The Resident Evil 4 remake includes a variety of changes from the 2005 original. Some of the most prominent alterations include a revised story, complete graphical overhaul, refined controls that are more in line with modern titles, the ability to parry attacks with the knife, and more. The fan-favorite Merchant from the original also saw some changes. While he used to be weak and quickly died upon being attacked, he has been made practically invincible in the remake.
Just like in the original game, the Merchant will appear in a number of different locations on the map, where he sells different weapons and items that will aid Leon on his journey. In a way, the character also serves to enliven the gloomy atmosphere of the village and castle, as he interacts with Leon in a friendly—albeit a little creepy—manner.
In the original Resident Evil 4, it was possible to ruthlessly attack the Merchant, even though he was not an enemy. He was particularly feeble and would die to a single hit from any kind of attack. Not only is there no merit to killing him, but doing so means that he will never appear in that particular location again on that playthrough. Although he can still be found in other locations, accidently killing him can cause quite a bit of inconvenience for the player.
The remake changes things considerably, as it is now impossible to attack the Merchant with a gun. If you attempt to make Leon aim at the Merchant, he will stop aiming and pull the gun back into a ready position. You can attempt to slash at him with the knife, but the attacks will not hit. Using an explosive will cause the Merchant to raise his arms as if to protect himself, but he will not die from the explosion. It has become fundamentally impossible to kill the Merchant, whether intentionally or not.
As mentioned earlier, killing the Merchant in the original game did not prevent him from appearing in other locations. This led to the theory that there were actually multiple Merchants rather than just one. However, in Resident Evil Village, a character named Duke mimics one of the Merchant’s lines and remarks, “Just something an old friend of mine used to say.” Making the Merchant unkillable in the Resident Evil 4 remake may have been a way to show that he is indeed a single person. That said, the identity of the Merchant remains shrouded in mystery, and we know nothing for certain.
Written by. Marco Farinaccia based on the original Japanese article (original article’s publication date: 2023-03-25 14:27 JST)