"These soldiers have lost their edge. They have forgotten what fear and survival mean. It's time for them to remember... "
— Opening game briefing
"The Mercenaries - Operation: Mad Jackal" is an unlockable minigame in Resident Evil 3: Nemesis which you unlock by completing the main game once. It follows the three UBCS soldiers from the story throughout Raccoon City as they kill zombies and other creatures for points.
This mini-game plays vey similarly to the Resident Evil 2 mini-game, The 4th Survivor with a few new features added in. The player has a choice of playing as one of three characters: Carlos Oliveira; Mikhail Victor; or Nikolai Zinoviev.
The premise of the mini-game is that police chief Brian Irons has implanted a bomb in the chosen mercenary, and the player initially has two minutes to get from the Cable Car to the Warehouse Save Room. Thankfully, more time is granted for each creature killed along the way. Additionally, there are several people scattered through the level that are about to be killed when the player gets to them. If they are saved, they drop an item and more time is added to the player's timer.
Nemesis appears several times as the player tries to make it to the end, although only in his first and second form. Killing Nemesis grants a huge time bonus, but it is difficult to accomplish.
|Enemy||Bonus seconds||Bonus money|
|Nemesis-T Type (mutated)||120||$250|
A Combo is an event in which an enemy is killed whilst the declaration of a previous kill is on-screen.
|Successive enemy||Combo modifier|
Carlos is equipped with two rapid-firing weapons; the full-auto M4A1 and critical headshot inflicting STI Eagle. It is recommended to rely mostly on his handgun for clearing paths, as no spare ammo can be found for the M4A1. For emergencies and battling tough enemies, the assault rifle is ideal.
Mikhail is the most powerful character in the game; armed with the Benelli shotgun, S&W .44 Magnum, and the M66 Rocket Launcher. His shotgun is capable of eliminating several zombies at once, earning huge amounts of time quickly. His magnum can kill most tough creatures in one shot, and the rocket launcher will bring down the biggest of adversaries. However, he has less healing items.
Nicholai is best used by experts, as he is armed with only the SIGPro handgun and the survival knife.
Most weapons will give +3 seconds bonus upon killing an enemy, however the knife gives +24 seconds, making it a valuable tool for earning time. It is recommended to wound an enemy first with the handgun, then finish it off with Nicholai's knife.
When the player completes the game or dies they are given a grade and a monetary reward. The money can be saved up to buy four different items to use in the main game: an Assault Rifle with infinite ammunition, a Gatling Gun with infinite ammunition, a Rocket Launcher with infinite ammunition, or infinite ammunition for every weapon in the game.
The minigame includes a unique feature in the form of "hostages." It is not necessary to save the hostages, however, if the player intends to achieve a high rank they must be saved in time. There are six hostages within the game, each in a different location:
- Dario Rosso at gas station
- Brad Vickers in the basement of Restaurant
- Marvin Branagh at the Substation
- Promo Girl at The Raccoon Press office
- UBCS member #1 at the Sales Office (Nikolai for Carlos and Mikhail; Carlos for Nikolai)
- UBCS member #2 at the Bar Jack (Mikhail for Carlos and Nikolai; Carlos for Mikhail)
Every saved hostage will add +20 seconds to the player's timer and the hostage will drop an item for the player's use.
Every hostage has a time limit in order to be rescued, otherwise they will appear as corpses when the player enters their respective areas. If the player succeeds in entering a room containing a hostage in time, the hostage will be alive. The hostage's time limit is effectively stopped and will not count down even if the player has to fight before actually initiating the rescue. If the player arrives too late, the hostage will already be dead and thus cannot drop an item. Additionally, any monsters that were supposed to be in the room will not be present. Every hostage has a unique scream that the player will hear upon entering the room (dead hostages won't scream). The following is a list of every hostages rescue time limit:
- Dario (2 minutes)
- Brad (4 minutes)
- Marvin (6 minutes)
- Promo girl (9 minutes)
- UBCS #1 (12 minutes)
- UBCS #2 (14 minutes)
Items dropped by hostages:
1. Carlos Oliveira
- Dario - H. Gun Bullets (60)
- Brad - H. Gun Bullets (60)
- Marvin - H. Gun Bullets (60)
- Promo Girl - First Aid Spray
- Nikolai - H. Gun Bullets (60)
- Mikhail - First Aid Spray
2. Mikhail Victor
- Dario - Shotgun Shells (14)
- Brad - Magnum Bullets (12)
- Marvin - First Aid Spray
- Promo Girl - Shotgun Shells (14)
- Nikolai - First Aid Spray
- Carlos - Enhanced Shotgun Shells (14)
3. Nikolai Zinoviev
- Dario - H. Gun Bullets (60)
- Brad - H. Gun Bullets (60)
- Marvin - H. Gun Bullets (60)
- Promo Girl - Enhanced H.G. Ammo (60)
- Carlos - Enhanced H.G. Ammo (60)
- Mikhail - H. Gun Bullets (60)
Every room the player can go into contains a definite amount of monsters. Every playthrough the player will face the same number and types of monsters in every location. The only difference is that the amounts of HP each monster possess will be different. The minigame contains every type of monster from the main game with the exception of Nemesis 3rd form. The main goal of the minigame is to kill as many creatures as possible. More points can be earned by killing multiple creatures in succession and entering "combo time." It should be noted that the combo time indicator only appears for 3 seconds and cannot be prolonged. Dodging monsters' attacks will give +1, then +2 seconds (if the initial dodge and final dodge are successful). Even dodging initiates combo time, giving the player less than 3 seconds to kill an enemy.
