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File:Resident-evil-4-box lg.jpg


Resident Evil 4 is a 2005 Game Cube game which was eventually ported to the Play Station 2, PC, and the Wii (in 2007); an HD remake for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 was released in 2011. RE4 was an adrenaline shot to the Survival Horror genre (and Capcom's Resident Evil franchise in general): it features an over-the-shoulder camera angle (compared to the fixed camera angles of prior Resident Evil games) and a more action-oriented slant on gameplay, which helped in averting Capcom Sequel Stagnation. RE4's success kicked off a wave of Follow the Leader, as numerous Third Person Shooters began using the Always Over the Shoulder perspective—and numerous survival horror games now resemble third person shooters.

RE4's story takes place six years after the "Raccoon City Incident" (as outlined in Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil 3 Nemesis); the story was conceived as a fresh starting point for a new chapter in the franchise's storyline. The Umbrella Corporation—the Big Bad of previous Resident Evil games—is a dead corporation (as explained during opening cutscenes), rural Europe (rather than Raccoon City) is the setting, and zombies are replaced with creepy villagers infected by an ancient parasite and cultists looking to capitalize on this new outbreak.

Leon S. Kennedy is now a secret agent for the United States government, who've decided Leon's a bad enough dude to rescue the president's kidnapped daughter from a group of crazed European cultists who have kidnapped her. As this is a Resident Evil game, Leon soon finds that he has bigger things to deal with than a missing person. Much bigger. Three-stories-tall bigger.

This game has a Shout Out page.


Got a selection of good tropes on sale, stranger! Edit

  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: The Novistador-infested waterway beneath Ramon Salazar's castle.
  • Achilles Heel: Jack Krauser's is the knife. Testing has shown that the knife does around .6 damage (an un-upgraded handgun does 1 damage) and that Krauser has 900 health. How many hits from the knife does it take to kill him? At most, a dozen. In other words, the knife's damage was deliberately and massively buffed in the fight with Krauser. Furthermore, one of his attacks has him running at you, pausing, then executing a knifehand attack. If you pull out your knife and slash, it's already at his head level and stops his attack easily.
  • Actionized Sequel
    • To elaborate RE 4 allows you to kick entire crowds of stunned enemies, Leon's knife is extremely deadly and extremely effective, and there's more ammo to be found than in 1, 2 and 3 combined.
  • Actor Allusion: This isn't the first time Jesse Corti voiced a villager in Europe (although it's certainly the first time he plays a village chief).
  • Affably Evil: Osmund Saddler, all the way. When Leon makes quips at his expense, Saddler always responds with a good-natured chuckle before telling him in a conversational tone how he's going to kill him, and never lets on that Leon is anything more than a source of amusement for him. Even when Leon manages to rescue Ashley at the Island after being cured of Las Plagas via kimo, Saddler's only reaction is to express amusement at him for managing to foil his plans before transforming.
  • Affectionate Parody: This game takes itself less seriously than previous AND later Resident Evil games, and more often than not it even mocks the silly and unrealistic stories this series is known for:
  • AKA-47: Most, but not all weapons; the Striker is an exception, so is the TMP. "Chicago Typewriter" is a common nickname, as is the Red 9 (there was a 9x19mm version of the Mauser C96 with a big red "9" engraved into the grip, called "the Red-9"—you can actually see that nine on the model.)
  • Always Over the Shoulder: The game pioneered the over-the-shoulder perspective now used in nearly all Third-Person Shooter games.
  • America Saves the Day: Lampshaded by Saddler. Though played straight when Leon kicks his ass all over the place.
  • Anachronism Stew: Much of the area you travel through looks like it's trapped in the middle ages, in particular the village and the castle, the occasional car or gatling gun turret notwithstanding. It's probably justified, as it is strongly implied to be cut off from the rest of society.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: The original GC version had Leon's RPD outfit from RE2 and a pop star-esque outfit for Ashley.
    • The later ports added a gangster suit for Leon (complete with a Tommy gun) and a suit of mediaval armor for Ashley that actually affects the game (it makes invulnerable to enemies).
  • Ada also wears three different outfits: her main Chinese dress outfit, a black spysuit in "Assignment: Ada" and an updated version of her red dress from RE2 in "The Mercenaries". Strangely, her main outfit wasn't usable by the player until the "Separate Ways" scenario added in later versions.
  • Animated Armour: Once you reach the castle, be on the lookout for seemingly inanimate suits of armor.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: Ashley's sequence. Normally, you need to hit the enemies in the first room with three lamps to kill them. There are two of them in the room and only six lamps, and they run fast enough to potentially dodge them when you throw them. Die enough times, however, and they stop running and will only take two hits to kill.
  • Anti-Villain: Krauser is retroactively implied to be this given the events of Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles. Also, in the game itself, he himself states that he took the President's daughter to get himself close enough to the Los Illuminados cult to gain the Queen Plagas, which implies that he'll interfere with the Queen Plagas injection into Ashley Graham, although whether that means he'll return the president's daughter to her father without risk of a Plagas outbreak or whether he'll kill her is never specified.
  • Arbitrary Gun Power: 7 shots to the head (with a handgun) can't kill the Ganados on Professional, and they still have their nervous system! And that's not even getting to the part with the minibosses...
  • Arm Cannon: Second type for Leon with the Mine Thrower and the PRL.
  • Arms Dealer: Naturally, the Merchant.
  • Aside Glance: Leon's description of the Special Rocket Launcher acknowledges it's a "perfect weapon to exterminate the boss."
  • The Atoner: Luis Sera used to work for Saddler.
  • Awesome but Impractical:
    • The Mine Thrower. Awesome firepower with a tracking upgrade, but typically not worth the inventory space. This is made worse by the fact that ammo for it tends to be even rarer than Magnum ammo. It is also quite easy to kill yourself with it, if you're careless.
      • Ammo does, however, become more common the more an item is used, making Mine Thrower ammo potentially pop up all the time.
    • The Killer7 (yes, that Killer 7) Magnum. Its rival, the Broken Butterfly, has more power (35.0 vs 50.0), a a badass reload animation, and it can be found mid-game for free. The Killer7... holds two more bullets and has a faster reload. It's also only available in the end game, has no exclusive upgrade, and the Broken Butterfly surpasses it most of the time anyway because its upgrades are available earlier on.
    • The Large Carp. It's easy to find in the village's well and lake, is practically free and restores life completely...but it's HUGE (you could store six First-Aid Sprays or twelve Golden Eggs in the same space) and doesn't even sell too well (only 2300 Pesetas, slightly more than a hand grenade). Though it's good to catch one and heal up on the go after fighting Del Lago in order to save herbs and sprays.
    • The Matilda burst fire pistol. Looks cool, but pretty much all of the normal handguns use bullets more efficiently and take less space. It's also a New Game+ weapon, meaning you've unlocked the Infinity Plus One Guns already.
    • The Handgun and Punisher's exclusive upgrades. The Handgun's instant kill head-shot can be more of a hindrance than a help since it can cause Plagas to spawn, and the Punisher's exclusive of piercing up to five enemies is mostly useless, since if you're faced with a group that large, you'll likely be wanting to use something more powerful and with spread such as a Shotgun. They are both also far too weak for the mid to late game, even fully upgraded, which is why the Red9 and Blacktail see more use.
  • Awesome Yet Practical: The Red9. It's basically a red Mauser C96 pistol converted to use 9mm rounds. Thanks to the high (for handgun standards) firepower, relatively high firing speed, and the abundant ammo, it chews through Ganados, Colmillos, and Novistadors in no time, and even comes in handy against Chainsaw Ganados and even some weaker bosses. Not only that, it's also the only handgun that can be fitted with a stock, allowing for easier targeting over longer distances. It's considered by many experienced players to be the best handgun-class weapon in the game.
  • Back From the Dead:
  • Badass: Leon, several times over. He was previously seen as a police officer on his first day, barely surviving an encounter with zombies and other horrors. Now, after extensive training, he's supposed to be Ashley's protector, but she was kidnapped before he could start his duties. So he heads to a village somewhere in Spain, armed with only a handgun. He kills the 1000 members of a moderately superpowered evil cult.
  • Badass Spaniard: Luis, as the cabin siege sequence can attest. "Did you send out those invitations!? I told you, no more than FEEEFTY PEOPLE!"
  • Bare Your Midriff: Ashley's popstar outfit and Ada's tactical outfit.
  • Big Damn Heroes: If you help the dog in the bear trap at the start of the game, it repays the favor by coming to your aid during the El Gigante fight.
  • Bilingual Bonus: For the most part, the Ganados' Spanish consists of curse words and threats, but sneak attacks from behind will always, always be announced with "¡Detrás de ti, imbécil!" (Behind you, imbecile!) in both the village and island levels (zealots in the castle just chuckle evilly), giving the player ample time to pull a 180 and open fire.
  • Black Comedy: Upon discovering a woman nailed to the wall by way of a pitchfork through the face:

