ASCII art sucks.

[                    RE4 Weapons FAQ v. 1.7                          ]

          Last modified 10/15/06

          By PenguinCandy


========
Contents
========

1. Contents- You're sitting in it now.
2. About this guide
3. Weapon stats
4. Weapon Analysis
5. Version History
6. Copyright Info
7. Contact Info
8. Thanks


==========
This Guide
==========

As I write this, there is no guide just for weapons for the PS2 
version. RE4 PS2 features two new weapons, and some different weapon
stats, than the Gamecube version did. Thus this guide. (I get the 
impression the PS2 stats are the same as the GC PAL version, but 
I've only played the NTSC version, so I dunno.)

The stats for the weapons are below, so you don't have to read my long
weapon analysis section that many of you will disagree with anyway. 
Huzzah!


============
Weapon Stats
============

The section you're reading this FAQ for. It's ugly because I'm lazy.

I haven't included stats for those kinky Mercenaries weapons. It's 
not like you have a choice about using them or not, so whatever. I 
haven't included the stats for Ada's weapons either, since they're
just non-upgradeable variants of Leon's. I did include the Bowgun 
for the curious.

Exclusives only become available once all other upgrades have been 
purchased and you've gotten far enough into the game. 

Both Firing Speed and Reload Speed scores list how long it takes 
to do so in seconds, so lower is better. 

Capacity upgrades refill your ammo up to the new maximum for free.
This can save you a *lot* of ammo if you go out of your way to 
take advantage of it. Exclusive upgrades do the same thing,
whether or not they're ammmo-related.


-------
Pistols
-------

-------
Handgun
-------

Found: Start with one, also bought for 8,000

Size: 3x2

Full upgrade cost: 198,000 (starting handgun)
                   206,000 (if you ditched it and bought a 
                           replacement later)

Firepower: 1.0
           1.2 (7,000)
           1.4 (10,000)
           1.6 (15,000)
           1.8 (18,000)
           2.0 (20,000)

Speed: 0.47
       0.40 (5,000)
       0.33 (12,000)
       
Reload: 1.73
        1.47 (4,000)
        0.87 (10,000)

Capacity: 10
          13 (4,000)
          16 (6,000)
          19 (8,000)
          22 (10,000)
          25 (12,000)

Exclusive: Critical headshots 5x more likely (57,000)

Uses handgun ammo.

--------
Punisher
--------

Found: Free after busting ten blue medals, free with first firepower
upgrade after busting fifteen blue medals, or bought for 20,000

Size: 3x2

Full upgrade cost: 296,000 (if you bought it)
                   276,000 (if you got the free one)
                   266,000 (if you got the free one with first 
                           upgrade)

Firepower: 0.9
           1.1 (10,000)
           1.3 (15,000)
           1.5 (20,000)
           1.7 (25,000)
           1.9 (35,000)
           
Speed: 0.47
       0.40 (10,000)
       0.33 (20,000)
       
Reload: 1.70
        1.47 (8,000)
        0.83 (18,000)

Capacity: 10
          13 (8,000)
          16 (10,000)
          20 (15,000)
          24 (18,000)
          28 (24,000)

Exclusive: Shots penetrate up to five bodies (40,000)

Uses handgun ammo.

This gun's shots penetrate bodies, shields, or thrown weapons to 
strike the next object along the bullet's trajectory. Doesn't seem 
to penetrate metal armor. 

It's worth noting that this isn't a unique ability- rifle and 
Handcannon shots can do the same thing, off the top of my head- 
but it is an edge over the other *handguns*.

----
Red9
----

Found: Bought for 14,000

Accessory: Stock (4,000)
Reduces recoil, makes aiming easier.

Size: 4x2 (gun)
      3x1 (stock)

Full upgrade cost w/o stock: 331,000
                  w/stock: 335,000

Firepower: 1.6
           1.8 (15,000)
           2.1 (20,000)
           2.5 (24,000)
           3.0 (28,000)
           3.7 (45,000)
Exclusive  6.5 (80,000)

Speed: 0.53
       0.47 (10,000)
       0.40 (15,000)
       
Reload: 2.37
        2.20 (6,000)
        1.67 (10,000)

Capacity: 8
          10 (6,000)
          12 (8,000)
          15 (12,000)
          18 (16,000)
          22 (22,000)

Exclusive: Bumps Firepower up to 6.5
          
Uses handgun ammo.

---------
Blacktail
---------

Found: Bought for 24,000

Size: 3x2

Full upgrade cost: 362,000

Firepower: 1.6
           1.8 (15,000)
           2.0 (18,000)
           2.3 (24,000)
           2.7 (30,000)
           3.2 (40,000)
Exclusive  4.5 (80,000)

Speed: 0.47
       0.40 (10,000)
       0.27 (20,000)

Reload: 1.70
        1.47 (8,000)
        0.83 (15,000)

Capacity: 15
          18 (8,000)
          21 (10,000)
          25 (15,000)
          30 (20,000)
          35 (25,000)

Exclusive: Bumps Firepower up to 4.5          

Uses handgun ammo.

