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No Merchant Combat Knife/Handgun Guide by VMerken

Version: Beta | Updated: 02/13/06

This guide contains scenes of extreme spoilers, strategies and dry wit. 
And then some.

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                        GameCube & PlayStation 2
            The No Merchant Handgun & Combat Knife Challenge
                             (sub 8:00:00)

                     Copyright 2006 Vincent Merken

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 

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

       0.1. How it all started

Beating the No Merchant Challenge is one thing. Minimising the amount of 
weapons you use is another. Initially, I used everything on the terrain: the 
Combat Knife, the Handgun, the Shotgun, grenades of any kind, the Broken 
Butterfly, even the lone Rocket Launcher. That didn't make me happy, so I 
finetuned everything until I was able to drop the Butterfly and the Launcher,
as they were simply too broken to be kept in the run. Rigorous practise 
resulted in a sub 4 hour run. That made me happy and soon enough, the No 
Merchant Challenge FAQ was finished and released at (where else?) 

Shortly after, a dedicated RE4 addict, Chris Tye, e-mailed me. He was happy
with the challenge, but suggested something interesting: what about a Combat 
Knife run? I answered that that would be impossible, since there are several 
scenes requiring the Handgun. Hence, the best one can do is a Handgun and 
Combat Knife run. That sounded pretty cool to me, but I still had my doubts - 
you see, during my No Merchant runs, I never managed to collect a sufficient 
amount of Handgun bullets to get past everything. 

Salazar, for example, requires at least 500 Handgun bullets for the kill. I 
never managed to collect more than 400 bullets (at some point, all enemies and
containers only coughed up pesetas). I told them this, concluding that a 
Handgun and Combat Knife run was impossible in Pro mode, and that was that.

Or so I thought.

I just couldn't let it go.

Maybe I had overlooked something...?

A few days ago, I had a hard time finding sleep. I was thinking about item
drops, and tried to figure out why all the Ganados and barrels refused to
drop cash after a while. "Maybe you can only carry a maximum amount of bullets
in Pro.", I pondered, "If that's the case, then it will be nigh impossible to
beat Pro with the Handgun". I was ready to give up...

And then, I got hit by lightning.

        0.2. Ammo through cash

"Maybe I'm getting so much cash drops because I don't pick them up?"

That made sense, somehow. Since No Merchant runs meant not visiting the 
Merchants, I completely stopped picking up cash or treasure. So perhaps,
the game started thinking "Aww - poor Leon, looks like you're really strapped
for cash. Here's some money" after a while, denying any further ammo pickups?  
This new train of thought could have been wrong, of course. But, I was very 
eager to do a No Merchant Handgun and Combat Knife run, so I gave it a shot. I
started a game in Normal difficulty first, picking up cash as much as possible
to test the theory and to see if the run was possible at all. 

You can probably guess the outcome... much to my surprise, the theory worked, 
and I got through the game alive. Because I picked up so much cash, the game
decided to drop copious amounts of Handgun Ammo, as I no longer was a "poor"
player. The extra bullets - as well as a couple of new strategies - allowed me
to get past all the scenes. 

Up next was Pro mode. I was still a bit sceptical. Maybe the new approach
wouldn't work in Pro, maybe the mode yields fewer ammo drops? I never could 
have been more wrong - collecting cash resulted in the same amount of extra 
Handgun Ammo, and I was able to complete a No Merchant Pro Mode run using only 
the Handgun and the Combat Knife. On both the PlayStation 2 and GameCube. 

By the way, if you ever wish to see the real differences between the
PlayStation 2 and GameCube version, do this run. You will see that the 
GameCube version is more difficult due to the higher Ganado count. Because
you're beating the game with basically a piece of steel and a pea shooter,
those extra Ganados really make a difference.

        0.3. What this guide is all about

Needless to say, I'm quite happy to have done it. And now, you can do it, too.
Over the course of the following chapters, I'll give you a detailed analysis
on how to beat the game with only the Combat Knife and the unupgraded Handgun. 
Up first are the rules connected to the run, then some preliminary tactics 
which you need to stay alive and finally a complete walkthrough with working 
strategies. It is assumed that you already finished the game at least once, and
it is highly recommended that you first complete a regular No Merchant run (see
my "No Merchant Challenge Guide" for more details) to get used to what you're 
about to face. Spoilers galore - you have been warned.

You know, this kind of reminds me of Resident Evil 3: Nemesis. I started out
with a Handgun only FAQ, but eventually went crazy and did a 100% knife kill
run. It's the same here. A word of warning: a few scenes will now be absolutely
insane. Prepare to repeat these scenes over and over and over until you somehow
manage to survive them. 

        0.4. Seeking extremes

The guide is constructed in such a manner that you can beat each scene 
whichever way you like it. Want to use the Handgun, a combination of Handgun
and Combat Knife, or only the Combat Knife*? In this guide, you should be able 
to find a strategy that suits your style of play, which can be one of 
following profiles, or something in between. Take a look at the profiles to 
find out where you stand, then read the guide accordingly.

(i) Player: Casual veteran

Profile: You are an advanced player, who has beaten the game silly so far. You 
know the monsters, you've tried out all the weapons, and Pro hasn't been a 
challenge anymore since long ago. You have already undertaken more extreme runs 
such as time attacks (from a New Game or Load Game) or "Red9/Grenades/Combat 
Knife only", just for fun and to find out if you could do it.

Your interest: Like above, you just want to have fun and beat this challenge.

Recommended tactics: Use the easiest, most comfortable strategies ("easy" being
a very relative term in this guide) and upgrade Leon's health with Yellow Herbs
whenever possible. The tactics you need are usually mentioned first, and they 
will allow you to get past a scene with the least amount of risk.

(ii) Player: Hardcore competitive expert

Profile: You are an expert player, very competitive, with only one goal: to be
the best Resident Evil 4 player in the world. To you, Pro felt like Normal, 
except that the beginning was just a little different. You have analysed every 
second of your runs and practised until they were perfect, at the very least as 
good as the currently known strategies. You know the chapters, the positioning 
of the enemies their attacks and attack patterns by heart. You have a memory 
card with saves right before each complex scene (such as boss fights), so that 
you can practise them until you're ready for a full run. You can see yourself 
go below two hours in a New Game time attack, and the regular No Merchant 
challenge is a pleasant interlude before you tackle a low% run. Extreme is your
middle name.

Your interest: You want to do the ultimate low%** time attack, i.e. finish 
the game using as little resources as possible, as quickly as possible.

Recommended tactics: Use Combat Knife only strategies whenever possible. In
this guide, you will usually find them at the end of a scene. Some scenes 
require the use of the unupgraded Handgun - use it as little as possible (so
don't miss too many shots). You're not planning to get hit, thus there's no 
need to collect healing items of any kind. Execute the strategies quickly 
and/or rush the scenes to get the fastest possible completion time as well.

For the moment, I don't have low% tactics for all but a few scenes. Consult the 
Knifing Issues - Help Wanted section (6.3) for a list. Oh, and I see myself as
a Hardcore expert. I love going deep in a game, devise challenges and discover 
cool strategies, but I don't have much of a competitive streak anymore. This 
mainly because video games are highly dependent on hardware - with the right 
platform, you can be faster than the competition not because you have better 
tricks, but because your system performs better. It's a real ugly mess, so I've
settled for strategies as they are platform-independent.

Anyway... ready (and willing)? Then read on.

*: Certain scenes, or parts of them, can only be beaten with the Handgun, so 
   naturally you won't find any strategies involving the Combat Knife there. 
   Those scenes will have "Handgun mandatory" footnotes.

**: This style of play has been very popular in the Metroid series. In the 
    Resident Evil universe, the famous "knife walkthroughs" can be seen as
    low% runs. My RE3 knife run is an example of this, but with the reservation
    that it's not a time attack.

.1. Table of contents

  .0. Prologue
       0.1. How it all started
       0.2. Ammo through cash
       0.3. What this guide is all about
       0.4. Seeking extremes
  .1. This here Table of contents here
  .2. Update information
       2.1. Version alpha
       2.2. Version beta
  .3. No Merchant Handgun Only: 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 Special 2
       3.5. Handgun and Combat Knife only
  .4. Preliminaries
       4.1. In-depth
       4.2. To save, or not to save
       4.3. Weapons
          4.3.1. Handgun
          4.3.2. Combat Knife
          4.3.3. Mixed strategies
       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
          1-1.5: Farmer Leon
          1-1.6: Wrapping it up
       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 house of Bitores Mendez
          1-3.2: Pueblo
          1-3.3: Cemetery
          1-3.4: Heads up
          1-3.5: 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: Crank it up
       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: Feel the burn
          4-1.2: The Queen's Grail
          4-1.3: The King's Grail
          4-1.4: The Hive and Belltower
          4-1.5: Claws
          4-1.6: 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: Death incarnate
          5-2.1: Storage area - warming up
          5-2.2: Garbage dump
          5-2.3: The wrecking ball - wrecking you silly
          5-2.4: Bulldozer hell ride
       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. Knifing Issues - Help Wanted
       6.4. Contact
       6.5. Credits
       6.6. Closing statements
       6.7. FAQ repertoire
       6.8. Greetings
  .7. Disclaimer

.2. Update information

     2.1. Version alpha

Started: 20060103
Finished: 20060113
Word count: 34961
Notes: Verified the run and developed strategies for both the GameCube and 
PlayStation 2 version. And, issue settled: the GameCube version has the most 
difficult Leon quest, no contest :).

     2.2. Version beta

Started: 20060123
Finished: 20060214
Word count: 39885
Notes: Reworked the version alpha text, correcting typos here and there. Added 
some cool, new strategies, crediting its source where appropriate. Some Knifing
Issues (section 6.3) have been resolved and the NTSC Gamecube version is 
covered as well. Corrected a mistake (at some point, I mentioned equipping the
Shotgun XO). Added a pictorial link and description for the Verdugo knife fight.

.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 Handgun 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

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 treasure is no 
longer a necessity, so leave those fancy Spinels and Brass Pocket Watches where 
they are. You must, however, collect any bit of cash dropped by enemies. Don't
forget the gold bars you can find here and there. If you don't, the game will
refuse to spit out ammo which will wreck your run. 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. Very, very, very intimate. You'll need time 
and patience to conquer the opposition, but it really pays off.

*: 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 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 

The Special 2 bonus outfit (PlayStation 2 version only) is off-limits, as it
renders Ashley invulnerable and impossible to kidnap. This simplifies the game 
too much. 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. It goes without saying that if you were to try a No Merchant run 
in Normal or Easy, that the Special 1 costume is out of the question as well.

      3.5. Handgun and Combat Knife only

Pretty straightforward, huh? These are the only weapons you're allowed to use
in-game. No Shotgun, no grenades, no Broken Butterfly, no Rocket Launcher. 
Although a simple rule, this is the one which transforms the game into a 
nightmare. An unupgraded Handgun is usually not the weapon of choice against 
hordes of soldier Ganados, or a group of Armaduras.

There is one exception to this rule, which the game forces on you - during the 
fight against Del Lago, harpoons are all you can use. You may only use the 
harpoons during that fight, however - using them to shoot Colmillos or fish
is not allowed.

And no, I'm not going to call this a No Merchant Harpoon run, even though it
appears to be a stronger weapon than the Handgun. Why I'm not calling this a
Combat Knife walkthrough? Well, there are quite a few scenes where using the 
Handgun is mandatory. As such, you're using the Handgun regularly and as such,
this is a Handgun walkthrough, even though a lot of people in the forums would 
catalogue it as a Combat Knife walkthrough. At the very best, you could call
this a Combat Knife/Handgun walkthrough.

.4. Preliminaries

Following are pointers on how you should approach a No Merchant Handgun game. 

     4.1. In-depth

This guide assumes that you have beaten the No Merchant challenge at least 
once. Consequently, you should have a working knowledge about the flow of the 
game, item locations, puzzles and the difficult spots. Come back to this guide
when you know how to beat Salazar with an unupgraded Shotgun and Handgun. Or
when you got past the cable cart scene in 2-3 without taking a hit.

Don't worry, you don't have to switch between 2 guides in order to understand
this one: you can find the scenes which are the same as those in the No 
Merchant FAQ here.

     4.2. To save, or not to save

Resident Evil 4 wants you dead, especially when ignoring the Merchants. The run
also takes 8 hours, so it's okay to save the game at the end of each 
chapter. 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. In the
GameCube version, there is also one chapter where I save right before what has
to be the toughest scene of the entire run. While simple to beat if you have a 
Shotgun, you will cry in agony when an unupgraded Handgun is all that is

     4.3. Weapons

You will find a lot of essential strategies in this section. Practise them
until you know how to apply them instinctively.

        4.3.1. Combat Knife

Plain and simple, you need 600+ Handgun bullets against Salazar. Before him,
you will be wasting a lot of ammo in various places, such as the King's Grail
quest and the Water hall scene.

In other words, you really have to save ammo. Loads of it. That's where the 
Combat Knife comes into play. It is your tool for survival and, eventually, 
success. Use it to kill Ganados in the initial stages of the game, or take
advantage from the environment (ladders, doors, windows, etc.) to dominate the 

Use the Combat Knife against following enemy types*:

1. Single villager Ganado, armed with a pitchfork, kitchen knife, single axe 
   or sickle. Single Zealot, not holding a shield.

   Difficulty: easy

   Strategy: approach the villager until he or she initiates an attack - 
   immediately step back to evade it**. Get close, arm the Combat Knife with 
   L*** and slash directly ahead during the enemies' recovery phase. With 
   luck, the Ganado will either warp his/her body from the pain, or stagger 
   back. In the former case, keep slashing, in the latter, Kick to drop the 
   opponent and try to kill him or her with downward slashes. Lure the Ganado 
   into a new attack in case he or she isn't disrupted and repeat the 
   strategy. As for the Zealots, try downward slashes to make them kneel for
   a Suplex. You can also try this for the Ganados, which will result in a
   forward Kick (not to be confused with the headshot Kick, which has a 
   roundhouse effect and is the better choice, generally).

2. Single Ganado, armed with an infinite supply of axes or sickles.

   Difficulty: easy

   Strategy: these Ganados are recognisable from the fact that they have the 
   next axe or sickle showing on their backs. When you spot one, close in. They
   are very likely to throw their weapon and reach for the next one. During
   this time, they are sitting ducks. Slash at their weapon arm - with luck,
   they will drop their weapon and go for the next one, during which you can
   get in even more slashes. Easy kill.

   In the later chapters, these Ganados slightly change strategy and will act
   like a single axe/sickle villager, i.e. they will swing their weapon. Follow
   their example and switch to the above strategy when this happens.

3. Single Ganado, armed with a Rocket Launcher.

   Difficulty: funny

   Strategy: usually, you don't have to worry about these guys, but if you
   ever wish to deal with them, know that they will drop at the slightest hit.
   Close in, preferably before they manage to fire their weapon, then slash
   them. They'll fall on the ground and become an easy prey.

4. Single Ganado, unarmed.

   Difficulty: medium 

   Strategy: note that the Ganados of the first category can lose their weapon,
   which transforms them into this type. They are tricky, as they can suddenly
   rush forward and grab Leon. The dash sequence depends on Leon's distance to
   to the Ganado - if you manage to stay close, they will only reach out and
   grab. Keep them like that, and you'll have little trouble dealing with them.
   If you have some distance and they go into dash mode, move to the side in
   time, or prepare to take some damage. In this, consider them as type 1
   Ganados with really long pitchforks.

5. Single Zealot or soldier Ganado, using a crossbow and within reach.

   Difficulty: easy

   Strategy: wait for them to fire both their crossbow bolts, then close in and 
   annihilate them with downward slashes.

6. Single Ganado, holding a torch.

   Difficulty: easy

   Strategy: there are two types of torch Ganados. The first type used to be
   a firebreather at the local circus and will breathe a deadly blast of fire
   into Leon's general direction. The other uses his torch like an axe. Close
   in on a torch opponent and examine the response attack to find out to which
   type the Ganado belongs. Of course, since this is your umpteenth 
   playthrough, you know all the torch Ganados by heart.

   Destroy the first type by moving close and slashing with the Combat Knife
   as he or she takes a deep breath. This will burn your target to a crisp,
   body falling on the ground after the failed attack. Repeat if necessary. The
   second type can be dealt with as described under point 1.

7. Single soldier Ganado or Zealot, holding a shield.

   Difficulty: medium to hard

   Strategy: lure the shieldbearer into an attack (he will either swing his
   weapon or use the shield), step back to evade it, then run into knifing
   range and forward slash his shield once. Evade the counterattack and repeat 
   until the shield is gone, then, treat him as described under point 1 or 4,
   whatever is appropriate. There are better ways of getting rid of these
   bothersome enemies, though (see below). 

8. Single Plaga, second and third type.

   Difficulty: damn you. God damn you all to hell****.

   "Strategy": Plagas come in 3 different types. The first type is the blade
   swinger, a creature I wouldn't want to touch with a 10 metre pole (it would
   rip the pole to shreds anyway). Knifing it is asking for trouble (unless you
   and lady luck are really close), so a better strategy is to reload the 
   chapter and try again. Of course, in some scenes they will appear, whether 
   you like it or not. In Pro mode, they can kill Leon pretty easily. 

   The second type has an instant-kill move, which luckily comes with a lengthy
   introduction, so you have ample time to run away. Knife it with upward 
   slashes, but be sure to run away whenever it announces the "jaws of death" 
   with a yellow-red cloud surrounding the parasite and matching sound effect.

   The third type has devastating long and short range attacks and will detach 
   itself from the host body after taking enough damage, ready for another 
   round. If you want to knife it, you'll have no other choice but to treat it
   the same way as a type 2 Plaga with the difference that this one can attack
   really fast. When the parasite detaches, it can be knifed rather easily. 
   You will probably not see a version with a host during the run. A lot of 
   them will be crawling around during the Salazar fight, though.

