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No Merchant Challenge Guide by VMerken
Version: Gamma | Updated: 02/10/06
This guide contains scenes of explicit spoilers, strategies and dry wit. And then some. ._______. ._______. ._________.___._______. ._________._______. _______. | ._. !_| ._. !_| ._. | | ._. !_| ._. | ._. !_._! _. | | |\| | |\| | |\!___|___| |_| | |/| | |/| | |/| | | | | | !_! | !__\__| | | | | !_! | | | | | | | | | !___| ._____!_____. | | | | | ._____| | | |___! | | | | |\__| !\_____\____! | | !_! _| !_____| | | |__/| | | !___! | !_________________. | |_______!_! ._________! !___! | !___! \___\| \________| ._. !_| |\______!_| |________/!/___/ !/___/ | |\| | | | |___| | | !_! | | |. | | | .___. | ._____| !_/| | | |/| | | !\____!_. / |._| | !_! | !_________!_!_/ \ !___!_________! \________! |/ \!___!________/ / . | / /| | /\_ / | | /\_\/ /|\ | / \/ /_|| | | |_\ \! ! | .__\___ ' \ . |/\______\ |\\| !/ | || ! ' |/| || / !/\\||// ' _/- . GameCube & PlayStation 2 The No Merchant Guide (PS2 -- 2:55) (GCN -- 3:03) Copyright 2005-2006 Vincent Merken (v-at-nospam-padua-dot-org) This document is best viewed using a non-proportional font, which is able to align the numbers and characters below (eg. Courier New): 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 0123456789012345678901234567890123456789012345678901234567890123456789012346578 sUrvIV-hOr..Bonjour.Jill.et.Chris.vOUs.EXPirerEz.DanS.ma.demeure.sANs.dOuLEUrs. Also, adjust your viewer settings in such a way that the above ASCII logo is rendered correctly (linefeed according to window, increase window size to at least 79 chars width). Used language (to the best of my abilities): UK english. .0. Prologue Have you been blown away by Resident Evil 4? Me too, and that's why I'd like to pay tribute and do something special for it. Most of you probably expect a speed walkthrough from me. If so, then I'll have to disappoint you. This is not a true speed guide. It's much, much better than that. You see, the current batch of Resident Evil 4 speed runs failed to impress me. For one, there are the - admittedly fast - sub 2:00:00 (Infinite) Rocket Launcher runs which, frankly, are lame for all the obvious reasons (cheap boss fights, lack of challenge, item management etcetera). Worse still, the runs abuse features outside the actual game, and that is cheating as far as I'm concerned. Thankfully, there are also attempts to speed through the game in a normal fashion, without the (Infinite) Rocket Launcher, and I have also seen a Handgun only walkthrough. Although I semi-approve of those, they still didn't make me happy. Something about them was off. And then I noticed why. Were bugging me all this time: the Merchants. They supply all the broken weaponry. They tune your arsenal to a point where boss fights become easy. For a fistful of pesetas, they supply a bigger attache case, which greatly facilitates item mananagement. It became clear that for a run with substance, a run with style, the Merchants had to go. So, what I'd like to do is to show you how to beat the game without using the Merchants. The basic rules for a valid No Merchant run are outlined further below. Next are some preliminaries dealing with the typical issues you'll encounter during the run. After that, it's time for the walkthrough. No Merchant runs can be executed in several ways - this one only uses the default Handgun, the Shotgun and the grenades to get the job done. Despite these restrictions, sub 3:15:00 runs are possible (PS2 only, 3:05:00 for the GCN version), and approximately 15-20 minutes can be cut off when throwing the Broken Butterfly into the mix (which resulted in 2:55:34 on the PS2). You will find quite a few interesting tricks and strategies in there - ever fancied taking on U-3 with the Combat Knife? Or Salazar with the unupgraded Handgun? I'll tell you how it's done. Finally, the epilogue contains impressions about the run, further thoughts on optimising it, a brief analysis of the game, its (understandable) similarities to Devil May Cry and assorted ramblings of possible interest. Are you ready to take on the No Merchant challenge? You will not regret it, in fact: No Merchant runs are quite addictive. It's hard to go back to your old style of play once your first run is successfully completed. You will probably want to start all over again, using fewer bullets (weapons, even) and tweaking the route to beat Leon's mission more quickly. Enjoy, and if you want to, share your thoughts about this guide with me via e-mail. It's always fun - not to mention motivating - to receive feedback. .1. Table of contents .0. Prologue .1. This here Table of contents here .2. Update information 2.1. Version alpha 2.2. Version beta 2.3. Version gamma .3. No Merchant: The Rules 3.1. Start from a New Game 3.2. Difficulty: Professional 3.3. No Merchant: Spending cash at the Merchants is not allowed 3.4. No continues, No deaths, No Rocket Launcher, No Special 2 .4. Preliminaries (IMPORTANT: read before tackling the walkthrough) 4.1. In-depth 4.2. To save, or not to save 4.3. Weapons 4.3.1. Combat Knife & Handgun 4.3.2. Shotgun 4.3.3. Hand Grenade, Flash Grenade & Incendiary Grenade 4.3.4. Broken Butterfly 4.4. Item management 4.5. Speed tips 4.6. Controls .5. Walkthrough Chapter 1-1: Pueblo 1-1.1: It's that way, cowboy 1-1.2: The village 1-1.3: Moo 1-1.4: Booby trapped Chapter 1-2: Busting out 1-2.1: Prison barracks 1-2.2: The escape 1-2.3: Mendez' house Chapter 1-3: It Came from the Lake 1-3.1: The village revisited 1-3.2: Cemetery 1-3.3: Heads up 1-3.4: Del Lago Chapter 2-1: Extricating the subject 2-1.1: Lakeside 2-1.2: El Gigante 2-1.3: Say your prayers Chapter 2-2: It's a small small world, eh 2-2.1: Downpour 2-2.2: Wanted: killer instinct Chapter 2-3: Torture trouble 2-3.1: The gorge 2-3.2: Gondola ride 2-3.3: Bitores Mendez 2-3.4: A new venue Chapter 3-1: Los Illuminados 3-1.1: Climb the Castle 3-1.2: Not quite under the doormat 3-1.3: Garrador 3-1.4: Congregation 3-1.5: LEON, HEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEELLLLLLP! Chapter 3-2: Trapped 3-2.1: Creepy crawlies 3-2.2: The Gallery 3-2.3: Beware the fang Chapter 3-3: The search 3-3.1: Dinner is served 3-3.2: Exhibition room Chapter 3-4: Reunion 3-4.1: A Sniper without the Rifle 3-4.2: Ashley's Big Adventure Chapter 4-1: The Chapter from Hell 4-1.1: Preparations 4-1.2: Feel the burn 4-1.3: The Queen's Grail 4-1.4: The King's Grail 4-1.5: The Hive and Belltower 4-1.6: Claws 4-1.7: Verdugo Chapter 4-2: The Mine 4-2.1: The Rock 4-2.2: Seeing double 4-2.3: More creepy crawlies Chapter 4-3: Adrenalin 4-3.1: Catacombs 4-3.2: Cart ride of Doom Chapter 4-4: Castle Tower 4-4.1: The Statue 4-4.2: A pinch of Donkey Kong 4-4.3: Ramon Salazar Chapter 5-1: The Island 5-1.1: J.J. and friends 5-1.2: Infiltration of the fortress 5-1.3: Freeing Ashley Chapter 5-2: Busting out 5-2.1: Garbage dump 5-2.2: The wrecking ball 5-2.3: Bulldozer business Chapter 5-3: Jack-in-the-box 5-3.1: How you doing, comrade? 5-3.2: U-3 5-3.3: Intermission 5-3.4: Jack Krauser Chapter 5-4: Warzone 5-4.1: War! 5-4.2: Gatling gun fun 5-4.3: War! continued 5-4.4: Calm before the storm The Final Chapter Fin.1: Osmund Saddler Fin.2: Jet-ski finale .6. Epilogue 6.1. About the run 6.2. Chapter Difficulty Chart 6.3. Not enough cash, stranger? 6.4. Assorted Resident Evil 4 trivia 6.4.1. Amenhotep 6.5. Similarities with Devil May Cry 6.5.1. The leading character is a "pretty boy". 6.5.2. The male leads are supported by a female character whose allegiance is "shrouded in mystery". 6.5.3. The game features a villain who has some (almost forgotten) connection with the male lead. Said villain is tainted by the evil they're a part of. 6.5.4. The main villain is a "spiritual leader", controlling all the other enemies, except the mysterious female leads. 6.5.5. Most bosses come back. Repeatedly. 6.5.6. The male lead will return to the the first area of the game - by night. And there's lightning. And it's spooky. 6.5.7. Architecturally speaking, both games have a remarkably similar structure. 6.5.8. Each game has a clearly segmented structure with opportunities to enhance the lead's arsenal. 6.5.9. At the end of the game, an island blows up. The male lead escapes the inferno with a female companion using an unexpected means of transport. 6.5.10. Both games are absolutely brilliant and critically acclaimed worldwide. 6.6. Contact 6.7. Credits 6.8. Closing statements 6.9. FAQ repertoire 6.10. Greetings .7. Disclaimer .2. Update information 2.1. Version alpha Started: 20050905 Finished: 20051218 Word count: 22082 Notes: worked out the basic concept and rules behind the No Merchant run, then began implementing them on both the GameCube and PlayStation 2 versions of the game. The Rocket Launcher in the Castle soon got outlawed. I suspected that the Broken Butterfly could be omitted - a few additional runs confirmed this. The final tweak was to remove any form of backtracking out of the run which (a) saves time and (b) adds a feeling of continuous progression to the guide. I aimed to break the 4:00:00 barrier and more than succeeded. Using the Broken Butterfly should allow you to go sub 3:30:00 (estimate - has not been verified). 2.2. Version beta Started: 20060106 Finished: 20060113 Word count: 22282 Notes: Removed a few leftover picture references. I originally wanted to include screenshots and eventually upload them to a hosting site, but after the "Saddler knifed - a Pictorial" thread on the forum, I now know that they aren't needed. Corrected some typos, one mistake, reformulated the basic rules, gave credit to a few people who contacted me over certain issues. 2.3. Version gamma Started: 20060118 Finished: 20060209 Word count: 26681 Notes: Reworked the version beta text, correcting typos here and there. Added some cool, new strategies which speed up the run considerably, crediting its source where appropriate. Did a new run in the PS2 version, setting a funky new record with 3:14:28 - hence, the stats are updated. Furthermore, a run including the Broken Butterfly was done, which resulted in 2:55:34. Yep, you read that right, a sub 3 hours No Merchant run! I couldn't believe it myself at first either. It's still not the best possible result, but the true minimum shouldn't be too far away from this figure. After this version, I'm going to take a long break from RE4. Some of the chapters were excruciating to say the least, and I'd like to focus my attention on other things for a change. .3. No Merchant: The Rules 3.1. Start from a New Game New Game ensures that you start Resident Evil 4 "naked", i.e. character health starts at a minimal value, no fancy weapons, no money. 3.2. Difficulty: Professional If you've read my other guides, you know I'm all about high difficulty. It's sad to see runs in Normal when Professional is so much cooler. Make no mistake, you could play No Merchant in Normal or Easy difficulty too (and probably get a quicker finish), but Professional mode is more challenging. Plus, enemy patterns are always the same, which makes discussing scenes with others a bit easier. Professional unlocks after beating the game once. The walkthrough has been written for Professional mode only - certain areas and battles might be easier in the other difficulty levels. 3.3. No Merchant: Interacting with the Merchants* is not allowed The third rule restricts your arsenal to the weapons and items outside of the Merchant shops. This greatly increases the challenge of the game. For one, item space will be an issue since you can't buy bigger attache cases. Collecting money and treasure is no longer a necessity, so leave those fancy Spinels and Brass Pocket Watches where they are. Also, you can't buy any "power" gear via the Merchants, such as rifles and Rocket Launchers. Finally, weapons remain at their original power level - you can't upgrade them. Because of this, fighting enemies becomes more difficult as the game progresses. In order to come out alive, you will have to get very intimate with the enemies' attack patterns. You'll need time and patience to conquer the opposition, but it really pays off. After this walkthrough, you may call yourself a RE4 master. *: There are two instances in the game where you are forced to interact with a Merchant. How rude! When this happens, immediately leave the store. 3.4. No continues, No deaths, No Rocket Launcher, No Special 2 Restarting the game at Continue Points allows exploits which can get rid of all enemies in a certain area without firing a single shot. It's a feature outside the actual game, it's cheating, and as such doesn't have a place in the No Merchant philosophy. As such, continuing the game after dying is not allowed either. The lone Rocket Launcher to be found in the Castle is off-limits. Same goes for the Special 2 bonus outfit (PlayStation 2 version only), which renders Ashley invulnerable and impossible to kidnap. For those wondering why the Special 1 bonus costume is accepted, see the second rule: in Professional mode, Leon's new outfit doesn't give him an armour bonus. .4. Preliminaries (IMPORTANT: read before tackling the walkthrough) Following are a few pointers on how you should approach a No Merchant game in general. 4.1. In-depth This guide assumes that you have beaten the main game at least once. Consequently, you should have a basic knowledge about the flow of the game, item locations and puzzles. As such, I won't bore you with them, but rather focus on combat and strategies to overcome every situation using the limited arsenal at your disposal. You'll have to fill in the remaining blanks yourself - consult a general FAQ if necessary. 4.2. To save, or not to save Resident Evil 4 wants you dead, especially when ignoring the Merchants. The run also takes about 3 hours now, so for those who only have a limited amount of time to play (or need to practise), it's okay to save the game at the end of each chapter (or right before certain bosses). So far, I've done all my runs on a chapter by chapter basis, since certain chapters require a healthy dose of luck for a smooth finish. Try to complete the game in one sitting for the ultimate experience. It'll be hard to reach the same results as a segmented run, though. 4.3. Weapons 4.3.1. Combat Knife & Handgun When dealing with isolated Ganados, these are your tools. Plant a bullet in an approaching Ganado's head, close in for a Kick, then slice away with the Combat Knife. Knee shots pave the way for a Back kick or Suplex. Starting from the Monastery (chapter 3), the Zealot or Ganado will eventually make it back on its feet. Distance Leon from the foe and repeat the above or keep slashing at the upper legs, weapon arm or head in an attempt to disrupt its attacks. Master the technique - it will save you a lot of ammo. Other interesting uses of the Combat Knife will be mentioned in the walkthrough when appropriate. 4.3.2. Shotgun The Shotgun is ideal for mopping up swarms and delivers the extra punch needed against stronger enemies and bosses. Use it at close range only, for the boomstick's barely stronger than the Handgun at medium to long distances. Reloading takes time - make sure you do it at a safe moment. Is also quite effective against the Plagas. 4.3.3. Hand Grenade, Flash Grenade & Incendiary Grenade Each grenade type has its uses. Hand Grenades deal with throngs of enemies and have great destructive power. Flash Grenades blind Ganados (except shieldbearers) and instantly kill any Plagas in range. Incendiary Grenades are excellent crowd control and effective against some bosses. Using grenades wisely is key to winning the game - see the walkthrough to find out which type should be used where. Pick them up whenever you get the chance. 4.3.4. Broken Butterfly This weapon is exactly what is mentioned on the name tag: broken. Broken as in "Salazar is now a walk in the park" broken. You only need it against Salazar, mainly, but wow, does that save you time. So much in fact, that it more than makes up for the time you lose in chapter 4-1 while backtracking to get it. In a more subtle context, it also saves you the trouble of picking up a lot of Handgun Ammo and Shotgun Shells, which would eventually be used during the epic (read: looooong) battle against Ramon. Less pickups = less time wasted = faster end result. After seeing a few people at the gamefaqs boards trying the challenge and facing heavy problems at the brick wall that is Salazar, I thought it might be interesting to include this weapon into the guide. After all, it's not against the No Merchant rules to get it. Furthermore, I wanted to find out just how much faster the run would be when using this weapon. Turns out that it's a LOT faster. If this is your first No Merchant attempt and just want to sample what the challenge is all about, try picking up the Broken Butterfly. If it turns out to be your thing, try leaving it out the next time to fully appreciate the difference one weapon can make. 4.4. Item management All your items have to fit inside an attache case with 60 boxes. This will become very important once you have the Shotgun and a large collection of grenades. Shotgun and Handgun occupy 22 boxes - fill up the rest with grenades, ammunition and healing items (only if you have the room, grenades and ammo have absolute priority). Try to consume Yellow Herbs immediately. Once the attache case is full, use healing items on sight and max out the ammo boxes with what you find. Fight first, update the suitcase afterwards. By the way, this is an in-depth guide, mostly involved with strategies. I'm assuming you know all item locations (even the "hidden" items you can get from shooting Crows, and so on). Although the guide might mention the occasional item or what weapons work well against a boss, it's not holding your hand - you decide what you pick up, and where. 4.5. Speed tips If you don't need it, don't take it. Unless you want to see them, skip cutscenes with Start. No treasure quests, cash or herb pickups unless it's unavoidable. Yellow and Red Herbs don't exist. Don't Feng Shui the attache case. Only kill what needs to be killed. Stay in Fine condition (health bar = green) and run at all times. When something goes wrong, no matter how far you are in a chapter, try it again. If you think, "I could have done this or that scene a tad faster", retry the chapter to find out if you were right (save your result in another slot in case your idea was wrong). Be methodical and precise. Never hesitate. 