|“||It's sheer perfection. My precious G-virus. No one will ever take you away from me.||”|
—William Birkin, before being ambushed by the U.S.S.
William Birkin was a top biologist working for the Umbrella Corporation and was responsible for the discovery of the G-virus and development of the G-virus project. He was also the husband of Annette Birkin and the father of Sherry Birkin. His involvement in the G-virus project served as a catalyst for the events of the Raccoon City Destruction Incident.
Birkin joined the Umbrella Corporation in 1977 at the young age of sixteen. He was placed at the Research Center under First General Manager Dr. James Marcus. There, he became a close friend and rival of fellow researcher Albert Wesker, as they were both considered to be Marcus' top apprentices. They were involved in the development of the experimental Tyrant virus, until the facility was closed down on July 29, 1978.
Two days later, he and Albert were transferred to the Arklay Laboratory; where they continued their t-Virus research and were assigned the roles of chief researchers of the facility by the facility's president. It was around this time that Birkin began to obsess over the Ebola virus, which had recently been discovered in Africa; Umbrella was, officially, researching a cure for the Ebola virus in the facility. During their research into the Ebola virus, Birkin and Wesker were introduced to Lisa Trevor, who had been experimented on by Umbrella since 1967. It was at this point that he and Wesker began to ponder on what Spencer's plans with the company really were.
On July 27, 1981, Umbrella employed a ten-year old girl as a chief researcher. Alexia Ashford, who was a granddaughter of Umbrella co-founder Edward Ashford, was of an unnaturally-high intellect thanks to the achievements of her father, Alexander. News of her employment by Umbrella reached the Arklay laboratory that very day, having a heavy impact on the still-young William, who took to his own employment at the age of sixteen highly. His frustration was worsened by discussions between older researchers, who held a high opinion for the Ashford family, even discussing over the potential of the young girl working at the facility.
Despite his competitive rivalry with Alexia, his research yielded no results until he created the Hunter Bio Organic Weapon (B.O.W.) in 1981. He became completely focused on his work and research and continued uninterrupted even after the announcement of Alexia's apparent death in 1983.
He was "promoted" in 1988 to lead the "t" project (and completed the development of the Tyrant-class B.O.W.) after he and Wesker helped to assassinate their former mentor, Marcus. Following this, credit for the virus' creation was given to Birkin. By this time, Birkin was already married to fellow researcher, Annette and the marriage had already produced a daughter named Sherry.
When he and Wesker were conducting an experiment with an NE-α Type, they used a female specimen (Lisa Trevor) as a guinea pig. Lisa was the only human test subject to fully accept the parasite - other hosts were killed shortly after implantation. Noticing her strange survival rate, Birkin examined her body structure and discovered that the variation of the Progenitor virus that was injected into her in 1967 had absorbed all the mutagenic organisms that she had been implanted with since then and mutated into a new virus, which Birkin named the G-virus.
He received approval from Umbrella's president, Oswell E. Spencer, to initiate the G-virus Project; Wesker, however, did not approve, citing that random and uncontrolled mutations were unsuitable for a B.O.W. In 1991, Birkin and his wife were transferred to an underground facility established specifically for the project. Birkin also bribed the chief of the Raccoon City Police Department, Brian Irons, to cover up the project, using his wife as the "middle man".
After his uptaking of "G", he passed the t-Virus research down to one of his subordinates, Dr. Greg Mueller.
During the events surrounding the Arklay Mountains Outbreak in the Arklay laboratory, the Research Center, and the Ecliptic Express, Birkin and Wesker were shocked to learn that Dr. Marcus was somehow alive and responsible for leaking the virus. Knowing that his career would be over if the truth behind the old conspiracy ever came out, Birkin found and activated the Training Facility's self-destruct system destroying all evidence of his involvement in the decade-old "conspiracy", as said by Wesker.
He completed his development of the G-virus in September of 1998 and planned on using his final research in order to be promoted into Umbrella's executive board. However, he began to disagree with his superiors and planned on keeping his research to himself and sell it to the U.S. Government. He requested to have the U.S. military intervene and retrieve him. However, the team never arrived and the Umbrella Security Service unit "Alpha team" (led by HUNK, under orders from Spencer himself) reached the lab before them to retrieve his work. After a tense standoff, Birkin was cut down with automatic fire. His virus research was taken and he was left to die of gunshot wounds. With his last dying breaths, he injected himself with a sample of the G-virus and survived, albeit rapidly mutating into the horrendous monster only known as "G".
