The Ink Ribbon (インクリボン,inku-ribon?) is a save block type used for the early games of the series up until Resident Evil: Dead Aim. Since ink ribbons could only be found lying around, not dropped by enemies, there was a set amount in the entire game. Since there was a limit on ink ribbons, there was a limit on the overall amount of times the player could save in one game. Ink Ribbons continued to be used throughout the series until Resident Evil Outbreak and then Resident Evil 4, at which point they were abandoned in favor of a 'normal' saving method.
If Resident Evil 0 is played on Easy mode, the ink is blue. If played on Normal the ink is white, and in Hard mode, the ink is red.
In Resident Evil, if played on original, the ink is white, if played on Training, the ink is Green. In REmake this is changed slightly. On all difficulties the ink is white unless the player is playing on "Once Again..." Mode, in which case it is green on Easy mode, white on Normal mode and red on Hard mode. On Real Survival Mode, the ink is blue, and on the special "Invisible Enemy" mode, it is Orange.
If Resident Evil 2 is played on Easy mode the ink is white for both characters, while in Normal the ink is red for Claire and blue for Leon. In Extreme Battle, the ink is green for everyone.
If Resident Evil 3: Nemesis is played on Easy mode, you can get an unlimited amount, and the ink is blue while in Hard mode the ink is white.
In Resident Evil CODE:Veronica, there is always an ink ribbon right of the first typewriter and three ink ribbons per saving point (typewriter).
Resident Evil Outbreak and Resident Evil Outbreak File #2 as well as Resident Evil 4and Resident Evil: Dead Aim did not include any ink ribbons but still used a typewriter as the save point. The Outbreaks only allow one save. In the first Outbreak you must quit after you save and your save is deleted when you continue, making saving more similar to pausing as there would have to start the entire level over if you died. Ironically in Resident Evil Outbreak you can find a special item called Empty Ink Ribbon which will state that it's just an ink ribbon without any ink left in it. In Outbreak File 2, Saving is unlimited but only on Easy. On Normal and above, the player can only use a specific Typewriter a limited number of times.
Resident Evil: Dead Aim and Resident Evil 4's typewriters can be used an unlimited amount of times.
Resident Evil 5 ditched the typewriter altogether, and replaced it with a more "modernized" automatic checkpoint save system. When asked in an interview for Official Xbox Magazine, the game's producer commented that "They simply couldn't find a way to fit them into the game.".