Los Ganados, from the Spanish word ganado, meaning cattle or livestock (some have incorrectly translated it as "The Earned"), are the primary enemies in the game. Ganados are humans who have become infested by the mind-controlling Las Plagas parasites. Ganados appear ordinary, with their only distinguishable features being their unclean look and red irises that shine like a cat's.
Humans infected with the Las Plagas parasites can be controlled, through sound waves, by the person in control of the Queen Egg; in this case, Lord Saddler. In one of Ada's reports, she suggests that it is possible that the Queen issues commands through high pitched sound waves, the same principle found in dog whistles.
There are three main types of Ganados found throughout the game:(by order of appearance) Villagers (Los Ganados), Zealots (Los Illuminados) and Soldiers (Militia). An official Capcom walk-through book states that the weapon merchant is also a Ganado. Evidence for this is that his eyes also glow red at night like other Ganados. At night the Ganados will when shot in the head, expose their plagas, this is a weak spot shoot it and it will eventually die.
There are 3 types of plagas; one will grow blade-like tentacles; another will try to bite your head off when close; the other is a spider-like plaga, that when the body is destroyed, it will come off and jump at you. With each plaga a flash grenade is the best way to kill it
The villagers were once peaceful residents of a rural community in Spain until they were exposed to the parasites through a mining campaign started by Saddler. From that point, they became ruthless savages under Osmund Saddler's control. They continue to carry out farming duties, although their living conditions have deteriorated significantly. The drinking water of the village is contaminated and the living conditions are very unsanitary. When Leon first arrives at the village, he is immediately attacked by one of the villagers after questioning him about Ashley's whereabouts.
The Ganados' arsenal is comprised mostly of farming tools, and includes pitchforks, hatchets, sickles, knives and dynamite. Upon completion of the game, a series of sketches posing as the background for the credits serves as a flashback of the earlier days of the village. What was once a community distanced from the modern world, populated with farmers and their children, became corrupt as Osmund Saddler arrived. The workers were infected with spores during the Plaga excavation, causing families to become savage and turn against one another. According to the booklet included with the Biohazard 4: Incubate DVD, the children of the villagers died after they were injected with the Plaga parasites by Saddler.
Dr. Salvador (simply known as the Chainsaw Man in the Japanese version) is a villager who wears overalls and a potato sack mask who chases after intruders with his chainsaw. He is far more durable than a regular Ganado, able to withstand a number of shots to the head without flinching, and is capable of decapitating his prey with a single strike. There is also a shorter incarnation of Dr. Salvador, nicknamed Lil' Salvy, which there are several of in the mines below Salazar's Castle. Unlike most other Ganados, Dr. Salvador's body does not disintegrate after he is killed, a trait he shares with some of the zealots in Salazar's castle. A variation of Dr. Salvador also appears in "The Mercenaries" mini-game as a sub-boss in the "Waterworld" stage, dubbed Super Salvador. This variant brandishes a double-bladed flaming chainsaw, is significantly larger and faster, and causes instant decapitation upon contact.
The Bella Sisters (or Chainsaw Sisters) are two bandage-clad female Ganados who wield chainsaws. They wear bandages covering their faces, but are otherwise clothed in the same way as other female Ganados, and their shared title translates to the Beautiful Sisters, an obvious in joke on Capcom's part. They also appear as a mini-boss in The Mercenaries minigame, and Separate Ways of the PlayStation 2, PC, and Wii port of the game.
The zealots are members of the Los Illuminados cult and appear in Ramon Salazar's castle. They are dressed in clerical robes bearing the cult's insignia. The color of their robe indicates their rank: black is for the lowest rank, red for the highest rank, and purple for the intermediate rank. The zealots are better equipped than the villagers, using a variety of medieval armaments. Also, their robes change in style as Leon progresses further into Salazar's castle, which includes some high-ranking zealots wearing bullet-proof masks that make head shots ineffective. The highest ranking members wear red robes and goat skull masks. They wield weapons such as scythes, morning stars, crossbows and sometimes use wooden shields. Smaller numbers carry dynamite or rocket launchers. They look and behave significantly less human than the village peasants; unlike the villagers who can walk, run, speak and carry out daily tasks normally, the Zealots seem more detached from the world, shuffling around, mumbling "Muere, muere, muere" (Die, die, die) and "Morir es vivir" (To die is to live). Their skin is much paler than that of the villagers, and all of them appear to be bald. Some have crimson lesions or ritual scarification on their faces while others appear to have tattoos covering their faces.
