Written by Jonathan Wojcik
REVIEWING RESIDENT EVIL 6 MONSTERS
Poor, poor Resident Evil 6. An ABSURD variety of story elements and monsters stuffed into the same game, almost as though they were grasping desperately at all the straws they could to make up for the relative failure of Resident Evil 5, even if Revelations was reasonably successful.
And then, sadly, #6 became one of the worst-reviewed main entries in the series, riddled with quicktime events and so combat-centric that it nobody thought it was a "horror" game at all anymore.
And still...they went positively all out with new monsters, like, DAMN. Let's check that out!
So, the rad thing about the basic enemies this time around? They're products of the brand new "C-virus," and it's bug based. J'avo retain their human intellect, but of course become extremely hostile to all non-J'avo, and their most basic sign of mutation is that simply lovely, misaligned scattering of spider-like eyes...but of course that's only the beginning.
The amazing gimmick of the J'avo, and a great gameplay mechanic in general, is that they will mutate into new forms depending on where they get injured, with an additional degree of total randomness. You never fight the same sequence of monsters twice! So, let's run through ALL of their mutations...
So, this is the kind of thing we're talking about here. Sometimes when you blast off a J'avo's arm, that arm will mutate into what is basically a giant preying mantis claw, but you can still see the underlying structure of what were once the phalanges, like the wing of a bat! The name is Serbian for "Arm Sickle!"
ARM MUTATION: RUKA-SRP
Basically the opposite of the SRP mutation, this replaces the J'avo's arm with a "shield" that looks almost like a bunch of limbless sowbugs, fused together with web-like tissue. The name means "Arm Wall," and sometimes, a J'avo might mutate both the Bedem and Srp arms to fight with basically a "sword and shield." A BUG FLAVORED sword and shield!
ARM MUTATION: RUKA BEDEM
This one is "Arm Capture," and now the dude's whole arm is beautiful giant insect larva, its warty texture remarkably similar to a real world crane fly maggot, its "head" end fusing into the host's shoulder while the "tail" terminates in huge, finger-like claws. The entire thing can whip and stretch a lot like the good old Bandersnatch's mutated arm!
ARM MUTATION: RUKA KHVATANJE
This is, of course, "Leg Hopper," turning the J'avo into a wacky grasshopper guy from the waist down! It doesn't really hop, however, so much as deliver an ultra-lethal kick!
LEG MUTATION: NOGA SKAKANJE
"Leg Work" is the obligatory spider-leg mutation, and the human torso gets flipped upside-down in the process, just to be that much weirder than just any old spider-leg fella. THIS is the one that can jump, or "pounce," rather.
LEG MUTATION: NOGA TRCHANJE
Totally one-upping the spider form, "Leg Flight" turns your ass into one giant moth, which can not only carry you through the air but comes equipped with a "stinger," because why not!
LEG MUTATION: NOGA LET
Maybe "Leg Armor" is the least interesting of the leg forms, but for just very "heavily armored" legs, they've got an interesting physiology once again resembling several individual sowbug-like creatures, fused with one another into a collective shell.
LEG MUTATION: NOGA OKLOP
We're getting into the good ones here! This mutation, "Body Explosions," replaced the entire torso - from the waist up - with TWO gigantic beetle grubs, wrapped around one another, that actually swell up and explode like a living bomb. That is just zany!
BODY MUTATION: TELO EKSPLOZIJA
"Body Scale" is the last of the armor-type series, and only now do I realize that even if these are quite possibly modeled after isopods, they also look and function like scale insects! These may be the least aesthetically striking of the J'avo mutations, but I appreciate the idea that they might be a bunch of little bug friends working together to protect their host.
BODY MUTATION: TELO KRLJUST
"Body Mist" is one of my favorites here, by far. It would already be a favorite if it were just a giant, dusty moth bursting out of a guy's chest, I mean, A+ imagery as it is, but this one is apparently so screwed up that it can't even move properly at all, let alone use its wings for flight! It just flops on the ground like a stranded fish, becoming an aimless hazard that constantly scatters a toxic vapor.
