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Video Game: Resident Evil 4
Resident Evil 4 is the sixth main game in the Resident Evil franchise, originally released for the Nintendo GameCube in 2005. After the release of three numbered games on the PlayStation and Resident Evil Code: Veronica on the Dreamcast, producer Shinji Mikami made the controversial decision to bring the mainline series of games exclusively to the GameCube rather than the PlayStation 2 in spite of previous expectations.note  Resident Evil 4 was announced in 2001 alongside a remake of the original Resident Evil and the prequel Resident Evil 0, forming a loose trilogy of sort (ports of the previous sequels were also released to help new fans familiarize themselves with the series).

RE4 languished a few years in development hell, however, as a result of changes to the game's premise and staff; Mikami's role also changed from producer to director. RE4 was finally released four years after the initial announcement, taking the series to a radically new direction. The pre-rendered backgrounds and fixed camera angles of previous entries were replaced with an over-the-shoulder view that follows the player character around in a fully 3D environment. The shooting and inventory system were also revamped from the previous games and the storyline featured minimal ties to the previous games so Capcom could mark a new chapter in the franchise's storyline.

Six years after the destruction of Raccoon City, the Umbrella Corporation is dead and Leon S. Kennedy is now a secret agent for the United States government. Said government has decided that Leon's a bad enough dude to rescue the President's kidnapped daughter from a group of crazed cultists who operate out of a rural European village. Leon soon discovers that the cultists are infected by an ancient parasite that's not much better than the T-virus, and because this is a Resident Evil game, he has much bigger problems to deal with than a missing person — three-stories-tall problems, in fact.

Despite being a GameCube exclusive at first, Capcom decided to develop a PlayStation 2 port (against Mikami's wishes) that features additional content, including a new scenario starring Ada Wong that focuses on the events of the main story from her perspective. Nintendo players later received a more definite version of game when it was released for the Wii in 2007; Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition featured both the superior graphics of the GameCube version and the new content made for the PlayStation 2 port. Capcom also released a PC port in 2007, an HD Edition for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in 2011, and an Ultimate HD Edition for PC (via Steam) in 2014.

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  • 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 normally 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 to around 60 damage. 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. This is a clear example of Gameplay and Story Integration, as a way to make a "knife-fight rematch" a valid way to beat him.
    • The Plagas that emerge from the Ganados' heads can be destroyed with flash grenades.
  • Accidental Pervert: If Leon tries to look up Ashley's skirt, she will try to cover herself, and call him a pervert. This happens whether the player intentionally looked up her skirt, or if an enemy knocks Leon onto his back, and his head goes under her skirt. Or even if he's decapitated and his head lands eyes-up under her skirt. The girl has some very strange priorities.
  • Actionized Sequel: RE4 allows you to kick entire crowds of stunned enemies, Leon's knife is far more effective than in past games, and there's more ammo to be found than in the first three titles combined.
  • Action Bomb: Dynamite Ganados will blow you up along with themselves if they grab you and aren't shaken off in time. There's also the small self-destructing robotic drones during Leon's fight with Krauser that act like land mines until you approach one and start charging into him.
  • 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:
    • It even references classic lines:
    Leon: "Hunnigan, it's Leon. The door's locked. I can't get in."
    Hunnigan: "Didn't they teach you how to pick locks at the academy?"
  • A.K.A.-47: Most, but not all weapons; the Striker is an exception, so is the TMP. "Chicago Typewriter" is a common nickname (for a Thompson submachine gun), 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, then 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.
  • And Then John Was a Zombie: Saddler and all three of his subordinates (Mendez, Salazar and Krauser) have Plagas implanted within themselves. Leon and Ashley have the Plagas within themselves as well and most of the game revolves around trying to find the cure before the parasites take over their free will.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: The original GameCube 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 version of the Chicago Typewriter) and a suit of medieval armor for Ashley that actually affects the game by making her invulnerable to bullets and unable to be carried off (and gives Leon a mild backache when he grabs her after a jump).
    • Ada also wears three different outfits: her main Chinese dress outfit, a black spy-suit in "Assignment Ada" and an updated version of her red dress from RE2 in "The Mercenaries". Her main outfit wasn't usable by the player until the "Separate Ways" scenario was added in later versions.
