(Capcom's primary storyline)
"William, I'm sorry. But I've got to put an end to G."
— Annette confronting her mutated husband.
Dr. Annette Birkin was a virologist employed by Umbrella USA, and one of the administrators at their NEST facility beneath Raccoon City. She was the wife of fellow administrator Dr. William Birkin, and mother of Sherry Birkin.
Little is known of Annette's early life other than her training as a virologist which earned her a career at Umbrella USA's Arklay Laboratory, under the head of research, Dr. William Birkin. The two married in the mid-1980s and by 1986 Annette had given birth to their daughter, Sherry. Annette noted that she and William were more married to their work than each other, but she did care about Sherry. She instructed Sherry to call the police if she needed help, should neither she or WIlliam be home; Chief Irons worked for Umbrella, and by that extent, Annette. In the early 1990s they began working as administrators at the newly-constructed NEST facility, where research into Golgotha was pioneered. To ensure the safety of the G-Virus and the DEVIL to cure it, Annette turned the emergency key to its storage into a pendant and gave it to Sherry for her birthday in 1997.
Raccoon City Destruction Incident
In the months after the viral outbreak in the Arklay Laboratory, the Birkins' relationship with Umbrella HQ deteriorated. After attempts to defund the project and remove them from the NEST, the facility began to operate independently. The two were able to strike a deal with the U.S. military to surrender Golgotha to them for their own bioweapons project. Umbrella HQ's own spies within the military discovered this, and on the night of 22 September, the USS finally raided the lab and shot William. Annette arrived too late to stop him infecting himself with a Golgotha sample, and without DEVIL to stabilize his mutations he became a powerful creature simply dubbed as "G".
Over the course of the week, Annette left the NEST as its research subjects began escaping, and left to their sewer facility to analyze the buildup of "G" organisms that had made the underground their home. In the early hours of Wednesday September 30, she encountered a number of survivors entering the facility. Sherry herself and a survivor, Claire Redfield, entered the facility to escape the streets, but Annette's work made things difficult, and Sherry was eventually found by "G" and parasitised. Annette realized the real danger of this, that Sherry's mutation into a similar creature would be a threat to millions, and sent Sherry and Redfield out to the NEST to ready the DEVIL vaccine to stop her mutations. Annette remained in the facility, where she was then confronted by police officer Leon S. Kennedy and Ada Wong, who claimed to be an FBI agent investigating Annette. The two had entered the sewer facility to claim her Golgotha research, with Kennedy kept under the impression Annette was the cause of the t-Virus outbreak. After forcing Wong off a platform and injuring her, Annette left for NEST.
While at NEST, Annette encountered "G" and fired several rounds of an anti-B.O.W. weapon at him, but was thrown into a wall, fatally wounding her. In her short time back at the facility, Sherry was successfully treated for the viral infection, but the facility began to self-destruct when Kennedy and Wong stole a Golgotha sample.[note 1]
- Annette was fatally wounded by her mutated husband, William AKA "G", differently in three games that she appears in. In The Darkside Chronicles, she was fatally clawed by her husband in his 2nd mutated form before she shoots him, while in the original Resident Evil 2, she was fatally clawed by her husband in his 3rd mutated form after realizing he was alive. In Resident Evil 2 remake, she was grabbed and thrown into the steel wall by her husband in his 3rd mutated form after she shoots him, which he fatally injures her during the impact. Annette survives long enough to personally administer the vaccine to Sherry, and dies in front of her daughter while begging for forgiveness.
- Although Annette appears to genuinely care for William's well-being in the original game and The Darkside Chronicles, she appears more indifferent to his suffering and subsequent mutation in the remake. She flat out admits to Claire "we were more married to our work than each other." The Birkin family photo in the remake also shows William and Annette with flat, uncaring expressions, as opposed to the original photo that featured all three family members smiling.
- In the original game's Leon A, Claire B storyline, after suffering severe cranial damage from falling debris, Annette falls unconscious on the Main Shaft shortly after shooting Ada Wong. She, however, does not succumb to her injuries until after reuniting and apologizing to her daughter for neglecting her. This ending is used in the Resident Evil book, City of the Dead.
- In The Darkside Chronicles, she dies the same way as she did in Resident Evil 2; however, this time she was trying to stop "G" only to be killed after she shot a bullet into him. She tells both Leon and Claire how to make the vaccine and dies.
- Unlike most characters in the game, Annette's design was largely overhauled for the Resident Evil 2 remake, as opposed to changing her clothing. Her short, jaw-length hair was lengthed to rest over her right shoulder, with the hair on the left side of her head tucked behind her ear. Her face appears somewhat more elongated with sunken eyeballs, giving her a more aged or haggard appearance. She is shown holding a lit cigarette in her concept art, implying she is a smoker.
- ↑ Due to the contradictory nature of the final sections of Resident Evil 2, it is indeterminate which scenario is canon and, in fact, it may be a mixture of events. The Wiki will deliberately keep this section short and vague unless Capcom confirms the story.