Resident Evil Wiki
Resident Evil Wiki
Prime universe
(Capcom's primary storyline)
Further notes

For other results, see Licker (disambiguation).

Lickers (リッカー rikkā?) are an irregular mutant resulting from a rare secondary metamorphosis (V-ACT) of Zombies infected with an unnamed variant of the ε strain.

The exact causes and process of transformation into a licker is imprecise and often unpredictable[1] but typically affects zombies who have consumed large quantities of biomass to sustain their metabolism.[2] In any case, the material conditions which may lead a singular zombie to become a licker can often cause multiple to evolve and form a colony.

Lickers are noted for their exposed and expanded brains, lack of skin and eyes, extreme sensitivity to sound, substantive and newly reformed muscle structure and reformed bone structure, large talons and eponymous barbed tongues, the latter of which are capable of piercing flesh and decapitating prey.[3] They should not be confused with Crimson Heads, which were also the result of V-ACT mutation, albeit for a separate t-Virus strain.


The earliest known Lickers appeared in the latter half of 1998, and were mutated from humans infected with an unnamed t-Virus strain.[4] Lickers were initially believed to be a wild form of Tyrant when first documented by Umbrella researchers and were kept as test subjects in the NEST facility beneath Raccoon City,[5] these subjects would eventually escape and a modified version would be encountered there, possibly due to exposure to P-ε gas.[6]


A licker as encountered at the Apple Inn.

When the variant strain at NEST leaked out of the facility on the night of September 23rd, it contaminated Raccoon City's drinking supply and infected tens of thousands of people who, therefore, were capable of mutating into Lickers.[7] Within days, an apparent colony of Lickers began to emerge at the start of the outbreak at the Apple Inn, a downtown hotel that had caught fire. These lickers lacked the expanded brains, substantive muscle growth and signature claws of later specimens, suggesting they may have been in an earlier stage of their transmutation.[8]

A second colony emerged several days later within the Raccoon Police Station,[9] which had been besieged by zombies on the night of the 27th.[10] This colony would kill several of the remaining survivors within the building, and would first earn the moniker "Licker" named by David Ford and the surviving personnel for their peculiarly long tongues.[11] The colony would grow in numbers, possibly due to the ample food in the area and several would be encountered by Leon S. Kennedy and Claire Redfield on the night of September 29th.[12][13]

A third colony of Lickers was also encountered by Ark Thompson whilst traversing Sheena Island in November 1998,[14] they may have been citizens infected with the same strain or escaped test subjects.[15] Likewise, several Lickers of the premature variety were encountered by Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine during the raid on the Umbrella Caucasus facility in February 2003 as a result of Albert Wesker instigating a leak of the t-Virus in the facility, leading to the infection of nearly all facility staff.[16]


In the years following, the recounted horror stories of the Lickers encountered in the Raccoon City incident by survivors during the Raccoon Trials mythologised the creatures and sparked widespread popularity and interest in Lickers as bio-weapons amongst black market producers and buyers, even outperforming the Hunter species in demand. By 2009, TRICELL had been mass-producing and distributing a stable derivative species of Licker which researcher Miguel enhanced by further experimentation with the Progenitor Virus.[17]

Licker β

A Licker β as encountered in Kijuju.

This variant species, known as "Licker β" were far bulkier and had slightly enhanced senses than their predecessors, they were also capable of reproduction.[18] However, these benefits came with unavoidable side effects, such as lesser mobility than their predecessors and their hearts being exposed through their ribcage. Due to their innate blindness, they were considered an evolutionary dead-end by TRICELL scientists.[18] This species was encountered by Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance agents Chris Redfield and Sheva Alomar during the Kijuju Autonomous Zone Incident.[19]

Resident evil damnation licker by danixoldier-d5gb02p

A Licker β in the Eastern Slav Republic.

The "β" species would later be supplied to President Svetlana Belikova of the Eastern Slav Republic in December 2010, they were successfully implanted with submissive Type-4 Plaga parasites. As such, they were capable of being controlled by humans who carried the dominant strain, to the point of becoming docile and playful creatures.[20] Belikova aimed to secure the oligarch's seizure of land (and the natural oil within) which and been owned and occupied by the Cossack-led Pro-independence forces and use it's wealth of resources to claim the nation's soverign legitimacy and status as a geopolitical powerhouse in the post-Soviet Eastern Bloc.[21] Thus, President Belikova enacted a plan to use the shell company Med Yuriy to distribute these Lickers, along with the intentionally faulty Plaga developed by Michal Žilka, to the rebel's Council of Elders, under the guise of being weapons to aid in an attempted revolution and coup d'état in Holigrad, unknowing that use of these Plaga would inevitably cause the hosts to deteriorate into zombie-like Ganado.

This was done with the explicit intention of creating a biohazard in the country, eradicating the guerrilla forces both from within and drawing international attention of both the United Nations and the BSAA to construe and target the freedom fighters as bioterrorists and legitimise Belikova's victory. These plans were ultimately thwarted due to the combined effort of rogue DSO agent Leon S. Kennedy, Alexander Kozachenko, and Ada Wong, as well as a joint offensive between the United States and Russia to enact a ceasefire and oversee the brokering of peace in the region.[22]

While the Licker β's would go on to replace their predecessors in biowarfare, traditional Lickers would still often mutate incidentally during outbreaks involving the t-Virus. They were encountered by Chris Redfield, Piers Nivans and Merah Biji during the Cobra Mart bioterrorist attack in 2012.[23]

Death Island 2-10

The Amphibian Licker.

In 2015, a new aquatic-modified variant of the Licker β was created using a new strain of T-virus partially derived from the A-Virus and utilized by a captive Dr. Antonio Taylor at the behest of bio-terrorists Dylan Blake and María Gómez. Dozens of these creatures were encountered during a joint raid on the terrorists Alcatraz Island facility by Chris Redfield, Leon S. Kennedy, Claire Redfield, Jill Valentine and Rebecca Chambers alongside San Francisco SWAT units. During this incident some of these creatures were seen to be used in the capacity of guard beasts to protect the tunnels under Alcatraz while several more larval ones were used as incubators for the mosquito bio-drones that Blake and Gómez intended to use to spread their new virus. Fortunately before this outbreak could occur the creatures and the drones were destroyed following their creators death and the destruction of the Alcatraz lab.