Written by Jonathan Wojcik
October 23: Top Ten Weirdest Resident Evil Monsters
Since its debut in 1996, Resident Evil or "Biohazard" has defined (though not invented) an entire genre of "survival horror" video games, given zombies a massive popularity boost and expanded into a massive multimedia franchise. While the series is best known for its shambling undead, human infectees are only one facet of the nefarious Umbrella Corporation's insidious experiments, many of which take some inventively exotic forms.
Remarkably enough, Bogleech.com was once a god-awful Geocities homepage entitled "The Creature Database," which I'd originally intended to expand into a comprehensive guide to monsters from a wide variety of franchises, several years before you could just plug your monster of choice and the word "wiki" into google. I never got very far with the idea, but one step I took was a single page of Resident Evil monsters, covering everything from the only two games that existed at the time. This list of my personal picks for the "weirdest" (and therefore my favorites) will be the first time (as far as I remember) Bogleech proper has touched on the subject.
#10: Plant 43
The "Plant 43" or "Ivy" bioweapon was always a favorite of mine, sometimes criticized by fans of the series for being too "silly" or unbelievable (compared to what? The giant spiders?). To me, their hunched forms always gave me the impression that there was once a human being under all that slimy vegetable tissue, an interpretation supported by variants on this idea in later games. The huge, gaping blossom in place of a head is a pretty cool and unsettling image, especially when it closes shut over your head...and dissolves it. A humongous plant shoot, with writhing tentacles and slimy orifices, could also be encountered in the same laboratory, and may have been the "parent" to these shuffling weirdos.
#9: The Albinoid
This oft-forgotten monster seems to have been derived from a common salamander, most likely an Axolotl, as their ability to regenerate severed limbs has made them widespread real-world laboratory animals. With no apparent head on its pinkish, embryonic body, the Albinoid is about as unnerving as a salamander monster can possibly get, and inexplicably armed with a deadly electrical shock.
#8: The Licker
Possibly the franchise's most iconic original monster, Lickers gorgeously lack all the right features to be fundamentally threatening; they're completely skinless with raw, red muscle and exposed brain tissue, we can always see their wicked teeth through their lipless grins and they lack the faintest trace of eyes to focus on. They crawl on all fours along walls and ceilings with the ease of a spider, they hunt by sound and their serpentine tongues are strong enough to stab through the flesh of their prey. And yet, these things are quite obviously former humans. The details of Licker development are never made totally clear, but it's sometimes implied that they're the ultimate "evolution" of zombies. Eerily, there's a single "half formed" licker in the Resident Evil games. I love the impossible way her legs stick to the ceiling.
#7: The Bandersnatch
The Bandersnatch is one of Umbrella's "Tyrant" experiments, but supposedly wasn't effective enough for mass production. For whatever reason, one side of a Bandersnatch always atrophied shortly after birth, while the other side grew to abnormal, exaggerated proportions for an amazingly creepy effect. Even creepier, their giant right arms can instantaneously stretch several meters to grab prey from afar or pull themselves across gaps. If these guys had two arms, I'm not sure I'd find them so immediately appealing, though the "melted" looking yellow flesh and throbbing veins definitely give them a little more "ick" than "menace" compared to the other Tyrants, a direction I'm highly biased towards.
#6: The Chimera
Originally encountered in only a single small area of Umbrella's Spencer Estate labs, these insect-human hybrids are one of the corporation's failed genetic experiments, my personal favorite category of genetic experiment. Supposedly combining a human with a fly, the Chimeras came out looking like half-charred, alien corpses, their incomplete exoskeletons exposing areas of raw tissue, their tiny wings useless for flight and their bodies even crawling with maggots, their own unviable offspring or just an accidental infestation? Their subtle, ghoulish blending of human and insect anatomy seems to pay homage to the final form of Seth Brundle in the 1986 remake of The Fly.
#5: The Brainsucker
Even more Brundlesque than the Chimera, these venomous creatures disturbingly possess two heads with what resembles two bodies twined together, pock-marked with lidless eyes, tentacles and misshapen talons. They look exactly like the sort of thing that would feed on cerebro-spinal fluid, and best of all, you may also encounter hopping, flealike baby suckers! Some materials imply that these things are flea derived, which is just about the only hybrid bug-man I could find cooler than a fly.
#4: The Nautilus
Only appearing in one sewage area from one somewhat unpopular game I haven't played, Nautilus is nonetheless my personal favorite thing in the franchise. Resembling a thanksgiving turkey, this womblike monster does nothing but lie motionless and continually give birth "torpedo kids" - tadpole-like embryos with eerily humanoid faces who seek out living things and explode at them. Simply beautiful. All we know about this thing is that it's yet another failed creation and it was supposed to have been disposed of. That's it. There's no clue what kind of organisms it was even created from, or why, though fans have decided (and spread to various wiki's) that it was probably a tunicate, which isn't an official explanation, but certainly one I can stand by.
#3: Final Birkin
The big bad of Resident Evil 2, William Birkin was a disgruntled Umbrella scientist who injected himself with his own super-potent creation, the G-virus, accelerating his biology into an unstoppable genetic hellbeast molting its way through several increasingly inhuman forms. These stages seem to be building towards something sleek, agile and predatory, which makes his final transformation - before his destruction - all the more shocking. What would this seething, toothy teratoma have become if our heroes hadn't finished it off? Seemingly rooted in place, I can't help but think it would have just kept spreading, fungus-like, or started spawning off little Birkinoids like some hideous termite queen.
#2: The G-Mutant
William BIrkin's mutations are pretty damn terrifying, but like I already mentioned, ick before menace. I neglected to mention that Birkin's monstrous forms are driven by a need to reproduce, but can only properly do so by injecting a parasitic embryo into a blood relative, like Birkin's own little daughter, Sherry. In an unsuitable host, the incestuous parasite becomes a pathetic, degenerate abomination like this guy, continuously up-chucking squirmy, nonviable parasitic embryos. I always liked the vacant, brainless stare of this sad freak, whose overall shape somehow always gave me the impression of a gigantic, mutated sloth. This is the sort of mindless, slobbering monstrosity that you keep in a pit of garbage under a trap door for unwelcome visitors.
#1: The Cleaner
Sometimes, the strangest monster of all is one that isn't so strange at first glance, but raises a lot of questions on further inspection. Cleaners are supposedly dispatched in large squads when Umbrella needs to "clean" an area of incriminating evidence (such as eyewitnesses), and while their intelligence seems nearly human - at least enough to carry out complex orders and operate modern weaponry - everything else is far from it. Their height, proportions and movements are decidely more monkey-like than anything else, they communicate only through a peculiar wooping sound and they instantly dissolve into hissing vapor - suit and all - when killed, leaving no trace of the subhumanoids behind the masks.
OPINIONS TIME:whether or not you've played a Resident Evil game, what are some of your favorite monsters from those you've seen? What would you have put here? Yes, I'm surprised as well that I didn't find a place for any of the killer parasites starring in the fourth and fifth games, though they may have if it were at least a top eleven... I just thought these ten creatures were a little odder. Scroll down for a comment field, no need to register!
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