After his mutation into G, Birkin went after the U.S.S. team that stole his samples and chased them into the sewers. The team was taken completely by surprise at the sight of the now reborn Birkin and all of them, save HUNK were slaughtered, their weapons having no effect on the abomination before them. During the ensuing carnage, several vials containing the t-Virus were smashed by Birkin and the virus was ingested by rats, serving as the main cause of the zombie outbreak in Raccoon City.
Several days later, on September 29th, Birkin wandered around the R.P.D. and encountered some of the surviving citizens, his daughter among them. Looking for a host to propagate his species, he implanted his embryos into a victim (Brian Irons). However, Irons was not a match and thus was killed. He was, however successful in implanting an embryo into Sherry. He also managed several times to call out "Sherry", which she mistook as her father being attacked by "the monster" (actually himself) which had been following her.
During all of his mutations, caused by the uncontrollable effects of the G-virus, he chased after Leon, Claire, Sherry and Ada from the sewers to the underground laboratory. However, he was defeated by Leon and Claire while struggling to revive himself. Shortly thereafter, the train was destroyed, killing Birkin for good.
Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City
In the non-canon Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City timeline, HUNK was sent in with both the Alpha and Delta Team. With most of Alpha team at the top of the turntable lift, HUNK and Delta team went through the lab killing a number of rogue U.B.C.S. mercenaries hired by William Birkin to protect him. When they finally reach William's Lab, HUNK and a unnamed member of Alpha Team went in to retrieve the G-Virus sample. The two Alphas then linked up with Delta Team and proceeded up the elevator to Goblin 6's location, only to find a mutated William butchering the rest of Alpha Team with a pipe (as opposed to using his talons in the sewers). William proceeded to chase down Delta team and HUNK through a tunnel out of the lab. In the end, HUNK elected to go back to recover the sample, despite the obvious danger. ----
Although bearing the greatest resemblance to William's former self, his upper torso is far more muscular due to a sudden increase of muscle mass. Due to the development of the G-virus, damaged tissue is replaced with a more heavily-muscled version. This characteristic of the virus led to a disproportionate right arm, and a large tumor-like eyeball has developed within the shoulder. Also, two vestigial arms can be seen beginning to grow in the torso, foreshadowing his later mutations. It is implied in cutscenes, & by his initial actions, such as directly pursuing & attacking the U.S.S. team that had assaulted him, that Birkin is, at least initially, still in control of himself in this form.
As this form does not possess any natural weapons, G instead makes use of his superhuman strength to tear a pipe from a guardrail to swing about and attack with. The monster can swing the pipe in a powerful two-swing attack, or raise it and bring the pipe crashing down with enough force to kill a character in one hit.In Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles, this stage's repertoire is expanded. Now G can throw his pipe, or swing it multiple times in rapid succession. The creature is also more clever; when Claire and Leon jump on top of a structure, rather than trying to climb up there, G merely smashes their platform, shaking it and throwing off their aim, before striking one of them with the tip. Lastly, after throwing its pipe, it will pick up a character and strangle them to death. If stopped, G will drop them off the side of the bridge before repeatedly swinging at them.
Conversely, when Annette recollects William Birkin's transformation and his slaughter of the Umbrella Security Service, G is shown slashing the soldiers with talons. When G first appears, though, no such claws are visible whatsoever; thus, one can assume that the talons were either lost in a process of devolution (contrary to the G-virus' properties), or, more likely atrophied away following lack of use in any further combat (a process much more akin to the expected course of action of the G-virus, due to its unpredictable abilities and volatile mutations). It should be noted, however, that G's arm mutates further after tearing off the guardrail, bulging grotesquely and gaining the spike of bone surmounting the eyeball in the shoulder. It should be noted that G first form is the only one of his humanoid forms that have shoes.
Birkin mutated into this form to fight with Claire Redfield, on her way down to his underground facility. During this mutation, his pants are torn apart to the mid-thigh and the remains of Birkin's body were replaced with new, stronger parts: The head was pushed down into the thorax, the digits of the right hand sprout into massive talons comprised of bone, two tiny vestigial limbs also developed lateral to the abdomen underneath the original arms, and a new rudimentary skull grew to take the place of the original. Also, a circular growth of spikes has begun to grow in his chest, yet again foreshadowing his next transformation.
The creature's attacks include:
- A double swipe where it hook swings at you then backhands;
- A single hook swipe;
- If the character stands still it will stab straight and/or;
- If the character stands still it will hook punch with its left hand.
- If the character is on low health, G2 William Birkin will perform a gut stab incredibly similar to that of the Tyrant (T-002 Model) from the previous game. As a matter of fact, the second stage has often been compared to a Tyrant.