Handles better- you can aim more quickly.

--------
Shotguns
--------

-------
Shotgun
-------

Found: One in village (triggering Dr. Salvador battle if before bell
       rings; otherwise you can just take it). Or bought for 20,000.

Size: 8x2

Full upgrade cost: 257,000 (if you ganked it)
                   277,000 (if you bought it) (...why?)

Firepower: 4.0
           4.5 (15,000)
           5.0 (20,000)
           6.0 (25,000)
           7.0 (30,000)
           8.0 (40,000)

Speed: 1.53

Reload: 3.03
        2.43 (7,000)
        1.67 (15,000)

Capacity: 6
          8 (8,000)
          10 (10,000)
          12 (12,000)
          15 (15,000)
          18 (20,000)

Exclusive: Damage does not fall off with distance. (40,000)
"Sounds like a winner to me!"

Uses shotgun ammo.

--------
Riot Gun
--------

Found: bought for 32,000

Size: 8x2

Full upgrade cost: 415,000

Firepower: 5.0
           5.5 (20,000)
           6.0 (24,000)
           6.5 (28,000)
           7.0 (32,000)
           8.0 (50,000)
Exclusive  10.0 (120,000)           

Speed: 1.53

Reload: 3.03
        2.43 (7,000)
        1.67 (20,000)

Capacity: 7
          9 (10,000)
          11 (12,000)
          13 (15,000)
          15 (20,000)
          17 (25,000)

Exclusive: Bumps Firepower up to 10

Uses shotgun ammo.

Handles better- you can aim more quickly.

Firepower falls less with distance than for the Striker or 
pre-Exclusive-upgrade Shotgun. I'm not sure whether this is an 
intrinsic quality or an ability granted by the Exclusive; I've heard 
the latter, but the Exclusive description only mentions the Firepower
bonus. If anyone can clear this up for me, I'd appreciate it.

-------
Striker
-------

Found: bought for 43,000

Size: 5x2

Full upgrade cost: 392,000

Firepower: 6
           7 (25,000)
           8 (28,000)
           9 (32,000)
           10 (40,000)
           12 (60,000)
           
Speed: 1.10

Reload: 3.00
        2.40 (8,000)
        1.67 (15,000)

Capacity: 12
          14 (10,000)
          16 (12,000)
          20 (16,000)
          24 (18,000)
          28 (25,000)
Exclusive 100 (60,000)

Exclusive: bumps Capacity up to 100

Uses shotgun ammo.

------
Rifles
------

-----------------------
Bolt-action/basic rifle
-----------------------

Found: bought for 12,000

Accessories: Scope (bought for 7,000)
Increases zoom ability
             Infrared Scope (found on Island)
Lets you see into infrared, see Regenerator leeches, screw around.

Size: 9x1 (gun)
      3x1 (scopes)

Full upgrade cost w/o scope: 289,000

Firepower: 4
           5 (10,000)
           6 (12,000)
           8 (20,000)
           10 (25,000)
           12 (35,000)
Exclusive  30 (80,000)

Speed: 2.73

Reload: 4.00
        3.23 (8,000)
        2.33 (18,000)
        
Capacity: 5
          7 (6,000)
          9 (8,000)
          12 (12,000)
          15 (18,000)
          18 (25,000) 

Exclusive: Bumps up Firepower to 30

Uses rifle ammo.

Zooms in while aiming. Exits zoom view after every damn shot while
Leon readies the next bullet.

---------
Semi-Auto
---------

Found: bought for 35,000

Accessories: Scope (bought for 10,000)
Increases zoom ability.
             Infrared Scope (found on Island)
Lets you see into infrared, see Regenerator leeches, screw around.

Size: 7x2 (gun)
      3x1 (scopes)

Full upgrade cost w/o scope: 351,000

Firepower: 7
           8 (15,000)
           9 (18,000)
           11 (24,000)
           13 (30,000)
           15 (40,000)
           
Speed:    1.83
Exclusive 0.80 (80,000)

Reload:   2.33
          1.90 (9,000)
          1.33 (18,000)

Capacity: 10
          12 (10,000)
          14 (12,000)
          17 (15,000)
          20 (20,000)
          24 (25,000)

Exclusive: Lowers firing speed to 0.80

Uses rifle ammo.

Zooms in when aiming.

