I couldn't do the Resident Evil 2 Remake justice without talking about Mr. X, aka Tyrant. He's such an opposable force that I thought he deserves his own section.
There are few things in video games that outright disturb me and give me a kind of building anxiety, but Mr. X definitely brought these chills in spades. This hulking monstrosity is like a walking force of awfulness; he constantly chases you, making you feel like prey in a labyrinthine slaughterhouse full of booby traps. Every thumping step those mammoth feet take are like nails driving into a coffin. He sometimes matches your movements step-for-step, acting like a shadowy mimic, but the worst part about the Tyrant is that he's always somewhere waiting for you.
There's whole sections of the game where this walking wall of death will stomp around the entire level just to find you. And he always finds you. There's no escaping him for long, there's only avoiding him for the short term. It's like this countdown clock has triggered and you only have X amount of time before Mr. X shows up to wreck your day (and your face).
Tyrant's presence in the game adds this intense thrill that's punctuated by fear and a kind of predatory revulsion. The music kicks up whenever he's nearby, raising your heart rate and kicking that instinctual fight or flight reflex this game so loves to manipulate.
You can't really fight him, though, and you can't stop him--the only thing you can do is slow him down by throwing off his pursuit or blasting his rock-like skullcap with bullets. But even then he gets back up. He always gets back up.
He both propels your journey into this bloody, dank and haunted city and impedes it. Like a slowly moving wall he forces you to go the other way, and like a wall, he'll often block your progress. Mr. X is easily one of the most fascinating things about the game simply because he inspires deep frustration and awe all at the same time. You have to respect Tyrant and understand his nature, or else he'll terrorize you across Raccoon City.
Everything about this silent automaton is eerie and magnetic. When Mr. X shows up you're repelled from him because you don't want to die, but somehow attracted to the weird thrill he brings. There's a true sense of panic when he's near, ominously stomping and smashing open doors. How close is he? you ask, as the thumps get louder and louder, almost as loud as your beating heart.
No matter how many times you evade his lumbering swipes or cap his dome, encountering him always brings that spike of cold dread...and as a horror fan that's something I actually welcome.
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