4.6. Controls The walkthrough follows the standard button configuration of the GameCube version with a type I Quick Knife setting. If you are using the PlayStation 2 version (with a type II button config), translate these as follows: A = X (Action/OK), B = B (Run/Cancel), L = L1 (Knife), R = R1 (Ready weapon). The type II config is recommended for players who also played Resident Evil 4 on the GameCube, since it's very close to the layout of the old controls. If you're using another configuration, rename the controls accordingly. .5. Walkthrough Chapter 1-1: Pueblo 1-1.1: It's that way, cowboy During the first Ganado encounter, run a bit forward to lure the enemy into an axe swing. Step back during the swing, then close in and do a forward slash with the Combat Knife. If you timed it well, you will be able to Kick the Ganado. Do so (keep slashing otherwise), then finish him off with a downward slash. After the cutscenes, run up the stairs and get the Handgun Ammo*. Jump out of the window, then turn left and run towards the Crow resting on top of the signpost. Shoot it to receive a Hand Grenade. Do not save the trapped dog (If you want to release him anyway, slash at the bear trap with the Combat Knife. The dog will flee in horror - he's free, but won't join you during the fight against El Gigante in Chapter 2-1, which is exactly what you need). Run past the pointer Ganado and head for the bridge. Of the two Ganados there, one will point, the other will run towards Leon. Pass the runner on the right, then run onto the bridge before the pointer has a chance to attack. *: if you're planning to get the Broken Butterfly and/or aim for speed, you won't need to get the Handgun Ammo here. In fact, you'll need to pick up far less than in a regular No Merchant run, so feel free to ignore any further ammo pickups mentioned in the guide. It's recommended to only pick up ammo when it's on your path and easy to get. Speed players should aim to minimise their pickups so that they only take what they absolutely need, and no more. 1-1.2: The village (i) Knife and Handgun strategy: After the cutscene and document reading*, take a right and go up the slope. You shouldn't be detected if you are fast enough. Slash the boxes inside the shack near the gates, then go back down and enter the first house on the opposite side. You will probably be detected, but don't worry. Inside the house, slash the barrel and boxes, then jump out the window. Turn right, go through the small path between the two houses and head for the house with the closed door on the other side of the clearing. Lots of Ganados will jump into action. Quickly open the door, go through and turn around. It's vital that the door closed behind you. If some Ganados made it to the entrance and succeeded in keeping the door open, place a head shot into one of them and Kick them away from the door. Step back and hopefully, the door will now close. Next: whip out the Handgun, take aim at the lower right corner of the door and shoot. Fire a second bullet a little higher if nothing happens. Eventually, you will have a small hole in the lower right corner of the door. Position Leon directly in front of the hole and continuously slash downwards. In the PlayStation 2 version, the Ganados are now sitting ducks - they will not attack, only attempt to open the door while you destroy them with the Combat Knife. In the Gamecube version, you will hear the Ganados make their typical attack noises, but none of them seem to connect. You will also be able to Kick them through the hole. The end result is the same for both versions: total dominance over the opposition. Slash them all until the church bell tolls. Furthermore, you can pick up the items the Ganados drop without opening the door. Pick up all the ammo and cash they give you. It is, however, recommended to open the door during a safe moment to pick up any "stray" items and lure in the next enemy wave. Just make sure you close the door before they are able to do nasty things. This strategy is amazing - it's fast, extremely reliable and Leon doesn't get hurt. Not bad for an investment of 1 or 2 measly Handgun bullets. Anyway. Collect the Shotgun, grenades and any pack of Shotgun Shells or Handgun Ammo you can find, upgrade Leon's health with the Yellow Herb if you want, then head towards the farm. *: Try tapping Start to skip the reading sequence. By the way, I love the added realism by talking about Playing Manuals. "Hey Leon, you top agent you, here's a Playing Manual for your dead serious rescue mission. Don't forget to press your B button to stop reading it". This probably is, along with the communications interface, a reference to Metal Gear Solid (PlayStation 1), where Snake is informed via Codec about using the Action Button to get his groove on. Funky. 1-1.3: Moo There's nothing here (although the Incendiary Grenade is tempting). Proceed to the next area. 1-1.4: Booby trapped Go down the hill and evade the boulder. Trouble doing it? Initially, tap A at a steady, not overly fast rhythm until Leon turns around. Then, observe Leon's running motion - try to tap A whenever his arms reach their apex. When done correctly, you'll see Leon moving his arms more quickly, a clear sign that he is accelerating. Meaning, of course, that you will have to tap A more quickly as well. At some point, Leon will have reach his top speed - you will have to tap the A button at a fast rhythm to keep him going. Eventually, press A+B or L+R when prompted to escape the deadly threat. After the tunnel, run towards and past the dynamite Ganado on the left. The Ganado will throw his stick of doom right in front of his own feet and kill himself. Break into the padlocked house before his buddies catch up (use the Combat Knife), shoot the first trip wire and push the cabinet to reach Sera. Open his "prison" to finish the chapter. Here are the statistics I got from my current best run on the PlayStation 2 in PAL 50Hz mode. The main focus of the run was to improve the final time, as I learnt and discovered quite a few new tricks in the meantime. Doing a No Merchant Combat Knife/Handgun walkthrough does that to you. For completeness, I also did a parallell time attack using the Broken Butterfly to find out just how much time is saved by including this weapon. As a result, you'll be seeing a lot of statistics :). Chapter 1-1 statistics: Hit ratio 100% Enemies killed 17 Number of times killed 0 Time taken 0:07:31 Chapter 1-1 statistics (Broken Butterfly): Hit ratio 100% Enemies killed 17 Number of times killed 0 Time taken 0:06:53 Notes: The new "hole in door" strategy at scene 1-1.2 threw over 2 minutes off the clock. I also picked up fewer items, confident (yeah right) that I wouldn't need them later on. The Broken Butterfly run is faster here, as I used a Hand Grenade in the village scene and picked up less Handgun Ammo. Overall score: Hit ratio 100% Enemies killed 17 Number of times killed 0 Time taken 0:07:31 Overall score (Broken Butterfly): Hit ratio 100% Enemies killed 17 Number of times killed 0 Time taken 0:06:53 Chapter 1-2: Busting out 1-2.1: Prison barracks Evade an early halberd death, get out of the prison and kick the gates open. Move past the pitchfork pointer, then take a left. Step back at the right moment to evade the axe Ganado and run into the nearby house. After procuring the Shotgun Shells, grab the Handgun Ammo in the next room before climbing the ladder. Get the Emblem (Right Half) from the chest, then jump down the roof. Continue to the nearby sloped runway and make your way to the Ganado guarding the Emblem (Left Half). Jump down the construction to the right of the Ganado, then combine both Emblem halves at the exit gates to form the Hexagonal Emblem and use it to get to the next area. 1-2.2: The escape Enter the next building, open the door on the right and shoot the first Ganado you encounter once to disrupt him (don't shoot if you're feeling lucky). Run past him, hop over the cracked wall, then jump through one of the windows past the pitchfork Ganado to reach a small ambush consisting of 2 dynamite Ganados and some backup forces. Run in between the bear traps on the left, jump over the sand bags and enter the next room before the pointer Ganado has a chance to hit Leon with his pitchfork. Should he get hurt, there's a Green Herb in the next room, inside the final barrel. Proceed through the next door, and reach the exit ladder past the (inoffensive) sickle and pointer Ganados. 1-2.3: Mendez' house Watch out for the booby traps, solve the insignia puzzle (Up - Left), grab the Insignia Key and Handgun Ammo, then try to open the bedroom door. Chapter 1-2 statistics: Hit ratio 100% Enemies killed 6 Number of times killed 0 Time taken 0:03:07 Chapter 1-2 statistics (Broken Butterfly): Hit ratio 0% Enemies killed 5 Number of times killed 0 Time taken 0:02:59 Notes: Looks like 3'07" is my current speed limit for this kind of run. It's the same as in my previous attempt - if I had a little more luck with the villagers, I'd be able to skim off another second or two. The Broken Butterfly is faster due to less pickups, but could have been slightly better if it wasn't for that pesky unarmed Ganado you first meet in scene 1-2.2. Overall score: Hit ratio 100% Enemies killed 23 Number of times killed 0 Time taken 0:10:38 Overall score (Broken Butterfly): Hit ratio 100% Enemies killed 22 Number of times killed 0 Time taken 0:09:52 Chapter 1-3: It Came from the Lake 1-3.1: The village revisited Leave the Mendez house. You can run past Dr. Salvador and friends quite easily, just keep to the right. At the Pueblo, use the chicken at the courtyard* as an orientation point to quickly get past the many Ganados here. Run into the chicken, turn right to evade the attacks from two Ganados, then get past the pitchfork Ganado. Unlock the door to the right of the tower with the Insignia Key. Inside, get the Handgun Ammo and open the hatch to penetrate the tunnel. Say no to the Merchant's offers** after the cutscene (i.e. tap B like crazy to get out of his shop), then head for the graveyard. *: Didn't think you'd ever get that kind of help from a chicken, huh? **: Forcing himself onto Leon, huh? Who do those Merchants think they are? Did you know that you can kill them with a single knife slash? And that you don't get anything special after killing them all? Umm... or so I've heard. 1-3.2: Cemetery Shoot the nest directly above Leon to get a Hand Grenade, run up the slope and head towards the bridge. Run past every Ganado along the way and do not hesitate at the first jump point - if you did it right, Leon won't get hurt by the two male Ganados on the other side. 1-3.3: Heads up Past the arena (collect Handgun Ammo and shoot the center Crow for a Flash Grenade) lies the swamp area. After another rolling boulder, evade Ganados and shoot trip wires to get to the exit. It might be a nice idea to collect the grenades here. 1-3.4: Del Lago Board the speedboat after collecting items inside the houses and steer it towards the other side of the lake to trigger Del Lago's appearance. Its attack pattern is always the same: it will tow the boat through the area with the four obstacles, dive, turn around, resurface (or disconnect from the boat) and start over. During its towing sequence, you can arm a harpoon with R and throw it into the monster. Steer the boat left or right only when you're going to collide with an obstacle or a submerging Del Lago if you suspect that the monster will resurface. When the big fish disappears after a dive, you get three free harpoon shots. As soon as the creature appears, throw a harpoon at max elevation to hit it in the distance, then one directed at its jaws and finally one all the way down to hit its back while submerging. You need at least one successful hit, or things are going to hurt. Should Del Lago succeed in throwing you out of the boat at some point, swim back quickly with well-timed presses of the A button. After 12 successful hits, the battle is yours. Repeatedly tap A to cut the rope. Chapter 1-3 statistics: Hit ratio 100% Enemies killed 3 Number of times killed 0 Time taken 0:06:41 Chapter 1-3 statistics (Broken Butterfly): Hit ratio 100% Enemies killed 2 Number of times killed 0 Time taken 0:06:15 Notes: Getting a quick Del Lago is key to finishing 1-3 in a good time, which really shows in this run. I managed to hit the monster 3 times at the initial tow, was forced to skip the next one, then got 4 hits on the next and 3 after that. Del Lago then submerged for a direct charge, which meant that the finishing throws were a pure formality. The Broken Butterfly run was better due to less item pickups and an even more obedient Del lago. Overall score: Hit ratio 100% Enemies killed 26 Number of times killed 0 Time taken 0:17:19 Overall score (Broken Butterfly): Hit ratio 100% Enemies killed 24 Number of times killed 0 Time taken 0:16:07 Chapter 2-1: Extricating the subject 2-1.1: Lakeside Collect items if you wish, then leave the cabin and enter the next area. Skip the Plaga introductory cutscene and make your way to the barrel holding the Hand Grenade. There, take aim and shoot the 2 rotating crates down below. Jump over the river a second time, shoot a third crate in front of the pulley and rope, then climb down. Cross the small lake using the crates you shot, then pull the lever to shift the waterfall. Go to the central walkway, which triggers a small cutscene. Turn left and run past the oncoming Ganado. Carefully approach the hatchet Ganado in front of Leon and lure him into an attack without activating the pitchfork Ganado behind him. Step back to evade the hatchet, then run past the rest on the left. Infiltrate the cave and claim the Round Insignia, then proceed to the confrontation with El Gigante. 2-1.2: El Gigante Beating El Gigante quickly with only the Combat Knife? Sounds impossible, but isn't when you fully abuse the surroundings. Here's a simple ASCII schematic of the area: _________ Legend: | BM | EN, EX : ENtrance, EXit | | T : Tree | | C1, C2, C3: Cabin 1, Cabin 2, Cabin 3 / \ BM : Boulder Mine | | | | | | | | / T \ | T | E E X T C1 C2 C3 N |_________________| After the El Gigante cutscene, turn around, stand in front of the space between Cabin 2 and Cabin 3 and turn around again. Always face your (really slow) opponent, so that you can see what he is up to. Once he starts approaching, walk backwards, into the narrow space. El Gigante will probably prepare himself to slam Leon with his fist - right after he does so (and misses), approach him and slash twice. That's the first contact. Immediately turn around and run away to evade El Gigante's counterattack. Observe the giant again - he will now get ready to slam both his fists into the ground. Right after the impact, you can slash him thrice, but you've lost the cover of Cabin 2 and Cabin 3. You've still got Cabin 1. Lure your opponent into another single downward punch. Two slashes later, retreat behind Cabin 1 - El Gigante will do another double slam. Punish him as before, then move to the center of the arena. Try and get El Gigante to follow you. Lure him into single downward punches and deal two slashes with the Combat Knife as described earlier. Walk backwards and keep a medium to large distance between the giant and Leon, or he might be tempted to grab Leon, or kick him. Follow the Boulder Mine-(destroyed)Cabin 2 line to have enough room available. While following this pattern, El Gigante may do something different - he might grab a boulder from the Boulder Mine and throw it (happens when he's close to the mine), or he prepares himself for a ram attack. In the former case, approach him quickly while he's grabbing the boulder and slash 2 to 3 times (depends on how fast you were). In the latter case, move out of his line of attack, then go to the point of impact and slash his feet thrice. Run away immediately after either manoeuver. At some point (about 15 slashes) El Gigante will crouch in a cutscene, his parasite exposed. Press A to Climb him, then - when prompted - repeatedly tap A or B at a very high rhythm to slice and dice the parasite at least 7 times. Ready for round 2? Deal 3 to 4 slashes using the above Boulder Mine-Cabin 2 strategy. After that, it's time to abuse the trees. Stand behind the nearest tree and allow El Gigante to approach. Don't worry - unless you see him revving up for a ram attack, he'll start uprooting the tree. Run forward until he finally got it out (he'll stagger back for a few meters), then slash repeatedly (usually 3-4 times), pressing L+R at the right moment to evade the tree swing. After that, you get one extra slash while El Gigante throws his "tool" away. Repeat this with the other trees until your foe goes down a second time. Cut his parasite until you have at least 15 slashes in total to end the battle with a cutscene. Collect items if you wish, then leave the area. 2-1.3: Say your prayers Continue to the church entrance and open it with the Round Insignia. The Colmillos won't pose a threat unless you hesitate too much. Inside the church, go up the ladder and jump onto the chandelier with A. Keep tapping A to make it to the other side in one fluent motion, then access the control panel to initiate the coloured lights puzzle. Solve it (Rotate Red 2 times, Green 3 times and Blue once, then Combine), rescue Ashley (collect Handgun Ammo) and meet Saddler below. Chapter 2-1 statistics: Hit ratio 100% Enemies killed 1 Number of times killed 0 Time taken 0:08:08 Chapter 2-1 statistics (Broken Butterfly): Hit ratio 98% Enemies killed 1 Number of times killed 0 Time taken 0:07:15 Notes: I could have beaten the 8' mark, but I missed the opportunity to get two extra slashes in during the tree abuse part in the El Gigante fight. Those two slashes cost me about 10 seconds. Oh well. The Broken Butterfly run was faster due to a hybrid Combat Knife/Handgun technique while fighting El Gigante - basically, you unload the Handgun while waiting for an opening to knife the monster (while waiting for El Gigante to pull a tree out of the ground, to pound his fists, etc.). In retrospect, this technique also could have been used in the regular run. Oh well. Overall score: Hit ratio 100% Enemies killed 27 Number of times killed 0 Time taken 0:25:27 Overall score (Broken Butterfly): Hit ratio 98% Enemies killed 25 Number of times killed 0 Time taken 0:23:22 Chapter 2-2: It's a small small world, eh 2-2.1: Downpour Collect items, then meet the angry Ganados outside. Run past the cart on the right for a quick escape into the cave. Past it lies the Pueblo by night: in the PlayStation 2 version, there are only Ganados posted near the farm exit, in the GameCube version, others are strewn around the village. Those will appear in the Playstation 2 version as well, once you start eliminating the exit Ganados. They will never appear in our run, where we dash straight to the exit. How you do this, depends on your console. Both versions start out the same - keep it tight to the right so that Ashley doesn't get stuck in the first bear trap. You will pass a female torch pointer on the right. In the Gamecube version, switch to the left side to evade the oncoming pitchfork Ganado, then continue straight to the exit (the male torch Ganado isn't a threat). In the PlayStation 2 version, stay on the right as there's a fast sickle Ganado on the left. The pitchfork Ganado will invariably attack and hit you - prevent this by firing a quick shot with the Handgun to disrupt the foe. Get past him, then clip to the left as in the Gamecube version. At the farm, run around the fence directly ahead and enter the leftmost window of the main structure. In the PlayStation 2 version, evade the bear traps and climb the ladder - the pointer Ganado isn't a threat. In the Gamecube version, you might need to floor the Ganado before he (or the others) gets a chance to kidnap Ashley. Jump through the window (wait for Ashley to catch up), move past the male and female Ganado on the right, jump down, Catch Leon's protegee, mind the bear traps and the Ganado below, then do the Piggyback thing. 