Conservation Guide by Mr_Clumpy

Updated: 05/28/05 | Printable Version

Resident Evil 4 for GameCube
Crazy, Insane Ammo/Healing Items/Storage Space Conservation and Effective
Money Usage Guide
(Call it the Conservation Guide for short)
Version 1.0
Started: Thursday, April 28, 2005
Written by Clumpy (


1) Purpose of this Guide
2) Boot Camp (Tools of the Trade)
   a. Your Knife
   b. Your Handgun
   c. Your Shotgun
   d. Your Rifle
   e. Your Magnum
3) Optional Weapons
   a. The TMP
   b. Grenades
   c. The Rocket Launcher
4) Cold Hard Cash (Money Tips)
5) Conclusion and Thanks


This guide is designed for one purpose: to reduce some of the stress potential
in Resident Evil 4 for first-time players. While most guides include general
tips of this nature, only this guide goes off the deep end in its quest to
preserve every bullet, every herb, every square in your inventory screen.
It's designed for beginning players, or for people who are having problems
running out of ammo or healing items.

If you follow this guide (and, of course, you're a decent-to-good player),
you should be able to clear the game without touching the merchant's first
aid sprays (maybe you'll even have some extra healing items to sell for big
green!), running too low on ammo for any gun or just getting. . . stuck.

This latest chapter in the RE series is unique in its focus on action and
gunplay over the more slower-paced, knucklebiting offerings of earlier
Resident Evil games. The ability to aim at body parts, use melee attacks and
your knife facilitates strategies for conserving ammo that earlier games just
didn't offer.

These strategies are simple but effective. Be wary, keep your wits and
improvise, and you'll be able to finish this game with a minimum of stress
and a maximum of enjoyment. So suit up, soldier, and get ready to save the
world and the oh-so-oddly-rendered Ashley Graham, Capcom style!

NOTE: I make no attempt to avoid spoilers or giveaways as they pertain to
gameplay. (I will give away names of enemies, bosses, weapons and areas at
a fairly consistent rate.) However, I will keep all avoidable spoilers to
a minimum as much as feasible.


The following tools are completely indispensable to surviving your stay in
the world of Resident Evil 4 (a description of various strategies for each
"tool" will follow. Some strategies use multiple tools, so I'll use my best
judgement of which section to place them in. Thank you very much.

Your Knife
Potentially the single greatest tool that Leon Kennedy is equipped with, your
combat knife is more helpful than you may think. Useful for close-quarters
combat (even against groups of enemies), hitting prone and fallen targets,
setting off non-explosive traps and opening containers, your combat knife
is truly your average Los Plagas's worst nightmare.

DIFFICULTY: 2/5 (Once you get the hang of it)
USAGES: Weak/Unarmed enemies in small-to-moderate groups.
Enemies earlier in the game are predictable and only moderately intelligent.
If your aim and hand-eye coordination are true, you can take on whole groups
with the combat knife, your miracle weapon. Aim for the heads of
close-together unarmed villagers in groups of one to three to stun and topple
them. Earlier in the game, it isn't even necessary to hit enemies in the head
with the knife to stun them, but you should get into the habit now. Besides,
it does more damage. Taking out comparatively large groups of enemies without
firing a shot is uniquely satisfying and not as hard as you'd think.

WARNING: If nearby enemies have pitchforks, shields, explosives or chainsaws,
forget about this. The same goes for far-off enemies with throwing axes,
crossbows or other ranged weapons. In this situation, you're best backing
off and going for money shots with your handgun or, if enemies are approaching
on all sides, dropping the lot with a single shotgun shell and regrouping.
It also goes without saying that you probably shouldn't rely on the knife
to fight villagers with the head-biting or whip parasites.