  "Guess there's no sex discrimination here..."

  • Blatant Item Placement: All the ammo and weapons just lying around.
  • Bleep, Dammit!: In the conversation that occurs after Saddler has his rocket launcher-wielding minion shoot Mike down, Leon shouts "Saddler, you bastard!" However, the text version simply says "Saddler you..."
  • Body Horror: It's a Resident Evil game, so par for the course.
  • Bonus Boss: With good equipment, strategy, and luck, it is actually possible to kill the Verdugo that Salazar sends after you. Thank God for those nitrogen canisters.
  • Boom! Headshot!
  • Boring but Practical: The knife and the pistols (Handgun, Punisher, Red9, Blacktail). It might not be impressive to play using those weapons 90% of the time, but it's much more likely to lead you to success than using your flashy weapons all the time. Considering the general lack of ammo for the more impressive weapons, the game basically forces this option during the first playthough.
  • Boss Arena Recovery: Played straight for the whole game, but a particular mention goes to fighting Salazar. There's crates in quite a few places, and going to the bottom level, there are infinitely spawning spider plagas. They randomly drop ammo for whatever weapons you have.
  • Bottomless Magazines: The Chicago Typewriter (though you can reload it as many times as you wish), the Infinite Launcher, the fully upgraded Handcannon, and the PLR 412.
  • Brain Food: One things the zealots do say, among other things, is chanting "Cerebros, cerebros, cerebros" ("Brains, brains, brains").
  • But Thou Must!: "Not that way, cowboy."
  • Buxom Is Better: "I see the president has equipped his daughter with... ballistics."
  • Cable Car Action Sequence
  • The Cameo: In one of the castle rooms, you can find some fire-spitting statues of dragons. They are almost identical (if not the same) to the weapon Ifrit from the first Devil May Cry game.
  • Casanova: Leon and especially Luis like to fancy themselves this. Leon is well-aware of the fact that it'll never work for him.
  • Chainsaw Good: Dr. Salvador, the Bella Sisters, and Super-Salvador.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: Borderline case. Leon pulls off several acrobatic moves, which range from very possible to nearly impossible (the laser room and end of the mine cart sequence).
  • Childless Dystopia: The village of people who've been turned into People Puppet Mooks; notes explain that the children were unable to survive being implanted with a Puppeteer Parasite.
  • Chunky Salsa Rule: There are many, many things which cause instant death, no matter how much 'life' you have. (Dr. Salvador, Lava Coated El Gigante, Del Lago, etc.)
  • Combat Tentacles: The Colmillos, "scythe heads", and Saddler's tentacles.
  • Compensating for Something:
    • In Separate Ways, Ada implies that Krauser is compensating for something because of his freaky mutant arm.
    • If you want to buy the aptly named Hand Cannon, the Merchant delivers this line:

  Merchant: "Stranger! *laughs* What d'you need that for? Goin' huntin' an elephant?"