2-2.2: Wanted: killer instinct Run towards the abandoned cabin. Two cutscenes later, it's time to face the horde. The objective: survive the Ganado rush for 5 minutes. Unless you're on a time attack, you cannot afford killing 50 Ganados. Run to the far end of the table (where the Shotgun Shells lie) and wait for Luis* to join you there. Shoot the barricaded window he runs away from and take position on the staircase. Open up the two remaining windows and shoot any Ganado in sight climbing through them with the Handgun - Luis takes care of the rest. This should stall the Ganados' invasion for quite some time. At some point, the Ganados will make it in - switch to the Shotgun for crowd control. Flash Grenades come in handy when you and Luis are plagued by at least 2 Plagas. Always defend the staircase, even when Luis goes upstairs. Keep holding your position and you'll come out on top (you should have enough healing items to survive the siege). *: I resisted the urge to make fun of the infamous "ballistics" scene. Instead, I will link you to a three-panel comic which truly captures the moment (and shamelessly plug in Chugworth Academy). Warning: this comic contains scenes of explicit violence, profanity and gore =). Link: http://chugworth.com/comic.php?id=164 Chapter 2-2 statistics: Hit ratio 76% Enemies killed 48 Number of times killed 0 Time taken 0:08:09 Chapter 2-2 statistics (Broken Butterfly): Hit ratio 79% Enemies killed 40 Number of times killed 0 Time taken 0:07:11 Notes: I was extremely aggressive in this run, trying to kill enough Ganados to end the cabin scene more quickly. Didn't get hit, but the hit ratio is quite low, mainly due to excessive use of the Shotgun and grenades. I was out of shells after the fight. Furthermore, knowing that you're going to get the Broken Butterfly later on allows you to go wild with the Shotgun and Hand Grenades in the cabin scene. It saved me nearly a minute. Overall score: Hit ratio 88% Enemies killed 75 Number of times killed 0 Time taken 0:33:36 Overall score (Broken butterfly): Hit ratio 91% Enemies killed 65 Number of times killed 0 Time taken 0:30:33 Chapter 2-3: Torture trouble 2-3.1: The gorge Reload the Shotgun, switch to the Handgun, then loot the cabin for items. Get everything. Outside, operate the lever near the Merchant. Pull it to the right to enter the fastest of the two routes. At the start of the gorge, shoot the wooden platform to drop the giant boulder*, then run past it to trigger the El Gigante sequence. Turn around and destroy two of the three chains at the chained door with a forward slash of the Combat Knife. Slash the third chain, kick the door open and go through. Claim the Old Key, work yourself past the second chained door, unlock the exit with the Old Key and leave before El Gigante has a chance to catch up. *: In a time attack, don't shoot the boulder, but rather hurry towards the gate. Depending on El Gigante, it might take a few retries, but it is quite possible to finish this scene without using the boulder as insurance. Make sure you do everything as quickly as possible. 2-3.2: Gondola ride Head to the gondola, board it and dispose of the Ganados with the Handgun, following the sequence 1 right, 1 left, 3 right, 2 right, 1 right, 1 left, 3 right, 1 right. Precise aiming is absolutely required - should one of the Ganados manage to throw his weapon, shoot it before it can hit a target. The first Ganado on the left can be shot before boarding the gondola, if you want. After the ride, head towards the torture house. 2-3.3: Bitores Mendez After the cutscene and quicktime event, it's time to show Mendez some pain. Incendiary Grenades are key to a quick victory, and you will need 6 of them. You should have found more than enough of them during the previous chapters. Throw the first 4 Incendiaries to split Bitores up. Skip the cutscene, then throw number 5 while he's waving back and forth. You hit him correctly when he falls on the ground. Quickly position Leon at the corner left of the ladder, close to a Green Herb. Face the explosive barrel, wait until Mendez moves directly in front of you, then throw the final Incendiary Grenade at the barrel. The latter will explode, dealing enough damage in combination with the grenade to be lethal. Easy enough, ne? After the fight, collect items and the Glass Eye. After the cutscene, jump through the opening in front of you. 2-3.4: A new venue Return to the gates with the retinal scanner and use the Glass Eye to open the gates. After the cutscene, run up the slope for another one. Shoot the oncoming truck (either shoot the driver with a single bullet or the engine with multiple shots), then head towards the castle's drawbridge. One cutscene later, the chapter is yours. Chapter 2-3 statistics: Hit ratio 54% Enemies killed 9 Number of times killed 0 Time taken 0:07:58 Chapter 2-3 statistics (Broken Butterfly): Hit ratio 47% Enemies killed 15 Number of times killed 0 Time taken 0:07:34 Notes: If you manage to defeat this chapter in under 8 minutes, you're doing an even better job than usual. The most difficult part here is not to get hit during the gondola ride - after that, everything is smooth sailing. Note that the hit ratio is way, way below par, which may be attributed to the Incendiary Grenades used against Mendez. It doesn't matter - the main focus of these runs is time, not accuracy. Note how the Broken Butterfly run is faster? That's because I still shot the boulder in the regular run, and had to collect more items. Sometimes, you learn over the course of a single run. Overall score: Hit ratio 72% Enemies killed 84 Number of times killed 0 Time taken 0:41:34 Overall score (Broken Butterfly): Hit ratio 77% Enemies killed 80 Number of times killed 0 Time taken 0:38:07 And that wraps up the village in 38-41 minutes. At this point, we're underway fora finish below 3:45:00 (little did I know that things were going to get much, much better). However, this was all a warming up. Prepare for a greatly increased difficulty level - the Los Illuminados inside the Castle are not fooling around. Chapter 3-1: Los Illuminados 3-1.1: Climb the Castle Collect items and continue to the next area, until the point where you get bombarded by fireballs. Don't hesitate - after the cutscene, move to the safe area on the other side of the runway. To reduce the risk of Ashley being bombared to death, proceed through the middle of the runway, then slightly deviate to the right about halfway through. Climb the stairs and leave Ashley behind. Don't worry if the Zealots capture her*, they'll never reach the exit if you proceed quickly. Cross the bridge on the right, then move along the runway on the left. Use the window to take down the Zealot on the far left (let him throw his scythe first, then Combat Knife him into submission**). Move to the circular area and kill the catapult Zealot with a well-aimed distance shot. With him out of the way, raise the cannon by operating the nearby crank. Once the cannon is up, fire it to destroy the gates. Oddly, all the Zealots will disappear as well. Reunite with Ashley and leave through the newly created exit. In the next room, go up the stairs. Turn left, grab the Golden Sword from the platinum door, then turn around and go back down the stairs. Get the Platinum Sword from the golden plate, use the Golden Sword on it, then run around the table, evading Zealots as Leon and Ashley go back up the stairs. Grab the Red Herb from the cupboard, use the Platinum Sword on the door to unlock it and go through after the cutscene. Floor the opposing Zealots whenever they get in the way. *: True, you rather don't want them to kidnap her. Ashley's lovely siren voice cuts through marrow and bone, and you'll be hearing a lot of it during this scene. Fire that cannon as soon as possible. **: Since he's alone, you can slash him while he's trying to climb through the window. This drops the blighter - jump through yourself to finish him off with downward stabs. 3-1.2: Not quite under the doormat Leave Ashley after the small cutscene with Luis* and enter the door on the left. Take another left into an archway, evade the attacks from two shield Ganados, open the door they're guarding and claim the Castle Gate Key from the treasure chest. Blast the explosive barrel on the way out to clear most attackers, then kick the door open in order to escape the pursuing Zealots. You're probably going to take a hit or two unless you use the Shotgun to clean up the mob. You will be facing substantially more foes in the PlayStation 2 version than in the Gamecube version. When you're through, call Ashley at the right moment** and use the Castle Gate Key to enter the main hall. *: Leon, better with the ladies? Luis, you card. **: Call her during the last turn so that she opens the intermediate door as you run towards it. Very elegant, and it saves a little time. 3-1.3: Garrador Collect the Prison Key after the cutscenes and shoot the Shotgun Shells off the beam if you need them. Use the Prison Key to open the prison door. Leave Ashley* and trigger the Garrador. To beat him, position Leon in front of a wall and fire a Handgun shot to provoke him into a charge attack (fire while he's looking around). Walk out of his way and he'll get stuck in the wall. Move up close and blast his parasite at point blank range with the Shotgun. Repeat the strategy until the Garrador is no more (requires 7 shots). Tips: 1. Use the bell on the right to lure the Garrador into his first charge. 2. You can run freely while your foe is stuck in the wall. 3. Work along a diagonal. That way, you can always evade the Garrador's attacks. Operate the lever, collect the items inside the prison after the cutscene, call Ashley and make your way to the next area. Disrupt the first two Zealots by shooting the oil lamp at the right moment, then run past the others without hesitation. *: preferably outside the prison, yo. 3-1.4: Congregation Beating this scene in the PlayStation 2 version is completely different from the Gamecube version. So different, in fact, that the PlayStation 2 version is roughly 8 minutes faster (!). That's why I posted two separate times at the beginning of the guide. The reason for the difference lies in the fact that the PlayStation 2 version renders less enemies, resulting in a nice "feature" which is fully taken advantage of. The only way to get the same result in the Gamecube version is by using the Continue Point cheat, which isn't allowed. Ah, don't feel bad Gamecubers, at least this is the ultimate proof that your version is the hardest one ;). On with the show. (i) Gamecube version Turn left and run around the water basin, shooting oncoming Zealots with the Shotgun. Go down the stairs and take a right, flooring Zealots along the way to safely access the central door. Guide Ashley onto one of the pressure-sensitive tiles, leave her, then stand on the other one to unveil the hidden crank. Stay in this room and attack the incoming Zealots. The initial rush can be handled with an Incendiary Grenade, if necessary. Later on, Zealots drop from the ceiling, one by one. They make a distinct sound*, betraying their presence, so react accordingly and check the area behind Leon whenever you hear it. Only the crossbow Zealots in the main area are able produce the same sound, but this doesn't happen often. Save ammo if possible - use the Combat Knife with a passion and try to Suplex the Zealots silly. Once the enemy flood is over, leave the room. Time to deal with the crossbow Zealots on the balconies. Blast them with the Handgun, then collect items and operate the crank. Once the stairway is down, use an Incendiary Grenade to cripple the first wave of Zealots. Call Ashley, and defeat the remaining scythe Zealots while waiting for her to join Leon. Collect items, then run to the next part of the hall. At some point, the First Daughter will notice the dual crank system in an elevated position. (ii) PlayStation 2 version Turn left and run around the water basin. Important: shoot the oncoming shield Zealot with the Shotgun to destroy his shield. Go down the stairs and take a right, flooring the lone Zealot to safely access the central door. Guide Ashley onto one of the pressure-sensitive tiles, leave her, then stand on the other one to unveil the hidden crank. Call Ashley so that she joins Leon, then get out of the room - floor oncoming Zealots with the Shotgun if necessary. Go to the leftmost corridor outside the room and ascend the staircase. Proceed to the wall and turn around to guard Leon and Ashley from the crossbow Zealots. If everything went right, you should spot a shield Zealot coming around the corner. Blast his shield (important), then equip Flash Grenades (you'll need 2), and run into the open. Turn right to curl around the vases - close in on the crank. You should see a lot of Zealots at this point. Throw a Flash Grenade to stun them, then let Leon operate the crank. Turn it as quickly as possible - there might be a Zealot or two not hit by the Flasher, and they tend to close in like flies to honey. Once the stairway is down and the scythe Zealots are active, throw a second Flash Grenade to phase all but the two most distant scythe Zealots. Go up the staircase (make sure Ashley doesn't duck in fear), evading the attack from one of the active Zealots, then make it past the red version. At some point, the First Daughter will notice the dual crank system in an elevated position. *: The noise I'm referring to sounds a bit like "Mmuuhhuu". Hope that helps :/. 3-1.5: LEON, HEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEELLLLLLP! Go to the ledge on the right and do the Piggyback thing. [Everyone but me] "Wait, wait! Stop the presses!" [me] "What?" [Everyone but me] "What about all those Zealots you didn't kill in the PlayStation 2 version? They're going to come after you! You're doomed unless you use the Continue Point cheat!" [me] "I'll never use that cheat." [Everyone but me] "Then you're doomed! All those Zealots...!" [me] *looks around* "What Zealots?" [Everyone but me] "Are you blind, or senile?" *turns around* "The ones you didn't ---Wha? Where did they go?" oO I found it out by accident. Apparently, in the PlayStation 2 version, all the Zealots from the previous scene disappear as soon as you go Piggyback with Ashley. It's like the Continue Point cheat, except that it's fully within the rules. If this makes you feel uncomfortable nonetheless, beat the scene the Gamecube way - it'll take longer, but your conscience will be clear. Anyway, back to business. After the non-skippable cutscene, kill the Zealot near Ashley with the Handgun before he gets to abduct her. At some point, Ashley will finish using the first crank. She will proceed to the other crank, where a Zealot will promptly kidnap her. Your task now is to floor any Zealots after they've kidnapped Ashley (single shot needed, fire at the abductor's legs when he is relatively close to the exit). Every time, Ashley will make it back to the crank and rotate it a couple of times. Oh, shouldn't forget, how careless of me: you will notice a couple of Zealots attacking Leon. No need to waste ammo on them. During the moments where Ashley is busy operating a crank, lure them away from the action - preferably to the staircase you lowered earlier on. Only go to the "hot" areas whenever Ashley is in trouble. You should be able to save her every time before Leon's aggressors catch up. Repeat this game until Ashley finishes the second crank. When she does, the college coed will run to the nearby ledge, shout "LEEONNN!" and request a Catch. Do so quickly (floor any opposing Zealots with the Shotgun), then leave the hall via the raised platforms. In the next area, collect all useful items, then finish the chapter by running into the corridor at the end of the hall. Chapter 3-1 statistics: Hit ratio 91% Enemies killed 12 Number of times killed 0 Time taken 0:15:31 (PlayStation 2) Chapter 3-1 statistics (Broken Butterfly): Hit ratio 73% Enemies killed 15 Number of times killed 0 Time taken 0:14:12 (PlayStation 2) Notes: Yeah, you're reading right - I got more than 10 minutes off the clock. But, this counts for PS2 only as I can use the Flash Grenade trick to shake off the pursuers in the first part of scene 3-1.4. Don't start thinking that the chapter suddenly became a lot easier, though. I had to restart many times before I managed to get through without taking a hit. The Broken Butterfly version is faster as I was able to use the Handgun more freely. And of course, the Gamecube version still has to get past the scene by getting rid of all the Zealots. For the sake of completeness, I replayed (only) this chapter on the cube using all the new tricks. You'll have to add about 8 minutes to the clock in this version. Keep this in the back of your head while reviewing the statistics of the following chapters. Overall score: Hit ratio 77% Enemies killed 96 Number of times killed 0 Time taken 0:57:05 Overall score (Broken Butterfly): Hit ratio 75% Enemies killed 95 Number of times killed 0 Time taken 0:52:19 Chapter 3-2: Trapped 3-2.1: Creepy crawlies In order to save ammo, rush through the sewers - the Novistadores here swallow a lot of bullets. You can easily run past the first Novistador, the two in the pool are a bit more difficult - trigger A to Kick them if necessary. Once you're through the door, go left to enter the valve room*. Rotate the valve to drain the sewage, collect items, then enter the new area to reach the giant axe room. From there, it should be quite easy to make it to the gallery. Let the ritual Zealots escape - you don't need their treasure anyway. *: Stick to the left wall after the first turn to stay out of a surprise Novistador's claws. 