USAGES: Small groups of human/monk enemies with no immediate outside dangers.
Early in the game, it doesn't take much to stun a villager. In fact, there's
virtually no excuse for using more than a single handgun bullet on solitary
villagers at ANY point in the game. Simply aim for the head or knees of targets,
and do the following:

FOR HEAD SHOTS: The enemy should grab their head and shake it a bit. Run over
to them and kick them within the next few seconds - using the all-purpose
"Action" command - and they should fall over or, even better, fly into groups
of other enemies (who will also fall). This is when you start your cowardly
chicken strategy of slashing them when they're down. Run over to your target
villager and get a few good slashes in them while they're fallen (preferably
in the head or upper torso area). Once they stand up, they're close enough
for you to use the "Shred Head" strategy outlined above or just back off and

FOR KNEE/LEG SHOTS: After a successful leg shot, the enemy grabs its affected
shin and writhes, crouching over. Now is the time to use the awesome "Suplex"
move. Walk over and press "A" at the appropriate time. Leon opens up a box
of WWF and smashes your victim's head onto the hard, hard ground, doing
significant damage. If they aren't weakened enough for this to kill them
outright, walk over to them and Cuisinart their fallen butts with your army

While it doesn't really matter whether you go for head or leg shots against
individual enemies, when fighting larger groups, seek head shots. You want
the option to kick your foe into his friends, and the alternative suplex
strategy leaves an uncomfortable period for an enemy to grab/hurt you.

USAGES: Single chainsaw enemies with no other nearby enemies.
Remember how I said above not to use the knife against chainsaw enemies? I
lied. There's a very dangerous, time-consuming strategy to do just this. Just
don't expect to pull it off without some practice.

The A.I. for the chainsaw enemies is predictably fickle; sure, their Rambo
charge is intimidating as all-get-out, but they're not infallible. For
example, it's not really very hard to run past them due to their bad reaction

This trick relies on their delayed reaction times. Chainsaw villagers get
within range, then stand in place and swing, with appropriately gruesome
results. Next time you're dealing with one solitary chainsaw villager, try
walking near them then backing off. Notice how they swing at the empty air?
Get used to the rhythm of their response, then run in RIGHT AFTER THEY SWING
and use a knife attack or two. Then back off and repeat.

In short: 1) Dash in, 2) Back off, 3) Dash in and slash, 4) Back off, 5) Repeat.

Using this strategy is your remedy for saving the many, many shotgun shells
you would otherwise pump into these beasts. If this strategy feels somehow
cheap or less fun than blasting them into bits, feel free to take the weapons
route. Just make sure to use the shotgun/knife combo to save shells.

I'M THE CRATE-EST! (Terrible pun; I'm quite sorry.)
And, of course, it goes without saying that you won't use guns to open boxes
and crates, doesn't it? That idea makes my head hurt. Use the knife; capiche?

I wouldn't even include this tip, but there's one caveat. Some boxes include
the villagers' trained attack snakes. Keep your eyes out for these things.
If an opened box reveals a snake, you have one slash to kill it there on the
table. You'll probably miss, but just grin and bear it; the knife-to-snake
collision detection sucks in this game.

Don't let them get away, though; they've got all kinds of delicious
health-restoring eggs inside them once you manage to chase them down to knife
them (don't worry; they won't attack you again).

Use the knife to set off bear traps. At first, you'll want to tiptoe toward
the trap, testing the distances, and slashing around on the ground. Once you
get used to the distance required (it's really not hard), you'll never use
a bullet again!

SPEAKING OF TRAPS: Enemies can't be hurt by bear traps, so don't even try.
Herd large groups into explosive wire traps at every opportunity, though.

Your Handgun
RECOMMENDED PROGRESSION: Pay attention to the merchant - shoot ten of the
special blue targets (but no more; there's no reward for shooting all fifteen).
Then go to any merchant and get the brand spanking new "Punisher" handgun
for FREE! Sell your original handgun and stick with the Punisher until you
can get the Red 9 with scope. Fully upgraded (don't forget the "exclusive"
upgrade after you max out all of the gun's stats), the Red 9 is truly a mini
shotgun, doing a fantastic 5.0 damage per shot with excellent scope-assisted
aim. Get used to hitting enemies in the head from incredible distances; you'll
need those skills for the shooting gallery. You little marksman, you.