  • Competitive Balance: In The Mercenaries:
  • Continuity Nod: For Resident Evil 2. The gun Matilda is apparently the name of HUNK's favourite handgun. You could also upgrade Leon's standard handgun to the Matilda.
  • Cool Chair: Saddler's chair near the end of the game. The player can actually sit down in the chair. However, if they do, the text will telling them that "there's no time for resting."
  • Cool Guns: With special exclusive maximum upgrades:
    • An FN Five-seveN that can shoot through five enemies.
    • A Mauser C96 which can do three times the damage of the fully upgraded basic handgun.
    • A Colt SAA/Schofield hybrid revolver with the power of an S&W 500.
    • A Thompson SMG with infinite ammo.
    • A Rocket Launcher with infinite ammo.
  • Creative Closing Credits: The closing credits depict the fall of Pueblo, showing how Las Plagas infected the villagers.
  • Credits Gag: The end of the credits state that the copyright on the game is protected by the RPD and appropriate S.T.A.R.S. members will prosecute you if you break it.
  • Critical Existence Failure: Averted; as you take damage, Leon will start to limp and hold his stomach.
  • Critical Hit: Occasionally, a headshot will cause the enemy's head to explode in one hit. This isn't necessarily a good thing.
  • Crossover: With Haunting Ground. The dog you save from the bear trap? Hewie. Makes some sense, as the games appear to be in the same part of the world.
  • Cute as a Bouncing Betty: Leon has access to a magnum called the Broken Butterfly, a pistol called Matilda, and a machine gun called the Chicago Typewriter.
  • Cutscene: If there's any examples of subverting a cutscene (i.e. adding gameplay to them), then it's when this game added Press X to Not Die to them.
  • Cutscene Boss:
    • You don't actually need to fight Saddler's One-Winged Angel form, a.k.a. the final boss, at least on Normal difficulty. Much frustration is saved when you realize you can just run away from him and immediately end the fight with the cranes holding the I-beams, followed by the Special Rocket Launcher Ada drops.
    • Also done earlier in the Press X to Not Die flavor when fighting Krauser for the first time; the entirety of the battle is a dialogue exchange with the occasional unexpected QTE thrown in to keep things interesting.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max:
    • Leon often displays acrobatic feats and neat gadgets that the player doesn't get to use.
    • In the GameCube version, Ada's grappling hook only appears in cutscenes, not being utilized in the Assignment Ada quest. The PS2 and Wii versions allow limited use of it in Separate Ways.
  • Daylight Horror: Notable in the series for starting during the day.
    • Of course, it gets worse at night: Plaga start showing up.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Leon, and to a lesser extent, Saddler.
  • Death Is a Slap on The Wrist: When you die, you are transported back to the last save point or area-load location (green text), with your health and items restored to what it was before you died.
  • Devour the Dragon: Salazar does this to his remaining Verdugo.
  • The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: Suppose the player decides to use a regular rocket launcher instead of the specialized one Ada supplied to you as the coup de grace on Saddler. The developers anticipated this possibility and created a slightly different cutscene specifically for this sort of situation: Saddler's corpse after being shot at by the regular rocket launcher will be significantly intact, but will start show signs of degrading, whereas with the specialized ones, Saddler's corpse basically turned into smoking charcoal.
    • Also, once you reach the church, you're supposed to check the door and find it locked, justifying Leon having to go through the lake to find the key and thus rescue Ashley. If Leon tries to go to the lake before trying to open the door, Hunningan chews him out for "taking the scenic route", since neither of them know Leon needs the emblem to open the door yet...but at the beginning of that same route, he comes across Mendez's document about sealing the church and hiding the emblem, which justifies him not trying to rescue Ashley at once.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?:
    • There are herbs scattered around that increase health... The catch is that they look like weed.
    • Leon and Ashley getting their plagas removed also has a bit of this thrown in.
  • The Dragon: Mendez and Verdugo to Salazar, and Salazar and Krauser to Saddler.
  • Drone of Dread: A good portion of the soundtrack.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: The entire Umbrella Corporation.
  • Dub Name Change: Sort-of. The enemy villagers (including the chainsaw maniacs) were unnamed in the Japanese version. In the English version, their names are given on the bottle cap figures. This also applies to J.J. (the only named enemy mercenary), who is simply referred to as the "Gatling Gun Man" in Japan.
  • Dull Surprise: Take a good look at Leon's face when he's running away from boulders or giant moving statues. Perhaps just a tad bit justified, since he lived through Raccoon City. Would a simple boulder or statue freak you out if you've seen the worst the T-Virus has to offer?
  • Easter Egg: Try shooting the lake a lot as soon as you come by it in Chapter 1. Del Lago eats you.
  • Edible Ammunition: It is actually possible to equip eggs as weapons, which can be thrown like grenades. However, this is a massive waste, because the eggs do barely any damage at all. It's a much better idea to just eat them.
  • Elite Mook:
    • Any of the chainsaw-wielding enemies,
    • The Garradors.
    • One of the Colmillos in the hedge maze is literally twice as tough as the others. The Colmillos themselves appear to be smarter than most of the other enemies, can jump over walls, and can occasionally dodge bullets.
    • The Zealots.
  • Enemy Rising Behind: Two examples. The first is Mendez popping up just behind Leon and grabbing him by the neck. Played with when Jack Krauser rises up behind Leon Kennedy, disappears when Leon senses something and turns around, and Krauser attacks Leon from above.
  • Escort Mission: Half of the game. Fortunately, it's pretty endurable, all things considered. Ashley has decent AI (hiding behind you, ducking when you aim in her general direction, etc.), and there's usually a good place to stow her away in just about every map.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": The Merchant (ironically, the game guide calls him the Weapons Dealer. It's fairly obvious which stuck).
  • Eye Scream: The Garradors have their eyes sewn shut.
    • To expose Salazar's body, Leon needs to shoot out the eye on his main tentacle first.
    • And Saddler's weak point, in both forms, is the eye in his mouth. Both Leon and Ada during the respective boss fights can run up and plant the whole blade of their knives in it. That's gotta hurt.
  • Face Heel Turn: Krauser used to be Leon's partner before joining Wesker.
  • Fake Difficulty: A common design choice to make both of Ada's side missions harder:
    • In Assignment Ada, you are required to store Las Plagas Samples in your attaché case, whereas in the main game, you stored other plot-relevant (but useless in-gameplay) items in a separate screen.
