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|“||There's a price tag for everything. Even letting the world burn.||„|
|~ Nicholai to Jill Valentine.|
|“||Interesting. You've done me a big favor, Miss Valentine.||„|
|~ Nicholai seeing Jill Valentine after she was infected by Nemesis T-Type.|
Nicholai Ginovaef, alternatively known as Nikolai Zinoviev, is the secondary antagonist of Resident Evil 3 and its 2020 remake, a minor antagonist in Resident Evil: Outbreak, and a major antagonist in Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City. He was a ruthless UBCS operative and a Russian monitor agent in the Umbrella Corporation. He is also a former member of the Soviet Union. He is considered to be rivals with the ruthless U.S.S agent HUNK.
In May 2020, Nicholai became one of mastermind of Resident Evil: Resistance. His specialty summon is Nemesis.
He was voiced by Roger Honeywell in the original Resident Evil 3, Rick D. Wasserman in Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City, and Neil Newbon in the Resident Evil 3 remake and Resident Evil: Resistance. Wasserman also voiced Sargeras in the World of Warcraft series, Clayface in Batman: Arkham City, Arishok in Dragon Age II, Lewis Legend in Lollipop Chainsaw, and Amon in the StarCraft series. Newbon also voiced Gavin Reed in Detroit: Become Human and Karl Heisenberg in Resident Evil Village.
Originally from Moscow, Russian SFSR, Nikolai served the Soviet Union in one of their 'Spetsnaz' (special forces) groups. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Nikolai and a number of other Soviet soldiers were hired by Umbrella to serve in their paramilitary forces.
Resident Evil 3: Nemesis
Nikolai served as a squad leader with the rank of Sergeant when the UBCS was sent into Raccoon City by Umbrella in an effort to contain the T-Virus outbreak. The company, save for a few monitors planted within, was given false orders intentionally by Umbrella in the guise of protecting the city's population. His true nature was as a member of the company's secret internal espionage organization known as the "Monitors", with the covert mission to gather combat data on Zombies and B.O.W.s, along with any other dangers in the infested city. With each collection of information, the agent in question would receive a large monetary reward.
Delta Platoon, which he was assigned to, suffered heavy casualties, with only he, Corporal Carlos Oliveira, and Captain Mikhail Victor surviving; Upon the inclusion of former S.T.A.R.S. member Jill Valentine into the group, he encountered the Nemesis T-Type Tyrant (though it's unknown if he had direct contact, saw or was just informed of the Tyrant). Nicholai realized it was after S.T.A.R.S members (specifically Jill Valentine) and that it would kill anything that would interfere with its mission. Also realizing that facing it was suicide, Nicholai decided to fake his death in order to continue his mission while not interfering with the Nemesis'. The group prepared for evacuation to the Saint Michael Clock Tower. Before the tram could be started, however, Nikolai was either attacked by zombies or trapped inside the gas station (his fate may change depending on where the player finds Carlos). Either way, his plan worked and everyone believed him to have perished, allowing him to continue his mission uninterrupted.
Two days later, in the early hours of October 1, he was in the Raccoon General Hospital where he was seen by Carlos, either attacking a fellow UBCS member named Tyrell Patrick or with Tyrell telling him that Nikolai shot him. Carlos later has to run away from C.4 charges planted by Nikolai which later blew up the building.
Nikolai used his position to assume command of a UBCS team tasked with "Operation: Emperor's Mushroom"; to retrieve a sample of blood from a Tyrant named Thanatos. Thanatos proved to be too much for the team to handle, so Nikolai was forced to enact the contingency plan; he killed Greg Mueller with a silenced pistol and then destroyed Raccoon University. This failed, resulting in Thanatos mutating into its super Tyrant form. However, he had escaped long before the building's and the Tyrant's destruction.
He went to the Raccoon Park where he met Jill again, revealing his real plans, before escaping to the "Dead Factory" upon the arrival of a giant worm.
