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The Cultists were Ganado members of Los Iluminados based in Ramon Salazar's family castle. They were dressed in clerical robes and habits bearing the cult's insignia. Black is worn by the regular cultists, purple by elites, with red worn by the cultist leaders. They are featured as enemies in Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D.


Likely having not left the castle for years, the Cultists' skin is much paler than that of the villagers, and all of them appear to be bald, although their baldness is likely a result of having deliberately shaved their head as a religious statement rather than as a symptom of their infection. Others are ritually tattooed or scarred, giving them an uncanny resemblance to zombies. Overall, the Cultists are likely the most sinister and frightening of the Ganado.

The Cultists are better equipped than the villagers, carrying a variety of medieval armaments, such as flails, crossbows and scythes. The Cultists also use dynamite, which they will throw at the player, they also rarely wield rocket launchers. Some Cultists also carry heavy wooden shields or wear iron masks to protect themselves. All ranks may wear a helmet but it seems most common on Cultists wielding melee weaponry.

The colors of a Cultist's robe appear to indicate rank or status within the cult:

  • Black robes are worn by the lowest ranking Cultists, who can appear wielding any weapon. Black robed Cultists are less likely than the others to reveal a Plaga upon injury.
  • Purple robes may indicate higher ranking Cultists or simply a more elite cadre, as they only start appearing when the player has progressed deep into the castle, often appearing in whole groups of their own. Leader variants of this cultist with goat skull masks are not uncommon. These Cultists tend to carry the "B" stage Plaga.
  • Red robes are worn by the highest rank of Cultists who appear to act as leaders. Along with their distinctive red robes, they often wear goat skulls mask and Amulets. These Cultists at first will appear leading groups of lower ranking cultists, but in later areas they often attack in whole groups of their own. Although often unarmed when leading groups, red robed Cultists are usually much tougher to kill than their subordinates. These Cultists usually carry the older "C" stage Plaga.


The Cultists replace the Villager ganado as the main enemies encountered starting at Chapter 3 of the main game and Separate Ways. Two cultists armed with crossbows can be encountered in the Village section in Chapter 2-2 if the player re-enters the Church. Cultists can carry all three of the plaga variants.

As a type of ganado, they behave almost identically to the villagers, though they are more dangerous enemies. Cultists must run up to the player to attack. Less of them throw weapons at the player but they have access to crossbows. They can also follow the player by setting up and climbing ladders and jumping across gaps. When staggered, players can perform melee attacks via command prompt on them. As Leon, his kick attack is replaced by the suplex. They also have the options of attacking Ashley or picking her up and carrying her away.

Cultists can drop their weapons if shot in the arms but it is not as likely to happen compared to the villagers. Also, they never take out new weapons after throwing or dropping the ones they spawn with (not counting the dynamite throwing ones). The Cultists with helmets will not flinch and take almost no damage from headshots (they do take a small amount of damage though).

During Chapter 3-2 when reentering the Temple from the top floor, a group of cultists will be occupied with performing some kind of ritual. Before they are alerted, the player can aim and fire a rocket from a rocket launcher at them triggering a special cutscene where they all will be hit.

Cultists are featured as the basic enemies in Stage 2 of The Mercenaries minigame.


Unarmed Cultists can only attempt to grab the player starting a shake off quick time event. This includes the two Cultists encountered as Ashley during Chapter 3-4.

Cultists with flails will run up and attack with a larger range than villagers with axes. When attacking, they will first swing the mace in a circle. They can change their attack direction in mid-swing, allowing them to spin around and hit the player if they try to run around their sides. They never throw these weapons

Cultists with spiked wooden shield will always carry them up to protect themselves. They can still move either fast, or slowly approach when close to the player. They can perform a quick shield bash which will knock down the player or, if they have a flail in their other hand, perform the flail swing. The shields will break when shot at. Piercing weapons will also hit the cultist behind the shield, causing them to flinch or even die. Shotgun fire or explosions will usually destroy the entire shield.

Cultists with crossbows can only shoot at the player, they do not use the grab move or any melee attacks. They can shoot two bolts at a time before pausing to reload their weapons. They usually have less health and rarely reveal a Plaga.