-------
Magnums
-------

----------------
Broken Butterfly
----------------

Found: One in Castle, or bought for 38,000

Size: 4x2

Full upgrade cost: 455,000 (if you ganked it)
                   492,000 (if you bought it) (Just gank it, man)

Firepower: 13
           15 (25,000
           17 (30,000)
           20 (35,000)
           24 (50,000)
           28 (70,000)
Exclusive  50 (150,000)

Speed: 0.70

Reload: 3.67
        3.00 (15,000)
        2.33 (20,000)

Capacity: 6
          8 (15,000)
          10 (20,000)
          12 (25,000
          
Exclusive: Bumps Firepower up to 50

Uses magnum ammo.

-------
Killer7
-------

Found: Bought for 77,700 (...cute.)

Size: 4x2

Full upgrade cost: 337,700

Firepower: 25
           30 (62,000)
           35 (78,000)

Speed: 0.70

Reload: 1.83
        1.53 (20,000)
        0.93 (30,000)

Capacity: 7
          10 (30,000)
          14 (40,000)

Exclusive: none.

Uses magnum ammo.

---------------------
Miscellaneous Weapons
---------------------

---
TMP
---

Found: Bought for 10,000

Accessory: Stock, bought for 4,000
Decreases recoil, improving accuracy.

Size: 3x2 (gun)
      2x2 (stock)

Full Upgrade Cost w/o stock: 330,000
                  w/stock: 334,000

Firepower: 0.4
           0.5 (7,000)
           0.6 (14,000)
           0.8 (18,000)
           1.0 (24,000)
           1.2 (35,000)
Exclusive  1.8 (100,000)

Speed: 0.10

Reload: 2.37
        1.93 (5,000)
        1.17 (15,000)

Capacity: 30
          50 (7,000)
          100 (15,000)
          150 (20,000)
          200  (25,000)
          250 (35,000)

Exclusive: Bumps Firepower up to 1.8 (100,00)

Uses unique TMP ammo.

------------
Mine Thrower
------------

Found: Bought for 9,800

Accessory: Scope, bought for 8,000
Allows zoom-in. Doesn't seem very useful, and costs almost as much
as the weapon itself...but the scope view looks cool!

Size: 5x2 (weapon)
      2x2 (scope)

Full Upgrade Cost w/o scope: 192,800

"Firepower": 2.0              This stat actually denotes
            4.0 (25,000)      blast radius in meters,
            6.0 (45,000)      not damage done.
Exclusive   ???? (30,000)

Speed: 1.33

Reload: 3.43
        2.57 (18,000)

Capacity: 5
          7 (25,000)
          10 (40,000)

Exclusive: Increases blast radius(?), adds homing effect.

Uses unique ammo.

The "mines" are actually mine darts that stick to whatever they hit,
do no immediate damage, and explode after a few seconds. Don't expect
to find any mine darts until you buy the Mine Thrower. 

Also, the mines seem to do the same amount of damage as a hand 
grenade (if anyone can confirm this for me, that'd be great) 
regardless of the Firepower rating; the Firepower upgrades actually 
increase blast radius to that number of meters. I have no idea what 
the Exclusive increases that radius to, since it still lists it as
6.0 in its stats, though it's ostensibly "significant".


---------------
Rocket Launcher
---------------

Found: One in castle, Bought for 30,000

Single-shot, splash damage. 

Damaging enough to insta-kill some bosses.

-----------------------
Special Rocket Launcher
-----------------------

Found: When Ada chucks it at you

Insta-kills the final boss. Sells for twice as much as a normal 
rocket launcher, if you decide to kill him without using it and 
keep it. Keep it all the way through your next playthrough and you 
can one-hit the final boss with it right away ^_^

That's not really worth bothering with, mind you.

------
Bowgun
------

Found: Bought in Separate Ways for 70,000

Suze: 3x5

No upgrades

Firepower: 16.6
Speed: 2.43
Reload: 2.00
Capacity: 1

Uses unique ammo

Like the Mine Thrower, but the bolts explode immediately upon impact.
As with Krauser's bow in Mercenaries, it shows the total number of 
bolts you have left in the lower-right corner, not how many you have 
loaded, because you can only load one at a time. 

Pity you can't use it in Leon's campaign. Fun weapon.

------------------
Unlockable Weapons
------------------

-------
Matilda
-------

Unlocked: beat normal mode

Found: bought for 70,000

Size: 5x2

Full Upgrade Cost: 303,000

Firepower: 1.5
           1.7 (15,000)
           1.9 (17,000)
           2.1 (20,000)
           2.3 (25,000)
           2.5 (35,000)

Speed: 0.47

Reload: 1.73
        1.47 (6,000)
        0.87 (15,000)

Capacity: 15
          18 (7,000)
          21 (10,000)
          24 (12,000)
          27 (16,000)
          30 (20,000)
Exclusive 100 (35,000)

Exclusive: Bumps Capacity up to 100 (35,000)

Uses handgun ammo.