    • The Wii version allows the player to use Leon's and Ada's other outfits in Mercenaries mode.
  • Androcles' Lion: If you free the dog from the bear trap, it helps you in the first El Gigante fight by barking at it to divert its attention away from you.
  • Animated Armour: Once you reach the castle, be on the lookout for seemingly inanimate suits of armor.
  • The Anticipator: Sadler tends to wait to confront Leon sometimes, but a notable, and humorous, occurrence of the trope is when Salazar is waiting for Leon and Ashley on a balcony, where they have this exchange:
    Salazar: Me llamo Ramón Salazar, the eighth Castellan of this magnificent architecture. I have been honored with the prodigious power from the great Lord Saddler. I've been expecting you, my brethren.
    Leon Kennedy: No, thanks... "bro".
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • The game will change enemy health based on how much you die and the ammo drop rate based on how much you use of what types.
    • 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.
    • They removed the ink ribbon system, in turn allowing unlimited saves.
  • Anti-Villain: Krauser is retroactively implied to be this given the events of 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: Seven shots to the head (with a handgun) can't kill the Ganados on Professional.
  • Arm Cannon: Second type for Leon with the Mine Thrower and the P.R.L. 412.
  • 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.
  • Attack Drone: The boss fight against Krauser has him using some spider-like drones that are rigged to explode, as well as a few flying models armed with machine guns.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: The regenerators and iron maidens can die when certain spots on their bodies are shot (and need the infrared scope to see). They will die from regular damage, it just takes a lot (from hundreds of bullets to using up a rocket launcher), so until you get one of the super weapons in a new game, hitting the weak points is the best option.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Del Lago is a huge mutant salamander. The Gigantes are mammoth humanoids.
  • 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 rarer than Magnum ammo (even with ammo drops increasing with use). It is also quite easy to kill yourself with it, if you're careless.
    • The Killer7 magnum. Its rival, the Broken Butterfly, has more power (a whopping 50.0), a badass reloading 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 Bass. It's easy to find in the village's well and lake, is practically free and restores life completely. However, 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 2,300 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+1 Guns already.
    • The Punisher's exclusive upgrades. 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. It is also far too weak for the mid to late game, even fully upgraded, which is why the Red9 and Blacktail see more use.
  • 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, but even then he was shown to have a lot of raw talent to survive the events of that game. Now, after extensive training, he's assigned to protect the President and his family. And then there's the events of the game, where he heads over to Spain to simply investigate the whereabouts of the President's daughter, completely unaware and unprepared for the hordes of freaks and monsters he's heading straight into. And guess what? He comes out on top.
  • 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. The first Ganado Leon meets in-game threatens him with: "¿Qué carajo haces aquí? ¡Lárgate, cabrón!" ("What the fuck are you doing here?! Get out, asshole!")
  • 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..."
  • Blood from the Mouth: The first sign of a Plaga infestee.
  • 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.
    • It's actually necessary to kill him to collect the other jewel for the crown you might have collected earlier.
  • Boom, Headshot: Starts out as a quick way to kill the Las Plagas-infected humans. But midway though the game during the nightfall segments, doing so releases new types of enemies discouraging this method.
  • 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.
  • Borrowed Biometric Bypass: Leon manages to escape the village by killing Chief Mendez and then taking his false eye, which he uses to bypass a retinal scanner at the village exit. If the player examines the eye, there's actually an encryption on the eye, which is what the scanner actually reads.
  • 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, the fully upgraded Handcannon (though you can still get a reload animation with these two), the Infinite Launcher, and the P.L.R. 412.
  • Brain Food: One things the Zealots do say, among other things, is chanting "Cerebros, cerebros, cerebros" ("Brains, brains, brains").
  • Break Them by Talking: Salazar hijacks Leon's communications line in order to demoralize him and cut him off from the rest of the world. Leon uses the opportunity to make fun of Salazar until he snaps.
  • 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.
  • Camping a Crapper: An optional enemy can be found in the bathroom on the lower level of the village chief's house.
  • The 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, such as Dr. Salvador, Lava Coated El Gigante, Del Lago, etc.
