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See also: Plaga Type 2, Plaga Type 3, and Plaga Type 4

Plagas (プラーガ purāga?) are a genus of parasitic arthropods that belong to an unknown taxonomical order. They are endemic to a remote, montane region of Spain, from which they derive their name, "las plagas," meaning "the pests" in Spanish. Assuming that Plagas are otherwise typical parasitic arthropods, they are believed to reproduce asexually, with their eggs being expelled from the host and consumed by other animals as part of their life cycle. Plagas generally reach maturity within days of hatching, after which they rapidly progress through three consecutive stages, known (in Spanish) as guadaña, mandíbula and araña (English: 'scythe', 'jaw' and 'spider', respectively).

By latching onto the nervous system, plagas can exert influence over their host's actions, leading to increased aggression in human hosts known as Ganados. Additionally, they form social groups with other infected hosts. Unless the host's brain is destroyed or compromised, the plagan influence is not absolute, allowing them to continue their daily routines. All plagas existing in the 21st century are descendants of two species, one of which is artificial, and was employed by a paramilitary cult, known as Los Iluminados, as part of their bioweapons project.

History[]

Resident Evil 5 Ndipaya wall mural 1

The creature suspected of Plaga appeared on the remains of Ndipaya Kingdom

Though often associated with Spain, the plagas may have originated in Western Africa, based on the discovery of desiccated remains within the Ndipaya Kingdom. These ruins are ancient, possibly dating back to the Neolithic age. The Plaga population in Spain could be as old as the Bronze Age, and evidence of human sacrificial rituals performed by the Ganados is depicted in Wharf B cave art. Count Gregorio Salazar led a brutal crusade against the Ganados in the region due to their pagan beliefs. Surviving Plagas were sealed within caves beneath a mound, separated from the nearby village by a deep valley trench and a large body of water. A fortress was constructed above the caves, with Salazar and his descendants assuming the role of Castellan to prevent the escape of the Plagas.[1][2]

Resident Evil 4 Castle - Mine examine 1

Desiccated remains of Plaga.[note 1]

Around the turn of the millennium, Osmund Saddler, who descended from one of the original banished ganados on a nearby island, discovered the Plagas and devised plans to utilize them for personal gain and international influence through parasitization.[2] Assuming the role of a Prophet, Saddler led the cult known as "Los Iluminados," meaning "The Enlightened Ones" in Spanish. Prophet Saddler gained the loyalty of Ramón Salazar, the 8th Castellan, who agreed to release the Plagas as a means of atonement for his family's "sins" against the Ganados.[3] During the excavation led by Salazar, Saddler, and the hired village workers,[1] the Plagas, which had long been mummified in the low-oxygen environment,[4] were discovered to have survived in the form of spores and were growing within their new hosts when a strange disease spread among the workers.[4]

Following his infection, Saddler's motivations and sanity may have shifted, possibly due to parasitic damage from the Plaga. Accounts of his perception on Los Iluminados varied. In one, he saw both the cult and the Plaga as mere tools for his own power and financial gain. Another claimed that, as the legitimate surviving heir of one of families who established the cult's original iteration, Saddler truly embraced its faith and therefore perceived the Plagas as divine beings worthy of worship.

Further experimentation with the Plagas revealed their ability to mutate humans under specific circumstances, resulting in increased strength, giant proportions, and the ability to regenerate body parts rapidly.[5] The Plagas were also used to create human-animal hybrids, leading to the development of creatures such as the Novistador, the Verdugo, and U-3. Dr. Luis Serra's research indicated that surgically removing juvenile and subadult Plagas would prove fatal if an adult Plaga was present; the only safe method was radiation therapy.[6][note 2]

First Daughter abduction plot[]

In 2004, Los Iluminados executed an ambitious plot to gain world influence. However, Dr. Luis Serra's leak led a B.O.W. manufacturer, dubbed the "rival company," to become aware of the Plagas. One of their H.C.F. agents, Jack Krauser, was sent to recover a sample for further study. Krauser's military experience made him instrumental in kidnapping Ashley Graham, daughter of President Graham, while she was on her way home from the University of Massachusetts. Graham was taken to Spain and injected with a Plaga egg through a syringe, with the expectation that she would become a Ganado and conduct operations on Saddler's behalf upon returning to the United States. Despite the US government keeping the kidnapping a secret, they received an anonymous tip linking Graham to the area. With many agents under investigation,[7] only US-STRATCOM agent Leon S. Kennedy was forced to begin the investigation alone.

Over the course of the night, the different parties worked with and against one another. Saddler ordered Kennedy's capture[8] and implanted him with an egg to use him as an additional mole in the US. Serra wavered on whether to hand over the Dominant egg to Wong or Kennedy. Krauser and Wong turned on each other while both claiming loyalty to their H.C.F. liaison, Dr. Albert Wesker. By sunrise, Fr. Méndez, Salazar, Krauser, and Serra was dead. The Queen Plaga was destroyed, and Kennedy and Graham were free of the Plaga parasites. The group's bioweapons research was in ruins, along with their army of mind-controlled followers. With Saddler's death and the egg stolen from Serra, Wong finally turned-on Kennedy and took the Dominant Plaga for H.C.F. She helped Kennedy and Graham escape the island as explosives were set to cleanse the area.

In the aftermath of the incident, Wong followed H.C.F.'s orders to betray Wesker and provided him with a Subordinate Plaga while keeping the Dominant Plaga for her bosses.[9] Initially set back by this double-cross, Wesker was successful in obtaining the remains of a Dominant Plaga from Krauser's body. Tricell conducted genetic modification on the two samples on Wesker's behalf, resulting in the creation of the Type 2 and Type 3 species. The Spanish authorities attempted to quarantine the mountains to prevent the surviving Plagas from spreading. However, when refugees who had fled from Los Iluminados returned home, they became parasitized. Los Iluminados itself survived in a reduced form, and many years later, it collaborated with Glenn Arias, who used genes from their Plagas to create the A-Virus.

Bibliography[]

Sources[]

Notes
  1. Due to a translation error, the English version inaccurately suggests these animals had fossilised, when they had in fact been desiccated, a different process.
  2. The English version of "Luis' Memo 5" says the purpose of this research was to "find a way" to make it impossible for Plagas to be unremovable. The Japanese text instead says the project was to verify they couldn't be removed.
References
  1. 1.0 1.1 biohazard 4 Incubate.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Resident Evil 4 (2023 game)
  3. Resident Evil 4 (2005), file: "Castellan Memo".
  4. 4.0 4.1 Resident Evil 4 (2005), file: "Luis' Memo 2".
  5. Resident Evil 4 (2005), file: "Luis' Memo 3".
  6. Resident Evil 4 (2005), file: "Luis' Memo 5".
  7. Resident Evil 4 (2005), file: "Info on Ashley".
  8. Resident Evil 4 (2005), file: "Chief's Note".
  9. Resident Evil 4 (2005), file: "Ada's Report 5".
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