Fires in three-round bursts, so does better damage than the 
Firepower stat indicates. Eats ammo up three times faster, too...

Note that there's very little delay between the three-round bursts 
themselves; you can pump bullets out TMP-style with this gun. 

Also, you still have the option of firing only one bullet
at a time, as opposed to the three-burst. Just tap the fire
button lightly, like you would with the TMP.

----------
Handcannon
----------

Unlocked: earn 5-star rankings on all Mercenaries stages with 
          *every* character

Found: bought for 0

Size: 4x2

Full Upgrade Cost: 790,000

Firepower: 30
           35 (40,000)
           40 (50,000)
           45 (70,000)
           50 (90,000)
           60 (120,000)
Exclusive  99.9 (200,000)

Speed: 1.17

Reload: 3.67
        2.87 (25,000)
        1.83 (50,000)

Capacity: 3
          4 (15,000)
          5 (20,000)
          6 (25,000)
          8 (35,000)
          10 (50,000)
Exclusive Infinite (200,000)

Exclusive: Bumps Firepower to 99.9 and Capacity to Infinite (200,000)

Uses unique ammo, which is quite rare...until you buy that Exclusive,
at least.

------------------------
Infinite Rocket Launcher
------------------------

Unlocked: beat normal mode

Found: bought for 1,000,000

Size: 8x2

Just what it sounds like. Now that Ashley has the knight costume, 
you don't need to worry about splash damage killing her. Go nuts.


------------------
Chicago Typewriter
------------------

Unlocked: beat Separate Ways (main game)
          beat Assignment Ada AND Separate Ways (Separate Ways)

Found: bought for 1,000,000 (main game)
       bought for 300,000 (Separate Ways)

Size: 7x3

No upgrades.

Firepower: 10
Speed: 0.10
Reload: 2.83 (not that you ever will...)
Capacity: Infinite

Does not require ammunition.


----------
P.R.L. 412
----------

Unlocked: beat Professional mode.

Found: bought for 0

Size: 7x3

No upgrades.

The Plagas Removal Laser has no listed stats.

Does not require ammunition.

This one is really weird and takes some explaining. It's a laser-
firing weapon that can be charged up for a more powerful attack. 
The basic attack damages, plus stuns enemies the way a flash 
grenade does, PLUS it can insta-kill certain enemies, including 
many bosses. Unfortunately, the flash only affects enemies 
within a fairly small radius; watch out for ranged attackers!

The charged shot is an insta-kill, but it's a cumbersome 
weapon; it can be a pain to get charged up. The charge
shot pierces all enemies along a line.

You need one increment charged on the energy meter to fire, and 
the entire meter for the charged shot. This gives it a crappy rate 
of fire.

It only damages enemies. No breaking barrels or anything. 

Not as overpowering as it might sound, since by this point you 
likely already have the Typewriter or something equally uber...
Extremely cool, though.

===============
Weapon Analysis
===============

My opinion, for what it's worth. I *don't* factor in how useful 
weapons are for repeat playthroughs; with all the stuff you carry 
over, successive playthroughs should be easy. Similarly, it doesn't
really matter how effective the unlockable weapons are, since you 
only get those on repeat playthroughs. (They're *stupidly* powerful. 
'Nuff said.)


-------
General
-------

-Options!

It's almost obligatory to have a pistol (because of the ammo crunch
in this game), a shotgun (crowd control and knockback), and a rifle
(sniping). This leaves the TMP, Magnums and Mine Thrower. Assuming
you put money into upgrading all of the basic guns, you're going to
be hard-pressed to upgrade all of the supplementary weapons. 

If you only pick one of them, cash should not be a big issue for
you. Otherwise, you'll either spread yourself thin on upgrades,
or max one quickly and not get to upgrade the others until very
late in the game.

So which to focus on? I personally feel that upgrading the TMP 
and using a non-upgraded Magnum (switching the free Butterfly in 
for a Killer7 eventually), with maybe a non-upgraded Mine Thrower 
in there, gives maximum benefit for the fewest Pesetas. Your 
playing style could affect this, though.

I find that an un-upgraded TMP becomes steadily less useful the
farther you go into the game, since a huge part of its
usefulness is pumping out max damage per time. The magnums do
better without upgrades, since a lot of their value comes from
stagger potential and not just damage. Same goes for the Mine
Thrower, since it does max damage right out of the gate.

In conclusion, I'm over-analyzing this and you should just use
whatever you have the most fun with.


-Extravagance!

There's nothing wrong with buying weapons you don't plan to keep 
forever, or upgrading non-keepers. 

There are two objections to doing so- that you won't have enough money
as you go through the game, and that you won't have enough money to
buy the expensive unlockables for replays.

