Resident Evil 2 Guide: Surviving and Evading Mr. X
Resident Evil 2 has so many iconic enemies, creatures that impacted the series’ lore in a way that most of them are fan favorites. The lickers are probably the most iconic, and well-known, creature for sure — but G and the Ivies are nothing to snub. However, one creature that’s always stood out to me was one that actually gets his own special name. While the T-103 has appeared in numerous RE games and even showed up in the animated film Degeneration, RE2’s hunter has come to be known by the nickname Mr. X. I actually don’t know where the name comes from, as it hasn’t ever actually been used in one of the games. The first use of it being the ToyBiz action figure line, and the novelization of RE2, City of the Dead by S.D. Perry, so odds are it’s just some name that the NA marketing came up with, and it stuck. RE2 Remake brings back what Wesker called “The Ultimate Life Form” in a new and exciting way — albeit extremely challenging.
Mr. X, however, is still a programmed video game character. While he may seem insurmountable, quick wit and knowledge of what he can and can’t do can change the fight in your favor. I’ve made a list of the best strategies and tricks to use when confronted with Umbrella’s factory line hunter/killer, and hopefully, you’ll be able to see it through to the end!
Warning: There are minor spoilers for the first half of the game, beware
There are certain rooms Mr. X cannot enter
For the sake of not making him a totally insurmountable threat, there are in fact several places throughout the R.P.D. he cannot enter or spawn. These might be obvious to some, but using these rooms strategically to duck into when he’s hot on your tail can save your life in a pinch. Planning your route to pass by these rooms can be amazingly helpful, and he will lose interest after a few seconds if you stay inside. Wearing headphones with the binaural sound on will help you track whether he’s abandoned the pursuit or not, and which direction he’s gone in.
While the Save Rooms are obviously safe, as they always have been, there are a number of other places Mr. X will stop short at the door for. The S.T.A.R.S. office, for STARters (heh), on the second-floor west side is one of the best places to stop off at. Don’t mistake the tiny linens room down the hall as a potential safe haven, though — it doesn’t matter that it’s small, Mr. X isn’t afraid of Tide Pods. When in the main hall, he cannot enter the pathway under the Lady statue.
The East side of the building doesn’t have as many safe spaces, with the main one being the first-floor break room, which is also a Save Room being the easiest one to get to. If you’re playing as Claire, however, you can duck into Irons’ office on the second floor for some breathing room. Run downstairs from there and enter either the Observation Room (as Leon) or the Interrogation Room (as Claire) for some breathing room as well. Once you make it to the third floor, he can’t enter the clocktower, which will more than likely save your ass since there’s nowhere else to run up there. Odds are he’ll have started his pursuit when he hears you solve the bookcase puzzle, so keep this in mind before you even head up. He can, however, enter the East storage room, and follow you out onto the Balcony too, so watch out.
Be very mindful of his position, however, as you can duck into one of these rooms only to come back out to find him barreling down the hall at you. Use the sound of his footsteps like a radar, and only leave safety when you’re sure he’s gone. Again, headphones and the binaural sound helps. When taking shelter in the West safe room, it would often sound like he went up the stairs, but when I would check he would actually have gone down the hall and entered the West Office. So keep that in mind if you plan on going that way.
The library ladder is basically a get out of jail free card
There are a few ladders throughout RE2 Remake, but the only one that applies to evading Mr. X is the one in the second/third-floor library. The ladder here is completely safe as no enemy, even Mr. X, can harm or grab you while ascending or descending. This can be used as a handy way to get ahead of him, as you can use this to loop around, run down the stairs, and sprint to the S.T.A.R.S. office. It’s easy enough to just keep going through the third-floor storage room, but be cautious with this strategy, Lickers and zombies will spawn there after a while. Beware though, Mr. X can and will climb the ladder, albeit very slowly. This should buy you enough time to escape, but don’t dawdle, especially with descending the ladder. You climb down, Mr. X just jumps. This method of evasion can be extremely handy when Mr. X is chasing you down, but also for avoiding unnecessary damage from the zombies that crowd the library — especially on the Hardcore difficulty, where a single bite sends you straight into Danger.
For an extra panic-tactic, save the spot where the floor breaks in case of emergency. Unlike the original game, you can’t just drop down through the hole once you’ve made it — but saving that one-time event for when you’re cornered by Mr. X can be a godsend. It’s loud (alerting every zombie in the area, even the one that’s chowing down across from the damaged bookshelf) and stuns you for a few seconds, but anything is better than having him get his hands on you.
