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Bio Organic Weapons (B.O.W. for short) are genetically-altered organisms created with the intent of either being used as military and paramilitary weapons, or were created to further research into military and paramilitary weapons. This definition is rigid, and so does not include mutants created due to outbreaks, who are termed "Irregular Mutants".
The earliest use of Bio Organic Weaponry dates back to the time of the Ndipaya Kingdom, which existed hundreds or even thousands of years before the 21st century. This Kingdom existed in a cavern where a flower, the Stairway of the Sun, resided. The Ndipaya culture developed around this flower, which produced Progenitor, a retrovirus. Those who survived the mutations brought on by viral infection gained superhuman abilities. The Ndipaya created a number of mutant animals through these flowers, either as weapons of war or as a means of executing POWs thrown into their pit as a sacrifice. The mutant animals escaped their captivity and laid waste to the capital.
Umbrella bioweapons project
Umbrella Pharmaceuticals was formed in 1968 by a eugenics circle led by virologists Dr. Oswell E. Spencer, Earl Spencer, Dr. Edward Ashford, 5th Earl Ashford, and Dr. James Marcus. Though their priority was to engineer a Progenitor strain that could guarantee or near-guarantee the survival of infection candidates as part of a eugenics goal, research data had to come from other sources. This was the t-Virus Project, a weaponised Progenitor variety to be sold to armies. Unable to create a t-Virus strain projected to kill 100% of infected, research conducted by Dr. William Birkin at the Arklay Laboratory created a new strain that would instead turn humans into mutants who would infect or kill others, people later dubbed "Zombies". This research came about as Dr. Marcus made his own breakthrough, though his research was a dead-end.
Aside from mutating humans and animals to determine their viability as weapons, Umbrella's facilities began developing chimeric mutants in the early 1980s as an alternative military weapon due to quality issues in mutant animals created by the Web Spinner and Neptune Projects, especially in intelligence. Among the early chimeric B.O.W.s was the Hunter Project, which created a human-reptile hybrid with far greater intelligence than a Zombie and able to interpret dozens of commands. The Hunter Project was in essence Umbrella's ideal weapon at the time for military use, that a buyer like the US Army could have a trainer issue orders to a B.O.W. to kill guerrilla fighters without the risk of it turning on the soldiers.
Beginning around 1988, Umbrella USA entered "Phase 3" of the t-Virus Project, and aimed to create a more stabilised strain to improve its ability to create reliable B.O.W.s. As Progenitor strains had more favourable effects on humans with certain intelligence genes, Phase 3 followed the same route as the deadended t-Veronica Project in taking advantage of this trait, at the same time beginning the "Tyrant Project", with the goal of creating a human-based B.O.W. with human-level intelligence. Phase 3 research was conducted over a ten-year period to create this stabilised strain, named Epsilon, after which the Tyrant Project was able to begin.
By May 1998, Umbrella USA hit a breakthrough with the creation of the T-001, T-002 and T-011 prototypes. A clone was made of the T-002 to be further modified elsewhere as the Arklay Laboratory experienced a biohazard. The modified T-002 clone embryo ultimately gave rise to the T-103s, with human-level intelligence able to follow complex orders without the need of an on-site trainer. How many T-103s Umbrella was able to sell to its customers is unknown, if they sold any at all, as the 1998 Raccoon City Destruction Incident effectively barred Umbrella from trading with the US military.
With Umbrella in danger of collapse following the loss of all trade to the US and being at risk of bankruptcy in the Raccoon Trials, Umbrella abandoned its development of reliable weaponry in favour of mass-producing existing prototypes to be sold to terrorist groups and crime syndicates, who had less interest in the ability to control them. The Caucasus Laboratory this production was focused in fell to a t-Virus outbreak in February 2003, ending Umbrella's B.O.W. projects.
War on Terror
Umbrella's collapse led to an increase in terrorist groups switching from conventional weapons to B.O.W.s, contributed by both former Umbrella employees selling merchandise onto the black market, and Dr. Albert Wesker's use of Umbrella's research files to his advantage. The existence of B.O.W.s, which had been covered-up globally for years, was finally revealed to the public in 2004 with the Terragrigia Panic, where modified Hunters were set loose on a city by Il Veltro, a radicalised fraternal group. Awareness of bio-weaponry exploded its use by terrorists, and some states like the Republic of Bajirib outright supported their acquisition as military weapons. In the aftermath of Umbrella's collapse, research on bioweaponry was led by Tricell, The Family, Los Iluminados, Dr. Alex Wesker and The Connections.