Remember, however, that the purchase price of a weapon by itself 
is almost negligible- it's usually less than ten percent 
of full upgrade cost. Going without upgrades isn't a huge deal early 
on, and the Mine Thrower arguably doesn't need upgrades at all 
since it does max damage from the very beginning. The Killer7 also
performs admirably with no upgrades.

Further, if you plan to ditch a weapon partway through the game, you 
get half of the money spent on upgrades back when you sell it- and 
early upgrades are much cheaper than later ones anyway.

Remember, having an advantage early on is just as important as having
an advantage in the late game. If you end up using fewer grenades, 
less ammo for other weapons, fewer healing items or whatever- that's 
stuff and cash you save for later in the game. 

As for not being able to afford unlockable weapons, I find the game 
gives you enough cash that selling everything off at the beginning 
of a second game nets you over a million. Honestly, once you have 
the Typewriter, you don't *need* anything else, and you'll be able 
to quickly build up money with its 3l33t power anyway. I'm certain 
those weapons are priced so that you'll be able to just afford them 
at the beginning of a replay; it works out the same
way for the Typewriter in Assignment Ada.

-Accessories!

From what I've seen, the Rifle and Mine Thrower Scopes don't seem
to improve the weapons any. If anybody's found them really useful,
I'd love to hear about it. Similarly, the Red9 and TMP stocks 
don't do much to justify the inventory space used, as far as I can
tell; I've never had problems with the stockless TMP, although I
suppose the Red9 would benefit more from any increase in control.
Anybody who's played extensively with and without stocks, feel
free to drop me a line if you see some value to them I'm missing. 

-Profit!

If you have more free time than you do Pesetas, catching the fish
in Del Lago's lake for resale can net you as much cash as you
have to patience to make.

Ryan Eden emailed me suggesting the Mine Thrower for this. 
In Eden's words, 

"Position yourself on the shore to the left of the dock and 
aim at the end of the dock...if less than three  fish die, 
reload the game and do it again. Otherwise, go and collect 
the fish. Then save. THEN reload. The fish will respawn.

Mine thrower shots costs less than the 3,750 pesetas (750 x 5) 
that a single mine can bring in. Hell, selling and re-buying the 
mine thrower for the shots alone (5 shots for 8000, can bring in 
18750, not to mention empty minethrower resell value) is still 
worth it. The pre-del lago fight fish always respawn, so the 
process can be repeated for ever and ever and ever."

Since the lake becomes inaccessible to you by the time you can buy
the Mine Thrower, this only works on second runs for the chosen 
difficuly level. Much faster than spearing the fish, though, and 
oddly satisfying. I suppose the only quick alternative in a 
first run would be using one of the guns, and maybe selling one 
and buying a new one for the free ammo if you're really in it for 
the long haul and find yourself out of ammo.


-------
Pistols
-------

-Handgun:

The Special is cool, but doesn't make up for the weak stats.

If you do want to use the handgun, you should still use something 
else until late in the game when the Special becomes available, 
since it has no advantages over any other gun until that point. 
Just sell it off, free up that inventory space, and buy a new one 
when all the upgrades finally become available; it's not worth
the small amount of pesetas to carry it around all that time. 
Even the Punisher is better.

-Punisher:

The Special is cool, but doesn't make up for the weak stats.

This is a gun for experienced players who like trick shooting.
For instance, you can shoot one of those thrown farm implements,
and the bullet will keep on going to hit whoever threw it.

The exclusive is kind of meh. You'll never have five enemies lined
up, though three is kind of common.

-Red9:

The most bullet-efficient choice. 

Note that in some ways, this is actually the  *worst* pistol for 
fighting crowds, since the inferior firing speed and ugly reload 
time leave you more vulnerable than the others do. Power is a 
little less helpful against mobs when you can set enemies up 
for kicks with a single bullet.

I've heard people claim it's better against bosses, but I just don't
see it- the Blacktail pumps out damage more quickly in the end,
thanks to its firing speed.

-Blacktail:

High-performance, less ammo-efficient than the Red.

The Red9 seems more powerful at first glance, but once you 
factor in firing speed the Blacktail actually does more damage
in the same amount of time. Its other stats are also superior across 
the board. It also lets you move faster while aiming, which is
helpful when trying to line up a precise shot. It's probably the
better gun for all combat situations, but you pay for it with
ammo, which is a deal-breaker for some people.

The only downside is its relative ammo-inefficiency, which is more
of an issue in Pro mode. Using one or two more bullets per enemy
adds up...

-Red9 or Blacktail?

I've heard the Red is better for new players, because of the ammo
thing. Sounds right to me: get your bearings with the Red, then,
if you like, switch to the Blacktail once you have a feel for 
efficient ammo usage. The Blacktail's superior size and speed aren't
an enormous advantage, but neither is the Red's power- the Exclusive
Blacktail can still kill mercenaries on Normal with a couple of shots,
if memory serves.