*: Common enemies only.

**: The distance you need to step back depends on the weapon. A pitchfork has
    more reach than a kitchen knife, for example.

***: See Controls, section 4.6.

****: it's not profanity, it's a memorable quote from Charlton Heston, Planet 
      of the Apes (1968). Nuances, people, really. 

        4.3.2. Handgun

The reason a Handgun is used is due to the existence of quite a few scenes
where the Combat Knife cannot help you advance the game. They require either a 
distance shot or advanced enemy control which cannot be provided with the 
Combat Knife alone.

As you know, the default Handgun doesn't exactly come with superior handling,
so you'll have to practise your aim until you can quickly correct any 
discrepancies - one tiny mistake can cost you the game. Methods to improve
handling are:

1. Auto-correction technique: try to keep your aim stable using short wiggles
   of the left analog stick. When you see the targeting cursor move up, move
   the left analog stick slightly down, when it goes left, you wiggle right,
   etc. You can also do this in between shots.

2. Cursor motion technique: as long as you keep moving the targeting cursor, 
   Leon doesn't get a chance to display his poor aiming skills. Therefore, 
   move the cursor over the target in one fluent motion, then fire as soon as
   you see that magical red dot appear. Fast, and stylish, but requires 

3. Blind technique: expert? Then you probably "know" where each target is.
   It's "all in the brain", as it were. In that case, try to memorise good
   vantage points from where to shoot the target and how to aim the Handgun
   from these points. Try to remember the orientation of the laser sight line.
   Next time you reach this scene, you can take out the targets with brutal
   speed and efficiency. This will give you time, time which might be needed
   to deal with more immediate threats. You might need to combine this method
   with the cursor motion technique.

With these techniques, distance shots shouldn't be a problem. Next, advanced 
enemy control is vital for your survival against large groups of enemies or
certain solitary enemies:

1. Multiple Ganados/Zealots (any type, except dynamite and shield wielders).

   Difficulty: medium to hard

   Strategy: try to bunch the opponents together through clever running or
   positioning. Select one enemy and shoot him or her in the head, then use
   the mighty power of Kick to floor the whole group (at the very least, take 
   as much of them down as possible). Repeat if necessary. 

   This technique is mainly used to buy time. You typically don't kill soldier
   Ganados, only hold them back until you can advance the game. It is an
   absolute must that you master this technique.

2. Single Zealot/soldier Ganado (any, except dynamite and shield wielders).

   Difficulty: medium

   Strategy: shooting these tougher enemies with the unupgraded Handgun is a
   bad idea as it costs a lot of bullets. Plus, if one of them turns Plaga,
   things will get very rough indeed. You must now invoke the mystical powers
   of the Suplex. Fire a single shot into the knees or lower feet of the enemy.
   Should he fall on his knees, close in for the Suplex, a nice piledriver 
   technique Leon learned from Haggar, former wrestling champion and now mayor
   of Metro City*. The Suplex takes some time, but does a lot of damage and 
   prevents Plaga hatching, which you really, really need.

   In case the opponent simply falls on the ground, wait until he gets back up.
   You can try to damage him while he's down, but keep in mind that this might
   lead to a Plaga. 
3. Multiple Zealots/soldier Ganados (with shieldbearers)

   Difficulty: hard to insane

   Strategy: if you use the previous strategy with a non-shield Ganado as the
   "Kick-start", you should be able to knock off the shields from the
   neighbouring shieldbearers. It is vital that you do this, because the
   Combat Knife and unupgraded Handgun are not ideal tools against them. A
   shield has to be knocked off, or you're probably not going to last a lot

   If you're facing a group of nothing but shieldbearers, it's time to run
   away, cry for mommy or try the next strategy on one of them to get things
   going. Either way, they are incredibly difficult to beat with what you 
   have. Don't worry, if you stick to the guide, you should never face such a

4. Single Zealot/soldier Ganado, bearing a shield.

   Difficulty: hard

   Strategy: that shield is a real nuisance, so you have to remove it. You can 
   try shooting off parts to reach the Zealot/Ganado, but this takes a lot of
   bullets. There are several ways to remove the shield more efficiently,
   but they either require space to move, or a little help from the background
   and your enemy.

   If you have the space to move, run towards the enemy while staying to his
   left or right. If he swings his weapon, evade it and try again. In case he
   swings his shield, run past the blighter and try to take aim in order to 
   shoot his feet during the attack's recovery phase. When he kneels, you can 
   close in for a Kick, which will remove his shield. You can now deal with him
   in an easier way.

   This is the essence of the shield removal technique, by the way: get the 
   shieldbearer to kneel and Kick him to reduce his threat level by a factor 
   of - mild estimate - 10.

   The background can help in various ways to accomplish this. When a shield
   enemy jumps down from somewhere, you can kneel him during his recovery 
   phase. If you wait around a corner, you will probably get an opportunity
   to shoot him in the knees. Similarly, if you wait behind a closed door and
   notice that the shieldbearer is going to open the door, you will get a
   chance to shoot his knees as soon as he succeeds.

5. Single Plaga, all types.

   Difficulty: damn you. God damn you all to hell.

   "Strategy": You can shoot type 1 Plagas "in the face" and Kick it, but 
   keep in mind that the creature can still hit you - or Ashley if she's
   around. The third type can be handled in the same fashion, but type 2
   can't be Kicked - you'll have to finish that one off from a distance.

6. Single Ganado, holding a stick of dynamite.

   Difficulty: tricky

   Strategy: you can try shooting the sticks of dynamite while the Ganado is
   still holding or throwing it to devastating effect.

*: Final Fight, anyone?
        4.3.3. Mixed strategies

1. Knife them while they're down.

   Difficulty: easy

   Strategy: facing (an) opponent(s) from the above categories which can be 
   Kicked after a head shot? Do so, then use the Combat Knife on the floored
   body (bodies). Try to hit as many as you can at once. Of course, only do
   this when there is no immediate danger. You can also drop multiple enemies
   with knee shots. I wouldn't recommend downward knifing type 1 Plagas.

2. In a bind? Let them attack attack you from behind.

   Difficulty: devious  

   So you have been swarmed by the opponents. They are bound to hit Leon.
   Quickly check the crowd - is there an unarmed or dynamite Ganado/Zealot 
   around? Yes? Good. Turn around and let him or her attack you from behind.
   This won't damage Leon and, if you frantically wriggle the left analog 
   stick, will result in a disrupted (or dead) Ganado and a whole bunch of 
   disrupted opponents. This will give you a chance to escape. Better still,
   if you did this with a dynamite chucker, you can be sure that there will 
   be a nice explosion, ridding you of the entire mob at once.

   Quite an evil trick, but it can backfire if the wrong enemy attacks. Those
   spiked balls, hammers, axes and tasers really hurt.

3. Using useless grenades.

   Difficulty: clever

   Since you are not allowed to throw grenades during the game itself, why not
   use them for something interesting? In the inventory, equip a grenade of
   any kind, then discard the equipped weapon. This will leave Leon unarmed and
   able to run at full speed. May come in handy during scenes where running is
   of the essence - there are a few of those in the game (Verdugo, bug cave..).

     4.4. Item management

Compared to a regular No Merchant run, things are much easier now. Your tiny
attache case now only contains the Handgun, Handgun Ammo and healing items.
There's plenty of room to hold the things you collect underway and no huge
Shotgun or grenade collection absorbing precious item space. It is vital that 
you collect every bit of Handgun Ammo you can find. 

I'm assuming that you know the whereabouts of these magical red cases and herbs
(and the barrels/boxes which might spit them out), so I'm not going to pollute 
the guide with item pickups. Consult a general FAQ if you're desperate about 
the location of one item or the other.

Generally speaking, this is how your attache case will evolve over the game:

Chapter 1: low on ammo, but a huge collection of healing items
Chapter 2: medium ammo count, still lots of healing items
Chapter 3: large amount of ammo, healing items filling up the remaining space
Chapter 4-1 to 4-3: ammo and healing items slowly deplete 
Chapter 4-4: huge depletion of ammo, healing items remain about the same
Chapter 5: little amounts of ammo, healing items deplete to zero

low% runs look the same, but without healing items.

I have added descriptions on how my inventory looked at the end of each chapter
during a GameCube run. You will see the above general evolution reflected in
those statistics. Of course, if you practise this kind of run a lot, you will
slowly reduce the need for healing items. I'm not ready to invest the time
myself, yet. For the moment, just getting through to see if it's possible was 
good enough for me.

     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 or cash pickups unless it's 
unavoidable. 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. Try
to run unequipped when you can - it's faster than with the Handgun equipped.
Be methodical and precise. Never hesitate. 

     4.6. Controls

The guide 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

After the introductory cutscene, you will have another one as Leon approaches
the house in the back. Go left and slash the crate. As you have little cash
and Handgun Ammo, chances are that the box will spit out one of these items.
If you get nothing or a grenade, too bad. When it's cash, pick it up, when not,

We need to build up ammo and at this stage of the game, this is done by making 
the game think that Leon is running around without bullets. Only pick up ammo 
when it's dropped by an enemy. Cash is always good. The more cash you have, the
more likely enemies will leave bullets behind when killed. Be an extremely 
money-hungry little demon. If you are a low% time attacker, you might consider 
farming bullets from the type 2 Plagas during the Salazar battle in chapter 4-4
instead and skip the procedure outlined in this chapter. I haven't verified 
which of the two approaches is the fastest, but this is definitely the safest

Run into the house for some question asking in the form of a cutscene. Finish 
off the Ganado without shooting a single bullet. After the 2 cutscenes, run up 
the stairs and jump out of the window. Then, turn left and run into the shack 
to break the two small boxes on the shelf. Evade the attacks from the two
pursuing Ganados (they will probably be able to reach the entrance of the 
shack), get out and follow the road.

Do not save the trapped dog**, run past the pointer Ganado, break the small 
box on the shelf in the second shack 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. When you're at the third shack, lure out the Ganado inside.
Gamecube players should watch out for the pursuing bridge Ganados - don't let
them attack you by surprise. Once the Ganado is outside the shack, run inside
and slash the two small boxes on the shelf. Proceed to the exit gates and go

*: Unlike enemy drops, items coming out of boxes or barrels will not disappear,
   therefore it's okay to leave them and pick them up later.

**: 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 
        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 

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. 

(ii) Knife only strategy: take a left at the Y junction after entering the
area and fetch the Green Herb. Get the Red Herb from the large box as well, 
which alerts the nearby female pitchfork Ganado. Jump through the window in the
back, and slash the small boxes. Turn around and wait for miss pitchfork to 
follow you. She won't attack with her weapon unless you're too close to her. 
Attack her with the Combat Knife as soon as she starts to climb through the 
window. Your knife slash will drop her on the ground outside and alert the 
other Ganados. Go outside - through the window - and finish off the female 
Ganado with the Combat Knife (4 more slashes). Jump back into the house and 
wait for the other Ganados at the front door, who will soon be coming in 
through said door. When they do, go through the window and turn around.

The objective is to kill the mob (5 Ganados total) abusing the window here.
To do this, you first need to disarm all the Ganados. Wait left of the window 
until one or several Ganados attempt to climb through it, then slash at them 
with the Combat Knife. Don't worry about attacks from the other Ganados. The 
enemies you slashed will lose their weapons, the others will stumble back, all 
their attacks disrupted. Repeat the strategy until all the Ganados lost their 
weapons, then stand in front of the window and slash away with impunity - none 
of their attacks will hit you. Once four of them have bit the dust, a cutscene 
will introduce a second wave of 5 Ganados. Quickly kill the fifth Ganado and 
collect any Handgun Ammo your opponents might have left behind. 

Then, wait inside the house, in front of the small window. You should see some 
Ganados outside, closing in on Leon's position. Wait for the enemies to open 
the door, then guide them to the window and annihilate the lot as before. A 
final wave of Ganados will come, which you should deal with in same way. Once
you bag the 15th kill, the church bell will jump into action. The strategy is
risky, but yields pickups without using the Handgun.

(iii) No weapon strategy: Head towards the watchtower, then climb the ladder. 
Position Leon next to the Shotgun Shells while counting to 15. Once you hit 15,
jump down and immediately climb the ladder again. Repeat until the cutscene
plays. This method is failsafe, but costs time and yields nothing - no cash,
no Handgun Ammo.

Pick your poison out of the above strategies. After the fight, slash open all 
the remaining boxes and barrels in the village. As before, don't pick up any 
Handgun Ammo you discover. Do pick up healing items, though.

*: 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

Slash all the boxes and barrels in this area without killing any of the 
Ganados, which is quite easy to do. Hopefully, you'll get multiple Handgun Ammo
pickups. 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. 

Proceed to the open window at the back of the house with the dynamite chuckers.
Wait for them to arm their deadly weapons, then let them approach the window.
Either knife the lot (they can't hurt you) or try to tempt them into throwing
their sticks of doom. When one of them does this, jump over the window to
escape the explosion. With some luck, the house will now be clear of enemies.
Keep in mind that there's an axe Ganado station (plus an additional dynamite
Ganado in the Gamecube version) in the small room on the right. Deal with him 
(them) if he survives the explosion or makes it to the window while you're 
slashing the dynamite Ganados.

Once the area is clear, destroy all boxes and barrels in the area - there's
no need to enter the house with the locked door at the moment. Watch out for
the remaining booby traps, then go back to the farm.

        1-1.5: Farmer Leon

It's time for some item farming. Kill all the Ganados here* and pick up 
anything useful they leave behind. Cross the village and return to the 
beginning of the very first area, killing Ganados on the way. Finally, you can
start picking up all the packs of Handgun Ammo you left behind. Do the same in
the village and the farm, then start collecting (White, Gold or Brown) Chicken

The fastest way to do is to enter the farm and wait for one of the
chickens to lay an egg. Grab it, a second one (Gamecube only), then exit and
re-enter the area. Repeat until either your attache case is full or you lose
patience. Since the egg spawning rate is higher in the Gamecube version than
in the PlayStation 2 version, I would recommend moving on in the PlayStation 2
version as soon as you have 10-15 eggs. In the Gamecube version, maxing the 
attache case is quite easy.

Collecting eggs is quite important in this kind of run, as some very nasty 
scenes will be coming up. A large health buffer is good insurance. Once you're 
done, move to the final area. Of course, if you're a low% speed runner, feel 
free to skip this scene.

*: Wherever I fail to mention a method to eliminate the enemies, consult 
   the strategies from section 4.3.

        1-1.6: Wrapping it up

Collect Handgun Ammo, use the Combat Knife on the lock at the final house, 
shoot the first trip wire and push the cabinet to reach Sera. Open his "prison"
to finish the chapter.

Here are the typical statistics you will get (taken from my current best run on
the GameCube in PAL 60Hz mode). I've included the inventory at the end of each
chpater as well, so that you can see whether you're on schedule or not. 

Chapter 1-1 statistics:
Hit ratio                  100%
Enemies killed              33
Number of times killed       0
Time taken             0:51:35
Inventory                  204 Handgun bullets
                             5 full healing items
                               a bucketload of White and Brown Chicken Eggs

Notes: No damage sustained throughout the entire run, and every shot was right
on target. As you can see, I'm clearly not interested in a time attack.
Maximising bullets and creating a large health buffer were my top priority.

The GameCube version spits out Chicken Eggs at an alarming rate, so I managed 
to farm 2 Golds, 9 Browns and a lot of Whites, which would take ages on the 
PlayStation 2 version. With 204 Handgun bullets, however, the game was far less
generous. I got 0 bullet pickups from the boxes in the village, which is way 
below par. You really need to get lucky (normally, you should end up with 250+ 
bullets). It's not too big a deal, though - you should be fine if you have 
around 200 bullets at the end of the chapter.

Overall score:
Hit ratio                  100%
Enemies killed              33
Number of times killed       0
Time taken             0:51:35

     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. Climb the ladder
in the next room. Get the Emblem (Right Half) from the chest, then slash the
barrel on the roof. In the Gamecube version, you wil first have to deal with
an axe Ganado.

Meanwhile, your enemies will have gathered below. Stay back to evade axe throws
and only knife at the ladder when a Ganado is about to join Leon. At least one 
of the mob will carry a stick of dynamite. Lure him into throwing it to get rid
of the adversity. Jump down after the big boom, slash the barrel on the right 
if necessary and continue to the sloped runway in front of you. Make your way 
to the Ganado guarding the Emblem (Left Half). Jump down the construction to 
the right of the Ganado. 

It's time to take down the remaining opposition. Let them get close (slash the 
two barrels at the metal shack in the meantime, but watch out for dynamite), 
then climb the nearby ladder. You will be greeted by the dynamite Ganado at the
top. Let him attack you in the back, wriggle loose*, then run to one of the 
corners of the shack's roof. One explosion later, you can take position at the 
ladder and knife whatever's coming for you. Watch out for flying axes. If the 
axe Ganado at a higher position on the left is bothersome, pay him a visit he 
will never forget.

At some point, the main rush is over. Kill any leftover Ganados and return to
the prison area. Slash any barrels you come across and collect items on the 
way. Slash the barrels at the prison area (you will have a forced chat with the
Merchant** - skip it) and stock up. When you're ready, combine both Emblem 
halves at the exit gates to form the Hexagonal Emblem and use it to get to the 
next area.

*: I should probably mention that if you don't wriggle loose from a dynamite
   Ganado, he will kill Leon and himself - suicide bomber style.