This section is sort of a bite-sized rapid-fire of neat strategies before
the in-depth strategies detailed below. This section is fairly short for the
handgun (the handgun is very versatile and as such has more detailed strategy
at its core). However, later guns are less versatile (but no less useful),
meaning that most of their strategy will be included in this "general"

* Want free ammo? Shoot any gun's clip down to nothing, then upgrade your
weapon's capacity at the merchant. Bam! - the clip is refilled! This is
particularly useful with the magnum weapons, but every little bit counts,
even with the handgun.

(For more great ammo-saving strategies, check out the Slash and Dash strategy

Difficulty: 0/5
You'll be rolling in cash if you can find all of the hidden treasures in the
humble world of RE4. Treasures are marked by flashing objects, and they can
be hidden in all sorts of areas. Most can only be obtained by shooting them
down (use the handgun), but some can be uncovered. Firstly, do a quick scan
of every area you explore. Don't bother going into aiming mode; just move
the yellow C-stick up and down and turn around in a quick circle. You should
find all sorts of goodies (usually spinels, but occasionally "augmentation"
objects for treasures or expensive treasures themselves).

Secondly, some treasures can only be found in total darkness. Don't be afraid
to shoot out all of the lanterns in an area; if you're uptight about ammo
you can always "Continue From Checkpoint" if your search proves fruitless.

Difficulty: 1/5
A far cry from the murderous zombie crows in the recent original Resident
Evil GameCube remake, the crows in RE4 are stuffed to the feathers in cash.
Don't be afraid to pop them off with the handgun, or, if they congregate in
large groups, with a grenade. You should pick up more than enough cash to
make up for the minor expense (besides, if you use these strategies, you
shouldn't even need grenades).

Difficulty: 2/5
Your average Los Ganados is a bad swimmer. If you can knock one in deep water,
they'll float down, never to be seen again. Particularly in a certain sequence
(when you're ambushed by a large group of villagers after jumping across the
row of crates), it's quite economical to take out these guys this way - one
bullet, one kill. If they're near the edge, they'll fall right over with any
kind of shot, but more stable villagers may require headshots to take the
big plunge.

Difficulty: 1/5
Fish in certain areas act as healing items. Shoot them close to shore and
scoop them up. Size is indicative of healing potency. (Before the "boat" boss
segment, it may be easier to pick off the fish at the shore with the rifle
and then sail over to their item marker. Don't shoot the water too much, or. . .
well - you'll see.) If you're REALLY devious and want to save some ammo, try
hitting large fish with the boat's harpoon. You'll have to gauge the distance,
but it's not as hard as you may think. There's a merchant along the side of
the lake, and Large Bass sell for 2,300 pesetas. Do the math!

Your Shotgun
The shotgun is, simply, your emergency weapon. Somewhat less powerful than
grenades, but usually much quicker. When things gets a little out of control,
simply line your foes up and knock them down. Hit as many enemies as possible,
then take the opportunity to give one enemy a few slashes before it stands
back up. The shotgun is also my recommended weapon for wolves and both
invisible and flying insects. (I'd use it on the bug hive and most close-range
bosses as well.)

RECOMMENDED PROGRESSION: Get the Riot Gun and stick with it for the rest of
the game. You won't obtain it for a good part of the game, though, so don't
worry too much; just keep an eye out for it. Your taste may eventually lead
you to the Striker (with the faster shot speed and higher ammo-load capacity),
but I recommend the Riot Gun, as the Red 9 works better as your versatility


The shotgun isn't as versatile as your handgun or knife (the relatively higher
ammo rarety turns the gun into more of a room-clearing weapon), but here's
some general strategies for your boomstick.

* There are a few points throughout the game when you'll have no choice but
to use shotgun ammo like a maniac. For example, some segments of the game
where enemies pour in from all sides, most boss fights and action segments
like the minecart section of the game. Just use your judgement: don't shoot
unless you have a great shot, aim at the heads of enemies, and try to hit
as many foes as possible.

* If you're surrounded, use the shotgun on powerful enemies to knock them
down and then pepper the weaker foes with your choice handgun. Whip parasites,
in particular, should be eliminated as early as possible while they're still
weak. The odds are that you won't be able to hit the parasite itself reliably
at first, so don't be afraid to shell them into oblivion.

