A zombie is the result of a human exposed directly to usually the t-Virus and are so named due to their grotesque appearance and uncanny resemblance to the living dead. Once infected, the subject will begin to mutate in a given period of time with the first physical symptoms being decay of the surface flesh, quickly followed by degeneration of muscle tissue and blood congealing all over the skin. The virus also destroys brain cells and over time intelligence levels will diminish almost completely. This is because the cerebral neocortex necrotises, leaving the subject essentially brain dead. Eventually all functions outside the autonomic nervous system will completely shut down, resulting in an inability to feel pain. A zombie’s metabolism will increase dramatically and result in an enhanced vitality. This is also the cause of the ‘itching’ sensation infectees complain of before they lose all reasoning. Because of their high metabolism, zombies develop an extreme hunger and will seek out and devour human flesh in order to satisfy this need and sustain their bodies. In order to absorb human flesh efficiently, the stomach stores highly acidic digestive juices. Zombies are also able to excrete this acidic bile through their mouths to slow down their target.
The origin of the zombie dates back to the original Progenitor Virus. If a human subject was lucky enough to survive the initial infection, in most cases they would degenerate from lack of intelligence and suffer severe malnourishment leaving them in a ‘zombie-like’ state, however they were still susceptible to pain and had no increased strength. James Macus’ prototype t-Virus developed in 1978 strengthened these characteristics thanks to the leech DNA and led to the standard ‘zombie’. However infection rates were erratic and it wasn’t until the completion of William Birkin’s stabilised βI-strain t-Virus in 1981 that led to the ‘weaponised zombie’ thanks to the application of the Ebola Virus. From that point on 90& of all human infectants would become a zombie.
Different strains of the t-Virus also enabled zombies to undergo further mutations. The initial ε-strain would cause an incapacitated zombie to begin a process known as ‘V-ACT’ which would cause them to reawaken as ‘Crimson Heads’; a faster, more deadly version of the standard creature. Likewise the more refined t-Virus used in Raccoon City caused zombies who died from a lack of food sustenance to undergo a secondary mutation resulting in a new organism known as the ‘Licker’. This mutation is made more common if an infected subject is exposed to a secondary dose of the t-Virus. (For more information on the Crimson Head and Licker, see their separate files.) It should also be noted that it does not just take direct injection of the t-Virus for a human to become a zombie. In nearly every documented outbreak there are cases of humans becoming secondarily infected by consuming contaminated food, an infected water source or coming into contact with virus-carrying rodents.
Although the zombie fulfilled William Birkin’s desire to see an infected subject rise up and actively seek out other targets to infect and spread the virus, its practicality as a weapon was low due to the simple lack intelligence resulting in an inability to follow commands. This confirmed there was no way to control them, particularly in large groups.
ZOMBIE (T-VIRUS) – Because the t-Virus erodes the subject’s central nervous system, the zombie can take much more damage than a regular human because it cannot feel pain, and will continue to attack its prey until either incapacitated or destroyed completely. Because its drive for hunger is so high and it no longer has the ability to feel pain, the zombie will still attack even if it has lost several of its limbs or even the lower half of its body altogether. The only way to stop it completely is to destroy the brain or remove the head completely. This will result in the creature’s death.
There have been reported cases of the creature secreting unusual amounts of growth hormone resulting in an enlarged body. This curious development only further increases its need to feed. If the zombie does not have a regular supply of nourishment, its muscle tissue will continue to degenerate to the point where even basic motor functions become restricted. Some zombies drag themselves across the floor because they can no longer stand thanks to the muscle in their legs having deteriorated to the point they cannot support their own weight. There are documented accounts of some zombies being so weak that they simply lay still, so starved of energy that they are on the verge of death. However, if they sense anyone getting too close they will still try to bite. If there is no longer a steady supply of food, the zombie will resort to cannibalism and will begin eating the flesh off each other.
Although the t-Virus causes a zombie’s brain to stop functioning and leaves intelligence levels at practically zero, researchers have noted that they seem to retain some selective memories and will often be found roaming in places that have some kind of relationship to them from their former lives. They can also still perform basic functions such as opening and closing doors. It’s also important to note that differing t-Virus stains have different effects. For example, the ε-strain variant documented at the Arklay Labs in 1998 incapacitates its victims over a slow period into a state of apparent death before they actually become zombies. The necrosis of the cerebral neocortex is a gradual process that in some cases can take over a week to complete as demonstrated with the animal keeper. Other t-Virus’ are more fast acting and can literally revive the dead as found in the Raccoon City and Rockfort Island incidents.
Because of its high levels of sustenance, the zombie is also much more powerful than a regular human and possesses great strength. It attacks by approaching its prey, holding them down and biting them to the extent that gastric juice is vomited. It is surprisingly difficult to escape the grasp of a zombie once it has taken hold of its prey. They transmit the t-Virus through their bite and any scratch that breaks the skin.