List of monsters and bonuses for them:
- Zombie- 3 seconds. Combo kills: 3, 7, 14, 24, 34, 44 etc. (+1, +4, +7 extra seconds for continuous kills);
- Zombie dogs, Web Spinners - 4 seconds. Combo kills: 4, 10, 20 (+2, +6 extra seconds for continuous kills);
- Crows - 1 second. Combo kills: 1, 2, 4, 7, 10, 13, 16 etc. (+0, +1, +2 extra seconds for continuous kills);
- Hunter γ, Hunter β - 6 seconds. Combo kills: 6, 15, 30 (+3, +9 extra seconds for continuous kills);
- Drain Deimos, Brain Suckers - 5 seconds. Combo kills: 5, 12, 24 (+2, +7 extra seconds for continuous kills);
- Nemesis-T Type 1st form - 10 seconds for KO, 20 seconds for the kill. When 2 nemesis appear you can get 30 seconds for double KO combo, 50 seconds for doublekill.
- Nemesis-T Type 2nd form - 120 seconds for kill.
- Sliding Worm - +1, +3, +10 seconds for dodging them.
Defeating every monster with the knife as Nikolai gives x8 time bonus, except for second form of Nemesis. Extra seconds for continuous kills remains the same.
In a few areas, the players will have to find a certain spot and press the action (x) button. Doing so will grant them extra time. As the player reaches and interacts with the checkpoints, the bonus seconds received will be larger than the last one. The checkpoints are:
- Alley behind the Newspaper Office
- Restaurant, in the table where the powder is found.
- Inside low voltage room at Substation
- Alley where the Fire Hose was attached with bolts
- Residential area alley where zombies were blocked by a barricade
- Y-shaped alley where you find Benelli M3S in original game
Extra time bonus will be added in next order:
- +2 seconds
- +4 seconds
- +8 seconds
- +16 seconds
- +32 seconds
- +64 seconds
The amount of bonus time received does not depend on the location of the checkpoint, but on how many checkpoints were previously visited.
- Brian Irons is the mini-game's narrator. The game starts with him giving a speech about the game's rules. He gives "freedom" to the player at the end of the game.
- After gaining a time bonus from zombies in a room containing a hostage, they will always die (no "sleeper" or "crawler" mode).
- The room with the fifth hostage (UBCS #1 in the Sales office) is the only hostage room containing non-zombie creatures (there are three Hunter γ in the room).
- The time bonus gained from killing zombies with exploding objects is much higher than normal. Also, this bonus is even higher when the time indicator is already activated when shooting an exploding barrel (Mikhail can easily gain 134 seconds in the City hall).
- Zombie are the only monsters who can always be dodged, giving the player +1, then +2 seconds (initial and final dodge). All other monsters can break the player's final dodge (especially when player is cornered).
- When Nemesis kills a zombie or another Nemesis, the player will be given the time bonus (players can exploit this by equipping the knife to get an 8x time score if playing as Nicholai).
- In select regional releases, due to censorship laws the player will not be rewarded with any time for killing human type enemies (zombies and Nemesis), the only way to increase the timer is by killing enemies such as crows and dogs. Because of this censorship, it makes acquiring a high score significantly more difficult compared to uncensored regions.
- The Mercenaries, article covering the later iterations of the minigame