    • In Separate Ways, you cannot upgrade your weapons like you can in the main game, and enemy placement in general puts more of an emphasis on blindsiding sneak attacks rather than action-horror.
  • Fake Longevity: Mostly averted in-game, but invoked with unlocking the Chicago Typewriter in later ports. In the Game Cube version, you unlock the Typewriter after beating Assignment Ada, but in the Play Station 2 and Wii versions you have to beat both Assignment Ada AND Separate Ways.
  • Follow the Leader: This game was hugely influential on a number of other games that followed it, including Dead Space, Gears of War, Dark Sector, and many others.
  • Foreign Cuss Word: Spanish peasants like calling you any number of foul things.
  • Full-Frontal Assault: Regenerators and Iron Maidens. This is not a good thing.
  • Gatling Good: J.J.
  • Gender Blender Name: To the English-speaking ear, "Luis Sera" sounds like "Louise Sarah." It would explain why Paul Mercier (Leon's voice actor)'s director didn't correct him whenever he said "Lewis" instead.
  • Genre Savvy: Barely anything fazes Leon, up to and including the announcement that the island he's on is about to explode. It gets pretty funny when Salazar dramatically does his horrific One-Winged Angel transformation and Leon's only reaction is a shake of his head as he deadpans: "Monsters. After this, there's one less to worry about."
  • Giggling Villain: Salazar.
  • Glamour Failure: Normal forms of Las Plagas (Control and Master Plagas seem to be exempt). It's supposed to mimic human behavior, but they get a taste for raw/rotten meat, attack non-carriers, have no sense of hygiene, glowing eyes at night, and photosensitivity, more so than a normal person.
  • A God Am I: Saddler.
  • Go for the Eye: Played straight for the end bosses of the second and third stages of the game, used in name only for the first stage's final boss (Leon needs to bypass a retinal scanner).
  • Grenade Tag
  • Gunship Rescue: Helicopter Mike.
  • Hammerspace:
    • The attaché case, which can be upgraded to hold a ridiculously large amount of items and is never seen in the game itself.
    • The capacity upgrades for the weapons fit this trope as well:
      • The most stunning example may be the Striker shotgun. Its exclusive upgrade allows its magazine to hold 100 shells at once. Logically, you would expect the fully-upgraded drum magazine to be more than eight times as large as the default, which would make for a drum more than six feet in diameter, and the weapon itself would likely exceed hundred pounds in weight—but, this absurdly spacious magazine is no different in size than the default magazine, which holds 12 rounds.
      • Close behind is the TMP, which allows for a magazine capacity of 250 rounds. Such a magazine should be almost seven and a half feet in length.
  • Hand Cannon: Any of the Magnums. Also, a weapon actually called the Handcannon is made available by getting the high score on all the Mercenaries levels with each character. It uses its own unique ammo, which is very rare. Upgrade it fully, though, and it gains infinite ammo, and becomes about as powerful as the Rocket Launcher. Ammo is generated half by pre-determined drops and half by what weapons you have. If you sell your shotgun, TMP, and Pistol, you'll get TONS of handcannon ammo drops. Sadly, they won't stop dropping if you have the infinite ammo upgrade. Magnum ammo is considerably less frequent, followed by the extremely rare Mine Darts.
  • Harder Than Hard: Professional Mode. You will run out of ammo in the village intro, and you can't bring weapons and ammo from previous playthroughs. Hope you learned knife-fu!
    • Not true of the GameCube or Wii versions. You can keep your previous weapons. It should be noted, however, that you have to start a new game file for Professional Mode.
  • Heart Container: Mixing yellow herbs with green or mixed red/green herbs will give a permanent boost to your health meter.
  • Heel Face Turn: Luis.
  • He Knows About Timed Hits: "I'm sending you a playing manual."
  • Hive Mind: Las Plagas.
  • Hollywood Darkness: Averted. Leon has a light clipped to his belt that activates in dark areas and covers most of the screen, so it's mostly for atmosphere.
  • Hot Scientist: Luis is a male version; he is a scientist working for Saddler who writes the memos in the game that tell you about Las Plagas and the Regenerators, yet is also stunningly good looking.
  • Hyperactive Metabolism: Herbs, fish, and eggs restore health.
  • Implacable Man: Regenerators, Iron Maidens, and Verdugo. They tend to come off like Hopeless Boss Fights to most first time players (and the first two aren't even bosses).
  • Improvised Weapon User: Leon can throw eggs at enemies. Not that it does much good. Or does it?
  • Incendiary Exponent: Oven Man, a militia Ganado who stuffs himself in a gas oven, presumably for the express purpose of bum-rushing you while on fire. If you examine the oven afterwards, Leon will wonder what in the world he was doing in there.
  • Incredibly Obvious Bug: Leon seems genuinely surprised that Saddler found the beeping, flashing red tracking device that he threw onto Ashley's back while Saddler was watching.And followed it all the way through, letting Saddler pit him against "It" the creature.
  • Inexplicably Identical Individuals: The only explanation why the Merchant can be at so many places at the same time and gets better when you kill him is that there are more than one of him. All with the same voice.
  • Infant Immortality: Subverted. There are no children among the Ganados in the game, but the supplemental booklet that came with the Biohazard 4 Incubate DVD reveals that there used to be children in the village, but their smaller bodies ended up rejecting the Plagas parasites. Some of the houses have the skeletal remains of children in them as well.
  • Infinity Minus One Gun: Almost every weapon in the game has a purchasable exclusive that, while powerful, still uses up ammo. Partially subverted with the Broken Butterfly's exclusive making it a boss killer weapon, thus saving a LOT of rare magnum ammo.
  • Infinity Plus One Gun: Not only are there three weapons with infinite ammo that are designed for three wildly different playstyles, but they're all balanced! To wit:
    • An Infinite Rocket Launcher which, while powerful, and has a wide range, has a slow rate of fire and is dangerous to use.
    • The Chicago Typewriter, an infinite-ammo Thompson M1928 SMG. Can kill anything in the game in one or two hits, but does a poor job penetrating surfaces like wood and is very inaccurate at long range.
    • The Hand Cannon, a ridiculously powerful magnum which can penetrate cover and disintegrate wooden doors. However, it has a slow rate of fire and next to no wideshot range, and is arguably the hardest to get.
    • All versions after the Game Cube version award the PRL 412 if you beat the game on Professional difficulty. When fired, this laser weapon stuns enemies and causes a small amount of damage to them. When charged, however, it instantly kills everything in front of you.
      • You can't, however bring the PRL 412 into a Normal Mode game, because you can't switch between Normal and Professional modes. They have to be different save files.
  • Instant Death Bullet: Ashley and the Merchant can both be killed by accidentally grazing both or getting knifed once.
  • Instant Sedation: In Separate Ways, Ada gets shot by a tranquilizer gun and instantly passes out.