* Don't use the shotgun on big locks unless you're in a hurry; just kick the
door many, many times until it opens. Even if you think you're in a hurry,
you probably have time to kick open, rather than shoot, doors bound by both
small and large locks.

* Regenerators are terrific fun to fight with the shotgun. Don't save your
rampage, of course, but experience at least once the thrill of frantically
removing as many limbs as possible while your foe wriggles toward you. (If
you want to fight the first Regenerator you see with the shotgun, feel free;
you can probably spare the ammo at this point.)

* Off the top of my head, I can only imagine three enemies that should never
be fought with any weapon other than the shotgun: both types of insects, and
the heavily-armored guards. So, blast away, provided you've aimed carefully

Your Rifle
Because the Red 9 has such great accuracy with the stock, the rifle is less
useful as a long range weapon than initial thoughts would suggest. The first
rifle is very useful in early portions of the game, but the rifle doesn't
really become crucial until later portions of the game, when a fully souped-up
rifle takes huge chunks of life out of bosses, those blind rampage guys, and
other powerful enemies you can hit from a distance.

Upgrade as early as you can. The semi-automatic is the only other rifle
available in the game, but what a great gun it is. With all of the upgrades,
plus the exclusive, you can take out whole armies - even with body shots.



There's not a heckuva lot of specific strategy for the rifle, but here's some
tips to use it most effectively and, par the purposes of this guide, save
CRAZY INSANE amounts of ammo! (*Slightly on-edge laugh*)

* If you buy the rifle at all earlier in the game, don't even TRY hitting
enemies unless you can get headshots. With the original rifle, this may mean
buying the scope or getting closer to enemies before firing.

* Later in the game, your rifle can actually override your shotgun in certain
cases. I suggest upping the rifle's power as much as possible so you can kill
enemies with body shots. Because your rifle will quickly become your most
powerful main weapon (forget the magnums for a second), I suggest using it
particularly on particularly powerful enemies or bosses - even those with
no visible "head", such as the masked monks, blind guys with blades (hit the
parasite on their backs with the rifle - they'll be totally stunned and drop

* If you're hurtin' for shotgun ammo, use the rifle to pick off two or three
enemies from large groups (that reminds me - up the firing speed and capacity).
Then finish off the rest with the handgun.

* That reminds me - those uber-annoying villagers with explosive torches
necessitate use of the rifle. Give them a headshot, and their charge will
quickly take out their comrades. Similarly, don't be afraid to shoot
explosive barrels near hard-to-reach enemies. The rifle - it's versatile!

* Once you have the thermal scope, don't even THINK of using anything but
the rifle to take out regenerators (those mouth-breathing bags of
schizophrenic goo).

* If you're hurting for shotgun ammo, take a potshot or two at the chainsaw
guys before flooring 'em with the shotgun. There's one point in particular
where you'll have a good ten seconds of warning. Use it! If you're soon to
be surrounded by enemies, you could always take out the chainsaw guys quickly
by stunning them with the shotgun, then rifle-ing them where they lie. It's
not pretty, but they're not pretty either - once they're riddled with lead.

Your Magnum
Even if you don't buy the magnum right away, for the love of Pete don't throw
away any Magnum ammo! I recommend waiting for the Killer 7 (you can get the
Broken Butterfly for free - check other guides for info - but I'd wait to
USE the magnum extensively until the Killer 7 becomes available).


* The Magnum is not for typical use. Perhaps I'm overly conservative with
this weapon (I usually have nearly many leftover clips at the end of the game;
the first time I played, I had nearly six!), but this isn't a room-clearing
or all-purpose type of weapon. Don't hesitate to buy the Killer 7 when it
becomes available, and upgrade its power to full capacity as soon as possible.

* The Magnum makes boss fights easy. The boss fight with Krauser can end in
a matter of seconds if you alternate leg and head shots. Just make sure that
you hit the boss every time, and that it's doing damage (some bosses,
particularly "It", have segments in which any damage inflicted on them does
not count).

* Always use up your entire clip (preferably on ammo-hungry bosses) before
you upgrade the capacity of your magnum. The merchant will fill up your entire
expanded clip for free!


