Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Resident Evil: Won

Ah, to finally see this after so long.
This session starts off with an interesting decision. Try to knife the hunter next to the way out, or just go out, hoping that there'll be an item box before it's too late? Or...consider it later and explore as much of the area as possible now? The question proves moot when I reach the outside hallway, there's another hunter there now. Why deal with one hunter when that means you have to deal with several? Running past everything continues to be the best strategy here, even with the winding paths past the zombie dogs. Ironically enough, making enemies that are not zombies the easiest so far.

What a strange thing to offer as a choice.

The...cave system...has a strange look to it. Almost like an ancient temple. The uneven bricks seem weirdly put in, like they didn't quite model it correctly. The uneven ground also works poorly with how the player is always moving on a flat surface. No time to talk about graphics, because the room next to the ladder down has Barry. Jill startles him, but then he talks about exploring the cave system and how they should go together, since it's dark. He's done nothing to make me think otherwise. I then have the option to decide if he goes first or not. I decide I should, but then accidentally press the wrong option.

What did I contribute here?

He goes off in one direction, and surprise of surprises, gunshots go off. I go to the room he went into just as he finishes off a hunter. He now wants Jill to lead, just what I wanted to begin with. This is a weird room, in the middle is a pit, thankfully you can't go in, and off to the side is a power generator; Which, has a first aid spray and grenade rounds in front of it, in what I have to assume was someone's bizarre plan to blow the place up. The only path not backwards is a hallway leading south...which also has a door back into the room I came in from. This room is a dead end with nothing in it.

The highest number of STARS members in one place since the intro, funny.

Only, it has Enrico, the captain of Bravo team. Jill approaches first, and while he's glad to see her, he asks if she's with anyone else. Barry then walks in, and Enrico reveals that a member of STARS is a traitor. Could it be Barry...? None of his actions so far really suggest it, unless you really want to read into him dropping the rope last time. "Everything was plotted from the start by Umbrella..." that is, the pharmaceutical company who owns the mansion. (I don't think that specific part is explained yet) Possibly the company is called "White Umbrella" in this game, judging by the note with the orders for the traitor. Speaking of which, Enrico gets shot and we hear footsteps running away; They're not Barry's, he goes to examine the corpse. I don't know if I'm supposed to stay with him now or try to chase after the steps.

(side note, this obviously reveals who the traitor is, since Chris can't be the traitor since he's playable)

I also examine the corpse, and get another pistol magazine for it. I'm still carrying the pistol, though I'm not really sure I need it at this point. I walk back out, there's another path I missed at the start of the caves. Only to discover that the fleeing man dropped a crank. I don't have any room right now. Right, back to the mansion to drop off this crap...and now there are hunters in the caves. I get hit a couple of times, but this isn't that much trouble since I can always pick up more green herbs later. I've basically been really lucky as far as keeping my health up goes.

The part of the hallway I didn't go down before has a typewriter, because why wouldn't you bring an ink ribbon down here? Then a rotating wall you need the other crank for, the one I picked up earlier is square or something, the one the traitor dropped is hex shaped. This leads to another hallway...with another dead end. This has to be a trick.

Whoops, accidentally put in Tomb Raider!

It is, a boulder is at the end of the hallway, approaching it causes it to go towards Jill. It moves slowly enough that you can get out of the way, which causes it to smash into the other wall. Must be very weak then. There's a hunter in this hole, who I accidentally burn three acid grenades on, when one was good enough. Great, reload. After I return, taking care not to awaken the hunter, I make my way behind the area the boulder was...and a hunter pops out from the doorway I just came from. This guy takes two acid rounds, but the good news is this makes the hunter where the boulder crashed disappear. Behind the boulder was some flame rounds, at least.

I seem to have swapped out Tomb Raider for a Lord of the Rings game.

...which quickly come in handy. It's a giant spider, at least one bigger than the others. It mostly just shoots a shotgun blast of poisoned spit at me, easy enough to dodge, but tricky to get a shot on before it shoots again. Still, I survive pretty well with the the rest of the grenade launcher's acid rounds and a few of those flame rounds. I expend a couple more on the web coated door. In theory you can get the giant spider to destroy the web for you, it's even better for your health to do so, but alas, I couldn't get that attack to activate. Even using the grenades I would have been better off just firing them at the door. But, whatever, there's a save room in the next hallway. Which also means I finally used one of those blue herbs...only to get another one right away. Also in the save room, a first aid spray and an ink ribbon. I save here, unload some stuff in my inventory and continue on.

For some reason there are snakes in this hallway the second time. Turns out they aren't anymore lethal when they're not falling from the ceiling. Anyway, next hallway, there's an elevator up, and oh, look, another boulder. What's curious about this one is that there's a slot for a crank, clearly needed for something? After activating this second boulder I find out why, there's a map, revealing that a hidden room is there. In addition, there's another MO disk here.

Really proud of this.

The secret room has another puzzle which could be summed up as sliding block puzzle. Only this time, you have to move the statue with a thing on the wall. Are all the puzzles in this game basically fetch quests or moving boxes? This gets me a book, which of course gets me another medal like the Eagle Medal. Guess these are going to be used soon. Back to the save room, changing out the grenade launcher for the shotgun and to the elevator.

Here's the finished map. Enrico was on the lower right, the spider room is in the middle, save room to the right of that. Fairly straight-forward compared to most areas in this game so far.

Upstairs, or rather back on the ground, is a welded shut door I think is supposed to lead back into the mansion. The game has generously given me four more herbs, two green and two blue. I mix them together since I need space and I don't want to go back and forth again. I suspect that enemies who can poison me are still ahead. Ugh. Anyway, we have this fountain, two slots, despite the design of it, one for the wolf and one for the eagle. This causes the fountain to open, draining away the water and revealing an elevator down. Welcome to the lab.