Neither gun is clearly superior, despite the fact that people argue
over which is better to this day. This argument will never end.
After World War Three, the mutant savages eking out a hellish 
existence in the irradiated, nuke-ravaged wasteland will spend their
days stoving in each others' skulls with rocks and screaming
"BLACKTAIL! BLACKTAIL, HEATHEN!" Don't be like them- just use the
one you have more fun with, they're both good.


--------
Shotguns
--------

The basic shotgun is inferior all-around beyond its Special, but 
it's free. The Riot Gun is a step up in terms of most statistics. 
The Striker is great across the board and a significant improvement 
over the others. I recommend the Striker if you want performance and 
the Shotgun if you want a fun gimmick.

-Shotgun: 
The Special turns the shotgun from a short-range-only 
gun into a long-range weapon! Bear two things in mind, though. By 
the time you get the Special, rifle ammo is fairly common. Also, 
rifles are still better long-range weapons, especially since you 
can't zoom in with the Shotgun. The long-range thing is really all 
the basic shotgun has going for it, so it's really just for fun. If 
you want effective, go with the Striker. Being able to snipe with a 
shotgun is admittedly awesome, and it's nice not having to get right
up in enemies' faces to avoid the drop in firepower.

-Riot Gun: 
Some people like to skip buying this. I think it's worth buying the
Riot Gun for its stretch of the game for its slightly better stats; 
the base cost of guns isn't that big, so I don't care that I'm going 
to ditch it eventually.

The Riot Gun's damage falls off less with range. It's therefore a 
midway point between the other two guns- average stats and average 
ranged attack capability. As a bonus, you can pivot a little more 
quickly while aiming with it. However, this really isn't as useful as 
the Blacktail's pivot bonus, because shotguns don't demand any sort of 
finesse. 

-Striker:
The stats speak for themselves. The Special might seem kind 
of lame at first- you probably won't go 28 shotgun blasts without 
getting a chance to reload, so the 100 capacity isn't a big deal in 
that regard. The bonus, though, is that you get up to 100 free 
shotgun bullets when you buy the Special,and potentially
save a lot of inventory space by being able to store tons of ammo in 
the Striker itself. 

I can't see it being a big factor, but the Striker is the worst for 
medium- to long-range attacks; the Shotgun has its Exclusive, and 
the Riot Gun has its range bonus. 


------
Rifles
------

In the Gamecube NTSC release, the bolt-action rifle only did a 
little more damage than the semi-auto rifle, and the latter was 
better in every other respect. The PS2 version gives the bolt-action 
30 firepower after its Exclusive upgrade. They also *feel* different
when used, since the bolt-action takes you out of the zoom mode after
every shot and the semi-auto doesn't, so you may end up deciding based 
on which one feels more comfortable to use- personally, I find the 
bolt-action thing distracting, so I don't use it.

You don't really need the scope accessories, since both guns offer 
pretty adequate zoom modes without them. Judgment call.

I still recommend the semi-auto, but it's a close competition.

The bolt-action, once it gets its exclusive, lets you kill individual 
enemies more easily since it does so much damage you don't even need 
to aim for the headshot. It's also cheaper and smaller. The biggest 
draw is probably the superior damage against bosses.

The semi-auto is definitely superior until the bolt-action gets its 
exclusive, and its exclusive lets it fire much more quickly, so you 
still might prefer it in the end. You'll want to take the time to 
line up headshots, but they're really easy to make. I also find it's
the better gun at close range thanks to its speed.

I've heard people say that the bolt-action is better in Pro- more 
ammo-efficient for the mode where ammo's at more of a premium- and 
the semi-auto is better for Normal. I find the *opposite* is true- 
in Pro mode the enemies do more damage, are more aggressive and 
close in faster. That all means you want to be able to take down 
mobs as quickly as possible. I prefer the semi-auto for Pro; if I 
were going to use the bolt-action, it would be in Normal. I figure
minimizing chances of being hit > more damage against bosses.
If you never use rifles close-in, though, the bolt-action's
probably better.

Matter of taste. As long as you have one or the other by the 
beginning of Chapter Three, you're good. As with the endless
Red/Blacktail debate, the only people who are completely wrong
are the ones who claim one gun is unambiguously better.

-------
Magnums
-------

Magnums are only really worth using against the toughest enemies.
The draw isn't just their huge damage, but the huge knockback,
which stuns enemies that wouldn't be phased by a single shotgun
blast or whatever.

Magnums aren't *as* mandatory as shotguns, rifles and pistols, but 
since the Butterfly can be found for free and even non-upgraded 
damage is significant, they deserve room in your inventory.

Magnums are your most damaging weapons, but ammo is so rare that you 
should at least consider timing capacity upgrade purchases for when 
you've emptied the gun. That means suppressing your reflex to reload
the first chance you get, remember. 