  • Jiggle Physics: Ashley's "ballistics," though it's mostly realistic and not overdone.
  • Just Add Water: Mixing herbs.
  • Karl Marx Hates Your Guts: The Merchant, though quite willing to sell you stuff, sells it at twice the price he'll buy it from you. Subverted, because you can get an Punisher by shooting specific targets (obligatory Penny Arcade link).
  • Kicking Ass in All Her Finery: Ada in her red dress with the butterfly embroidery.
  • Kick the Dog: Saddler only kills Luis and Mike the pilot in the game, both of which die mid-conversation after helping Leon, and only really serve to show how much of a bastard Saddler is. Unsurprisingly, Leon angrily promises vengeance both times.
  • Kick Them While They Are Down:
    • It's more "shoot/stab them while they're down, otherwise they'll kill you."
    • Ashley kinda does this if Leon is knocked down near her with normal uniforms. "Oh! You pervert!"
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: Oh, boy... How do you get the initial shotgun and a free Broken Butterfly? Steal it. You loot the corpses of Ganados for money. More money? Steal it from barrels and hiding places. More still? Fight minibosses, kill them, and loot the corpses. The same also goes for bullets and jewels. You can also steal from the church's offering plate.
  • Kneecapping: One of the better ways to stun an enemy is to aim for the knees, and then have Leon quickly run up and knife 'em while they're down. Alternatively, run up and suplex them to crush their heads for an instant kill.
  • Knife Fight: One of the game's most memorable scenes.
  • Knife Nut: Both Leon and Krauser. With practice, Leon's knife can be very effective against Ganados, letting you take down whole groups with minimal ammo spent.
  • Lady in Red: Ada.
  • Large and In Charge: The village chief is eight feet tall.
  • Last-Name Basis: Saddler, Salazar, Krauser, Wesker.
  • Laughably Evil: Salazar.
  • Lethal Joke Character: HUNK in The Mercenaries. He's slow, he's got the second lowest HP just behind Ada, his TMP requires sustained fire to do any kind of damage, and he has no knife, so if you run out of ammo, you can't kill any enemies or open boxes to get more, so you just have to run around and wait until you either get killed or time runs out. Useless, right? Yes, unless you know how to conserve ammo by using controlled bursts to heads, accumulate grenades by taking advantage of reliable item drops, and then spam grenades and the Neck Breaker during bonus time to build up monstrous combos. Case in point, a guy plays HUNK and accumulates 200200 points.
  • Life Meter: This game did away with the series' usual heart-rate based health display in favor of a more traditional health bar.
  • Lightning Bruiser:
    • Mendez, before his One-Winged Angel form. When Leon first enters the barn, Mendez practically Flash Steps across his line of sight, then appears behind him.
    • Krauser, in both the main story and The Mercenaries mode. Unless he's injured in the latter, then he limps and becomes a Mighty Glacier.
  • Luck-Based Mission: The Waterworld stage in Mercenaries to some extent for HUNK and Leon, largely because their lack of stopping power to deal with Super Salvador. The amount of damage he can take before flinching can vary wildly from a well placed shotgun or spray to the face to multiple grenades or exploding barrels. It sucks seeing the futility in trying to slow someone who can instant kill you just by being next to you.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Averted: some Ganados carry large wooden shields, but the only thing they're protected from reliably is regular pistol shots: a close-range shotgun blast will shatter them to pieces, sustained fire from a SMG will open holes in them, and the Punisher and all rifles can easily kill as if they weren't there (provided you can guess where the head is behind them).
  • Made of Explodium/Every Car Is a Pinto: You are required to shoot some trucks. There's an explosion and the truck careens into a hill or wall.
  • Male Gaze: You start noticing this more when you put Ashley in her popstar outfit. The President has equipped his daughter with ballistics, indeed.
  • The Many Deaths of You: And how!
  • Mascot Mook: Dr. Salvador.
  • Missing Mission Control / Mission Control Is Off Its Meds: Leon's handler, Hunnigan, loses contact with Leon at the beginning of Chapter 3. It is soon revealed that the baddies have hijacked Leon's comm line, and then use it for the rest of the game as a vehicle for taunting Leon.
  • Misplaced Accent: The game is apparently set in a Spanish-speaking European country where everyone speaks Mexican Spanish.
  • More Dakka: Chicago Typewriter. Infinite Ammo. Have fun.
  • Mythology Gag: The laser hallway sequence is almost certainly a reference to the Resident Evil movie's laser hallway.
  • The Napoleon: Salazar.
  • Neck Lift: Mendez has a tendency to do this to Leon after suddenly appearing from behind. During the boss battle, if the player isn't fast enough to dodge his grip in the cutscene, he breaks Leon's neck.
  • New Game+: Have fun demolishing the bosses with your fully upgraded weapons. Or the Infinity Plus One Guns.
  • Nice Hat: Salazar's tricorne goes nicely with the rest of his Dapper Period Dress.
    • And one of Leon's special costumes gets a nice fedora to go with it (although it's the only costume that doesn't show in cutscenes)
  • Nightmare Sequence: Involving Las Plagas.
  • Non-Human Sidekick: If you helped the dog at the beginning of the game, he will come and help you during the fight against El Gigante, and that makes you love him!
  • Nonstandard Game Over: If Ashley is killed or recaptured, you get a different game over screen with the words "Mission Failed". Another special game-over occurs if you (accidentally or not) hit Luis too many times during the Hold the Line sequence at the cabin. (Shooting the lake and being eaten by Del Lago is not an example, it's just Yet Another Stupid Death)
  • No Pronunciation Guide: Regarding J.J., is it "Jay Jay" or "Hota Hota" (i.e., the letter J pronounced in Spanish)?
  • No Sneak Attacks:
    • Ganados yell "Detrás de tí, imbecil" (which translates to "Behind you, imbecile") when they're right behind you, trying to kill you. Great premature gloating, there.
    • Zealots and Militia aren't much better: the former chuckle loudly enough to be heard, and the latter growl "Te cogí!".
  • Not a Zombie: Occurs with the very first enemy.
  • No, You: "Saddler, you're small-time."
  • Off with His Head: Resident Evil 4 loves this. Leon (and all playable characters in The Mercenaries) can get decapitated by Centipede Plagas eating his head, Zealots throwing scythes at his head, Garradors going into a berserker rage, and Dr. Salvador, the Bella Sisters, or Super-Salvador chopping off his head with a chainsaw.
  • Oh Crap: During the opening segment, when Leon accidentally gets the attention of all of the villagers interested in killing him, you can take cover in a nearby house. In a cutscene, Leon will block the door with a dresser, then see Dr. Salvador show up with a chainsaw, prompting this reaction.
  • One Bullet Clips: Played straight, though possibly justified in that Leon collects loose bullets, rather than ammo clips, so he could theoretically drop the bullets from the previous clip into his attache case and take a new clip from the case.
