(Capcom's primary storyline)
The Golgotha Virus, abbreviated as G-Virus, is a retrovirus in the Progenitor family of viruses. Golgotha was developed by Umbrella USA as a bioweapon to rival and surpass Tyrant Virus ("t-Virus"). The two viruses, while being descended from Progenitor, are totally dissimilar. Whereas t-Virus typically causes relatively minor mutations in human hosts, like Zombies and Tyrants, Golgotha causes such extreme genetic mutations that victims are no longer recognisable as human. Human t-Virus mutants are almost unanimously infertile, while Golgotha's "G" mutants are highly-fertile and asexually reproductive. t-Virus causes necrosis of the body as a side-effect, while Golgotha is capable of repairing dead cells, and even reviving the dead. Because of these factors, the Golgotha is regarded as one of the greatest threats to the planet if an outbreak were to occur.[excerpt 1]
Golgotha was isolated in 1988 by Dr. William Birkin, the chief researcher at Umbrella USA's top-secret Arklay Laboratory. Found in the body of Lisa Trevor, a human test subject, its discovery was made following her immune system's inexplicable destruction of an NE-α Type parasite, and could theoretically have existed since the late 1960s when testing on her began. As Golgotha was determined to be able to genetically alter a living being repeatedly and unpredictably as well as be able to repair damaged cells and revive the dead, it ran counter to Umbrella's plans to create a reliable military-grade B.O.W.s that could be controlled by Army trainers. Umbrella Pharmaceuticals' CEO, Dr. Oswell E. Spencer, Earl Spencer, was nonetheless interested in Golgotha for its potential eugenics purposes, and authorised development as an R&D project unrelated to the t-Virus Project.[excerpt 2] Early research on Golgotha took place in France at an underground research complex led by Dr. Christine Henry, a French countess from a family connected to Dr. Spencer. This partnership ceased in 1991 with the completion of NEST within a limestone cavern in the outskirts of Raccoon City.
The G-Virus Project reached its final stages in 1998 alongside the t-Virus Project which Dr. Birkin also oversaw. Through the abduction of locals, the NEST researchers were able to get their hands on a number of test subjects for both projects, including children at a nearby orphanage. The accelerated use of test subjects was, in fact, so high that the newly commissioned Incineration Disposal Plant P-12A suffered a biohazard due to having to process too much biowaste. As the months drew on, Dr. Birkin became increasingly frustrated with Umbrella's board of executives, with both becoming increasingly suspicious the other would seize the completed virus for themselves. He entered secret negotiations with the US military, instead, expecting to earn protection as a new addition to their own bio-weapons project. When Umbrella HQ's moles within the US military reported back on this new development, an Umbrella Security Service team was sent out to detain Dr. Birkin for crimes against Umbrella and seize the virus to complete its research under Dr. Henry in France.
On the night of 22 September, the USS made its attack on NEST and fatally wounded Dr. Birkin in their recovery. In his dying actions, he infected himself with a remaining sample of Golgotha and mutated into a powerful G mutant that massacred the security team, and leaked both Golgotha and the Tyrant Virus into the sewers. As Raccoon City soon fell to a t-Virus outbreak, Dr. Birkin continued to wander around, seeking people to implant with G-embryos to propagate his new species. How many Gs were created is uncertain, though it is known some corpses were also infected with the virus and became G-Zombies. Further attempts to steal Golgotha continued during the outbreak. Within NEST itself, Dr. Monica and a man later known as Dr. Frederic Downing both tried to escape Raccoon City with samples. In Dr. Monica's case she stole an embryo from an pre-final G test, and was killed by it during her escape attempt. In Dr. Downing's case, he succeeded in escaping with a virus sample, either from the finalised version or a near-finalised, and tried to make a new life for himself outside Raccoon City. The US Army made an attempt to recover the virus in the form of Delta Force, and used Umbrella's private subway system to get to the lab and retrieve it; unfortunately for them they took the wrong route and were killed at the P-12A plant. Umbrella's own attempt to retrieve Golgotha succeeded in the early hours of 30 September, when Alpha Team leader "HUNK" recovered a sample and got in touch with an Umbrella helicopter.
In the early hours of 30 September, Dr. Birkin parasitised his daughter, Sherry, which led to her being rushed to NEST to be treated with the DEVIL vaccine on the advice of Dr. Birkin's wife, Dr. Annette Birkin, by then the only surviving NEST still in the city. This vaccine was designed to halt mutations caused by the virus, but as a vaccine could not reverse mutation, the recommended procedure was an emergency surgery to remove G-cells in the body. This did not take place due to the severity of the outbreak, made worse by the facility undergoing a self-destruct and Annette's death. At the same time, the facility was infiltrated by Ada Wong, an agent for a rival company sent to retrieve a sample of Golgotha. Wong ultimately failed to retrieve a sample, though escaped with a skin tissue sample taken from Dr. Birkin. Dr. Birkin was himself killed attempting to escape NEST in an underground train, though accounts differ as to if he was killed by the train self-destructing or being consumed by the explosion from NEST.