3-2.2: The Gallery Collect items and open the next door for a cutscene, then enter the small room behind the nearby door. Ascend the stairs and run past the masked Zealot. Go through the door and run all the way around until you reach the platform with the red leader Zealot, two crossbow Zealots and two masked spiked ball Zealots on a platform. Throw the Hand Grenade for a nice chain explosion and jump onto the platform - the leader Zealot will run away. Kill the surviving Zealots with one Handgun bullet each, then return to the walkway. If you're a crack shot, floor the leader Zealot with a well-aimed bullet at the knees. Hurry to his location and Suplex him a few times until he spits out the Gallery Key. Missed the knee shot? Don't worry, there's a backup plan, complete with an ASCII map kindly generated by Michael Scherer: RZ - red zealot START, X - Leon >, <, ^, v, -, | = path to take J = jump down to first floor here Y = shield Zealot ---------------- | RZ | | | | X | |-S-------Door- |-T-| | | | |-A-| | | | |-I-| | | |-R-| ^----------------------J< | |-S-|--------- | || | | Y | -----------------|| | | Door START >-----------^ | -------------------------------------| First, take care of any Zealots who have followed you up the stairs (you will probably end up at START), then jump down at point J. Follow the path outlined in the map and kick open the door to get to point X. You will spot the red Zealot at point RZ, but not for long - your opponent will run up the stairs. Follow and drop him with a knee shot, then finish him off with the Combat Knife and Shotgun (or go for Suplexes, whatever rocks your boat. Watch out for the shield Zealot at point Y. With the Gallery Key yours, use it on the locked door at the platform (evade leftover opponents as you see fit), solve the painting puzzle (1-3-4-2-Ok), then open the once hidden door. One cutscene later, Zealot hell breaks loose. Go up the staircase on the right in front of you (mind the scythe Zealot) and keep to the left to evade the unarmed Zealot*. Push the nearby red button to raise a platform at the centre of the room and run to the other end of the walkway. If you meet an unarmed Zealot on the way, something went wrong - still, try to evade him. Enter the nearby door - don't worry about Rocket Launcher Zealots and the like. Smash the vase behind the door for another red button to connect the platform with the walkway. Open the door and move to the right so that two new Rocket Launcher Zealots may unleash their deadly cargo without damaging you - watch out for any Zealots. After the blast, head towards the chest. You will probably be greeted by two unarmed Zealots, one of them pointing. Evade the attack of the non-pointer, get the Goat Ornament from the chest, then turn around to leave the area through the now-open door. If you suspect that the Zealots will hurt you, you can always jump off the platform and proceed to the exit from there. *: Go right if he decides to shift to Leon's left. 3-2.3: Beware the fang Continue to the maze, where the Colmillo roams (get the Incendiary Grenade from the barrel underway). Enter the maze with the Handgun equipped and take a left - kick the door down, then go right. Proceed to the elevated walkway to get the Moonstone (Right half). Drop off on the right side of the fountain, and return to the kicked down door. This time, go left, over the bridge, then take a right to claim the Moonstone (Left half). Return to the bridge, drop off on the left and leave the maze through the entrance gates. If you were fast enough, none of the many Colmillos should have had a chance to plant its teeth into Leon's neck. Go to the bedroom door and unlock it by combining the Moonstone (Right half) and Moonstone (Left half) into the Blue Moonstone, which is then used on the door. Two cutscenes later, the chapter is yours. Chapter 3-2 statistics: Hit ratio 93% Enemies killed 3 Number of times killed 0 Time taken 0:07:43 Chapter 3-2 statistics (Broken Butterfly): Hit ratio 87% Enemies killed 7 Number of times killed 0 Time taken 0:07:27 Notes: Good run, but the hit ratio died out due to a badly thrown Hand Grenade. Oh well, can't have it all. As you can see, dropping the leader Zealot before he gets a chance to enter the closed room saves more than a minute. The Broken Butterfly run went even better, especially at scene 3-2.2. Overall score: Hit ratio 78% Enemies killed 99 Number of times killed 0 Time taken 1:04:48 Overall score (Broken Butterfly): Hit ratio 76% Enemies killed 102 Number of times killed 0 Time taken 0:59:46 Wow. The Broken Butterfly run is already 5 minutes faster than the regular run (and still under one hour). This time gain will nicely offset the minutes that will be lost when picking up the powerful weapon in chapter 4-1. Chapter 3-3: The search 3-3.1: Dinner is served Past the bedroom is the dining room, your next destination. Collect all items, ring the bell and shoot the wine bottle to gain access to a small room. Run towards the treasure chest, then immediately press Start at the beginning of the ensuing cutscene. This will delay the Garrador's activation, which is key to your survival. Move to the lock in front of you and destroy it with 3 Shotgun blasts. Kick the door open and leave the area. 3-3.2: Exhibition room The lower area houses a couple of Zealots - blind them with a Flash Grenade, then operate the lever they were guarding to raise a walkway. Go back up the ladder. Rush to the exit door on the opposite side of the walkway and kick it open to disrupt some shield Ganados. Run past them and hit the exit to finish this (very short) chapter. Chapter 3-3 statistics: Hit ratio 100% Enemies killed 4 Number of times killed 0 Time taken 0:02:11 Chapter 3-3 statistics (Broken Butterfly): Hit ratio 100% Enemies killed 4 Number of times killed 0 Time taken 0:02:00 Notes: Hmm, been a long time since the last 100%. Cool. The Broken Butterfly run could have gone even faster, but one of the Zealots at the end of scene 3-3.2 decided to block Leon's way for a while. Plus, I wanted to switch back to the Handgun before entering the next chapter. Overall score: Hit ratio 79% Enemies killed 100 Number of times killed 0 Time taken 1:06:59 Overall score (Broken butterfly): Hit ratio 76% Enemies killed 106 Number of times killed 0 Time taken 1:01:46 Chapter 3-4: Reunion 3-4.1: A Sniper without the Rifle Steady hand? Take position on the little walkway, then destroy Ashley's restraints* with three shots from the Handgun (the top restraint is the most difficult one). Eliminate the three Zealots**, then quickly get the Flash Grenade on the left if you want to while Ashley discovers that the door to freedom is locked. Turn left and arm a Hand Grenade. Once screamy girl made it back to her original position, throw the Hand Grenade to hit a couple of crossbow Zealots as well as the leader Zealot holding the door key. Take down the leader Zealot (6 bullets), then free Ashley from the clutches of a newly arrived Zealot with a single shot. Kill him, and the others with a precisely aimed Incendiary Grenade (watch out that you don't throw it too close to Ashley, or it's Mission Failed time). Eventually, Ashley finds enough courage to grab the key and escape. *: Are you a fan of the lovely sounds Ashley makes while you're trying to free her, too? Nothing helps the contration more than a loud shriek while you're aiming a tiny and wobbly red dot at a few pixels down below. No wonder that my finger "slips" quite often. Oops, Ashley. My bad. **: Barring critical hits and head shots, the first and second Zealot take 9 shots, the third requires 12 bullets before he croaks. 3-4.2: Ashley's Big Adventure Ashley's act is easy, so I'm going to let you figure this one out for yourself. A few pointers: 1. You can crawl into the crank area without raising the first gate. Look to the right. 2. Opening the second gate: to open the gate leading to the Armadura area, Ashley will have to rotate two cranks. The leftmost crank can be operated without interference from the Zealot when you keep to the left. The Zealot will spot the girl when she operates the other crank - be brave and keep rotating until the evil monk grabs her. Wriggle the controls to break free, then (if needed) continue cranking until the opening is wide enough for Ashley to squeeze through. 3. The tile puzzle: there are 9 spaces where the tiles can be moved, arranged as follows: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 To solve the puzzle, press A at spaces 4, 7, 9, 3, 1, 7 and 9, in that order. 4. Get the Yellow, Red and a Green Herb. Don't forget the Handgun Ammo. Chapter 3-4 statistics: Hit ratio 98% Enemies killed 9 Number of times killed 0 Time taken 0:06:07 Chapter 3-4 statistics (Broken Butterfly): Hit ratio 91% Enemies killed 115 Number of times killed 0 Time taken 0:05:58 Notes: The sniping scene went well extremely well - the restraints were quickly shot (could have been done slightly faster, though), no missed shots on the 3 initial Zealots and the Incendiary Grenade canned all 3 of the final Zealots, Ashley's bit went as usual, except that I didn't pick up healing items. All this brushed off 40 seconds. Nice. The Broken Butterfly run basically went the same way, but was faster due to a quick Incendiary (perfect positioning of the Zealots) and no ammo pickup. Overall score: Hit ratio 83% Enemies killed 112 Number of times killed 0 Time taken 1:13:06 Overall score (Broken Butterfly): Hit ratio 78% Enemies killed 115 Number of times killed 0 Time taken 1:07:44 Okay, so chapters 3-3 and 3-4 were easy - they were meant to soften the blow. Get ready for a nightmare. Chapter 4-1 is one long string of difficult scenes - it's the longest chapter of the entire game, in fact. If you're a beginner, save regularly. There's no mercy here. Chapter 4-1: El Infierno 4-1.1: Preparations Return to the room with the display case (all Zealots are gone, now) and loot it for grenades and ammo. That Rocket Launcher seems tempting, but you don't need it. If you want to do a Broken Butterfly run, now is the time to get it. You will meet a few new Zealots in the dining area, but they're easily evaded. From this point, item management becomes a major concern. Consult the Preliminaries section for more information on how to organise your attache case. Once you have everything, return to the starting point, collect items and enter the room in the back. 4-1.2: Feel the burn Proceed to the lava room. Quickly skip the cutscene and run to the rotating gate with the Handgun equipped - if you were fast enough, you should be able to jump onto the intermediate platform without a hitch. Move past the Zealots after the second jump (watch out for the spiked ball Zealot) to activate the third dragon device. Position yourself to the right of the large walls providing cover - the dragon will rotate to the right and start its firebreath attack. When that happens, go to the left side, take aim and quickly shoot the leader Zealot riding the dragon. One shot is enough to raise a staircase leading to the Lion Ornament. Collect the item, then exit. Disrupt oncoming Zealots with Handgun shots if necessary. Return to Ashley and ride the cart. Collect items when needed, unlock the door, then use the Goat Ornament, Serpent Ornament and Lion Ornament on the decorated wall in the next area to open up a new venue. One room and a cart ride later, you're one door away from the Queen and King's Grail quests. Ladies first - take the door on the left. 4-1.3: The Queen's Grail Place Ashley, the two statues and yourself on the pressure-sensitive plates to gain passage to the next room. Shoot the four red lights with the Handgun to stop the ceiling trap, then use the Shotgun to kill the two Zealots riding a digging machine in order to save Ashley. You should be able to off them quickly with a single shot*. Fetch the Handgun Ammo, the Queen's Grail and continue to the King's Grail quest. *: If you were fast enough, you will be able to leave the area before the freaky music stops. 4-1.4: The King's Grail Leave Ashley behind. Evade the two Armadura attacks by pressing L+R or A+B at the right moment. Make sure your input is correct the first time, or suffer the consequences. Grab the King's Grail, then switch to the Shotgun or, if you have it, the Broken Butterfly. Expose the Plagas of the three Armaduras with clean head shots*, then throw a Flash Grenade to take them all down at once. Switch to the Shotgun, and do the same with the next batch of Armaduras. Take advantage of the fact that Armaduras detect Leon very quickly when he's in front of them, which you can take advantage of. Run towards them in an attempt to get them to attack. You will notice that they will swing their weapons pretty early, giving you enough time to move out of range and start shooting a few bullets. With the battle over, call Ashley and proceed to the windy corridor guarded by a group of scythe and shield Zealots. Stick to the left or right and approach the ambush until some of them become active. Leave Ashley and immediately call her again to alert the remaining Ganados, then let them close in until you can run around them on the other side. Quickly use the Queen's Grail and King's Grail on the statues left and right of the exit to unlock it, then go through. If you have trouble leaving the area because the Zealots get too close too fast, consider retreating to the beginning of the windy corridor after activating the bunch and wait for them there. This should buy you more time to get past unscathed. *: If you're using the Broken Butterfly, you cannot afford to miss a shot. 3 bullets is all you have. 4-1.5: The Hive and Belltower Trigger the abduction cutscene at the hive in the next room, then head for the lever and pull it. Leave and IMMEDIATELY return from the windy corridor in the previous area. Collect items, then shoot the two chains with well-aimed Handgun shots at the entrance doors (the Novistadores become active after a single shot). Prepare to trigger A repeatedly on the way back from the lever area - those bugs don't fool around. Continue to the belltower - climb the stairs and run past them for a quick exit. Blast the three wooden blocks inside the belltower as you climb the ladders and pull the lever on the top floor to activate the clock mechanism. On the way down, you'll be ambushed by (mostly) crossbow and scythe Zealots, but they're not much of a problem - heal if necessary. Outside, allow the oncoming shield Zealots to approach, lure them all into an attack, then run past while they recover. With the Handgun equipped, trigger the Zealot flood cutscene, evade the spiked ball attacks from the initial defence line, then run to the exit. Do not hesitate, or the Rocket Launcher leader Zealot will fry Leon. 4-1.6: Claws For the time being, don't ever go up the stairs. Turn right and move towards the Green Herb to activate the two unarmed Zealots. Take them down with Handgun and Combat Knife/Suplex, as far away from the Garrador duo as possible. When the coast is clear, fire a Handgun shot at the Garradors to provoke them into a wall charge. This works best if there's a clear line between them, Leon and the wall. Also, try not to hit one of the Garradors directly - both of them need to hear the shot. If you're careless, you might end up with one wall Garrador, the other one providing 'cover' by slashing into thin air. This is more likely to happen in the GameCube version than in the Playstation 2 version. Once the duo does get stuck, blast the parasite of both Garradors in quick succession, at point blank range (Shotgun). Walk away backwards, to the other side of the wall, and wait until both Garradors start looking left-right. Fire a bullet with the Handgun in such a way that either foe hears the shot to get them stuck a second time. With careful positioning, you should be able to hit both Garradors with a single shot. Repeat the pattern until the first Garrador* has been owned, then get rid of the second one in the same manner - without backup, a single Garrador is much easier to beat. After his demise, shoot the vase(s) on the right for an Incendiary Grenade and/or Shotgun Shells (this alerts the corner Zealot), equip a Flash Grenade, then climb the stairway. Beware: several Zealots will appear behind Leon. Act as you see fit, then enter the next room. Prepare to press A+B after the first cutscene, then proceed to the Verdugo encounter**. *: Usually, the unarmoured Garrador goes down first. **: Broken Butterfly users should definitely get the Magnum Ammo near the Merchant right before Verdugo. The ammo is incredibly rare, and you get just enough to beat Salazar (and 3 Armaduras) with. Also get the ammo in 4-2 and 4-4, right before Salazar. 