Resident Evil – Code: Veronica is a survival horror video game developed and published by Capcom and released for the Dreamcast in 2000. It is a major installment in the Resident Evil series and the first to debut on a separate platform from the PlayStation. The story takes place three months after the events of Resident Evil 2 (1998) and the concurrent destruction of Raccoon City as seen in Resident Evil 3: Nemesis (1999). It follows Claire Redfield and her brother Chris Redfield in their efforts to survive a viral outbreak at both a remote prison island in the Southern Ocean and a research facility in Antarctica. The game retains the traditional survival horror controls and gameplay seen in previous series installments; however, unlike the pre-rendered backgrounds of previous games, Code: Veronica utilizes real-time 3D environments and dynamic camera movement.
The roots of Code: Veronica's development can be traced back to an unsuccessful attempt to port Resident Evil 2 to the Sega Saturn. After producer Shinji Mikami and his team learned they would be unable to port the game, they began development on an original game which eventually became Code: Veronica. Although labeled a spin-off, the game was intentionally designed as the true sequel to Resident Evil 2 according to its creators. The title of "Resident Evil 3" was given to what was originally another spin-off game being developed in tandem for the PlayStation. Claire was designed with a tougher appearance than in Resident Evil 2, with the reason being her past experiences in Raccoon City built her toughness and confidence. Unlike the American horror themes and settings of previous games in the series, Code: Veronica employs a setting in the Southern Ocean and a European gothic horror design. This is achieved through the use of gothic architecture and art in addition to the writing style and story presentation.
Capcom announced Code: Veronica in August 1998 and released it in February 2000 after delays and a reduction in sales expectations due to the struggling Dreamcast platform. Sales were weak compared to series predecessors, but strong compared to other games on the system. The title received critical acclaim and has been considered both among the best Resident Evil games and Dreamcast games of all time. Capcom released an updated version on PlayStation 2 and Dreamcast titled Code: Veronica X. The revised version included new cutscenes which revealed more details about the story, and it was later ported to the GameCube in addition to other platforms in later years. In September 2011, Capcom released a high-definition remastered version of Code: Veronica X for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Code: Veronica was adapted for Capcom's Gun Survivor series with Resident Evil Survivor 2 – Code: Veronica (2002) and also later adapted for Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles (2009).
In December 1998, three months after escaping from Raccoon City (seen in Resident Evil 2) prior to its eventual destruction (seen in Resident Evil 3: Nemesis), Claire Redfield raids an Umbrella Corporation facility in Paris in search of her brother, Chris Redfield. Discovered by Umbrella's security forces and eventually captured, Claire is imprisoned on Rockfort Island, a prison complex owned by the corporation, situated in the Southern Ocean. Sometime after her imprisonment, Claire finds herself released by the man who captured her, and discovers that an outbreak of the T-virus has occurred. In the resulting chaos, she finds herself teaming up with Steve Burnside, another inmate seeking to escape.
In their efforts to explore the island and find the means to leave, the pair finds themselves confronting the island's commander, Alfred Ashford. Both Claire and Steve find him to be mentally unstable as a result of him switching between two personalities—his own, and that of his twin sister Alexia. Eventually, the pair manages to find a seaplane and use it to escape, only for Alfred to pursue them and switch their plane to autopilot, directing it towards another Umbrella facility in Antarctica. Upon their arrival, the pair finds that the facility had suffered an outbreak, and fight their way through the zombies and monsters within to seek a means of escape, battling with Alfred and fatally wounding him. Before he dies, Alfred frees his sister, Alexia, who had been in cryogenic sleep within the facility after injecting herself with the T-Veronica virus, an experimental virus that the Ashford family had developed 15 years ago. Awakened, Alexia manages to recapture Claire and Steve as they attempt to escape.
Meanwhile, Chris Redfield arrives on Rockfort Island in search of Claire, after receiving a message from her via Leon S. Kennedy. Upon learning that she had left, Chris focuses on determining where and begins searching the island. In the process of doing so, he comes across Albert Wesker, an independent agent since the Spencer mansion incident (the events of Resident Evil), who is seeking to retrieve a sample of the T-Veronica virus. After Chris learns of his sister's whereabouts, and Wesker discovers that Alexia is alive and carries what he needs, the two separately find their way to Antarctica. Once there, Chris frees his sister and helps her to search for Steve, only for them to find that he had been experimented with and injected with the T-Veronica virus. After mutating, Steve attempts to kill Claire, but fails, regaining control of himself to turn on Alexia, who then inflicts a mortal wound on him. Before Steve dies, he confesses his love for Claire. Meanwhile, Chris and Wesker confront Alexia. In the resulting conflict, Wesker escapes and manages to retrieve Steve's corpse for further experimentation, while Chris manages to defeat Alexia and escape with his sister, before the Antarctic facility self-destructs.