**: 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 when killing them all? Umm... or so I've heard.
    >_>' <_<' >_>' <_<'

        1-2.2: The escape

Slash barrels and collect items, enter the next building, open the door on the 
right and kill the unarmed Ganado you encounter. Lure him to the previous area
where you can take him out in peace. Meanwhile, a pitchfork Ganado will have 
made it to the metal door. Kick the door open as soon as he tries to open it.
This will disrupt mister pitchfork, allowing you to knife him. Repeat if

Up next are another pitchfork and an axe Ganado. Lure them to the metal door 
and dispose of them as you did with the previous enemy. Continue to the area 
with the two windows and jump through for a small ambush consisting of two 
dynamite Ganados and some backup forces. Run in between the bear traps on the 
left and jump over the sand bags to avoid the first blast. Turn around and 
jump over the sand bags a second time to survive the next blast. At this point,
a lot of the opposing Ganados should be dead. If one of the dynamite Ganados
is still active, repeat the sand bag jumping until he is out of the picture as

Finish off what's left of the ambush*, collect items, then enter the next room. 
A few barrels later, you'll be looking at an axe and pointing pitchfork Ganado
in the final part of the area. Kill them, and don't forget to collect items
at the little pond at the end (jump down the ladder). If you still have room
in your attache case (PlayStation 2 players, I am looking at you), fill it up
with Black Basses. The Black bass (L) should be used to replenish Leon's health
right here.

*: Keep in mind that at some point, a pitchfork Ganado will join the party,
   coming in from the next room.

        1-2.3: Mendez' house

You can shoot the 3 Crows for cash and possibly more. Collect items. Watch out 
for the booby traps, solve the insignia puzzle (Up - Left), grab the Insignia 
Key, then try to open the bedroom door.

Chapter 1-2 statistics:
Hit ratio                  100%
Enemies killed              50
Number of times killed       0
Time taken             0:16:23
Inventory                  401 Handgun bullets
                             6 full healing items
                               a bucketload of White and Brown Chicken Eggs

Notes: This one went extremely well, lots of Handgun bullets picked up, all
the shots connected. Dynamite Ganados are my best friends. Only a couple of
White Chicken Eggs were used.

Overall score:
Hit ratio                  100%
Enemies killed              83
Number of times killed       0
Time taken             1:07:58

     Chapter 1-3: It Came from the Lake

        1-3.1: The house of Bitores Mendez

Outside the house, you can run past Dr. Salvador and friends quite easily,
just keep to the right. If you want to kill everyone in this scene for items
and such, you'll have to deal with the evil doctor first. Several methods are 

(i) Knife and Handgun strategy: This one is a lot of fun - you're going to
ambush Dr. Salvador at 3 different places.

First, go to the men's room and take out the unarmed Ganado inside. Shoot a 
hole in the lower right corner (as in the village), then step outside the 

Walk forward until Dr. Salvador - and noone else - sees you, then turn around 
and carefully open the door (don't kick it open, or more Ganados will come). 
Hide inside the men's room and start the downward slashes when the doc gets 
close. This gives you a couple of free hits as your nemesis bursts through the 

At some point, Salvador gets disrupted. If he falls on the ground, get in a 
couple of bonus hits and get out of the toilet (get out immediately in any 
other case). Go up the stairs and try to enter Bitores' bedroom. One cutscene 
later, you can take post at the metal door. Position Leon to the left of the 
door and wait for Dr. Salvador to follow. When you see his chainsaw move past 
the middle of the door, kick it open. If you did it correctly, the doc will be 
trapped, left of the opened door. It's a beautiful glitch (Ganados have the 
same problem), which just screams to be exploited.

Knife him as much as you can**, and if there's a chance to Kick him, do so 
(you'll get a lot of free hits while he's floored). Try to keep him trapped
behind the door. If he does make it past, you'll have 2 choices: continue to
the final ambush (recommended if you slashed him at least 15 times), or run 
past him, out of the bedroom. Wait for him in the little hallway and try to
run past the menace a second time. Get inside the bedroom and try to repeat the
little door game until he's dead.

If you choose the final ambush, retreat to the booby trap zone - that way,
you won't have to run past him and risk a deadly attack. Run past the trip wire
and wait behind it from a safe distance. Dr. Salvador will run right into the 
trip wire and fall on the ground. If he still isn't dead and you were able to 
slash him about 15 times so far, you can now kill him while he's down and gets
back up.

(ii) Knife only strategy: this is the same as the above strategy, except that 
you should skip the first ambush and go straight to Mendez' bedroom door.

With Dr. Salvador out of the way, the rest of the scene is a cakewalk. You can
either trigger the remaining Ganados one by one and take them out, or lure as
many to Bitores' house as you can. Get inside the house, shoot a hole in the
lower right corner of the door and kill the enemies without risk. Collect
items, then go to the next area.

*: If you feel up to it, keep up the downward slashing. On occasion, you'll be
   able to disrupt the doc all the time and can kill him quite right then and
   there. As it's the beginning of the chapter, you can reload and try again
   quite easily.

**: You will see him, trying to run towards you, but he won't attack. How
    cool is that?

        1-3.2: Pueblo

Destroy all the courtyard Ganados using a tactic from scene 1-1.2. You'll have
to join the two axe Ganados on the rooftops to kill them as well. Eventually,
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.

        1-3.3: Cemetery

Kill all Ganados and collect as much items as possible. You can shoot the 
church bell 2 times with the Handgun for additional Ganado waves.

        1-3.4: Heads up

Past the deserted arena (collect Handgun Ammo) lies the swamp area. After 
another rolling boulder (see 1-1.4 for a small tutorial on A-tapping), kill 
Ganados, shoot trip wires and collect items before taking the exit. A few 

* Instead of shooting the trip wires, you can lure Ganados into them. Saves
  you the trouble of using the Handgun on the wires, and eliminates a threat
  for the lovely price of nothing.

* after killing the Ganados at the first part of the road, fresh enemies will
  arrive from behind (rolling boulder area). Dispose of these using following
  evil trick: allow the Ganados to get close, then jump down at the end of the 
  first bridge/walkway construction. The Ganados will jump down as well, 
  allowing you to slash them a couple of times while they recover. Once they
  are active and dangerous, go right to run up the construction again (the
  trip wire should be gone by now). The Ganados will follow Leon, so you can
  repeat the trick until they are all gone.

* There is, by the way, a route that gets you to the exit without the need to
  shoot a trip wire: go under the bridge, take a left, go up the slope, Jump
  down the bridge/walkway construction, go left, run up and down the next
  slope, run under the walkway construction to get to the left, go up the
  slope towards the exit gates, done. It's a zigzag path, but perhaps useful
  to someone who doesn't want to use the Handgun and feels the need to rush
  past this scene.

        1-3.5: 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 From the Lake 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 

Chapter 1-3 statistics:
Hit ratio                  100%
Enemies killed              53
Number of times killed       0
Time taken             0:32:18
Inventory                  573 Handgun bullets
                             7 full healing items
                               a bucketload of Brown Chicken Eggs

Notes: Again, some good ammo harvesting. Lost almost every White Chicken Egg
while battling the Ganados in the swamp area. Del lago is a cakewalk as usual.

Overall score:
Hit ratio                  100%
Enemies killed             136
Number of times killed       0
Time taken             1:40:16

     Chapter 2-1: Extricating the subject
        2-1.1: Lakeside

Search for items, then leave the cabin and visit the Merchant across the lake 
for more. Enter the area near the cabin, skip the Plaga introductory cutscene 
and make your way to the barrel. 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, then climb the ladder and 
take out the Ganados if you wish to collect random items. Want to rush the 
scene? Then 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 
(look for items at the Merchant area). 

*: Note that this is the first scene where using the Handgun is a must. I don't
   think you can generate enough wind by waving the Combat Knife to break the
   chains holding the crate.

        2-1.2: El Gigante

(i) Knife strategy: 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 3-4 times, 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, then leave the area.

(ii) Knife and Handgun strategy: slightly faster, but at the expense of Handgun
bullets. Follow the knife strategy as described above, but unload the Handgun 
whenever you have to wait 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.).

        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 items) and meet 
Saddler below.

*: Don't knife them - they're not worth the risk.

Chapter 2-1 statistics:
Hit ratio                  100%
Enemies killed              11
Number of times killed       0
Time taken             0:23:28
Inventory                  699 Handgun bullets
                             8 full healing items
                               a bucketload of Brown Chicken Eggs

Notes: This chapter plays out pretty much same way as in every No Merchant run,
except that now, I killed the Ganados at the waterfall, and there has been a 
certain amount of additional bullet hunting (which paid off - nearly 700 
bullets is very good at this stage).

Overall score:
Hit ratio                  100%
Enemies killed             147
Number of times killed       0
Time taken             2:03:44

     Chapter 2-2: It's a small small world, eh

        2-2.1: Downpour

Pillage for items, then meet the angry Ganados outside. Shoot the explosive
cart to destroy as many Ganados as possible, finish off any survivors, then
reap the rewards. You can also run past the cart on the right to rush the 

Past the cemetery (items, items!) 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. 

Need for speed? Head straight for the exit, and 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. 

You can, of course, take down enemies and collect items (park Ashley in the
watchtower so that she's safe), but you might see a Plaga or two, which will
hurt your bullet supply. It's recommended to ignore them and move on to your
next destination.

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 disrupt 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, jump down, Catch Leon's protegee, mind the bear 
traps and the Ganado below, then do the Piggyback thing.

Alternatively, tell Ashley to Hide in the container near the entrance, then
start taking down all the Ganados for items. Abuse the ladder in the main
structure if necessary. Once the coast is clear, Call Ashley and leave. 

        2-2.2: Wanted: killer instinct

Run towards the abandoned cabin. Two cutscenes later, it's time to face the 
horde. This is the first scene where you are going to miss the oh so reliable
Shotgun and the grenades.

Objective: survive the Ganado rush for 5 minutes (you cannot afford killing 50 
Ganados). First, buy some time by moving the 3 cupboards in front of the 
windows. Then, make sure Luis* is positioned somewhere in the middle of the
cabin's ground floor. This will allow him to easily shoot at all 3 windows and 
you to protect Luis should he get in trouble. 

(i) Handgun strategy: take position on the staircase in such a manner that you 
can see Luis and two windows (or probably cupboards, right now). At some point, 
the Ganados will break the cupboards and climb through the windows. Halt the
entry of the Ganados at the windows which are visible to you by shooting them
as they are busy coming through the windows. Luis should take care of the 
remaining window, and occasionally deal extra damage to the Ganados in the
other windows.

Doing this should allow you to hold the fort until Luis runs upstairs - join 
him. If the Ganados should make it in before this happens, return to the 
ground floor and stall the opposition with head shot/Kick combos. 

Upstairs, you can kill time by throwing down ladders to delay the invasion.
You are invincible while doing this, so it's also a good way to negate attacks.
Head shot/Kick combos and Luis' support also help, but at some point, you will
be swarmed by opponents, some Plagas.

When this happens, it's time to play the up/down game. Find a way around your 
opponents, then go back down to the ground floor, leaving Luis to handle things 
on his own. There will only be a couple of enemies around which are easily 
evaded using the table. After a while, the Ganados will follow you downstairs, 
and more will pour in through the windows. When this happens, simply go back 
up, drop a few ladders... repeat the game until invasion time is over, and 
remember: head shot/Kick combos can get you out of nasty situations.

(ii) Combat Knife strategy: this is a lot harder, but it can be done. You'll
probably get hurt now and again, but that's why you have the chicken egg 
buffer. Last time I tried this, I had to use a Brown Chicken Egg and a
Red-Green-Yellow Herb mixture. That was the PlayStation 2 version, in the
Gamecube version I usually need more. This is the first scene where the
Gamecube version proves to be more difficult than the PlayStation 2 version
due to a higher Ganado count.

With Luis in position, return to the window where the scene started and slash
it open with the Combat Knife. Luis will start pelting the enemies - let him.
Now push the second cupboard in front of the middle window to stop the progress
of the Ganados there. Slash open the third window, where you will see at least
one unarmed Ganado, which can be knifed at the window (watch out for the torch
Ganado in the Gamecube version).

Defend the ground floor as much as possible, but expect to get flooded as soon
as the Ganados break through the middle window. Begin the up/down game - 
regardless of whether Luis is upstairs or not - and prepare having to evade 
two, perhaps three Plagas in the Gamecube version, along with a whole set of 
other, less "harmless" Ganados. PlayStation 2 owners will have a much easier
time. The Plagas and torchers deal large amounts of damage, so heal up in time
while close to them or you might face an unexpected death.

After this scene, the chapter is yours.

*: 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:


Chapter 2-2 statistics:
Hit ratio                   78%
Enemies killed              37
Number of times killed       0
Time taken             0:22:18
Inventory                  745 Handgun bullets
                             8 full healing items
                             5 Brown Chicken Eggs

Notes: Wow, that up-and-down the cabin tactic really works! Not only did I end
up with more bullets than in the previous chapter, I also barely lost any
healing items. I used one RGY Herb Mix and 2 Brown Chicken Eggs, that's it.
Even though the accuracy is not as high as normal, I'm still happy - this is
the best inventory I ever had at this stage.

Overall score:
Hit ratio                   84%
Enemies killed             184
Number of times killed       0
Time taken             2:26:02

     Chapter 2-3: Torture trouble

        2-3.1: The gorge

Loot the cabin for items. 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 or low% 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

Grab the Handgun Ammo near the entrance and board the gondola.

(i) Handgun strategy: 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 Leon or Ashley. The first Ganado 
on the left can be shot before boarding the gondola, if you want. 

(ii) Combat Knife strategy: much more difficult, but essential for a low% run.
First, three facts about the Ganados:

- The Ganados on the left will jump onto the Gondola and hack away at the cable
  in an attempt to drop the gondola into the chasm below. When he succeeds, 
  it's game over.

- Each Ganado inside a gondola will throw two projectiles (axe or sickle): 
  first while approaching Leon and Ashley's gondola, then as they pass it.
  Multiple Ganados inside one gondola will throw their projectiles in 
  quick succession.

- projectiles are thrown in the general direction of Leon and Ashley but not
  accurately - if the couple doesn't move, some projectiles will hit, others 
  will miss. This makes evasion difficult, especially when facing the triple
  Ganado gondolas.

So, how do we tackle this using only the Combat Knife? The Ganados on the left
are easy - as soon as one of them jumps onto the gondola, move directly below
them, aim up and slash their feet once to catapult them off your ride. Keep in
mind that you're open to attacks from the Ganados on the right while doing 

The three gondolas with just one Ganado are easy, too. With the right timing,
you can deflect both projectiles. While this seems tricky at first, it helps if 
you think of each projectile as a "wasp" which you have to swat to the side 
with your hand to get it out of the way. Visualise the Combat Knife as a slight
extension of your hand, keep in mind that you have to react more quickly at the
second throw and you should do fine. 

The gondola with two Ganados is slightly harder, but not impossible. During the
first and second volley, one of 3 scenarios can happen: either both, only one 
or none of the projectiles will hit. In the latter case (rare), you're lucky. 
When one projectile will hit, you're basically up against one Ganado, which is 
easy. When both will hit, you'll have to swing the knife in quick succession 
and pray that you can swat them both away. 

The two gondolas with three Ganados are quite difficult. You now have 4 
possibilities: all three, two, one or none of the projectiles will hit. The
last 3 cases are basically the same as the two Ganados gondola, so treat them
the same way. The first case, well... so far, I haven't succeeded in swatting
three projectiles. My first two swings get the first two projectiles, but the
third always seems to land, no matter what. Only large quantities of practise
will tell if you can swat them all three consistently. Alternatively, try 
evasive tactics - when they throw their projectiles, judge their respective 
trajectories, then move out of the way. Ashley should follow you so that she 
can evade them as well. A tough method as well, especially during the second
volley, but better than nothing. 

Using these tactics will allow you to knife yourself through this scene without
taking too much damage - you should have enough healing items around as a 
buffer anyway. Keep a cool head at all times and you should come out on top.

After the ride, head towards the torture house. 

        2-3.3: Bitores Mendez

After the cutscene and quicktime event, it's time to show you and Mendez
some pain.
Part 1 - The whole Mendez

To save ammo, we're going to knife Mendez while he still is connected to his
legs. To do this, turn around and go up the ladder. Face Mendez, wait for 
him to raise his torso, then jump down. Check his legs - are they moving
sideways or not?

When not, Bitores will come down after one torso swipe. You should have just
enough time for one, maybe two knife slashes before returning to the ladder and
climbing to evade your opponent's retaliation. In the other case, Mendez will
do two torso swipes, which gives you an opportunity to swipe 4-5 times. Aim
straight ahead to the hit the vulnerable spinal area. Try turning sideways
while slashing to have an easier time getting back on the ladder. Also, Mendez'
torso will sometimes come down immediately after a painful slash - immediately
climb the ladder when that happens.

After a while (and provided that Leon doesn't have to swallow a hit), you will
notice that Bitores moves closer and closer to the ladder*. Perfect - that way,
you can simply jump down and slash straight at the spine without having to
move forward. When Leon gets hit, however, Mendez will be at a distance again
and you will have to start over. It's not a big deal, but will cost you time.

About 55 knife slashes later, Mendez loses the use of his legs.

Part 2 - Torso

(i) Handgun strategy: Initially, shoot Mendez a couple of times until he jumps 
away. Position Leon in a corner, in front of the explosive barrel (stand near 
the Green Herb) and wait for the boss to get close. When he does, shoot the 
barrel heavy damage and pelt him some more while he's down.

The strategy after that is quite simple, but you'll have to develop a feeling 
for your foe's timing. Bitores will alternate between lower and upper levels - 
when on the same level as Leon, he will attempt to jump closer and deliver a 
powerful and dangerous attack. Your job is to stay on the ground floor and run 
to one end of the area when Mendez is in the process of jumping down from the 
upper level. Then, turn around and shoot your foe if he's sufficiently far away
or has yet to turn around. Do this swiftly, and efficiently. Know when to move 
past him, or when to step back. During the fight, make sure to climb the ladder
and collect all the items on the upper level. After swallowing enough lead 
(30something bullets), Bitores will give up.

