Bosses of Gaming: Nemesis
As part of my new Bosses of Gaming series, I will create both a written feature for my blog as well as a video for YouTube.
To kick things off, I chose a very famous survival horror villain. If you haven’t heard of him, I have to question your gaming knowledge, especially since he just got the beauty treatment in a recently released remake.
I am, of course talking about Nemesis from the Resident Evil franchise.
When you think about Capcom’sCapcom’s series – precisely the villains – Nemesis is one of the first that comes to mind. In fact, he is the main draw to the original game from 1991 – his name is even in the title, and he alone stands on the front cover.
For this feature, we will look purely at Nemesis in Resident Evil 3, more specifically, the remake. However, he does feature in other Capcom and Resident Evil titles – Resident Evil Survivor 2 Code: Veronica, The Umbrella Chronicles, Under the Skin and Marvel vs Capcom 3 to name a few.
The thing with this sexy bioweapon is that he is an immediate threat, you have been playing the game for all of two minutes when he bursts through the wall – like, how did he even get into the apartment next to Jill’s? Most bosses found in games are a danger to the player for one section of the game, or the main antagonist may appear throughout, but you have to wait till the final showdown to get your hands on them.
Nemesis makes his presence known immediately, not only that but for the first half of the game, he will stalk Jill in the streets of Downtown Raccoon City. Mind you, he’she’s a pretty generous guy given the upgrades he gives you for the handgun. Both enhancements are worth grabbing if you can, a silencer and extended mag will give Jill a bit more of an advantage and against this dude, trust me, you are going to need it.
People have been known to compare Nemesis to Mr X, and I would like to say that there really isn’t much of a comparison. Sure, the Tyrant will pursue Leon from about a third of the way through Resident Evil 2, and there is a boss fight with him at the end that playthrough but that’s just one encounter and he is more straightforward to avoid than Nemesis when in pursuit.
Furthermore, if you choose to play as Claire the bio mutant is a speed bump for about 15 minutes, maybe half an hour if you take your time – not to mention he doesn’t even have a boss fight with Redfield.
Jill has four boss encounters with her bioweapon, with each one proving to be more intense than the last.
The first of our actual fights with Nemesis is on top of a construction building that he has single-handled tried to burn down – pyromaniac anyone? This encounter is new to the remake, and frankly, I think this is one of the best moments in the game. Not that I hadn’t considered Nemesis to be a worthy and terrifying foe before, but now he was wielding a weapon – a bloody flame thrower!
It is a two-phase fight, the first being his use of the flame thrower to scorch you from a distance. The second being melee after Jill blows up his fuel tank. Honestly, the fight hits a whole new intensity when Nemesis runs at you with impressive speed at times. Sure, the flame thrower could burn, but I felt comfortable shooting at him from a distance, there wasn’t too much of a need to move around. Use the environment to your advantage, and you can get some shots off with a clear angle while the bioweapon is unable to hit Jill.
However, when it comes to melee, it is time to move your ass! Nemesis hits hard, and he will punch you around like a rag doll. An excellent example of a boss fight, two different styles in combat rolled into one forcing you to adjust your approach in the second half of the battle. Not to mention Jill looks like a badass as she jumps from the roof with explosions going off around her (just forget about how she messed up the landing).
I felt elated after having taken him down in one try, wooo, yeah, take that for breaking through my damn wall! However, my feel-good moment was short-lived when he promptly reappeared to throw the flame thrower at me – talk about throwing your toys out the pram. But that wasn’t the concern I had for Jill, no, Nemesis has brought a rocket launcher with him! “A rocket launcher, really,” why yes, I’mI’m sorry Jill, but it’s time to go go go.
Honestly, despite how badass it makes our foe look, he isn’t too much of an issue here unless you are playing on Nightmare or Inferno difficulty. On standard, our homeboy needs to go practice at a shooting range – his aim is terrible. But, the cut scenes in this section are great to watch, it shows how determined Nemesis is to get his hands on Jill, I mean, we blew him up not five minutes ago.
