Dino Crisis: Health and Ammo

Ammo is more valuable than medicine. That much is clear.

Medicine allows you to recover from being hurt. This is well and fine when you’re hurt, but why do you get hurt? Because of dinosaurs that aren’t dead yet. This is the only reason. Nothing but dinosaurs can hurt you. And dinosaurs cannot hurt you when they are dead.

Unconscious dinosaurs can’t hurt you either, so that’s almost as good. But they don’t stay unconscious forever, whereas they do stay dead forever. Tranquilizer darts have two advantages over regular ammo, however: they’re relatively easy to produce, and can be enhanced to the point where it takes only one hit to down anything smaller than a tyrannosaurus. 1Yes, I’ve finally encountered therizinosauruses. Just as I thought, they’re basically just bigger, tougher raptors — but also slower, and easier to run past in hallways without taking damage. Taking dinosaurs out quickly is the best way to not get hurt in the short term, but killing them prevents them from ever hurting you again. Every time you take out a dinosaur, you have the choice of taking it out quickly or taking it out permanently. Unless you have the rarest of all ammo types, the instantly-lethal poison dart. Supply boxes sometimes have a single poison dart on top of everything else, and this has been my main impetus to open as many supply boxes as I can. Poison darts are the player’s way of saying “I don’t feel like putting any effort into defeating this guy.”

Now, I mentioned enhancing tranquilizer darts. This is done through the “mixing” interface, which is also used for enhancing healing items. Mixing things is generally worthwhile. Partly this is because of synergy effects: for example, mixing a med pack with a hemostat (medicine that stops you from losing health from loss of blood) produces two units of an enhanced med pack that heals you and stops bleeding. But also, there are things that simply have no use other than to be mixed. They’re like buffs that affect potions.

What happens when you mix a med pack with a tranq? You can’t. You’re simply not allowed to try. When you select an item to mix, anything you can’t mix it with is grayed out. In fact, only those items that can be mixed with something show up in the mixing interface. All of this is admirable UI work, helping the player along by giving them information that they’d otherwise have to discover through frustrating trial-and-error. (There’s still trial-and-error involved in mixing, but since every combination you can try yields results, and is an improvement on what you had before, it’s not so frustrating.)

Now, if you throw enough buffs on a tranquilizer dart, eventually it’ll hit a point where it won’t take any more. The same applies to med packs: eventually it turns into the Resuscitate item, a full heal that’s automatically applied when you die. But both of these unenhanceable things still show up in the Mixing interface. This puzzled me for some time, until I had both of them in my inventory at once — and discovered that they could be mixed with each other. The result? A single poison dart.

Ammo is more valuable than medicine, but now I want to find as much medicine as I can.

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1. Yes, I’ve finally encountered therizinosauruses. Just as I thought, they’re basically just bigger, tougher raptors — but also slower, and easier to run past in hallways without taking damage.

4 Comments so far

  1. malkav11 on 26 Jul 2010

    There’s the very basics of a similar system in the Resident Evil games (with the herb mixing), but I’d never realized they’d taken it to this extent in the Dino Crisis games. Or this one, at least.

  2. Carl Muckenhoupt on 26 Jul 2010

    Ironically, I never did much with herb-mixing in RE because it seemed too complicated.

  3. tempestdash on 27 Jul 2010

    Similarly, in RE I only ever mixed herbs when I started to run out of inventory space. While taking three green herbs (which heal a little) and turning them into a green powder-of-some-sort (heals to full) is a good payoff, it was kind of annoying to only be hurt a little and have an inventory full of Heal To Full items.

    RE was pretty limited though. Only six combinations in the end since only green herbs could be mixed with itself, while red and blue were used to augment your green mixture.

  4. DragonSpikeXIII on 20 Jan 2013

    Nice post, I knew NOTHING about poison darts, quite useful against those big ugly dinos near endgame!

    Thx for the info man!

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