The Tyrant – otherwise known as Mr X – is one of the more interesting foes in Resident Evil 2.
He’s a giant hulking brute that stalks the player through the Raccoon City Police Department, and he’s pretty relentless. Resident Evil 2 was actually one of the first games to realise that a big, slow-moving monster, that walks after you rather than running, is a very scary proposition.
Tyrant is basically a prototype for the Nemesis in Resident Evil 3; a relentless, merciless monster that stalks you at every turn.
Fun story: My wife once tried to play Resident Evil 3 on the original PlayStation while I was out, having never played a Resi game before. She couldn’t get her head around the tank controls, got squashed by the Nemesis three or four times, then never wanted to play it again.
It’s fair to say that what outwardly seems like a cool mechanic – like Tyrant or Nemesis – can be very, very frustrating if you’re caught on the wrong side of it repeatedly.
There are a few key differences to the way Tyrant works in the Resident Evil 2 remake, which might take some getting used to for veterans of the 1998 original.
Firstly, Tyrant is in more of the game than he was before. In the original Resident Evil 2, his only objective was to retrieve Sherry’s pendant. In the remake, Tyrant will come after both Leon and Claire in either scenario – his mission is to destroy all evidence, including survivors – and he’ll be let loose into the police station after you defeat Birkin and head up to the fire escape.
Secondly, Tyrant’s mechanics have changed. The removal of Resident Evil 2’s doors as both loading screens and hard barriers between rooms means that the game is persistent between sections. You can’t just shut an enemy in a room and make a mental note to never come in again, like in the good old days, for example.
Tyrant runs amok in the Resident Evil 2 remake by not only being persistent – in the game mechanic sense, but also in the sense that he never quits – but by busting through walls into pretty much any room he pleases. Even previously safe spaces, with typewriters and storage crates, are no longer safe from Mr X.
The third difference in Tyrant, as part of this persistence between environments, is that you can hear him coming. You can pick up his heavy footsteps and – if you’ve got decent headphones, or a surround sound setup – you can get a pretty good steer on where Mr X is and where he’s moving to.
But one part of the Tyrant hasn’t changed: you can’t kill him, so don’t waste your time (and ammunition) trying.
Sometimes, if you get stuck in a corner, you might have to put up a fight. Often the best thing to do is to let him take a swing, try and dodge, then slip by him while he regains his balance.
If you hit him dead-on with something powerful – like a grenade – then you can at least stun him for a little while. But eventually, he will get back up, he will come after you, and he will find you.
Tyrant is like a cross between Liam Neeson in Taken and the Incredible Hulk, and if that’s not a terrifying prospect, we don’t know what is.