LICKER (RESIDENT EVIL)
Resident Evil: Apocalypse
Resident Evil: Retribution
The Licker is a mutation experienced by zombies as part of the V-ACT process, depending on the variant of the t-Virus they were infected with. The mutations transform them into deadlier, more agile hunters.
The Licker came into existence at some point after the Crimson Head Prototype 1’s creation, when the V-ACT process was underground research. By 1998 they were undergoing research at the Raccoon City Underground Laboratory as potential bio-weapons. The name “Licker” itself was first given to this creature by the officers at the Raccoon City Police Department, who encountered a number of them around the building during the Raccoon City Destruction Incident.
During the outbreak, a potent variant of the t-virus infected the water supply at the Apple Inn hotel, creating a large number of the creatures.
In the 21st century, the Licker was reexamined by Tricell, who modified the creatures with further viral infections to create a more powerful weapon. These mass-produced replicas, the Licker β, were also employed by rebels in the Eastern Slav Republic to fight against the armies of Svetlana Belikova, and were controlled using Plaga parasites.
The most striking changes that occur (normally when a zombie is in the transition to a Licker) are the exposed brain tissue, an increase in muscle development, and the total loss of skin. Because of the lack of skin-constraint and the development of muscular tissue, the Licker is very agile, capable of performing surprising jumps to incredible heights and distances, and moves much more rapidly.
Their quadrupedal bone structure makes it more suitable for them to crawl about on all fours. The Licker also uses its talons to scale vertical structures and ceilings with ease. This allows the creature to use predatory tactics to surprise their prey. These new hunting strategies also showcase its increased primal intellect.
Finally, its elongated tongue is shown to be enormously powerful, capable of piercing human flesh and often being used to decapitate its prey. Although naturally quiet and a master of ambushes, the presence of a Licker can often be hinted at by the sound of their raw flesh and claws scraping against whatever surface they happen to be crawling along, as well as a sibilant hissing sound. When attacking or incurring damage, a Licker will also make a variety of screeching sounds, producing a particularly agonized scream when killed.
Lickers have lost the use of their eyes entirely and cannot track prey by sight. Their super-developed hearing, however, more than compensates for the loss. Upon detecting potential prey it will attack full force with teeth, tongue and claws, often alerting others of its kind in the vicinity as well. Weapons that emit very little sound, such as the bowgun, are especially useful against these blind B.O.W.s.
There has also been confirmation of a further mutation of the Licker in the Raccoon City Underground Laboratory. It differs from the regular Licker in color, durability, and claw size, but appears to have very similar intelligence to normal Lickers as its attack patterns are similar. However, this Licker appears to be even sharper at detecting prey and is much harder to sneak around. It is a theory that these creatures were augmented by Umbrella scientists in an attempt to create an even deadlier version of an already formidable being. Both Licker types were also present during the Sheena Island outbreak.
Despite the fact that zombies were an accidental development and not an intended creation of the t-Virus, it seems that Lickers have been established to be practical for the B.O.W market. In addition to the appearance of both regular and Enhanced Lickers on Sheena Island, they are encountered in both the Russian Umbrella Facility in 2003 and in Tricell’s West African B.O.W production facilities in 2009.
Lickers have also been used in the civil war in the Eastern Slav Republic in 2011. They can be controlled by inserting a modified Plaga into the host’s body. They were controlled by Alexander Kozachenko and used to attack the presidential palace. He also used the Lickers in attacks against three Tyrant models.