’t think I’ll include any story elements thought… This will strictly be for gameplay fun. I also plan to make it a little more difficult by adding plenty of enemies to keep the veteran Resident Evil players on their toes.

I have also had requests for a Rebecca Chambers campaign and it’s certainly possible. The problem I face is wanting to make it fit into the canon story of Resident Evil 1. However, many compromises would have to be made and I don’t know if people would really appreciate that…

My other idea was to do a ‘what if’ scenario. Where the U.S.S. (Umbrella Security Service) goes into the spencer mansion to contain the outbreak and destroy any evidence of Umbrella’s wrong-doings. You would play as everyone’s favourite Anti-Hero HUNK!

And finally, what is your favourite Resident Evil game and why?

Aydan: My favourite Resident Evil game… that’s a real tough one… Can I say the original 4 titles on PS1? No? … Okay, then I guess I’ll just settle with Resident Evil 2. The original PS1 version. Though I did love the modern remake. For me, RE2 is the perfect blend of action and horror and strikes the perfect balance between RE1 and RE3.

Andy: Many thanks, Aydan for taking the time to chew the fat with us today. You can download Barry’s Mod here, it is completely standalone and all files required are in the download link. As of the time of writing this article, the current stable version 2.0.7.

If you would like to see the full playthrough and first impressions of Barry’s Mod from the team here at Biohazard Declassified, please click the link below.

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Written By

Andy is the co-founder of BHd and primary streamer.


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