Further research and modification of the Golgotha Virus took place in the years after Raccoon City, with Umbrella Europe, the rival company, Dr. Downing and the US military all succeeding in retrieving samples, the latter through placing Sherry Birkin in government custody as a means of both studying her G-cells and keeping her away from those seeking the virus.
Umbrella Europe used Golgotha in research on marrying the G- and t- Projects, in what became known as the t+G Virus. This virus was for the most part a t-Virus mutated from exposure within a hostile environment of G-antibodies, possibly within a G itself. The virus went through at least two iterations as research continued, and all known samples were stolen in September 2002 by terrorist Dr. Morpheus D. Duvall, and later destroyed with the destruction of a missile silo he had based himself in as well as a cruise ship he used to get there.
Golgotha was used by Dr. Downing in late 2005 as part of a black market bioweapons sales pitch to the Republic of Bajirib. Having radicalised Dr. Curtis Miller into using viral weapons as a means of politicing debate on them and revealing the US military's previous involvement with Umbrella USA, Dr. Downing sought to use footage of t-Virus outbreaks caused by Dr. Miller, as well as his own infection with Golgotha, as proof of concept. Bajirib was interested in both viruses, despite Dr. Downing's own recommendation against Golgotha, though the sale failed when USSTRATCOM was able to track him down and detain him.
Though the US military made no known attempts to create bioweapons after Raccoon City, The Family, an American exceptionalist movement with strong ties to the government and civil service, initiated the C-Virus Project on its behalf as a private endeavour, believing the US would inevitably return to developing bio-weapons and not wanting rival countries like China to advance beyond it in the meantime. Through access to Sherry, who herself had been confirmed to possess regenerative and anti-ageing abilities, The Family was able to obtain G-Cells from her body as well as any Golgotha virions being produced. By splicing G cells into a sample of t-Veronica obtained in 2002, the Chrysalid Virus was able to cause extreme mutations in humans as well as revive the dead.
The BSAA has so far never been forced to combat a Golgotha outbreak. Nonetheless, their official policy is that if the virus is detected, the entire BSAA force is to be put on alert should the local branch be inadequate to destroying all trace, with that point being determined by the creation of new G-humans.
There are two significant manners by which Golgotha is able to transmit between individuals. The first is injection of the virus into the body. Umbrella USA's NEST facility kept a number of vials of Golgotha in storage, preserved within a protein media dyed purple for immediate identification. As the incubation period for Golgotha is very short, injection of a full or near full vial as performed by Dr. William Birkin is known to bring about mutation within seconds, though it is possible this process would be delayed if a smaller viral load is injected.
The second manner of transmission is by implantation by which of a G-embryo. These organisms are the natural offspring of G-mutants, and are forced into a human host's body via oral implantation. By being host to the parasitic embryo, the victim is then at risk of being infected from within. If the host is of a close genetic relationship to the embryo's parent, there is a high probability the embryo will merge into the host's body and mutate them into Gs themselves. If the host is not deemed compatible, the embryo will force its way out within minutes, killing the host. It is uncertain if a rejected host will be infected with the virus.
Golgotha has extreme effects on the human body. The virus infects cells close by, turning them into so-called "G-Cells". These G-Cells then produce more of the virus, which will spread further across the body. As this gradual spread starts from the point of infection, the body may mutate asymmetrically. This is seen in Dr. Birkin, who infected himself in the right arm, which became considerably muscular in comparison to the left.
Golgotha's extreme mutations are not stopped simply from the creation of G-Cells. If part of the body is injured, it will regenerate. This ultimately causes the host's DNA to be re-written, leading to significant changes in the body during the regeneration. In the case of Dr. Birkin, he is known to have grown an entirely new, functional head, with his original head being moved down to the chest and eventually disappearing entirely. Other noticeable aspects of the extreme mutations were the growth of a second pair of arms, which later mutated further into feet, and the re-shaping of the rib-cage into a mouth with bone teeth. With each physical trauma he received, Birkin's mutations grew more and more severe, until his form could no longer be recognized as human.
Outside of Dr. Birkin's unique mutation, two common elements are known to occur within most G-mutants. The first is that of functioning eyeballs which are known to develop in seemingly random parts of the body for no particular reason. This is comparable with teratomas, a type of tumour which grows hair, teeth and eyes. The second is that of asexual reproduction, the manner of which is uncertain. Dr. Birkin was capable of reproducing embryos soon after infection, though was not seen doing so for another seven days, while second-generation "G" were capable of giving birth to embryos within minutes of their own birth. In both types of mutations, the individuals gave birth via the mouth. This may be typical with G, or simply the result of the embryos sharing random traits developed in Birkin's body. As observed in Raccoon City, third-generation G - effectively Birkin's grandchildren - were incapable of maturing past their larval stage exposing a generational defect in G mutants.