The creature already has nearly complete lower-arms, and Birkin's original head has all but vanished. The claws are much longer, and there is an eye on G's back. Its attacks are different now: it has a powerful stab preceded by a noticeable wind-up (exposing the eye on its back in the process), a jumping slash, a quicker stab, and its old double swipe from the original game. Its only real weak point is the exposed eyes on various points on its body.
Interestingly, in Darkside Chronicles, this form of G seemed to recognize Annette to some extent. It stopped and examined her for a few moments before she drew her gun on it, which it seemed to recognize as a threat. It then killed her by stabbing her in the stomach.
Perhaps the least grotesque of the various forms that William Birkin assumed following the injection of the G-virus into his body. The host by now has shed all of its integument-like skin, making it nude and revealing its musculature, whilst hundreds of spike-like projections rise prominently into an apex from a point in its upper left thorax; the visage of William Birkin, on the other hand, slowly begins to merge and fade away into the abdomen. This mutation is also William's final humanoid form.
In addition to its right hand, the beast's left hand also possesses deadly talons now; in fact, the abomination has grown in height to nearly eight feet; thus, its primary arms have also elongated beyond normal human proportions. They have retained the claws, but the right hand has talons formed from bone, whereas the left hand has claws formed from nails. The vestigial arms of the prior stage, meanwhile, have also matured into functional limbs with talons, and the rudimentary head, aside from having completed its new, harder bone skull, now sports a lipless grin, bearing its razor sharp teeth, that makes it vaguely resemble a skinless form of the facial features of the Nemesis-T Type. Finally, a secondary, smaller eyeball-like tumor has developed in the left thigh of the creature. This form is the one with the most bilateral symmetry, and to some, it resembles a demon in appearance.
Furthermore, when G is encountered after crashing through the ceiling shortly before its complete transformation into its hexapodal fourth form, the appearance of its third form has changed slightly. The spikes located on its chest have begun to open and pulsate slightly, hinting at the appearance of it's fourth form. It's head has also changed into the design of it's fourth and fifth forms.
In Resident Evil 2, this stage has similar attacks to its previous stage. Mostly it attacks through single swipes with its massive upper arms, and jumps great distances. Also, if it walks towards its victims with its arms spread, it will attack with a powerful 4-hit combo. Its two death scenes involve it impaling the victim with its lower arms before shredding them with its upper arms, or decapitating them.
In Darkside Chronicles, the monster will perform powerful jumping slashes and is very acrobatic. It will even perform a bizarre 360 hook kick, as well as a swipe with two arms (i.e. both right arms.)
The mutation in this stage involves G mutating from a standing equilibrium as a bipedal to a hexapedal base on the ground involving the utilization of its four primary limbs to maintain movement. The skull and maxilla of the creature have elongated to accommodate its massive mandible, a gaping, circular cavity surrounded by rows of spike-like projections, which has now fused into the many spikes that formerly covered the thorax of the beast. Despite its appearance, however, this stage of G is extremely agile, able to sprint and leap all about a room with ease, and the aforementioned spikes around the mouth are more than capable of impaling its prey with extreme ease, given the superior agility and speed of the stage. However, in order to maintain its speed, it needs to constantly eat more. The 2 eyes formed on its shoulders could either be rudimentary, or be the actual eyes, and make the 'eyes' on its 'head' could simply be for show, like on a butterfly or moth.
This stage moves around with an odd gait, often compared to a dog or wolf. It jumps about from pillar-top to pillar-top, and often jumps down in front of a character. It will either swipe at them with a small forearm, or more dangerously, it will grab them and gnaw them with its massive fangs.
In Darkside Chronicles, this stage is slightly revised. Now it can climb walls and is much, much larger than it was before. The many fangs in its maw now twitch and it expels acidic slime from its mouth. The stage mostly employs pouncing from a great height onto Leon and Claire, occasionally destroying sections of the walkway. The creature eventually grabs one of them in order to devour the victim head-first, but fails. Eventually, one of its pounces fractures the walkway, causing the survivors to shoot at it while it dangles. Eventually, it slaps the catwalk and knocks them down to its level, allowing it to attack with acidic vomit and slashing with its massive talons. Eventually, it falls off the catwalk and vanishes from sight.
By far the most grotesque of all the forms that G mutated into. After extreme physical trauma to G, it has become a shapeless blob of flesh, spikes, and tentacles, slowly dragging itself via attachment of its largest tentacles to a stationary object and subsequent use of its lesser tentacles to slime forth. This final form was killed only after the train which it had invaded was consumed by a massive explosion following the automatic activation of its self-destruct sequence, as the damage it had sustained at cellular level was too high for even the G-virus to counteract.
