The Hippocampus suffers from severe necrosis due to infection, meaning that the Zombie's memories and spacial navigation skills have been compromised.[notes 1] Because of this, a Zombie has lost any sense of reasoning and is driven completely by instincts, most notably the urge to feed.
Due to their diet, the body of a Zombie begins to over-produce stomach acids in order to dissolve the meat quicker. This leads to Zombies sometimes vomiting the acid.
A Zombie will pursue its target until it is rendered immobile by decapitation, complete destruction of the brain or complete incineration of the body. Not being able to feel pain, a Zombie can resist several gunshots from a typical small-caliber handgun before falling down, but can be easily killed with either a well-aimed shotgun blast to the head or a high-caliber magnum handgun.
Due to the necrosis throughout their bodies and the degradation of the nervous system, Zombies move very slowly and awkwardly, leading to their signature shuffling gait and their easily avoided lunges. However, there are also some Zombies capable of moving faster due to less advanced degradation.
A Zombie can continue to pursue prey even after losing limbs or the lower half of its body. Zombies that have lost the use of their legs (either through deterioration or damage) instead crawl after prey until it can grab the target and bite into the leg. They can be stopped by crushing the head or kicking it off entirely. Some Zombies lay dormant on the ground due to their lack of nutrition, but will bite anything that comes to their direction. These Zombies that play dead can be easily spotted, as their heads usually follow prey's movements.
In situations of lack of nutrition due to the unavailability of live prey, Zombies resort to cannibalism, consuming other Zombies or infected corpses that have yet to reanimate. However, upon noticing live prey, a Zombie will cease cannibalism and turn attention to the live prey.
A Zombie's eyes are covered by a white or gray film of mucous either covering the entire eye or just the pupil, as the eye is a sensitive mucous membrane and turns almost entirely into mucous when dead or rotting.
The Zombies encountered in the Spencer Estate and in Africa appear to be much weaker and not as phsyically active as previous infectees. They lie on their backs, sometimes moaning or moving slowly. But once a potential victim approaches, they spring up with a grab attack, which can be avoided. Zombies die from any attack, be it from a weapon or melee attack and cannot chase after prey.
Zombies can make noises such as grunting and moaning instead of actual speech due to the degradation of their brains.
Variation of infection
Since virtually anyone can become a Zombie, they can come in different varieties depending on the location where an outbreak occurs, and the variation of the virus itself. This ranges from ordinary civilians and police officers to the very workers and researchers that were experimenting on the virus. Some Zombies were even created within Umbrella's facilities as a result of experiments. Known individuals that have turned into Zombies include Edward Dewey, Forest Speyer, Marvin Branagh and Brad Vickers, among many others.
Capabilities of a zombie vary as factors are dependent on the carrier. If infected with a certain mutant strain of the t-virus, an incapacitated Zombie can mutate into a "Crimson Head" due to a process called V-ACT. Secondary infection with the perfected and mass-produced variant creates the Licker through the same process. Some freak mutations have also been observed, such as the Suspended.
- ↑ Transcript from biohazard 0 kaitaishinsho:
"t-ウイルスに冒された人間は、 極めて短時間のうちにその肉体に劇的な変化が現れる。皮膚は鬱血して急激な腐敗を開始し、脳細胞は記憶をつかさどる部位がほぼ完全に侵食･破壊されていく。逆に筋組織は代謝機能の増幅により強化され、 常人を超える怪力を発揮するようになる。その結果生み出されるのがこの、 "墓から蘇った腐乱死体" のような犠牲者たちなのである。心肺や脳が停止した状態からも感染者は蘇生するが、これは複雑に干渉して合う人体のデリケートな働きをほとんど省略しても活働できるように、 ウイルスが遺伝子レベルで肉体を作り替えているため。ゆえに、 ゾンビとして活働を再開した時点で厳密には人間とは呼べない、 人肉食の怪物へと変貌している。なお、 今回の事件でゾンビ化した者のほとんどは、 マーカス博士が創り出したヒルによってt-ウイルスを媒介されたと思われる。"
- ↑ biohazard 0 kaitaishinsho. Enterbrain. p. 054.