You cannot stop him, but you can stun him
Unlike the original RE2, where Mr. X could be put down and make an area completely safe (not to mention drop some ammo), RE2 Remake‘s version plain and simple cannot. You can damage him to a point that he’ll drop to one knee to recuperate, but he’ll be back on his feet in no time.
A better strategy is to stagger him, not try to defeat him. A well-placed shotgun, grenade launcher, or magnum round to the face will give you wide enough of an opening to slip past. This is actually the best tactic with most of RE2 Remake‘s monsters, finding a way to make them a non-threat for just long enough rather than actually try to kill them, is almost always the better use of ammo. Aiming for Mr. X’s chest is also almost useless. He might stagger on occasion, but not nearly as much as he will from a powerful hit to the face. Don’t even try with a pistol, though. It will take many hits to get the desired reaction, and even then there’s like a 50/50 chance you won’t manage it at all.
Use him, against him
While basically all of his attacks deal massive damage and can knock you flat on your ass, Mr. X has his own weird rules. For instance, he has a handful of animations after dealing damage to you, and if you’re quick about it, you can slip past while he’s posing for the camera. You can also strategically use zombies in your favor when cornered.
I know this will sound crazy, but it’s a great way to use the game’s own rules against it in a way that will save you both health and ammo. If cornered by Mr. X and a zombie or two, rush directly into the zombie’s waiting arms. The zombie will grapple you and cycle through a short animation before sinking its teeth into your neck. Time this right and Mr. X’s attack will hit the grappling zombie instead of you, knocking the zombie away and leaving you with an opening to escape. I’ve tried this multiple times, and unless Capcom patches it out, it’s a great way to get out of harm. Goofy and maybe more than a little risky, but with the right timing it can be an amazing life-saver in dire situations. I highly recommend it for The 4th/Tofu Survivor modes as well.
There are also a few places where you can use the geometry of the map against him for some goofy but effective bait and switches. The reception room on the first floor is a great example, as Mr. X can only walk around the benches the same way you can. If you want to go somewhere on one side of the room or the other, loop him around once or twice and get him on the side furthest from where you want to go, and bolt. This will only buy you a second or two but can be useful when low on ammo. The main hall stairs are useful for this as well, lure him up one side and bolt down the other, or make him loop around down one set so you can get going where you were going with a good head start on him. Another useful place is the third floor East Storage Room, as there’s a small path in the center of the room that acts as a sort of shortcut, up and over some boxes and out the other side — a path Mr. X can’t use, and will be forced to walk the long way around.
In general, try to never get caught going in a straight line from him, as he will catch up. Pre-plan your movements with the map, and always try to find one of these loops to buy yourself a few seconds to get to one of the other, more effective means of avoiding him like the rooms he can’t enter or the library ladder.
Be vewy vewy quiet
Mr. X is actively hunting, not just aimlessly wandering the halls of the R.P.D. — you ring the dinner bell, he’ll be the first one in line. Opening fire on an enemy will immediately draw his attention, no matter where he is in the building, and completing most story-based objectives will draw him in as well. This isn’t so much of a problem when you’re going through for the first time, as he doesn’t appear in the R.P.D. until after you’ve put out the helicopter fire. When playing through the 2nd Scenario, however, he spawns basically immediately. This lays the pressure on way harder than before, and events like using the detonator in the West storage room basically spawn him right outside the door.
Before you solve any major puzzle or perform a major action, plan an escape route with your map, keeping in mind rooms he can’t enter and whether that path will cross with some of those janky ways to avoid him. Solving a riddle and then blindly darting back out into the darkness is a sure-fire way to get your as kicked by Mr. X, so be sure of what you’re doing. As with the other strategies, listening out for which direction he’s coming from can be a huge help. Stepping out into the hallway and listening for his footsteps can give you a head start by choosing the opposite route.
That’s a wrap on everything I know regarding him, but maybe there are more ways to get around this lumbering killer I haven’t discovered yet. Hopefully I’ve helped, and your engagements with Mr. X will go a lot smoother. Fingers crossed some of these tactics don’t get patched out. If you’re looking for more help with RE2 Remake, you can also check out our Rebecca Photo Guide and a guide for the safe and locker codes as well (coming soon)! We’ll have more up soon (we’re trying to find all of the Mr. Raccoon statues as well), so stay in touch!