Part 1: - Outbreak
Part 1 -- Outbreak
In an effort to put a stop to the global operations of the evil corporate entity Umbrella Pharmaceuticals Inc., an underground organization was formed. This organization consists of former S.T.A.R.S. members and ex-Umbrella employees.
Wow. They didn't waste any time getting to the absurd shit, did they? First line in the game and we already have the most extreme corporate lobbyists ever. I'm guessing the giant observatory was the ex-Umbrella employees' idea, given the company's track record.
Somewhere is North America, at this underground organization's hideout...
Reporting for duty.
Good to see you, Barry
Lights still out?
Someone locked the bulbs in a closet with crest. We're still looking. But right now, I have a mission of the utmost urgency. A new type of Bio-Organic Weapon developed at Umbrella labs has escaped! This B.O.W. is believed to be among the passengers of the luxury ocean cruiser The Starlight. The new B.O.W. is an extremely dangerous creature, even in its human form.
Oh, I forgot to mention it's a shapeshifter. How did you think it got out?
I was hoping for another disgruntled scientist...
Leon S. Kennedy of the Raccoon City Police Department was tracking the B.O.W., but we have now lost contact with him. His last report came in over 24 hours ago.
Well, he WAS in the RCPD before they nuked the entire... what was that last part, again?
Objective: Locate Leon S. Kennedy and eliminate the B.O.W.
Insertion: Via helicopter.
Location: The Starlight. Currently cruising in the Atlantic.
Because the last Resident Evil to take place on a boat was so great, someone saw the need to do it again.
Extraction: Via helicopter, deployed on receipt of radio transmission.
Operative: Barry Burton. Good luck with your mission.
And with that, you're dropped right into the game. Now that we have control of Barry, we... hey, what the hell is thi-
Oh god... it's a codec call.
You are now on the Side Deck 2F. Make your way west t the lobby to enter the ship. Look for useful items along the way. They may be hidden in boxes or other-
Are you about to tell me anything I don't already know?
Over and out.
What radio man tells you is that a big green exclamation point appears when you get near an item you can pick up. There are items stuck in every imaginable alcove, so being thorough is helpful. Take this cupboard, for example.
Someone stuck a box of ammo in here. Just in case some vacationers needed to arm themselves to the teeth.
Continuing west, Barry comes across another RE staple: files. What secrets will this one hold? Perhaps several pages explaining the location of a key card followed by a reminder not to leave files lying on deck? Maybe a profile on the latest Umbrella bio-weapon? Could it be the last writings of a dying man?
Oh... a tutorial.
Your PDA will also show all the information you have found. Your PDA can be accessed from your inventory. Your current objective will also be shown on your map and will be highlighted in red. Your map will also show where you currently are highlighted in green. As you complete your objectives, your current status will be blah blah blah blah
Save systems? Who writes this junk?
This game's method of saving your game is actually very interesting indeed, but I'll bore you with it later.
Finally, Barry reaches the door to the lobby. Unfortunately, he is interrupted by yet another call from HQ.
Barry, be careful. We have detected hostiles in the lobby.
You have equipment that can tell if the next room has someone in it who doesn't like me?
...could I use this to avoid people I don't like?
If you need to, use your targeting system to attack these hostiles. Once your target is activated you can aim at these hostiles.
I'm pretty familiar with guns, thanks! overandoutbye!
A few poorly-acted lines and everyone thinks you're an idiot.
Since we're going to fight some enemies now, it's a good time to check out the inventory screen.
Gaiden forgoes the usual limited space inventories utilized by previous games in the series to limit supplies and assist in creating an atmosphere of "survival." Instead, it just lets you hold as much crap as you want. Twenty herbs, a pack of dynamite, and a rocket launcher? Sure, why not? Throw in a couple hundred rounds of ammunition, too.
Barry proceeds into the Ship's lobby.
Only to find himself face-to-face with horrific monsters!
What in the name of... what has happened to these people? They're not... human anymore!
Oh, right. Zombies.
Let's not worry too much about how this new, if predictable, development, and instead focus on Gaiden's... "interesting" combat mechanics.
If you hold B, Barry holds up his weapon and a crosshair appears, which you can move around as long as you hold B. Move it over an enemy and release to enter combat mode.
In a fight, the position of a zombie and their distance from you is roughly based on where they were before the fight. I say roughly because the game doesn't really worry about whether was in front of you or behind you. Let's move the view to the right a little with the D-pad.
Much better. That little red rectangle on the bottom scrolls back and forth rapidly. To attack, press A when it intersects with the purple area under one of the zombies.
Bang! Like in most survival horror-type games, you should conserve ammo when you can, by using the knife or avoiding enemies. Since the knife is nearly useless, you'll want to go for the latter.
Now, let's say a zombie gets close enough to grab you. This is what happens. You won't take damage, but you'll be forced into combat. When the zombie grabs you, if you wiggle the D-pad enough, you might be able to push it away from you, making you less likely to take damage in the fight.
This file has a little more info on combat:
When you try to run away in a battle, you must fire your weapon and hit the target in the middle. Zombies will try harder to hit you whilst you are running away. Once you start to run away you cannot rejoin the battle.
That... was a terrible explanation.
If you press start in a battle, your aim changes to this. You need to hit the little target in the middle, but it doesn't actually count as firing your weapon, so you lose no ammo. Once you start running, all zombies will suddenly decide they are 28 Days Later rage monsters, run up and start tearing the shit out of you. In other words, running away will always result in you losing a ton of health and is hardly ever actually worth it. So let's shoot this one instead.
