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With Gametrailers doing a full-on retrospective for Resident Evil, it would be hard to top that. Instead, I’m presenting to you one of the finest extra modes in gaming: Mercenaries. The objective is simple enough: make it through a gauntlet of zombies and creatures with a time limit. Think you can handle it?

It all started with Resident Evil 1….


It was simply called the “Battle Game”. You could unlock it by either by beating the main game, or by using a cheat code with a second controller (hold X, Y, and Z and press Start at the title screen). Considering Resident Evil 1 was the first huge survival horror game, this mode was a blast! Unlike the main story, where you could spend as much as 10-15 minutes not blowing away zombies, this mode was all about undead Armageddon. Resident Evil’s battle game was considerably different than it’s successors. There is less emphasis on action, and a more limited amount of pickups throughout the game.

In what could be considered one of the first “3D time trials”, you were given a ranking depending on how much health you had, and items you had left after completion. Unlike future iterations of the game, this mode was purely for fun; you didn’t unlock anything by beating it. Hilariously enough, if you ever played this mini-game you’ll remember “Zombie Wesker”, an infamous enemy that took almost all your ammo to defeat.

Playable Characters:

  • Chris Redfield
  • Jill Valentine

Then Resident Evil 2 gave it a face


The Fourth Survivor- HUNK is one of the biggest, and enigmatic names in Resident Evil. He’s actually an Umbrella Operative, that was attacked by the Mutated William Birkin (One of Umbrella’s Top Scientists). We never even see his face until the offshoot “Umbrella Chronicles”; he’s kind of like Resident Evil’s “silent Knight”.  In Fourth Survivor, HUNK has to make it from the sewer entrance to the Racoon City PD’s helipad. The main difference between this game and Battle Mode is that you have extremely limited ammo. As a result, most of this game is spent doing what I used to call “barry sanders-ing”. Translation: juke those zombie suckas! Everyone to this day recognizes Hunk due to his iconic mask, and if you haven’t seen him until now; the more you know!


The Tofu Survivor - The names “HUNK & Tofu” go hand in hand for Resident Evil fans. In Tofu survivor, you play the “blue beret” Tofu, and must reach the rescue chopper on time. It plays out exactly like HUNK’s mission, except you’re a giant piece of Tofu.

Hunk eats Tofu!

Extreme Battle – Found in the Dual Shock version of Resident Evil 2, this particular game came after the above two mini-games that were featured in the shipped version. It played out just like Fourth Survivor, except you got to play as different characters, and it had a quasi-story. In this mode, you have to plant anti-virus bombs around the Police Department. There are also three difficulty settings that are unlocked; for the first time, a Resident Evil mini-game had incentive to “keep” unlocking.  For added replay value, each character had a different weapon and item set.

Playable Characters:

  • Leon
  • Claire
  • Ada
  • Chris

Resident Evil 3 Improved it


The Mercenaries – Operation: Mad Jackal- While previous mini-games were played for fun, Operation Mad Jackal actually impacted the main game. Every time you beat Mad Jackal you would accrue cash to spend on new items for the regular game. Additionally, the main character for the first time wasn’t playable. Instead, you had to choose from three UCBS soldiers that were part of the main game’s story.

Like “Extreme Battle”, Mad Jackal had different item sets for each character, but this time they greatly varied between each other, creating clear cut “begginer, medium, and veteran” choices. You’ll also find survivors to rescue in this mode that drop items, and you add time to your clock when you defeat enemies. Strategy was key in Mad Jackal: some enemies were better to run past, and some were neccesary to kill for time. Like all previous versions of Mercenaries, the map was a one way street.

In a huge way, Mercenaries mode was begging to shape up into a full-fledged main menu game, and not just a secondary “option”.

Playable Characters:

  • Carlos – Standard weapons, with 3 herbs (Moderate difficulty).
  • Mikhail- Every  major weapon in the game, with one herb (Beginner difficulty).
  • Nicholai – Has little in the weapon department, but has 3 first-aid sprays (Expert difficulty).

Resident Evil Code Veronica revived it


Battle Game: Resident Evil Code Veronica saught to resurrect the magic of the original battle game, and added a few features. An unlockable first-person viewpoint was added, in addition to increasing the total character count to five. Code Veronica’s version also adds a unique boss for every character to fight at the end of each session. For all intents and purposes, every character plays the same, which is kind of a disappointment considering how Capcom had every opportunity to improve. The only particular feature I really felt stood out is the ability to play as Albert Wesker, but that was mostly fan-service.

Playable Characters:

  • Claire Redfield
  • Alternate Claire
  • Chris Redfield
  • Steve Burnside
  • Albert Wesker

Resident Evil 4 near perfected it


The Mercenaries: Resident Evil finalized the way we look at mercenaries mode today. It took the magic of Mad Jackal, and greatly improved upon it. Unlike previous versions, you add time to your clock by picking up special “clock items”, and this time, instead of merely running through the same “one way street”, you were dropped into a large map and told simply: “survive!” Now instead of carefully planning your escape route, enemies could come at you from all sides! In this definitive version, 4 levels and 5 playable characters are unlocked. You were also more inclined to play it again because secret items were hidden all across the different maps. There is no “finish line” Resident Evil 4′s mercenaries mode but there is sort of an “end” that has unique bosses when the stage is winding down.