(ii) Combat Knife strategy: The beginning is almost the same, except that you
will have to knife the explosive barrel** instead of shooting it. Heal up
completely afterwards. Also turn the Right Analog Stick left to see when the
enemy "drops by". By the way: whenever Mendez hits you here, make sure Leon is 
fully healed. When not, Bitores' next successful attack will be lethal.

This part is difficult, but can be done with enough practise. I need one full
healing item on average at the moment. In order to explain things, here's a
schematic of the torture house's ground floor after the barrel explosion:

|            | 
|============| Beam 1
|            |
|            |
|            |
|============| Beam 2
|       _____|
|      |     |
|     Fire___|
|============| Beam 3
|            |

Above Beam 1, 2 and 3 is another set of beams, but that is located on the
second floor. Note Mendez' legs on the ground - they should be lying right
beneath beam 3 and as such are an excellent orientation point. Now here's the 

Forget about Beam 1. Only Mendez is allowed to go there. You should keep
Leon exactly beneath Beam 3, facing Beam 1 and 2 to observe what Mendez is
doing. Normally, he will go from Beam 3 to one of the upper beams (aim up with 
the knife to follow him) and then come down to Beam 2 or 3. 

When he chooses Beam 2 and attacks, walk backwards to evade it. When he chooses
Beam 3 and does not attack (to evade, Crouch with L+R), slash him once (or
twice you hit him early), then run slightly past Beam 2 and turn around. When 
he does attack, don't slash but still proceed past Beam 2 and face your enemy.

Now look at what Mendez does next. When he chooses to jump to one of the
second floor beams, return to Beam 3, take position below it and repeat the

When he chooses to jump to Beam 2, courageously run towards him and place a 
forward slash during his recovery. You're at the optimum position when you can 
only see his spine and hands***. If you're too much in front of him when he 
starts to recover (or too far), abort the attack or suffer the consequences. 
Immediately after the slash, run forward to Beam 3 and evade Mendez' powerful 
counterattack. Since you are now below Beam 3 again, you can repeat the cycle.

As you can see, each successful cycle yields up to two slashes. Often, you'll
only get one slash as Mendez loves choosing inconvenient jumps. Be patient and
consider this - it's better to burn time, than to get hit by your opponent. His
attacks really, really hurt.

I left out a few extra details to show you the basic cycle. Sometimes, Mendez
will jump from Beam 2 to 3. Do the same as above, i.e. run right below him 
and forward slash his spine, then run to Beam 2 and turn around. Sometimes,
you will get an interesting "mini-loop" where Mendez jumps from Beam 2 to Beam
3 and back. You can get in a slash every time. Also, when Bitores jumps from 
one ground floor beam to the other, he can immediately attack - press L+R to 
Crouch, then run past him as quickly as possible. Hopefully, you won't get hit.

Count the slashes which connected - at the 13th slash, Mendez will briefly fall
on the ground. Try to anticipate this and try to get a couple of free 
(downward) slashes in. After 19 slashes, the mayor of Plagaville will bid you 

(iii) Fluke Uber Combat Knife strategy (recommended for PlayStation 2 version):
This tactic is amazing, as it's incredibly fast, but it involves extremely 
accurate positioning and as such is very risky. Still, the daring will love 
this trick, which abuses Mendez' left-right side switching. I discovered it by 
accident and right now, it's the only tactic I use on the PlayStation 2 as it's
so fast and, well, extremely stylish. I haven't been able to recreate the same 
trick on the Gamecube as consistently, as positioning is even trickier there.

A magical place exists on the map and it is approximately here:

|            | 
|============| Beam 1
|            |
|            |
|            |
|============| Beam 2
|       _____|
|      |     |
|     Fire___|
|=====X======| Beam 3
|            |

X marks the spot. First of all, get Mendez away from the Beam 3 area by
running past Beam 2. He will either jump to Beam 2 or go up. In the former case
step back even further (until he jumps up), in the latter, position Leon at X.
He should be directly left of the fire (not too close or he'll burn), slightly
past the vertical steel beam on the right.

Play the waiting game. At some point, Mendez will jump down to Beam 3 from 
above, but his behaviour after that will be very weird. Instead of attacking
Leon, he will start rotating around his vertical axis, as if he can't find his
target. Occasionally, he will attack continuously, but without hitting Leon. 
While he's "stuck", slash away until he falls on the ground. Hold your position
and wait until he comes down a second time, then finish him off.

It's that simple. You just defeated Mendez using a devious trick, and an
outright diabolical glitch.

(iv) Safe, but boring Combat Knife strategy: This is a variant on technique 
(iii). Do as above, except that you now position Leon here (X marks the spot 
yet again):

|            | 
|============| Beam 1
|            |
|            |
|            |
|============| Beam 2
|       _____|
|      |     |
|      Fire__|
|===M====!X==| Beam 3
|            |

That's right, safely behind the fire, protected by the wall on the right.
Mendez will, sooner or later, arrive at position M. He will then switch sides
and move to position !. When this happens, slash once, then run straight ahead
to evade Bitores' attack. Get past good old Beam 2 and repeat the "lure Mendez 
away from Beam 3" game. Safe, reliable, but you'll hate the monotony.

*: He tends to advance faster in the Gamecube version than in the PlayStation 2

**: Don't ask me how Leon is able to ignite barrels with a knife. Maybe he gets
    lucky, and sparks generated by the impact manage to get into the barrel,
    making it explode? Never mind, it's there and can be (ab)used.

***: Aim slightly up if you have trouble getting a hit.

        2-3.4: A new venue

After the cutscene, collect useful items (don't forget the boss treasure)and 
finally the Glass Eye* in order to escape the torture house. Return to the 
gates with the retinal scanner and use the Glass Eye to open them. After the 
cutscene, (don't forget to) grab the Handgun Ammo and run up the slope. Shoot 
the oncoming truck** (either kill 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.

*: Resident Evil: Code Veronica (X), anyone?

**: Handgun mandatory.

Chapter 2-3 statistics:
Hit ratio                   62%
Enemies killed              17
Number of times killed       0
Time taken             0:18:52
Inventory                  727 Handgun bullets
                            10 full healing items
                             5 Brown Chicken Eggs

Notes: As you can see, slightly less bullets, which means that I used the 
Handgun to kill Mendez*. It has its perks, as I'm now swimming in healing 
items, which is very useful from this point - trust me. I could have finished 
the chapter more quickly, but I prefered writing down the notes for chapter 
2-2 while 2-3 was running. Doesn't matter anyway - this is not a true time 
attack... for the moment. My main interest is getting through alive, as this 
is the first time I've tried this run on the GameCube. Accuracy is another 
thing I don't seem to be maximising.

*: At that time, I hadn't finetuned the part 2 knifing strategy.

Overall score:
Hit ratio                   72%
Enemies killed             201
Number of times killed       0
Time taken             2:44:54

And that wraps up the village within 3 hours - slow, but we're packed with 
Handgun Ammo, something which is impossible if you don't take it slowly.
Up next is a chapter which is tough as nails. Prepare to get nightmares over
the final scene - from this point, the men are separated from the boys.

     Chapter 3-1: Los Illuminados
        3-1.1: Climb the Castle

Collect items, then 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. Stay to the right. Climb the stairs, then
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 

Collect stuff in the little house, then go to the circular area and kill the 
catapult Zealot with a well-aimed Handgun shot. If you don't want to use the
Handgun, try raising the cannon in between incoming fireballs. You can rotate 
the crank about 4-5 times before you have to run out of the way***. Using the
Handgun makes the job a little bit easier, though. 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 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. Use the Platinum 
Sword on the door to unlock it and go through after the cutscene. Head 
shot/Kick 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.

***: while rotating the crank, observe the catapult in the back - run away as 
     soon as the fireball is launched.

        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 a head shot/Kick 
combo to drop 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 

*: Leon, better with the ladies? Luis, you card.

**: If you don't want to use the Handgun in this scene, knife the barrel or try
    to evade your foes. Either option isn't particularly inviting, but those 
    are the breaks. In PlayStation 2 version, I usually try to get lots of 
    Zealots close to the barrel, knife it, heal up, then leave through the 
    door, evading the final two spiked ball Zealots. The Gamecube version is
    a lot easier.

***: 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

After the two cutscenes, leave Ashley behind if you intend not to use the 
Handgun during the upcoming scene. Collect various items and the Prison Key,
then use it to open the prison door. Trigger the Garrador. 

(i) Safe Handgun & Combat Knife strategy: to beat your foe, 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 slash his parasite with the Combat Knife. 
Repeat the strategy until the Garrador is no more (requires 20 slashes).

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. Look at this schematic of the prison:
                   |    |                
         |  3                     1|
         |2        ___            _|
         |_       |   |          |_
           |      |___|            |
          _|    ___________________|
         |      |||||||||||||||||||Ex

         The 1-2 and 3-4 diagonals are good choices to wear him down.

      4. Initially, knifing the parasite on the Garrador's back appears tricky.
         I found that the best way to knife him is to position Leon in such a
         way that the parasite is directly to his right. Since Leon swipes from
         left to right, the chances of him hitting the target are increased.
         Start with a forward slash - if you miss, aim slightly up. You have
         one additional chance after that. Move away after the 3rd slash, 
         whether you hit him or not.

      5. When you do manage to hit the parasite, slash one additional time
         immediately afterwards. With luck, you get in a second hit. Don't
         worry, you will have enough time left to get away safely.

(ii) Extremely cool Combat Knife strategy: Did you leave Ashley behind right
after the second cutscene in the great hall? Good, then you can now try a very 
funny knife only strategy. I can't believe I didn't think of this before. 

The basic strategy remains the same: tempt the Garrador to a wall charge, then
slash his parasite while he's stuck in the wall. Now normally, doing this 
without the Handgun involves running back and forth in front of the Garrador 
until he does the wall charge. However, there is a much, much more elegant way, 
courtesy of Ashley. 

Look at the above schematic. Let's say Leon is at position 1, and the Garrador
is somewhere in the neighbourhood of 2 and 3, looking around to find a target.
Position Leon with his back against the wall, then use the Handgun's laser 
sight to point at the Garrador. This ensures that Leon is standing in the right
direction. Now call Ashley with X, then quickly annul your command with a 
second press of X. If you did it right, you will hear Leon say "FolloWait!".
Make sure that you ended with a "Wait!" or Ashley will join the fight, which is
the last thing you want**.

Anyway, the "FolloWait" you just did is virtually the same as a Handgun shot,
and the Garrador will attack. You are not *guaranteed* a wall charge, though.
Carefully study the Garrador's reaction. If he grunts, brandishes his claws,
then runs towards Leon, you have a wall charge. Slash his parasite and repeat
the cycle. When he immediately attacks or does some exotic things with his 
claws, move out of the way - he's going to swing his deadly blades really soon.

After 21 successful slashes, Garrador will keel over. Keep in mind that Ashley
will get closer to you and your "big friend" each time you do a FolloWait. 
However, the distance between you and her initial position at the great hall
should be large enough to kill the Garrador before she gets into the danger

With that fight over with, 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.

**: If you want to make sure that Ashley can't make it into the prison, walk up
    the staircase with Leon after triggering the Garrador. The exit will close,
    stopping Ashley from coming in.

        3-1.4: Congregation

This is the first really difficult scene, with the Gamecube version again being
the most difficult one due to the high Zealot count. If this is your first time 
here, save before entering the fray.

Turn left and run around the water basin. You should be able to make it past 
the shield Zealot. In the Gamecube version, disrupt the unarmed Zealot at the
end of the stairs with a single Handgun shot or knife swipe. Take a right, 
disrupting the next 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. 

If you were fast enough, noone will be inside yet, except perhaps a single 
Zealot. Work him out of the room as quickly as possible, then defend the door 
at all costs. A lot of Shield Zealots are coming, and you want to use the door
to remove their annoying shield. Use the Combat Knife with a passion and try 
to Suplex the Zealots (or Kick the shield Zealots) silly after successful knee 

At some point, (shield) Zealots drop from the ceiling, one by one*. Therefore, 
check the area behind Leon at regular intervals and make sure they die as
quickly as possible. You will need to pull some crazy stunts to survive. Once 
the enemy flood is over, go outside**. Time to deal with the crossbow Zealots 
on the balconies in the GameCube version - you'll find them near the secret 
crank in the PlayStation 2 version. Eliminate them with the Handgun or Combat 
Knife***, then collect items before operating the crank. 

Once the stairway is down, run away from the first wave of Zealots. If you're 
using the Combat Knife, it might be interesting to return to the room where you
left Ashley behind. With the Handgun, it shouldn't be too hard to floor most of
the oncoming Zealots with well-aimed shots, then go for a Suplex on the last 
one standing. Repeat until they are all history.

Call Ashley, 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 

So far, I have always been forced to use the Handgun in this scene, especially
in the Gamecube version, where you sometimes get overrun by 6 or more Zealots, 
half of them carrying a shield. Theoretically, you could survive it with only
the Combat Knife, but in practise, this is nigh impossible. If someone has
an airtight strategy (hopefully not involving a Continue Point cheat), drop me 
a line.

*: The event occurs early in the PlayStation 2 version, rather late in the 
   GameCube version.

**: If you plan on using only the Combat Knife later on, it might be a good
    idea to fetch the Hand Grenade from the vase.

***: In the PlayStation 2 version, you can shoot the first crossbow Zealot and 
     knife the other one afterwards. The Handgun is mandatory in the Gamecube
     version, unless you like taking damage while rotating the crank.

        3-1.5: Crank it up*

Go to the ledge on the right, do the Piggyback thing, then protect Leon and 
Ashley from the oncoming Zealots. Kill the Zealot near Ashley with the 
Handgun**. At some point, Ashley will finish using the first crank. She will 
proceed to the other crank, where a Zealot will promptly abduct 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. 

Eventually, Ashley should be able to finish the second crank. When she does, 
the college coed will run to the nearby ledge and request a Catch. Do so, then 
quickly leave the hall via the raised platforms. Use head shot/Kick combos if 
there are any Zealots are in the way. Alternatively, try leading them to the 
initial area of the hall, then make a break for it with Ashley.

In the next area, collect all useful items, then finish the chapter by running
into the corridor at the end of the hall. Combat Knife players should now
equip and discard a grenade they picked up earlier (for example the Hand 
Grenade from the vase, mentioned in the previous scene).

*: Handgun mandatory, if only to drop a Zealot abducting Ashley.

**: You don't have to do this, but then you will have to go through several
    additional abductions.

Chapter 3-1 statistics:
Hit ratio                   88%
Enemies killed              49
Number of times killed       0
Time taken             0:43:54
Inventory                  690 Handgun bullets
                             8 full healing items
                             1 Brown Chicken Egg

Notes: Those healing items just melted away, courtesy of scene 3-1.4. Thanks to
a couple of good pickups, the amount of bullets wasted on Zealots has been kept
in check. I should note that I didn't ignore the Leon Zealots during the second
part of 3-1.4 as I hadn't thought of it at that point.

Overall score:
Hit ratio                   81%
Enemies killed             250
Number of times killed       0
Time taken             3:28:48

     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, 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. 

(i) Handgun and Combat Knife strategy: 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. 

Shoot the explosive barrel and jump onto the platform - the leader Zealot will 
run away. Kill the surviving Zealots with the Combat Knife, then return to the 
walkway. If you are, like me, a crack shot ;), you can 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   |
|-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.
(ii) Combat Knife strategy: A spiked ball Zealot from the ground floor will
have followed you. Take him down at the door (abuse it by kicking it open with
the Zealot in front to phase him, etc). As soon as he dies, or turns into a
type 2 Plaga, run up the staircase. In the PlayStation 2 version, run past the 
masked Zealot and continue to the platform. In Gamecube version, kill this 
Zealot first, by going for Suplexes with the Combat Knife while standing on the

Eventually, jump onto it and evade the crossbow and spiked ball Zealots, run 
into the opening on the right, go up the little staircase and watch the red 
Zealot run away. Jump down to the ground floor (there is a nearby drop-off 
point) and hurry to the door leading to the small room. Hello, who's that? 
Follow the red Zealot up the staircase and stay close, but watch out for the 
surprise shield Zealot at the corner. Important: as the red Zealot opens the 
door, follow him through BEFORE it closes. With his dreams of manning the 
railgun crushed, the red Zealot will stop running away and attack Leon 

When the coast is clear of other attackers, allow the red Zealot to attack Leon
from behind. Wriggle the controls and you should be able to crush the 
opponent's head in one smooth blow without taking damage**. Should the shield
Zealot be near, jump down to the ground floor a second time and let the red
Zealot attack Leon from behind after he jumps down. Make sure that it's him
who attacks, or you're in for a rough time.

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. Get the Handgun ammo if you need it.

*: Alternatively, drop onto the platform and knife the barrel if you don't want
   to use the Handgun.

**: Sometimes, he does manage to do (negligeable) damage.

***: Go right if he decides to shift to Leon's left.

        3-2.3: Beware the fang

Collect items while heading to the maze where the Colmillo roams. Enter the 
maze with the Handgun or nothing 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 your 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                   95%
Enemies killed              18
Number of times killed       0
Time taken             0:12:20
Inventory                  801 Handgun bullets
                             7 full healing items
Notes: This run could have been better, but I don't care - right now, I just
want to get to the really difficult areas as quickly as possible. As you can
see, I traded some health for bullets (also had a terrible run through scene

Overall score:
Hit ratio                   81%
Enemies killed             268
Number of times killed       0
Time taken             3:41:08

     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**. 
Collect items from the room on the right if you need them. When you're back, 
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. 