The first room is suspiciously empty. All that's here is a locked door, labelled for an emergency exit, and a ladder down. Down the ladder is even weirder, an item box without a typewriter. I appreciate it, but this is really unusual. I open the next door, ready for the worst, only to spot a regular zombie. Quickly coming in and out for the Beretta, so we can give old reliable a proper sendoff this game. Two zombies down, who knows how many more to go. This gets weirder, there are two more herbs, my suspicion is getting a lot higher than it should, and next to an electronically sealed door is a third MO disk. I left it there, since I suspect it may be used near there. If not, I'll need to rush back to the item box anyway. That's it for this floor, onto level 3. Yeah, down three levels.

I'm running free yeah, I'm running free!

Now there are these zombies. They're creepy, in addition to their weird looks, they make weird noises, kind of like a beached whale. They might even be faster, but worst of all, they respawn. Ah, crud. Hopefully I remembered how to dodge zombies, because it's been a long time since I needed to do that. Since there's a big hall in the center, I go one west. This leads to another hallway...in which a zombie spawns. I duck into the next room. Another herb, a clip, and a note from one of the researchers, to someone named Ada. He's going crazy, and is probably infected, but he tells her to take the material in the Visual Data Room, the sealed room upstairs, the to the Power Room to operate the "Triggering System" to escape, and make all this public through the media. All the locks should be opened then, and the system can be accessed through a terminal using his name, John and Ada as the password. Just in case you're questioning this password, there are some Norse runes as a second password. Which, if we're honest, is probably enough.

This is actually code, and by looking at a nearby painting with the same symbols written on it, you can figure out the code. Or you could just move a bookcase, which hides a switch that turns the code into real words. This reveals that the code is "mole". Now I just need to find the terminal. This proves to be an easier question than one might think, because all the doors on this floor are locked. Something I find out as I'm dealing with 4 zombies in the central hall again. I manage to kill them, and pick up an ink ribbon, but who knows if that'll stick.

I really expected some kind of nasty surprise in this room, but ultimately I was disappointed.

The one other door I can open...and what is that? Is that a landmine? Right, well, I'm not touching THAT yet. Let's look at this computer.

I love this, I love everything about this from how Jill doesn't type to the goofy corporate OS.

And now I can put in what I just learned. All I can do from the computer is decide if I want to unlock the basement 2 or basement 3. I'm going to just put down basement 2 for now...we'll get to basement 3 after that. Onto the locked room.

My first observation is that of a note on a bookcase. It details the security system of the place. I'm just going to copy this one.

Executives and Government Officials only on helicopter port.
This restriction may not apply in case of an accident.
No one is allowed to enter unless they are attended by a Research Consultant or Security Director.
All others will be shot on sight.
The elevator stops during emergencies.
Visual Data Room is within the control of Special Research Division. Keith Arving, the Room Manager, is designated to have jurisdiction over room usage.
Sanitation Division controls the usage of the prison. Consultant Researchers (E. Smith, S. Ross, A. Wesker) must be present if virus is used.
No one is allowed to enter unless he presents all pass code documents.
Pass code documents must be created on the specialized output machine by the Chief Researcher of each block.
(some bits that aren't important)
Regarding the progress of "Tyrant" after the use of t-virus...(the rest of it is torn off)

So, A. Wesker, huh? Wesker isn't exactly a common name and even if Albert has a sister called Alice or something, I think we found our traitor. This explains why he's been missing for most of the game, and probably who killed Enrico. The more worrying matter to me, since I already knew who the traitor was, is the whole government officials bit. I haven't played anything after 4, but I don't remember any governments being on-board with the whole zombie outbreak train. Probably because engaging in chemical warfare is a no-no and engaging in zombie chemical warfare seems like a good way to unite the world against you. The kinds of officials who are crazy/stupid enough to do that are the kind of officials who get arrested when they step on US soil. This is some heavy stuff, because this implies that, in-universe President Probably Not Bill Clinton, knows something of what's going on here. This is a horrible revelation.

Uh, right, anyway, the rest of the room has a slide projector I can't do anything to yet and a hidden key. That means it's time to explore level 3 now that we know everything can only get worse. Better open the electronic locks...and that's just one door. Bleh. At least I get a map.

The door that just opened is north of that west green hallway, but first I went to the red hallway, since I suspected my key opens this door. Probably more work for me, but whatever. Because my attempts at just running past the zombies are failing, I'm going to gamble that I can start using the shotgun without worries of running out. This hallway has a zombie, but there's also a door next to the one I entered. It's another block puzzle, with a set of stairs that can lead up to an airduct along with two crates to put over poison gas vents. I didn't realize there was poison gas until I was already hit. Somehow not poisoned. There's a red herb here, along with another pack of shotgun shells. Bringing me to 72. Yeah, now I should be real worried about running out.

Meanwhile, east of that is a save room. Good. There's one blue and one green herb and flame rounds. Things are going to be extremely easy from now on, I think. The power room's south, but I should try to explore as much of the rest of the base as possible first.

I end up eating my words, these rooms with 4 zombies all either have a poor enough situation that you can't easily disentangle from it, or require you to use that serious firepower. Hopefully I won't need to come back into this room again. There's a fax, detailing how Umbrella messed up in estimating the damage caused by the accident. So, it wasn't intentional? Their special security guard squad was nearly destroyed, and they have to act swiftly before the press catches wind of this. An ink ribbon, like I need that now, and oh, a machine that turns MO disks into passcodes. Success!

