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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. ._______. ._______. ._________.___._______. ._________._______. _______. | ._. !_| ._. !_| ._. | | ._. !_| ._. | ._. !_._! _. | | |\| | |\| | |\!___|___| |_| | |/| | |/| | |/| | | | | | !_! | !__\__| | | | | !_! | | | | | | | | | !___| ._____!_____. | | | | | ._____| | | |___! | | | | |\__| !\_____\____! | | !_! _| !_____| | | |__/| | | !___! | !_________________. | |_______!_! ._________! !___! | !___! \___\| \________| ._. !_| |\______!_| |________/!/___/ !/___/ | |\| | | | |___| | | !_! | | |. | | | .___. | ._____| !_/| | | |/| | | !\____!_. / |._| | !_! | !_________!_!_/ \ !___!_________! \________! |/ \!___!________/ / . | / /| | /\_ / | | /\_\/ /|\ | / \/ /_|| | | |_\ \! ! | .__\___ ' \ . |/\______\ |\\| !/ | || ! ' |/| || / !/\\||// ' _/- . GameCube & PlayStation 2 The No Merchant Handgun & Combat Knife Challenge (sub 8:00:00) Copyright 2006 Vincent Merken (v-at-nospam-padua-dot-org) This document is best viewed using a non-proportional font, which is able to align the numbers and characters below (eg. Courier New): 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 0123456789012345678901234567890123456789012345678901234567890123456789012346578 sUrvIV-hOr..Bonjour.Jill.et.Chris.vOUs.EXPirerEz.DanS.ma.demeure.sANs.dOuLEUrs. Also, adjust your viewer settings in such a way that the above ASCII logo is rendered correctly (linefeed according to window, increase window size to at least 79 chars width). Used language (to the best of my abilities): UK english. .0. Prologue 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?) www.gamefaqs.com. 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 either. 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 permitted. 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 opposition. 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 practise. 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 longer. 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 situation. 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, DO NOT TAKE IT*. 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 one. 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 through. *: 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 need. 1-1.2: The village (i) Knife and Handgun strategy: After the cutscene and document reading*, take a right and go up the slope. You shouldn't be detected if you are fast enough. Slash the boxes inside the shack near the gates, then go back down and enter the first house on the opposite side. You will probably be detected, but don't worry. Inside the house, slash the barrel and boxes, then jump out the window. Turn right, go through the small path between the two houses and head for the house with the closed door on the other side of the clearing. Lots of Ganados will jump into action. Quickly open the door, go through and turn around. It's vital that the door closed behind you. If some Ganados made it to the entrance and succeeded in keeping the door open, place a head shot into one of them and Kick them away from the door. Step back and hopefully, the door will now close. Next: whip out the Handgun, take aim at the lower right corner of the door and shoot. Fire a second bullet a little higher if nothing happens. Eventually, you will have a small hole in the lower right corner of the door. Position Leon directly in front of the hole and continuously slash downwards. In the PlayStation 2 version, the Ganados are now sitting ducks - they will not attack, only attempt to open the door while you destroy them with the Combat Knife. In the Gamecube version, you will hear the Ganados make their typical attack noises, but none of them seem to connect. You will also be able to Kick them through the hole. The end result is the same for both versions: total dominance over the opposition. Slash them all until the church bell tolls. Furthermore, you can pick up the items the Ganados drop without opening the door. Pick up all the ammo and cash they give you. It is, however, recommended to open the door during a safe moment to pick up any "stray" items and lure in the next enemy wave. Just make sure you close the door before they are able to do nasty things. This strategy is amazing - it's fast, extremely reliable and Leon doesn't get hurt. Not bad for an investment of 1 or 2 measly Handgun bullets. (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 Eggs. 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 necessary. 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 well. 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 available: (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 house. 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 door. 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 notes: * 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 rope. 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 scene. 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: http://chugworth.com/comic.php?id=164 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 this. 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: __Entrance__ | | |============| Beam 1 | | | | | | |============| Beam 2 | _____| | | | | Fire___| |============| Beam 3 | | |___Ladder___| 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 loop: 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 above. 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 farewell. (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: __Entrance__ | | |============| Beam 1 | | | | | | |============| Beam 2 | _____| | | | | Fire___| |=====X======| Beam 3 | | |___Ladder___| 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): __Entrance__ | | |============| Beam 1 | | | | | | |============| Beam 2 | _____| | | | | Fire__| |===M====!X==| Beam 3 | | |___Ladder___| 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 version. **: 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 submission**). 