Dr. Alexander Ashford, 6th Earl Ashford (アレクサンダー・アシュフォード,Arekusandā Ashufōdo?) was a geneticist who worked for Umbrella Pharmaceuticals in its early years. The son of Dr. Edward Ashford, 5th Earl Ashford, he was part of the 20th Century British aristocracy. Alexander was the last legal heir of the Ashford earldom, as his children were secretly adopted.
Early life and ascension
"The year is 1983, and I'm afraid that my only daughter has become obsessed with the Veronica virus."
Alexander Ashford was the son of Edward Ashford. He helped his father study the Progenitor virus.. However, Alexander did not possess outstanding skill in the field of virology and eventually became a researcher for the Umbrella Corporation using his knowledge of genetic engineering. Alexander never became a notable scientist for Umbrella, though he did discover the gene that regulated intellect. He tried to use his discovery to revive the Ashford family’s reputation and took DNA from Veronica Ashford , the family’s matriarch, who he’d become obsessed with. Alexander combined Veronica’s DNA with a dangerous gene that increased intelligence and his own to “resurrect” Veronica. The result was twins, Alfred and Alexia and while Alfred had only slightly above average intelligence, Alexia was a child prodigy with incredible intellect, becoming Chief Senior Researcher at Umbrella's Antarctic Facility when she was only 10. However, Alexander began to grow horrified both at the prospect of the public learning how the twins came into existence and by the two's total disregard for humanity. He became determined that no one ever find out the truth, hiding the records of his experiment in a secret chamber in Umbrella’s Antarctic Base.
But over ten years later, Alfred found the room and began working to get inside, needing the threefamilygemstones to unlock it. The first two were easy to obtain, since he and Alexia owned them, and eventually tricked Alexander into giving him the other one. However when Alfred accessed the room, what he found out made him snap, since it revealed that he was just an unintended by-product of Alexander’s experimentation and the disturbing nature of the experiment. It was around this time that Alexander became concerned with Alexia, who’d become obsessed with the T-Veronica virus, a viral strain she had developed by combining the Progenitor virus with Queen Ant's DNA. Alexia had also become determined to use it on herself and release it upon the world. Eventually Alexander created an anti-B.O.W. weapon called the Linear Launcher, which he installed an experimental anti-B.O.W. weapon known as the "Linear Launcher" in the facility as a last resort to stop her if she carried through on her plans. However Alfred, bitter that his father hadn’t created him with the same intelligence as Alexia, captured Alexander. He used his father as a test subject for Alexia’s T-Veronica virus and eventually Alexander had mutated into the psychotic monster, Nosferatu. Deeming him a failed experiment, Alfred and Alexia, disgusted that he was a failure even as an experiment, chained him in a secret room in the Antarctic base, where he remained in solitary confinement until 1998. Hidden away from the facility, he became the monster known as "Nosferatu (ノスフェラトゥ,nosuferatu?)" to the workers, who were terrified by his noises.[notes 1]
Freedom and death
For 15 years, Nosferatu remained in the chamber, disturbing all the workers with his cries of agony. Eventually, Claire Redfield encounters him after finding the secret chamber in his office. She is horrified as he stares up at the ceiling roaring, where she soon leaves in horror. He was accidentally freed after Claire and Steve Burnside activated a large drilling machine to escape the Antarctic base. Nosferatu freed himself from most of his bonds and headed after the two, eventually catching up to them at the base’s helipad. He knocked Steve off of the helipad, leaving him hanging onto a ledge, and attacked Claire. After a brief battle she was able to kill Nosferatu by targeting his exposed heart, finally ending his suffering.
Somehow, Nosferatu's body ended up in the ocean, where Alexia (who had been awakened by a dying Alfred) had a crane grapple onto his corpse. When Chris Redfield activated the crane, Nosferatu's corpse was pulled out of the water, with his pierce falling off of him. When the crane pulled his body to the left, Chris came across Alexia, who commented that Nosferatu's mutation was how she dealt with insignificant bugs. During their final fight Claire and Chris used the Linear Launcher that Alexander himself had designed to stop Alexia in the event she truly did try and follow through with world-domination. The weapon killed her instantly, avenging Alexander and truly ending the Ashford line.
In the non-canon retelling of Code: Veronica, Alexander/Nosferatu's role is more significant. Here, both Claire and Steve (instead of just Claire) find him chained up in the secret chamber roaring. Then they quickly figure out by noticing it was hidden in his office and from photos that he and Alexander Ashford were one in the same. Eventually he manages to free himself and attacks the two at the compound below. Eventually after a grueling battle, they shoot the cut wires holding up a crane, and after tricking Nosferatu to stand in front of it, he is impaled by the crane once it swings down.
Like before, Claire and Chris use the Linear Launcher to destroy Alexia, but this time they learn the weapons function through a recorded message from Alexander himself, before becoming a lab rat for T-Veronica. Alexander expresses his fear about Alexia and her obsession with T-Veronica and begs to whoever finds the message, regardless of whether they serve Umbrella or not, to use the weapon to end his daughter's madness and plans of world-domination. Alexia scoffs at this, commenting that even though Alexander had created her and Alfred, he was a miserable old man. Eventually Alexia is destroyed, avenging Alexander's suffering.