The soldiers are members of Saddler's mercenary organization, assigned to protect his island complex. They are generally better equipped than other Ganados, and run faster. They can be seen carrying stun rods, morning stars, wooden shields, RPGs, dynamite, crossbows, and bullet-proof helmets. A few burly soldiers carry massive hammers and thick, bullet-proof metal armor, as well as thick pieces of metal literally welded to their faces. With the exception of J.J., no soldier carries a firearm. They too show abnormal behaviors, speaking mostly in deep, intimidating grunts and growls.
Colmillos (fangs in Spanish) are wolves that have been implanted with the Las Plagas parasite. They act similarly to guard dogs for the Ganados. Players will meet both regular Comillos, which act like an over aggressive wolf, and Comillos with more developed plagas as seen with gigantic flailing tentacles spurting from their backs. Colmillos generally appear to be more intelligent and aggressive in their attacks than Ganados because of their comparatively greater agility. They attack by either having their tentacles flail at victims or jumping onto victims and trying to rip out their throat. The Colmillos hunt in packs of two to four.
The Novistador (which is related to unseen from Spanish) is a giant human-sized insect-like creature that was created by experiments with los Ganados. This creature has the ability to render itself invisible to the naked eye by changing the color of its exoskeleton. When invisible, Novistadors can be spotted by their glowing eyes, the ripples they emit while moving through water, their constant drooling, their breath (they often fight in cold areas) and their loud skittering noises. Novistadors often fight in packs of two to four and have wings upon their backs; often relying on them to move from wall to wall. They attack with their claws and spit acid at their enemies. Most commonly Novistadors employ sneak attacks where they spring upon victims who pass too close to their hiding spot. Flying Novistadors can be killed with one hit from any weapon. After being killed, Novistador eyes may be sold to the merchant as gems. If they are killed when they have not detected the player, they drop the Blue Eye. If they are killed when they detect the player, they drop the Green Eye. If they are killed while attacking, they drop the Red Eye. The values are (PS2 version): Blue 3000 pesetas, Red 1500 pesetas and Green 1000 pesetas.
The garradors (from the Spanish word garra (meaning claw); roughly translated to "clawer") are warriors possessed by Las Plagas who wear equipment resembling those worn by gladiators. A garrador is equipped with large claws on each hand that can be extended and retracted at will (the blades will come out if you make noise). Garradors are very brutal creatures who will indicriminately attack anyone and anything in its path and are usually kept under strong restraint. These monsters are completely blind due to their sutured eyes, so they have to rely on their sense of hearing to track down enemies. However, the Plagas have removed much of their intelligence and are thus easily distracted by loud noises such as ringing bells and gunshots.
They have several attacks, all of which are very deadly:
- The garrador will swing its claws wildly at a supposed target, moving in a straight line.
- An attack in which the Garrador charges its target and impales it on its claws.
- When Leon is close to no health and if the garrador swings and connects with him, Leon's head will be sliced off.
Armadura (from Spanish, meaning armor) is a Plaga parasite that has taken possession of a suit of plate armor from Salazar's castle, which provides a sturdy defense. They attack with medieval weapons, such as broadswords and halberds. Their helmets are loosely attached, and once removed will expose a part of the inhabiting Plaga, which is extremely vulnerable to bright lights, e.g. from flash grenades. There are two varieties of the Armadura: one in a lighter-colored armor, which tends to contain a scythe-tentacle parasite, while the darker of the two will contain a centipede-type Plaga that is incredibly dangerous due to its instant-death headbite.
Additionally, some Armaduras may attempt to ambush their victims by staying still until their target approaches, at which point they attempt to hit the target with their axes, and will then invariably disintegrate from the stress of the blow, whether it be to the opponent or to the floor.
Strangely enough, Armaduras are the only plaga-infected enemy in the game which do not consist of a both living host and the invading parasite. This raises the question of how exactly the suits of armor are being controlled, (a Japanese walk-through book states that the Plaga inside has webbed it's tentacles in the shape of a human body inside of the armor) because in all other cases the plagas takes over the mind of its victim and manipulates it to control the body physically. To achieve this control a plagas must grow strong enough to overpower the victim; thus a person such as Ashley can be infected but still retain control and consciousness. No doubt though, there is no true explanation except for the fact that the designers desired a certain effect and atmosphere enhancer that could only come from a truly "empty" suit of armor, as opposed to one with a zealot inside (who in turn harbored a plagas within himself). The fact that living suits of armor were present in a beta version of the game seems to suggest this.
