Licker was a nickname given to the resulting mutation of t-Virus
Epsilon strain zombies which have undergone an evolutionary process in which their bodies had perfected by becoming far more streamlined.
The process began when a regular Zombie
had sustained enough damage and entered a process called V-ACT, which was a state of hibernation where the t-Virus
forced the Zombie
to stay dormant for a period of time to recuperate and once the body re-animated it quickly transformed into its new form. Depending on the type of t-Virus
strain this can either be a Crimson Head
or a Licker.
Compared to their Zombie
form, the Licker lost all of its weak characteristics such as all of its skin which previously suffered from necrosis, its entire body and specifically its rear legs became far more muscular - it became an agile, strategising quadruped which could leap large distances and run at high speeds as opposed to a bumbling, shambling monster. It had the ability to cling to walls and ceilings which it used to its advantage when stalking prey.
Its most defining feature was its head - its brain had enlarged to a degree where it was exposed - but it was also protected in some way as the Licker could withstand several bullet impacts to the brain. It also had an extremely long tentacle-like tongue which it could extend and retract at will using it as a deadly weapon. It’s mouth was surrounded by sharp teeth which could tear into flesh and metal with relative ease. Suffice it to say; the Licker was a concerning creature to encounter - and occasionally they attacked in groups which made them even more deadly.
They were masters of a sneak attack, often lying in wait ahead of their victims. One of the very first Lickers to ever be investigated in the wild had sensed Leon S. Kennedy
in the Raccoon City Police Station and tactically moved the ceiling in a few rooms ahead, waiting to strike. It waited above with its drooling tongue being the only sign on its existence. Indeed the creature did surprise Leon, who quickly made his escape.
Their weakness was acid and fire rounds due to their lack of skin - any attack would affect their musculature directly so particularly fire would break their bodies down far more effectively than regular weaponry.
The Licker became one of the most sought after B.O.W’s on the black market, earning millions to the sellers. Because of this many were produced and subsequently more research and experimentation occurred in an attempt to produce more advanced versions.
An altered version of the Licker was encountered in the NEST facility in which they were exposed to P-Epsilon gas which gave their further enlarged bodies a blue hue as well as giving them one extremely long claw on each hand - this made them more agile than the standard beast and had the ability to decapitate a victim with ease. The fact that they survived the gas was a testament to their abilities - as the gas was designed to destroy them - but their mutations enabled them to simply take on the positive characteristics of the compound and simply reject the rest.
Tricell, a rival pharmaceutical company to Umbrella decided to attempt to improve the Licker by enhancing them with a further Progenitor Virus infection as well as further experimentation which improved their strength and durability as well as making them sexually active so that they could reproduce naturally - they were named the Licker Beta. Chris Redfield
encountered a colony of these creatures in a laboratory and eliminated them all.
A more technologically advanced version of a Licker was developed by implanting them with a Recessive Species Plaga
which altered their physiology slightly but the main advantage was that they could be controlled by anybody infected with a Dominant Species Plaga
, as the dominant parasites could influence all other beneath it.
In The Hive, a type of Licker was developed by experimenting with the t-Virus
and living tissue - the resulting creature began as a small, unremarkable monster - not any more unique than a standard Licked. However as it began to feed on biological material it grew and mutated constantly - the more it fed, the more enhanced it would become, eventually becoming a nearly unstoppable force.
Initially one was released from storage in The Hive by its AI system names Red Queen
. It was guided to attempt to halt the escape of the Umbrella Sanitation Team and kill them. It was subsequently defeated after a large firefight causing the release of many others into the wild.