Curiously, the codes are Bible verses. The one disk I had on me gives Genesis 22:16, after Abraham is held back by the angel from killing his son. Seems like it doesn't mean anything? I go back to grab the other two, and this machine only takes one. Damn. Right, so, what about that object I thought was a land mine? Why, it's a cartridge for the slide projector.
Don't bother trying to read the text, it's all gibberish.
IThese are slides of almost all the creatures I've seen in the game, including the as yet unseen Tyrant, and of the Umbrella research team, including some strange dude who's wearing sunglasses in a photograph. It's Wesker. I don't know why Wesker is always wearing sunglasses in this game, guess he's just that good. Right, well, before we go off to the power rooms, I'm going to see what's in that airvent. It's the most annoying of the block puzzles, because you have to shuffle around the crates quite a bit, then make sure you have a big enough gap for the stairs.
What could possibly go wrong?
After going through it, I'm in the room in the center of the square hallway. This is definitely going to go south at some point. There's more magnum ammo in the cabinet, bringing my total up to 24, or 30 including what's in the magnum. Jeez, could you give me any more ammo? There's another MO machine, which has Genesis 22:17, which is about Abraham's descendants becoming as numerous as the stars in the sky. Now I'll enter the power room.
How wormy.
In this section are creatures which I don't remember the name of, but I do remember that they're some kind of fly creature. You kind of have to gamble that you can just run past them most of the time, because they're on the ceiling and take about a full shotgun to take out. The power supply seems to be just right here, but because I suspect the game is going to be annoying, I'm going further south into these rooms. One south is the final passcode, good thing these fly things can't stop me from interacting with stuff. Genesis 22:18, naturally. Then, finally, one more south, next to the power generator, is a computer which connects power to the elevator. We'll get there in a minute, but I had to be getting these codes for a reason, and that reason is probably on that one door west.
Normally they're not on different sides of the bars.
It's Chris. Jill expresses a statement that sounds less like she's glad to see he's still alive, and more like she solved a particularly difficult jigsaw. Chris is slightly better. Jill needs a key, and tells Chris to wait here. Chris says he'll wait here. I'm suddenly reminded of the jokes about Claire Redfield not being all there. Either Chris didn't get a stupid joke Jill made or neither realized that sentence sounded stupid. Well, there's only one place left to go. The Tyrant room. First, let's swap out that shotgun for the magnum, and we'll see what Wesker has to say for himself. I activate the elevator and...
You sure came late again.
It's Barry. "You're here too." Well, where else would I go? The two head into the elevator. The cutscene continues.
Barry's a traitor too?

As expected, it's Wesker. As not expected, Barry points his...revolver at me. Wesker tells us that if Barry doesn't do everything he asks, his [kidnapped] wife and two daughters will be in danger. More subtly phrased, of course. After Jill calls him sick and asks why he's destroying STARS, he goes into the same information we already know. They were researching "deadly viruses" and an accident happened. It's very inconvenient that STARS is snooping around, which is why he's going to destroy the "virus monsters" (as Jill called them) in a blaze of fire. He then orders Barry to go up on the ground.

Wesker then reveals that he's about to go rogue, asking Jill what she would do if she was in charge of a powerful biological weapon. Then he says he'll show her the Tyrant...when suddenly Barry comes up from behind and pistol whips him. Guess it wasn't such a good idea to say he'd be a slave of Umbrella forever and call him an idiot, eh Wesker? The two repeat what we've just learned, before Barry, unwisely, asks Jill if she knows what Wesker was going to show her."Do you think we could see Tyrant now?" And we almost got out of here without a boss fight. "Barry, you're so optimistic." Yeah, that's the word, but afterwards he makes a good point with how it would be bad for STARS to let such a dangerous creature go loose.

This is such a weird cutscene because everyone now looks about twice as tall as it should be.

We see them approach it, talking about how strange it is. Barry notices the nearby computer...oh, I see where this is going. Maybe Barry is an idiot, coming in here and just draining the liquid in the tank.

It breaks out and slashes the hell out of Barry with his clawed hand. He might be dead, but that's a problem for later.

For now, I have to run around in a circle, dodging the Tyrant. He's slow and only slashes at me within a certain distance. With the amount of magnum ammo I have left, he's not really a problem. It's mostly about not pressing your luck. Six rounds later and he's dead. Better check on Barry.

Miraculously, Barry is alive. All he has to say about this is that he was clumsy. Now he's going to follow me through the lab. Now, I just need to find out how to get Chris out and how to get out of here. There's no key in here that I can see, so out we go. Wesker is nowhere, and there's an announcement that the lab is going to blow up, after which Barry runs off. Hopefully I don't need to follow him, and that the announcement opened up all doors.

Anyway...where's Rebecca?

A mad dash past those flies and now I can finally let Chris out. The two talk about this event like it's some kind of errand list. He follows for the next room, but quickly goes ahead whenever I'm about to go through a room with enemies. Subtle. Zombies have repopulated the upper stair room on the 2nd basement, but I packed the shotgun for such an occasion. With the random item box, I switch out the shotgun and give myself as many healing items as possible, in addition to hanging onto the magnum.

If only you guys were around for the entire game!

All three of us remeet outside the now unlocked door, Chris even has a gun now. To safety! The door leads to a long hallway, partway through we get a message from Brad, but as per usual we have no way to respond. Or do we? Curiously, there's a random battery on the floor here, no doubt an attempt to make sure the player has a spare item slot. You just use it on the nearby wall socket. Putting it causes an announcement that there are three minutes left, and oh, there's a screaming sound. Chris tells Jill to go ahead, so he can play nice guy. Seems suicidal to me, but whatever.

There's a flare just outside, I go to the middle of the heliport and activate it. Looks like victory...until...

