With a week to go before Halloween, you just had to choose to go the sleepy town of Raccoon City, didn’t you? Of all the places in all the world, you decided to head for Emma’s Diner, or maybe a visit to the Raccoon City zoo. Silent Hill would have been a good secondary destination, you know. Regardless, you’re here, and you’re likely going to find yourself wandering through the Resident Evil town several times this week as you gear up for Halloween. So, let’s have a little bit of fun with the Resident Evil series, shall we? This franchise has inspired literally hundreds of “What If?” scenarios in basements worldwide with Chee-tos and a dose of boredom, and if we’re going to be playing the game this week, we may as well walk through it equipped to handle its malicious population.
In Raccoon City, a few items exist to help you survive its streets filled with denizens of the undead. Most items can be found just lying around, including guns and ammo, but while those things are no-brainers, I won’t be covering weapons. Guns kill things, and although nothing is wrong with killing zombies or other weirdo creatures, I’m going to focus more on survival items.
The Lighter: Fire, the one element responsible for making us conquer lands, come out of the dark ages and become a civilization, is here in Raccoon City and proves quite useful. Who would have thought a Zippo would be an invaluable tool to survival against a megacorporation with world domination in mind? Still Claire, Chris, Leon and Jill have all made use of this item, from lighting torches and lighting fires in creepy fireplaces, it’s one of the essential tools of the trade. Also, let’s not forget just how badass a Zippo looks! I mean, Resident Evil would not have been the same if we had a Bic lighter from the Dollar Store. Also, with the lighter we would torch zombies with a little gas in the Resident Evil remake, so make sure to pack it up when you to a little place called Raccoon City.
The Lock Pick: Seriously, if you are, as the game says, a “Master of unlocking,” then this item should be another no-brainer. But where the hell does someone find a lock pick? Target doesn’t seem to carry them; maybe Big Lots might. Or maybe I’m just not looking hard enough. This item would be replaced by a hairpin in later games, but have you ever tried to pick a lock with that? More often than not, all you get for your trouble is a bent hair pen and several confused neighbors. In Resident Evil, it pays to be a the Master of Unlocking, so you should always carry your trusty lock picks and hope a community-college course can help you learn to use them for zombie survival. A lock pick vs. a hair pin. One may be smaller and a slick fashion statement, but it’s not practical when the undead hunger for tasty flesh….
Moonlight Sonata (aka Musical Score): What other musical piece has the astounding ability to open doors for no visible reason? Truly, this song is reason enough for you to take piano lessons before you come to Raccoon City. Of all the things to bring with you — screw guns, lock picks and even lighters — you better bring the Moonlight Sonata, and none of that fancy iPod stuff, either. You’d better know how to play this song, and you’d better do so on every piano you see. Maybe you’ll get applause from random people, maybe you’ll open a door to hide you from bad guys and evil scientists. Either way, if this song doesn’t save your soul, it’ll save at least save your sanity in this creepy little town.
The Square Crank: This item is single-handedly the most useful of all man’s inventions. Screw fire, forget lock picking, and forsake piano lessons; you can take-on the zombie threat with just you and your square crank. No sex jokes, please. Seriously, the square crank opens doors, elevators and gates, and it even causes boulders to chase after you. This powerful crank can be a harsh mistress, but it can be tamed with some gentle McLovin’. It doesn’t matter where you are or how technical things gets, you will need a steel square crank. Maybe bring along a wrench in case it happens to break. Home Depot would be a good place to look for one of these gems. Or a random hidden chest.
So pack your bags, grab a Jill Sandwich and drop into one of the best series ever invented for any console. With these trusty items, you’ll be well-equipped to go on a virtual vacation where not your enemies don’t want to simply catch you, they want to eat your braaaaiiins, too. Sorry I couldn’t give you any advice on plant salves. I have never encountered a salve that can cure a zombie bite or near-decapitation by a zombie dog.
— Mike Dodd
Mike Dodd is co-founder and host of
This Week in Geek, an International radio show and podcast and a place where gamers and “geeks like us” can chill. His gaming column appears on DailyGame every Friday (yes, today’s is a bonus).