  • One-Man Army: Leon.
  • Our Lawyers Advised This Trope: Played for laughs. During the end credits, it says how that if you should try to copy it illegally, you will fall under a RPD investigation and be prosecuted by S.T.A.R.S. members, and then some.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: They aren't actual zombies. They are people controlled by a parasite called Las Plagas. Although some varieties will have the Plagas take over if the human host ends up killed by decapitation or from damage, or even during night time.
    • Lampshaded when you first encounter them; after killing the first Ganado, inspecting the corpse causes Leon to observe, "He doesn't look like a zombie..." Further investigation causes Leon to point out the differences between the Plagas-infested villagers and the zombies he encountered in Raccoon City, making him wonder just what they are (which can be answered if you collect Luis's notes).
  • Painful Transformation: The victims of Las Plagas go through an ordeal before they are completely turned.
  • Panty Shot: Sure, you can try, but Ashley won't be having any of it. Though there are ways around that.
  • Personal Space Invaders: Oh boy...
  • The President's Daughter: Ashley.
  • Press X to Die: There are fish in the lake, and you can shoot them. It is not a good idea.
  • Press X to Not Die: This game loves it, and pretty much kick-started gratuitous use of it in other games, arguably making it the Trope Codifier. It was certainly the first game in recent memory to put them in cutscenes.
  • Psycho Strings: Used when it gets dark and you first fight a Plaga outside its host, and when fighting Mendez.
  • Real Is Brown: Before the trope was even popular.
  • Railing Kill: You can use it to your advantage if there's a very tall pit.
  • Recurring Boss: Two interesting examples:
    • Krauser is fought twice in the main game (once in a QTE event and then several times in chapter 5-2) and once in each of Ada's scenarios.
    • Saddler is fought as the final boss in both Leon and Ada's scenarios.
  • Recurring Traveler: The Merchant. You can kill him, but he'll still appear at the other locations without comment (on Normal mode, at least). Possibly not the same individual. There are only so many character models used in the game.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Luis. It also doesn't help when he gets killed by a penis-tentacle-plaga-thing.
  • Red Herring: Soon after his introduction, Luis mentions how he saw a sample of the T-Virus during his service as a police officer in their department lab in Madrid. The conversation is cut short by an attacking Ganado, and the topic is never brought up again.
    • Since it's eventually revealed that Luis was also a scientist working for Los Illuminados, this was his way of letting Leon know that there was more going on than it might otherwise appear. But then he was interrupted.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Bitores Mendez (well, one of them is), Ashley and Leon.
  • Refrigerator Ambush: Well, it's more of an oven ambush, actually, but it's close enough.
  • Rescue Sex: Subverted when Ashley's offer for Leon to do some "overtime" with her is met with stoic rejection.
  • Rewarding Vandalism: Subverted on occasion, when snakes are in the crates instead of money or bullets. Killing the snake gets you an egg, though.
  • Rule of Cool: The Mercenaries bonus game has Super-Salvador, a Ganado with a double-bladed flaming chainsaw. He is also very fast and can jump all around the map after you, even vertically up platforms that are over a hundred feet high. Depending on your luck, he can also be incredibly difficult to stun (explosives tend to work well most of the time, though). On the upside, he can be rather easily killed by Krauser or Wesker, but the other three characters can have serious problems battling him. Oh, and you must keep your distance at all times because unlike the regular Dr. Salvador, he never misses when close enough. And if you're incredibly unlucky, it's possible to have to fight two of these guys at a time.
  • Rule of Sexy: The reason Leon loses his jacket (incidentally, Leon's shirt is an actual "tactical shirt.")
    • Lampshaded during Ada's scenario: it's possible to find the villager that took it.
  • Say My Name: It seems that Leon has a bad compulsion for this (and he also seems to be falling back into old habits.):
    • LUIIIIISSSSSS!!! (although Leon says "LOOUIIIIISSS!")
    • Ada!
    • Krauser?
    • Saddler!
    • And the ever infamous "MIIIIKKKKKEE!"
    • Ashley has "LEOOOOOOOOOON, HEELLLLLPPPPPPP!"
  • Scars Are Forever: During their knife fight, Leon and Krauser receive a cut to the face and chest respectively, both of which remain for the rest of the game.[1]
  • Self-Imposed Challenge: This game has managed to spawn many different challenges. All grenade runs, no attache case runs (ie. never opening the attache case), no Merchant runs, knife only, handgun only (normally just the original handgun, upgraded, but some people will pick their favorite handgun instead), no deaths, speed runs, etc.
  • Shoot Out the Lock: There are locks on doors throughout the game that you need to destroy to continue. You can use your knife, though, and that will save you some ammo.
  • Short-Range Shotgun: Subverted with the exclusive upgrade for the basic shotgun. Doesn't seem to work in the GameCube version.
  • Shout-Out: Many. Most of the mutations seem to be based on The Thing for one.
  • Shut UP, Hannibal: When Salazar gives Leon one too many smarmy monologues, Leon cuts him short with a knife to the hand.
  • Sliding Scale of Linearity vs. Openness: Though the overall progression through the game is very linear, many areas can be tackled in multiple ways, and exploration is frequently rewarded with items and ammo.
  • Smug Snake: Salazar.
  • Sniping Missions
  • Sorting Algorithm of Weapon Effectiveness: The Merchant sells you progressively better weapons as the game progresses. Can be annoying, as he also sells you upgrades for your current weapons. So, you spend 80,000 pesetas upgrading your shotgun so it can carry 9 rounds and has a power level of 8, then the riot gun (which uses the same ammo) becomes available for 40,000 pesetas, carries 10 rounds, and starts with a power level of 9.5. It does compensate for this somewhat by making the earlier weapons better than the later weapons when you have the dedication to stick with them and fully upgrade them (or at least gives them some advantage). For example, the Broken Butterfly revolver ends up more powerful than the semi-automatic Killer7 (both use the game's rare-but-powerful magnum rounds), and the bolt action rifle ends up more powerful (albeit slower) than the semi-automatic sniper rifle.
    • And the first shotgun's exclusive upgrade (what you get when it's fully upgraded) is WAY better than the exclusive for the striker. Sure, a 100 round magazine is practical. But doing full shotgun damage at every range...
    • Also, when you sell your old weapons, you get much more cash for selling an upgraded weapon than one you never touched, allowing you to recoup half your costs when switching to the newer guns.
  • Spexico: Averted. Many of the phrases used in the game such as "¡cogedlo!", "¡no dejéis que se escape!" (and so on) are not common outside of Spain.
