Early, blurry glimpses at Ethan Winters’ hands comes across as knowing fore”arm”shadowing of the arduous trek that he’s about to undertake during Village’s opening, and things only get worse from there. Fans aren’t going out on a limb when they claim just how often Ethan’s hands succumb to some terrible fate, and how miraculous each dose of medicine is as it patches him up. RE7 was only the beginning of the trauma, so we’ve racked up the digits for just how often Ethan’s digits meet a terrible fate in Resident Evil Village. Obviously, spoilers for the entire game lie ahead, so be sure to first check out our Resident Evil Village review if you haven’t started playing, or look into our RE Village guide if you need help finding some herbs to magically heal all of poor Ethan’s injuries.[widget path=”global/article/imagegallery” parameters=”albumSlug=resident-evil-village-we-counted-every-time-ethan-winters-hands-are-injured&captions=true”] [poilib element=”accentDivider”]
1. Barbed Wire
While wading through the dark late night/early morning and the squelchy, pure white snow of Village’s post-prologue sequence, Ethan encounters a barbed-wire fence. Village’s precedent is instantly set here, as Ethan carelessly cuts his left hand while using it to lift the wire and allow the rest of his body safe passage. It’s a deep gash, as evidenced when Ethan shines a light on his profusely bleeding palm, shortly before he’s forced to crawl on a dirty, blood-soaked wooden floor of a nearby cabin he discovers. Let’s not even begin to imagine what infections he might have gotten.
2. The Lycan Chomp
That left-hand gash would be a terrible day for anyone, but it’s barely a footnote (handnote?) in the rest of Ethan’s adventure. A little later on, in the midst of the titular village, a pack of hungry Lycans chases after Ethan. One of the worst moments of this initial encounter comes when Ethan thinks he’s found refuge in the home of a shotgun-toting older man, who unfortunately meets his end when a Lycan pulls him through the ceiling.
But we’re not here to discuss that guy’s hands! Thankfully for this story but not for Ethan, he’s soon pulled below the house, in an area littered with corpses. While attempting to escape, Ethan crawls over these rotting carcasses, only to see a faint apparition lingering in the distance. Pressing forward, it leaps toward Ethan and rips a chunk out of his hand, costing him his left pinky and ring finger in the process.
3. The Lycan Grab
Not every attack on Ethan’s hands is a scripted one, though. While exploring the main village hub, wandering Lycans can surprise Ethan with an attack. Naturally, they latch onto his wrist and take a stab at the jugular with their dagger-pointed teeth. They’re injuries Ethan can handwave away with some medicine, and don’t result in any permanent loss of dexterity, but they’ve certainly added insult to injury.
This next example is more of an injury that could have been, rather than an actual wound, but it’s horrifying all the same for what Ethan, and by proxy players, go through. When kidnapped by Mother Miranda’s family early in the campaign, Ethan awakens to find he’s been bound by some horrendously tight, rusty metal handcuffs. They’ve clearly not been sanitized, but they’re also obviously bondage devised by the town’s resident Magneto, Heisenberg. Ethan is forced to flee for his life through a death run gauntlet of conveniently built traps, and the only way to escape certain death is to use Ethan’s bindings as protection against a full-room, spinning, spiked trap hurtling his way. Thankfully, the move not only saves Ethan’s life, but also lets him move his arms independently from one another yet again. Finally, a moment of peace.
5. Slash And Sip
But that peace won’t last for long! Lady Dimitrescu is the first main villain Ethan faces off against in Village, a towering vampiric woman and the ruler of an austere castle in town. She, naturally, immediately kidnaps you as soon as she finds you scurrying about, and her daughters cut his hand open for her to take a swig of blood from. That’s a lot to process, but it’s rather tame compared to what happens immediately after.
Ethan is strung up by – what else? – his palms via two giant hooks hanging from a ceiling in the castle. The hooks are poked right through his palms, holding him aloft in agony. Ethan, naturally one to never worry about his hands, rips his first hand free, letting the hook slice through it. Rather than use that free hand to help him, y’know, unhook the other, he also lets the hook lodged in that appendage slice through as he uses his body weight to pull it free and fall to the floor. Oh but don’t worry, some conveniently placed medicine nearby makes those injuries nothing but a passing thought.
As pictured, Ethan’s hand, at this point in the adventure, has miraculously regenerated with Wolverine-esque efficiency. But more issues are to come, and one of the worrying signs is that of a fly crawling right out of Ethan’s hand while he sleuths through Lady Dimitrescu’s Clue-like castle.
8. Chomping Maidens
Flies are, of course, a worrying sign while lurking around Village’s castle setting, because Lady Dimitrescu’s daughters can at will transform into a buzzing battalion of them. And like with the Lycans in town, there’s another non-scripted opportunity for Ethan’s forearms to meet more pain. In this instance, it’s yet another grab attack, as one of the daughter’s razor-sharp claws dig under his skin while some grotty teeth tuck in for a quick bite.
9. The Cut-Off Point
Nicked, chomped, handcuffed, slashed, drank from, hooked, covered with hungry flies, – where else can Ethan’s hands go from here? Well, how about cut off entirely. As Ethan pulls a lever in the dank and decrepit sewers of the Lady Dimitrescu residence, the matriarch stealthily approaches, slicing off his right hand in one of Village’s most effective jump scares. Ethan then has to pick the severed limb up as an item, escape the lady as she chases after, and then reattach it when you get to safety. How? You guessed it, that sweet bottle of green magic medicine made from ground herbs and chem fluid.
10. Haunted Doll
In arguably Resident Evil Village’s scariest section, Ethan finds himself fumbling about weaponless in the dark, evading a disturbingly large baby and fighting haunted dolls. It’s also, of course, a great place for some kind of damage to befall Ethan’s hands.
There are two separate instances. The first is a scripted one, which takes place during this section’s closest thing to a boss battle. During a duel with Donna Beneviento, Ethan must search among the vast collection of dolls for a very specific, cackling white one. Each time she’s found, Ethan stabs her with some scissors. However, on the first strike, this porcelain nightmare takes a little bite out of your palm. It’s quick and certainly less garish than some of Ethan’s past hand hampering, but a notable one nonetheless.
11. Spider Dolls
While looking for the specific doll in the stormy ocean of overwhelming, anxiety-inducing clattering happening around the house, if Ethan takes too long some more spider-like dolls will attack. These fearsome foes flutter up to the screen, and one of their attacks is a neat little skewer through the hand. Then, they kindly and thoughtfully dissipate to let Ethan continue this demonic game of hide and seek.
One more warning, MAJOR SPOILERS for Resident Evil Village follow.[ignvideo url=”https://www.ign.com/videos/resident-evil-village-review”] [poilib element=”accentDivider”]
The final ailment to befall Ethan on his venture through Resident Evil Village is also the most significant, coming during a pivotal reveal that explains both much of Village and 7’s story, and, more importantly, why his hands can take so much damage. While in a dream state, Ethan confronts the realization he has, all this time, been a copy of the genuine artefact. Ethan actually died when he arrived at the Baker residence in the seventh game.
What we’ve been playing as ever since has been a Mold recreation with his memories intact. During this emotionally devastating moment, Ethan’s hands begin to shift into a living formation of infinitely wriggling black tendrils – the Mold. Then, he awakens, left hand still mutilated, and right hand still having seen better days, but finally aware of how he’s endured all that pain. And also how all that medicine has probably just been a placebo all this time.[poilib element=”accentDivider”]