Also crucial is your positioning: move to the lock in front of you, keeping 
both to the left and at some distance from the cage, in such a way that you can
knife the lock and at the same time be safe from the Zealots outside the cage. 
Destroy the lock with 8 slashes of the Combat Knife***, kick the door open 
immediately and leave the area.

*: Handgun mandatory.

**: If you want, you can get the Flash Grenade and equip/discard it. That 
    really helps in the next scene.

***: Aim a little down, so that you hit the centre of the lock.

        3-3.2: Exhibition room

The lower area houses a couple of Zealots - kill them at the ladder, 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.

*: Should they make it through the door before you can kick it open, know that
   (a) you can shoot the oil lamp above to floor them at the right moment and
   (b) you can jump off the walkway on the left or right.

Chapter 3-3 statistics:
Hit ratio                  100%
Enemies killed               4
Number of times killed       0
Time taken             0:05:36
Inventory                  819 Handgun bullets
                             8 full healing items

Notes: Without the Shotgun, scene 3-3.1 is very, very tricky indeed. Note that 
I managed to fill up health items and bullets a little more.

Overall score:
Hit ratio                   81%
Enemies killed             272
Number of times killed       0
Time taken             3:46:44

     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*** and wait while Ashley discovers 
that the door to freedom is locked. Turn left and aim down with the Handgun. 
Once screamy girl made it back to her original position, start shooting the 
red Zealot with all you've got. You have to damage him as much as possible 
right now - disregard the crossbow Zealots****, or disrupt them if they are too
much of a problem for you.

In the meantime, Ashley will be abducted. Be sure to turn around in time to 
free her from the clutches of a newly arrived Zealot with a single shot at the 
legs. This will buy you more time to wear down the red Zealot, who will now be
heading towards a new position. Kill him, then start working the crossbow 
Zealots and the abductor Zealot(s). With them out of the way, Ashley will find
enough courage to grab the key and escape.

*: Handgun mandatory.

**: Are you a fan of the lovely sounds Ashley makes while you're trying to free 
    her, too? Nothing helps concentration 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.

****: Both Ashley's and Leon's health will be fully restored at the beginning 
      of chapter 4-1, so it's okay to suck up a few crossbow bolts.

        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. 
Note that you're not using any weapon, so this part of the game is really
badass ;).

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 

4. Get the Yellow, Red and a Green Herb. Don't forget the Handgun Ammo.

Chapter 3-4 statistics:
Hit ratio                   79%
Enemies killed               7
Number of times killed       0
Time taken             0:08:05
Inventory                  698 Handgun bullets
                             7 full healing items

Notes: The crossbow Zealots at the sniping scene seemed to take forever to 
kill. They cost me a lot of bullets. Luckily, I only needed to use 1 full 
healing item, so Ashley's bounty will refill Leon's supplies at the beginning 
of the next round. And boy, am I going to need it.

Overall score:
Hit ratio                   81%
Enemies killed             279
Number of times killed       0
Time taken             3:54:49

Get ready for an absolute nightmare. Chapter 4-1 is one long string of 
nigh impossible scenes - you *will* be eaten alive, so save regularly if this
is your first time.

     Chapter 4-1: El Infierno

        4-1.1: Feel the burn

Collect items (return to previous areas if you wish). Eventually, proceed to 
the lava room. Run to the rotating gate - 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 red 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. 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's and King's Grail quests. Ladies first - take the door on 
the left.  

*: Handgun mandatory.

         4-1.2: 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 to stop the ceiling 
trap, then kill the two Zealots riding a digging machine with well-aimed shots
in order to save Ashley. Fetch items, the Queen's Grail and continue to the 
King's Grail quest.

*: Handgun mandatory.

         4-1.3: The King's Grail

Leave Ashley behind. Get the Handgun Ammo, evade the two Armadura attacks by 
pressing L+R or A+B at the right moment. Grab the King's Grail and get ready
for one tough mother of a scene*. 

(i) Handgun only strategy: Expose the type 1 Plagas of the three Armaduras with
head shots. Then, shoot the Plagas until they desintegrate. This may sound like
a nightmare and it is, but as with all things, practise makes perfect. Here are
a few pointers to play the opposing Armaduras (more or less) like violins (or, 
in my case, saxophones :):

1. 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 attack pretty early, giving you enough time to step 
out of their attack range and start shooting a few bullets.

2. Armaduras also have trouble detecting Leon behind their backs. It'd be
   a shame not to abuse that as well. Here's a schematic of the room:

        /        \       AS: Armadura Stand
       /          \      KG: King's Grail
      /            \
     |      _3      |
     A     /KG\     A
     S     \__/     S
     |      4  2    |
      \            /
       \ 1        /

   To use this tactic, you'll have to lure all Armaduras to one side of the
   arena. Let's say Leon is standing at position 1, and the Armaduras are
   nicely grouped at position 2, closing in on our hero. 

   When this happens, quickly spin around the King's Grail pedestal. The
   Armaduras will follow Leon for a while and reach position 4 but at some 
   point, they won't register the secret agent anymore and stop. You will
   probably end up at position 3 when it happens. Use the opportunity and 
   shoot continuously while they're trying to find their bearings.

The second batch of Armaduras (which sprout type 2 Plagas) can be killed in the
same way.

(ii) Handgun and Combat Knife strategy: You can use the first strategy outlined
above to knife the Armaduras. Step back, let them attack, then close in on one
of the Armaduras, aim up and slash a couple of times while the opponents 
recover. With luck, the Armadura is disrupted and you can slash a little more.
Stay alert though and run away as soon as you feel the other Armaduras will
attack or get too close for comfort.

At some point, one of the Armaduras will have his Plaga exposed. Focus on this
particular enemy and use the Handgun to turn it to dust. You can now use both
tactics from above until the living armour is history. After that, knife the
other targets until one of them sprouts a Plaga, kill it with the Handgun, then
finish off the remaining Armadura in the same way.

The next Armadura wave can be knifed completely. Start as before, and knife
away until one of them exposes a type 2 Plaga. These Plagas have a slow attack
(although an instant kill!), so you can easily knife them once before the 
attack and several times during the recovery phase. By the way, you can knife a
type 2 Plaga Armadura from the back. Best of luck.

With the King's grail yours, leave the area 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. Do a "FolloWait!" as 
with the Garrador in scene 3-1.3 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.

*: I don't have a full Combat Knife strategy here, as approaching the first
   Armaduras after their type 1 Plagas have been exposed is extremely deadly. 
   A random swish of their long-range blades here and there, and you're dead. I
   can imagine knifing them with a lot of luck and healing items, but you don't
   have that luxury here. If someone has a solid strategy to knife the first 
   batch of Armaduras after the Plagas hatched, drop me a line. 

         4-1.4: 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. Get items, then shoot the two chains 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 each of them into an attack and make
your way through. Run past with the Handgun equipped, trigger the Zealot flood 
cutscene, evade the spiked ball attacks from the initial defence line, then run 
for the exit. Do not hesitate, or the Rocket Launcher leader Zealot will fry

*: Handgun mandatory.

         4-1.5: Claws

(i) Handgun and Combat Knife strategy: 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, slash the parasite of the Garradors with the 
Combat Knife. You can hit both their parasites with one slash if they're lined
up at the wall (position Leon to the side of the outmost Garrador, then do a
straight slash. Alternatively, you should have enough time to slash the 
parasites separately if the Garradors are near to eachother. Simply slash the
first, then try to hit the second while the other Garrados recovers. Correct 
your aim slightly up if the slash didn't connect. As always, you have up to 3 
slashes before you can walk away.

Walk to the other side of the wall, and wait until both Garradors start looking
left-right. 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. 

(ii) Combat Knife strategy: This is trickier, especially the initial part. Kill
the first unarmed Zealot with the Combat Knife, then damage the second Zealot
to a point where he is almost dead. Lure him to the staircase (don't go up),
and finish him off there to attract the attention of the Garradors. Another way
is running up to them, but then you will trigger a whole lot of Zealots behind
Leon, which is the last thing you need.

With the Garradors active, get moderately close to both or one of them (without
leaving the lower area), then run a few steps, step back, run a few steps, etc. 
Your target(s) will register this sound and attack. You can tell which attack
they are going to do by their body language. Basically, the attack you want is
when they grunt, brandish their blades and run towards you. Try to walk away
from anything else. When the target(s) successfully get(s) stuck on the wall, 
walk over and slash away as always. After some time (it's hard to get 
simultaneous hits since a Garrador's reaction varies), both of them will go

After the Garradors' demise, shoot the vase on the left** for an item and to 
attract the attention of a masked Zealot (kill him for a First Aid Spray if 
you wish), 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. While on your way, 
you can collect the Incendiary Grenade (equip/discard it) and other items.

*: Usually, the unarmoured Garrador goes down first.

**: Combat Knife users should just get out of the area pronto.

        4-1.6: Verdugo

(i) Unarmed strategy: 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*. 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.

(ii) Combat Knife strategy: I was going to tell you how hard knifing Verdugo 
is, even in Normal. I was going to talk about intricate timing, head swipe 
combos, and what not. Props to Griffinsong and, at a later date, Sephirosuy, 
for motivating me to give Verdugo a serious whirl.

Anyway, I "was" going to do all that. But then, I discovered a much, much
better strategy. One which is very reliable, but quite slow. However, when
you actually, consciously set out to knife Salazar's Right Hand, you're not
planning a time attack anyway. This is for the diehards who want closure - 
now we have solid knifing strategies for all enemies except the elusive 

The strategy was tested on both PlayStation 2 and Gamecube. I started with the 
PlayStation 2 version first, which turned out to be a great choice - thanks to 
a quite interesting feature (see below), I was able to learn a lot about 
Verdugo's moves. Which enabled me to derive a slightly different strategy for 
the Gamecube version, where this feature is missing.

On with the show. You will probably get discouraged by the length of this
strategy, but I'm merely covering all possible angles. In practise, it's
not as hard as it seems. Knifing Saddler is more difficult than this. I'll
include a summary of a perfect knifing sequence below.

PlayStation 2 version: Begin as usual, and follow the first two paragraphs of
the "unarmed strategy" above. The rest of the scene is divided in two parts. If
you want to beat Verdugo without using the liquid nitrogen tanks, go straight
to part two, otherwise begin here. 

     Part 1 - Liquid Nitrogen

Knock the nearby liquid nitrogen tank Down to get first blood. Get close to
Verdugo, Kick him, then run up to where his body landed, aim down and start 
slashing away. Keep A pressed for a continuous stream of knife mayhem. Get your
aim up while Verdugo raises himself. Soon enough, he'll face Leon - stop 
slashing when he does, and wait for his eyes to glow before placing a head

If you timed it well, Verdugo will take serious damage, his attack gets 
countered and he will be phased for a moment, which is your chance to get in
more hits. Don't worry if you miss - Verdugo's attacks are not so powerful 
while he's frozen. It is possible to head swipe him a second time but after 
that, your foe will soon break out of his handicapped state. By now, the 
shutter should have raised itself - get out and move to the second liquid 
nitrogen tank, evading Verdugo's attacks if necessary.

Repeat the story from above with this tank, then move to the third tank inside 
the small boiler room. With a bit of luck, you will hear Verdugo jump to the 
ceiling, which means you can safely wait for him inside the boiler room. When
not, you will have to be careful when opening the door. Either way, Knock Down
the gas tank and swipe away a third time. The more damage you get in during
these sequences, the faster part 2 will go.

It's recommended to run away right before Verdugo un-freezes. That way, you can
open the door without fear of getting hit. 

     Part 2 - The Door

        Getting started

Head towards the elevator area, run inside, stand in front of the door and 
wait. Now a rather tricky part of the battle: you will have to get Verdugo 
inside the elevator room without him destroying the door. Sometimes, you'll get
lucky and get to hear Right Hand jump into the ceiling, jumping down behind 
you, which is exactly where you want him. Most of the time, though, you will 
have to keep the door open yourself and get Verdugo to attack in such a way 
that he winds up inside the room. With you not damaged, preferably. Do NOT let 
him destroy the door, or you'll have to start over. To make sure this doesn't 
happen, kick the door open as soon as Verdugo knocks on it. Note that on rare
occasions, the monster will surprise you at the corridor leading to the
elevator room.

When he's in, go through the door and wait in front of it on the other side. 
Those who came from part 1 should of course use the gas tank to get some extra
damage in, and they should leave through the door shortly before Verdugo breaks
free to get out safely.

Now take a look at the door. Do you see two moving, glowing red dots? Those are 
Verdugo's eyes, and they nicely betray his position inside the elevator room.
Now if that's not a Helping Hand, I don't know what is**!

        Observing the pattern

Anyway, quickly position Leon to the left of the door. Go as left as possible 
(try rotating Leon to the left, even), but in such a way that the Open command
is still visible. Leon's position will lure the Right Hand to the left - follow
his eyes to see it happen. At some point, your enemy will tap the door. Take a
mental note of where his eyes are (the height, specifically) and kick the door 
open. Verdugo will somersault back. Step back so that the door, your helper in 
need, your best friend, your saviour, closes.

Take position at the left side as before and watch the eyes again. They're a
little more to the left, wouldn't you say? Also, they move left-right, 
reflecting Verdugo's walk pattern. Let the insectoid tap the door, take another
mental note of the eye height (they're near the upper frame of the door, 
aren't they?) and kick it open. Verdugo somersaults back - note how he swerves 
a little more to the left? The plan is working. Step back to close the door.

Do this open-close thing a couple more times. At some point, you will see that
Verdugo no longer deviates to the left. He will somersault back, end up in
front of the left grating inside the room. Which is good, because that's where 
you want him at this stage.

        Setting up the trap

Follow Verdugo's eyes. Now kick the door open just before they get close to
the position where you saw Verdugo tapping the door. If you timed the kick too
late, Verdugo will somersault back, and you get another chance. If you timed it
too early, the monster will be right in front of you. Either he attacks and 
lands a sure-fire hit (which really hurts, heal if necessary***), or he shows 
mercy and taunts you by waving his finger, as if saying "tsk, tsk, not smart,

In the latter case, step back to close the door. You will have to repeat the 
open-close game until Verdugo is back in front of the left grating again. In 
the first case, Verdugo will jump into the ceiling... and invariably land 
inside the elevator room. You can either get back to the open-close game or 
(for the daring) try to kick the door open prematurely again. Note that on rare 
occasions, Right Hand will do one of his attacks which can be evaded with L+R. 
When that happens, EVADE it, even when the door is closed, as the attack still 
connects. I've been whipped a few times by Verdugo's tail, which came right 
through the door.

Now, if you timed the kick just right, you will actually hit Verdugo in the
knees for a (probably small) amount of damage - he will stumble back in 
response, again a bit further to the left. Your enemy should be far enough 

        Slashing time

... far enough, in fact, that if you kick the door open as he gets relatively
close to Leon (again, follow the eyes), Verdugo will be trapped behind the 
door! You are now in control if you follow the next steps to a tee. Trap your 
enemy, then immediately step back to close the door. 

If you were too slow, Verdugo will slide out of the trap, making a low hissing 
sound. You will also see his claws brush the door. When that happens, you'll 
have to "Observe the pattern" and "Set up the trap" all over again. Yeah, I 
know, all your previous work was for nothing. It happens. Be patient.

If you were fast enough, Right Hand will be trapped behind the door again. Very
quickly check his next move. 

When nothing special happens, hurry up and step back, or he will slide out of 
the trap as above, meaning you're back to square one. Next, move forward and 
look at the eyes. They will move horizontally for a while, then, if you don't 
do anything, dive down diagonally, meaning that Verdugo slid out of the trap. 
Your task is to kick the door open before the eyes dive down - this will cause 
Verdugo to get hit in the knees again. Close the door and repeat "Slashing 
time" up until this point.

When you spot Verdugo's face moving quickly behind the door and can hear his 
typical running sounds, you finally hit the jackpot. This is what you've done 
all the above work for. Because... you can now slash Verdugo with the Combat 
Knife without fear of getting hit! Simply stand in front of the open door and 
hack away at his head with forward slashes. The knife connects with Verdugo's 
body, right through the door!

As a bonus, you get to do a LOT of slashes. In my experience, there are two
possible slash outcomes: either you get an acceptable 8-9 slashes or, better 
yet, a generous helping of 19-20 slashes. If you get 8, 9 or 19 slashes,
Verdugo will suddenly stand up and slide out of the trap, which means it's back
to "Observing the pattern". 

If you get the full 20, you will almost always land a head swipe on the final 
hit, phasing Verdugo. Sometimes, you get "unlucky", and head swipe him at an
earlier hit. In either case, abuse the situation and run outside the elevator
room to close the door while the Right Hand recovers. Immediately turn around 
and kick the door open. Verdugo should be trapped behind the door again, which 
means you can go straight back to "Slashing time" to continue the beating! This
will save you a lot of time. So far, I've been able to slash him 20 times twice
in a row (plus head swipe), followed by a 19. That's 59 slashes in about 80
seconds! You'll need to get lucky for chains like these, though.

        Wrapping it up

The above is all you need. Repeat the different steps until Verdugo can't take
it any longer. You will have to repeat them often, though. Without using the
liquid nitrogen tanks, you will need about 525 hits (!) and about 50 minutes to
knife Verdugo in Professional mode. These hits will mainly be knife swipes and 
hurting Verdugo in the knees, and on rare occasions head swiping him. On even 
rarer occasions, you will be able to head swipe him with the door! That door 
truly is your best friend here.