  • Sticky Bomb: The Mine Thrower, which basically shoots exploding darts that stick to the target. The Exclusive makes them heat-seeking exploding darts.
  • The Starscream: Ada is between this and Wesker's Dragon with an Agenda.
  • Super Window Jump: Practically a compulsion for Leon.
  • Suplex Finisher: Leon. Ashley can do it too (if you exploit a bug during her level).
  • Take Cover: The game featured a cover mechanic at a few scripted instances of the game, in places where enemies pack heavy firepower. The game's cover mechanic was later improved in Resident Evil 5 and improved even further by creator Shinji Mikami's Vanquish.
  • Talking to Himself: Paul Mercier voices both Leon and the Merchant.
  • Tank Controls: Albeit slightly modified, the game still uses a distinctly tank-like control scheme, mostly due to the camera. The camera is always following Leon over the shoulder, and as a result, going "back" doesn't make him run towards the camera as in many three-dimensional games. Instead, he backs up. His movement feels clunky and he has a hard time turning while going any direction.
  • Tentacle Rope: The flower-ish growth that devours and assimilates Salazar and his "left hand" does so by wrapping tentacles around them and pulling them into itself.
  • Terrifying Rescuer: Leon gets attacked by Ashley when he first finds her.
  • This Is for Emphasis, Bitch: When Krauser is betrayed by Ada as he expected, he refers to her as "the bitch in the red dress".
  • Took a Level In Badass: Leon grew some muscles and got in touch with his inner wrestler after 2.
  • Torches and Pitchforks: The Ganados.
  • Trap Door:
    • Salazar attempts to kill Leon with one of these by dropping him into a spike pit. Leon responds by using a grappling hook attached to his utility belt to latch onto a tiny ledge on the wall.
    • A variation: Ashley panics and runs down a narrow hallway, avoiding spike traps along the way, before finally stopping to catch her breath, leaning against a dead end. Steel bindings promptly pop out of the wall to catch her, then the wall flips around, taking Ashley with it. This trap would be absolutely useless unless someone of Ashley's build was standing at that exact spot.
  • Trash Landing
  • Unexplained Recovery: The Merchant. You can shoot him and he will still show up in another location, with no comment, but only on the easier levels. It's possible that there's more than one merchant.
  • Unkempt Beauty: Luis is a male version; he is dashingly good-looking in spite of his oily hair and stubble.
  • Unorthodox Reload: The Broken Butterfly. Not that we mind.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension:
    • Leon and Ada. Given that she could almost be considered an "ex" for Leon given their encounter prior to this game, their interactions here just amp it up even further. For example, when Leon is fighting some Zealots Ada doesn't help him because if she did she would be forced to kill him, and in Separate Ways she outright admits that the only reason she took the assignment was to help Leon.
    • Ashley also propositions Leon for some "overtime" when they get back to America. He politely declines.
    • And then there's Leon and Hunnigan, who after being out of radio contact for some time, is seen at the end, having taken her glasses off. Leon remarks she looked cute and asks for her number. She reminds him he's still on duty.
  • Unstoppable Rage:
    • For the love of God, do not get in the path of a charging Garrador.
    • Or a charging Gigante.
    • Or Super Salvador.
  • Unusable Enemy Equipment: Leon cannot pick up the knives, pitchforks, scythes, chainsaws, crossbows, medieval flails, or stun rods used against him. Most of them melt with the enemy.
  • Unwilling Suspension: Ada, before the final boss fight.
  • Updated Rerelease:
    • The PAL release of the GC version of the game balances the weapons. Ammo drops and placements are reduced, but still plentiful, and some weapons are more powerful (the knife, and fully upgraded Red9, Swallowtail, and bolt-action Rifle).
    • The Play Station 2 version added the Separate Ways missions, a new weapon, and new armor.
    • The Wii version adds those enhancements to the graphics of the GC version, and offers better control with pointer aiming.
    • The HD version goes back to the regular control, but otherwise has the content of the Wii version. The only addition is a higher native resolution, and added shadows and colored lighting in many locations.
  • Vader Breath: Regenerators and Iron Maidens. It's pretty creepy.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: Mostly played straight, save for one instance. You can kill other non-threatening animals and NPCs, but if you try to shoot or slash the dog stuck in the bear trap, the game assumes that you were aiming for the trap and sets it free, and if you shoot it while it's running away, nothing happens, although he won't come and help out during the Gigante fight if you don't set him free.
  • Video Game Cruelty Punishment:
    • If you shoot Luis several times during the barricade sequence, he will get angry and kill Leon.
    • Shooting and killing the defenceless cows dotted around the earlier levels increases the difficulty.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Salazar goes from being cocky to throwing a crazier-than-usual tantrum every ten seconds after Leon escapes his spiked pit trap and probably blows out one of his eardrums. Taking a knife to the hand doesn't help Salazar's disposition, either.
  • The Virus: Las Plagas.
  • Wake Up Call Boss:
    • Countless are the players that met the Game Over screen for the first time thanks to Dr. Salvador in the village—and he's an optional miniboss.
    • The village itself. On the path to the village, you manage to kill the first "swarm" of Ganados and work on picking off individual enemies and small groups. Then you reach their home. They're not happy to see you. At all. Compared to the zombies of the previous games, they are faster, very aggressive, and much more resistant to damage. When you first get to the village, you'll at most have a few clips of handgun bullets and (if you're lucky) a grenade. You'll quickly find out that this is not nearly enough to deal with the respawning villager swarms and Dr. Salvador, especially in Professional difficulty, so be prepared to run around like mad to scavenge whatever you can while trying to not get killed.
  • Wall of Weapons: The Merchant when he actually has a shop. When outdoors, he has his inventory stuffed into his coat. If only he'd actually use it to help you, but where's the profit in that?
  • Warmup Boss: Del Lago. Not long afterwards, parasites start coming out of the Ganados' heads.
  • War On Terror: Salazar makes a humorous remark about this.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: When a Ganado "pops" (has its head burst to let a Plaga out), it can be killed with a single flash grenade. This affects both the "scythe tentacle" plaga and the "head-eating worm" plaga. The "facehugger" plaga, though, merely detaches from its body immediately, so it still takes more ammo (or another flash grenade) to kill the now-free plaga—then again, this is what happens if you try pumping bullets into it anyway.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Leon and Krauser, as well as Ada and Leon.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Just try looking up Ashley's skirt.