4-1.7: Verdugo Killing Salazar's right hand would be a waste of ammo. There's a failsafe method to escape the fight using only one liquid nitrogen tank, and here's how it's done: first, move into the boiler room furthest away from the elevator room while evading Verdugo's first 3 attacks by pressing L+R or A+B at the right time*. Equip a Flash Grenade to move as quickly as possible. Pull the switch at the back of the room to get the elevator started, then wait at the lowered shutter until Verdugo makes his official entrance. You can position Leon in such a way that he's facing Verdugo's drop point with the "Examine" command on screen. Skip the appearance cutscene, quickly Examine-skip the shutter, then run past Verdugo until you reach the rectangular runway at the back of room. From now on, evade all his attacks as follows: walk or stand still, and listen to Verdugo's footsteps to monitor his movement. When he starts running, you start running. At some point, he'll attack and miss, or you must press L+R at the right moment to evade. Should he attack from the ceiling, you might have to do a series of L+R presses, ending with A+B. Follow the runway in a counter- clockwise fashion - it's easier that way, although Verdugo's attacks might force you into a clockwise rotation. Beggars can't be choosers, I guess. Use this strategy to do a couple of laps around the rectangular runway, then Knock Down the liquid nitrogen tank to put your assailant on ice for a while. Time it so that the shutter raises itself shortly after the freeze. Run to the elevator room - Verdugo will catch up with you soon. Enter the door, then turn around and wait in front of it. If your opponent manages to come through the door as well or appear behind you, you will have to wait at the door from the other side. Anyway, wait until Verdugo taps the door once, then kick it open. Your foe will either somersault back, or get hit in the knees. Step back to close the door (Verdugo recovers), then wait in front of it again. Repeat until the elevator's there - quickly board it. *: After those 3 attacks, Verdugo won't do anything until his official appearance. Chapter 4-1 statistics: Hit ratio 61% Enemies killed 12 Number of times killed 0 Time taken 0:26:30 Chapter 4-1 statistics (Broken Butterfly): Hit ratio 75% Enemies killed 12 Number of times killed 0 Time taken 0:29:41 Notes: Wow, I got through with no hits. This run was excellent. During the lava dragon scene, I was able - on the way back - to jump onto the revolving platform without any delay. I had a perfect double Zealot shot during the Queen's Grail quest, had no damage from the King's Grail quest and the hive Novistadores didn't give me a lot of trouble. The clocktower was easy, and the two Garradors decided to help me out with my time attack. They immediately came down while I Suplexed the second Zealot, after which I could begin the beatdown. I was able to hit them both with one Shotgun Shell nearly all the time, so they saved me ammo as well. Not that that matters a lot - in this chapter, your suitcase is pretty much filled to the brim with ammo. Verdugo went perfectly as well, using the door trick to keep him busy while waiting for the elevator. It's nearly 4 minutes faster than in the previous run, but I'm sure I can shave off a little more if the double Garradors had gone even more smoothly. At this point, I don't really care about hit ratio anymore, except maybe for keeping it over 80% at the very least. We'll see how it further plays out. As far as the Broken Butterfly run is concerned, it looks like I lost about 3 minutes getting it. Actually, I should only lose about 2 minutes, but several scenes didn't go as well as in the normal run. Oh, and I didn't use the Broken Butterfly as at this point, I was concerned about having enough ammo for Salazar. Still, I'd like to see where this takes me... Overall score: Hit ratio 76% Enemies killed 124 Number of times killed 0 Time taken 1:39:36 Overall score (Broken Butterfly): Hit ratio 78% Enemies killed 127 Number of times killed 0 Time taken 1:37:25 Heh, looks like both runs are converging. Not for long, though. Chapter 4-2: The Mine 4-2.1: The Rock Past the Merchant lies a mining area. Run past the two initial torch Ganados, jump down the ladder at the end of the corridor and pull the lever to bring the cart. Turn around, then evade Ganados and restore the power at the fuse box. Jump down and resume evasive manoeuvres until you pulled the lever to lower the cart (watch out for dr. Salvador) and managed to get the Dynamite. Stun the Ganados with a Flash Grenade to get to the large rock blocking the way. Use the Dynamite on the rock to blow it up, evade any Ganado(s) behind it, collect the items inside the barrels if you need them, then leave. 4-2.2: Seeing double Approach the exit in the back to trigger the arrival of two El Gigantes in a cutscene. Turn around, run to the middle of the giant lava hatch and wait until you hear one of them start a smash attack. Immediately operate the device on the right - if everything went correctly, one El Gigante will fall into the lava. Evade his buddy if necessary and stay away from the opened lava hatch to avoid being grabbed. Climb the ladder leading to the cable hook. Turns out that there is a very easy way to knife El Gigante. No more downward punches and evasion of attacks, no Hand Grenades, all you need is a ladder. Once you've climbed it, turn around and watch your foe. When he arches back to rattle the construction Leon's on, don't use the cable hook, but rather jump down. You'll end up directly in front of the giant, who is still rattling things or in the process of recovering from this tiring manoeuvre. Use the lull to slash him repeatedly in the legs. Hold down A for a continuous stream of slashes. While dealing damage, turn Leon to the left or right (keep hitting El Gigante while doing this) so that he faces the ladder at the fifth slash. Quickly Climb the ladder to restart the loop. Because you are able to deal quite a lot of damage quickly, El Gigante will soon fall and bare his parasite. With the right timing, you'll be able to kill him when he opens up a second time. Do so, collect items, then get ready for the usual nightmare. 4-2.3: More creepy crawlies Warning: this scene requires a serious dose of luck. Turn right past the corridor, keep to the right, run up the slope, turn right a second time and head into the cave. Push the button there, skip the cutscene, turn around and exit the cave while evading the oncoming Novistadores (keep to the right, you might need to Kick). Turn left outside the cave and follow the path until Leon reaches a second cave. Go in (ignore the flying Novistadores), push the button, turn around and work your way out by Kicking where necessary*. Enter the gate on the opposite side of the area and continue through the passage. Evade the crushing stones accordingly (don't forget to pull the lever in the middle) and Check the coffin at the end of the road to finish the chapter. *: Use a Flash Grenade if this makes you uncomfortable. Chapter 4-2 statistics: Hit ratio 0% Enemies killed 11 Number of times killed 0 Time taken 0:11:40 Chapter 4-2 statistics (Broken Butterfly): Hit ratio 0% Enemies killed 11 Number of times killed 0 Time taken 0:11:05 Notes: Looks like the ladder knifing strategy pays dividends, as it managed to cut off about a minute. Apparently, knifing El Gigante doesn't count towards the hit ratio. Bleh. The rest of the run went as usual - first part easy, El Gigantes boring, Novistadores nightmare. Luckily, there are enough healing items around to work around any damage caused by those oversized bugs. During the Broken Butterfly run, a miracle happened - I got through the bug cave without taking a hit! That's a first (and probably last) for me, folks. That, and taking less items, improved the time. Overall score: Hit ratio 76% Enemies killed 135 Number of times killed 0 Time taken 1:51:16 Overall score (Broken Butterfly): Hit ratio 78% Enemies killed 138 Number of times killed 0 Time taken 1:48:30 Chapter 4-3: Adrenalin 4-3.1: Catacombs Collect items if necessary, then head to the crank inside the house at the end of the area and rotate it to enter the catacombs. To do this, run past the torch Ganados and keep to the right, disturbing their peers at the campfire as little as possible. They will sniff you out, though, and some may be very close when you finish rotating the crank. Try to avoid them as you go for the ladder. Once you're in, turn right at the maze and make your way to the ladder posted against the building on the left (ignore the Ganados, caution: bear traps). Go up the ladder and get the Key to the Mine. Watch out for dr. Salvador - immediately turn around, drop the ladder, then jump out of the building, turn around, evade Ganados and get the Red Herb if needed*. Unlock the sealed door with the Key to the Mine. A red lights trap awaits, similar to the one in scene 4-1.3, except that Leon is now accompanied by two facehugger Plagas. Shoot the lights one by one, changing position after each shot and get out of the area. *: You can easily run past all Ganados in the PlayStation 2 version - Gamecube players might need to use the Handgun, Shotgun or a Flash Grenade to get through. Watch out for oncoming Ganados after fetching the Red Herb. 4-3.2: Cart ride of Doom Collect items, board the carts and shoot the semi-hidden lever from the middle cart with the Handgun. While moving, try to shoot as many Ganados on the platforms as possible. They drop after one shot, saving you the trouble of dealing with them inside the carts. Ganados able to join the ride should be eliminated with the Shotgun (evade obstacles with L+R as usual), which is quite effective against Plagas. Gradually make your way to the front cart. Sooner or later, a torch Ganado stops the carts by pulling a lever at the intermediate section of the track. Collect the Shotgun Shells while the carts slow down, then blast the lever to continue the journey immediately. Turn around and quickly shoot any close threats. The rest of the journey is pretty straightforward, even though you'll meet another dr. Salvador along the way. Make absolutely sure the cart you're currently occupying is completely free of Ganados by the time the ride accelerates while spiraling down. You do NOT want a Plaga or dr. Salvador in your cart when that happens. Eventually, jump out of the cart by pressing L+R or A+B at the right moment, then tap A repeatedly to climb up. Get the Stone of Sacrifice in the next room and use it on the round indentation at the wall in the upper area. Board the elevator. Chapter 4-3 statistics: Hit ratio 89% Enemies killed 28 Number of times killed 0 Time taken 0:07:07 Chapter 4-3 statistics (Broken Butterfly): Hit ratio 64% Enemies killed 28 Number of times killed 0 Time taken 0:06:40 Notes: This chapter went pretty smoothly. Hit ratio is on par, but the next chapter will have to be very good if I ever want to see it over 80% again. The ratio of the Broken Butterfly run is a lot less impressive, but as it features a better completion time, I'm not complaining. Overall score: Hit ratio 76% Enemies killed 168 Number of times killed 0 Time taken 1:58:23 Overall score (Broken Butterfly): Hit ratio 78% Enemies killed 166 Number of times killed 0 Time taken 1:55:10 Chapter 4-4: Castle Tower 4-4.1: The Statue Run towards the exit until a leader Zealot decides it's much more fun to lower parts of the walkway into the water. Turn around and go up the stairs, passing the spiked ball Zealot by quickly turning to the left. He shouldn't be able to hit you. Climb the ladder and jump on the left hand of the Salazar statue*. Observe the Zealots on the centre platform - hopefully, they're both active, if not, "awaken" them with a Handgun shot**. When up, Jump over and try to evade the welcoming committee. You will probably get hit by the crossbow Zealot. Operate the lever behind them to raise part one of the walkway, then return to the hand (do a lap around the centre piece to stall the enemies while waiting). Quickly Jump onto it, then immediately Jump again to (a) evade the attacks of the Zealots and (b) to reach the middle platform. There, flick the switch on the right so that Salazar's right hand starts coming down. If you didn't awaken the second platform Zealot earlier on, he will be here, inflicting pain. Jump onto the hand - the two Zealots on the other side will join you and miss since you decide to Jump a second time. Jump down to awaken the red Zealot. Lure him into an attack***, evade it, then operate the second lever. The walkway is now clear - exit to the left to head for the exit, but watch out for oncoming Zealots. Evade their attacks if necessary. Salazar's statue comes to life - tap A to run away and press L, R and L+R when prompted. Quickly slash the lock on the exit door with the Combat Knife, then kick it open. After the cutscene, tap A again to run, then press L+R or A+B to jump and finally tap A to climb up. Enter the castle tower. *: The Zealot near the jump point ought to be sleeping while you approach. In case he woke up early and is advancing towards Leon, step back in time to evade his attack. Don't miss the hand. **: In this case, which is the most common one, combat Knife players will probably take some damage a little later. Restart the chapter until both platform Zealots become active. ***: If you feel lucky, you can try to access the lever immediately. 4-4.2: A pinch of Donkey Kong Press L+R or A+B to evade Leon's own Combat Knife, get the Yellow Herb, then climb the spiral staircase on the right. After the cutscene, take a left as soon as possible to evade the rolling barrels. Ignore the scythe Zealots on the walkway, then go up the ladder. Another Zealot awaits - he will probably land a hit. Let him, then fetch items if necessary. Push the two wooden boxes off the cargo elevator, then operate the control panel to activate it. Quickly try to locate the crossbow Zealot(s) (there are two in the GameCube version) and take him (them) down with the Handgun. Only 2 shots are required per crossbow Zealot. Soon enough, leader Zealots will arrive - up to four of them at a time. If there are two or more leader Zealots present, the cargo elevator will stop. Equip the Shotgun. With a single blast, all the targets it hits will be thrown back. Use this to shoot the leader Zealots off the platform before they can attack. To do this, some take position at the centre of the elevator, I prefer standing at one of the openings at the side. After a while, the elevator will reach its destination - collect as many usable items as you can, then proceed to the final battle with Salazar. Unless you're sporting the Broken Butterfly, you might want to save at the typewriter near the Merchant - in this run, Ramon is a level all by himself. 4-4.3: Ramon Salazar (i) The Handgun way Defeating Salazar requires some practise, as you need to plant about 250 (!) Handgun bullets into him before he lets you through. Yes, you read that right: two hundred and fifty. And that's not counting the amount of ammo you need to expose his white body. That's why you had to hoard Shotgun Shells and Handgun Ammo all this time. If you have about 300 bullets and 75 shells in your attache case, you should be able to survive. Games were played where Salazar was defeated with only one Shotgun Shell left, even after collecting all the extra ammo in the arena. Basically, you must blast 4 Shotgun Shells into Salazar's weak point - the eye on the middle tentacle - to expose Salazar's white body. You can then pump up to 15 bullets into it with the Handgun*, before the middle tentacle becomes active again. This, however, is easier said than done**. In order to fire at the tentacle, you must place Leon directly in front of the middle tentacle. There is a magical spot where the ever-annoying left and right tentacles can't hit you, which is situated in the middle of the walkway. Try to find this magical spot and develop the right feeling to place Leon there every time. That way, you can fire at the eye freely and only have to jump down when the centre tentacle raises itself or decides to open its mouth. Use the ladder on the left to get back to work. Also, whenever you feel that you "missed the spot", expect attacks from the left or right tentacle - press L+R or A+B in time to evade them. Be careful, as life is at a premium here***. Tips: The middle tentacle moves in a clockwise fashion. Start shooting the eye when it's at "6 o'clock" - you'll be able to fire 4 to 5 bullets while it moves to "midnight". When it opens its mouth, you still have enough time to fire 3 to 4 additional bullets. While the core opens, you can already adjust your aim and take fire with the Handgun. Adjust your aim while shooting and get as many hits as possible. While reloading, Salazar's body will lower a bit while the middle tentacle raises itself - adjust your aim accordingly. Once it's back in business, resist the urge to jump down, but rather reload the Handgun and get in more hits. Should Salazar be doing his quadruple tentacle crush attack, climb the ladder after the first crush so that you're back in action as soon as your enemy finishes the attack. By the way, in the unlikely case that you're low on Handgun bullets, take a breather in the lower levels - away from Salazar - and start knifing facehugger Plagas. They should drop some Handgun Ammo from time to time, enabling you to get back to Salazar and finish him off once and for all. (ii) The Broken Butterfly way The strategy is basically the same as above, except that you get to plant 6 Magnum bullets and a Shotgun blast into Salazar instead of 15 Handgun bullets. This makes a world of difference, as your opponent will bite the dust the third time he gets exposed. Check below to see how the Broken Butterfly cuts into the clock. After the fight****, your attache case will have lots of room again, so collect all useful items you come across. Go to the next room, collect more items, then trigger the Ada encounter to finish the scenario. *: The first time his body is out in the open, you can only fire 10 bullets. **: Salazar was designed to be the No Merchant runner's nightmare. The game developers made him very quirky because they expect you to knock on his door with fully powered weapons, preferably machines of death such as the Broken Butterfly or the Rocket Launcher. The movement of the middle tentacle makes fast targeting difficult. The left and right tentacles are a real pain and love to disturb you while you're shooting the body. Add to that the limited amount of healing at your disposal, the enormous amount of bullets he requires, the way he loves combining attacks and you're facing a tremendous challenge. ***: You probably have a full health bar and a Red Herb at this point. Together with the Green Herbs and the First Aid Spray here, you can take about 5 tentacle grabs before things get critical. ****: If you have the Broken Butterfly, discard it now. You no longer need it. Chapter 4-4 statistics: Hit ratio 99% Enemies killed 18 Number of times killed 0 Time taken 0:22:22 Chapter 4-4 statistics: Hit ratio 91% Enemies killed 19 Number of times killed 0 Time taken 0:09:06 Notes: Scenes 4-4.1 and 4-4.2 were absolutely perfect, I managed to shoot all red Zealots off the elevator platform without its ascent interrupted. This greatly speeds up the first parts of the run. Salazar went down as in the Combat Knife and Handgun run with one tentacle hit (which I made up for with some amazing weapon cycles, and by using the occasion to get the First Aid Spray and ammo from the barrels in the back). The Broken Butterfly run shows a dramatic increase of speed, as was to be expected. I got rid of the weapon after the fight in favour of grenades, as they are much more useful in chapter 5. Overall score: Hit ratio 89% Enemies killed 181 Number of times killed 0 Time taken 2:20:25 Overall score (Broken Butterfly): Hit ratio 78% Enemies killed 185 Number of times killed 0 Time taken 2:04:16 At this point, I'm 35 minutes faster than the previous run! Wow, those new strategies and skipping unnecessary pickups really paid off. Of course, this would be virtually impossible if I were to do all this in one sitting - an unattended hit somewhere with no healing items around and it's all over. Anyway, if I can somehow shave off 3 more minutes, I'll be able to get this run below 3:15:00. The Broken Butterfly run is even better, with a sub 3:00:00 possible if I can keep up the same level of play. Anyhoo, the hardest part is over, let's chill out in chapter 5! Chapter 5-1: The Island 5-1.1: J.J. and friends Follow the path and take a right until you trigger the Ashley cutscene. Jump over the gap to alert the soldier Ganados in another cutscene, then make a break for the ladder. You should be able to climb it without getting hit by the axe Ganado. Check the reflecting mirror and rotate it so that the right "antenna" touches the vertical metal bar in the flame barrel on the right, then jump down the platform and move towards the locked gate. Ignore J.J.'s appearance, go up the stairs and check the laser on the left to activate it. Careful now: run past the barrel and jump down the ledge. Move towards the shield and taser Ganados in the back and pass them on the right. Curl around the structure they are guarding, then climb the ladder to reach a second mirror. Rotate it to guide the laser beam onto the first mirror. If your earlier positioning was spot-on, the gate will open. Jump off the platform and hurry through the unlocked gate (you might get hit). You will be ambushed by a crossbow and unarmed Ganado at the end of the corridor - shoot the latter soldier once to safely reach the ladder, or don't if you feel lucky. To speed through the next area, jump over the gap on the right with the Handgun equipped, curl around the house, run up the slope (ignore the Rocket Launcher Ganado, or shoot him once), turn right, then push the button to open the gate. Go through - four soldier Ganados fall down at the end of the next passage. Try to enter the exit to their left without getting hit (step back to evade the taser Ganados, then leave). 