2020 Update: This post was published during or shortly after the Kickstarter campaign on July 30, 2018, and may contain out-of-date assets and mechanics. To see the final version, check out Resident Evil 2: The Board Game
Welcome back – you’ve arrived just in time for one of the most anticipated Boss Monster reveals we’ve had yet. Who are we referring to? Why, it’s the T-00 Tyrant of course, better known to some of you as Mr. X. Mr. X
When we started the project, some of our design team were foaming at the mouth at the prospect of designing the legendary Mr. X. Throughout the entire Resident Evil™ series, very few Boss Monsters have inspired as much dread or been as popular as this iconic adversary. We all had plenty of ideas for how to bring him to life, and trying to keep them under wraps until we’d built the core game engine provided quite the challenge.
But weirdly, the first obstacle was actually working out what his name should be. Older veterans will remember when Resident Evil™ 2 was first released, the tyrant was referred to in strategy guides and on action figure packaging as Mr. X – it was only in later games that the name T-00 was adopted, taken from the capsule the tyrant deployed from.
When we approached Capcom for clarification, we found ourselves in discussion with them rather than getting a straight up answer. Because both names were synonymous with the Boss, we really wanted to be careful – give this fearsome enemy the wrong name and we ran the risk of confusing or alienating our audience.
Eventually, we decided on T-00 Tyrant. For starters, this name made it super clear exactly what the enemy was, which is especially important considering that some of our backers aren’t Resident Evil™ veterans. It was also a better fit canonically with the series, using the name seen in later releases. Finally, this name allowed us to better tie together both tyrant forms. Mr. X and the T-103 don’t particularly sound like they could be the same creature, but T-00 Tyrant and T-103 Tyrant definitely do.
That strange and unexpected hurdle behind us, we could focus on development!
When You Least Expect It…
We always knew this particular Boss would need to be even more unique than the others we’d created. We’d tried a couple of early tests where he was an end of scenario encounter, and it really didn’t feel thematic. To best emulate his videogame counterpart, he needed to pursue the survivors and smash his way through walls in ambush when they’d least expect it.
Thus, the T-00 Tyrant ‘enemy’ was born – an upgraded enemy which activates, moves and attacks just like a regular enemy. At the core of this design was the need to strip away most of the unique rules we had for bosses, so he could fit seamlessly into any location or tile during gameplay. We didn’t want players to get trapped facing him, so providing the option of running away was important. Although it sounds counter intuitive, being able to flee confrontation actually lends the guy a much higher level of intimidation, since players are all too aware he’s relentlessly hunting them. It also meant we could drop him into much earlier scenarios, when survivors wouldn’t have the required resources to take him down.
If you were thinking he sounds like a walkover, don’t worry. You can’t escape this guy that easily. Because the T-00 Tyrant has become a regular enemy, we can bring the Tension Deck into play. We had plenty of ideas for this, including one which allowed him to smash down doors, a visual we’d borrowed from another pursuer boss in the series. That remained for quite a while, until we decided it was too close to the No Escape card, and shelved it. Better to save that one for the future.
Eventually we settled on two types of T-00 Tyrant cards in the final game. We could tell you what they do… but perhaps the descriptions on the cards would be more chilling, and keep you guessing.
Plaster and brick collapse in a shower of dust as the T-00 Tyrant smashes its way through the wall to attack!
With terrible finality, the T-00 Tyrant’s gaze settles upon you. Run—while you can!
We’re sure you get the idea. What’s worse is that often these cards won’t start in the Tension Deck. Instead, players will generate them as the game goes on, drawing attention to themselves as they try to make it through each scenario. Although it’s an extra step of complexity from a game mechanics point of view, we loved the idea of making the players complicit in inviting this guy to the scenario. If you want, you can sneak around, trying to keep your head down… but eventually, you’ll have to confront him, sure enough. And it will be your actions which brought him to the party.
So, before we sign off, let’s give you a couple more hints about the Tyrant. Well, for starters, you can’t push this formidable adversary. But don’t worry – you can’t get stuck in the same square. When the Tyrant hits a survivor, the impact is so hard the character is pushed back. Think of it as a type of dodge… a really painful one that leaves a massive bruise.
Next up, the Tyrant goes where it pleases. Just like a Boss, the Tyrant pushes any models in its path out of the way when it moves. You can’t hide from this guy – especially if you’re unlucky enough to have gained the Marked Target token. Trust us, running is nearly always the better choice here.
Of course, this is all well and good, but several of you are probably now asking how you can defeat such a relentless adversary. It’s a great question. During regular encounters, the T-00 Tyrant is nigh on unstoppable. Even if you do manage to defeat it, the respite will only be temporary. Eventually however, the players will have the chance to finish off the monster stalking them… and that’s the subject for next week, when we discuss the true Boss Monster version of the T-00 Tyrant!