Of course.

The Tyrant pops out of the ground. Now he has two charge attacks. Hope you brought along plenty of health. You really only dodge this guy, which is easier than it sounds, because he his primary attack is very narrow in what it hits. Hope you don't get hit by the secondary attack. Wait until Vickers drops a rocket launcher, and then blast him.

And they never saw him again.
He becomes quite the tidy pile of parts. The helicopter lands and the three of us escape.
Not seen, Barry off-screen looking lovingly at his revolver, also not seen, Rebecca.
There's another live-action cutscene, and the game ends.
And there's my final time. Bare in mind I reloaded quite a bit to account for the difference between game-time and my time. Still, not a bad score. Assuming I remember what some rooms contain next time, I could easily ignore some of this stuff as Jill. You could cut out big chunks of time by not getting the magnum or not trying to use the pistol in the lab. For the near future, the question is, how much of this will carry over to Chris's half of the game. I figure I should try to win as Chris now while the game is still fresh in my memory. Because it's just about Halloween now, we'll see that interspersed with other games.

This Session: 3 hours 30 minutes

Total Time: 14 hours 00 minutes

Sunday, October 29, 2023

Resident Evil: Hunter Hunted

It's weird playing this game. The whole having to replay sections hoping to get it right bit is something I normally hate, yet, with this game I find myself enjoying it almost. Something about this game's setup makes it just that much more attainable than in a lot of other optimize everything perfectly kind of games, perhaps because there's just enough leeway to be reasonable.

Left room is the one where the dogs disappeared, the middle one is the one I cleared out.
As I walk out of the guardhouse, I hear a beeping sound, so I check my inventory, it's the radio. Brad Vickers, the pilot, says "I know you can't hear me"...before it's cut off. Apparently the radio doesn't have a respond function. There are no dogs in this room now, although there are in the next room/waterfall area and next to the mansion. I take out the dogs in the next room, to save myself the trouble. After doing this I return to the item box to drop off the blue herbs I previously ignored, bringing my total up to 5, one more green herb, and to exchange the pistol for the shotgun.

Because the hunters have arrived. When you come back in through the interior door, and walk out into the hallway, you get a lovely little cutscene of something coming into the mansion. Then you see it there, and oh, look, Jill has turned to face it. Meaning you're practically guaranteed to get hit once before you make it to the locked door you now have the key for. That's a vital room too, it has magnum rounds, and a book containing an eagle medal.

But, hunters. Hunters drop any pretense the game has about being fair. They're strong, requiring about 5 shotgun shells to kill, fast, have an instant kill attack and appear in all the areas where there were zombies. It doesn't matter if you killed them or not, now the area is filled with these super deadly creatures. You can dodge them very carefully like the dogs, they can't turn when they attack, so it's simply getting the timing down so you move out of the way as they attack. I cannot afford to burn through shotgun shells this early, so I need to figure this crap out. Barry leaves a note and some ammo (shells, acid grenades and a first aid spray) in the save room on this side of the mansion. How he managed to get past the hunters, especially the hunters here, is an interesting question.

The hunter downstairs is in the little center section of the room, just next to the stairs, but quickly walks towards the door in the narrow hall. Upstairs, there are two hunters placed where the zombies were, and the only reason I made it past them ever was because they wanted to puke on me rather than bite me. Hunters are also much wider than zombies. It occurs to me to try to the pistol on the upstairs ones, by seeing if the method I tried with the zombies would work with these. If you don't remember, I tried to take advantage of the fact that the upstairs room consists of two floors, one in which you can't be attacked. It turns out that, yes, it does work, the zombies were just too thin for me to deal with. I also figure out that the shotgun is really short ranged or really weak, it took about 8 pistol shots to take out one hunter.

Deciding to further test this, I bring out the knife to try to kill the hunter I ran past. I completely forgot I need to kill him anyway. And it took me about three knife shots. So there's considerable variation in the amount of damage they can take, because earlier when I tried my hand at knifing zombies, it took about as many stabs as bullets. I kind of already knew this, but that's some extreme variation. Dodging them seems simple enough in a small area, wait for it to charge at you, then run past him at such an angle that he can't turn to you in time. You can even dodge without much room, just move go around in circles, then, at the right time, go straight. It's figuring out when to do these that's the troublesome part. Part of the key to this is figuring out that they're left-handed.

Meaning, go left. In some areas this is foolproof. In a wide open space where to attack the hunter starts running around in a circle to reach you, you can get in safe hits with the knife. In a small corridor, it doesn't matter, run past him on the left. There's a method to starting off a fight with a hunter so you get him clawing at air, but I don't quite get it just yet. Corridors are all about positioning, some place the hunter in a location that you can't easily get past, others do.

I'm mostly going to stick to moving through the second floor. I've already cleared out the northeastern hallway. The eastern hallway has one hunter, one I can easily dodge going to the center of the mansion, and isn't too hard coming back. I checked the area south again, there's a magazine and some shells which don't seem to be there before, in Yawn's room, but no hunter. The unentered room on the east is the second Yawn boss fight, the one you actually have to fight. I'm waiting til I've used the helmet key on the other doors, so I can have that thrown away afterwards. The central hall, as always, is clear.

The western side is very annoying. There are two hunters on the second floor dining hall, and these are some of the ones you can't easily just run past. I'm just going to have to take a hit there or get lucky. Killing one would be too time consuming and dangerous. North of him is one hunter, easy enough to get past coming from the south, but he's right in the north hall, where my key is and where I'll need to go later. He's going to have to die, and I'm going to have to use some shotgun ammo.

Looking back at this map, I basically already cleared out the sections that count.

