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Does the dog die in Resident Evil 4?

Before you head into the remake, a note for nervous dog lovers

A close-up shot of Leon Kennedy from the Resident Evil 4 remake Image: Capcom
Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

The new version of Resident Evil 4 is an outstanding remake of Capcom’s 2004 survival horror action game, an overhaul that modernizes the original with new graphics, new controls, and refinements to the story and events. Capcom is not afraid to remix — and cut — things that no longer work in a modern context, while also winking and nodding to fans of the franchise with a few key changes.

One of the bigger changes that Capcom revealed in previews of the Resident Evil 4 remake was a twist on the dog encounter in the early-game village area of the game. In the original RE4, Leon Kennedy encounters a helpless dog ensnared by one of the many bear traps set around the village. After coming to the pup’s aid, the dog runs off, but later returns to help Leon in a memorable boss fight.

In the remake, that encounter is very different. Early gameplay footage signaled a twist for Resident Evil 4’s beloved dog friend — that Leon would show up apparently too late, and that the dog (or is it a wolf?) has been trapped for some time, and is now dead.

Naturally, people freaked.

But is that the whole story? Here’s what happens to the dog in Resident Evil 4.

[Warning: The following contains early game spoilers for the Resident Evil 4 remake.]

The footage that Capcom showed of the dead (and horribly disemboweled!) dog in that early look at Resident Evil 4 remake is, as many fans suspected, a red herring. The real “Hey, it’s that dog” dog appears later in Chapter 3 and is trapped in a different bear trap. It’s hard to miss its painful whine as you hear it get caught in one of the bear traps scattered around the village.

As for what happens to the dog after that...

[Second warning: The following contains early-to-midgame game spoilers for the Resident Evil 4 remake.]

The dog will return to aid Leon in his battle against El Gigante, similar to how things play out in the original Resident Evil 4. Leon delivers the classic “Hey, it’s that dog” line and our furry friend serves as a major distraction as our hero tries to take down the giant, Las Plagas-infected monster man.

Don’t worry, the dog is fine.

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