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One of the major plot elements of the Resident Evil series is the outbreak of various viruses. These viruses are the creations of the fictional Umbrella Corporation and its scientists, which are attempting to use them to create Bio-Organic Weapons (BOWs).
According to the series timeline, Umbrella Corporation founders Ozwell E. Spencer, Dr. Edward Ashford, and Dr. James Marcus began looking into viral mutation sometime in the middle of the twentieth century with the intent on finding a way to create the perfect biological weapon. This would involve finding or creating a viral agent that could not only be controlled, but could be used to create new bio-weapons by infecting a host organism and mutating it into a powerful creature that could act as a soldier and follow orders, as well as spread the virus that created it into enemy territory. In 1967, the three men succeeded with the discovery of the Progenitor virus within a rare West African flower, and from this came the birth of the Umbrella Corporation. As revealed in Resident Evil 5, another major aim of their research was to prematurely induce the next stage of human evolution.
The Progenitor virus, also known as the Founder or Mother virus, is the first of the mutagenic viruses, and the basis for all of the ones that followed.
According to the series timeline, it was discovered on December 4, 1967, by Dr. Edward Ashford, Dr. James Marcus, and Lord Ozwell E. Spencer, within a flower found only in the ruins of the Ndipaya civilization. Though Ashford wanted to use the virus' regenerative abilities to help the handicapped, Spencer wanted to use it for the bio-weapons projects, while Marcus only wanted to work on his research. After Ashford's death in 1968, Spencer and Marcus were able to begin their desired research.
It produces rapid and uncontrollable mutation in a host's genetic code, but the mutations are not coordinated enough to produce effective BOWs. In hosts with a genetic structure less complex than humans, mutations are less pronounced, and usually restricted to increases in size and aggression. In order to enhance the virus's mutagenic properties, Umbrella created a variant of it through synthesizing it with the Ebola virus, but this strain retained Ebola's photosensitivity.
When this virus is mixed together with leech DNA it creates the T-virus, which was created by James Marcus.
The only known survivor of an experiment involving Progenitor is Lisa Trevor, who bonded with the virus in a way that baffled everyone involved with the project. Has part of Spencer's experiments several young children were infected with the virus in an attempt to create a superior race which the scientist would control. Of all the subjects only one boy survived and would eventualy grow up to become Albert Wesker.
The T-Veronica virus is the main virus used in Resident Evil: Code Veronica, and is responsible for the mutation of several enemies. There is also a variant strain of the virus named T-Alexia that is a diluted form of the virus created during its period of cryogenesis in its main host, Alexia Ashford.
According to the series timeline, the T-Veronica virus was created by Alexia Ashford through synthesis of the Progenitor virus and the gene of a queen ant that contained an "ancient virus". She administered it to her father, but because the infection was not controlled, he became unstable and mindless. This led her to discover that the mutations could be controlled if slowly absorbed during cryogenesis.
Like the Progenitor and T-viruses, the T-Veronica virus causes rapid mutation, but the infection can be controlled and intelligence can be retained if the virus is absorbed over a long period of time. Alexia Ashford achieved this by remaining in a cryogenic sleep for fifteen years while the virus merged with her at a cellular level. Among the mutations to Alexia caused by the virus were sleeplessness, combustible blood and vomit, multiple tentacular muscles, and the ability to exert control over the hive mind of the ants the virus was extracted from.
Though the T-Veronica virus is a useful tool for transhumanism purposes, it is useless as a bio-weapon, as its infection rate is low and it can only be transferred through direct injection. Because she is able to mentally control any organism infected with T-Veronica, Alexia, rather than use the virus as a weapon, planned to use her infected ants to spread the virus around the world by biting and injecting humans and animals with the virus, giving her control of every creature on earth.
The Tyrant virus, or T-virus, is the main virus used by Umbrella, and is responsible for the creation of most of their BOWs.
According to reports in the game, Dr. James Marcus succeeded in creating the tyrant virus at the Arklay Management Training Facility on September 19, 1978 through synthesis of the Progenitor virus and leech DNA. Through this synthesis, the photosensitivity of the early Progenitor strain was replaced with pyrosensitivity, a property that can be seen in most of the series' enemies.