If you do use the tanks, you will have a much easier time against your foe. All
the hits (both during the liquid nitrogen and door part) total up to a mere 
352, which is about 33% less than the 525 hits from before. The fight will also
take about 35 minutes instead of 50. My advice: use the tanks, even though 
there's a chance of getting hit. To give you an idea of just how tough Verdugo
can be: in Normal, the fight lasts about 20 minutes (using the tanks). And to
give you an idea of just how weak Verdugo can be: in Easy, you only need to
spend 6 (!) minutes.

In the last PlayStation 2 run I tried, I only needed 2 full healing items to
defeat Verdugo. I suffered 2 stupid hits during the door part, which could
have been prevented if I had known what I know now. It's quite possible to
defeat the insectoid without taking a hit.

One last thing: sometimes, you can't see Verdugo's eyes. I'm not sure why it
happens, but it's there. It usually gets fixed when Right Hands jumps into the
ceiling and then comes down again. Whenever this happens, use the Gamecube

Gamecube version: Actually, the Gamecube strategy is virtually identical to 
that of the Playstation 2, so read that one first, then come back here.


Read it? Good. There is one vital difference with the PlayStation 2 version,
and that's that you cannot see Verdugo's eyes behind the door! You are 
basically forced to do the strategy "blindfolded". However, I wasn't going to
let a little detail like that stop me ;).

First and foremost, Verdugo's eyes are important while "Setting up the trap", 
where you follow the red dots to find the best moment to kick the door open. 
Now that you are "blind", you will have to carefully time Verdugo's motions.

Personally, I do this as follows. With the door closed and Verdugo in front
of the left grating, I position Leon in front of the door, to the left, as 
usual. Then I start counting, (one, two, three...) and "mark" the exact moment 
when Verdugo taps the door. In my case, this happens at the count of four, but
it might be different for you - it depends on how fast you count. You'll be
fine as long as you always count at the same speed. Consistency is the key 
word. Try counting out aloud if you're experiencing problems.

Once you know Verdugo's timing, you can hurt him in the knees by kicking the
door open slightly before you reach the "mark". So in my case, this would be
at the count of three, shortly before I get to four. It's better to kick a 
little late than too early, as the latter might result in Verdugo ripping Leon 
a new one. Timing is very important, but you should get it down after a while.
I guess Dancing Simulator players or musicians should have an easy time here,
since they have a "mental metronome".

Another place where they eyes matter (slightly), is during "Slashing time".
How do you know when Verdugo's eyes "dive down" when you can't see them? This
is actually easily solved: once you know Verdugo will be doing that move, 
approach the door, then wait a split second before kicking it open. Verdugo's
knees should get it every time.

Practise makes perfect, and faster than you might think. First time I tried it,
I needed 7 full healing items, of which 2 were used during the liquid nitrogen
part. The second time, I only needed 3 full heals, again using 2 for the gas
tanks bit. The fifth time was the good one - no damage at all.

Summary: Next is a step by step analysis of a theoretically ideal battle at the
door. In practice, it's hard to pull this off, as Verdugo tends not to 
cooperate very much. I only added it for clarity - read the above in-depth 
strategies to find out what can go wrong and what you can do about it.

      Verdugo - Perfect Door Battle

         Step 1 - Get the enemy where you want him

Get Verdugo inside the elevator room without him destroying the door. Run
outside the room and turn around. Verdugo has to remain inside.

         Step 2 - Bring Leon into position

Place Leon in front of the elevator room door, as left as possible (rotate 
Leon to the left, even) but in such a way that you can still kick the door

         Step 3 - Open/Close the door

Kick the door open as soon as Verdugo taps the door. Take a mental note of
the position of his eyes, particularly the height (PlayStation 2), or count
the time it takes until the first tap (Gamecube, but also PlayStation 2 if
you will). Verdugo somersaults back, a little more to the left. You should
step back to close the door. Then try to take the same position as before.

Repeat this step until Verdugo is in front of the left grating inside the

        Step 4 - Hit Verdugo in the knees

Kick the door open slightly before Verdugo's eyes reach the height 
(PlayStation 2 version) or shortly before reaching the time counted (Gamecube, 
but also PlayStation 2), as noted in the previous step. Verdugo should be hit
in the knees, and far enough left so that if you repeat this step, he will be
trapped behind the door. When not, repeat this step until the magic happens.

        Step 5 - Get Verdugo to run behind the door

Kick the door open and very quickly check if you can see Verdugo's face moving
behind the door (and hear his typical running sounds). Didn't happen? Then step
back to close the door, run in front of it, wait a split second (PlayStation 2
owners will see the eyes slide to the right), then kick the door open to hit
Verdugo in the knees. Step back, close the door and repeat this step until
the enemy finally is running.

        Step 6 - Let the blade do the talking

Stand in front of the door and keep A pressed for a continuous stream of knife
slashes. Ideally, you'll land 20 hits, the last one being a head swipe that
phases Verdugo. When this happens (or you get an earlier head swipe), 
immediately run outside the elevatoor room to close the door, turn around and 
go back to step 5. In any other case, Right Hand will escape the trap. Run 
outside the elevatoor room to close the door, turn around and return to 
step 2.


Some of you might have trouble recreating the situations I described above. 
Here's the link to a pictorial (done on PS2 - don't worry, it's relevant for
the Gamecube version as well) showing the strategy and assorted things which
may happen (Photobucket - don't know how long link lasts):


The link leads you to the first screen - use the buttons to scroll through the 
images (there are 61 total). The titles contain a very rudimentary description 
of the strategy and of the happenings onscreen.

The pictorial starts after having used the first three liquid nitrogen tanks, 
right before the relevant part at the door. You'll see how I lure Verdugo 
inside the elevator room, how I freeze him for the last time and then run 
outside to begin the door strategy. You'll see what it looks like when Verdugo 
is trapped and how easy it is to slash him.

I didn't take any damage during the run, mainly because I was quite careful 
with the initial nitrogen tanks and used them only moderately to avoid hits. 
Which meant I was going to spend more time at the door - all the better, as it 
allowed me to demonstrate several things, such as what happens when you kick 
the door open too early, or how to get Verdugo back in the elevator room in 
case he gets past the door.

Also, and quite fortunately, Verdugo didn't have glowing eyes during the first 
part of the door battle. Which meant that I had to fight him as I would in the 
Gamecube version. Cube players should take note of what I'm doing there. Later 
on (after Verdugo gets past the door), his eyes begin to glow, and I'll be able
to visually follow Verdugo's actions. PS2 players should take note of the 
various red patterns he makes, and what action is linked to them.


*: After those 3 attacks, Verdugo won't do anything until his official 

**: A programming glitch, no doubt, which turns out to be extremely useful.

***: Always make sure that Leon has enough health to survive Verdugo's next
     attack. Don't take any risks - it would be a pity to die due to an
     unlucky hit after knifing him for over half an hour. 

Chapter 4-1 statistics:
Hit ratio                   72%
Enemies killed              14
Number of times killed       0
Time taken             0:57:12
Inventory                  612 Handgun bullets
                             8 full healing items

Notes: To test the resilience of the Armaduras, I used the Handgun against 
them. They required 257 bullets and 6 healing items. Nowadays, I can do the 
same, but with the Combat Knife. I rarely take damage with the Handgun method. 
The Garradors were also killed using the Handgun, as that method is much 
faster. Besides, after all the previous scenes, taking needless risks is the 
last thing on your mind. And no, I didn't knife Verdugo in this one - I didn't
have a working strategy at the time.

Overall score:
Hit ratio                   78%
Enemies killed             293
Number of times killed       0
Time taken             4:52:01

     Chapter 4-2: The Mine

        4-2.1: The Rock

Past the Merchant (get items) lies a mining area. Run past the two initial 
torch Ganados (get items from barrels), 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. Work your way past the Ganados* to get to the 
large rock blocking the way. Use the Dynamite on the rock to blow it up, turn 
around and lure the mob into all sorts of attacks to stall them until the 
explosion occurs (keep a healthy distance). Evade the Ganado(s) - especially 
those who were behind the rock - on the way out.

If you want to kill all the Ganados here, it's recommended to do this step by
step. Get the two inital Ganados first, then jump down the ladder and dispose
of all the Ganados in this area before touching the lever to bring the dynamite
cart. Once they're gone, bring the cart, restore the power, use the lever a
second time and run around the area until all the surprise Ganados jumped down
the ladder. When the time is right, go up the ladder and either knife whatever
comes up (caution: flying axes) or shoot it with the Handgun from a safe
distance. When Dr. Salvador makes it up the ladder, evade him, jump down,
evade the other Ganados, wait for the doc to jump down, then go back up the
ladder again. Repeat until the area is clear, then do the dynamite thing and
dispose of the final Ganado(s) behind the rock.

*: I'd suggest running towards the Shotgun Shells first, make a little tour,
   then go to the rock. Heading towards it immediately involves more risk.

        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 4-2 statistics:
Hit ratio                    0%
Enemies killed              22
Number of times killed       0
Time taken             0:25:51
Inventory                  692 Handgun bullets
                             9 full healing items

Notes: I can't believe I went through this *nightmare* chapter a second time. 
While the first scenes are easy, the last is a pure horror to get through 
alive without taking serious damage - which means you just wasted 20+ minutes
on the previous scenes. Fortunately, I got lucky at the 5th try with only one
full healing item needed.

Overall score:
Hit ratio                   78%
Enemies killed             315
Number of times killed       0
Time taken             5:17:52

     Chapter 4-3: Adrenalin

        4-3.1: Catacombs

Get items, 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, watch out for 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 you need it. 
Unlock the sealed door with the Key to the Mine. 

If you want items, you can abuse the ladder to kill all the enemies. Do the
same as before, except that after you jump out the building, you turn around,
Raise the ladder and Climb it. Use the Combat Knife to damage and drop the 
pursuing Ganados - Knock Down the ladder whenever you see Dr. Salvador. After 
a while, jump out to collect items, Raise the ladder, Climb it and repeat the
gmae. After all the enemies are gone, enter the ground floor of the building
for a second Dr. Salvador. Dispose of him, and possible other enemies, as 
before with the ladder. Booyah.

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.

*: Due to a higher Ganado count, this is harder to do in the Gamecube version.
   Still, you should be able to come out fine - the opposition is not that
   hard to curve around. 

**: Handgun mandatory. I once tried to knife the lights with upward knife 
    slashes, but to no avail.

        4-3.2: Cart ride of Doom*

(i) Handgun strategy: 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 in the carts. Ganados able to join the ride should be 
eliminated with head shot/Kicks or the Combat Knife when you see an opening
(evade obstacles with L+R as usual, which are 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. Shoot the lever to continue the journey 
immediately. Turn around and quickly deal with any immediate threats - Dr. 
Salvador is in the same cart as you, so you should switch carts as soon as
possible. The rest of the journey is pretty straightforward, although the
fighting itself isn't. Type 1 Plagas make your life miserable, especially in 
the Gamecube version. Also, you'll meet another Dr. Salvador along the 

(ii) Combat Knife + 2 Handgun bullets strategy: This is basically the same as
the above strategy, except that you're committing yourself to only using the
Combat Knife to kill the Ganados. As such, you won't be able to shoot Ganados
while they're standing on a platform, and disrupting the enemies will be a lot
harder. Regular Ganados die quickly, Plagas and Dr. Salvadors should be dealt
with indirectly using forward slash/Kick combinations. Pray that these 
powerful enemies get hit by the wooden planks, and slash regular Ganados 
hopping over the carts to stall them indirectly. You can also approach Dr.
Salvador while he's in another cart to lure him into a chainsaw attack to 
delay him a little longer. When the opponents do make it across, switch carts. 
This scene is noticeably more difficult in the Gamecube version.

Make absolutely sure the cart you're currently occupying is completely 
free of Dr. Salvadors and type 1 Plagas by the time the ride accelerates while 
spiraling down. Regular Ganados can be knifed or shot - pray that they don't 
sprout any Plagas, or things are going to hurt. 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, unless you want
to kill all the Ganados here for items (which is best done using the Combat
Knife at the top of a ladder).

*: Handgun mandatory.

Chapter 4-3 statistics:
Hit ratio                   81%
Enemies killed              38
Number of times killed       0
Time taken             0:12:43
Inventory                  746 Handgun bullets
                             7 full healing items

Notes: This went pretty smoothly and yes, I used the Handgun to the fullest in
this Gamecube cart ride. Head shot/Kicks are much more reliable than forward

Overall score:
Hit ratio                   78%
Enemies killed             353
Number of times killed       0
Time taken             5:30:35

     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 Combat Knife, 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 head
towards the cargo elevator (ignore the dynamite Zealot). Push the two wooden 
boxes off the lift, then operate the control panel to activate it. Quickly try 
to locate the crossbow Zealot(s) (there are two Zealots 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. Up to
one of them will be a masked spiked ball Zealot. If there are two or more 
leader Zealots present, the cargo elevator will stop. Place head shots on the 
unarmed Zealots and try to Kick them at the right spot so that they fly off the
elevator. To do this, some take position at the centre of the elevator, I 
prefer standing at one of the openings at the side. If you can't hit the masked
Zealot indirectly via another target, put him temporarily out of commission
with a Suplex. Combat Knife players will have to use forward and downward 
slashes for Kicks and Suplexes, which is extremely risky and will probably
eat your health supplies.

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. You might want
to save at the typewriter near the Merchant - in this run, Ramon is a level all
by himself. 

*: Handgun mandatory, unless you like taking a lot of hits while on the lift.
   It would be incredibly difficult to focus on the red Zealots AND change 
   position all the time without getting hit. 

        4-4.3: Ramon Salazar*

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 Handgun Ammo all this time. 
If you have about 600 bullets in your attache case, you should be able to 
get past him.

Basically, you must place 14 Handgun bullets into Salazar's weak point - the 
eye on the middle tentacle - to expose Salazar's white body. You can then pump 
up to 16 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. 

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.

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 
(equip/discard a grenade if you wish), then trigger the Ada encounter to finish
the chapter.

*: Handgun mandatory.

**: 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. This is knifing Nemesis (Resident Evil 3) 
     all over again.

Chapter 4-4 statistics:
Hit ratio                   94%
Enemies killed              25
Number of times killed       0
Time taken             0:33:14
Inventory                  183 Handgun bullets
                             5 full healing items

Notes: Salazar cost me 630 bullets and 2 full healing items. Obviously, I know
the magical spot quite well. In a theoretically ideal world, you can kill him 
with a minimum of 474 bullets, but that requires you to not miss a single shot
and to get a maximum of bullets in while shooting Salazar's white body. I lost
a lot of bullets trying to kill him as quickly as possible, and the left 
tentacle grabbed me twice at the very moment that I managed to expose Salazar.
That cost me 30-40 bullets each time, without being able to touch the little 
guy. Hence, the 630 bullets. On average, I think, 600 bullets is a safe number.

Overall score:
Hit ratio                   85%
Enemies killed             378
Number of times killed       0
Time taken             6:03:49

     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 or knife the 
latter soldier once to safely reach the ladder. If you are lucky, you won't 
even need to disrupt the soldier.

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 slash him once), turn right, then push the button to open the gate. 
Go through - 4 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. 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, close in on the gate to trigger 3 
crossbow Ganados and step back until the gate opens. 

Retreat behind the left side of the window (where you are moderately safe), and
start shooting the crossbow Ganados. The best way to do this is by flooring two
of them with leg shots, then work the upper body of the third one. Eliminate
the trio one by one - each of them requires a lot of bullets. Oh, and don't aim
at the head. 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 closed 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. Continue to the 
disposal area and 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 the lot 
catches up.

*: Handgun mandatory.

        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. 

We're going to knife the Iron Maiden. Handgun users may start the offensive by
shooting the gas cannister when the monster is near it. Eventually though, jump
through the large, broken window and run slightly past the first floor line.
Turn around, aim the Combat Knife downwards and wait until the Iron Maiden
decides to slip over the window. When it does, you can slash it exactly twice
before you have to jump through the window to get to the other side. Three
slashes will likely get you hit. Run a bit forward until you're as far away
from the window as before, turn around and take aim. Slash the Iron Maiden two
times when it slips over, jump through the window anew and repeat the game
until the monster gives up*.

Grab the Storage Room Card Key the Iron Maiden leaves behind. Proceed to the 
next area, where you can shoot the Crow to the right on the second row (look 
up) for a pack of Handgun Ammo. Surprisingly, these Crows all require 2 shots. 
Collect items at the Merchant, equip/discard the Incendiary Grenade you'll find
there and return to the area before the previous one. The staircase after the 
first corridor is guarded by several crossbow Ganados. Run past them and take a 
left beyond the stairs - watch out for the spiked ball Ganado. Most of the 
time, he will be pointing, which is your cue to move past him and gently open 
the door. As soon as he attacks, kick the door open to "glitchvade" his spiked 

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.

*: In the NTSC Gamecube version, you cannot knife the Iron Maiden this way, due
   to the monster's regenerative powers and the lower power of the Combat 
   Knife. In this case, you will have to use the Handgun to come out alive.
   Shoot it from a safe distance - about 250 bullets are needed until the 
   monster croaks.

Chapter 5-1 statistics:
Hit ratio                   78%
Enemies killed               9
Number of times killed       0
Time taken             0:24:09
Inventory                  143 Handgun bullets
                             7 full healing items

Notes: This went pretty well, although I took my sweet time for it. Conserving
health items was a priority. The gate ambush and knifing the Iron Maiden also
require a lot more time than usual.

Overall score:
Hit ratio                   84%
Enemies killed             387
Number of times killed       0
Time taken             6:27:58

Brace yourself - the next chapter is without a doubt the toughest of the run. 
It contains scenes that simply warp the mind. You are going to hate it with a 
passion. And to think that a set of Flash Grenades makes this level a 
cakewalk. Anyway, you're going to see a lot of Handgun use here - for most 
scenes, I do not have a Combat Knife strategy, as it would require ungodly
amounts of luck.

