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Resident Evil Village devs had to change Mercenaries stages to fit Lady Dimitrescu

The forthcoming Resident Evil Village Gold Edition has plenty in store for new and returning players thanks to the hefty Winters’ Expansion. The update includes extra story content with the Shadows of Rose DLC, a third-person mode, and a Mercenaries expansion called Additional Orders that adds new stages, playable characters, and quality-of-life improvements. Additional Orders aims to radically improve upon the Mercenaries experience without losing sight of what makes it fun. To find out more about the Additional Orders DLC, Digital Trends spoke with Kento Kinoshita, director of the Winters’ Expansion.

Resident Evil Village: Gold Edition - Mercenaries Trailer | PS5 & PS4 Games

Kinoshita told Digital Trends how the team has addressed player feedback from the original version of Resident Evil Village Mercenaries, how it improved upon the original version, and how Capcom had to adjust stages to fit the massive Lady Dimitrescu.

Balancing a 9-foot tall mutant

Mercenaries is an extra mode added to Resident Evil Village in which the player must defeat enemies while keeping a combo going across familiar areas from the main game. This score-based mode is more of an arcade experience, with an emphasis on high scores rather than a thrilling story. The vanilla version of the mode featured protagonist Ethan Winters as a playable hero, but the Additional Orders DLC gives players access to Chris Redfield, Karl Heisenberg, and the beloved Lady Dimitrescu — a mutant who stands 9-feet, 6-inches tall.

“We implemented some adjustments just for Lady Dimitrescu, like changing the shape of doorways, which were originally designed with Ethan’s height in mind,” Kinoshita explained. This allows players to pass through most doorways without having to crouch through them, which would have certainly broken the flow of a run.

Lady D defeating enemy in Resident Evil Village.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

“Being so tall, Lady Dimitrescu still does need to crouch in some places in order to traverse them. So in that way, compared to the other characters, she is at a disadvantage.” However, Kinoshita says Lady D has “increased endurance” thanks to her stature, and can perform “devastating attacks,” making this character feel balanced, even though her size puts her in certain tricky situations.

Having a list of characters, each with pros and cons, will certainly make the mode more interesting, giving players many ways to strategize.

Improvements to the flow

Speaking of tricky situations, the original version of Mercenaries was tough to master, specifically due to enemy spawns. The goal is to earn a high score, but during the ending portions of a stage, the last few enemies would often spawn far away, causing your combo to break. In Additional Orders, Capcom aims to revamp this particular aspect to make it more fulfilling and balanced.

“We made several adjustments for the Mercenaries Additional Orders, such as making it easier for enemies to appear, having them chase after players if they haven’t been defeated, and adjusting the spawn system,” Kinoshita said. Capcom has improved enemy spawns in general as well.

Player battling creature in Resident Evil Village Gold Edition.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

“We finely tuned the enemy spawn positions, made adjustments so enemies would appear close to paths the player needs to take, and revised instances where it was difficult to understand what the enemy spawn conditions were,” Kinoshita added.

Kinoshita also explained how the team made adjustments to existing stages, citing The Factory as a specific example. “The Factory has many areas that look quite similar, making it easy to get lost,” Kinoshita said. “We made various adjustments, like removing some light sources, so that the correct path was more emphasized. We also tuned the new stages and their enemy positions as well to prevent players from getting lost.”

Thankfully, even the old Mercenaries stages have gotten some love as part of Additional Orders. This will hopefully make it easier for players to earn SS ranks across all stages, which is absurdly difficult in the game’s current form.

We’ll have to wait to see just how the new version of Mercenaries plays when the Resident Evil Village Gold Edition launches on October 28, 2022.

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Joseph Yaden
Joseph Yaden is a freelance journalist who covers Nintendo, shooters, and horror games. He mostly covers game guides for…
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