Jill met him for a final time within the factory grounds, where he commandeered a helicopter - the same helicopter Carlos told Jill about.
In the original game, the player's choice affects Nikolai's fate:
- If Jill jumps off the bridge (canon), Nikolai takes the last helicopter, and Jill has the choice to either blow up his helicopter and kill him, or try reason with him, which allows him to escape.
- If Jill did not jump off the bridge, then Nikolai is killed by Nemesis.
In the remake, Nikolai's fate cannot be altered. He is left behind in Raccoon City by Jill and Carlos before the city is destroyed in a missile strike, leaving his status unknown.
A copy of a report written by him was available to personnel on Sheena Island the following month, though the final entry, dated October 6, after the city's destruction was signed by a member of Umbrella B.O.W. Development Staff, rather than Nikolai.
The Brady Games strategy guide for Resident Evil CODE: Veronica features a report written by Nikolai to Umbrella, dated October 13, 1998, he detailed some of the data he gathered there during his mission, which included information regarding the Mansion Incident; the Special Tactics And Rescue Service's investigation of the Arklay Laboratory, and the subsequent destruction of the mansion facade. He correctly speculated on Albert Wesker faking his death to betray Umbrella. He informed Umbrella of the surviving S.T.A.R.S. members and his encounter with Jill, warning them that they were a grave threat to the corporation and should be eliminated. The report is written by Dan Birlew and is not canon.
A timeline in Resident Evil 5 confirmed that Nikolai took the last helicopter (which in turn also confirms that Jill did indeed jump off the bridge) but did not confirm whether Jill shot down the helicopter or tried to reason with Nikolai. The Brady Games reference guide Resident Evil Archives refers to Nikolai as having left Jill to die by taking the helicopter, but makes special mention of the fact that events described in the book may not be how the player experiences them due to the game's open-ended and multi-choice nature.
|“||You see, you're learning. The only life that matters is your own.||„|
|~ Nikolai Ginovaef to Jill Valentine.|
Being a mercenary, Nikolai has an avaricious and unscrupulous nature. He is unapologetically driven by a lust for money in all his actions, even willing to let an entire city be destroyed to complete his employers request. While he does operate under a level of professionalism during his work, Nikolai is dominated by his greediness and will opportunistically seek any way of making profit such as the combat data on the Nemesis. He has a low opinion on those who do not share his self-serving nature as weak and unreliable such as Jill Valentine although he will attempt to part his “wisdom” on others and congratulate them for such actions.
|“||I am one of the supervisors, that's all you need to know!||„|
|~ Nikolai to Carlos, about to kill Patrick.|
|“||All the S.T.A.R.S. this soft? No wonder so many of you are dead.||„|
|~ Nicholai after killing Murphy Seeker.|
|“||Oh no no no no. You print money. I like money. We should make ours an ongoing arrangement. Now drop the gun!||„|
|~ Nicholai to Jill at gunpoint.|
|“||Have you—Have you ever seen anything so incredible? The data on this would be worth millions!||„|
|~ Nicholai during Nemesis T-Type' third form.|
|“||HA! You fools don't even know what you are doing! Do you really think that I could have done this all alone comrades? How I did know where are you going? How did I know about your precious EMP devices? My client gave me your comm channel! That's right! I've been gathering combat data for Operation Watchdog! You have been most useful in assisting me! Of course, my client WANT this information, they will have to pay for it, and neither you or them can stop me!||„|
|~ Nicholai boastfully mocks Wolfpack in Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City.|
- Nikolai's last name differences as the series goes on. In the original Resident Evil 3, his last name was Ginovaef, in Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City it was changed to Zinoviev, and in the remake of Resident Evil 3 it's changed back to Ginovaef.
- He had a rivalry with fellow agent HUNK and a friendship with Sergei Vladimir.
- In the trailer for the remake of Resident Evil 3, he warns Carlos that being around Jill Valentine would get him killed, already hinting towards his knowledge of the Nemesis hunting her and his affiliation with Umbrella.