A Regenerator is a mutated humanoid created from experiments with Las Plagas and human specimens: according to the notes of Luis Sera, they are the most "clearly distinguishable" creatures born from Saddler's experiments. They can regenerate lost body parts in a matter of seconds, and are extremely resistant to direct damage, but are unable to live without the leech-shaped Plagas which inhabit them, which are only visible using thermal imaging equipment. When a Regenerator has lost all inhabiting Plagas its tissue will begin to expand rapidly and will explode, leaving only its legs.
The Regenerators can stretch their limbs to reach opponents, pull them in, and bite them with their sharp teeth. They also demonstrate the ability to slither on the ground at impressive speeds after one of their legs has been shot off, and their slithering movement is in fact faster than their normally walking. They can also leap from a prone position.
The Regenerator can range from having two to five parasites depending on difficulty level and location encountered. In Professional Mode all Regenerators have a fifth parasite on their back.
An Iron Maiden is a variation of the Regenerator with the added ability to generate sharp spikes from its skin. They are able to stretch their arms, latch onto their targets and cause devastating damage by embracing and impaling them on their spikes. They have a slightly slower gait than the Regenerators; on the other hand, they can crawl much faster than normal Regenerators. They also have no visible eyes, while the Regenerators each have a pair of glowing red eyes. Iron Maidens also have considerably higher stamina than the Regenerators, as they contain more parasites. If impaled while on Professional mode, the player will be killed instantly.
The Del Lago (which means literally "of the lake" or "from the lake") is a massive aquatic creature (somewhat resembling a salamander) that lives in a lake near the village. The creature was awakened from its slumber by Saddler after Leon's arrival. Leon encounters the creature as he tries to cross the lake in a boat; as he does, the creature breaches the surface in front of the boat, making the anchor fall out. The anchor then latches to the creature's back, and it drags Leon all around the lake (you can still control the boat, though).
Since he cannot use any items (save for healing items) while on the boat, Leon must make use of the infinite supply of harpoons in order to slay the beast. The Del Lago will attempt to knock Leon from the boat in two ways; by making the boat hit one of the various floating debris piles (move the boat to avoid) or by appearing unexpectedly in front of him, hitting the boat as it breaches (again, move the boat to avoid).
Eventually, the Del Lago will somehow detach itself from the boat and disappear, prompting Leon to grab a harpoon and wait. Soon, the creature will reappear a distance away and charge at the boat with its mouth open. You must throw harpoons at it. Usually you can hit the creature with two harpoons (if you're fast, you can hit it with three) before it dives beneath the surface again, re-attaches the anchor to its back, and repeats the whole process. It takes 8 harpoons to kill the Del Lago in Normal mode, and 10 in Professional mode.
But even after you kill the beast, you're not out of the woods (or water) yet; as the monster's corpse sinks to the lake floor, Leon will find that the anchor rope (with the anchor still attached to the Del Lago) is wrapped around his ankle! This activates a Quick Time event in which you must rapidly tap a button for Leon to cut the rope with his knife. Completed successfully, Leon will free himself in time, and the battle ends.
El Gigante (the giant in Spanish), or more accurately Los Gigantes because there are more than one, are enormous human-like brutes who know nothing but destruction. Gigantes come from experiments with Los Ganados and Las Plagas, resulting in a large grotesque monster infested by plagas. They are often tied up (as seen in the village) or kept in enclosed places where they cannot wreak havoc. In the Castle, Leon faces some that have been equipped with armor and chains. These are some of the most durable enemies Leon faces in the game, being maybe five times taller than himself and having an extreme amount of health (one rocket shot). They often attack simply by trying to squish their victims and in some cases throwing or swinging objects like boulders and trees. Four methods exist to kill a Gigante: 1) getting shot a ton, 2) slicing the plagas on its back, 3) defeating it with environment objects like boulders or molten pits, and 4) shooting it with a rocket launcher
The Verdugo (Executioner) are the bodyguards of Ramon Salazar. Underneath the robes are humanoid creatures, with insectoid exoskeletons, long tails which sport sharp sickle-like blades, which are used for surprise attacks. The Verdugo's exoskeleton is almost completely bullet-proof, but is weakened by exposure to liquid nitrogen, and while frozen it is more vulnerable to weapons fire and explosives, and will be shattered into pieces if hit with sufficient force.The Verdugo possesses keen agility and exceptional combat capabilities.