Cultists with large scythes have three attacks. They can perform a wide ranged horizontal melee slash or a faster vertical slash with less range. At medium range they tend to throw their scythes which can travel great distances have a high chance to decapitate if the player is not at full health

Cultists with dynamite act similar to villagers with dynamite. They can throw only one stick at a time, it can explode in their hands, and they can always take out a new stick.

Very few cultists carry rocket launchers. They have to kneel down before firing and will never perform a melee attack unless their rocket launcher has already been used or they were forced to drop them

Related attacks

These are attacks conducted by Cultists but are part of scripted events or AI. Regular cultists can not perform these actions.

In Chapter 3-1 in the Castle wall area and in Chapter 4-1 Outside the clocktower, Cultists man catapults that launch giant flaming boulders. They can be killed which will stop the catapults from being used.

In Chapter 3-2 in the Castle parlour, if the player fails to stop the red robed cultist from reaching the middle of the room, he will unveil and mount a large machine gun turret.

In Chapter 4-1 in the Weapon exhibition room, going down the long hallway will trigger a cutscene where a the door closes separating Leon and Ashley. Then two cultists driving a giant machine with a wooden drill will break down the wall and attempt to run down Ashley. Killing them will cause the door to open up (but the machine will continue to move down the hall).


The player can obtain Bottlecaps modeled after the various cultists. There are four of them and are all regular prizes that can be won when playing Game C. Their names are displayed as "Zealot w/ Scythe", "Zealot w/ Shield", "Zealot w/ Bowgun", and "Leader Zealot". Their sound effects are a variety of chants heard throughout the game.

Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D

Cultists appear as the sole standard-enemy characters from Resident Evil 4. They are the only standard enemies that appear in the Village levels, although they can also be found in maps like the Old Castle, Public Assembly (likewise, Majini appear in the Old Castle on some missions), the second boss fight (Mission 5-5), and both Survival missions (Missions 4-5 and EX-9). Rarely, they will fight alongside Majini. Cultists have a much more limited weapon set than Majini, lacking Stun Rods, grenades, body armor (aside from masks) and their wooden shields can be broken through (the Cultist arsenal is the same as in Resident Evil 4, although the flail was replaced by a standard mace). However, they make up for this with significantly higher resiliency. They also have a tendency to reveal Cephalo. When decapitate, they show signs of Type 2 Plaga as they reuse the Majini animations.


  • "¡Allí está!" - "There he is!"
  • "Cerebros, cerebros..." - "Brains, brains..."
  • "Cogedlo, cogedlo..." - "Get him, get him..."
  • "¡Mátalo!" - "Kill him!"
  • "Morir es vivir." - "To die is to live."
  • "Muere, muere..." - "Die, die..."
  • "¡No dejes que escape a la isla vivo!" - "Don't let him escape to the island alive!"
  • "¡Que sí, quiero matar!" - "Ah, yes, I want to kill!"
  • "¡Quiero su cabeza!" - "I want his head!"
  • "¡Ya es hora de asplastar!" - "It's time to crush!" -- ("asplastar" is actually a mispelling of "aplastar")

Further notes

  • If you shoot the hood-less ones in the head, their heads are most likely to hang there and a parasite will appear.
  • In Chapter 4-1, if you kill a cultist that is patrolling the tower with the jammed gears in it, you will notice that the top part of his cloak disappears.
  • During the Castle level, some will say "No dejes que escape a la isla vivo", which means "Don't let him escape to the island alive" revealing where they have planned to move Ashley.
  • Several times, the cult is ungrammatically referred to as "the Los Iluminados"; this is literally the equivalent of saying "the The Illuminated", as 'Los' is a definitive article.
  • A number of drafts were proposed, but the goat skull mask was chosen as a suitable enemy skin due to its relations to black magic.[1][excerpt 1]



  • Koichi Hamamura, ed (2006) (in Japanese). biohazard4 kaitaishinsho revised edition. publisher=Famitsu. Tokyo. ISBN 4-7577-2638-4. 



  1. Excerpt from biohazard 4 kaitaishinsho revised edition, page 419:
    "ロス・イルミナドス教団教徒たちのデザイン案。数多くの候補があったのとがわかる。黒くたっぷりとしたローブや。動物の頭蓋骨で作られたマスクなどは、 黒魔術のイメージ。"
  1. Hamamura (ed). kaitaisihnsho. p.419

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