The Tyrant virus allegedly operates similarly to most other RNA viruses, but also has the abilities to reanimate dead tissue, to substantially mutate its host, and to infect nearly any tissue in any type of host. It animates dead tissue by replacing mitochondria in infected cells, thereby providing it with a source of energy to fuel viral creation. It then spreads, eventually reanimating tissue responsible for motor and lower brain functions. By specifically animating certain tissues, most of the body's usual processes, such as heart muscle contraction, are made redundant. However, this process has the drawback of severe necrosis in the host, and produces the distinctive rotted appearance of most BOWs. The mutations are produced when the virus incorporates itself into the host's genetic code and considerably alters it. Creatures with genetic structures different than humans generally show less severe mutations, and usually only increase in size.
'Daylight' is the only T-virus vaccine, but must be taken before mutation. The film series presents a preventative treatment known simply as the 'anti-virus', which must be taken within several hours after the initial infection due to the high rate of mutation. In Resident Evil, it is revealed that if the anti-virus is taken too late, the T-virus will cause it to be rejected. Umbrella also attempted to develop several other vaccines; T-vaccine was created by WilPharma, but an employee was selling it, as well as T- and G-virus samples, on the black market to bio-terrorists. 'AT1521' was Umbrella's first official attempt at a vaccine, but the original sample was destroyed. There was also an unnamed vaccine being developed under the Raccoon General Hospital in Resident Evil 3 that was used to save Jill Valentine.
The NE-T virus is a variant of the t-virus, but was designed specifically for the Tyrant Project.
According to the series timeline, Umbrella required BOWs that were not only stronger, but could understand and complete missions, and due to the nature of the t-virus, all of its BOWs were unable to do so. The project was divided between an American team, led by Birkin, which would work on increasing the BOWs' strength and ability to detect organisms, and a European team that would work on increasing their intelligence. The two teams traded theories and ideas that included the first experiments in directly operating on a subject's brain. The American team succeeded in creating the NE-T virus, along with the T-002, which could follow simple orders such as "Restrain" and "Attack", though its intelligence was insufficient for field operations.
In response to reports of the T-002's failure, Umbrella renamed the European team's project with the title "Goddess of Vengeance", or "Nemesis", and gave it the new goal of eliminating all anti-Umbrella elements; specifically STARS. The European team made a breakthrough with the creation of the NE-α, an organism created from the NE-T virus that affected the host's brain. Further experiments with this strain led to the creation of the T-103, also known as "Mr. X".
The T-Cameron virus is a hypothetical name for Dr. Cameron's "T" strain, appearing in Biohazard 4D Executor. It was created when Cameron injected herself with an experimental treatment, to stop the T-virus from spreading when she was infected. However the serum mutated her body, giving her the capabilities of massive shapeshifting. While her body was killed, another unforeseen side effect of the virus took place when her body was eaten by insects, her consciousness apparently had been encoded within her cells. Given this, she had become effectively immortal, as long as she had a viable host to transfer any source of her corrupt DNA to remake it into her next body. She used these powers to leap from a cockroach that had consumed trace cells from her corpse to a nearby rat, to a crow outside and from there to a member of the UBCS unit sent to retrieve her investigation. While this last body was destroyed, she had a "backup", which eventually was absorbed by another member of the same unit, allowing her to escape Raccoon City.
T-JCCC203 was an experimental T-variant mutagen. It was administered to 63 year old Doug Frost in the abandoned hospital during its Drugs, Inc. ownership. Doug's cancer was destroyed, but the T-virus killed him hours later.
The same chemical was administered to 35 year old Dorothy Lester, whose health came back to her to the point she no longer needed a respirator. However the side effect was an increased metabolism, ultimately leading to T-virus infection and death after she killed an investigator perusing into the Abandoned Hospital's affairs.
The "G-virus", is the central plot point of Resident Evil 2. It is a highly advanced strain of the Progenitor virus with continuous mutagenic properties, but the only known successful hosts of the G-virus are Dr. William Birkin, his daughter Sherry, and Curtis Miller.
According to the series timeline, when Dr. William Birkin's test subject Lisa Trevor displayed unexpected resistance to the experimental NE-α, he discovered that the cause was her infection with a primitive form of what he named the G-virus. Later, shortly before the events of Resident Evil 4, HUNK and Ada Wong procured samples of the virus for Umbrella and Albert Wesker, respectively.