First floor. The staircase in the north-northeast is where the save room is and basically the only safe part of the first floor. One room south is the way out, there's a hunter there, but I can run past him and then it's all good. I'm not bothering to kill him because the hallway east is very tight and has a hunter. And I need to clear out a lot of area, since the southeastern hallway now has spiders. Assuming that I can just run past them, it's just easier to ignore three areas I don't need to go through in favor of one. I don't need to clear out every hallway, just enough to ensure I can move relatively safely.

The unentered areas on the east vary. The one seemingly unentered part of the southern room is where the zombie and the ink ribbon was. At this point, I'm just going to gamble that I'm not going to need it. The room northwest of that is that weird bar room, now without zombies and with no hunter. I found shotgun shells there, which was a nice find. East of that is where the crawling zombie was, now with the easiest hunter to take down in melee combat. I don't have the key to that door. The opening hallway is still clear of enemies.

West is where things get tricky. The dining hall is still good, but north there are two hunters. And they're placed in such a way that makes fighting suicidal. I can run past them easily if I'm quick on the draw, but there's a door to an elevator down I don't have the key for, and I'm worried the game expects me to go through that at some point. The northern most hallway has at least one hunter, only the one, because I'm writing off the herbs next to it and the hallway west. I got past him once without getting hit, but it seems more like luck than skill. The western hallway there is of course, where there were three zombies I didn't deal with at all, only this time they're all hunters. The old trick of just rushing past them on the stairs to the save room is still true with them.

I think this is the first time I've seen the decapitation attack land.
I put my plan into action, starting from the northeastern part of the second floor. Through the hunter to south, for the magazine and shells, then to the central hallway, downstairs to get that shotgun ammo I missed earlier. I take a perhaps unnecessary trip to return the clip to the ammo box. I have nearly as many bullets as I did when I was usually running around the mansion. Both times the hunter was no problem. I figure out the trick to the upstairs dining hall, I was trying to get past the northern half, but because of the layout, the southern half was easier and the northern hunter couldn't reach me in time. Only now I got killed because the hunter north of there kept jumping around like a maniac. Sigh...guess camping out the door is the best option.
This room actually tries to make finding the item seem like a puzzle.

Somehow fighting these things with a shotgun seems more deadly than just trying to knife them to death. The jumping attack is easy enough to dodge, but creates a very annoying fight if you're using a shotgun, since now it's next to you. This time around I just decide to use the key on the nearest door first, so I can toss it sooner and thus ensure I don't need to return to an item box. The room here is a trophy room, with more magnum ammo and another set of shells. That brings my total of the later to 65, combined with the ammo in the shotgun. Hopefully more than enough to last me through the rest of the game. There's also a puzzle here, there's a set of stairs you can move around, seemingly to check the deer head and other objects. But there's nothing there. Turn out the light, and a gem shines in the darkness. It's amusing, the room with the lights out resembles the remake.

There's also a note, which reveals that the events happening here were planned, not accidental. The security chief is supposed to lure STARS here to obtain battle data how how the BOWs operate in combat; obtain two embryoes of all creatures except for the "Tyrant"; Destroy the lab in a manner seeming accidental. I go back through the upstairs dining hall, getting hit by the hunter because he's the one hunter in this section who's right handed. I then walk back through the eastern hallway, and only after making it past the hunter to safety, I realize I forgot about the magnum.

This guy does quite the dramatic little jumping out from behind cover, which doesn't work in image form.

Rushing past the hunters, as usual.

The magnum is nice-looking, but I like how overdramatic the game makes the ammo look. It's just .357 magnum, dude.

Using the red jewel on the statue gets me the magnum. I could use this now, but this is going to come in real handy later, so we'll just put this away as soon as I can. Escaping this area proves to be as easy now as it was the first time. Guess this hunter was just put in a poor location. Right, save, and now time to take out Yawn. I'll be bringing the grenade launcher and the acid rounds for this one. Only 18 shots, but as per usual, if I need more I'm screwed anyway.

I see the snake has developed a serious skin problem.
The room is empty, so you walk all the way over to a piano, using it, and then Yawn activates by smashing into the area in front of the piano. Yawn is easy assuming you get out of your starting position. I didn't take any more damage than I expected I would, and he only took 6 grenades. I wasn't expecting that. There's no items or anything, your path forward now is through the hole that Yawn made.
You sure came late.

Text appears that indicates it's too dark to see, which would mean a puzzle, only Barry comes in. He says Jill should go down by herself, he has rope. This is apparently not a veiled threat, because Jill is enthusiastic about going down using the rope. Isn't this supposed to be badly translated Japanese? Why are they abusing the word rope like this? Jill goes down, and Barry drops the rope. He says he'll find another and runs off. This leaves Jill in an area that just so conveniently opens just under where the snake smashed into. In an event that the player isn't quite sure would actually happen, because developers seem to expect players will always do the opposite of what they should do, wait long enough and Barry comes back.

Barry apologizes, and Jill asks if he's okay. He's fine, and gives Jill the passcode, to the door on the western side. Haha. This makes the hole in the floor seem pointless. Back to the west.

Ah, almost like the gameplay 2 hours ago.

I don't like the sound that happens when you enter this area. It's a zombie getting eaten by another zombie. Fortunately, I can quickly grab the pistol from downstairs. I'm keeping the grenade launcher on me for now, there's only one enemy I really need to use the launcher on, and he's optional. I'm gonna wager the last stretch can be dealt with more via the shotgun. For now, just saving my more powerful ammo by killing the last zombies with my pistol. After the hunters, this all feels like the game taking it easy on you for a moment. Two packages of grenades, magnum ammo, herbs and an ink ribbon. I'm starting to feel like the game is just going to let me win at this point, even if I have to carry all this stuff back in two trips. I also start finding key items, the battery, something called a MO disk, which is apparently a real thing. That last thing is found by solving a puzzle where you push a statue. Someone at Capcom was real happy they could do that.

