Resident Evil 4 Remake’s Dr Salvador is scary because he’s “normal”

Resident Evil 4 Remake sees the return of Dr Salvador, aka Chainsaw Man, who according to horror game dev Capcom is scary because he’s "a normal guy."

Resident Evil 4 Remake’s Dr Salvador is scary because he’s “normal”: A secret agent with long hair, Leon Kennedy from horror game Resident Evil 4 Remake

Dr Salvador, also known as Chainsaw Man, or “Oh No, Not Him, Not Now,” is set to return for Resident Evil 4 Remake, serving once again as the scourge of Leon Kennedy – or, more specifically, Leon Kennedy’s neck. As we head towards the Resident Evil 4 Remake release date, horror game developer Capcom reveals the secret behind the most terrifying of Ganados, who is apparently scary because he resembles “a normal guy.”

While it troubles me a little that Capcom’s definition of “normal guy” extends to a parasite-infected maniac covered in blood and charging around with a chainsaw, there is a certain logic to how Dr Salvador has been designed for the RE4 Remake.

According to Hirofumi Nakaoka, art director on the coming survival game, various other iterations of the Chainsaw Man were planned and discussed, with Capcom aiming to build an enemy who was even more terrifying.

“I liked the chainsaw villager,” Nakaoka explains, “so when we heard that he would return in this remake we really gave a lot of thought to how he should look. Talking with the director, we tried a lot of different things during the design process, like making him really muscular or super tall. Maybe giving him this really long coat. We tried different things with Chainsaw but it just didn’t feel right.

“So, we went back and played the original again, and took another look at the chainsaw villager. And we realised the thing about him is he’s pretty normal. He looks like a normal guy but he’s got a cowl on his head and he’s holding a chainsaw. That’s what’s scary. That’s where the horror comes from.”

Making Dr Salvador too monstrous would make him too inhuman, too unrecognisable, Nakaoka suggests. Thinking back to the credits sequence of the original Resident Evil 4, where we see the villagers before the Plagas outbreak, what’s frightening is the idea that these were once regular, decent people. It’s that conceit that inspires Dr Salvador in Resident Evil 4 Remake.

“If he was really muscular or looked non-human while holding the chainsaw, he’d just be a monster,” Nakaoka tells Game Informer. “It’s not scary. When there’s someone who looks like they should have intellect but they’re wearing a cowl and holding a chainsaw, that’s scary. From the neck down his design is not that different from other Ganado.”

Hopefully RE4’s new parry system will help when it comes to taking on the Chainsaw Man, though one handy weapon exploit from the original has sadly been nerfed. It looks like a lot of add-ons, including some extra treasures and collectibles, may also be locked behind Resident Evil 4 Remake DLC.

Check out the full Resident Evil 4 system requirements to get your PC up to spec before launch day. You might also want to take a look at all the best upcoming games for 2023, or some other great zombie games besides Resident Evil.