  • Co-Dragons: Mendez, Salazar and Krauser to Saddler (although Krauser is actually a double agent). Salazar himself has his two Verdugos.
  • 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.
  • Competitive Balance: In The Mercenaries:
    • Leon is a Jack of All Stats. He is the only mercenary equipped with a shotgun, meaning he can crowd control easily. He also has decent run speed, and all-purpose melee moves.
    • Ada is a Fragile Speedster. Her rifle and TMP make her fairly dangerous at long distances, but allow people to get close to her and she is done. Her melee moves are similar to Leon's, but her run speed is the highest of five characters.
    • Krauser is a Lightning Bruiser. His bow is a fairly strong weapon on his own, but his ever-increasing arm power means that he can mow down entire groups of enemies- Ganado's/Mercenaries/Cultists, Bella Twins, Garrador's, etc. in one single shot.
    • HUNK is a Lethal Joke Character. His TMP is fairly good, but his lack of ammo and knife a huge detriment. In exchange, he gets two of the most powerful melee moves in the game, and his Neck Breaker melee will always 1-shot a Ganado. Always. This includes Bella Twins, making his Village stage a cakewalk. He is also supplied with plenty of Frag Grenades for making up crowd control capabilities, which, when employed strategically, can keep enemies at bay with ease.
    • Wesker is a Glass Cannon. His Rifle, Silenced Pistol and Killer7 make him a force to be reckoned with, and his supremely powerful melee moves make him devastating up close. Unfortunately, his Attache Case is very cluttered, he starts with no ammo, and cannot take much of a beating.
  • Continuity Nod: For Resident Evil 2. The gun Matilda is apparently the name of HUNK's favorite 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 tell 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.
    • And for Ada in Seperate Ways, a bowgun that shoots exploding arrows.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Leon goes to the Spanish village only to investigate and ask questions, yet he brought along a pistol, knife, attache case, flashlight, radio, binoculars, a tracking device, and a grappling hook. Of course, he was investigating a group that had kidnapped the President's daughter, so he had pretty good reason to expect trouble.
  • 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? It's 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 later ports allow limited use of it in Separate Ways.
  • Dashing Hispanic: Luis, as the cabin siege sequence can attest, showing great skill with his pistol. "Did you send out those invitations!? I told you, no more than FEEEFTY PEOPLE!"
  • 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 them 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.
    • In the castle section, there's an underground sequence that involves you having to blow up a boulder with dynamite, and getting said dynamite is a rather lengthy process. If you have a spare rocket launcher (or the Infinite Launcher from a New Game+) you can just blow up the boulder with that instead.
    • At the end of Assignment Ada, the credits roll as we watch her helicopter fly off into the rising sun. The same rising sun that Leon and Ashley travel into after escaping the island on the jetski. Sure enough, after a while the jetski shows up moving away in the distance.
    • When Leon's talking on his comm, there's a light glaring in the upper left corner. It's there to illuminate the one holding the communicator, so the camera can pick up his image for transmission. In some of the post-death screens, the light starts shining up there when the player chooses to continue. Meaning that the death screen is supposed to be the usual comms screen.
    • If Ashley is wearing one of her special costumes and you try to look up her skirt, she won't chastise you because she's wearing pants.
    • If Ashley is wearing the armor, Leon will nearly collapse if he's catching her from a drop.
  • Difficulty By Region: It seems as though the game's A.I. cycles is tied to the frame rate. Therefore, an unintended consequence of the PC Ultimate HD edition increasing the framerate to 60 fps is to make the enemies much more difficult.
  • Difficulty Levels: Two: Normal, and upon completing it, Professional. The PAL GameCube and PC version has an Easy difficulty.
  • 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.
    • In the first parts of Chapter 4, Ashley is attacked by two Zealots driving a long cylindrical horizontal drilling machine down a long tunnel.
    • Ada's line to Krauser after finishing him off in Separate Ways.
  • The Dragon: Mendez, Salazar, and Krauser to Saddler, each of them apparently the enforcer in their respective sections of the game (the village, castle, and island). Salazar, meanwhile, has his own set of Co-Dragons, the two Verdugos.
  • Drone of Dread: A good portion of the soundtrack.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: The entire Umbrella Corporation.