There's also a scrapbook of the attacks leading up to STARS getting called in. Including, I kid ye not, an article saying that these dog monsters found in the mountains, well, stay away if you're smart, but if you're adventurous, go after it. I wasn't expecting to laugh at an actual joke. And I finally get something of my technical objective, a helipad, or, the way out. Nevermind that if I wanted to leave through the front door now, dogs or no dogs, I have enough ammo to take down a horde. That leaves that area, but I have an elevator down, to the basement.

This must be the game's equivalent to the one scene in a horror film goes for the biggest goreshot it can.
No zombies straight off, but just at the corner I see what appears to be a corpse. I slowly approach, thinking, hey, it must activate later. So I run past him, and get bit. It was worth it though, just a tiny sliver of health and one dead zombie. This is the basement and the kitchen. The music, I should note this is the original version, not the later PSX versions, is incredibly overdramatic. Is something bad going to happen? No idea, but the water and gas "is not supplied", which probably makes sense in Japanese, but should probably be "there is none". The whole room hasn't been touched in a long time. I carefully make my way over to the north side of the room, which is obscured by camera angles, I slowly walk towards a door when a cutscene starts.

Something slowly comes towards a door. Presumably the same door I'm on the other side of. A hand reaches out, it opens...and when I regain control it's just a zombie. Lame. The stairs up is next to where the elevator was on the first floor, making this discovery useless to me. Just go through the southern door now, back in the kitchen, and it's locked from the other side. I guess that's what the hole is for. Back all the way to where I killed Yawn, and I find a grave with a switch on it. This moves the grave, revealing a ladder down. There are zombies here, but it's not really a problem when you know you're not really going to need the pistol after this. Shotgun shells, which is always a plus.

Some real thinking going on here.
The next hallway has some eating sounds, always a tell-tale sign that something bad is going to happen. Past a couple of blind corners and then...two zombies eating safely away in a corner. And this hallway only leads back into the kitchen. So...I came this way for some shotgun shells.

That's it for the mansion. I didn't quite mean to make this session just about the return trip to the mansion, but I and hopefully you, have learned something quite valuable about this part of the game. Next time, we finally see what that waterfall is hiding.

This Session: 3 hours 30 minutes

Total Time: 10 hours 30 minutes

Sunday, October 22, 2023

Resident Evil: Mother Nature's Revenge...?

Owing to a couple of things, this actually takes place a while after I last played Resident Evil. Thankfully, I remember the events of the game well enough at this point that such a situation is not a death sentence.

First order of business, I check that room in the zombie hall, next to where the western save room is. It is unlocked by my key, and it has some real treasure. A magazine, some shells and a broken shotgun. The last one would be very useful if I were playing as Chris right now, but since I already got the shotgun thanks to Barry. Come to think of it, why did they make that possible? It's such a weird change between characters.

Lot of running here, running away from the zombies in that hall, then past the zombies in the next hall so I can get the one hall here without zombies. Reenter the previous hall, take out the zombie blocking the other unentered room here, before exiting and reentering. Because zombies are made alert by gunshots. They get really stuck on walls if they can't see you though. Or even if they can see you. This allows me to enter a room with a tiger statue, in which I need to find gemstones to put into its eyes. I don't have the gemstones yet, so I'm going to reload and come back later when I have gems. Or the other one, because I found the blue gem in the remains of the statue I pushed from the upstairs half of the dining room.

I clear out the other big hallway in the eastern side of the mansion. Which gives me a poor choice of camera angles. Nothing like wondering if the slow-moving melee enemies off-screen are walking towards you or not. This does give some credence to the theory that this was intended to be difficult, as opposed to the one where people who can't figure out tank controls lack spatial awareness. This only opens up two doors for me now, one leading south into a bit block of nothing and one interior, which has the last door for the armor key. One thing I like about this game is that it tells you this and allows you to discard the key, very useful in a game with limited inventory space.

The interior room is a puzzle room. Two moveable blocks with statues on them, two vents and a button. At the far end is a display case you can't open. Now, I can't remember if this was different in the Gamecube version, but regardless, what happens here if you do the puzzle wrong, you get gassed. So I push the blocks on top of the vents, and then press the button to open the case. Probably could have figured that one out anyway, since vents are insanely suspicious outside of a place where water should be. I get a sun crest for my trouble. Right, into the big unknown.

Past a blind corner I find, Richard Aiken, a member of Bravo Team. He's been bitten by something that isn't human. (dramatic tension is somewhat ruined by midi guitar music) He tells Jill to be careful, this house is full of demons, and that he was bitten by a poisonous giant snake. Now he needs serum. The game does the lame thing of not actually telling you where it is, just showing you it. It's in the western save room, which, conveniently, I got a path to earlier.

A short jaunt later, and Jill administers the serum to Richard, but sadly, it's too late. Richard is about to die anyway, but before he does, he gives Jill his radio. This isn't an item, it instead adds another option to the inventory menu. It does nothing for now. Past him is another room with a blind corner, this time containing a zombie. This guy's really annoying to kill because all the camera angles in this room are just awful. I can just barely knock him to the ground before he reaches me, and then I can go to a small hallway, which I finish him off in despite the camera angle bizarrely changing halfway down it. I know where the snake monster is, because there was a bloody handprint next to some stairs. For now, I'll look through this side door.