The G-virus is only transmitted through implantation or ingestion, rather than physical contact. It can only be fully accepted by hosts with a suitable genetic makeup, such as a blood relative, but can partially infect others by implantation of "G-embryos", producing severe mutations that culminate in the death of the host and the release of additional G-embryos. In general, the G-virus greatly accelerates cellular replication and pluripotentiation, at the cost of higher brain function. This causes the host to exhibit feral behavior, loss of moral reasoning, memory, and other higher drives, leaving only the urges for self-preservation and reproduction. The virus exhibits its symptoms within seconds, inducing extremely volatile mutations; a third eye is a typical outcome. The mutations accelerate when the host is wounded; this phenomenon caused William Birkin to suffer five increasingly gruesome mutations before expiring.
If the host is compatible, the embryo begins to pupate and assimilate the host's body, turning them into a mutant of immense strength. These hosts, called "G-mutants", create their offspring by orally implanting small, parasitic G-embryos into a living host through the palm of their hand. If the host is incompatible, the G-embryo will rapidly grow inside the host's body, and will burst from their chest in a matter of minutes. It will then quickly develop into an adult "G-creature" and search for another host. G-creatures periodically emit more G-embryos.
The G-virus can be cured by DEVIL, an experimental treatment. However, the treatment is only effective during the initial stages of an impregnation-induced infection, before the embryos gestate. In the case of Sherry Birkin, DEVIL did not destroy the cells infected with the G-virus; it merely halted their spread, leaving her as a virus carrier.
Some time before the events of the first Resident Evil, Dr. William Birkin created a variant of the Progenitor virus from the "mutation stocks" and gave it to Wesker to use in faking his own death. As an added bonus, the virus gave Wesker superhuman strength and speed, which he would use against Chris Redfield in both Resident Evil Code: Veronica and Resident Evil 5.
The virus requires an incubation of at least five minutes prior to allow revival, though 10% of hosts fail to revive. However, 20% revive normally, and 70% actually revive with beneficial mutations to the muscular and circulatory systems. However, the variant that Wesker used was unstable, and he had to continuously inject himself with a PG67A/W serum derived from the Progenitor virus in order to keep his original infection in check.
The virus accelerates the host's metabolism, giving it heightened strength, speed, and regenerative abilities. Unlike the other viruses featured in the series, it is not a severely mutagenic virus, and its effects are limited to muscle tissue and lower organs, leaving the nervous system untouched. As a prerequisite to increasing the host's speed, the virus also affects ocular and sensory tissue, allowing the host to view and process visual information at a speed allegedly equatable to raptors. This modification of the eyes is the only visible effect of the virus on its host, apparent only as a reddening of the irises, presumably from increased blood flow.
The tG virus is a fusion of the T- and G-viruses. It imbues its carriers with qualities of both strains, as well as odd electrical properties. As demonstrated by Morpheus Duvall, it causes instant mutations when injected into a human host.
The Progenitor 30 is an ancillary chemical developed from the base Progenitor virus found in the Progenitor flower. It was made in order to create an obedient soldier with increased physical performance. After injection, the virus makes the host more controllable, doing whatever it is ordered to do without question, but the person is still conscious. However the virus did not last in the body for long, so for a continuous effect, an apparatus that kept the virus inside the body was needed. The virus was developed by Tricel's African branch to sell on the black market along with Las Plagas, to fund the Uroboros Project.
This viral agent appears in Resident Evil 5.
The Uroboros virus possesses the ability to mutate specific hosts. If the host has "superior DNA", the virus will fuse with the host and endow various beneficial mutations. An incompatible host will instead begin to ooze an ink-like fluid, and countless leech-like creatures will begin growing within the host, absorbing nearby tissue and using it to birth even more of these creatures. These leeches will bind to the victim's body, as well as to other leeches and corpses, eventually creating a huge, monstrous "Leech-Man".
The agent was created from the NE-T virus that had grown and developed inside Jill Valentine whom Albert Wesker captured after a fight amongst him, her, and Chris Redfield at Spencer's Estate. The NE-T virus was not fully cured from the vaccination that Carlos had given Jill in Raccoon City because the vaccination was still in development. It had merely stopped the virus from killing her, but after all that time it had mutated and developed into an entirely new virus which Wesker documents in one of the files located in Resident Evil 5.
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ September 19th: At last...I've discovered a way to build a new virus type with Progenitor as a base. Mixing it with leech DNA was the breakthrough I needed... I call this new virus t, for "tyrant".
- ↑ Wesker's Report II, part 1, page 8
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles: "Memo about Virus"
- ↑ Resident Evil 5 Characters - Wesker: "Wesker encountered Chris Redfield again at an underground laboratory in Antarctica, but the superhuman abilities Wesker had gained from exposure to the T-virus meant Chris could barely hold his own in the fight."
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