Capcom’s Resident Evil 4 has garnered a reputation for offering some of the most memorable bosses in the illustrious horror franchise to date. From the water-bound leviathan Del Lago to the near-invincible, alien-like Verdugo, RE4 packs some truly memorable – and more importantly, diverse – encounters that have remained forever imprinted on the Old Grey Matter. With Capcom having recently given the critically lauded horror romp a HD makeover for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, we thought the time was ripe to honour one of the game’s most iconic baddies for our on-going Badass Bosses feature – El Gigante.
A lumbering, hulking troll-like beast, El Gigante is a creation birthed out of experiments conducted by the Los Illuminados cult with Las Plagas and human test subjects. Little about the creature’s Genesis is revealed, and much of its origins are only alluded to by research notes left behind by former researcher and self-proclaimed “Ladies Man,” Luis Sera. However, El Gigante’s effectiveness as a bio-weapon cannot be underestimated. Aside from boasting a rather dashing pair of Troll hot pants, El Gigante is a force to be reckoned with, possessing incredible strength, stamina and resilience to small arms fire. Its attack pattern is out and out brute force, either by using its massive fists to pound its victims to a pulp, crush them in a vice-like grip or using objects in the environment – such as trees and giant boulders - to its advantage to likewise pulverize its target.
Unfortunately for pretty boy Leon S. Kennedy, El Gigante is faced on more than one occasion throughout the game, and at one point our hero is forced to combat two giants simultaneously. Furthermore, Kennedy is on his lonesome to boot (unless you saved the dog at the beginning of the game, in which case he'll turn up in the first El Gigante fight and help distract the beast). First and foremost: El Gigante’s one and only weakness is the Plagas embedded in its spine, which only exposes itself when the host has sustained significant damage.
So, in other words, you have to first unleash lead upon your lumbering foe and then target the Plagas itself – either by slashing at it with your knife using QTE button-mashing or shooting it. Of course, to do this, you’ll need to be packing some heavy firepower. Grenades are a massive help; use Flash Grenades to stun the beast so you can get off some easy shots, while the regular kind is handy to inflict some moderate damage. Don’t bother with Incendiary though, as they’re relatively useless.
In terms of conventional firearms, your best bet is to use a high-calibre weapon or automatic such as the Broken Butterfly or the TMP. A regular pistol such as the Punisher – particularly when its firing speed is upgraded – also works, but remember to aim for the head for maximum damage. Regardless of your preferred method, avoid weapons such as the Shotgun, which are highly ineffective at long distance, and far too dangerous to use in close proximity for obvious reasons. Once the plagas is exposed, leg it over to the subdued foe and keep your eyes peeled for the correct command input to hack away at it with your combat knife. If you prefer to do it the old fashioned way however, then equip a Sniper Rifle and land a well-aimed shot at the parasitic entity, causing it to retreat once more. Rinse, wash and repeat. Naturally, we’re not factoring in special/unlockable weapons here, just the regular arsenal -- a rocket launcher, for example, will kill it in one shot.
If you’re unfortunate to be grabbed by the big oaf, then you’ll have to wriggle the analogue stick to break yourself free. Likewise, be on your toes if you find yourself at a distance from El Gigante, as he’s no stranger to shoulder-charging at you – again, QTEs will let you avoid this attack, but you’ll only have a split second to react before it’s too late. Oh, and as for the sequence where you take on TWO of the lumbering beasts -- let's just say that a nearby lava pit is your best friend.
Stay tuned for more Badass Bosses here at PSU in the coming weeks.