  • Drought Level of Doom: Nearly every stage ran on this, but if you are low on supplies by the Island, lord help you. Doubly so on Professional difficulty.
  • 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.
    • The official name for the double chainsaw Ganado is Giant Chainsaw Man, but most people call him Super Salvator.
  • 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.
    • Saddler's Militia located at the Island have powerful weapons, and some of them are even equipped with armor. The Zealots are also this to some level, as they are stronger than the Villagers.
  • 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.
  • Equipment Upgrade: All of Leon's guns can have various upgrades purchased from the merchant (most even have a "special" upgrade which becomes available when all the others have been bought).
  • 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.
    • Inverted in the Helicopter Mike segment. By all accounts, Mike escorts you.
  • 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. Also, their one hit kill move impales Leon through the eyes with their Wolverine Claws.
    • 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.
      • Ada doesn't have a knife in this scenario either, which can be jarring for players who've learned to use the knife effectively with Leon in the main game.
    • 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 GameCube version, you unlock the Typewriter after beating Assignment Ada, but in the PS2 version and onwards, you have to beat both Assignment Ada and Separate Ways.
  • Faux 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 radiation, Saddler's only reaction is to express amusement at him for managing to foil his plans before transforming.
  • Fishing Minigame: Early on in the story, Leon comes across a lake, a boat, and an infinite supply of harpoons. He can use the harpoons to spear fish, which he can either eat or sell (you can also harpoon Colmillos on the opposite bank from the safety of the boat). However, do not try to shoot any fish with your guns before crossing the lake, or else it'll result in an one hit kill for Leon.
  • Follow the Leader: This game was hugely influential on a number of other games that followed it, including Dead Space, Gears of War, darkSector, 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.
  • Fun with Acronyms: P.R.L. stands for "Plagas Removal Laser".
  • Game Mod: A small (and fading) modding community for the PC port has made all sorts of mods for Resident Evil 4, from fixing everything it did wrong, changing models/textures, to swapping character models with characters from other video games. Some of these character swapping mods include characters from Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Street Fighter IV, and even Bayonetta herself! There's even a mod that even changes the Ganados to The Infected from Left 4 Dead. And for those that are broken up over the over-the-shoulder perspective, this might be good news for them.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: There are several instances in the game where you'll have to protect Ashley from enemies and traps that will kill her dead if you fail, despite the fact that, according to the plot, Sadler's Evil Plan depends completely on her returning home alive.
  • Gatling Good: The weapon of choice of J.J., and getting shot by him will leave a pretty nasty sting.
  • Gender-Blender Name: To the English-speaking ear, "Luis Sera" sounds like "Louise Sarah." It would explain why the director of Paul Mercier (Leon's voice actor) didn't correct him whenever he said "Lewis" instead. Sally Cahill (Ada's voice actress), on the other hand, says his name properly.
  • Genre Blind: When a friendly helicopter intervenes and helps Leon fight the baddies, he just has to start talking about a nice bar where he'll treat the pilot a drink when all this is over. Guess what happens the next moment.
  • 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 Bitores Mendez (Leon needs to bypass a retinal scanner).
  • Gratuitous Spanish: Averted in the case of the villagers, since they never use English, but played straight with Salazar and especially Luis. And with unnatural expressions and even grammar mistakes, on top of that. In their defense, at least they don't fall into this that often.
  • Grenade Tag: Possible with the Mine Thrower by sticking darts on goons that go off after short period of time. The Mine Thrower can also be outfitted with a scope to snipe enemies across long distances, and after getting the exclusive upgrade, give the darts a homing compatibilities to ensure they stick to their target.
  • Gunship Rescue: Mike comes to Leon's rescue against an onslaught of Ganados and gun turrets.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: U-3 can One-Hit Kill Leon by bisection with its scissor-like Plaga mouthparts.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • Impractically Fancy Outfit: Subverted with Ada who, despite her slinky Chinese dress, is able to kick ass like Leon all throughout the parts of the game where she wears it.
  • 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 the creature "It".
  • 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 end credits montage shows that there used to be children in the village before Saddler arrived and injected everyone with the Plagas. As revealed in supplemental materials, the children ended up dying since they were unfit hosts for the parasites. Most of the houses in the game still have the skeletal remains of children.