Now, we get a bit of a break as we play as Carlos in the police station, I recommend having a good look around especially if you played the RE2 remake. Once we retake control of Jill, we leave the subway, then we get to see Nemesis on fire as he falls into the river – “Bitch can’t even swim.”
Except, it turns out he can Jill, and not only that but has evolved into Nemesis 2.0 – not so sexy anymore, now he is a giant beast that has animal-like tendencies. Seriously, maybe we should have told him to roll over and give him a belly rub. Hindsight is a wonderful thing. The fight we have just found ourselves in is very different from our first encounter.
Nemesis is much more aggressive – though no more weapons, YAY! – and he can wombo combo you on higher difficulties. Time your dodges well to create good openings to exert some damage on the beast. If there is one annoying thing about this second fight, it’s his insistence on playing dizzy dinosaurs. Once Jill has inflicted enough damage, Nemesis will begin to run around the arena. You have two options, wait for him to stop and use fire or explosive grenade launcher rounds to shoot him down, or you can use the mine rounds and shoot it ahead of him to force back to the floor.
Upon hitting the ground, it is time unleash your arsenal of weapons on him. Use the pistol and the shotgun – make sure both are fully loaded before taking Nemesis out. A weak spot protrudes from his neck, so it’s clear where to shoot. If you have an assault rifle, this is the time to use it in this fight.
When fighting the same foe, again and again, it is essential to add something new to each battle, switch up some mechanics. Capcom nailed that here, the first and second fights are very different. Our second encounter proves to be more intense and intimidating than the last. Especially since Nemesis does manage to infect Jill post-fight. Well, Jill did chop his arm off so…fair trade?
We will not come face to face with him again until the closing section of the game. Poor Tyrell, I mean he got so close so far from surviving Raccoon City – the morale of the story do not try to help someone being pursued by a giant bioweapon! I almost felt happy for Nemesis; he probably thought he finally accomplished something by finishing off the Umbrella officer.
So, Nicholai will drop us into our penultimate fight with Nemesis, which is very similar to our last battle with him. Except, the intensity has been stepped up again, and the fabulous Carlos is on standby to let us know what tank our foe is hiding behind. I think it would be fair to say that Nemesis is more erratic than before, sure, the fight has the same mechanics as the last, but the beast’s movements are a bit more unpredictable. Further boss development, it is as though Nemesis is now desperate to win, he is bigger, better and stronger, yet he still can’t put Jill down.
Finally, after Carlos thinks he has turned him to mush, we have our final encounter. At this point, Nemesis is mutated to a giant blob with tentacles – but don’t worry, the face is still there. To look at, yes, he is very threatening, he is enormous. In fact, he takes up the majority of the area!
Once again, the mechanics were switched up – would have been difficult to run around the arena with no legs.
The path to victory is simple, power up the huge bloody gun behind you! Pustules will grow all over Nemesis, popping these will inflict damage and ultimately force it down. This is when you will push the power supplies into place. In terms of danger, Nemesis doesn’t pose much of a threat at all on lower difficulties, his attacks are easy to dodge, and there are very few pustules to shoot. However, on Nightmare and Inferno, this fight can be hellish – a single hit can kill you on Inferno.
The final boss fight is the easiest on easier difficulties and the hardest on the greater difficulties – Not often that I come across a boss fight that is so different in terms of challenge on various difficulties. The rest of the battles are of a similar challenge in regards to difficulty setting. Either way, Jill gets her moment – she earned it – and she blows Nemesis to pieces. Covering herself in so much blood that she gives Carrie a run for her money.
There is a real moment of relief at knowing it is truly over, and you survived, you overcame a killing machine. You Defied the odds. All that is left to do is go and finish business with Nicholai.
I platinumed this game within its launch weekend, and Nemesis is one of the reasons for that. I loved the threat and the challenge he posed when I played on Inferno. Of course, Jill herself is also a reason I was able to play the game and complete it five times in one weekend.
The bioweapon is not only a survival horror icon, but he is also a video game legend in general. Even if you have never played RE3 or any other game he appears in, you will have heard of him – much like Pyramid Head.
If you haven’t played the Resident Evil 3 remake, I highly recommend it. However, be prepared to face a relentless foe that will be a severe threat from the get-go.