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Who is Jack Krauser, and what is Operation Javier, in Resident Evil 4?


Capcoms Resident Evil 4 In the remake, Leon Kennedy takes on a town full of nameless infected villagers and loathsome monsters, but one foe plays an outsized – and possibly confusing – role in our hero’s mission to rescue Ashley from her captors. That man is, of course, Major Jack Krauser, a man who loves knives but absolutely hates 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 Darkside Chronicles, in which his backstory was further elaborated. That 2009 Wii game also explains what “Operation Javier” is, why Krauser is so angry with Leon and the US government, and why he shares his fate with Ramon Salazar and Lord Saddler.

If you’ve never played Resident Evil: The Darkside Chroniclesor if you’ve forgotten the events of that on-rails 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 collaborated with the Umbrella Corporation in buying and selling Bio-Organic Weapons (BOWs). Leon is tasked with stopping the spread of the t-Virus in the region, and due to the dangerous nature of the mission, he is paired with US Special Operations Command soldier Jack Krauser.

When the two meet, Krauser says he doesn’t believe in the existence of BOWs, but faced with the reality of their mission, in which they directly encounter dozens of zombified villagers and virus-infected creatures, he accepts their existence. Krauser expresses his jealousy of Leon’s status and his assignment, which came directly from the President of the United States. Feeling pushed aside by his government, Krauser tries to prove his worth by completing the mission.

During the events of the game, Krauser is seriously injured by an amphibious BOW under Hidalgo’s control – who is actually Javier’s mutant wife, Hilda – forcing him out of the military and reinforcing his grudge against the government. And during an unlockable post-game chapter of The Dark Chronicles, players take control of Krauser to gain more insight into his thinking. Players hear Krauser’s internal thoughts as he not only grows to dislike Leon during their mission, but also begins to sympathize with Hidalgo and his use of the virus to empower himself.

Jack Krauser stares angrily at Leon Kennedy in the Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles ending
Image: Capcom

In the decisive battle with Hidalgo, Krauser has an epiphany: the virus is the answer to his injury and regaining his strength as an elite soldier. “I can see it… I can see its power!” says Krauser. “This virus can change the world! If I could harness his power, I could rule the world. This virus, its power… I’ll make it my own! And I will be reborn. This moment marks my rebirth. For the darkness in me has awakened.”

Krauser then seeks the help of Albert Wesker, a villain from Resident Evil’s career, to help him get his hands on the virus. Krauser goes to work for Wesker and the organization and was tasked with infiltrating Los Illuminados and stealing the Las Plagas parasite. Obsessed with Las Plagas’ potential power, he ingests a parasite, giving him superhuman powers.

Files related to Operation Javier in the Resident Evil 4 remake paint things slightly differently. According to documents found later in the game, Operation Javier was reportedly a covert mission to wipe out South American drug cartels and resulted in the deaths of many elite soldiers, including Krauser himself. It appears that Krauser buries the journalist’s account of Operation Javier, in an attempt to further control the events of his and Leon’s secret mission.

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