  • Infinity-1 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+1 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 Handcannon, 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 the hardest to get. You also have to fully upgrade this weapon in order for it to become a Plagas-slaying beast, but it is cheaper than the two weapons above (790,000 pesetas vs. 1,000,000 pesetas).
    • All versions after the GameCube version award the P.R.L. 412 for free 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 fully charged, however, it instantly kills everything in front of you; on the Wii version and onward, it destroys anything in front of you, including inanimate objects, and takes much less time to fully charge the weapon. You can even use it in Normal mode during New Game+, at least on the Wii version.
  • 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.
  • Insurmountable Waist High Fence: In the village, Leon comes across a locked gate that he could just jump over instead of having to endanger himself by looking for the key.
  • Intrepid Merchant: Three guesses who.
  • Jiggle Physics: Ashley's "ballistics," though it's mostly realistic and not overdone.
  • Jump Scare: The one oven Ganado. As soon as you get close enough to the oven that conatins him, the oven explodes and he runs out to attack you.
  • Just Add Water: Mixing herbs.
  • Kaizo Trap: Quite a few, mostly delivered in the form of malignant QTEs, examples include:
    • After finishing Del Lago in a frantic battle, it sinks to the bottom of the lake - dragging a harpoon with a rope which wraps around Leon's leg down with it, and you have to button mash fast to cut it loose, or it's down under Leon goes.
    • In the dual El Gigante fight, if you've successfully tricked one of the Gigante into falling in the Lava Pit but didn't take care to stay away from it, it will reach out from the pit and grab you into the lava with it.
    • On a related note, after finishing off a Gigante, if you were too close to it and failed the subsequent button prompt, you'll get crushed.
  • 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 a Punisher by shooting specific targets (here is a link that illustrate this).
  • Kicking Ass in All Her Finery: Ada in her red evening 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.
  • Knee-capping: 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.
  • Large And In Charge: The village chief is eight feet tall.
  • Laser Hallway: The game decides to throw one in, as a nod to the first Resident Evil film.
  • Last Name Basis: Saddler, Salazar, Krauser, Wesker, Hunnigan.
  • Laughably Evil: Salazar.
  • Left Stuck After Attack: Tricking Garradors into doing this with their claws is a viable tactics against them.
  • 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 life gauge.
  • Light 'em Up: When flash grenades and the P.R.L. 412 hurt, or even insta-kill Las Plagas.
  • 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 The 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.
  • Madness Mantra: The Zealots have several variants, but they are all creepy.
  • Male Gaze: You start noticing this more when you put Ashley in her pop star outfit. The President has equipped his daughter with ballistics, indeed.
  • The Many Deaths of You: And how!
  • Mascot Mook: Dr. Salvador.
  • Mini-Game: The Mercenaries and Assignment Ada. Every port since the PS2 version added the Separate Ways scenario, which is at least half as long as the main scenario.
    • The shooting gallery mini-game in the main game near certain save rooms with a blue door. You shoot Ganado targets for points (but shooting an Ashley target deducts 1,000pts) and scoring a certain amount of points or shooting every single target rewards you with a bottle cap figurine of some of the game's characters and enemies.
  • 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. Leon is unimpressed and takes the opportunity to mock them whenever they call. His return snarks push Salazar in particular into a near-Villainous Breakdown.
  • Misplaced Accent: The game is apparently set in a Spanish-speaking European country where everyone speaks Mexican Spanish.
  • Monster Closet: Oven Man. Leon will even lampshade this by wondering what he was doing in there.
  • More Dakka: Chicago Typewriter. Infinite Ammo. Have fun.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Krauser, chiefly during his extended fight with Leon.
  • Mythology Gag: The laser hallway sequence is obviously inspired by a similar scene in the first Resident Evil movie.
  • 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.
  • Never Bring a Gun to a Knife Fight: Ada finds this out the hard way when she goes to grab her gun during her and Leon's brief skirmish in Salazar's castle only to find that Leon has already closed the distance and is holding his knife to her throat.
    Leon: "Bit of advice: try using knives next time. Works better for close encounters."
    • Furthermore, during Krauser's fight with Leon, he starts dodging bullets at close range, so the knife is actually the best weapon for the job.
