Resident Evil 4 Remake had a lot of high expectations, and overall it’s passed with flying colors. The original is among the most beloved games in a series whose fans are known for memorizing every inch of every area; naturally, there are some throwbacks that you’ll only catch if you played the 2005 version or one of its remasters.
The Remake has plenty of Easter eggs whether you’re a returning fan or completely new to the story, but these details will completely fly over the heads of players who don’t know the original version. How many did you catch?
This article contains spoilers.
7 Mendez’s Eye
In both the remake and the original game, Bitores Mendez is the leader of the cultists in the first area, the Village. Astute observers may have noticed that his eyes are two different colors; that’s because his left eye is a prosthetic.
In the original game, Leon takes Mendez’s false eye after defeating him in combat. The eye is used to bypass a retina scanner and open the way to Castle Salazar. The retina scanner isn’t present in the Remake, but if you approach Mendez’s body after killing him, you can still pick up the eye. Its only purpose in the Remake is as a sellable loot item… and a “wink” to longtime players, of course.
6 “MIS-ter Kennedy”
Of the game’s many antagonists, Count Ramon Salazar is by far the most over-the-top in both the original and the remake. He dresses in eighteenth-century clothing and pontificates about his evil plans like a classic Bond villain. In the remake, his look is much more disheveled and unhinged, and his personality and motivations are a little more fleshed out, but fans of the original only wanted to know whether he’d keep his iconic form of address for Leon.
Salazar always calls Leon “Mister Kennedy” with exaggerated formality. The Remake’s developers – and Salazar’s English-language voice actor, Marcio Moreno – were well aware of this, and Salazar delivers the line with the delightful, scenery-chewing gusto it deserves.
5 Ashley Graham, ’90s Kid
Technically, you don’t need to have played the original to notice this one, but chances are that if you’re old enough to have caught it, you probably played a lot of Resident Evil 4 in the mid-2000s. The game takes place in 2004, and Ashley is twenty years old. If her slang seems a bit outdated, it’s because she grew up in the 1990s.
Throughout the game, Ashley utters several phrases that are painfully of the era – “Get real!” and “As if!” are two notable standouts. Toward the end of the game, if Leon catches her before the wrecking ball fight, she has several randomly-selected voice lines – one of which is simply the word “Skillz.” With a Z, the subtitles confirm. Not only is Ashley a true Millennial, it seems like she might be a bit of a mid-2000s gamer as well.
4 Fish Food
The original game had a deadly Easter egg early on. Players hoping to get some early shots in against the lake monster, Del Lago, were punished for their presumption; shooting the water would cause Del Lago to leap up from the depths and gobble Leon up from the shore! There was even an Achievement for triggering this unique death scene in later remasters of the game.
Players eager to get an up-close view of the creature’s lovingly-rendered teeth will be pleased to know that shooting the lake in the Remake is just as lethal. There’s no Achievement or Trophy this time, though, so the only reason to get eaten by a giant fish is for nostalgia value.
3 Classic Lines As Challenges
Much of the game’s original dialogue was rewritten fo the remake. While some of its campiest classics like “Hey, it’s that dog!” and “Where’s everyone going? Bingo?” stayed in, there were simply too many B-movie catchphrases for all of them to be included. If your favorite line didn’t make the cut, take a quick look at the Challenges menu – there’s a good chance it’s preserved for posterity there.
Recent Resident Evil games have included Challenges as ways to unlock extra content. Many of them – including “No thanks, bro!” and “Did you send out those invitations?” are named after famously groan-worthy lines from the original that aren’t present in the Remake’s script.
2 Original Character Models As Charms
The Shooting Gallery minigame lets players earn Charms, equippable keychains that grant a variety of useful buffs. It’s easy to miss, but astute fans will notice that the characters represented on the Charms use the designs from the original game rather than the remake! This is easiest to spot on the Ada Wong charm, which has her wearing her famous red dress from the 2005 instead of her stylish new jumpsuit.
It’s not just designs, either – some Charms depict characters who don’t appear in the remake at all, like J.J. the mini-gunner, a late-game enemy from the original.
1 Village Battle 2.0
The opening battle in the Village Square is arguably the most well-known scene in Resident Evil 4. It’s the first thing most people think of when the game is mentioned, and players of the original still remember their strategy for holding out against Doctor Salvador and the angry mob of Ganados.
The thing is, Capcom remembers all your strategies, too. In particular, they knew that players had a tendency to climb the watch tower and wait out the battle in relative safely, occasionally knocking enemies down the ladder but otherwise conserving their health and ammo. Try that in the Remake. See what happens.
Climbing the watchtower in the new version of the village battle causes the platform to collapse after a few seconds, plunging Leon back down to ground level. You’ll have to find somewhere else to hide from the enemies. If that weren’t enough, the cultists blow up the tower in a later chapter, symbolically putting the final nail in the coffin of the original’s ultimate cheese strategy.