Since the G's infected William Birkin was killed at this point, it is unknown if it would have continued to mutate into further forms, it is likely that it would not, due to being a mere shapeless blob, there would be nothing left to mutate into. Yet in the Wesker Report II, Wesker states that the G-Virus will continue mutating the host until he or she dies. It should be noted however that the G-Virus did not produce this mutation because of evolution, but because it was heavily damaged and was a response to that. Most notably, even at this stage, the G has at least some rudimentary form of intelligence, as it recognized that the train it was on was about to self-destruct when the timer expired. Fortunately, the train detonated, leaving no time for the monster to escape.
This final form attacks using its massive tentacles and swiping through the train car in an attempt to push a character into his mouth. The creature is also pulling itself into the train, giving this fight a time limit: if the monster isn't killed after a certain time has passed, it will catch and devour Leon or Claire.
In Darkside Chronicles, this form is more powerful, and much more aggressive. It fights by hurling wreckage of the train car at the characters, as well as using claw-tipped tentacles to slash at the players. The monster also has two incredibly bizarre attacks: it can vomit up recently consumed zombies to fight the characters, and eject its own mouth, extending it to about ten feet before striking the players.
In other media
According to a commentary by Paul W. S. Anderson, Isaacs was slated to reprise the role of Birkin in the sequel Resident Evil: Apocalypse, but left the project for undisclosed reasons. An original character named Dr. Sam Isaacs (played by Iain Glen and named after the actor who played Birkin in the first film) was created to fulfill Birkin's role in the sequel. According to IMDBPro, Birkin is rumoured to return for the fifth film in some capacity.
- In the DC comic book series William is seen slaughtering animals at the Raccoon Zoo before killing two employees in a violent rampage.
- Oddly enough, Sherry mentions to Claire that her dad calls out for her, asking for help as he is attacked by "those monsters". However, in game, only his groans can be heard; he would call out for Sherry in Resident Evil 1.5 and the comics, though.
- In Darkside Chronicles, Leon knew right away that William was the assailant attacking the train when he, Claire and Sherry were escaping from the facility.
- He is one of the two main antagonists of Resident Evil 2, the other being T-00.
- According the recorded conversation, which was leaked out, he was one of the developers of the Nemesis Beta parasite.
- William had a cameo appearance in Resident Evil Degeneration, in Claire's flashback.
- Also according to the that leaked audio, he seems to be nervous and aware that someone was after his research. Although one of the researchers knew what it was, he didn't touch the subject.
- His voice actor in Umbrella Chronicles and Darkside Chronicles, TJ Rotolo, also voiced Frank West, one of the heroes of Capcom's other zombie game series, Dead Rising.
- In Resident Evil Revelations, the mutated Jack Norman bares a slight resemblance to Birkin's second mutation.
- William Birkin is the character that undergoes the most transmutations due to a virus, compared to the majority of other characters who have only one mutated form, or Nemesis and Alexia Ashford who have three.
- Birkin is the one who gave Wesker the experimental virus in order for him to fake his death in the Mansion Incident, causing him to be reborn and gain superhuman abilities. It is unknown if Birkin ever heard from Wesker after his resurrection.
- William Birkin was the closest thing that could be considered a friend to Albert Wesker.
- On Project Umbrella, it states that Ada Wong obtained info that a researcher was close to the completion of the G-virus but refused to hand it over to Umbrella. Wesker knew that the researcher was William, and planned to save him and present the G-virus as a gift to The Organization. But their plan was foiled by the U.S.S. who stole the virus for Umbrella and killed Birkin.
- In Operation Racoon City, you never see Birkins human form, only his first mutation.
Resident Evil Zero
Resident Evil 2
Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles
Operation Raccoon City
Notes and sources
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 CAPCOM
- ↑ Evident by his research into the G-virus
- ↑ Resident Evil 2 cutscene Birkin's Assassination
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Resident Evil Zero, Assistant Director's Diary
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 Wesker's Report II, part 1
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 Wesker's Report, part 2
- ↑ Resident Evil - CODE: Veronica, Newspaper Clip
- ↑ Resident Evil - CODE: Veronica, Veronica Report
- ↑ Resident Evil Zero, Doctor Marcus (Scene)
- ↑ Resident Evil 2
- ↑ Wesker's Report II, part 3: "Enter Nemesis"
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 Resident Evil, Observation Note
- ↑ Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles, William Birkin Profile
- ↑ Resident Evil 2, Claire A