5-1.2: Infiltration of the fortress The next three areas are quite easy, but the gate ambush in the third area is tricky if you want to beat it quickly. Stand behind the broken window initially, then try to hit a dynamite stick held by one of the two Ganados before it is thrown for an instant kill (difficult shot). Then, move to the left with an Incendiary Grenade equipped. Close in on the gate to trigger 3 crossbow Ganados, then step back until the gate opens. Aim up (not too low or too high) and throw the grenade into the crossbow Ganados. The blast ought to hit all 3, if not, you're going to take longer than expected. Finish them off with a Hand Grenade. When they're gone, the gate will open permanently, even if you didn't kill the spiked ball Ganado also present there. Proceed to the locked door in the experimental chamber and unlock it (3 red, 2 green, 1 yellow) to grab the Freezer Card Key. Go to the freezer room, evading the Regenerador on your way using the step back technique. Do not even think about taking them on. Unlock the door with the Freezer Card Key, enter the area, then use the device in the small room on the right to get the Waste Disposal Card Key. Leave, turn right, evade another Regenerador and use the Waste Disposal Card Key to reach the next area. Open the next door, jump down the ladder, then run past the first 3 Ganados. The fourth Ganado will attack with a spiked ball, so you must step back. Hurry to the exit before they catch up. If you want the Flash Grenade from the locker, get it now. 5-1.3: Freeing Ashley In the next area, you'll come across Ashley's "cell", guarded by two giant Ganados. Ignore her cries for now and proceed to the area beyond the next one, evading Ganados along the way (which isn't too difficult). Move ahead until a cutscene announces an approaching Iron Maiden. Equip an Incendiary Grenade and toss them at the feet of your opponent. Wait until the foe is on its feet for the next beating. Repeat this 4 more times while keeping a safe distance, then shoot the explosive red cannister to act as a 5th Incendiary Grenade. Finish him off with a single Hand Grenade. Grab the Storage Room Card Key the Iron Maiden leaves behind. Proceed to the next area, where you can shoot the middle Crow on the first row (look up) for a Flash Grenade. The Crow requires 2 shots. Collect items at the Merchant and return to the area before the previous one. The staircase after the first corridor is guarded by several crossbow Ganados. With a Flash Grenade equipped, run past them and take a left beyond the stairs - collect the Flash Grenade if you want to, then watch out for the spiked ball Ganado. Most of the time, he will be pointing, which is your cue to move past him and slowly open the door. As soon as he attacks, kick the door open to "glitchvade" his spiked ball. Enter the next area, turn left, ignore the giant Ganados (one points, the other can be evaded) and unlock the door with the Storage Room Card Key. Seek out Ashley to wrap up the chapter. Chapter 5-1 statistics: Hit ratio 100% Enemies killed 8 Number of times killed 0 Time taken 0:10:52 Chapter 5-1 statistics (Broken Butterfly): Hit ratio 100% Enemies killed 6 Number of times killed 0 Time taken 0:10:35 Notes: Near-perfect run with a hit ratio way above par. I got a perfect gate ambush and all the rest went as it should, except for a little menu trouble, which probably cost me a second or 5. Overall score: Hit ratio 89% Enemies killed 189 Number of times killed 0 Time taken 2:31:27 Overall score (Broken Butterfly): Hit ratio 78% Enemies killed 191 Number of times killed 0 Time taken 2:14:51 Chapter 5-2: Busting out 5-2.1: Garbage dump Leave the storage room and throw a Flash Grenade as soon as you see the Ganados around the corner. Evade the attack of the still active shieldbearer, then exit. Immediately turn right in the next room and run towards the pointer and crossbow Ganado. After the cutscene, leave Ashley behind and access the control panel to open the shutter. Turn around while the axe Ganado is grabbing his weapon, then run past all the oncoming Ganados to the waste dump. If this scares you, shoot the pointer Ganado in the head after the cutscene - you'll be able to floor the axe and crossbow Ganado if he stumbles backward. The rest of the scene shouldn't be a problem from there. Approach the waste dump to trigger a cutscene transporting you to another area. Operate the levers to get to the first metal crate. Let Leon and Ashley push it, then move to the second Iron Maiden. Lure it into a punch attack, then run past it on the right. Dual-push the crate 3 times to reach the exit, and do this very quickly, or the Iron Maiden behind you will turn Leon into shish kebab. If you want less risk, allow the Maiden to approach you for a few steps before you lure it into the punch attack. 5-2.2: The wrecking ball The three Ganados in the next area are easily evaded, although you must pray that the axe Ganado will throw his weapon. You should have 3 Flash Grenades at this point. Proceed through the corridor until you have to jump out of a large air vent. Run towards the control room, skip the cutscene after Ashley's jump and throw a Flash Grenade to stun the pack of soldier Ganados which just spawned. Go inside the small control room and let Ashley operate the wrecking ball. Run back outside and throw a Flash Grenade whenever the pack wakes up. Let them manoeuvre for a few second to buy some time, then throw the flasher. Once the wrecking ball breaks the wall, Ashley will join you - exit quickly. Operate the lever in the next area to activate the Regenerador. Evade his attack by stepping back, then pass him on the left*. Take a left, go into the meeting room**, press the switch in the back, go back outside and evade the Regenerador at the T junction. Quickly Check the shutter to Send Ashley, wait for her to raise it (confront the Regeneradores and evade their moves to keep them in one place), then take a left. Position Ashley at one of the two control switches, check the other one and press A at the fourth beep to unlock the double doors. Leave. *: You should have noticed by now that Ashley always keeps to Leon's left. Passing enemies on the left will therefore offer additional protection to the young girl. **: Leave Ashley at the door to function as a breathing doorstop. That way, you won't have to open the door twice. 5-2.3: Bulldozer business Climb the bulldozer, stand at the back and equip the Shotgun. Soon, throngs of soldier Ganados will arrive. Blast them while they are still trailing the bulldozer to keep them at a safe distance. Watch out for a couple of surprise Ganados dropping from the ceiling - move to Ashley and eliminate them from there. At some point, a truck will open pursuit. Take it down with 6 to 7 shots from the Handgun (never use the Shotgun, unless it's a finishing shot). Repeat this a little later, when the truck charges a second time. From then on, it's more or less smooth sailing until the intermediate area, where Ashley is "leaving it to you". Jump off the bulldozer as soon as possible and climb the ladder on the right. Disrupt every oncoming Ganado with the Shotgun (caution: spiked ball Ganado around the corner), flick the switch and hurry back to the bulldozer. Dawdle for too long, and Ashley will be killed. Board the bulldozer and kill any Ganados threatening Ashley (GameCube version only), then switch to the Handgun. Once the gate opens, shoot two times two Ganados placed at a high position. One shot is enough to drop them - miss, and they will jump into the bulldozer. After that, switch to the Shotgun and try to eliminate all the Ganados as quickly as possible. At some point, Ashley will shout "It's coming right at us!". Blast the oncoming truck with the Handgun until the bulldozer is forced to ram the left wall*. Enter the door at the Merchant area. *: Easier said than done. Make sure all trailing Ganados are dead before taking on the truck. If one of them attacks you while shooting, the game is over - sometimes, you will enter a hopeless situation involving Plagas. Luck is definitely needed in this scene. Chapter 5-2 statistics: Hit ratio 88% Enemies killed 28 Number of times killed 0 Time taken 0:10:19 Chapter 5-2 statistics (Broken butterfly): Hit ratio 80% Enemies killed 31 Number of times killed 0 Time taken 0:09:55 Notes: Wow, what a great chapter. The first parts went how they should, and I was able to fire at the last truck without interruption. This time, the hit ratio is on par with 88%. Most of the gained time comes from the initial scenes and the faster Iron Maidens bit. I used even faster tactics for the Broken Butterfly run, which are now incorporated into the run. Overall score: Hit ratio 89% Enemies killed 217 Number of times killed 0 Time taken 2:41:46 Overall score (Broken Butterfly): Hit ratio 78% Enemies killed 222 Number of times killed 0 Time taken 2:24:46 Chapter 5-3: Jack-in-the-box 5-3.1: How you doing, comrade? Work yourself through the boiler room (not difficult), then press L+R or A+B at the right moment during the rather lengthy Jack Krauser cutscene. Frantically switching between the button combinations is not a good idea - it's better to quickly figure out and press the correct combination. Once Jack mentions Umbrella, get ready to repeatedly tap B (A), then switch to A (B) when prompted. Ada saves the day, and you can move on. The laser room up next is quite easy: you can direcltly run past the first two arrays as soon as the cutscene ends (or wait for an opening to pass through). The third array needs a timely push of L+R - the fourth requires two presses of L+R. Examine the control panel at the back of the door to activate the final array. Run a bit forward as it approaches, then press L+R at the right moment to clear the room. Leave through the door and proceed to the confrontation with U-3. 5-3.2: U-3 U-3 is extremely annoying inside the container-rigs. Evade him at all costs. In the first rig, run forward to lure the monster into a tentacle grab. Step back to evade it, then run past U-3, curling left. Shoot the oncoming green light with the Handgun to raise the shutter. Press the button on the control panel, then turn around and return to the central walkway. Take a left (you will probably have to press L+R or A+B in time to Duck at some point, or U-3 will be far behind you), shoot green light number two and push the button. Leave the rig through the large red doors, which are very close. In rig two, shoot the two green lights left and right of the central corridor before moving onto it. Activate U-3, run past him and access the control panel he was guarding. Turn around, then take a right and a left to reach the second panel - if all went well, U-3 shouldn't bother you until this point, where he will either jump down or do a L+R or A+B attack from above. Push the button, turn around and leave. Rig number three is the easiest. Push the button of the control panel on the left. Two cutscenes later, you're introduced to "scissors" U-3. His attacks are slow, and easy to evade. Run through the grey central passage and go left until you reach a small gate. Shoot the green light behind it, then go all the way, turning right to reach the second control panel. One button press later, you are free to leave the rig. Don't forget to Jump towards the chain. Run forward to trigger the next cutscene. U-3 hasn't given up, it seems. The final confrontation comes in two parts and while easy, takes quite some time. During the first part, shoot the two explosive barrels with the Handgun whenever U-3 is next to them, then switch to Incendiary Grenades. Throw 4 of them in his face, then fire 3 Shotgun Shells until he breaks down, roars and goes crazy with his scissors - part two has begun. Switch to the Handgun (or keep the Incendiaries, if you have some left). The strategy during part two is quite simple: tempt U-3 into a scissors attack, run away from him until he goes underground, evade the underground scissors attack(s) with (a) timely press(es) of L+R or A+B, then run to the left or right side of his lower body when he comes out of the ground and slash away until he turns around to attack. While knifing, turn Leon in such a way that he can immediately run away from the monster in case something unexpected happens. Most of the time, though, he will go back underground. Alternatively, throw an Incendiary Grenade under the front part of his body for loads of damage. Repeat until dead. During the battle, run circles around the large dirt heap to stay out of U-3's claws whenever he decides to open pursuit (rare, but it happens). Check the left and right side of the dirt heap at regular intervals to see whether the monster is still following you or has changed direction. As U-3 is weakened, the amount of scissors attacks will increase, as will the time he spends chasing you around the dirt heap. It is imperative that you get him underground as quickly as possible, so be very aggressive. My favourite spot to wait for the scissors attacks is at the left side of the left gate (which can be opened and closed). You will need around 90 slashes to kill U-3, which sounds like a lot, but really isn't since you can deal up to 10 slashes every time he surfaces. *: When you hear that U-3 is "running" (sounds like a galloping horse), wait briefly to lure him into an attack, then run forward. 5-3.3: Intermission Take a deep breath of fresh air, then continue to the next area until you spot a large amount of Ganados in an encampment down below. Jump down on the left, enter the tent and go down the hole. Continue to the area where Krauser awaits... 