GREEN ZOMBIE – A Green Zombie began life as a standard human infected by the t-Virus. When these zombies were roaming the forest, they entered the vicinity of the abandoned hospital and some were consumed by the infected plant life that resided within. Spores from the plants would grow inside the zombie and sprout from the skin, with several vines appearing out of the upper torso area.
The central bulb of the plant grew up through the brain of the zombie and when matured, burst through the head completely in order to flower. The relationship between plant and zombie is a symbiotic one. The plant growing inside will use the zombie’s motor functions to move and infect other zombies and nearby organisms with its spore. Likewise the zombie will use the plant’s poison as a countermeasure to defend itself from attacks, either by spitting or when shot at with projectile weaponry. Like regular zombies, the creatures can still transmit the virus via its bite and can still be destroyed with conventional weapons.
MUTATED ZOMBIE – The Mutated Zombie is a Frankenstein’s monster of an experiment purposefully designed to take on combatants in Umbrella PMC’s controlled battle experiments to test the validity of Close Quarters’ Battle Zones. The Mutated Zombie has been genetically modified to be immune to the radioactive pulse given off by the Zombie Jammer; an experimental prototype designed to render the wearer invisible to any nearby infected.
The Mutated Zombie began life as a standard t-Virus human virus carrier and was likely infected with the Crimson Head strain given its dramatically increased aggression compared to its regular brethren. The V-ACT process has been manipulated and further genetic tampering has resulted in more extreme mutations, most notably in its face and chest area. Its jaw has expanded and split completely, and its rib cage has enlarged and split open with its individual ribs curved and bent outwards like sharp spikes. The creature’s spinal column also now protruded from its back and has suffered several bone mutations resulting in spikes jutting out of its flesh.
Like a Crimson Head, its body has a red glow thanks to an increased blood flow, and it has also been covered in some kind of resin secreted by the skin that hardens into a crust or a shell to act as armour. This gives the Mutated Zombie an added resistance to gunfire, yet the resin is still wet in places and continuously drips from its body. The durability and offensive capabilities of these creatures far exceed a regular Zombie.
ZOMBIE (C-VIRUS) – These were creatures created after becoming exposed to the airbourne strain of C-Virus gas expelled by the Lepotica Complete Mutation Species. The virus bestwoed properties of improved endurance and agility, along with a marginal improvement in intelligence compared to regular t-Virus zombies. These zombies are very acrobatic, capable of sudden sprints, and can jump at thier targets.
The C-Virus is inhaled by the human victim and the infected cells soon begin to multiply and spread throughout the inside of the body, starting with the lungs. Within moments the skin loses moisture and dries out. Necrosis also begins and the subject rots from the inside, leading to blood and fluids seeping out of cracked areas. Because the zombification process is much faster compared to the t-Virus, C-Zombies have a less ravaged look even when at the maximum state of deterioration. The flesh discolours almost immediately and becomes pale grey with an itching sensation leading to numerous scratch and bruise marks over the skin. Basic motor functions remain, and because the transformation is rapid, muscle degeneration is kept to a minimum meaning these zombies can run at thier targets and jump to catch hold of them. Brain necrosis is also slowed, meaning they retain memories of basic skills, enabling them to pick up and wield everyday objects and recognising certain things such as weapons and how to use them. For example a C-Zombie can recognise a knife as having a sharpened blade for stabbing people, likewise it could pick up a rock and know it could be utilised as a weapon by throwing it at someone. Prolonged retention of its nei-cortex also ensured they could survive extensive damage from firearms. Usually a standard zombie could be killed with a single bullet to the head, but field tests have shown a C-Zombie requires at least two headshots before it will perish.
Like t-Virus zombies, these being are also capable of producing and excreting acidic bile, but a C-Zombie can spit this acid across a large distance. Also like their predecessors, the metabolism of the creature is increased exponentially, and they develop a ravenous hunger as a means of self preservation. But interestingly, researchers noted that C-Zombies cannot infect others and if someone is bitten they will not transmit the virus. This differs greatly from the t-Virus and devalues the C-Zombie as a biological weapon.
Although physically superior, they invalidate the original concept of the zombie as a weapon of infection that would actively seek out and infect others. However, the lack of secondary infection is possibly a pre-programmed trait to prevent manufactured outbreaks such as the Tall Oaks incident from spiraling out of control. Thanks to the rising body temperature, the zombie dissolves into a pile of mush upon death, leaving little of the original body behind. This is a C-Virus trait developed from t-Veronica influence.
ZOMBIE (A-VIRUS) – Zombies produced by the A-Virus suffer necrosis like the zombies of old, but compensate with heightend agility, aggression and speed.
Their major distinction is that they can detect people carrying the vaccine and will not attack them. They retain basic intelligence and there are documented accounts of them communicating verbally using words. They even seem to recognise their own names in certain cases.
Another highlight of the A-Virus is the genetic marker of the Plagas nucleotide ensures zombies will not attack other zombies. Although their metabolism increases exponentially and they retain their ravenous desire to feed, they will not resort to cannibilsm like zombies of old. This eliminates what is essential “friendly fire” if A-Virus zombies were deployed in conflict.