  Ashley: "Oh, you pervert!"

  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: In chapter 3-2, you're faced with a Red Zealot standing on a balcony, who you then have to chase throughout the gallery... or, if you have the GameCube version, whip out your fully upgraded bolt-action rifle and boom, headshot. Not even the Infinite Rocket Launcher can kill this enemy. Alas, this was fixed in later versions, where the Red Zealot is invincible until you go up the stairs to start chasing him, although you can still take him out before he manages to man the gatling gun.
  • Wolverine Claws: A variation on the Garrador (it's a longer blade than usual).
  • Wrestler in All of Us: If certain enemies are on their knees, Leon can run up to them and perform a Northern Lights Suplex. Quite effective, and generally prevents Plaga creation, which is handy. Sadly, Ashley only has this move in the GameCube version.
  • Xanatos Gambit: Saddler, knowing that Krauser is untrustworthy, decides to pit him against Leon, knowing that regardless of what happens, one of the people who is a threat to him will be dead. However, this somewhat backfires, as Krauser survives.
  • You All Look Familiar: Each "group" of enemies (villagers, cultists, soldiers) only has a handful of character models each.
  • You Fight Like a Cow: Leon and Salazar (and later, Saddler) trade quips back and forth every time they talk to each other. This gives us the exchange of:

 Salazar: I've sent my right hand to dispose of you.

Leon: You're right hand comes off?

  • Younger Than They Look/Older Than They Look: Ramon Salazar has the skin and hair of a man in his seventies, but the stature and voice of a twelve-year-old. In reality, he is twenty years old.
  • Your Head Asplode: From headshots, obviously (and a certain end-game upgrade makes this much easier to invoke). Also possible when you suplex or kick enemies. With a little bending of the rules, it can even be done with chicken eggs.

Where's everyone going? Bingo?

Notes

  1. Krauser's being visible during the later fight where he's shirtless.

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