(Covers information from Anderson's universe)
"One of The Hive's early experiments. Produced by injecting the T-Virus directly into living tissue. Results were, unstable. Now that it has fed on fresh DNA, it will mutate. Becoming a stronger, faster, hunter."
— The Red Queen describes the Licker's conception and abilities.
The Licker is a biological weapon created by directly injecting the T-virus into live human tissue.
The Licker was initially created at The Hive during experimentation on T-virus test subjects. Data accumulated in the experiment led to the mass-production of more such creatures within The Hive itself as well as the Umbrella Prime facility where they were produced to serve as side-shows for prospective bio-weapons buyers.
During the early stages of the global T-virus pandemic, The Hive was contaminated by the virus by Spence, a security operative bribed into doing it. When Umbrella's "Sanitation" team investigated, a Licker was able to escape its storage tank, and was allowed by the Red Queen computer to hunt down the squad in an attempt to deny their escape. This Licker attacked Spence, and later followed the remaining survivors on a train headed out to the Looking Glass House in the Arklay Mountains, killing Kaplan along the way before finally being killed itself. Whether because of an order by Red Queen or the result of its final shutdown, a number of other Lickers were soon-after released. These would escape into the outside world and prey on civilians in Raccoon City. Several were killed by Alice at the Raven's Gate Church.
Lickers mutated from humans infected through injection of the T-virus into living tissue, which had different effects compared with people who were infected through bites or inhalation. The skin completely shed off, exposing the overdeveloped muscles that endowed them stronger fighting abilities than either humans or ordinary Undead. In addition of this, the skeleton is altered into much bestial form which forced the Lickers to walk on all-fours, but at the same time benefited them with a body optimized for speed and agility along with razor-sharp claws to climb walls and ceiling like lizards as well as doubles as deadly melee weapons. The tongue also developed further by the same mutation, giving it the ability to grab things from distance and even whip through flesh like a hot knife against butter. Because of the eyes' degradation from their mutation, Licker senses were limited to smell and hearing.
- An animatronic model was created for the first Resident Evil film, with CGI enhancements and a tongue added in post-production. Another animatronic was created for Apocalypse, but special effects supervisor Alison O'Brien found it to be inadequate and switched to full CGI. This required the special effects team to examine meat at a marketplace to get the right texture and colour for what O'Brien described as a "flayed human".
- In draft scripts for the first film, the Licker is referred to as "The Creature". It is also called "The Stranger" before its identity is revealed.