  • New Game+: Have fun demolishing the bosses with your fully upgraded weapons. Or the Infinity+1 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.
  • No Hero Discount: The Merchant's gotta make a profit somehow. Penny Arcade's spoof of this game provides the page image.
  • 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!
  • Non Standard 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)?
    • Leon constantly pronounces Luis' name "Loo-iss" rather than the correct "Loo-eece." Ada, however, pronounces it correctly.
  • 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. When Leon examines the fallen Spaniard, he comments, "He's not a zombie..."
  • No, You: "Saddler, you're small-time."
  • Offscreen Teleportation: The Merchant at one point appears in a room adjacent to one he was already in, despite not passing Leon.
  • 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 magazines (as in the previous games), so he could theoretically drop the bullets from the previous mag into his attache case and take a new mag from the case.
  • One-Hit Kill: Plenty of them. In order of possible appearance: Being beheaded by a chainsaw (Bella Sisters or Dr. Salvador), not reacting fast enough during a Quick Time Event (by far the most recurring example), being eaten by Del Lago (either in battle or just shooting at the water from the pier), being crushed by the huge boulder that is supposed to fall over the second Gigante fought, being seized by the Gigante sinking into the lava pool when fighting the last two of them, and being eaten by the Queen Plaga during the fight against Ramon Salazar.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: The Merchant. Any damage, even a graze with a knife or a handgun bullet to the toe, will kill him instantly.
  • 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.
  • Parasite Zombie: The Ganados; although they revert to normal human behaviour when an uninfested person isn't around-except they don't find rotten food utterly revolting; nor do they bathe. They also worship the parasite.
  • Personal Space Invaders: Oh boy...
  • Point of No Return: At least four. After Chapter 1, parts of the village get sealed off (preventing you from retrieving any items there); after the Hold the Line sequence at the cabin, the bridge from the village gets destroyed; at the end of Chapter 2 the castle drawbridge is withdrawn; and the boat ride to the Island is a one-way trip.
  • Precision F-Strike: See Bilingual Bonus above.
  • 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: A trope made popular by this game, alongside God of War. Several cutscenes in the game trigger this, and their notoriety influenced the gratuitous use of it in other games. The Krauser vs Leon knife-fight scene in Chapter 5-3 consist entirely of sudden button presses, failing any of them will cause Leon's death.
  • Psycho Strings: Used when it gets dark and you first fight a Plaga outside its host, and when fighting Mendez.
  • Punch Catch: Kick Catch, in this case; when Leon first meets Mendez, he tries to attack him with a running kick... only for Mendez to effortlessly catch his foot in one hand and nonchalantly fling him across the room.
  • Punny Name: Colmillos are parasitized wolves. "Colmillo" means "fang."
  • Puppeteer Parasite: Las Plagas, of course.
  • Quick Melee: Leon can use his knife to disarm bear traps. Also, if any enemy happens to be ascending a ladder, one quick swipe of the blade can send them falling down, and it takes them a while to reach the top before they can attack him.
  • 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 5-3) 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. Possibly not the same individual. There are only so many character models used in the game.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Luis tries to deliver a sample right before getting shanked.
  • 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: Mendez Ashley and Leon. A general sign of Plaga infestation.
  • Replay Mode: After completing the game, an option is unlocked to replay the cutscenes. Those of Separate Ways are included when that mode is completed as well (except for the report lores, which instead are accessed through a menu known as Ada's Report).
  • 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 quickly in favor of his Form-Fitting Wardrobe shirt, why so many characters get tied up, and why Ada fights in a slinky red dress.
  • 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!"
  • 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.note 
  • Schizo Tech: The castle has some examples of modern technology in it, including a gatling gun and Salazar's giant mechanical statue. It gets even more apparent when you get to the island, where the paramilitaries there use stun rods and miniguns while simultaneously wielding the same medieval flails and wooden shields that the cultists in the castle used.
  • 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.
  • Shoot the Dangerous Minion: After you kill Krauser, Saddler contacts you and asks how he can thank you. Krauser was actually a double-agent working for Wesker and Saddler knew it.
  • 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 (1982), 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: There's one in Chapter 2-1 where you send Ashley to raise the platforms across a chasm of water while making sure she doesn't get hurt or kidnapped by the Zealots, while making sure they don't kill you.