I don't believe the reload time is important for magnums. It could 
help a little during boss fights, maybe, but since you don't have 
that many magnum bullets in the first place you're only
going to be doing so much reloading. I'd skip the reload time 
upgrade for the Killer7, since the Seven doesn't have a Special
upgrade.

-To upgrade or not?

If cash is tight, consider keeping your magnum un-upgraded.
You'll still have decent damage and the knockback advantage on
your side.

I prefer the Killer7 in this scenario. You still have to spend
some money with the Seven, but the base Seven is almost twice
as powerful as the base Butterfly. Also, the un-upgraded Butterfly
becomes kind of shrugworthy once you've maxed your other weapons.
Its main selling point is its max potential, after all.

-Butterfly or Seven?

If you really like magnums, you may want to get both. It sounds 
weird at first, but since magnum ammo is so rare having both guns 
means you can afford to use them less sparingly, assuming
you take advantage of capacity upgrades to refill your ammo. Do so, 
and that's around 30 extra magnum shots- that's significant, whether
you upgrade firepower or not. You hardly need that many magnum shots, 
but whatever.

Otherwise, which one to buy is a matter of taste. 

The Butterfly's found for free (and there's no reason to buy it when 
it first becomes available, since you don't run into anything worth
using it on that early in the game). The Killer7 isn't available for 
purchase until a little later. The Butterfly also
does 50 damage maxed compared to 35 for the Killer7.

However: the Seven is better in all respects but firepower, and the 
Butterfly only maxes out firepower after the battle with It. 
You really don't have that power advantage for enough of the game to 
matter much, and the Seven is better up until that Exclusive 
upgrade. Fully upgrading the Butterfly is also much more expensive.
Is the Butterfly's minor advantage really worth paying around 
100,000 for?

As long as you get one of them, whatever, you're fine, though I 
prefer the Seven. 


---
TMP
---

Judgment call. I really like it, personally.

The TMP is an optional weapon to supplement the three main weapons.
It's like the Magnums in this respect. There are three reasons to
use the TMP:

First, to take advantage of all that TMP ammo and alleviate the
general ammo crunch in this game. The TMP's as good as the pistol 
for setting enemies up for kicks/suplexes/knifing, and you can 
always spray bullets all around in an emergency, so it's a good 
general-purpose gun.

Second, to do lots of damage in a short time. This generally
means killing bosses, since you don't want to be spraying
ammo around extravagantly for random flunkies. The TMP isn't as
risky to use as the slow, cumbersome rifles or shotguns.

Third, there are miscellaneous situations where it's handy.
It's the only quick way I know of of busting out of the
Garrador cage trap- I find it's tough to do that room without
taking damage without the TMP. If you're skipping the Bolt-
Action Rifle, it's a good idea to get the TMP as your third
weapon in the first two chapters (it's great in the cabin
with Luis and against Chief Mendez.) Maybe others.

-Kind of a tangent, dudes

This is kind of a tangent, but I find the firing range minigame WAY
easier when I use only the TMP. You have rapid fire for emergencies
and you basically never have to reload. The fact that you don't have 
the rifle for hitting Salazar targets doesn't matter: the rifle is 
dangerously slow to use and you can take down Salazars more quickly 
with precise TMP shots or rapid fire, if it comes to that. You'd think 
you'd want extra accuracy for getting chains of five in a row, but 
Ganado targets are easy to hit, and once you've made the Salazars 
appear you don't need to worry about missing because you're starting 
a new chain, not keeping one going. Consider the TMP if you haven't 
tried it yet. I used to find the minigame a hassle, and now I breeze 
through it.

------------
Mine Thrower
------------

This one's pretty much completely unnecessary. That's *not* the same
as saying it doesn't justify the cost, though. If you don't buy the 
scope- and the scope view, while cool-looking, isn't very useful- 
the base cost is very reasonable, and each dart is about as good 
as a grenade. I hear some people actually buy it just to sell the 
mine darts you'll get from enemies by having it. The darts do sell 
for a decent amount, so if you don't otherwise use a lot of 
inventory space, I guess that option could be worth considering.

The Mine Thrower works well against the Armaduras. I can't think
of any other specific battles to which it's so well-suited, but it's 
generally useful and fun to play with.

Don't just think of it as extra grenade-age. They're not redundant
options; range, trajectory, and timing all differ enough to matter.
The Mine Thrower's potentially devastating, but darts take a couple 
of seconds to detonate, so it's necessary to plan ahead. Its
awkwardness and weak knockback (Dr. Salvador won't stagger, for
instance, though Ganados will) mean it's best used in ambushes.
By contrast, you can sometimes get away with using grenades as 
a panic option.