5-3.4: Jack Krauser At the start, head towards the shack. When Jack uses his TMP, graciously swallow the damage (or run for cover at the pillars, if you prefer). Inside, turn around (heal if necessary) and arm the Combat Knife in front of the entrance door. Slash away as soon as Jack bursts through, then, whenever possible, slash a second and third time* so that your foe is forced to use a Flash Grenade to retreat. Kick the gate open, run past the walled area, take a right, pass the next structure (caution: Jack will wait for you there - if he uses the TMP, swerve from left to right during the approach). Go left up a spiral staircase to trigger a cutscene where Leon picks up the Piece of the Holy Beast, Panther. Wait a split second after the cutscene, then move forward and knife Krauser as he jumps onto the roof. Run directly under the roof - with the right timing, Jack might sustain damage from his own Hand Grenade. Wait under the roof, fully on the right, until he jumps down (his drop-off point is always the same) and slash him with the Combat Knife. He will counterattack - either slash first, or press L+R or A+B at the right moment to disrupt him. A few successful stabs later, Krauser will bid adieu a second time. Push the statue onto the pressure-sensitive area and pull the lever to raise the gate. Return to the previous structure, turn right, pull a second lever and jump down to a lower area before Krauser is able to attack. Run through the robot infested-area without hesitation and don't worry if you get hit once - you should have picked up plenty of healing items by now. Eventually, Krauser decides it's time for a little chat. Whether you answer him by pressing A or not, move into the passage on the left after the conversation. Go up the stairs, climb the ladder and claim the Piece of the Holy Beast, Eagle. Press L+R or A+B at right moment during the second cutscene to avoid being thrown off the tower. After the time bomb cutscene, run past Krauser to the right, onto the walkway where you just picked of the Piece of the Holy Beast, Eagle. Krauser will respond with an attack. Turn around while the attack ends and run towards Jack while he backflips. Don't get too close - you want him to do a second backflip into the corner of the walkway. Quickly close in on him there, then disrupt his imminent attack with the Combat Knife. Did I mention you have to be fast to pull this off? Now, if your positioning was spot-on, Krauser will be effectively trapped in the corner, no matter what his response is. You can literally rip him to shreds. In case he does manage to escape the trap, evade his counterattack, step back and try to corner him again. Also, whenever he does a jumpslash or two kicks, feel free to close in for the attack. About 19 slashes later, Krauser will be history (in this scenario, at least). Collect the Piece of the Holy Beast, Serpent (suits Krauser well), hurry to the exit gates and use the 3 pieces to end the chapter. *: Do this whenever Jack is about to attack, right before he will go into "standoff" mode where you must press a combination of L+R and/or A+B to come out victorious. Chapter 5-3 statistics: Hit ratio 89% Enemies killed 2 Number of times killed 0 Time taken 0:18:29 Chapter 5-3 statistics (Broken Butterfly): Hit ratio 89% Enemies killed 2 Number of times killed 0 Time taken 0:16:32 Notes: Using the new tactics, I managed to cut off 3 minutes from the old run. U-3 could have been faster, but Krauser was divine, with 2:29 on the bomb timer after he croaked. I was able to keep him cornered and knife him continuously, save a few evasive manoeuvres which had to be done to stay alive. The fight wasn't as good in the Broken Butterfly run, with 2:24 on the timer, but the initial parts were very fast. Also, hoarding grenades paid off - thanks to a lucky item drop in scene 5-2.3, I had 8 Incendiaries against U-3, which greatly accelerated the fight. Overall score: Hit ratio 89% Enemies killed 219 Number of times killed 0 Time taken 3:00:15 Overall score (Broken Butterfly): Hit ratio 79% Enemies killed 224 Number of times killed 0 Time taken 2:41:23 Chapter 5-4: Warzone 5-4.1: War! Run up the slope and skip cutscenes until the first gatling gun is active. Swerve to the left while it's firing, and pray that the crossbow Ganado doesn't hit Leon. Turn left as soon as they take a break and follow the path. A cutscene shows a lot of soldier Ganados on the alert - skip it and climb the nearby ladder. Squirm past the dynamite and crossbow Ganados to the right until you can Jump off. Run over the bridge and shoot the barrel on the right to destroy the lock on the door of the tower, then kick it open. Inside the tower, push the button on the left to get to the next area. Climb the stairs on the right - watch out for J.J. (cutscene) and another gatling gun. Disrupt the shield and spiked ball Ganados with the Shotgun or Handgun (hit the shield Ganado from the side, kick him into the other one)*, then ride the cable winch to the other side. You'll disrupt J.J. in the process - turn left, get the Hand Grenade, then jump off the ledge. J.J. will try a melee attack, but miss. Pull the switch to open the intermediary gates, jump down and enter the new area. *: Alternatively, lure out an attack, evade it, then run past them in a wide arc. 5-4.2: Gatling gun fun Run into the left corridor after the cutscene and climb the ladder. Equip the Shotgun, run past the crate and wait for the shield Ganado to arrive. Blast him once to destroy his shield, then a second time to throw him off the walkway. In the meantime, Mike the chopper pilot will start assaulting one of the gatling guns on the side - pray that it is the one on the left. Run onto the walkway in between bursts of fire from the gatling guns. Move past the dynamite Ganado, turn left and enter the hideout right of the gatling gun. Shoot the gunner with the Handgun, then turn right to throw the first switch. You will probably get hit by the gatling gun in the middle. By now, Mike should have destroyed the gatling gun on the left. Jump off the walkway as soon as possible. Go up the other ladder on the opposite side (disrupt oncoming Ganados with Handgun or Shotgun), turn right and throw the second switch. Stay to the left to evade the remaining gatling gun. Turn around and plow through the oncoming Ganados with the Shotgun if need be. Jump down the ladder, turn left and exit, ignoring the gatling gunner. The next area is clear of enemies. You can safely run past the Regenerador and hop on the broken staircase to exit. 5-4.3: War! continued Proceed to the staircase guarded by crossbow Ganados. Climb it and run towards the soldier Ganado reaching for his axe. He will probably throw it, allowing you to run past him (watch out for the shield Ganado) on the right, into the opening with the explosive barrel. If this is too risky, shoot the explosive barrel in front of you to floor the axe and shield Ganados. Turn right and examine the wall at the end of the passage to trigger 2 cutscenes. Turn around, go left (some Ganados will storm past you - ignore them) and try to spot a Ganado wearing a red head band. When he's close to the explosive barrel next to the door he came though, shoot it, then kill him while he's floored. Wear him down before the surrounding Ganados get a chance to hit you. You can also go through the door and use the explosive barrel there to finish off the red head band Ganado once and for all. Your target will cough up the Power Supply Card Key when killed. Playing the PlayStation 2 version? Then keep in mind that J.J. will appear as soon as you kill one of the Ganados (whether it's the head band Ganado or not). Pick up the card key, enter the door and climb the ladder. Ignore any opponents and use the Power Supply Card Key on the apparatus in the back of the room. Exit on the left (PlayStation 2 version: disrupt J.J. with Shotgun head shots if necessary), then jump down as soon as possible. Enter the room directly in front and push the first green switch. Go back and follow the walkway into a third room. If you were fast enough, only a crossbow Ganado will be there (nothing in the PlayStation 2 version), which you can safely ignore. If there are taser or spiked ball Ganados, disrupt them with the Shotgun. Push the second green switch to raise the shutter previously blocking your path, then jump down the ladder (Gamecube version: pick up the Flash Grenade from the table and throw it down the hole to stun the Ganados below). Follow the passage, evading Ganados as you see fit. Go down the stairs, open the door and turn left. Evade the attack of the two shield Ganados (not in the PlayStation 2 version), then run past them and exit. 5-4.4: Calm before the storm After the cutscene, Ashley's back with you. Proceed to the next area, go down the stairs and throw a Flash Grenade at the T junction to stun the 4 Ganados there. Enter the door guarded by the two giant Ganados. Chapter 5-4 statistics: Hit ratio 88% Enemies killed 9 Number of times killed 0 Time taken 0:07:02 Chapter 5-4 statistics (Broken Butterfly): Hit ratio 91% Enemies killed 17 Number of times killed 0 Time taken 0:07:02 Notes: Where chapter 5-2 was a nightmare in the Combat Knife and Handgun walkthrough, this chapter is a nightmare when you don't have a lot of healing items around and Leon is at his weakest HP level. I got hit by a machine gun so many times, it wasn't funny. However, when Mike shoots the right gatling gun post (the one on the left), you ought to have a fair chance. It's possible to complete this chapter more quickly if the red headband Ganado in scene 5-4.3 decides to work along, but at that point, I was just happy to get through alive. Amazingly, the Broken Butterfly run took just as long, even though I played it in a somewhat different way. Overall score: Hit ratio 89% Enemies killed 228 Number of times killed 0 Time taken 3:07:17 Overall score (Broken Butterfly): Hit ratio 89% Enemies killed 241 Number of times killed 0 Time taken 2:48:25 The Final Chapter Fin.1: Osmund Saddler Turn left, go up the stairs and enter the next area. You should have at least 1 Shotgun Shell left, if not, get the Shells near the exit and load them into the boomstick. Also, you should have 3 Hand Grenades. Saddler awaits past the final Merchant - he is a pushover if you know what you're doing. Skip the cutscenes, press A as the elevator prompt appears, then immediately aim to the left and try to shoot the eye on the leg with the Shotgun. After the cutscene, shoot his exposed "head" with the Shotgun, then Climb the monster. You will be doing this a few more times. Run past Saddler on the right, get the Shotgun Shells, position yourself right of the explosive barrel, turn around and wait for Osmund to follow*. Don't move too far, or he will jump. When he's close enough, blast the barrel and do your second Shotgun/Climb combo of the day. During the attack, your position should change in such a way that Saddler's body moved past the first steel column (noticeable on the right). When not, you'll have to try the chapter again. Turn around and run to the small platform with the crane switch. Saddler will try to hit you by smacking the second steel column into Leon's spine. Unfortunately for him, you will be climbing up the platform at the very same moment, thus negating the attack. Operate the switch - wait until the bridge lights turn red before using it (or flick the switch immediately if you like taking risks). Saddler will be hit by the crane attack. Jump down the platform, turn right and aim down carefully to blast the head, then Climb as usual. The overall timing should be such that you can now run onto the bridge on the left. Wait for a bit, reload the Shotgun, then press L+R at the right moment to Jump. While you're tapping A to get on the walkway, Saddler will jump over to welcome you. Turn right and shoot the nearby explosive barrel to stun your opponent yet another time. One Shotgun blast and Climb later, prepare to throw a Hand Grenade under your foe's body. Immediately equip the Shotgun and initiate the reload sequence for a quick auto-reload during the blast. After that, it's time for the usual Shotgun/Climb combo. Do the same with the other 2 Hand Grenades. At some point, Saddler will be able to throw the nearby steel column - take it like a (wo)man, it's the only damage he will ever deal to Leon. You can try to evade it but really, it's not worth the hassle. Once you're out of Hand Grenades, turn around and climb the platform. Operate the 2nd crane switch, then jump down the platform for another Shotgun/Climb (the head shot requires precise aiming). The Ada cutscene should now play - when not, throw the nearby Hand Grenade. Run to the Rocket Launcher (special), quickly exchange it with the Shotgun (it's the same size), equip it, take aim and fire to obliterate your foe. ... "What's this, using a Rocket Launcher (special)?!", you say? I accept the use of this launcher as it is part of the scenario - especially in light of Separate Ways** - and it is a tradition in Resident Evil to end the final battle with a bang. However, if you're a purist, you will probably want to best Saddler without using the Rocket Launcher (special). So I couldn't resist - here's what you need to do. Definitely get the Shotgun Shells in the area before Saddler. Fight Saddler as described above*** until the Ada cutscene. Use the last Hand Grenade for a Shotgun/Climb, then run past him. You must now try to shoot an eye on his legs with the Handgun before you can do another Shotgun/Climb. Start with the eyes on the front legs, then go for those on the hind legs. Those are really tricky to catch, but doable if you lure Saddler into an attack, then run to the back and turn around. You should have just enough time to target and shoot one of his "back lights". The technique is risky, so I hope you brought along some healing items. To save time, it is very important to stay on the current walkway. Once the leg eyes are all gone, you will be able to target Saddler's head directly. You can then easily switch from "head shots" to Shotgun/Climb cycles and back without moving from the spot. After about 10 cycles, Saddler will be history the no-launcher way. *: Saddler will likely do a charge attack. Shoot the barrel as soon as you see the slightest hint of his legs. **: Ada throwing a Rocket Launcher which Leon can use to dispatch an end boss with? That's a Resident Evil 2 deja vu if I ever saw one :). ***: If you're low on Shotgun Shells, use the Handgun to shoot eyes and explosive barrels. Fin.2: Jet-ski finale Upon receiving the Jet-ski Key, board the elevator, pick up Ashley in the next cutscene and continue to the Jet-ski. Ride it to freedom - accelerate by pushing the Left Analog Stick up repeatedly and move left-right to evade obstacles. For the best performance, gradually increase the push-up frequency until the jet-ski engine is at the max. I usually end up with 0:48 on the clock. After all you've been through, this should be a mere formality. Congratulations, you've conquered the No Merchant challenge. See you next guide? Final chapter statistics - Rocket Launcher (special): Hit ratio 100% (no misses) Enemies killed 1 (Saddler, obviously) Number of times killed 0 Time taken 0:07:11 Final chapter statistics - no Rocket Launcher (special): Hit ratio 90% (estimate, I missed a few Handgun shots) Enemies killed 1 Number of times killed 0 Time taken 0:12:09 Final chapter statistics - Rocket Launcher (special) (Broken Butterfly): Hit ratio 100% (no misses) Enemies killed 1 (Saddler, obviously) Number of times killed 0 Time taken 0:07:09 Final chapter statistics - no Rocket Launcher (special) (Broken Butterfly): Hit ratio 95% (estimate, I missed a few Handgun shots) Enemies killed 1 Number of times killed 0 Time taken 0:11:59 Notes: I repeated this chapter until I got a Rocket Launcher (special) kill which was about as fast as in the previous run (turns out, 7:09 is *really* fast :), then repeated some more until I nailed Saddler without the broken weapon. I'm extremely happy that I managed to finish below 3:20:00 in both cases. And at the 3:00:00 mark with the Broken Butterfly. If I had done a few parts more quickly in some of the earlier chapters, the "no Rocket Launcher (special) (Broken Butterfly)" run would have been below 3 hours as well. At least I know it's possible now. Strangely, the overall statistics are not what you would expect. Final result - Rocket Launcher (special): Hit ratio 89% Enemies killed 228 Number of times killed 0 Time taken 3:14:28 Final result - no Rocket Launcher (special): Hit ratio 89% Enemies killed 228 Number of times killed 0 Time taken 3:19:26 Final result - Rocket Launcher (special) (Broken Butterfly): Hit ratio 79% Enemies killed 241 Number of times killed 0 Time taken 2:55:34 Final result - no Rocket Launcher (special) (Broken Butterfly): Hit ratio 79% Enemies killed 241 Number of times killed 0 Time taken 3:00:24 The game doesn't count Saddler as a kill, and the hit ratio acquired in this chapter does not affect the total accuracy. This is in accordance with what I got during the other runs. .6. Epilogue Phew, I'm beat. Doing this run, as well as time attacking the chapters was really exhausting, leave alone writing down how to do it. I'm happy, though - playing No Merchant is a lot of fun, and the guide turned out pretty good. Time for a few afterthoughts. 6.1. About the run So, as you can see, sub 3:00:00 No Merchant runs are possible, even though it requires a Broken Butterfly and a PS2. And even if you're playing on a Gamecube, without the Broken Butterfly, not using the Rocket Launcher (special), you can end up well below 3:30:00. Coolness. As stated in the guide, a few sections can be done even faster, but I don't think it's possible to go a lot lower than this. Unless I missed something really major. If I did, please let me know via e-mail. Now onto some possibly interesting stuff. 6.2. Chapter Difficulty Chart I thought it would be cool to make a chart about the relative difficulty levels of each chapter. That way, you can immediately see which chapters are a walk in the park and which chapters are insane. And get a nice ASCII picture to boot. The amount of stars (*) shows you how hard a particular chapter is. The more stars, the harder the chapter. One star is dead easy, ten stars is a total nightmare. I've rated each chapter from my own experience, relative to the Knife/Handgun experience - feel free to discuss it with me if you disagree somewhere. Also, the chart might change in later updates, given that better killing methods are developed (see the next section). On with the show: PlayStation 2, Gamecube - Resident Evil 4 Difficulty Chart No Merchant runs Chapter | Difficulty 1-1 | *** 1-2 | ** 1-3 | **** 2-1 | *** 2-2 | **** 2-3 | **** 3-1 | **** [+ ** for Gamecube] 3-2 | *** 3-3 | * 3-4 | ** 4-1 | ***** ** [- * for Broken Butterfly] 4-2 | ***** 4-3 | **** 4-4 | ***** ** [- *** for Broken Butterfly] 5-1 | *** 5-2 | ***** * 5-3 | ***** 5-4 | **** FINAL | *** [+ ** for no Rocket Launcher (special)] 6.3. Not enough cash, stranger? At some point, I wondered whether or not it would be possible to gather enough cash to buy a really expensive weapon (Infinite Rocket Launcher, Chicago Typewriter, fully upgraded Handcannon) immediately after playing through the game just once, in a more or less normal way*. Having that kind of money would also mean that you could probably start round two with any configuration of "normal" weapons, upgraded to the max. Quite interesting. Then I realised that a No Merchant-based run would be the best way to find out what kind of starting money you can expect at the beginning of round two. After all, you don't spend cash during a No Merchant, so you can save it all up for later. However, to maximise profits (and have a comfortable ride**), I decided to spend some cash during the run for the following items: Attache Case M Attache Case L Attache Case XL Rifle (semi-auto) The attache cases allowed me to store lots of goodies and sell them later on, as well as have enough ammo to deal with the enemies. The Rifle (semi-auto) is very convenient in taking down Novistadores, Regeneradores and Iron Maidens. I then did the following: . Basic No Merchant run, but focused to kill as much enemies as possible for cash pickups (I ended up with about 980 kills). Made sure to kill all dr. Salvadors, Bella Sisters, Garradors, JJ's, Regeneradores, Iron Maidens, etc. for the treasure they carry. . All treasure collected (with sufficient Novistador eyes to complete both Butterfly Lamps). . Full bottle caps collection to get the bonus money tied to it. . Collected all Yellow Herbs, combined them into RGY Herb mixtures and sold them all. As a bonus, Leon will start the second round with default health. . Killed Verdugo with the free Rocket Launcher for the Crown Jewel. Considering the limited arsenal at my disposal, this was the cheapest way to get the item. To even things out, I killed Saddler without using the Rocket Launcher (special). That's about it. At the beginning of round 2, I then sold all remaining items in the attache case to find out just how much I had gathered in the first round. The result was quite interesting: well over 2 350 000 Pesetas. Wow, more than two million Pesetas. With that kind of cash, you can buy both the Chicago Typewriter and Infinite Rocket Launcher for some broken round two fun. And the Tactical Vest. And the Handcannon, upgraded to some extent. You don't even need to sell RGY herb mixtures to do this. Alternatively, you can buy whatever configuration of regular weapons you desire, and max them out completely. There's almost no limit. Thought that might be interesting to share. *: This means no egg or ammo farming of any kind, or replaying chapters until you get cash drops everywhere, etc. **: You could argue that you'd need to sell a lot of items before the attache cases are worth their money. You could also argue that there might be ways to kill enemies more cheaply. And you would probably be right, but this isn't an in-depth research, merely a search for a general, ball-park figure. 