I refer to these guns and weapons as "optional" because it's not really
necessary to use them to beat the game, especially if you use the above
strategies for your main guns. You may wish to try out these weapons for "fun",
but you'll soon find that they're not worth the inventory space they hog.
I'll include some basic strategies for them anyway.


I've never really gotten into the TMP. I suppose that it could be used much
like the handgun - get a single headshot, kick your enemy, slash with the
knife and repeat - focus on bullet quantity over accuracy turns me off. Anyway,
it takes up too much inventory space. If you're using the above strategies,
you shouldn't have any problems with ammo. I'd sell it.


It's the same deal with grenades - they're powerful, certainly, but the
shotgun replaces them in nearly all circumstances. I generally sell flash
grenades immediately, and hold onto one each of incendiary and hand grenades.
I use them on bosses like El Gigante (the big troll) and Bitores (the village
chief), but the shotgun is much quicker to pull out and fire. You see, you
don't have to aim the shotgun like you do a grenade. If you're in a scrape,
just choose it in the menu, hold "R" and hit "A" like crazy.

Using grenades against far-off enemies later in the game is a fool's errand
- if you're trying to attract them, you should be able to hit them with the
Red 9, and if you're trying to kill them at a very long distance, the rifle
should work nicely.

The main use I see for grenades is to take out large groups of crows without
scaring them off. It's quite a money-making thing, and much better than the
five hundred to two thousand pesetas you'd get for a grenade.

One caveat, though: there ARE a couple of points in the game where grenades
are the best weapon for the job. Use them, for example, against the chanting
monks in the ceremony room - they're loaded with spinels. Retry if your throw
is off - you'll start at the same point.


Sure, it's powerful, but the cost makes this gun a joke. Sure, the bosses
in this game can be hard, but they're not 30,000 Pesetas hard! Sell these
one-shot weapons for money. And you're deluding yourself if you think the
rocket launcher should be used against any number of regular enemies. Liquify
the merchant for fun if you want, but don't use the launcher recreationally.


The following are some money-saving (and earning) techniques, not including
those detailed above:

Relating to Weapons:

* Avoid unnecessary upgrades. You only regain half of your investment on a
weapon when you sell it, so wait until your final set of weapons to max out
your stats. Be smart about it - obviously, you'll want to upgrade the
firepower of your shotgun and handgun (initial handgun or
Punisher/Blacktail) a bit, but don't waste your cash this early. When you
have the semi-automatic rifle, Riot Gun or Red 9, upgrade to your heart's
content, but leave yourself a little financial wiggle room.

* Don't use grenades for the sake of using grenades. They're worth a moderate
amount of cash, so trash enemies with the above strategies and sell your
grenades to the explosive-obsessed merchants.

Relating to Enemies:

* Don't kill far-off enemies without an easy route to reach them. You want
to pick up any items they may drop, remember?

* Easy kills (knocking enemies into water, lava, etc.) are not always the
solution. If you're fighting small groups, item drops outweight the miniscule
amounts of ammo you'll save. Use the economical strategies in this guide that
expend a bullet or so per villager, and grab the spoils.

Relating to Merchants:

* If you play well enough, you won't need to buy any of the merchant's first
aid sprays. In fact, you may have some healing items of your own to pawn off!
Gather eggs, fish, herbs, etc. and, provided you've stocked up a good number
of healing items, don't be afraid to sell some to the merchant. Green herb
combos fetch big pesetass!


Well, it's been fun. If I think of any more of these insane strategies I'll
be sure to add them. I've tried to have a little fun with this guide, and
I hope it's been fun to read as well. Remember, none of these strategies are
boring or tedious, and it really enhance the fun of the game to have an ammo
"safety net".

The makers of this game and Shinji Mikami.

Gamespot and IGN for giving this game appropriately high reviews and
intriguing me.

My friend across the street (Xbox Live ID: KING SLURP) for getting me
initially into this game.

The local Rhino Games for offering relatively high prices on game trades that
helped me finance this game.

GameFAQs for being a great website and considering this FAQ.

(Contact me at until June 1, 2005)