     Chapter 5-2: Death incarnate

        5-2.1: Storage area - warming up

Brace yourself. Five nasty surprises await outside the storage room. Here's a 

             Exit               1: taser Ganado*
             |  |               2: giant Ganado
             |  |___________    3: crossbow Ganado
             |_5___4_     3 |   4: shield Ganado
      _______        |  2   |   5: axe Ganado
     | X___A_|       |1__   |   A: Ashley defence position
     | |_____|___________|  |   D: Steel door with barred window
     |_______D___________C__|   C: the corner

*: + spiked ball Ganado in the Gamecube version.

There are two ways of dealing with them: killing them all, or rushing through.

(i) Rush tactic (unarmed): Leave the storage room with Ashley. Turn around the 
corner and run into 3, twisting Leon to the left so that he can turn towards 4.
If everything goes normally, 2 should be wasting time pointing and Ganado(s) 1 
will close in for the attack.

Run towards 4. 1 should have attacked and missed. Next, lure 4 into an attack. 
Do this early enough, or Ashley might take a hit. Also keep a close eye on 5 
who will now throw his axe (hopefully, he will miss). Run past 4 after his 
attack (go left, and did Ashley follow you? Good) - 5 shouldn't be a problem 
as he is probably reaching for a new axe. Should he somehow manage to have an 
axe handy, evade his attack. Leave quickly before the little platoon catches 

(ii) Kill tactic (Handgun): Leave Ashley in position A, then go outside the 
storage room and take post at C. Shout a "FolloWait!" (cfr. scene 3-1.3) so
that all Ganados are alerted, in particular the crossbow Ganado. Shoot him in
the legs to do a Suplex for some heavy initial damage. Evade attack(s), then
retreat behind door D. Since the door has a barred window, you can shoot the
oncoming Ganados. If the crossbow Ganado is still alive, focus you fire on him
first - he is the only one capable of hitting Leon behind the door (oh, and
don't stand too close to the door, or the other Ganados will be able to 
attack). Leave the giant Ganado for last - he is hard to hit from the window.
In case the Ganados manage to open the door, use a head shot/Kick to keep them 
outside the storage area. If they do manage to break through, run back to X and
use repeated head shot/Kicks to decimate the opposition. Head for the next 

        5-2.2: Garbage dump

Immediately turn right 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.

        5-2.3: The wrecking ball - wrecking you silly

The three Ganados in the next area are easily evaded. Run past the giant 
Ganado. The axe Ganado and taser Ganados behind him should should attack (and 
miss), so you can run safely past them and reach the wrecking ball area. Now 
things get real funky. 

Run towards the control room, skip the cutscene after Ashley's jump and run 
into the opening on the right (the First Daughter should follow you - when not,
you're going to be in trouble). Operate the lever once, then return to the 
opening and wurm yourself past the oncoming Ganados. head shot/Kick combo one 
of them to floor several Ganados at once if needed. Move around the lava pit 
while the wrecking ball realigns itself and try to get as many Ganados behind 
you as possible. At some point, return to the control room, this time taking 
the opening on the left. Operate the wrecking ball a second time and leave
through the other opening. Repeat the same as before until you can operate
the ball a third and final time. Quickly enter the newly-created exit.

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). Now, if this is your first time here, take right and save
the game in the Merchant room. You need lots and lots and lots of practise for 
what's coming up.

The confident should 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.

        5-2.4: Bulldozer hell ride*

This is the toughest scene of the game, especially on Gamecube. Survive this, 
and the rest of the game will be the easiest you've ever played. The Gamecube 
version is very noticeably harder than the PlayStation 2 version. I will tip
my hat to you if you manage to survive the entire scene using only the Combat
Knife (barring the parts where its use is mandatory). Collect items, then Climb 
the bulldozer to start the ride. 

Part 1 - Reaching the cargo elevator

Here's a schematic of the bulldozer:
     |   AshleyG   |
     |             |
     |             |
     |             |
     |             |
     |      !      |
     |             |
     |             |

During this part, a batallion of soldier Ganados pursues the bulldozer while,
at some point,

- Ashley will break through a wall.
- a truck will try to ram the bulldozer from behind. Twice.

This part is manageable with the Handgun. You see, there's a magical spot,
marked X on the schematic. Stand on that spot (make sure that Leon stands at 
the back of the bulldozer) and turn around to aim at the place denoted by "!", 
where the soldier Ganados will jump onto the bulldozer.

"But, you're not looking at all the Ganados behind Leon. You're doomed"! Well,
not quite. See, I know exactly what the Ganados will be doing. Until the spot
where Ashley breaks through the wall, they will attack Leon from a distance and
miss. Once Ashley starts working the wall, 4 to 6 soldier Ganados will make it
onto the bulldozer. Remain at X, and floor them with leg shots, then try to 
kill them (luckily, most Ganados here are pretty weak, so you won't be wasting
a lot of bullets).

Once Ashley made it through, the ride continues. Shift Leon to position Y while
disposing of the remaining Ganados. This way, no additional Ganados will make
it onto the bulldozer from behind. However, two green Ganados will jump in from
above. Floor them both with leg shots, then try to kill one of them while the
other stands. Remain at Y at all costs. Once the other gets back up, floor him
again, then reload the Handgun and turn around. 

The truck should make its first appearance by now. If you did well, that is,
you did the X-Y position play and managed to kill all bulldozer Ganados except
one, you should have enough time to stop the truck by firing 7 shots at it. 
Remember, reload BEFORE the truck arrives, as you need all the time you can get
for those 7 shots.

If you're lucky, the explosion might kill the final Ganado (if you haven't 
already). Turn around and position Leon at Z to put a new (small) wave of
Ganados on the wrong track. If you're lucky, you won't have to endure two green
ceiling Ganados and can fire seven shots at the second truck attack in peace.
Otherwise, repeat the flooring trick from before so that you can shoot in
peace. With the truck out of commission, you will soon arrive at the
intermediate area, where Ashley is "leaving it to you". 

Part 2 - The cargo elevator

Jump off the bulldozer as soon as possible and climb the ladder on the right. 
Disrupt the oncoming Ganado with a head shot/Kick**, evade the attack from the
spiked ball Ganado around the corner, flick the switch and hurry back to the 
bulldozer. Head shot/Kick combos shall clear your path. Dawdle for too long, 
and Ashley will be killed. 

PlayStation 2 owners can skip to part 3, Gamecubers will have to make sure that
the bulldozer platform and the lift area around it is clear of enemies. Try to
stall Ganados on the bulldozer with leg shots, then seek out enemies on the 
lift platform. If you don't, they will crush your hopes of completing part 3
alive. Kill them, then destroy those one the bulldozer. Only board the
bulldozer once all the enemies are gone. Now take a deep breath...

Part 3 - A horrible, horrible nightmare

Welcome to the ultimate showdown. Here's what's going to happen:

- Ashley will briefly demolish an obstacle halfway the final track.
- She will then need much more time to destroy a large shutter at the end
  of the track.
- Finally, a truck will charge the bulldozer at the front.

Gamecube version: immaculate shooting is key to your survival. This time, there
are no magical spots to abuse. Go to the front of the bulldozer. As soon as the
ride starts, shoot the two red soldier Ganados on top of the pipes (look up). 
Shoot the second pair around the corner as quickly as possible, then run to the 
back of the bulldozer (position Y). You will see a horde of Ganados rushing
towards you (first, two, then five others). Drop them all with perfect leg 
shots. At this point, Ashley will start working the obstacle. Turn around.

Note the four red Ganados on the pipes, two on the left, two on the right?
First, try to shoot the duo on the left, then fire a shot at the second one on
the right (the first one on the right won't make it onto the truck). If you 
have problems hitting them, consider running forward for a better perspective.

All the above has to be done very quickly and isn't easy to pull off, but it's 
worth it, as noone will bother you on the bulldozer platform - for now. Ashley
should now be busy with the large shutter. Defend the fort as much as possible
(floor Ganados to stall them) - if some make it onto the bulldozer, drop them
with head shot/Kick combos. Hopefully, none of the enemies are left standing
when Ashley shouts "It's coming right at us!". At this point, you have no
choice but to reload and shoot the truck in front of the bulldozer. If you
don't, or a Ganado manages to disrupt you, all will be for naught.

Should the pursuing enemies make it onto the truck before you managed to shoot
all the red soldier Ganados, your only recourse is a continuous stream of head 
shot/Kick combos (try to hit as many targets with each Kick as possible) and a
prayer for good luck. Keep in mind that you will endure 8 to 9 Ganados on that
bulldozer. May the walls the game will drive you up be fluffy and cosy. 

PlayStation 2 version: Well, it plays out the same way, except that you only 
have to worry about one red soldier Ganado at the intermediary obstacle. You 
can afford to let him jump onto the bulldozer - just shoot him whilst minding
the pursuing Ganados. Also, you can expect a maximum of only 6 Ganados on the
bulldozer, which makes the cleanup easier. It's still hard, but not an utter
meat grinder like the Gamecube version.

*: Handgun mandatory. 

**: In the Gamecube version, a taser Ganado will rush towards Leon and the 
    unarmed Ganado. The Kick will take him down as well. Should he refuse to 
    run, you will have to step back to evade his attack.

Chapter 5-2 statistics:
Hit ratio                   87%
Enemies killed              33
Number of times killed       0
Time taken             0:20:31
Inventory                   47 Handgun bullets
                             5 full healing items

Notes: Scene 5-2.4. Insane. Many tries until strategy developed. But I show
Gamecube version who boss. Me need break now. Adrenalin won't stop. Oh, other
scenes fine a-ok no problem.

Overall score:
Hit ratio                   85%
Enemies killed             420
Number of times killed       0
Time taken             6:48:29

     Chapter 5-3: Jack-in-the-box

        5-3.1: How you doing, comrade?

Knife users should equip/discard a grenade at this point.

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 

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.

*: This sequence is slightly more difficult in the Gamecube version, where
   you have less time to respond to the on-screen prompts.

        5-3.2: U-3*

U-3 is extremely annoying inside the container-rigs. Evade him at all costs. In
the first rig, turn around** and knife the green light to raise the shutter. 
Press the button on the control panel at the end of the corridor, then turn 
around. Take a right (you will probably have to press L+R or A+B in time to 
Duck at some point), followed by a left, slash green light number two and push 
the button. Leave the rig through the large red doors. In rig two, shoot the 
two green lights left and right of the central corridor before moving onto it. 

Activate U-3, turn around and go left for the first control panel. Turn around,
then run forward - get ready to press L+R as U-3 will rush out of the central
corridor. The second panel is on the diagonally opposite side of the rig. Leave
it as soon as you pressed the second button. 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.

Part 1 - Scissors U-3

(i) Handgun and Combat Knife strategy: During the first part, shoot the two 
explosive barrels with the Handgun whenever U-3 is close to them. Next, unload 
the Handgun into him (shoot from a distance, use the gates to your advantage), 
but make sure to save a few bullets for later. Keep shooting until he breaks
down, roars and goes crazy with his scissors - part 2 has begun. 

In case you run out of bullets and part U-3 is still running around, damage him
with the Combat Knife, as follows: approach U-3 from the front, then pass him
on Leon's left. Your foe will now either do a scissors attack or try to grab 
you with his right arm, and miss. Take position at his rear (you'll have to 
curl to the right when U-3 does the scissors thing) and slash the creature up 
to two times before running away. This technique never fails - repeat until 
you finally get to part 2.

(ii) Combat Knife strategy: Choose to knife the barrels or not, then use the
above knifing strategy until you get to part 2. You will need to place about 
90 slashes without using the barrels. Note that U-3 will shriek back after each
6th slash, so watch out. An important advantage of this strategy is that
you can keep knifing U-3 during his "go crazy" sequence. This speeds up part 2
a little.

A faster knifing strategy, which abuses the shrieking sequence goes as follows:

   Run past U-3 on the left, as usual.
-> slash twice, run away, turn around.
-> run past U-3 on the left.
-> keep slashing until U-3 shrieks, run away, turn around.
-> loop.

Part 2 - Digger U-3

Your strategy here is quite simple, and uses nothing but the Combat Knife: 
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, however, he will go back underground. Repeat until dead. 
During the battle, run circles around the large dirt heap to stay out of U-3's 
claws. Check the left and right side of the dirt heap at regular intervals to 
check 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***. Should U-3 surface too far away to use the Combat 
Knife, tough luck - don't worry, you'll get another chance soon.

*: Handgun mandatory in the second and third rig.

**: When you hear that U-3 is "running" (sounds like a galloping horse), wait 
    briefly to lure him into an attack, then run forward.

***: Up to 12 times, even, if you're extremely lucky.

        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. If you want items, shoot
a single Handgun bullet into an explosive barrel on the right, then kill the
oncoming Ganados at the ladder. Jump down, dispose of the nearby axe Ganado
(he won't use the ladder), then collect items, enter the tent and go down the 
hole. Knife users can easily bypass this scene: jump down on the left and enter
the tent before the soldier Ganados realise what's happening. 

Either way, 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. 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 
the door, 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

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.

**: Feel free to get the First Aid Spray inside the structure.

Chapter 5-3 statistics:
Hit ratio                   94%
Enemies killed              17
Number of times killed       0
Time taken             0:40:37
Inventory                  102 Handgun bullets
                             6 full healing items
                             3 GG Herb mixtures

Notes: After chapter 5-2, I wondered why I ever thought this chapter was
difficult. Happy times, and the full knifing strategy for U-3 was kind of a 
surprise. These days, I take knifing over shooting anytime. The final fight
against Krauser took me 30 seconds, pretty nice.

Overall score:
Hit ratio                   85%
Enemies killed             437
Number of times killed       0
Time taken             7:29:06

     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 (alternatively, use the Combat Knife 
on the barrel and heal up), 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 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, 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.

*: you can also hope to get lucky in the sense that the enemy gunners take them
   down for you. Also, simply try evading them (curl around the duo) to get 
   through unscathed.

        5-4.2: Gatling gun fun

Run into the left corridor after the cutscene and climb the ladder. Run past 
the crate and wait for the shield Ganado to arrive. Shoot his legs for a Kick
to put him out of the equation, then try to run to the other side in between
the gunfire. Combat Knifers should wait until the shield Ganado gets close,
then lure out an attack, evade it and pass him. In the meantime, Mike the 
chopper pilot will start destroying one of the gatling guns on the side. 
Ideally, it's the one on the left. Move past the dynamite Ganado, turn left 
and enter the hideout right of the gatling gun.
Head towards the switch at the end of the walkway and pull it after the 
cutscene. You will probably get hit by the gatling gun in the middle. Jump off 
the walkway as soon as possible*. Go up the other ladder on the opposite side 
(evade oncoming Ganados or disrupt them with the Handgun), turn right and throw
the second switch. Stay to the left to evade the middle gatling gun - the one
on the right will give you a little trouble (if it's still there). Turn around 
and plow through the oncoming Ganados with the Handgun if need be. Jump down 
the ladder*, turn left and exit, ignoring the gatling gunner.

The next area is clear of enemies. In the prison, you can safely run past the 
Regenerador and hop on the broken staircase to exit.

*: If Mike destroyed the gatling gun here, you can jump down in the square
   opening instead.

        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. Turn right and examine the wall at the end 
of the passage to trigger two 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 or knife it, then wear him down 
while he's floored. Watch out for the attacks of the surrounding Ganados. When
Headband Guy makes it back up, lure him to another barrel and get it to explode
as well. Your target should now cough up the Power Supply Card Key. If you can
disarm the headband Ganado somehow, you may also consider letting him grab you
from behind, then decapitate him by wriggling the controls.

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, 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 head shot/Kick combos. Push
the second green switch to raise the shutter previously blocking your path, 
then jump down the ladder. Gamecube version: shoot the explosive barrel at the
bottom of the ladder to get rid of enemies, or run outside the room and try
to find another jump point.

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.

*: Feel free to shoot the barrel for a safe passage. J.J. will trigger sooner
   because of it, though.

        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 run to the door guarded by the two giant Ganados. One of them
points, the other attacks. Evade the attack, then enter the door to finish the

Chapter 5-4 statistics:
Hit ratio                   82%
Enemies killed              20
Number of times killed       0
Time taken             0:11:14
Inventory                  195 Handgun bullets
                             3 full healing items
Notes: Also pretty straightforward, although knifing yourself a way through it
is quite tricky, as you can see from the many healing items I've got left. I
picked up too many Handgun bullets, by the way, as all that's left is Saddler,
who can be killed with a few bullets, or with just the Combat Knife.

Overall score:
Hit ratio                   85%
Enemies killed             457
Number of times killed       0
Time taken             7:40:20

     The Final Chapter

        Fin.1: Osmund Saddler

Turn left, go up the stairs and enter the next area. Saddler awaits past the 
final Merchant - he is a pushover if you know what you're doing. Skip the 
cutscenes and press A as the elevator prompt appears. 

(i) Handgun strategy: 

Part 1 - Exhausting the environment.

Immediately aim to the left and try to shoot the eye on the leg. After the 
cutscene, shoot his exposed eye and Climb the monster. Run past Saddler on the 
right, 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 Handgun/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).

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 shoot 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 Handgun, then press L+R at the right moment to Jump.
While you're tapping A to get on the walkway, Saddler will jump over as well.

Turn right and shoot the nearby explosive barrel to stun your opponent yet
another time. One Handgun shot and Climb later, prepare to evade the imminent
steel column bash by simply running past Saddler as he swings his tentacle**.
Or, feel free to run away and press A+B or L+R at the right moment. Turn around
and head for the second crane platform. Climb it, then operate the crane when 
Saddler is close enough. So much for your surroundings, it's time for the next 

Part 2 - Destroying the tentacle eyes.