I say, if you have fun with it, go for it. You won't get to use it 
constantly, since ammo is rare, but the cost is trivial and it's 
quite powerful. 

The exclusive is only worth it if you really, really like the 
weapon, though, since it does the maximum damage even without 
upgrades. The capacity upgrades can net you some of those elusive
darts, so they could be worth it. I can't imagine reload speed
being equally useful, though.


---------------
Rocket Launcher
---------------

This is a hideously cost-ineffective option against random enemies- 
30,000 for something a grenade could do? No thanks. It does enough 
damage to kill some bosses in one hit, though. It's never the best
option- just learn how to get through that part of the game the real 
way- but it's there if you're horribly, horribly lazy.


------
Bowgun
------

Separate Ways-only, so not much to say here. I prefer to wait until 
Chapter Five to get it, when the biggest case is available. 

-------
Matilda
-------

Not overpowered, unlike the other unlockables. Good damage output, 
but ammo-hungry. Think of it as a TMP that runs off different ammo.

People always seem to be impressed by its max Capacity. Remember, three-
round bursts- that's like getting 33 shots before reloading. That's
actually a little *less* than with the Blacktail. Great damage, but the
very high ammo burn rate means it's really a trade-off. 


----------
Handcannon
----------

Unlocking it is the hardest task in the game, and it's not as 
good as the Typewriter, so despite being game-breakingly 
powerful...eh.


------------------------
Infinite Rocket Launcher
------------------------

The most fun to play with of the unlockables, besides maybe the 
laser. I say go for this or the Typewriter first.


------------------
Chicago Typewriter
------------------

The most game-breaking weapon in the game. If you want to unlock 
everything, you should go for this first, since you can then breeze 
through the game racking up cash even more quickly.

With the new knight costume, I can no longer think of ANY reason to
need any other weapon once you have this. Spray bullets all you like.

----------
P.R.L. 412
----------

Since it's free and doesn't require upgrades, you can sell it and 
buy a new one later if you're ever hard up for inventory space. 
It's a really cool weapon, though not necessarily that uber; you 
likely have the Typewriter by the time you unlock it, 
so being able to insta-kill and stuff isn't that big a deal, what 
with the charge time. Quite sweet, though.


===============
Version History
===============

v.1.0: First version. Final one too, barring corrections of 
mistakes/omissions. 

v.1.1: Typos caught. Added some stuff to the Analysis section.

v.1.2 Added to Analysis section, caught typo- the Butterfly Exclusive 
gives 50 firepower, not 150,000. *cough*

v.1.3 Minor additions, one major revision in the Punisher stats 
section.

v.1.4 Finally fixed up most of the parts of this guide I hated. 
FINALLY got around to checking my Handcannon stats. Finally noticed 
that it's 'Striker' and not 'Stryker'. All this stuff was long overdue.

v.1.5 Stuff 'bout fishin'.

v.1.6 Minor edits/corrections.

v.1.7 Guide quasi-finished now.

===============
 Copyright Info
===============

I don't really care what you do with this FAQ. I guess you could
steal it or something, but why would you?


=============
 Contact Info
=============

*Please note!**********************************************

IF YOU NEED HELP WITH THIS GAME, TRY ASKING ON THE GAMEFAQS
RE4 MESSAGE BOARD. If you ask on the message board,
you can get an answer within minutes or hours. If you email
me, you may not get a reply for days. I'd still try to
help you, but why settle for the slow way?

***********************************************************

My email:

loanfato@hotmail.com

This guide is now quasi-finished. What's that mean? It
means I no longer have a copy of this game and I'm
sure this guide's about as good as it's going to get
anyway. If you have a correction or addition for it, I'll
try to verify the info online. If I can't, I'll probably
add it to the guide with the caveat that I haven't
confirmed the info.

Two requests:

Please make the subject line something that'll make it clear it's 
not spam. Something like 'FAQ' would be good. 'Penis Enlargement
Offer' or something, not so much.

Also, while I'm not a spelling or grammar Nazi, if I can't tell
what you're trying to say, I may ignore your email. Please try 
to be pretty much coherent. Otherwise, what can I do, man?


===========
 Thanks to:
===========

CJayC for being the man.

Your name could be here!

PoWeRoFtHeDaRk- noticed a huge typo.

scamatoru- same typo. Nice catch, guys.

Kael- told me the freebie double ugrade for the Punisher
doesn't work. Family-size thanks, dude!

calmsoldier- for some Red9/Blacktail observations. Keep on
truckin'!

Bradley Packer- noticed my embarassing Stryker/Striker typo.

Ryan Eden- for teaching me to fish with explosives, the way
REAL men do it.

Paul Z- for telling me that Exclusive upgrades refill ammo
to max.

...and everybody else who's emailed me with miscellaneous 
advice, comments, etc. 








------
Finis.
------