6.4. Assorted Resident Evil 4 trivia In this section, you'll find whatever trivia has piqued my interest at some point or other. Only one topic right now, but more might follow during later updates. 6.4.1. Amenhotep I stumbled upon this by accident. All typewriters in Resident Evil 4 are adorned with a logo, "Amenhotep", possibly from the company that made them. Why did the Capcom graphician select this name? After a little research, I came up with 4 possible theories: (a) The Capcom graphicians are all Japanese, and they tend to be very intrigued by western writing, much like we are intrigued by eastern writing (kanji etc.). Perhaps the graphician making the typewriter saw an interesting pattern somewhere and decided to use it as a logo? (b) The name comes from Amenhotep II, an egyptian pharaoh who is famed for being a total badass. His idea of a hobby is hunting lions, alone, on foot, armed with only a spear. This is quite similar to what you're doing in the game: fighting powerful enemies, alone, on foot, armed with only a limited arsenal (well, at the beginning, at least). In effect, you could say that Amenhotep II was the first recorded "survivor" in history. As such, Mikami chose the logo to express what he thinks of the game experience. (c) The name comes from Amenhotep IV, a descendant of (you guessed it), Amenhotep II (who was the son of, surprisingly, Amenhotep I). Unlike II, number IV was more of an intellectual, who reformed the entire Egyptian culture, enforcing a new religion, philosophy and - here it comes - writing. Hence, it would be more than logical that an old typewriter company (the typewriters in the game are clearly antiques) chooses to use the name Amenhotep. (d) In the ancient Egyptian language, Amenhotep is derived from "Amon", which means "to be happy", "to be satisfied". I guess that saving the game in between battles is quite satisfying... My two cents: (a) is possible, but unlikely, as every visible inscription in this remake has some meaning to it (just look at the previous points). I don't think Mikami will let some random pattern pass his standards, so my money is on theory (b) or (c). I'd prefer (b) as it's the coolest one and a hidden message to us players, but it is far more likely that a typewriter company would choose (c) since they are all about writing. Considering Mikami's aim to let his games take place in a real, convincing world, he is likely to have followed (c). Oh, and (d) is a bit too farfetched, I feel. Still, it got added for completeness. What do YOU think? Or do you have another theory alltogether? By the way, the Amenhotep logo can also be found on the typewriters in Resident Evil: Remake (Gamecube)*, so there's an interesting form of continuity going on. Will Amenhotep return in Resident Evil 5, or does the change of platforms introduce a new typewriter? Will there be typewriters in the first place? We'll have to wait and see. *: I checked this retro-actively, and was pleasantly surprised. No luck with Resident Evil 0, though. 6.5. Similarities with Devil May Cry It is public knowledge that Devil May Cry, released on the PlayStation 2, originally began life as the sequel to Resident Evil 4. As the first levels took shape, however, the development team realised that the concept under development no longer fit to the Resident Evil universe, so it became the original title and commercial blockbuster it is today. Huh, what's that you say... the sequels weren't up to par? Sorry, I don't know what you're talking about*. Thus it shouldn't come as a surprise that there are quite a few similarities between the awesome Devil May Cry and the awesome Resident Evil 4 we have today. Following is a list of similarities I noticed, using the PlayStation 2 version of Resident Evil 4 as a reference - if you think I missed a few, feel free to e-mail me about it. Your submission will be added to the list and appropriately credited. 6.5.1. The leading character is a "pretty boy". Both Leon and Dante have the bishonen "pretty boy" appeal, although I must say Dante gets more attention from the ladies than Leon. Must be the goth thing. There are differences, though. Being a half demon, Dante is reckless and overconfident, his supernatural powers often required to back up these traits. Leon is human, but has a knack of overcoming nigh impossible odds. Yet falters horribly around women. Reflections aside, they are both badass, solid action heroes, and making them bishonen adds appeal to both the male and female public. As for me, I don't really care how they look, as long as I get my share of Marionette juggling and Ganado extermination parties. 6.5.2. The male leads are supported by a female character whose allegiance is "shrouded in mystery". What Ada is to Leon, is Trish to Dante. They appear at key points throughout the game and act as an ally, but are they really? Neither of them will give away any information about their motives, who they are affiliated with. The male leads are being exploited by some form of attraction - Leon remembers Ada's words in Resident Evil 2 and Trish reminds Dante of his late mother. This makes them putty in the ladies' hands - to some extent. 6.5.3. The game features a villain who has some (almost forgotten) connection with the male lead. Said villain is tainted by the evil they're a part of. Jack Krauser used to be fighting alongside Leon back in the day, until he died in a plane crash - at least, that was the official story. In reality, he is still alive, and got a little gift from Los Illuminados. Nelo Angelo aka Vergil is Dante's identical twin brother, yet his appearance is blackened by the evil which crushed his spirit. Bonus similarity: Jack's mutated "sword-arm" looks a lot like the Sparda Dante receives in mission 18. And check out the artwork on the "4" in the Resident Evil 4 logo.. 6.5.4. The main villain is a "spiritual leader", controlling all the other enemies, except the mysterious female leads. Saddler is the high pries of the Illuminados cult which makes him a spiritual leader, even though the cult is just a front. Salazar and Mendez have complete faith in his leadership and obey his every whim. Furthermore, as demonstrated by Ashley and Leon, he is able to exert control over his "true underlings", the Plagas. Mundus - being an evil demon - is sprituality by definition, and he will severely punish any demon disobeying his orders using his tremendous diabolical powers. Ada and Trish form the exception. They appear to operate under Saddler's and Mundus' orders respectively, but have a mind of their own and eventually follow a different path. Note that the same cannot be said for the villains tied to the male leads: Jack may be independent and ultimately not on Saddler's side, but Vergil was Mundus' most powerful little pet. 6.5.5. Most bosses come back. Repeatedly. In Devil May Cry, we all speak of Griffon 1, Mundus 2 and Nelo 3. All the big baddies came in threes. Resident Evil 4 is a game of** 2 U-3, 2 Saddlers, 2 Bitoreseseses and 4 Krausers. Exceptions: 1 Salazar, 1 Del Lago, 1 Verdugo. Reusing existing models is an old tradition - in the old games, developers would save memory and depict tougher enemies by changing the main colour of an enemy sprite. 3D models take a lot of effort to create, so it's only logical that an elaborately detailed boss returns later on, albeit with a new set of moves and/or attack patterns to increase the challenge. 6.5.6. The male lead will return to the the first area of the game - by night. And there's lightning. And it's spooky. 3D backgrounds are at least as elaborate as character models - it shouldn't be surprising that they get reused, too. What's the easiest way to detract the players from this fact? Why, change the weather! Leon returns to the pueblo and Dante returns to the castle, but now it's all dark and spooky, possibly rainy or all gooey from being in a parallell dimension. 6.5.7. Architecturally speaking, both games have a remarkably similar structure. Each game has a large castle to explore. The final part of Resident Evil 4 takes place on an island. Devil May Cry is entirely situated on an island. When I started chapter 3-2 and entered the sewers, I was a bit confused - I almost thought I had mistakenly put in the Devil May Cry disc and was playing Mission 06. Those Novistadores are quite similar to the bugs in Mission 06 as well. 6.5.8. Each game has a clearly segmented structure with opportunities to enhance the lead's arsenal. Resident Evil 4 has chapters, Devil May Cry has missions. Merchants allow you to upgrade Leon's weapons in exchange for Pesetas, Lion Goddess statues beef up Dante's gear***. So basically, my No Merchant walkthrough is comparable to an Ebony and Ivory walkthrough in Devil May Cry using no items. And a speed run with the Rocket Launcher is comparable to a speed run using Holy Waters - unimpressive. It's a pity, though, that the developers didn't include a Devil May Cry-esque result screen with rankings. They should have attached rankings to elapsed time, hit ratio, usage of healing items/continues, etcetera. Getting a full S rank and the Special Bonus in Devil May Cry was a great replay incentive, so it's most unfortunate that it's not present here. Oh well. 6.5.9. At the end of the game, an island blows up. The male lead escapes the inferno with a female companion using an unexpected means of transport. Did you wonder from what hat Ada pulled that jet-ski, especially after playing Separate Ways? Me too. Especially since she's not wearing a hat. Or maybe Benn Gunn told her about his jet-ski, made from goat skins and tree branches, hidden in a secret cave. I also don't understand how Leon and Ashley managed to find that jet-ski at all. "Hmm, what a cute jet-ski key. Whoa.. it fills my mind with arcane knowledge! It.. seems to tell me where its keyhole is.. to the secret cave!" By the way, while the island did blow up, the pueblo and castle didn't. Saddler is gone, sure, but still, some Plagas might have survived.. Oh, and Dante escaped Mallet island using an antique plane ("Wow, a full tank of gas and completely functional! Those demons sure like stunt flying!"), accompanied by Trish. 6.5.10. Both games are absolutely brilliant and critically acclaimed worldwide. From the stunning graphical performance, superlative audio and memorable boss fights to the superlative gameplay, gamers everywhere cherish Capcom's monumental achievements - even if the success formula is quite similar. I love both series, they are true gems. Respect Capcom, and here's to (hopefully) more of it! *: My mind consciously blocks out Devil May Cry 2 and 3 for some reason. **: Not counting "small" bosses such as Garrador, J.J. and dr. Salvador. ***: Unlike Resident Evil 4, this can be done at the start of a mission as well. 6.6. Contact Hey there. I'm Vincent, Belgian action adventure gamer extra-ordinaire (i.e. Resident Evil, Devil May Cry, Castlevania..). If you.. .. have any comments about this guide, .. would like to suggest improvements, .. have something to add to the Devil May Cry/Resident Evil 4's similarity list, .. would like to discuss Resident Evil or Devil May Cry, .. need help with your No Merchant run and didn't find an answer after exhaustively searching this walkthrough, .. would like to host this guide on your website (other than gamefaqs.com) and need my permission, then e-mail me at: v-at-SpambotsIsmiteThee-padua-dot-org Use the title of the game(s) (or an abbreviation) you'd like to talk about in the header so that I know where you're coming from. If your e-mail.. .. is in english, dutch, french or german .. has no flammatory or derogatory word choices, .. doesn't feature 1337 speak all over, .. features clear and concise questions (Don't ask me "Where is the key?", but ask "Where is the key to unlock the closed shed in scene 1-1.2?" instead), .. is about Resident Evil or Devil May Cry in general, then you will receive a reply within the next two days, depending on the time difference between your region and mine. Don't let the above scare you - I really enjoy feedback with like-minded gamers, it's highly motivating, so get in touch. 6.7. Credits Credit where credit is due. 1 - Torao's 1:58:10 speed walkthrough, hosted on Shin's website (http://homepage3.nifty.com/shin), showed me quite a few tricks on how to rush certain scenes*. He did a great job on that run, even though it uses the Rocket Launcher and thus unfortunately doesn't count as a real run from my perspective. Furthermore, he played in Normal difficulty on the Gamecube which has a few differences with Professional mode on the PlayStation 2. 2 - David-Alexander Cabrera, for pointing out a screenshot reference I forgot to delete, and leading me to further clarify the Iron Maiden strategy in scene 5-1.3. 3 - Benn Hoffman, for showing me that the wording on the No Merchant rule (section 3.3) wasn't airtight. Rewrote the rule accordingly. 4 - Michael Scherer, for a backup plan in case one fails to miss the Red leader Zealot knee shot. I used this plan to deal with this scene in the alpha version and removed it in the beta due to a better strategy, but Michael provided a cool ASCII graphic, so I brought it back in. 5 - Griffinsong and, at a later point, Sephirosuy, for discussing Verdugo knife techniques with me. While verifying and developing techniques of my own, I accidentally stumbled upon the evasive door strategy, which makes this scene very easy (and fast, as you can board the elevator as soon as it arrives). Exploiting the door even further eventually led to a full knifing strategy, which is quite cool to say the least. Find it in the No Merchant Knife/Handgun FAQ. 6 - Felipe Ferraz and, at a later point, CharLie, for telling me about the El Gigante ladder trick during scene 4-2.2. It's fast and foolproof, what more could you ask? It definitely makes the cut in favour of the old strategy, which perhaps is cooler to watch, but also slower and requiring a couple of Hand Grenades to speed things up. Thanks, guys. *: Here is a list of the scenes influenced by Torao's run. 1-3.4: The initial phase of the Del Lago battle. 2-1.1: Shooting the crates before using the rope. 2-3.1: Double chain cuts with the Combat Knife. Position is everything! 2-3.3: Using Incendiary Grenade in combination with the explosive barrel on Mendez. 4-1.4: evading the windy hallway Zealots using Ashley - brilliant! 4-4.2: Shooting leader Zealots off the cargo lift (I use different positioning, though). 5-1.2: Using an Incendiary and Hand Grenade on the crossbow Zealots at the shutter - excellent find. 5-4.1: the route to the intermediary gates. 6.8. Closing statements Mood: Relieved Music: Radix - Yuki Satellites Well, that's it for Resident Evil 4 No Merchant. Phew. I wanted to say how huge this document is, but it kind of pales in comparison to the Knife/Handgun guide, so I'm forced to shut up. Bleh. The next sections are standard copy-paste things I do in all my guides, so this is goodbye for now. Peace, Vincent--La vie, c'est la guerre des dualités. 6.9. FAQ repertoire Here's a list of all the FAQs I've written in case you have one of these games and wish to play it in a somewhat 'different' way. The list will be shown and updated in any future FAQ versions. They are all featured on www.gamefaqs.com and will remain there exclusively unless permission was granted. Game Genre Resident Evil 1:17 Speed Guide (Jill, PAL) Resident Evil 2 1:15 Speed Guide (Leon A, PAL) Resident Evil 3: Nemesis Handgun Only Guide (NTSC) Resident Evil 3: Nemesis Knife Only - 100% Kill (NTSC) Resident Evil: Code Veronica(X) 2:33 Speed Guide (PAL) Resident Evil: Code Veronica(X) 2:30 "Rocket Launcher" Speed Guide (PAL) Resident Evil: Game Cube 1:37 Invisible Mode Guide (Jill, NTSC) Resident Evil: 0 1:38 "Rocket Launcher" Speed Guide (NTSC) Resident Evil 4 2:55 "No Merchant" Guide (PAL, NTSC) Resident Evil 4 "No Merchant" Knife/Handgun Only (PAL, NTSC) Silent Hill 1:00 Speed Guide (PAL) Parasite Eve 2 0:55 Speed Guide (NTSC) Alone In The Dark 4 Speed Guide (Aline 1:15, Edward 1:30, PAL) Reference - recognition page: http://www.gamefaqs.com/features/recognition/1596.html 6.10. Greetings Yoohoos, shoutouts and Belgian beers go to (in no particular order): My family, Tim, Stijn, Frank, Tam, Karen, Inge, Koen, Bart, Peter, Gert, Geert, Griet, Tine, Tim, Jozefien, Katrien, my colleagues at work, Frank, Joerg, Elisabeth, Alexander, Lea, Thomas, JR, Carl, Tyson, Oak, Vance, Tracey, Thomas, David, everyone at WOW, Role, Padua, Viruz, 64ever, the scene and all the great people I met at BreakPoint. .7. Disclaimer Resident Evil 4 - No Merchant guide (2:55 PlayStation 2, 3:03 Gamecube) Copyright 2005-2006 Vincent Merken This document may be not be reproduced under any circumstances except for personal, private use. It may not be placed on any web site or otherwise distributed publicly without advance written permission. Use of this guide on any other web site or as a part of any public display is strictly prohibited, and a violation of copyright. All trademarks and copyrights contained in this document are owned by their respective trademark and copyright holders.