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 hall. *: 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 |_____4||||||Stairs|||||||it 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 zone. 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 shots. 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 position. 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 | |-S-------Door- |-T-| | | | |-A-| | | | |-I-| | | |-R-| ^----------------------J< | |-S-|--------- | || | | Y | -----------------|| | | Door START >-----------^ | -------------------------------------| First, take care of any Zealots who have followed you up the stairs (you will probably end up at START), then jump down at point J. Follow the path outlined in the map and kick open the door to get to point X. You will spot the red Zealot at point RZ, but not for long - your opponent will run up the stairs. Follow and drop him with a knee shot, then finish him off with the Combat Knife and Shotgun (or go for Suplexes, whatever rocks your boat. Watch out for the shield Zealot at point Y. (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 staircase. 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 instead. 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 3-2.2). 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 order. 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: Ex ___it___ / \ AS: Armadura Stand / \ KG: King's Grail / \ | _3 | A /KG\ A S \__/ S | 4 2 | \ / \ 1 / \___AS___/ 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 Leon. *: 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 down. 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 Salazar. 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 swipe. 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, Leon". 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 now... 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 strategy. 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 open. 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 room. 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. Pictorial 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): http://photobucket.com/albums/d11/VMerken/RE4_Verdugo_Knifed_PS2/?action= view¤t=VM_Verdugo_Knifed_01.jpg 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. Enjoy. *: After those 3 attacks, Verdugo won't do anything until his official appearance. **: 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. 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 way. (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 slash/Kicks. 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 ball. Enter the next area, turn left, ignore the giant Ganados (one points, the other can be evaded) and unlock the door with the Storage Room Card Key. Seek out Ashley to wrap up the chapter. *: 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 schematic: 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 up. (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 area. 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 | |_____________| | | | | | | | | | ! | | | | | |___Z___Y__X__| 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 prompted. Ada saves the day, and you can move on. The laser room up next is quite easy: you can direcltly run past the first two arrays as soon as the cutscene ends (or wait for an opening to pass through). The third array needs a timely push of L+R - the fourth requires two presses of L+R. Examine the control panel at the back of the door to activate the final array. Run a bit forward as it approaches, then press L+R at the right moment to clear the room. Leave through the door and proceed to the confrontation with U-3. *: 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 least). Collect the Piece of the Holy Beast, Serpent (suits Krauser well), hurry to the exit gates and use the 3 pieces to end the chapter. *: Do this whenever Jack is about to attack, right before he will go into "standoff" mode where you must press a combination of L+R and/or A+B to come out victorious. **: 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. 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 step. 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: A 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 (a) 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?" L * 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." L ____ "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 ? | | | *SLAM* *SLAM* * With luck, the hind leg eye you want is exposed. Shoot it and go for the Handgun/Climb. ____ "I'm going to enjoy this." L ____ "SHUT UP AND GET IT OVER WITH." __ 4/ / X_S_/ _D_ \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: http://photobucket.com/albums/d11/VMerken/RE4_Saddler_Knifed_PS2/?action=view ¤t=VM_Saddler_Knifed_01.jpg 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: http://s24.yousendit.com/d.aspx?id=1VIH8TZH0XZNQ19QRPZEHFOECI 2nd part: http://s35.yousendit.com/d.aspx?id=1SDA2EQGZA2FD2KKTHRKA0UJL3 3rd part: http://s35.yousendit.com/d.aspx?id=1HN16RGIF3NV70YKRRK91O63FZ 4th part: http://s23.yousendit.com/d.aspx?id=2D7BEWQD7SDII2F0Y8EPCVMZ8C 5th part: http://s33.yousendit.com/d.aspx?id=06B3GP2L49JM20VFPW6M0YMBE8 6th part: http://s33.yousendit.com/d.aspx?id=07ZRFJLI0R40117YRBGIXFKVZX 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 list, .. would like to discuss Resident Evil or Devil May Cry, .. need help with your No Merchant run and didn't find an answer after exhaustively searching this walkthrough, .. would like to host this guide on your website (other than gamefaqs.com) and need my permission, then e-mail me at: vSpambotsIsmiteTheepadua.org 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. Peace, Vincent Merken. --La vie, c'est la guerre des dualités. 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: http://www.gamefaqs.com/features/recognition/1596.html 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.