Another blind corner. Sigh...this room has another ink ribbon and in that closet, some ammo. Nothing suspicious going on in here, whatsoever. No siree. After moving the moveable cabinet, the room is a small hidden closet. Thankfully, containing no enemies, but it's a cabinet that's too dark to see. Well, that leaves me with the boss, and in an unusual move for me, I'm going to save here. Back to the save room, and then to the attic, I guess. The door up is apparently locked, which raises some logic questions.

Weird, in gameplay it was obvious this is dust, yet as a screenshot, it looks like it's coming out of an oven.
The giant snake, or Yawn, is actually optional here. You just need to grab another crest, this one of the moon, and then run out. I get hit twice, but that's okay, I just have to rush over to the serum room and...

...Oh, Jill passed out, a mysterious figure comes and puts Jill in the serum room, and she's healed. Huh. After checking the item box here, I notice I have a lighter. So I make the journey back to the secret area, and it doesn't work. Drat. I now have two areas left to deal with, both of which I entered and noped out of.

The exit area, which I didn't want to deal with the dog. There's a puzzle here which requires four crests, which is unfortunate, because I only have two. The game puts forth this long descript describing how you should put the crests in, only for the game to automatically place them when you use them. Lame.

Not far from there is this art gallery. There are a half dozen paintings with switches underneath and one painting entitled "Give me peaceful sleep." without any switch. Each painting is of some stage in a person's life from birth to death. Crows wait above to kill you should you make a mistake here. Now, I remember the version of this puzzle from the Gamecube version, but not this one. As it turns out, the puzzle is the same, the text here is just obtuse. You have to pick out each painting by the life stage, from birth to death. I, thinking this is different, just picked the final stage. Wrong, crows attacked me, and as I don't desire to lose health or ammo to these guys, I reload my save before Yawn.

I take the opportunity to pick up any herbs along those paths that I missed, expecting I might need them later. Yawn is quite the annoying boss fight because of how his movement works, he's a giant snake, and you can't just walk over him. So it's very possible to get stuck in an unpleasant situation, albeit, it only happened to me one out of three times. Anyway, after solving the gallery puzzle, I now have three crests. But where's the last one? I start exploring rooms I left because of enemies.

That outside herb room only has herbs and dogs, that's okay though, I got myself five herbs out of the deal. I figure since the lighter has been of no use, I must be missing something. It turns out that I should have lighted a fire place on the second floor, netting me the second floor map. Bit late, considering that now only locked off areas remain. That doesn't help me though. I find out how to see inside the secret area, I missed some candles just outside it. That gets me acid rounds. That helps me in the long run, but right now I'm still missing something.

Half out of desperation and half out of a desire to clear out the other herb room, I decide to put the blue jewel in now rather than later. Ah. Half-remembered knowledge of this game and it's remake is now screwing me over. Good. I leave the mansion now, with an item box full of herbs, 24 grenades, 21 shells and over 4 mags of pistol ammo.

Almost, first I have to do a push block puzzle to get a crank. What a weird puzzle.

The courtyard. I see two red herbs and three green herbs straight off. I can hear the dogs. I take them out, well, it's unavoidable. The amount of herbs the game is giving me is suspicious. I think this gives me something like 5 full heals, which would be 6 if I didn't use the first aid spray after Yawn. That's really generous, and I suspect I may just need them thanks to the amount of ammo I've gone through. I drop some of these back at the item box and return to see...blue herbs. Blue herbs, in case you forgot or I forgot to bring them up, remove poison. Which means soon I'm going to need to remove poison soon.

Otherwise this room just has a winch for an elevator, which I can't do anything to yet. There's a map next to it I almost didn't notice. This is a small area, basically four rooms and a fifth one off to the side. Two of these rooms loop back in on each other, so the inevitable way back isn't too dangerous. Probably.

In the next room, there's a pool and something which has a hole for the winch. Naturally, you use it to direct the water elsewhere, in this case an area down next to some sewers. Before you can go there though, you have to run past some falling snakes. Finally, something I can just avoid. Sadly, the next area isn't so lucky, two more dogs. Not liking this, I hope there's more pistol ammo in the next area or I might very well be toast in this run. I know at some point previously cleared out areas are repopulated with new monsters, which is why I'm being so darn cautious. Sadly, the running water blocks off some sewers and the other path up doesn't have power. Guess that's part of what's going on in the next area, get a battery.

My only path forward also has two dogs, at least this one has some herbs. I think I might just want to reload at this point and rush past one without getting hit. I may need to do so, I'm down to 30 bullets now. Health is irrelevant if I try not to get hit, only poison is useful right now, merely because I suspect poison enemies are going to be annoying to dodge. We'll see how this goes in the Guardhouse.

On one hand, I appreciate the generosity, on the other, 7 blue herbs (in total) is far more than anyone should need...I hope.
And there are three blue herbs here. Right, well, I'm reloading after exploring this place some then. If I need more than 3 blue herbs, I'm probably going to die anyway. There's a save room right next to the entrance, which has a first air spray and some explosive rounds. That's going to be helpful later.
There's another hallway, this one containing two zombies. I don't know if you can shoot zombies off-screen, which is just annoying with some of these angles. What's worse is you need to kill these two zombies, they're guarding a red book which is blank. That means I need it for a puzzle. Hahahahaha. I almost miss some shotgun ammo on the side of a desk. Well, I guess that's an acceptable use of resources. Next to it is a suspicious bathtub. I know how this goes, I've seen The Beyond...and it's just a key in the tub, no zombie.
Back to the first hallway, then through some double doors. This is what I call a good camera angle. Two spiders, they're on the ceiling until you get close, then they jump down. They have a spit attack and a charging attack, but because of the layout of the room, it's difficult for them to charge into you. I did get hit, but without getting poisoned. Huh. Instead, the problem is that there's a pool table with clearly labelled balls. In short, a code. I hope this isn't the kind of code that changes, because it might be annoying having to enter here.

