|This article does not cite any sources. (March 2022)|
The Baby was a highly grotesque creature resembling a deformed fetus, encountered by Ethan Winters in House Beneviento while experiencing hallucinations caused by Donna Beneviento and her fungus-infected plants.
The Baby is a large creature resembling a hideous distortion of a human fetus. It has swollen black eyes, a gaping, toothless mouth and a slimy red body with slightly underdeveloped limbs. Its waist appears to be twisted around, leaving its legs pushing backwards as it crawls forward on its hands; the result gives it a vaguely grasshopper-like profile. Its stomach has a large flap of loose flesh that trails behind it like a short, limp tail, leaving bloody streaks in its wake.
According to its concept art notes, the Baby is technically a female organism (possibly due to being based on Rosemary Winters). It appears to be nocturnal or at least averse to light, since it only appears in dark areas. Despite its monstrous appearance, its vocalizations are eerily similar to those of an ordinary human baby; laughing, crying, gurgling, unintelligible mumbling, and simple words like "Mama", "Dada", and "Yummy". Its sole attack - swallowing Ethan whole - is reminiscent of a baby's tendency to put random objects in its mouth, albeit made dangerous due its great size.
The Baby's exact nature is nebulous (as is common for Ethan's experiences in House Beneviento), but it was most likely an illusion created by Lady Beneviento, facilitated by the Mold-infected flower pollen Ethan inhaled when he approached the mansion. Alternatively, it was a real monster whose appearance was altered by Donna's illusions, in which case its true form is unknown. Either way, it likely represents Ethan's fears about his daughter's potentially inhuman nature and his guilt over failing to protect her from Miranda and the Four Houses.
The Baby is only encountered at House Beneviento after Ethan begins to hallucinate from Lady Beneviento's infected plants. At certain points, it will stalk and chase the player throughout the basement; if it catches Ethan, it will swallow him whole for an instant death.
Since the hallucination strips Ethan of his weapons, the only way to avoid the Baby is by running away or hiding from it with specific interactable set pieces. Fortunately, it has trouble navigating corridors and turning around; its lunge attack is also somewhat unwieldy, although its deceptive speed makes baiting it out a risky proposition. Some rooms (such as the Doll Workshop and the Study) also have furniture that allows Ethan to lure the Baby towards him before running down the path it came from,
The Baby's movements are somewhat scripted (as seen in this video); in its first two encounters, hiding from it long enough will make it return to its spawn point and disappear. Its audio cues change depending on its status; it sounds happy when actively chasing Ethan and upset when it loses track of him. Like most "chaser" enemies in recent games, the music will also become more intense if the Baby has detected Ethan.
The Baby attacks Ethan at three points during his attempt to escape the basement:
- After Ethan retrieves the Breaker Box Key from the Old Well, the Baby will spawn at the end of the hall leading from the Doll Workshop, just past the door to the Storage Room where the Tweezers were obtained. It will despawn when Ethan uses the Relief of a Child to open the door leading to the Kitchen and Bedroom.
- The Baby will reappear when Ethan leaves the Kitchen after obtaining the Fuse from the Bedroom. It will chase Ethan until he gets past it and returns to the Medicine Room, after which it despawns again. The easiest way to avoid the Baby here is to return to the Bedroom and hide in a closet or under the bed; when the Baby passes by or looks away, leave the hiding place and run back to the Kitchen door.
- After placing the Fuse in the breaker box and reactivating the elevator, the Baby will come around the corner of the hallway. Despite appearances, it is possible to simply wait for the elevator and get in without any risk of being caught; however, the player needs to quickly hit the button inside the elevator before the Baby gets in and devours them. If the player needs some more breathing room, they should go into the Study once the Fuse is placed; when the Baby follows them inside, they can lure it around the couches and projector table before leaving the room and going to the elevator. The elevator will open automatically if the player is standing in front of it when it arrives; otherwise, they will have to interact with the button beside it as usual. Either way, they will be safe as long as they hit the button inside the elevator before the Baby physically catches them; no matter how close or far it is when the button is pressed, it will despawn when the lights black out and respawn in position for its final scene, where it just barely fails to reach Ethan before the elevator door closes.