(Capcom's primary storyline)
"Ganado" is a term given to the human hosts of the Plaga parasites encountered in Spain. The name is derived from the Spanish "los Ganados", meaning "the herd" or "the swarm".
Unlike virally-mutated humans such as Zombies, Ganados do not suffer from a decline in intelligence. Their skills are not lost upon parasitisation and they will continue day-to-day life. For instance, Ganado villagers may be seen rearing animals and using pitchforks to turn hay. Ganados do however exhibit a change in living standards, and will comfortably consume rotting flesh on a plate. In social terms, Ganados live together as they did before parasitisation, and work with one another.
Ganados parasitised with Los Iluminados' Plagas are known to follow orders devoutely from their leader, the Prophet Osmund Saddler. Due to a mutant Plaga within Saddler's body as well as his religious leadership, he was able to influence the Ganados and their Plagas. Ordered to keep outsiders out of the region at all costs, Ganados are driven to kill.
An effect the Plaga has on the Ganado body internally is an apparent high pain threshold as well as superhuman strength, with more significantly affected Ganados carrying heavy weapons such as chainsaws. Though they may be taken aback by an initial gunshot, Ganados have the drive to continue standing and to continue an attack. If a Ganado has suffered too much damage, however, the Plaga may tear through their neck to defend itself with its appendages.
In Resident Evil 4, Ganados appear in three varieties known as Villagers; Cultists and Combatants. Of these there are minibosses, such as Chainsaw Ganado; Garrador, and Gatling Man, who are represented elsewhere. The Villagers appear in Chapters 1 and 2 as the standard enemy, and briefly appear in Chapter 4 in the underground ruins. The Cultists appear briefly in Chapter 2-2, but are otherwise exclusive to Chapters 3 and 4. The Combatants meanwhile are entirely exclusive to Chapter 5.
Villagers are generally armed with hand tools such as axes and sickles, with a minority armed with dynamite. If at a distance they may throw their weapons. Cultists have greater access to ranged weapons and may use bowguns.
|Strangling (首しめ)||Unarmed ganados will only be able to rush forward and grab the player in an attempt to strangle and throw them to the ground to break the character's neck. Upon grabbing, the player will start taking damage and a quick-time event will appear where the player has to shake the control stick to damage the Ganado and break free. Failure to do so results in the villager lifting Leon off the ground and throwing him down. This attack causes a minimum of 2 bars of damage in Professional Mode, and can do up to 3.5 bars of damage if not resisted. If a Ganado grabs the character from behind, it will not do any damage but the quick-time event will still appear and this position provides other Ganados with weapons an opportunity to attack.|
|Knife attack (包丁攻撃)||380||Ganados with the hand axe, sickle, knife, and torch share a basic swing attack that causes about 2.5 to 3 bars of damage if they hit in Professional Mode.|
|Axe attack (オノ攻撃)||380||Ganados with the hand axe, sickle, knife, and torch share a basic swing attack that causes about 2.5 to 3 bars of damage if they hit in Professional Mode.|
|Sickle attack (カマ攻撃)||380||Ganados with the hand axe, sickle, knife, and torch share a basic swing attack that causes about 2.5 to 3 bars of damage if they hit in Professional Mode.|
|Fork attack (スキ攻撃)||380||Pitchfork users' attack is slower but involves them stepping forward giving them more reach. This causes 3 bars of damage in Professional Mode.|
|Torch attack (たいまつ攻撃)||380||Enemies with torches also have an attack where they attempt to blow fire at the player. If shot at in the middle of their attack, the ganado will burst into flames and fall to the ground. Touching the ganado while he/she's burning does not damage the player. This attack will do about 3.5 bars of damage if Leon gets hit in Professional Mode.|
|Flail attack (フレイル攻撃)||480||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|
|Shield attack (盾攻撃)||480||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.|
|Large sickle attack (大カマ攻撃)||700||Cultists with large sickles perform a wide ranged horizontal melee slash or a faster vertical slash with less range.|
|Stunrod attack (スタンロッド攻撃)||768|
|Hammer attack (ハンマー攻撃)||912|
|Axe throw (オノ投げ)||380||Enemies with axes or sickles can throw their weapons, which causes 2.5 bars of damage in Professional Mode. Usually, enemies can pull out an infinite number of extra weapons after throwing the one they were carrying (other than the scythe, which can only be thrown once). Thrown weapons can be stopped in mid-air by causing any kind of damage, like shooting, being hit by an explosion or stopped with a knife swing.|
|Sickle throw (カマ投げ)||380||Enemies with axes or sickles can throw their weapons, which causes 2.5 bars of damage in Professional Mode. Usually, enemies can pull out an infinite number of extra weapons after throwing the one they were carrying (other than the scythe, which can only be thrown once). Thrown weapons can be stopped in mid-air by causing any kind of damage, like shooting, being hit by an explosion or stopped with a knife swing.|
|Large sickle throw (大カマ投げ)||700||At medium range Cultists tend to throw their sickles which can travel great distances have a high chance to decapitate if the player is not at full health|
|Dynamite throw (ダイナマイト投げ)||1200||Ganados with dynamite must first light their sticks before throwing it. They will have an infinite amount of sticks and being hit can cause anywhere between 4-6 bars of damage, depending on how close the player is to the explosion. The explosion can harm the Ganado who originally threw it, as well as other Ganados close to the explosion. While holding a lit stick, it can be shot to explode it right away, instantly killing the carrier or shot while in mid-air. The player can also force the Ganado down with a strong firearm and wait until the dynamite explodes in their hand after a set amount of time. If a Ganado grabs the player while holding a live stick, failure to escape from his grasp will result in instant death for the player (the Ganado explodes with Leon, leaving no body). 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.|
|Fire blowing (火吹き)|
|Bowgun attack (ボーガン攻撃)||400||Cultists with bowguns 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.|
|Rocket attack (ロケット攻撃)||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|
|Stone throwing (投石)||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.|
|Flame radiating (火炎放射)|
|Gatling attack (ガトリング攻撃)||600 each||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.|
- It is not recommended to attempt to go in the large tower while they are attacking. It is very hard to avoid the Molotov cocktails and the crowd that gathers at the bottom will be unavoidable.
- When facing ganado with dynamite, it is possible to lure large groups of other ganado into the explosion's blast usually killing most of them.
- When close to a villager who is not carrying dynamite, sprinting towards them in a short burst will trigger them to perform their primary attack with the weapon they are holding. While they finish the animation there is ample time to run up to them and deliver a well placed knife to the head, allowing Leon to either kick them or back away with enough time to avoid damage from a second attack.