Resident Evil 2 guide: Tips for dealing with Mr. X

Capcom /

Having trouble with your friendly, neighborhood Tyrant in Resident Evil 2? Here are some ways to make your encounters with Mr. X a little less stressful.

Perhaps the most divisive aspect of the otherwise exceptional Resident Evil 2 is the new and improved Tyrant, Mr. X. Relentlessly stalking Claire and Leon through the halls of the Raccoon City Police Department, he forces players to suddenly find new routes to their destination, abandon useful items or simply panic in abject terror.

Unfortunately, we need to get some bad news out of the way. Like an incurable disease, there’s no way to get rid of Mr. X permanently. All you can do is treat the symptoms. Dealing with this threat is no doubt one of the bigger challenges to overcome in Resident Evil 2, but whether or not you’ve faced this overwhelming presence, there are a few ways to make him slightly less intimidating.

As with all enemies in Resident Evil 2, the most critical thing with Mr. X is knowing when to engage with him and when not to. And despite his inability to be truly defeated, there are still some instances where it can be helpful to go on the offensive.

Deal enough damage, and eventually, he’ll fall to the ground, kneeling in a stunned state. But it won’t last long, and you need to get away as fast and as far as possible. This is a fairly useful tactic when you need to take your time in a particular area or don’t want to accidentally corner yourself when completing a puzzle.

But there’s the problem with this approach, and it’s a big one. It takes a lot of precious ammunition to stun Mr. X, and that’s assuming you manage to do so while simultaneously avoiding being clobbered with his fists or bitten by a zombie. In fact, it might actually be better to just take the hit, exploit his attack cooldown and save your ammo.

Plus, whether from finely honed tracking skills or hearing the ruckus from one of your other altercations, he will find you again and usually within only a couple of minutes. So instead of going head to head, the best course of action is often just to run away. Mr. X is persistent, but he also likes taking his time.

Although he’s almost always only a couple of steps behind, he can’t outrun you in a straight line. As long as you keep moving and don’t get tripped up by clutter or enemies, making your way through the police station with him on your tail shouldn’t be too much of a problem. Especially since he’s particularly prone to being outmaneuvered in open spaces or kited around tables and desks.

Mr X
Capcom /

Knowing the ins and outs of the map can also be a major advantage. Most hallways aren’t wide enough to safely get past Mr. X so try to take optimal paths with as few detours as possible, and always have a contingency route because you will inevitably need one when he sets up a roadblock.

Pay close attention to where he follows you and where he doesn’t. There aren’t a lot of places Mr. X won’t go, but they do exist. So if he suddenly calls off his pursuit or forgets how to open a door, take special note for future reference. Speaking of doors, if you find yourself trapped in a room that he’s attempting to get into, there’s a simple trick that might allow you to slip past unharmed.

Whether locked into an animation or the AI is still trying to determine its next move, it seems that a lot of times when enemies break into rooms, you can run directly into them as they cross the threshold and push your way past to freedom. I’ve occasionally gotten this to work with Mr. X, and it’s sometimes the only option in the more claustrophobic rooms.

For my final bit of advice, I won’t go into story spoilers, but I will talk broadly about the structure of the game. Anyway, If you’ve read all of the above and still find it to be a less than ideal situation, it should be noted that Mr. X is not in the entire game.

Resident Evil 2 is comprised of many different environments, and for all intents and purposes, his lurking is contained to the above-ground portions of the police station. So there’s plenty of time to worry less about Mr. X pummeling you into a fine paste and more about dogs eating your face off.

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On top of that, in your first playthrough, he isn’t unleashed until a specific trigger occurs. I won’t say when that happens or if you even have control over it, but just know that it’s a great opportunity to clear out rooms and hallways you spend a lot of time in. The follow-up playthrough is a different story, but by then you should hopefully be much more comfortable dealing with him.

Mr. X might seem like an insurmountable obstacle, and well, he kind of is. But as long as you keep your cool, don’t stop moving, and are always mindful of where you’re going then he becomes considerably more manageable and little more than a really, really scary nuisance.