There are, further-more, two other occurrences of G mutants which do not fit other examples. The first is that of the G-Zombies, human corpses infected with the G-Virus in some manner (e.g. embryonic implantation within a corpse or, perhaps, the revival of rejected hosts). These creatures are not 'true' G, and remain genetically human, albeit with their body turned pink from the G-Cells. The second anomaly is that of Sherry Birkin. This individual is the only known instance of a host being genetically compatible with the embryo, but was vaccinated during a short window after implantation and, consequently, did not develop extreme mutations aside from regenerative abilities. Whether or not she possesses any other traits is unknown.
- See also: DEVIL
A treatment for Golgotha was devised by the NEST research team while working on the virus itself. Codenamed "DEVIL", this vaccine was recommended for use by NEST staff in the event of an outbreak, and had a high success rate in preventing the virus from infecting a patient's cells. This vaccine can be used on a patient who has already been infected with the virus, though the window for success is short and varies from host to host. Further mutations beyond this point prevent the vaccine from working at all. As the vaccine cannot reverse mutation, those vaccinated after infection will show some mutation but cease mutating further. NEST's scientists devised a form of surgery to remove growths of G-Cells in the body. As G-Cells naturally produce the virus, their removal is necessary to wiping the virus from the body.
- The localization for Resident Evil 2 erroneously inferred that the T-00 (referred to as "that monster that is tearing apart the precinct") was created by the G-Virus and that it was the ultimate bioweapon when Brian Irons was explaining its properties to Claire. In the original script, he instead commented that the virus has the ability to rapidly advance human evolution without even mentioning the T-00.
- Tahara, Seiji (田原 誠司), ed (1998). BIOHAZARD 2 Official Guide Book. Japan: Famitsu.
- Sumner, Christian; Shotten, Brian; Owen, Michael, eds (9 November 2005). Resident Evil Archives: Umbrella's Virus Uncovered. Translated by Zpang America, Inc.. BradyGames. ISBN 0744006554.
- Excerpt from Resident Evil 2 (2019) Loading screen: "Umbrella's secret laboratory, "NEST"—the source of Raccoon City's nightmare.
Having made it down to NEST, Leon must now find the most dangerous bioweapon in history, the G-Virus.
Leon believes that if he gets his hands on it, he can make sure justice is served."
- Excerpt from biohazard archives (2nd ed.): "「G」 発見のきっかけを作ったのは、 後にネメシス計画の中心となる寄生生物「NE-α型」 の原型である。 これを、 驚異的な生命間で生き続けていた生体サンプル、 リサ・トレヴァーに移植したところ、 脳へ寄生する間もなく消滅。 ウィリアムがリサを詳しく調べた結果、 彼女の体内で新たに覚醒したと思われるG-ウィルスの原型が確認された。 この画期的発見は、 t-ウィルス計画を逸脱するものであり、 ウィリアム自身も即座に本部へ「G-ウィルス計画」 を立案して承認を得た。 これにより、 アンブレラはラクーンシティの地下に巨大研究施設を建造し、 ウィリアムはそこを拠点に新になウィルス開発を始めることになる。
G-ウィルスがtーウィルスと本に違う点は、 感染した生体自身がまったく新しい生命体に進化を遂げるところにある。 t-ウィルスは一世代だけの突然変異体（ミュタント）を生み出すに過ぎないが、 G-ウィルスは繁な「G生物」 を生み出す力を持っている。 つまり、 ウィルスによってもたらされたG細胞が、 生態の構造を組み替えながら肉体を侵食。 これによって感染者は予測不可能な劇的進化を繰り返し、 子孫を増やす能力を持つ人工種となるわけである。 G-ウィルスには、 この他にも死人を蘇らせる特性もあるという。 それだけに、 G-ウィルスはt-ウィルスを超える恐るべき発明として認識しておく必悪がある。
しかし、 その未知なるウィルスの開発は、 ウィリアムのエゴイズムによって結論を見ないまま幕を閉じる。 米国政府（軍部） 側へ寝返ることを考えていた彼は、 スペンサーに自分の研究を横取りされることを拒絶し、 すべてを独占しようと企んだのだ。 これに業を煮やしたアンブレラは、 特殊工作部隊を使ってサンプルの強奪に乗り出すが、 ウィリアムが自分自身にG-ウィルスを投与したために事態は急変。 ウィリアムは、 G-ウィルスによる ”人間の進化” を、 自分の肉体を使ってまざまざと見せ付けた。"
- biohazard archives (2nd ed.), p.300.
- BSAA Remote Desktop, G-Virus report.
- Wesker's Report II, Part 4.
- Wesker's Report II, Part 1.
- biohazard archives (2nd ed.)
- Wesker's Report II, Part 5.
- BIO HAZARD 2 DRAMA ALBUM ~The Female Spy Ada Lives~~
- Op Instructions.
- Resident Evil 2 (1998), file: "Vaccine synthesis".
- BSAA Remote Desktop, "G-Virus report".
- Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles (2010), file: "G-Virus Antigen".
- Official Guide Book, p.53.
- Official Guide Book, p.54.
- Official Guide Book, p.56.