Past a hole in the floor I assumed might break, but instead turned out to have a tentacle in it, is another hallway. More herbs. I get the feeling I was supposed to run past a lot more enemies than I did. Well, I'm not going to complain too much, at least this gives me considerable leeway. I could even just take some hits from the dogs right now...
Barring the the discovery of another keypad, I guess the pool balls are supposed to answer this...except you can bruteforce it, so who cares?
Next area, innocent at first. I find myself looking at a keypad, with that stupid light game as the method of unlocking it. Sigh...It leads to a room containing chemicals. I'll explain that in a moment. Everything else is locked, but, oh, look, there's a key next to a wasp hive. Yeah, they're as goofy as they sound. The key opens a door in the last hallway.
Dorm 2 is suspiciously lacking in any zombies. Very suspicious. There's a map and a note detailing Plant 42, describing how got so big thanks to the same virus that infected everything else, how it gets water from the basement, which was flooded by a "crazy scientist", and sucks out nutrients with it's tentacles. Which, naturally, I now have to find a way to kill. What I need to do is mix together a chemical in the aforementioned chemical room to use on the plant's roots in the basement. There's another box of shells in the desk, and if I enter the bathroom, there's just a zombie and a clip. Oh, yeah, and a secret path into the basement for some reason.

Downstairs is a series of weird puzzles. First, a block puzzle. Push some crates into some water, with the only difficulty being whether or not you accidentally push them into the wall. I guess it does help with the fear of what lies beyond that next corner. As I walk into a central tank area, I find water slowly rising, naturally meeting with what was said by the note about how the basement was flooded.

Even sharks get stuck on the walls...
On one side is a break room where the plant's roots are, but on the other side is the control room. As I approach I get a cutscene, sharks. One big one and two little ones. I shoot them a bit, until I just walk into the control room. Hey, I have the key and enemies can't go through doors. From the control room I can drain the water and then unlock the door next to it.

It's an ammo room, unfortunately most of the ammo is wet. But I can still get two packs of shells, two magazines and another dorm key. Okay, time to see how much ammo I can save getting here. Reloading back at the end of the mansion. I can quite easily get all the herbs right outside the door before any dogs get near me. I could also get the blue herbs if I wanted, but I don't know if that's going to screw with the dogs' spawn. Running past them is surprisingly straight forward, even if they start running at me I can make the door in time. This is almost reasonable.

I only end up being hit in the sewer room, and not because I didn't dodge the dogs, merely because I ran at the exit door at the wrong angle. Nothing a little bit of picking up a spare herb and exploiting how the game resets whenever you change rooms can't fix. That was easier than I expected, but I suspect on the way back I won't get through quite as well.

Because of the way this area is set up, there's considerable benefit to setting it so that you go through the tentacle hallway only once. That means dropping as many items beforehand. Hopefully I won't need the knife. Yeah, like this is going to be the one time in the game the knife is actually more effective than just bleeding on the enemy. But what weapon to bring, since it's basically a straight shot to the boss? It's getting to the point where the pistol might end up being more trouble than it's worth, but bringing it to a boss fight is dangerous. The shotgun is always going to be useful and it's presence will mean I have more inventory space, since I don't need to pick up as much ammo. But will it last if I start using it now? The grenade launcher is a problem solver, but this early?

In the end I picked the pistol, with the knowledge that I can always try again with something else. So, V-Jolt...you have to do a combination item puzzle, as outlined on two writings on the wall. Kind of like that stupid water jug puzzle, only with four bottles, and you have an easy to follow set of instructions. At least in theory, the game doesn't seem to want to give me anything besides water for mixing. Figures. I check a few walkthroughs on the subject and all of them are quite vague beyond the obvious steps. Meaning, nobody writing one of these walkthroughs actually bothered to put in that you need the note explaining the V-Jolt to make it. Well, then, I guess you can use the V-Jolt after the water has been drained? Huh.
I continue going through the area as normal, now reaching the third dorm room. It's suspiciously empty, not even a note anywhere. Just a desk, this time containing an ink ribbon, and a bookcase which the game is obviously drawing my attention towards. It has one white book among many red books, and there's a nearby moveable cabinet I can't move. The solution is obvious, but I don't quite want to risk that yet. How about the bathroom? Flame rounds and another zombie. Didn't realize flame rounds were a thing in this version, they seem slightly less useful here. Taking out the white book reveals the V-Jolt report, good, and the red book just reveals a door. Right, back across the tentacle to empty out my inventory and then finally make the V-Jolt. V-Jolt takes a bit, but it's fairly simple so long as you can follow instructions.

Now, Plant 42. After running back to the item box, I decided on the grenade launcher and the newly found flame rounds. I figure if I need more than the six grenades it came with and the six flame rounds, I'm screwed anyway. And wouldn't you know it, but the first time I enter, I miss a lot. Plant 42 is really very easy once you understand how he works. His tentacles slowly move around the room, and that's mostly how he attacks you. It's not a lot, because they only go around so often. He also has a drip something from the ceiling attack, which hurts to a small degree. What's tricky is his hitbox, I was aiming up because of how it looked like that was important.

...But it wasn't. I aimed straight at him and fired six times. He's dead and now I have the helmet key.

On my way back to the save box, Wesker shows up...shooting at something off-screen. He says he ran off because monsters came after him in the hall. He also establishes new objectives, we need to get out of here, and Jill needs to explore the rest of the mansion. And that, is what I'm going to do next time.

This Session: 3 hours 30 minutes

Total Time: 7 hours 00 minutes