The Family, an American-based fraternal group, began the C-Virus Project not long after Raccoon City's destruction, aimed at creating a highly-destructive military virus for the US military, believing the American ban on bio-weapons research to only be temporary. The project used genes taken from the t-Veronica and Golgotha Viruses obtained by the US government, with the approach of creating intelligent mutant humans with arthropod characteristics able to undergo V-ACT. When exposed to a corpse, the virus also had the ability to repair cells and reanimate them. A number of strains were created to cause specific mutations in those infected by injection. The Family's research was partly taken over by "Neo Umbrella", a rogue group led by Dr. Carla Radames, who sought to use their research to destroy the world rather than use them as weapons. Neo Umbrella was shut down in June 2013 with the death of Dr. Radames in China and destruction of her ultimate bio-weapon, HAOS.
Los Iluminados performed significant research on Las Plagas, a naturally occurring organism found in Spain which could induce mutations and hive mind characteristics upon humans. Through the guise of a cult, Los Iluminados' founder Osmund Saddler, styled as a Prophet, was able to recruit Plaga test subjects under his control, resulting in the creation of mutants such as Novistadores, El Gigante, Verdugo, U-3, and the Regeneradores. An operation by US-STRATCOM was almost successful in wiping out the organisation in 2004, though Los Iluminados' genetically-modified parasites and cult members survived.
Tricell's bio-weapons project was a competitor to Umbrella, but had only managed to become a success with the aid of Dr. Albert Wesker's data. Their first project was the creation of t-Abyss on behalf of Morgan Lansdale, director of the FBC, who wanted to use a virus so dangerous it was impractical as a bioweapon to make a point about the need for counter-bioterror warfare units. This virus was supplied to Il Veltro along with the Hunters, and was later recovered in 2005 by Tricell spy Raymond Vester. Acquiring a Recessive-subspecies Plaga from The Organisation, and a Dominant-subspecies Plaga directly from Spain, Tricell began creating modified Plaga varieties as well as B.O.W.s derived from them. By 2006 they had based themselves within the Ndipaya cavern due to its secrecy and the proximity to Stairway of the Sun. Through the use of Ricardo Irving, Tricell was able to produce Licker Beta, Ultimate 8, Popokarimu and Ndesu B.O.W.s, with the intent of selling internationally and investing profits into greater research along with the Uroboros Project, a doomsday project created with the intent of killing everyone lacking intelligence-regulating genes. The Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance discovered Tricell's involvement in bio-weapons production in March 2009 following the use of Type-2 Plagas by nationalist rebels in nearby Kijuju. Tricell was shut down in 2011, following a bioterror attack on its Tricell Africa headquarters.
Dr. Alex Wesker began her own independent research on viral weaponry in the aftermath of Umbrella's collapse, using staff and equipment left over by Umbrella. Dying from a wasting disease, Alex failed to develop superhuman abilities she was supposed to possess. Having been entrusted with Umbrella equipment and researchers loyal to Dr. Lord Spencer in 2005, Alex began research on a virus that would create biological immortality. In 2006, she moved research on to Sejm, and it became a project that would implant a copy of her memory and consciousness into successful test subjects. It was in her hope she would effectively cheat death, and the new Alex succeed where she herself failed. The t-Phobos Project, as it was called, was a success in 2011, though it cost the entire island's population to achieve. The subject, Natalia Korda, was brought to the island in a secret agreement with TerraSave leader Neil Fisher, who head of her researchers' recent acquisition of Uroboros for the purpose of the Revenant Project, and was willing to sacrifice his friends for a sample to use in vaccine research. Alex and Fisher both perished on the island, which was razed by the BSAA, with Korda being evacuated to Canada. Research meanwhile continued on Sonido de Tortuga on its own project, the Kodoku Project, which aimed to create the Ultimate Bio Weapon through the creation of numerous mutants and extracting samples of the mutant strain from the winner after they were made to fight. This project got the attention of Shén Yà Pharmaceutical in 2014 as well as TerraSave and the BSAA, and ended in the deaths of the island's native population, the Shén Yà acquisition team and a BSAA squad, along with the loss of the entire research staff. Though the bio-weapons were all destroyed, it should be noted a single Zombie was able to escape the sweep and could cause another biohazard.
In 2014, an arms dealer Glenn Arias planned for attack on the New York City with a new virus strain.
