Resident Evil 2: Tyrant Explained

Hats off to the Tyrant, who is sure to scare you senseless in the Resident Evil 2 remake

This Resident Evil article comes from the UK. It contains minor spoilers.

The Resident Evil 2 remake is out now, and it is sure to serve up no shortage of scares. As we noted in our review of this long-awaited remake, the constant puzzle solving, inventory managing, and map checking required to beat the game make its players very susceptible to shocks. When you’re concentrating on working something out, there’s nothing more frightening than the sudden arrival of the most terrifying villain in the game: the imposing silhouette of the Tyrant, coupled with his incredibly loud footsteps, never fails to get us in a flap.

Whether you’re a newcomer to Resident Evil or a longtime fan of the franchise, there’s no denying that the Tyrant is realized in an incredibly effective way in this remake. If you fancy learning more about who this chap actually is, what makes him so scary, and your best bet at surviving an encounter, read on for all the insights we can offer…

What is the Tyrant?

The Tyrant – also known as Mr. X or simply Trenchoat among fans – doesn’t exactly get a formal introduction when he first shows up in Resident Evil 2. In fact, he barges into action without even so much as a warning. 

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You’ve really got to feel for any newcomers to the series, who will have no idea what they’re in for when Tyrant shows up on the scene. It’s immediately obvious that this looming menace, kitted out in a coat and hat, is not your garden variety zombie. But what exactly is he?

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Longer-term fans of the franchise will recall that the Tyrant in this game is the latest in a long line of familiar-looking nasties. Created by Shinji Mikami, they’ve been a part of the Resident Evil universe since the original game arrived in 1996. The official canon dictates that Tyrants are bioengineered super soldiers, created by the morally awful big bads of the series, those sinister scientists at the Umbrella Corporation.

The model of Tyrant that Leon and Claire come up against in Resident Evil 2 is a T-00, and he essentially shows up once the players’ training wheels are off. The Tyrant’s arrival signals the point when the game starts getting harder and he isn’t exactly easy to get rid of.

Why is the Tyrant so scary?

The Resident Evil 2 remake’s iteration of this classic big boss is undoubtedly the scariest foe in this hot new horror release. Regular zombies can be shot, certain breeds can be burned or blown up, and the creepy-looking lickers can often be avoided, but the Tyrant himself… well, he is basically invulnerable to all the attacks at your disposal. Shooting him in the head may earn you a fun little trophy, but it doesn’t do much to stop the Tyrant from stomping towards you.

That stomping can begin to seem like an omnipresent sound effect, too, because once the Tyrant is in the game, he won’t leave you alone for long. In certain areas of several main maps, the Tyrant will stalk you around from room to room and only stop when he’s ended your life. He’s mostly mute, so you’ll only have his death-declaring footsteps to go on. What fun!

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As a smug-sounding “help” card informs you on the YOU ARE DEAD loading screen, which often appears after an encounter with this coat-wearing killer, “Normal weapons are but peashooters before the mighty Tyrant.” Basically, during ordinary segments of gameplay, there is nothing you can do to stop the Tyrant. This isn’t how any other enemy interactions play out in the game, which makes the Tyrant’s booming footsteps an immediate cause for concern.

Here’s some visual evidence of how futile it is to fire your regular weapons at the Tyrant…

Of course, it isn’t much of a spoiler to state that it is possible to make it through the entire game and achieve your character’s objectives. But when the Tyrant is in your way, playing on can often feel impossible. If you shoot him, nothing happens. If you do nothing, he’ll stomp towards you and whack you. He’ll kill you with his bare hands using a swift slap – it’s an eerie-looking attack that deals serious damage, and there’s no way to counter it. So…

How do you defeat the Tyrant?

If the Tyrant is coming after you in a normal segment of the map – as in, you’re not in a boss battle – there is very little point in trying to engage him. It may seem counter-intuitive and somewhat cowardly, but the best thing to do in situations like this is to run away. Your running is quicker than the Tyrant’s noisy stomping, so put some distance between you and him, rather than wasting ammo on a futile fight.

It’s worth remembering that, when the Tyrant is present in a regular area of the map, it normally means that you’re basically done with that bit of the game. You’ll want to leg it to any rooms that still have items to grab (it’s not always possible to get back into locations once you’ve left them, so stick anything you might want later into the Item Box). And then, when you’re ready, press ahead and activate the next bit of the story.

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As you tick off objectives, there will often be a cutscene or a location change that puts the Tyrant out of commission for a while. You normally get a break from him after each major story event, for just long enough to lull you back into a false sense of security. So, yes, pressing ahead and leaving his vicinity is the best way to avoid death at the hands of the Tyrant.

Your final showdown with the Tyrant is signposted fairly obviously (although we won’t spoil it here), and the “Help” prompts on the loading page become a lot more helpful at that point. So, until you’re into the final throws of Resident Evil 2, do yourself (and your blood pressure) a favor: just make a run for it whenever this scary adversary shows up…