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Prime universe
(Capcom's primary storyline)

Mold in the basement of the Baker house.

The mold is a fungal superorganism which was discovered by Miranda in an Eastern European Village in the early 1900s, and developed by The Connections in the 1990s as part of their Bio Organic Weapons research. The purpose of weaponizing the mold was to create a means of mind control, with a genetically-engineered human mentally controlling others.[1][2][3]

History

The mold was first discovered by Miranda in the Village located in an Eastern Europe mountain range when she tried to commit suicide after the death of her daughter. After coming into contact with the mold, which infected her through her skin upon touching it, she began to experiment with the fungal substance. She quickly learned that the mold not only stored genetic information, but also memories of assimilated organisms. Seeing this as a chance to bring her daughter back, she started implanting villagers with mold in an attempt to create the perfect vessel, and eventually creating her own derivative of the mold known as the Cadou parasite. She also gave the Connections a sample of the mold so that they could develop their own B.O.W.s in 2000, in a joint project with H.C.F. to develop a new form of bioweapon, presumably using their research as a way to support her own in creating the perfect vessel. It was a success in terms of a bioweapon, since it could turn enemies into allies, or hostiles into servants, eliminating the costs of sheltering prisoners-of-war and even combat, gathering negative attention from the bioweapon market.[1]

Fabrication and results

To fabricate the mold, its genome should be introduced to a pre-Stage 4 human embryo under cultivation over a period of 38 to 40 weeks. To ensure blending into crowded populations without effort, these humans were always female and were artificially aged to the appearance of a ten year old.

Over several years, five lines of human B.O.W.s were created, each better able to control the mold than the last and blend into human society. Each was given a letter-number designation to determine their position in the line, starting from A-E. The prototype E-Type, "E-001" — otherwise known as Eveline — showed remarkable abilities. Another astonishing feature was that Eveline was capable of a profound imposition over the body and mind of those personally chosen to be living hosts of the mold. The creators of the bioweapons theorized that the mind control was possible much alike the action of autoinducer pheromones used for quorum sensing in Pseudomonas bacteria, while other sources attribute it to chemical transference of psychotropic compounds via skin to skin contact.[4]

In further analysis of Eveline's abilities, she was immediately able to induce visual halluncinations and made infected subjects see images of her despite not being present, and was able to bend their will from a distance; desires for companionships or requests for assistance would soon become more extreme, leading demands of self-mutilation or hostile behavior. Infected individuals were also subject to auditory hallucinations, ranging from her talking and humming, to a crowd of whispering, and even to sounds like a piano playing. These hallucinations could be used by the E-Type to drive the victim insane, and the psychological shock helped break down the mind's natural barriers and open the way to Eveline's brainwashing abilities.[1]

Infection

The E-Type is capable of creating organisms from mycelia, the fungal filaments, although "organism" is used loosely by researchers. Beings created from the E-Type's mycelia are technically superorganisms, formed of countless mycelia, which makes them stronger and more resilient than other types of creatures. The fungal filaments, which the E-Type is able to vomit out of its body at will, are responsible for the infection of other individuals, and fungal masses are extremely resistant to attack and highly toxic. Researchers referred to these superorganisms as the Molded, as they are both made out of mold, but also molded as in "shaped".[2] As Eveline was the first and only E-Type subject before the events of Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, the reports take in consideration the effects caused by her actions.

Initial infection

According to the Infection Report, the initial infection occurs when the mold ingests nutrients from the subject's body to propagate itself, and slowly takes over cells within the body, causing remarkable regenerative abilities as a side effect. Infected subjects are capable of reattaching legs and arms within minutes if severed, and this effect can be compounded with use of First Aid Med, which causes spontaneous cellular regeneration.[5] This is due to the fungus secreting a telomerase-like enzyme through the cell walls, causing an abnormal activation of the ERK pathway that forces cell division to regenerate damaged tissue, although repeated cell division quickly leads to breakdown of the intercellular structure. However, not every subject possesses the same healing capabilities, as Jack Baker is notably more resilient than any other subjects.[6] Mentally, infected subjects still maintain control over their own minds and have little to no physical changes.

Mid-stage infection

Once the mold reaches the brain, a mental connection is made with the E-Type asset, allowing the infected to experience the aforementioned hallucinations, including images of the asset and hearing voices. This can lead to hostile behavior, and eventually the infected become so connected with the E-Type that a process of losing its individuality starts, losing all sense of ego.[3] The infected acquire other abilities, including heightened senses, superhuman strength, and the ability to create or control bugs as seen with the Baker family and Mia.

Complete infection

After every cell in the body has been taken over by the mold, the subject begins to lose their human form. Physical mutations differ from case to case, but all result in him or her acquiring incredible physical strength. Containing a subject in this state is considered to be extremely difficult.[3] Insanity and severe mutations are caused by ingestion of the highly psychotropic mold, and there is some indication that the use of the mold could revive the recently deceased.[4]

Treatment

The only known cure to infections caused by the mold is a serum which is produced by using samples of the E-Type's body tissue, creating a unique fungicidal serum that is capable of destroying the mycelia within the cells of any subject infected by the E-Type bioweapon model. However, if the subject is already heavily infected, injection of the serum will be fatal.

Effects

The purpose of the serum is to kill any cell that has been infected with the mold by causing the mycelia within them to calcify. Those in the initial stage of infection are at a low risk of health complications, as their bodies are not yet largely invaded by the mold; however, since the treatment window is so small, those in the later stages of infection will be partially or entirely calcified upon injection. For that reason, the fungicidal serum's primary use is disposal of infected subjects, rather than a cure.[2]

E-Necrotoxin

In exploring the serum's potential, a currently unknown process is capable of enhancing its effects to extreme potency, becoming a compound known as E-Necrotoxin. Even in tiny amounts, according to R and D Report (2 of 2), seems to bring an unknown effect due to the censorship in the document. In 2017 the E-Necrotoxin was used on Eveline by Ethan Winters, but instead of calcifying her body and killing her outright, she instead merged into nearby mold to create a new body. It evidently caused Eveline a great measure of pain, to the point liquefying her, seemingly deteriorating her down to the molecular level. It nevertheless failed to truly finish her off and only triggered Eveline's final desperate transformation to ensure suitability. It is however, potent enough to have her vulnerable to death via physical shock, allowing for her calcification upon being rained down with bullets by Ethan.

Further notes

  • The mold's history is portrayed differently in the localized versions of the game. The NEXBAS Project is not described in the original Japanese script, while the compound word "mutamycete", which means "changing fungus", does not appear at all. Instead, the Japanese script uses the word kin (菌), which simply means "fungus".

Sources

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Resident Evil 7: Biohazard (2017), file: "R&D Report (1 of 2)".
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Resident Evil 7: Biohazard (2017), file: "R&D Report (2 of 2)".
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Resident Evil 7: Biohazard (2017), file: "Infection Report".
  4. 4.0 4.1 Eveline/biology#cite ref-:0 2-3
  5. First Aid Med (RE7)
  6. Resident Evil 7: Biohazard (2017), DLC: End of Zoe, file: "Analysis Report".
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