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Tips of how your ass can get better at RE5's Mercenaries.

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Resident Evil 5's "The Mercenaries" mode is great fun. It's awesome fun even, picking a character and blasting hordes of infected creatures and scoring big. Hell, I would have to say it's even better than RE4's Mercs. 8 stages with 4 characters with different costume and weapon setups equals infinite re-playability.

Now I'm writing this because I'm seeing and hearing a mass bunch of people bitch and moan about this mode being too difficult. Like most Capcom games, it requires patience, timing and memorization. You can't just expect to hop blindly into a level and expect to get a SS Rank. Unless you're me, but unfortunately in your case, you're not.So here are some tips and tricks to help you land triple figure high scores and beat those pesky Asian players once and for all.

And if you think I'm joking about that, check the leaderboards.. LAND OF THE RISING SUN.


The most important thing in Mercs always is choosing a right character for the job. Chris, Jill, Sheva and Wesker all have their strengths and weaknesses. Chris is your default character with firepower with shotguns and grenade launchers, Sheva is more of a rifle, longbow and machine gun type of gal, Jill relies heavy on weak weaponry and melee attacks(and she moves slightly faster than the others), and Wesker is pretty much instant death to all who stands in his way. Usually on first level runs, you'd want to pick a character you're the most comfortable with. Don't expect to get an A, S or SS rank your first time through; take the time out to locate everything. Time bonuses, combo time bonuses and the different "regions" enemies spawn in. Each level has 149 enemies to spawn and 1 chicken(except for Mines which apparently has 2 chickens). The game can spawn demi-bosses in two ways:

A. Randomly, or when the game has spawned enough enemies to bombard you with a boss
B. When you kill X amount of enemies, where X being the variable qualification the game requires

Unlike the main game, bosses follow you everywhere you go. So that means on Public Assembly, the Executioner WILL jump up to where ever you are, even on the bus and other seemingly inaccessible places he couldn't reach you in the campaign. Bosses once defeated, drop a health item. Green and red herbs, and first aid sprays randomly. If you're going to defeat a boss, make sure you keep chaining enemies around it. Even though the boss can kill you with one hit and put you in a dying state, as long as you keep your distance you can easily chain the boss with a combo, especially if you're using a high powered weapon character.

Use the invincibility frames to your advantage. Picking up items, going through doors, and climbing ladders put you in a state of "HAHA YOU CAN'T HIT ME" for a brief period of time. It even works on bosses; so right before the Executioner slams down the axe on you, pick up an item and he won't hit you. Depending on the area you're in, the behaviors of enemies act differently and independently. Sometimes the enemies will surround you, grabbing you and leaving you open for pure ownage. This can totally mess up your combo since you barely have time and you have to keep moving to keep the chain going.

The first thing you should usually do when the mission starts is to just gather all the Time Bonuses as soon as possible. Doing this will give you precious time to hunt for combo bonuses and gather weapons and healing items, without the worrysome of running out of time. You can find time bonuses of 30, 60 and 90 seconds respectively, and you can get a 5 second bonus of killing an enemy with a melee attack. If you're playing Duo mode, have one person find time, and the other combos. Shin Oni and I managed to pull a 90 something combo streak on Public Assembly by doing this, easily managing time and enemy disposal very well.

Speaking of enemy disposal, don't camp. Each map has different regions enemies spawn in, so hanging around one area for a long time will get you nowhere. Constantly move around and have at least one enemy hanging around so in case your combo meter starts flashing, you can kill it and usually more enemies will spawn at your location. This is good for laying down proximity mines. Proximity mines can be your best friend, since you don't have to be around to kill enemies. The feeling of getting an instant 10 combo while being on the other side of the map is indescribable.

When climbing ladders, jumping, or doing an action with a long string of animation, do a quick reload. That consists of going into your menu and just combining your ammo into your weapon, giving you a reload without the time consuming animation. This will totally save your ass when fighting a large horde of enemies and bosses. Learn how to multi-task and also ready whatever item you want to use after the action animation. So if you want to use an herb, quickly memorize where it is in your menu and access it through your menu. Also d-pad shortcuts are your best friends.

Stock accordingly. The most important type of grenades are the flash ones. There's nothing more that sucks ass than being on a 73 combo streak, killing a Majini only for it to spawn a parasite out of it's head, killing your combo. And those clamshell parasites are the worst. One hit dying state move is gay. Flash grenades get the job done.

That's pretty much it. RE5's Mercs takes a lot more time to develop skill than it's predecessor. Unless you're naturally gifted at such things like this, it'll take you more than a few tries to get all 8 maps down and all character strategies figured out. I would recommend playing Solo, then playing with a friend to practice.

And no, Sheva's revealing outfits will not help you score more points. Even thought it's great eye candy. :D
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About Spectralone of us since 10:23 PM on 01.12.2007

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Xbox LIVE:Spectral Break
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