Capcom’s remake of Resident Evil 4 pits Leon Kennedy against a town filled with nameless, infested villagers and repulsive monsters, but one enemy plays an outsized – and potentially confusing – part in our hero’s quest to rescue Ashley from her kidnappers. That man, of course, is Major Jack Krauser, a guy who loves knives but absolutely despises Leon Kennedy.
Krauser appeared in the original Resident Evil 4 and starred as a playable protagonist in another Resident Evil game, Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles, which further fleshed out his backstory. This 2009 Wii game also explains what Operation Javier is, why Krauser is so mad at Leon and the US government, and why he is involved with Ramon Salazar and Lord Saddler.
If you’ve never played Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles or have forgotten the events of this on-rail shooter for Wii, here’s a quick recap.
Operation Javier, explained
Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles sends Leon Kennedy on a mission to a South American jungle in search of drug lord Javier Hidalgo – who has also worked with the Umbrella Corporation in buying and selling bioorganic weapons (BOWs). Tasked with containing the spread of the T-Virus in the region, Leon is paired with US Special Operations Command soldier Jack Krauser due to the dangerous nature of the mission.
When the two meet, Krauser says he doesn’t believe in the existence of BOWs, but accepts their existence given the reality of their mission, in which they encounter dozens of zombified villagers and virus-infected creatures head-on. Krauser expresses envy of Leon’s status and his mandate, which came directly from the President of the United States. Feeling pushed aside by his government, Krauser wants to prove his worth by completing the mission.
During the game’s events, Krauser is severely wounded by an amphibious BOW under Hidalgo’s control – who is actually Javier’s mutated wife Hilda – forcing him out of the army and increasing his resentment against the government. And during an unlockable post-game chapter of The Darkside Chronicles, players take control of Krauser to gain further insight into his thinking. Players hear Krauser’s inner thoughts as during their mission he not only begins to resent Leon, but also begins to sympathize with Hidalgo and his use of the virus to empower himself.
Jack Krauser glares angrily at Leon Kennedy at the end of Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles
In the pivotal battle with Hidalgo, Krauser has a revelation: The virus is the answer to his injury and regaining his strength as an elite spec ops soldier. “I can see it…I can see its power!” says Krause. “This virus can change the world! If I could use its power, I could rule the world. This virus, its power… I will make it my own! And I’ll be reborn This moment marks my rebirth. Because the darkness in me has awakened.”
Krauser then seeks the help of Resident Evil career villain Albert Wesker to help him get his hands on the virus. Krauser continues to work for Wesker and the organization and has been tasked with infiltrating Los Illuminados and stealing the parasite Las Plagas. Obsessed with the potential power of Las Plagas, he ingests a parasite that grants him superhuman strength.
Files related to Operation Javier in Resident Evil 4 Remake paint things a little differently. According to documents found later in the game, Operation Javier was reportedly a secret mission to wipe out South American drug cartels and resulted in the deaths of many elite soldiers, including Krauser himself further contain events of his and Leon’s secret mission.