Part 29: Episode 28: Burninate
So, where were we?
Oh, right. A thirty foot tall pasty behemoth stomped into town. Also, he has a flamethrower in his mouth. A functional flamethrower. In his mouth.
Flint does what dogs do, and bravely barks at the new threat in an adorable attempt to protect his home.
Unfortunately, this only adds a minor gimmick to Disc 1's big climatic battle. We're now effectively on a time limit; take too long to kill the boss and poor Flint is crushed underfoot. If Flint dies, you don't get a game over, but you are locked out of the best ending. And besides...
Lookit dat face We must save this dog. We MUST!
Mr. Douglas, being a stone cold motherfucker, reacts to his dog being in danger by unloading his shotgun into the offending giant monster.
Evidently, flamethrower > shotgun
Douglas is a little toasty, but otherwise unharmed. He is, however, out of the fight for the duration.
Which means it's up to us to fuck up this mutant's day.
Burner Boss Beats!
The Burner has a few basic attacks that take advantage of the narrow balcony we're stuck on.
First off, he can just slam his fist down in an attempt to crush you. This is his easiest attack to dodge, but it can hurt if you get caught.
He can also make use of his dragon breath. This is a bit trickier to avoid because he'll actually follow you with the flame for a few seconds. Just keep moving, and you should remain one step ahead the whole time. Unless you hit a corner, then you get a face full of napalm. So, try to avoid that.
In between the Burner's lumbering attacks, you'll have an opportunity to counter-attack. I take this chance to show off Necrosis.
You see, despite being a boss, the Burner is not immune to Poison Status. This can easily boost your damage from a basic machinegun spree by 30+, as well as turning the boss a pleasant shade of violet. Sadly, status effects don't last forever, so it will wear off before too long.
teehee, i am a child
The basic strategy for the Burner is quite simple. Dodge his attacks, unload on his big dumb face, repeat until dead. That being said, the fight still feels incredibly tense if for no other reason than how fucking massive the beast is. It's like the world's angriest elephant is trying to set you on fire.
Another effect I quite like is the way the hotel balcony (and just the hotel in general) gets trashed during the fight. Environmental damage was a rare thing back when this game came out, so when the Burner's punches actually shatter portions of the prerendered background, it was goddamn mind blowing.
He's still got some tricks up his sleeve, too.
For example, he's got a hell of a left hook.
A hit from his Volkswagon sized fist will send Aya flying into the wall, cracking the cement and dealing lots of damage. But if you think a little shattered spine is enough to stop Aya Brea, then you have clearly forgotten the time she fought a T-Rex.
After taking down over half the boss's health, the Burner reels back from the onslaught of bullets and poisonous lightning.
yeah, we just shot his face off. no biggie
For the second phase of the fight, the Burner is... pretty much the same, to be honest. He's a little more aggressive, giving you slightly smaller windows to counter attack, and likes to use his mega-punch more often, but he's largely the same lumbering murderphelant we've been fighting.
Except he now has a grab attack.
The Burner swings Aya around in the air, attempting to crush her in its fist.
While he does this, Aya's hands are still free, so you can break loose by shooting him repeatedly in the goddamn face.
I just want to point out how fucking insane this is in a game made in 1999. Up until now, the game has played and often looked basically like Resident Evil 2 with a magic system. All of a sudden, you are snatched violent out of the world of fixed camera angles and flailed about like a rag-doll while the camera whips around with you. It's stunningly brilliant, but ultimately bittersweet because this is the only time anything like this happens.
I love moments like this in old games. Moments where you can see the developers have an idea that simply cannot be done with the technology they're working with, and then they push ahead and do it anyway. Like the dodge system in Resident Evil 3 or the pterodactyl attacks in Dino Crisis, it doesn't always work the way its supposed to, but it gives you a glimpse of the developer's vision. It's less impressive these days, where modern games throw these sorts of situations at you constantly in the form of quick time events, because it's been done and it's clean and smooth and mechanical.
It reminds me of what drew me into the old Star Wars films: there's all this crazy shit that hadn't been done before, COULDN'T be done before. Even though things don't look quite as smooth or crisp as they could, it left you wondering how they did it. You wondered how they even conceived of a way to do it.
...but, uh, anyway, if you do enough damage, the Burner just tosses you back on the balcony and you can continue fighting him as normal.
After adding a bit more lead to his diet, the Burner finally gives up the ghost.
But not before throwing a big hissy fit and smashing part of the balcony like a big baby.
Y'know, NMC's can be a real pain, what with the killing and eating people and all that, but the way they dissolve into nothing after you kill them sure is convenient! Makes clean up a snap!
gots ta get paid
In addition to a Protein Capsule (permanent health boost), the Burner drops our first set of Airburst Grenades. These are the strongest grenade type in the game*, and its a good idea to save these for late game boss fights. Which will be easy for us, since we don't have a grenade launcher at the moment.
*actually, they just do medium damage within a larger blast radius.
Annoyingly, the Burner's bratty flailing cut us off from the staircase, so we'll have to take the ladder outside Aya's bathroom to get back down to ground level.
Beating the boss caused a whole mess of Hot Zones to crop up, but we need to go make sure Douglas and Flint didn't get smashed into paste during the fight. Last place we saw them was the hotel courtyard, so let's head there.
Christ, what happened here? Oh...oh right. The giant monster.
Good thing this place was a dive before the fight.
Here we find Douglas and Flint just chillin' out, not smushed at all. The time limit on Flint's death during that boss fight is really forgiving. You pretty much have to dick around and plink away at the Burner with a pea-shooter to get a bad end for Flint. So don't sweat it too much.
Just wanted to remind you that Douglas somehow got a hold of anti-tank mines.
: Thanks, Aya.
: We're fine, thanks ta you. Oh yeah, I got the truck all fixed up.
Douglas actually tosses us the key, which is a nice touch.
: Thank you.
Flint will follow us around the courtyard, and if we talk to Douglas again he thanks us and tells us he has a reward for us.
You get a different prize depending on whether Flint lives or dies, but both kinda suck. Still, free stuff!
With another job well done, it's time to hurry on to the end of Disc 1.
Where the fuck was Kyle during all that?!