Playable Characters:

  • Leon Kennedy
  • Ada Wong
  • Jack Krauser
  • HUNK
  • Albert Wesker

The best part of Resident Evil 4′s iteration is that the extra characters all have special abilities. Krauser can use his infected arm to charge enemies occasionally, HUNK has a neck breaker one-hit kill attack, and Wesker has a special thrust punch that destroys almost every enemy in front of him. It plays completely different depending on the character you choose, allowing it to have near endless replay value. Here’s hoping to Resident Evil 5 following the same path….

What can we expect in Resident Evil 5?


I do know a few details regarding Resident Evil 5′s mercenaries mode but I don’t want to spoil them. It looks like Resident Evil 4′s derivative has made a return, with a few surprises. There are 10 different “characters”, but most of them are different skins. RE5′s Mercenaries mode allegedly is split screen only according to IGN, but reports are coming in stating that it does in fact have online play. Thankfully, this mode, unlike the main game, can be played solo, and J.J the mini-gun totin’ boss from RE4 also makes a return! I hope that this version makes some improvements over RE4′s system, although we can’t really tell yet.

I hope you enjoyed this retrospective: now go out and replay these games! Resident Evil 5 is only a week away.

  1. Chris, this is incredible. I’m really impressed. To think just today I was thinking about doing a RE retrospective in time for the games release. Great minds think alike!

    Also, great header image.

    • avatar Anonymous

      he is so cool he my favorit

    • avatar SEPET

      Hey There. I discovered your wleobg the use of msn. That is an extremely well written article. I will make sure to bookmark it and return to read extra of your useful info. Thank you for the post. I’ll certainly return.

  2. Great work, Chris… really well put together. I can feel your passion from London!

  3. avatar Hector McPeek

    They forgot to add Outbreak File 2′s showdown & Elimination mini games those are also mercenary games as well.

  4. True, but I was sticking to the “main series” for this article (The “numbers”, + Veronica).

  5. Merc mode in Resi 5 is pretty awesome, rushed through the main game on easy just to unlock it. Playing through again on Veteran and appreciating it.

  6. avatar cloud

    nice work ,, i like ur topic
    than x man

    • avatar Sachin

      Aunque es una saga que ha perdido mucho de su escnecia original, no se puede negar que ha marcado a muchos videojugadores, incluso hay muchas discusiones interesantes entre cual es el mejor de la saga (yo me quedo con el 2, aunque no he jugado el 4, compra obligada!). Me agrada la orientaci n que lleva Revelations, pero tomar a Racoon City de otra manera, creo que va a ser una mezcla entre L4D y RE.Me gusta / No me gusta 1 0

  7. avatar JACK


  8. avatar frank

    res 5 is aresone on merc mode

  9. avatar frank


  10. avatar slash

    todos los resident evil son los mejores juegos del mundo sobre todo el resident evil 5

  11. avatar Dimas.bahri

    coolllll men re4

  12. avatar Leon Kennedy adalah favorit saya...


    • avatar Dawex

      Appreciate it for sirnhag 5th Resident Evil Movie | Zombie Film Reviews with us keep update bro love your article about 5th Resident Evil Movie | Zombie Film Reviews .

    • avatar resident evil lover

      saya juga dari indonesia but,,, saya juga cinta Leon Sccot Kennedy dan Chris Redfield.. terimakasih

  13. avatar jil valenitine and alice are the beest!!!!!!!!

    prganetha ase faltskog

    • avatar Sandrika

      Great psaodct, LOVED the Resident Evil stuff. Hope you guys don’t skip your opinions about RE: Online and the movies, I mean films, for the next one.

  14. avatar 666

    ?? ??? ? ????? ???? ???? ??
    ??? ?? ??? ????? ?????? ????? ????? ??????.bye bitchs

  15. avatar navyjawz

    resident evil mecrcinairs 3d is the best!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. avatar navyjawz

    you guys should get resident evil mecrcinairs 3d

  17. avatar Leonardo

    well Come To the Resident Evil 5

  18. avatar resident evil lover

    resident evil 4 and 5 is the best game i ever play!!! i love it until i dead! maybe,,,,,

  19. avatar resident evil lover


  20. avatar dbz

    que buen juego

  21. avatar Joseph Ramirez

    you saidyou plant bombs in the RPD. i thought you plant them on the train and book?

  22. avatar Joseph Ramirez

    book as in “run like hell”

  23. avatar princezita

    yo quiero ser residen evil soy su prima me dicen mi papas que soy su prima y ya me enseñaron el la foto familiar

  24. avatar mine

    es cierto sony princezita

  25. avatar minerva

    alex te amo

  26. avatar minerva soy la linda

    soy minerva meda pena

  27. avatar jamiz

    no es cierto ale x soy su prima

  28. avatar gian anthony g.codoy

    wow i realy like the resident evel & it’s so sceary bat it’s beautiful

  29. avatar gian anthony g.codoy

    & i lov claire and ada

  30. avatar leon es un capo

    gonzalo hernan centurion

  31. avatar Irabor

    I agree with Joe. Here’s another point. If you find ysuloerf “speaking evil” about jobs you’ve done at other businesses, you’ll leave your current customer wondering just what it is you’re saying about *them* to others. You want your customers to trust you and invite you back. Keep your conversation professional and focused on the job at hand.

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