This is the result of hitting the purple marker in the center dead-on-- a headshot, or "critical hit" as the Final Fantasy fans would call it. In my experience, a critical hit with the handgun is worth three regular hits.
But enough of that. The map says to head west to the Rest Balcony.
There's another file waiting immediately upon entering and... oops, radio again.
Make your way to the security room on 4F. Try the elevators to the west. Maybe you can locate Leon with the security cameras.
Huh... that was actually useful. O.K., I'll make contact when I get there. Over and out.
The file is the Health Doc, which tells you to use herbs to restore health. No surprise there.
These alcoves on the north side of the hall have a few items.
The first is this herb. It restores a little health. Simple enough. There are also yellow and red ones for medium and large recovery, respectively. Note that these herbs are already in powder form; sadly, there is absolutely no mixing of herbs in Gaiden.
The second alcove holds the first of many key items. They manage to be even more annoying than the other games in the series. Partly because most of them are distributed arbitrarily amongst the ship's zombies, and partly because... well, you'll see.
It isn't actually necessary yet, but I'm making a detour down these stairs. You see, there are some areas in Gaiden that don't actually spawn any zombies until a certain point in the plot. By hitting these areas early for items, the later game becomes slightly less painful. Slightly.
This room is the dining hall. There are some items stashed around here, as well as some powerful zombies that should be avoided at this point.
I guess I could take them just in case but... man, my pants are heavy enough already.
This body has the keys to the kitchen. Not that the game really gives you any indication where those actually are.
There are herbs hidden here. Here in this specific location, which does not stand out in any way. Get used to it.
Unlike previous RE games, Gaiden does not prompt you for your key items automatically. Instead, you need to walk up to every door that could conceivably fit with a certain item and try it until you get the right one. This door happens to lead to the kitchen, so you can use the key from the body earlier.
Hmm... I'm not sure this kitchen meets safety requirements.
For this door, you need to use the coolant fuse you found on the ground several rooms away. Capcom would have at least come up with some lame excuse why you needed a fuse to open the door, and put it in a nearby file. M4 doesn't even bother, just use the fuse on the door and it opens magically.
Alright, I don't want to get too nitpicky, but take a look at that meat. See the one on the right? They wanted to have a piece missing, but they didn't even bother to draw it. They just stuck the meat graphic in MS Paint and lopped off the bottom in a straight line without even bothering the fill in the outline. This lack of effort is really apparent in the entire game, and you'll be seeing that as things progress.
Well, besides that, there's a key in the corner.
With the key from the freezer firmly in hand, Barry backtracks all the way to the rest. Balcony.
On the way, disaster strikes! A zombie has managed to gain telekinetic powers, and grabs a hold of Barry from across the hallway! Or M4 is terrible at perspective. Either way, let's just say he shot it and move on.
Two things are happening to the zombies in this hall. The one to the north has been defeated in a battle, but has not actually died. These zombies will pretend to die, but get up and lurch at you when you get close. You can fight these zombies, but they will have the same amount of health as the first time, and will suffer no penalties for having been killed before. In other words, sometimes your kills will simply not count for no reason other than that Gaiden has decreed it.
Secondly, the red exclamation point means that some zombie in range is holding an item. In this case, the item is some shotgun shells that can't be picked up yet, so it's best to dodge these particular zombies. Moving on...
It's the fourth file within ten minutes of starting the game! The Equip Doc tells you how to change your weapon. For the sake of brevity, I'm going to skip it.
Barry, needing to take a pee break, ducks into a nearby restroom, only to be embarrassed when he discovers that he chose the women's rest room by mistake. On the bright side, someone left ammo in the sinks. Oh, and another file.
Some of these zombies can poison you with their attacks. If you're poisoned your health will suffer for a period of time. Use the blue or purple herbs to cure yourself from the poison. Your display will indicate when you are poisoned.
Believe it or not, there actually aren't all that many files in Gaiden. In fact, we've already seen most of them.
In the restroom, Barry finds himself facing a female zombie for the first time. They're a little weaker than the normal ones, but they function the same.
Just like being back in the mansion with Jill.
This doc tells you how to use key items. Skipping it.
This zombie has the keys to the elevator up ahead. Either the elevator doors lock and have a key hole, or it has an ignition like a car. One of the vases on the top wall holds a much more interesting prize:
The shotgun! With it, you can do more damage, but your targetting bar moves faster in combat. In practice, unless you have really great timing, your average damage may actually decrease while using this. Still, a headshot is usually enough to take out a zombie in one shot.
This corpse has some shells. There were some more in the bathrooms and the rest balcony, but I'm sure you don't want to hear about it.
Just before the elevator, ANOTHER file appears. This is the escape doc, which tells you to mash buttons when attacked by a zombie.
Finally, Barry reaches and unlocks the elevator. Inside is something that no man should ever be forced to encounter.
Gaiden's save system. Gaiden doesn't have any limited save nonsense like previous games in the series. It lets you continue pretty much anywhere, even after you die. I'm guessing that the game's portable nature had something to do with this. So, what's with this screen, then? At very specific points in the game, you are given the chance to make a backup save to one of three files. Overall, it's a very half-assed supplement to the continue feature. If you don't save the game here, the chance is gone until the next save point.
Well, with a save point hit, that's a wrap for this chapter. Next time: The search for Leon continues!