I bought Resident Evil 4 as soon as it came out (on GameCube, a-duh), and loved the hell out of it. The game did a wonderful job at retaining the spooky atmosphere of the previous entries in the series proper while fixing some of the more glaring technical shortcomings (not even the diehard RE fans actually liked the fixed camera angles and inability to see where you were shooting half the time). The overall proliferation of ammunition and weaponry did nothing to reduce the sheer terror that comes when you’re down to your last shotgun shell in a crowded room of
zombies Spanish-speaking Eastern European peasants and you have to decide whether to run or whip out the knife. I watched the story unravel, the enemies grow tougher, and the plot twists, uh, twist. I was having a blast.
But then I got stuck.
I (as Leon) walked into a nondescript room at the end of a long dining hall. A treasure chest stood in the center, but as I approached it, a cage lowered from the ceiling, trapping me with a Garrador. Of all the scary sights in this game, the creepy Chainsaw Man, the freakishly fast and deadly Colmillos, even the oppressive El Gigante, nothing scares me more than the Garrador. I don’t know what it is about them, but unless I’ve got a wide berth, I tend to panic and forget that they’re not actually terribly difficult to fight. The cage gives you no space to make a break for it, forcing you to deal with your immediate surroundings in the few seconds before the Garrador hears you and slices your head clean off. For whatever reason, I kept panicking and focusing on the wrong targets, trying to pick off the annoying zealots firing crossbows at me from outside the cage. The doors outside are secured with padlocks, and I was consistently being picked off by that God-damned Garrador.
I can’t believe I didn’t think to shoot the padlock.
I feel so silly admitting that here. I keep telling myself, There were padlocks to shoot earlier in the game! Why wouldn’t you retain that knowledge, fool? But my irrational panic in the presence of the Garrador made me completely ignore this glaring oversight on my part. Paul had mentioned this little strategy to me in passing recently, and I begrudgingly spun up the game disk for the first time in months and found that, yes, this solved the problem perfectly. Now I was free to pick off the zealots while the Garrador blindly ran around inside the cage, and could take him out from the outside without worrying about him charging at me. Finally I moved on! Go me!
Then I ran out of ammo in a fight with two Los Gigantes and died trying to cut their shins up with my knife. Sigh. Back to the drawing board.
I can just hear that blind bastard taunting me in my dreams. Fuck you, Garrador.