The second Verdugo merges with Salazar, along with the queen plaga. This Verdugo forms the large snake-like head of the merged entity.
Strategy: His weakness is the Liquid Nitrogen. There are 4 barrels of nitrogen. Once it is frozen, grab a strong weapon (Broken Butterfly,Shotguns etc.) and shoot it until it dies. Surprisingly it doesn't die from a direct rocket if it is not frozen, if it is frozen it dies and nothing remains of it.
The U3 was created by splicing genes from reptiles, insects and a human into one organism. It goes after it's prey with umatched agility. The U3 is fought in two stages. Initially it's a centaur creature with one tentacle arm a distende, bisected mandible and an enlarged tongue, Leon's weapons are only used to drive off the monster temporarily so as to freely move about in a maze of shipping containers in large suspended cages. Partway through this sequence, an enormous worm-like Plaga erupts from the creature's back and attacks with enlarged, scissor-like jaws. The erupted Plaga is the U3's weak point, as it is more vulnerable to damage than its host. Later on, on solid ground, Leon finally manages to kill the U3. There the U3 shows its ability to dive underground and burst out, sometimes slicing the player in two.
U3 may also be called IT, as Saddler described to Leon.
Jack Krauser (Transformed)
Jack Krauser is the mercenary who kidnapped Ashley for Saddler. After he transforms, he uses his massive arm as both a weapon and a shield. The only way to damage Krauser is to attack his legs or to attack right before he does. Leon engages Krauser in a knife fight in an abandoned warehouse on the island, and then in a final fight among ruins on the island.
Surprisingly, the best way to kill him is by using the knife.
Alternately, The Chicago Typewriter (which will not be available until a second playthrough) also works wonders, at least during Ada's fight with him at the end of Separate Ways, as it is possible to take him down in less than thirty seconds by just constantly bombarding him with bullets. Right before he can do a melee attack, he has to pull away the arm that he normally uses as a shield to block bullets, leaving him briefly vulnerable for about a half a second to incoming fire. This causes him to flinch, and kneel on the ground (like what happens when knifing him), canceling the impending melee attack he was about to make. The TMP, being weaker, and not having infinite ammo, can also possibly work for attempting the same strategy, as long as one's TMP ammo holds out. Barring having the TMP ammo or Chicago Typewriter for attempting to bombard Krauser with automatic fire, using the knife is the best way to take out Krauser, and probably the only way to successfully do so within the time limit Leon faces when fighting him.
Bitores Mendez (Transformed)
Although encountered only in cut scenes earlier in the game(trying to strangle Leon in all of them), this "Transformed" Bitores Mendez is a very deadly opponent. His main attacks include a lunging attack with the two scythe-like arms on his back, and a choking attack with his two main arms. Also, after enough damage has been done to Bitores, the top half of his body will separate from the bottom half making the battle even more difficult. The best strategy with this boss is to unload on him whenever you get a chance, avoiding his attacks, moving away and unloading on him again. Incendiary grenades will make short work of his first form.
There are several types of animals which are not infected by Las Plagas, but may drop items. Most are harmless.
- These drop gems, money and the occasional item. Try to get them while on the ground since they are much harder to hit on the wing. A Flash Grenade will kill many at once.
- Difficult to hit when perched and nearly impossible to hit in flight. They don’t seem to drop anything so save your ammo. If you really hate them then swipe at them with your knife.
- A harmless domesticated chicken. They don’t drop anything but they occasionally lay eggs which are health items. If you leave an area and come back you may find more eggs, but this doesn't happen if the chickens are dead so don't attack them.
- Harmless but difficult to kill and doesn't seem to drop anything, so don't waste your time or ammo.
- Pet dog
- Runs away whenever you get close. Purely for flavor.
- Will attack if you if startled and you may find them hiding in boxes or other containers. Usually drops an egg so shoot them if you can.
- Shoot in the water; they become healing items.