  • 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. In fact, in the GameCube version, bolt-action rifle is the only weapon in the game that can one-shot the red Zealot in the gallery in Chapter 3-2 (though you have to aim carefully).
    • 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: Where do we start?
    • The biggest give away is the villagers accent, which is not even close to anything you would hear in Spain (not even in the Canary Islands, which accent is the most simmilar to the Latin American dialects), and they totally sound Mexican.
    • Weirdly enough, some of the phrases used in the game such as "¡Cogedlo!", "¡No dejéis que se escape!" (and so on) are not common outside of Spain. Although others like "¡Agárrenlo!" are almost never used in Spain, and the game is not consistent with the use of "vosotros" and "ustedes".
    • Specially egregious is the case of Luis Sera, who explicitly says he's from Madrid, but his accent is anything but.
  • Sticky Bomb: The Mine Thrower, which basically shoots exploding darts that stick to the target. The Exclusive makes them heat-seeking exploding darts.
  • Stinger: If you watch to the end of the credits to Separate Ways, the escaping jetski appears riding off into the sunset. It's tiny with distance, and eventually starts in the lower left.
  • The Starscream: Ada is between this and Wesker's Dragon with an Agenda.
  • Super Title 64 Advance: The Wii Edition.
  • Super Window Jump: Practically a compulsion for Leon.
  • Suplex Finisher: Leon. Ashley can do it too, if you exploit a bug during her level (in the GameCube at least).
  • 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 Shinji Mikami in Vanquish.
  • 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.
  • Tragic Monster: Unknown to Leon, the entire village in the credits was apparently rather peaceful until they were infected by the Las Plagas.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Leon grew some muscles and got in touch with his inner wrestler after 2.
    • The Knife, considered the worst weapon in previous games, is much more useful here.
    • Even Ashley gets in on this during the brief time you play as her, even taking down a few cultist Ganados without a weapon.
  • 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. 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 looks cute and asks for her number. She reminds him he's still on duty.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Garradors, Gigantes, and Super Salvador all have very deadly charging attacks.
  • Unusable Enemy Equipment: Although the Ganados drop ammo, 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.
    • In Separate Ways, militia in the final area will drop (unusable) RPGs.
  • Unwilling Suspension: Ada, before the final boss fight.
  • Updated Re-release:
    • 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). It also adds a new, easier difficulty level.
    • The PlayStation 2 version added the Separate Ways missions, a new weapon, and new costumes for Leon and Ashley.
    • The Wii version adds those enhancements to the graphics of the GC version, and offers better controls with the Wii remote's pointer aiming while still allowing the Classic Controller and GameCube controller as an option.
    • The HD Edition (PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360) only allows 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.
    • The Ultimate HD Edition on Steam is this to the poorly-handled PC port from 2007. This version has native mouse and keyboard support, full widescreen optimization, and a complete visual overhaul capable of running in 60 FPS.
  • 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 defenseless cows dotted around the earlier levels increases the difficulty.
    • If you kill the Merchant he won't appear again in the location where you killed him.
  • Villain Ball: If Saddler had allowed Leon to escape with Ashley at the first opportunity, his plan would have worked out fine. Instead, he has to monologue about how he infected both of them with the parasite. And why does he have a machine that can kill the parasite without harming the host?
  • 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.
  • Violation of Common Sense: If an enemy with dynamite is about to explode on you, you can save yourself by shooting the dynamite to kill the enemy in the explosion without hurting yourself.
  • The Virus: Las Plagas, though they're more like Puppeteer Parasites.
  • 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 just 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?
  • Warm-Up Boss: Del Lago. Not long afterwards, parasites start coming out of the Ganados' heads.
  • War On Terror: Salazar makes a humorous remark about this.
  • 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, only Ashley 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, only to be Killed Off for Real by Ada.
  • 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[sic] 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. Artwork of him in a healthier state exists, so it's actually quite likely that he looks the way he does because of Plaga corruption.
  • 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.
  • Zerg Rush: You'll be facing more of these than you'd think.

"Where's everyone going? Bingo?"

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alternative title(s): Resident Evil 4
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