This is the "hard" part. Here's a top-down schematic of how Saddler and Leon 
look when Osmund has his face tentacle directed at Leon:


     3\ /\      SDLR: Saddler's body and face tentacle
    /  S  4     1: left front leg eye
   / /\D/2 \    2: right front leg eye
    1  LR \     3: left hind leg eye
   /       \    4: right hind leg eye
       L        L: Leon
                A: Ada, pointlessly helping out
                (a): Ashley, hiding somewhere else

Notice how 2 and 3 are placed on a high position, whereas 1 and 4 can be found
at a medium height. Also, you will need to hit 1 and 2 twice to destroy them,
whereas 3 and 4 are gone after a single hit. You already hit 1 once, so 5 hits
are required to take all the eyes down.

Destroying 1 and 2 is relatively easy. Step back until one of these eyes is
exposed, then shoot it and get a free Handgun/Climb combo. The eyes on the
back are another matter, as Saddler always tries to "face" Leon. This problem
is solved as follows:

* Directly after a Climb, step back three steps, let Saddler close in.

               ____ "Haha you American pig, who is laughing now? Well? 
     3\ /\    /     In case you didn't notice, it's me! I'd like to point
    /  S  4         that out repeatedly as it's so amusing.. to me! Hahaha!"
   / /\D/2 \    
    1  LR \     
   /       \   
                               "That's a big speech. Another senior moment, 
         ____ *stepping back*  perhaps?"     

* Then, run past him, to the left to get eye 3 as shown in this example, or to 
  the right to get eye 4. If you did it right, Saddler should attack with his 
  front legs. He has a LONG recovery phase after that.

     ____ *turning around* "My turn, BRO."
                ____ "Americano?! What are you doing?! I have to wait seconds
    _3 S \4    /     before I can make my witty remarks again! NOOO!"
   /   D   \    
     / L \     
    |  R  2  
    1  ?  | 
    |     |

* With luck, the hind leg eye you want is exposed. Shoot it and go for the

      ____ "I'm going to enjoy this." 
                ____ "SHUT UP AND GET IT OVER WITH."
   __     4/   /     
   \2/ LR'1__     

Get the other eye in the same way and finish off the rest. Ada should now drop
the Rocket launcher (Special)***. Ignore it and go straight to part 3. Oh, a
bit of advice, should you see Saddler preparing a charge attack (he'll stomp 
his legs on the ground), try running onto one of the bridges to evade it. Doing
a Jump buys you even more time.

Part 3 - Wrapping it all up.

With the leg eyes gone, Saddler's main eye will now be exposed on the face
tentacle. Killing him is now a piece of cake. Simply stand in front of him, aim
up and shoot. Do the Handgun/Climb thing, and repeat until he bites the dust.

(ii) Combat Knife strategy: Yes, you can knife him. Funny story: at the 
GameFAQs forums, there was a HUGE, highly flammable 500-posts thread about 
this. I later posted a pictorial about it in another thread where the flames 
gushed as brightly as in the previous topic. To some, apparently, videos are 
the only real proof. To those people, I can only say: no it isn't - "proof"
is relative.

Anyway, here is the link to the pictorial (no idea how long it will be up). 
Note that the run was done in Normal difficulty. For Pro mode, the basic 
strategy doesn't change, but you will notice that Saddler and the explosive 
barrels do a lot more damage, and he is a tad faster. Link:


This leads you to the first image of the pictorial. Use the buttons to browse
the remaining images. The comments on top give you the basic strategy.

For those who have trouble viewing the pictorial, here's the strategy (which 
has been refined a little since the pictorial):

Part 1 - Destroying eyes 1, 3 and 4.

By getting rid of the most annoying eyes in the first step, you can find out
quickly whether continuing or not makes sense. If you lose all your healing
items before these eyes are gone, things will get difficult indeed. Eye 3, in
particular, is extremely hard to hit with the Combat Knife, especially in the 
Gamecube version.

At the beginning of the fight, run towards eye 1 and slash it. Easy in the
PlayStation 2 version. You'll need clever positioning in the Gamecube, but
nothing too challenging. Skip the ensuing cutscene and Climb Saddler for the
first time. Up next is eye 3 - best to get that one out of the way right now.

Use the "three steps back, run past Saddler" technique to place Leon next to 
the leg with eye 3. Aim up, and with the correct positioning, you should be
able to slash it. If you can't slash it, try again. And again. Once you have
it, the hardest part of the fight is over. Repeat the same to slash eye 4 and
eye 1 a second time.

Part 2 - Exhausting the environment.

With that gruesome knifing session behind you, head towards the explosive 
barrel. Let Saddler approach, then knife the barrel to get in a bonus Climb.
Heal up after the explosion, just enough until Leon's back in the green. Then,
proceed to the first crane platform in the back. You should hear Saddler 
getting ready for a charge attack, which is just what you want. Climb the
platform, then operate the lever when Saddler is in range to drop him. One
Climb later, turn left and run onto the bridge - wait in the middle. If the
bridge is raised yet, stall a little - run past Saddler for a bit, turn around,
then return to the bridge and get on.

Press L+R at the right moment to Jump, then start tapping A to climb up.
Saddler will jump over to pick up where you left off. Knife the second 
explosive barrel and fully heal Leon afterwards. You shouldn't get hit anymore
after this. Climb Saddler, then evade the column swing as described earlier. 
Access the lever at the second crane platform and operate it once Saddler is 
in range. Do the Climb thing.

Part 3 - Destroying eye 2.

From this point, the crane platform will be abused to the fullest in order to
bring Saddler down quickly (relatively speaking, that is). First up is eye 2.
Run past Saddler to trigger a charge attack. Run past him while he's stomping, 
towards the crane platform and wait at the ladder, a bit to the right. Soon
enough, Osmund will begin charging and swinging his face tentacle. Evade the
pain by going up and down the ladder. It is important to stay at that side of
the platform. With the right timing, you won't get hit, but it ain't easy.

You should be on the platform when Saddler calms down. Move in front of eye 2,
which should be in range and wait for it to open. Slash and Climb away. Repeat
the strategy a second time to destroy Saddler pesky leg eyes once and for all.
Ada will drop the Rocket Launcher (Special)***, but that's the last thing on
your mind right now. You knifed as much as you could up until this point - no 
use in stopping now.

Part 4 - The final loop.

When you do things right, you can finish off Saddler without him having the
slightest chance of hitting Leon. Here's the loop:

   Stand in front of the crane platform ladder, a bit to the right.
-> Climb up when Saddler attacks, turn around.
-> Observe Saddler. Is he shifting towards Leon, even though his body is
   motionless? Is his face tentacle close to the crane platform? If yes,
   go to the next step. If no, jump down the platform, turn around and return
   to the previous step.
-> Jump down the platform and start aiming the Combat Knife. Move the knife
   up but at the same time rotate Leon to the left.
-> Oh look, what's that up in the sky? Why, it's Saddler's face tentacle head!
   Attack with the Combat Knife as soon as the head exposes Saddler's main
   eye. If you can't hit it, Saddler will attack shortly. When he does, 
   withdraw the knife and turn right. Climb the platform as soon as possible -
   whatever Saddler does, he will miss. Turn around and go to the step before
   the previous one. If you do hit the main eye, go for a Climb.
-> loop.

It will take quite a long while (you need about 20 Climbs in total to finish 
off Saddler), but the loop is failsafe. Booyah!

As if that weren't enough, proof has arrived - Xfactor uploaded a Saddler 
knifing video. It's not finetuned and doesn't need the final loop (which is a
must in Pro mode), but demonstrates the feat nicely. Links (the video is 
divided into 6 rather large parts):

1st part:

2nd part:

3rd part:

4th part:

5th part:

6th part:

Or. You can sit down, play the game and try it out for yourself. Whatever is 
the most fun *cough*this is*cough*.

(iii) No damage Combat Knife strategy: This is basically the same strategy as 
the previous one, except that you don't use the environment as much. Do part 1 
as before and crush eyes 1, 3 and 4. Then, skip part 2 and immediately go for 
the crane platform on the other side. Execute parts 3 and 4 correctly, and 
you'll have knifed Saddler without taking damage. It will take longer than the 
barrel strategy, though.

*: Saddler will likely do a charge attack. Shoot the barrel as soon as you see
   the slightest hint of his legs.

**: I could hit myself for not discovering this dead simple evasion manoeuvre
    earlier. Oh well, better late than never :).

***: 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 :). Classic
     Resident Evil stuff, actually. I think just about every part has had a 
     one-shot-kills-end-boss finisher in some form or another. Oh Capcom,
     will ye be as predictable in the next part ;)?

****: Link valid at the time of writing (gamma version). It may not be 
      available currently.

        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 in a steady (not too slow, not too 
fast) rhythm and move left-right to evade obstacles. After all you've been 
through, this should be a mere formality. Congratulations, you've finished the
game No Merchant-style with just the unupgraded Handgun and Combat Knife!

Final chapter statistics:

Hit ratio                  100% (I did not miss a single shot)
Enemies killed               1  (Saddler, obviously)
Number of times killed       0
Time taken             0:15:38
Inventory                  149 Handgun bullets
                             0 full healing items
                        676800 Pesetas :)

Notes: I didn't knife Saddler in this run, obviously, as I probably wouldn't
have broken the 8 hours barrier if I did. I will do it, however, when I know 
what the minimum amount of weaponry is for all the scenes (more about that in 
section 6.3).

Strangely, the overall statistics are not what you would expect.

Hit ratio                   85% 
Enemies killed             457
Number of times killed       0
Time taken             7:55:58

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, but happy - playing Handgun/Combat Knife was a lot of fun,
barring the occasional roadblock (scene 4-2.3 and the dreaded 5-2.4). Time for 
a few afterthoughts.

     6.1. About the run

As you can see, sub 8:00:00 unupgraded Handgun/Combat Knife only runs are 
possible. You simply need the time to collect ammo and beat enemies. I'm sure
it can all be optimised further (like minimising the amount of healing items,
no egg and ammo farming at the start, etc.), but I don't think we'll be seeing
anything spectacular, like doing all this in 4:00:00 or something like that.
Perhaps a 6:00:00 can be done, don't know. Either way, a time attack will
probably mean using the Handgun wherever it's the better choice.

Furthermore, although I tried to minimise the use of the Handgun, I didn't
succeed everywhere - I'll leave that up to you, as you will see in section 6.3.
I do think a very solid base was created for the diehards to get their knife 
maxing groove on. Over time, I will probably get back to the run, and maybe 
find a few new tricks. Those will be added in future updates as well. For now, 
though, enjoy this HUGE guide (now with a sweet and improved ASCII comic ;), 
and may you have fun reducing the weapon count to the max!

     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 when you enter them with nothing but an
unupgraded Handgun and the Combat Knife. And get a nice ASCII picture to boot.
A chart was made for both the PlayStation 2 and the Gamecube version.

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 - feel free to 
discuss it with me if you disagree somewhere. Also, the chart might change in
later updates, given that better knifing methods are developed (see the next
section). On with the show:

PlayStation 2 - Resident Evil 4 Difficulty Chart
No Merchant, unupgraded Handgun and Combat Knife only

Chapter | Difficulty
  1-1   | ***
  1-2   | **
  1-3   | ****
  2-1   | ****
  2-2   | *****
  2-3   | ***** *
  3-1   | ***** **
  3-2   | *****
  3-3   | *
  3-4   | ****
  4-1   | ***** *** (+ * if you knife Verdugo)
  4-2   | ***** *
  4-3   | *****
  4-4   | ***** ***
  5-1   | *****
  5-2   | ***** ****
  5-3   | ***** *
  5-4   | ***** *
 FINAL  | ***

Gamecube - Resident Evil 4 Difficulty Chart
No Merchant, unupgraded Handgun and Combat Knife only

Chapter | Difficulty
  1-1   | ***
  1-2   | **
  1-3   | ****
  2-1   | ****
  2-2   | ***** *
  2-3   | ***** *
  3-1   | ***** ***
  3-2   | *****
  3-3   | *
  3-4   | ****
  4-1   | ***** *** (+ * if you knife Verdugo)
  4-2   | ***** **
  4-3   | ***** *
  4-4   | ***** ***
  5-1   | *****
  5-2   | ***** *****
  5-3   | ***** *
  5-4   | ***** **
 FINAL  | ***

     6.3. Knifing Issues - Help Wanted

As I already stated, I tried to use the Combat Knife as much as I could. But, 
in some areas, my best strategy involves the Handgun. In these cases, it should
be possible, theoretically speaking, to omit the firearm, so perhaps I have
overlooked something. A glitch, a trick, something. For example, the Mendez
knifing "glitch" happened by accident, but it now enables me to knife Mendez 
in a quick and easy way. Same goes for the evil Verdugo door trick.

So, if you see a scene in this list where you think, "Hey, I don't need a
Handgun there", and you have a great strategy for it, drop me a line (see 6.4
for contact information). I will verify it, plug it in and credit you in 
section 6.5 after updating the guide. 

After a few threads on GameFAQs and emails from some enthusiastic readers, some
issues have been resolved. They are included as of version beta, making this
list a lot shorter than it was before. Thanks to all involved! 

Issue 1 
Chapter 3-1, scene 3-1.4: Congregation

I'm looking for a reliable strategy to beat this scene with only the Combat
Knife, for both the PlayStation 2 and Gamecube version. This strategy should
not involve Continue Point cheats.

Issue 2
Chapter 4-1, scene 4-1.3: The King's Grail

I'm looking for a reliable, health-conserving strategy to fully knife-kill the 
first wave of Armaduras while a type 1 Plaga(s) is(are) exposed. This for both 
the PlayStation 2 and Gamecube version. This strategy should not involve 
Continue Point cheats.

Issue 3
Chapter 5-2, scene 5-2.4: Bulldozer hell ride

I'm looking for a reliable strategy to beat this scene with only the Combat
Knife, for both the PlayStation 2 and Gamecube version. This strategy should
not involve Continue Point cheats.

If you are able to discover and share a solution to one of these issues, two
thumbs up, way up and thank you very, very much! When I have time, I'll help
out too and try to research what I can. Happy hunting!

     6.4. 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 
.. 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:


Exchange the sequence "SpambotsIsmiteThee" with "@", and you're good to go :). 
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 message..

.. is in english, dutch, french or german
.. has no flammatory or derogatory word choices,
.. doesn't feature 1337 speak all over,
.. states 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 motivates me to write more
stuff, so get in touch.

     6.5. Credits

Credit where credit is due.

1 - Torao's 2:05:00 speed walkthrough, which was 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 - Torao's 1:58:10 speed walkthrough, also on Shin's website. The way he gets
through scene 4-2.3 is nothing short of breathtaking. I am quite positive that 
he replayed that scene a few billion times to get the lucky break there. I 
rarely get to enter the final cave without getting hit, as the flying 
Novistadores there usually love to come down for a cheap attack. The run also
helped out with getting past the Zealot ambush at the end of scene 4-1.3.

3 - The GameFAQs forums. Posters there mentioned the door trick in scene 1-1.2,
the window trick to knife the Iron Maiden (scene 5-1.3), the ladder to knife
Mendez (scene 2-3.3) and the Saddler knife kill (scene Fin.1).

Although the first 3 tricks weren't explained in detail (and no, I'm not
going to sift through all those threads to find specifics X_X), it was easy
to extrapolate what had to be done. Knifing Saddler was something else, leading 
to 2 enormous highly flammable threads on the board - amazing. Still, if 
it wasn't mentioned, I probably never would have thought about doing the deed. 
None of the runs I ever ran required a Saddler knife kill, until now.

4 - Chris Tye, for sparking my interest in doing this and for helping out with 
some unwanted artifacts in the alpha version of the guide.

5 - Benn Hoffman for showing me that the wording on the No Merchant rule 
(section 3.3) wasn't airtight. Rewrote the rule accordingly.

6 - 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
of the regular No Merchant guide and removed it in the beta due to a better 
strategy, but Michael provided a cool ASCII graphic, so I thought it would be
nice to bring it back in.

7 - Daniel Jones and atwyatt, for discussing the gondola ride with me at some
point, regarding as to how to knife through it. I completely overlooked this 
scene in version alpha (kind of happens when you go auto-pilot and complete a
scene the way you always did it), but it's necessary for a low% run. 

8 - Homerowed, for verifying that you need 8 slashes to break the lock in 
scene 3-3.2 in the NTSC Gamecube version, and for verifying that you need 
about 250 Handgun bullets to kill the NTSC Gamecube Iron Maiden in scene 
5-1.3. I couldn't verify these facts myself, but they were necessary to 
further complete the guide. Thanks.

9 - 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.

10 - 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, requiring a couple of Hand 
Grenades to speed things up. Thanks, guys.

*: Here is - for this guide - a list of 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.   
   4-4.2: Shooting leader Zealots off the cargo lift (I use different
          positioning, though).
   5-4.1: the route to the intermediary gates.

     6.6. Closing statements

Mood:  Melancholic
Music: Bliss - Do You Remember how it Felt?

Well, that's about it for Resident Evil 4 No Merchant Handgun/Combat Knife. 
Phew. This thing beats the No Merchant guide size and style-wise, but the 
gargantuan effort was worth it. The next sections are standard copy-paste 
things I do in all my guides, so this is goodbye for now. 


Vincent Merken.
--La vie, c'est la guerre des dualit├ęs.

     6.7. 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: 

     6.8. 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, JRKerr, Carl, Tyson, Oak, Vance, Tracey, Thomas, 
David, everyone at WOW, Role, Padua, Viruz, 64ever and the Scene.

.7. Disclaimer

Resident Evil 4 - No Merchant Handgun/Combat Knife guide (sub 8:00:00)
Copyright 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.

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