The Resident Evil 4 remake bell skip isn't just a workaround, it's a peace offering to long-suffering players

Resident Evil 4 Remake Chainsaw Demo screenshot PS5 showing Leon fighting in Village
(Image credit: Capcom)

Whether or not you're a fan of speedrunning, the ability to skip the huge village fight at the start of Resident Evil 4 Remake is a fun little workaround to a punishing introductory battle. 

The game has only been out for a handful of days, and we are already finding plenty of cool details to fall in love with. One of these is the ability to climb through a window onto the roof of a house in the village, take aim at the church bells in the far-off distance, and shoot them to trigger the end-of-battle cutscene.

Look, I get it. Games are meant to be played, not skipped through – but hear me out. That village battle is brutal, forcing players new and old to sweat it out and roundhouse-kick their way through some pitchfork-wielding ganados before the big chainsaw guy really starts the party. This is made all the more punishing if, like many others, you were goaded into playing on Hardcore difficulty straight off the bat when the game told you that it was intended for those of us who've played the original.

But after playing through the chainsaw demo a fair few times, I was frustrated. During my third or fourth playthrough of Resident Evil Village, I found out how to barricade Ethan in a house during the Lycan attack before taking pot-shots at the beasts through holes in the door. It takes the pressure off in a big way, but I was keen to find a similar strategy to make life that much easier for Leon.

The last time I had played Resident Evil 4, I was significantly younger and had the help of an older cousin to see me through it. This time round? No such luck. While I did relish in the triumph of finally duking it out with the villagers for long enough, make no mistake: had I known that a steady hand and a bit of focus would allow me to skip it all, I would have definitely given it a shot (and most assuredly, I would have missed it).

The best logic puzzle yet? 

Resident Evil 4 remake

(Image credit: Capcom)

I get that many aren't happy about this strategy, however viable, becoming widely-known knowledge. Some might call it cheating despite it being a built-in feature of the game itself, so speedrunners aren't the only ones who will be able to take advantage of the neat little easter egg.

The bell method seems like something I'll have to take advantage of at some point, perhaps if I ever do attempt it on Hardcore mode. Don't give me that face, okay? Resident Evil 4 isn't the first game to allow you to skip chunks of it by taking advantage of environmental details; hell, you could even kill The End in Metal Gear Solid 3 early by shooting him during a cutscene. Running around the village blasting kneecaps is only exciting for so long before it turns into actual chest pain from the stress of it, so if people want to use a shortcut, let them do it. 

If you're salty about it because, like me, you got gored by Dr. Salvador a couple of times before eventually being saved by the bell, fret not. Hitting the bell is that much easier in New Game+ when you have a sniper rifle at your disposal. Think of it as a reward for making it through the castle chapters the first time round.

Join us as we celebrate 27 years of Resident Evil, looking back at a bloody good legacy.

Jasmine Gould-Wilson
Staff Writer, GamesRadar+

Jasmine is a staff writer at GamesRadar+. Raised in Hong Kong and having graduated with an English Literature degree from Queen Mary, University of London in 2017, her passion for entertainment writing has taken her from reviewing underground concerts to blogging about the intersection between horror movies and browser games. Having made the career jump from TV broadcast operations to video games journalism during the pandemic, she cut her teeth as a freelance writer with TheGamer, Gamezo, and Tech Radar Gaming before accepting a full-time role here at GamesRadar. Whether Jasmine is researching the latest in gaming litigation for a news piece, writing how-to guides for The Sims 4, or extolling the necessity of a Resident Evil: CODE Veronica remake, you'll probably find her listening to metalcore at the same time.