The Connections, another B.O.W. developer, is known to have produced enhanced Mold-based bio-weapons as early as 2001 in partnership with H.C.F., an Organisation team. Their goal was to create a marketable mutant human B.O.W. that could be sent into a combat zone posing as a child refugee, then infect soldiers with Mold and either turn them into monsters or force them to surrender. The Connections was forced to evacuate its latest iteration of human B.O.W., the E-001 "Eveline" in October 2014, who went rogue during a hurricane and turned a Louisiana family into her slaves. The Connections was able to perform further research in secret after liberating Lucas Baker. Eveline's rapid physical deterioration led to her escalating the abduction and killing of the homeless and tourists, ultimately getting the attention of Blue Umbrella and the BSAA, who helped destroy the Mold as it spread out into the swampland.
To fulfill the bioterrorists' needs, the viral weapons and parasites used to create B.O.W.s were altered significantly to infect and mutate a species or type of living organism perfectly. Some of these mutagens were able to mutate through cross-species, while others simply mutate/bond with one species, and don't bond well with another species.
Being a type of marketable B.O.W., the Lickers are known for their agility and destructiveness as a bio-weapon. Lickers are the most common produced type of B.O.W., and as such, they have appeared in many bioterror attacks. There are at least four types of Licker, two of which are enhanced using the Progenitor Virus and modified Las Plagas.
The Tyrants were originally planned as super soldiers who could withstand many fatal blows and still survive. Over time, the Tyrants were eventually created as a terrorist's ultimate weapon, due to its unmatched strength and durability. However, an individual whose genetic structure is ideal to create a Tyrant is incredibly rare and is the main reason why Tyrants are less likely to be produced, even by the Umbrella Corporation.
Along with Lickers, Hunters are also popular B.O.W.s among terrorist groups. The Hunters were altered in many ways to create and produce different types of Hunter B.O.W.s, although in some cases, their ferociousness means that anyone who deploys them on the battle field must take extreme caution as Hunters also tend to attack their commanders.
First discovered in a rural European country, Las Plagas were used by a cult named Los Iluminados to infect and gather as many followers as they could. After being discovered by The Organization, Las Plagas that once bred by Los Iluminados was experimented by Albert Wesker and Tricell Corporation to manufacture new species of Plagas as marketable B.O.W.s, leading to the infamous Kijuju Outbreak in Africa. Later during the Eastern Slav civil war, Plagas are once again being used by the rebels in war, showing that Las Plagas is a useful yet deadly bio-weapon.
These new species of B.O.W.s are manufactured by Neo Umbrella, a new bioterrorist organization founded by Carla Radames. Compared to the commonly used zombies to feed on their victims, these J'avo are capable of orchestrating abduction, terrorism, massacre and commanding lesser B.O.W.s in battle ground. The J'avo only take orders from their highest leader, most prominently the ones who created them.
Due to the highly dangerous nature of Uroboros virus, only a handful of Uroboros-based B.O.W. are created by Albert Wesker. Years after his death, Alex Wesker and her subordinates located his laboratory compound and retrieved the samples of the Uroboros virus to create B.O.W.s such as the Revenant, Slinger and Splasher. After Alex's confirmed death, the BSAA eradicated all of the known traces of the virus and B.O.W.s.
Many other lifeforms were also used as B.O.W. although their usage are less frequent, and many of these did not find particular success in the B.O.W market. Known marketed B.O.Ws include Eliminators, Plague Crawlers, Ivys, Giant Spiders (specifically the Jumping Man-Eater variant), Neptunes, Anubis, and Jabberwock S3. Outbreaks of the t-Virus or other mutagenic viruses have been known to produce B.O.W-like creatures as a result of secondary infection or the unpredicted mutation of human hosts. These creatures are sometimes referred to as "irregular mutations", but are distinguished from B.O.Ws because they are neither intentional experiments nor directly sold on the bio-weapon market. Examples of the irregular mutants are the Zombie Dog, Giant Alligator, Globster and Scagdead .
- Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles, B.O.W. Notes
- Resident Evil 5 (2009), file: "History of RESIDENT EVIL".
- Resident Evil 5 (2009), file: "Albert Wesker".
- Wesker's Report II.
- Wesker's Extra Report.
- Resident Evil 5 (2009), file: "Excella Gionne".
- Resident Evil: Revelations (2012).
- Resident Evil: Degeneration.
- Resident Evil 6 (2012), file: "The C-Virus".
- Resident Evil 4 (2005).
- Resident Evil: Umbrella Corps (2016).
- Resident Evil: Vendetta.
- Resident Evil: Revelations (2012), scene: "Staff Roll and Epilogue scene".
- Resident Evil 4 (2005), file: "Ada's Report 5".
- INSIDE OF BIOHAZARD THE DARKSIDE CHRONICLES, p.185.
- Resident Evil 5 (2009), file: "Ricardo Irving".
- Resident Evil: Revelations 2 (2014), scene: "Siege on Terra Save".