Capcom’s Resident Evil 4 remake pits Leon Kennedy against a town full of nameless infested villagers and loathsome monsters, but one enemy plays an outsized – and potentially confusing – role in our hero’s mission to save Ashley from her captors. That man is, of course, Major Jack Krauser, a guy who loves knives but absolutely despises Leon Kennedy.
Krauser appeared in the original resident Evil 4and he co-starred as a playable protagonist in another Resident Evil game, Resident Evil: The Dark Side Chronicles, in which his backstory was fleshed out. This 2009 Wii game also explains what “Operation Javier” is, why Krauser is so pissed off at Leon and the US government, and why he casts his spell with Ramon Salazar and Lord Saddler.
If you have never played Resident Evil: The Dark Side Chroniclesor if you’ve forgotten the events of this on-rails shooter for the Wii, here’s a quick recap.
Operation Javier, explained
Resident Evil: The Dark Side Chronicles sends Leon Kennedy on a mission to a South American jungle in search of drug lord Javier Hidalgo – who also worked with the Umbrella Company in buying and selling bio-organic weapons (BOW). Leon is tasked with trying to contain the spread of the t-virus in the region and, due to the dangerous nature of the mission, is paired with U.S. Special Operations Command soldier Jack Krauser.
When the two meet, Krauser says he doesn’t believe in the existence of the BOWs, but faced with the reality of their mission, in which they directly encounter dozens of zombified villagers and virus-infected creatures, accepts their existence. Krauser expresses jealousy over Leon’s status and mission, which comes directly from the President of the United States. Krauser feels pushed aside by his government and sets out to prove his worth by completing the mission.
During the events of the game, Krauser is seriously injured by an amphibious BOW under the control of Hidalgo—who is actually Javier’s mutated wife, Hilda—forcing him out of the military and solidifying his resentment towards the government. And during an unlockable post-game chapter of The Dark Side Chronicles, players take control of Krauser to better understand his thinking. Players hear Krauser’s internal thoughts as he not only begins to resent Leon during their mission, but begins to sympathize with Hidalgo and his use of the virus to empower himself.
In the climactic battle with Hidalgo, Krauser has a revelation: the virus is the answer to his injury and regains his strength as an elite special ops soldier. “I can see him…I can see his power!” says Krauser. “This virus can change the world! If I could harness its power, I could rule the world. This virus, its power… I will make it mine! And I will be reborn. This moment marks my rebirth. For the darkness within me has awakened.
Krauser then enlists the help of career Resident Evil villain Albert Wesker to help him get his hands on the virus. Krauser continues to work for Wesker and the Organization, and was tasked with infiltrating Los Illuminados and stealing the parasite, Las Plagas. Obsessed with the potential power of Las Plagas, he ingests a parasite, granting him superhuman powers.
Files related to Operation Javier in the Resident Evil 4 repaint things slightly differently. According to a document found later in the game, Operation Javier was a covert mission to take down South American drug cartels and resulted in the deaths of many elite soldiers, including Krauser himself. It appears that Krauser is burying the reporter’s report on Operation Javier, in an attempt to further contain the events of his and Leon’s secret mission.