This article uses an in-universe perspective.
(Note: For the sake of convenience and to remain within the scope of this report, only the Zombie and it's subsequent forms will be discussed here. For more information on other Biological Organic Weapons, please look here)
The Zombies of the Resident Evil Series are similar to both Solanum and Romero Zombies, but have their own characteristics that are important for survivors of a Tyrant Virus outbreak to take note of.
In 1 out of every 10 million individuals, exposure to the Tyrant Virus will cause the subject to mutate into a large, 10-foot tall, clawed monstrosity called a Tyrant. For the rest of those 9.9 million, they will die and re-animate as a shambling walking corpse known as a zombie.
Infection typically occurs when a host is bitten or scratched by the infected, or comes into direct contact with the fluids of an infected individual, animal or plant. Rarely, infection may occur via water contamination. Symptoms of infection usually begin with a profound itching sensation from the subjects increased metabolism, sometimes accompanied by nausea, constant vomiting and sometimes insanity. Insatiable hunger, followed by occasional bursts of antipathy follow soon after, along with occasional necrosis.
Infection time depends on the hosts age, state of consciousness and the strength of the immune system. Based on these factors, the total infection may take up to a week, or as little as hours or minutes.
Like Romero or Solanum Zombies, a T-Virus zombie is a slow-witted reanimated human, driven by the incessant need to devour flesh, human or animal. It has a shambling, slow walk. In comparison with either a Romero or Solanum Zombie, the T-Virus Zombie may seem physically weaker. A T-Virus Zombie will fall if a magazine of 9mm pistol ammunition is emptied into it, or with one or two close-range shotgun blasts. However, this is not the ideal way to dispose of a T-Virus Zombie (see below). A T-Virus Zombie is also capable of projectile vomiting it's stomach acid on occasion to attack enemies at a slightly higher elevation or from a short distance. Otherwise, they attack in a similar manner to other zombies, stumbling towards or lunging at a victim to grapple and bite down onto.
Like other Zombie types, T-Virus infected zombies can also continue to live after severe damage to the body, including being blown in half, and will lay dormant on the ground if they lack nutrition. However, zombies in either position will still continue to attack a victim by biting on their ankles.
The surest way to dispose of a T-Virus Zombie is to destroy the head or brain. This is best accomplished with a shotgun or magnum weapon, though other well-aimed weapons will work just as well.
Zombies have been known to gather in large congregations, in upwards of a hundred individuals. Typically, they can be found in groups of two-to-three.
Though zombies may seem easy to destroy, any T-Virus Zombie that is not properly disposed of will undergo a process known as a "V-ACT". When a Zombie is "dead" or unconscious, the T-Virus begins to run wild in the dormant body. Within one or two hours, the subject will "resurrect" into a dangerous creature known as a "V-ACT" or, alternatively, a "Crimson Head".
The most striking differences from a standard zombie are a deep red hue to the skin and longer fingernails, which have transformed into claws. Crimson Heads are even more resilient than Zombies to damage, are capable of running with a greater sense of balance and at speeds in excess of when they were human and will simply shrug off most non-fatal hits. They will charge at a potential victim, assaulting first with rapid swipes of their claws, before grappling their victim and delivering a finishing bite.
The only sure way to prevent a zombie from transforming into a Crimson Head are two methods:
- 1) The destruction or decapitation of the head or brain.
- 2) Burning the dormant Zombie.
Thus, destruction of a zombie's head or burning the corpses is paramount, otherwise you will only exacerbate an already critical situation.
The numbers of Crimson Heads encountered is directly proportional to the number of zombies that were not properly disposed of.
So called "Hyper Zombies" are regular-looking zombies that have not undergone the V-ACT transformation, but exhibit increased speed and durability regardless. The factors for the creation of "Hyper Zombies" are unknown, but based on evidence presented, it can be assumed that physical fitness may have a factor to play (as at least two infected members of the Special Tactics And Rescue Squadron ((S.T.A.R.S)) have become "Hyper Zombies", though at least one may have been exposed to a stronger variant of the standard T-Virus) in their creation. Other than this, they attack like standard zombies.
The most radical and bizarre of the transformations consists of a Crimson Head that has been allowed to exist from anywhere ranging from several days to two weeks. The resulting creature is a quadrupedal monster. Completely skinless, it exhibits increased muscle development, the brain swelling to the point of becoming visible, the development of long claws, complete atrophy of the eyes and—most striking of all—a long whip-like tongue capable of skewering or decapitating it's victims, the creature's namesake.
A Licker is capable of scaling walls and other vertical structures, and clinging to ceilings, thanks to its long claws, exhibiting increased predatory intelligence in comparison to Crimson Heads or Zombies. They will lay in wait for a victim to pass by them, before pouncing on their victims or skewering them with their tongues. They are capable of leaping several feet and delivering a powerful swipe, or by whipping their tongues at a potential victim from more than ten feet away.
Combating Lickers presents its own unique solutions and complications. Despite it's stealthy nature, the Licker usually gives its' presence away to the observant by the sound of its claws clicking against the floor, walls or ceiling and a subtle hiss. Being blind, the Licker relies primarily on sound to hunt it's prey. Thus, they can be navigated around if one is quiet enough. Suppressed weaponry, such as crossbows, are also extremely useful against these creatures. A more direct option is a powerful close-range weapon, such as a shotgun or magnum. However, this requires you to close the distance with the Licker, which can be extremely hazardous. Do so with extreme discretion.
An "upgraded" version of the Licker has also been reported. These appear to be a different coloration, have their claws fused into a singe scythe-like appendage and deal greater damage with increased durability. It is unknown if this is a further "natural" development of the Licker, or if they are the product of bio-engineering. Avoid at all costs unless you have heavy weaponry.
Lickers are usually solitary hunters, but may group together in groups of two to three.