BODY MUTATION: TELO MAGLA
I. Freaking. LOVE. THAT. Love it, love it, LOVE it. A big broken faceless moth body erupts out of a guy and he just squirms all over the floor stinking up the place until he dies. Now THAT is a monster concept. I am JEALOUS.
Now for what we were all surely waiting for: the mutations, other than the grubby bomb one, that specifically do away with the mundane rubbish we call a "human head." Absolutely none of these disappoint, with one of the most "basic" being this giant grub-like organism with a gaping, almost reptilian maw. "Glava Sluz" is Serbian for basically "Head Slime," and this thing's main attach is to spew copious amounts of sticky, glooey saliva!
HEAD MUTATION: GLAVA SLUZ
Apparently this one's name means something like "Head Laughter," which is an amazingly scary way to say that the head and upper torso burst open into one huge, massive set of deadly, chomping mandibles. Are you already as into this as I am?? We're just two mutations in and we've seen two of the weirdest things this game has ever thrown at us, but it's STILL about to get weirder.
HEAD MUTATION: GLAVA SMECH
Oh my god...what?! This one, "Head Runner" or something like that, just has three cicadas for a head. THREE CICADAS FOR A HEAD. That's RIDICULOUS!!! For some reason, having three cicadas for a head just means the J'avo goes positively haywire, attacking like a rabid animal with no regard for their own safety.
HEAD MUTATION: GLAVA BEGUNATS
Okay WHAT??? Are they serious!?! First three cicadas for a head, now dual hornet asses for a head?! As if a couple of gigantic wasps just completely buried themselves in this poor sap's tumorous flesh?! I didn't think an insect-based monster's design could ever conceivably horrify me, but this is just so damn wrong, it's like something out of the most feverish of fever-induced hallucinations, and even more bizarre is that it attacks with poisonous gas. Not even by stinging. It has wasp butts for heads and they flatulate you to death, with the name translating to "Head Smoker." Again, fever dream. Goddamn magnificent.
HEAD MUTATION: GLAVA DIM
We're all done with the body part mutations...but can you believe the J'avo actually get weirder still!? Sometimes, a J'avo randomly mutates into one of these freaky, human pupae, and eventually.....they hatch into what's called a "Complete Mutation"...
And, uh, wow. WELL! That sure is a curveball, isn't it!? The C-Virus has been entirely arthropod-themed up to this point, but sometimes one of these bug people turn into a cocoon and they come out a lizard. Not just any lizard, either, but a simply exquisite combination of a chameleon with a frilled dragon, by far two of my favorite reptiles since childhood! Add to that its lack of forelimbs, realistically pudgy lizard hind limbs, branches tail and the fact that it fires needles from its hood and you've got another of the wackiest, most charming monsters in this entire franchise. The name means "To Shoot!"
COMPLETE MUTATION: STRELAC
Meaning "Assault," this mutation is just kind of a very bulky, very tough tumor-ghoul with a body so swelteringly hot that it constantly gives off steam.
COMPLETE MUTATION: NAPAD
First a lizard, now a bird! Literally named "Moon," this unsettling flying beast is one of the few complete mutations to still express insect-like characteristics with its multiple, slotlike red eyes and its six hooked, chitinous arms! It would seem as if the C-Virus carries with it the genes for many different animals at once.
COMPLETE MUTATION: MESEC
GRUESOME! This rotten looking, putrid humanoid has two insect-like heads bursting from its half-demolished cranium and an outrageously weird right arm that functions as a biological chainsaw, which is frankly just absolutely ludicrous even for this series, but...good. I don't expect nor want believability from Resident Evil. I want grody bogeymonsters and this is both among the grodiest and bogiest on offer, with a name that just means..."MURDER!"
COMPLETE MUTATION: UBISTVO
Sorry for the image quality...me and my insistence on dark backgrounds! The most extreme of these transforms a human being into an entire swarm of wasps, but one which takes a shape that, in-game, is meant to have a "feminine" outline, which is appropriate given that almost every member of a eusocial insect colony is female. Only after taking enough damage will the larger queen reveal herself! This name means "nest!"
COMPLETE MUTATION: GNEZDO
Pronounced "Lepotitsa," and that means basically "feminine beauty," so yes, those ARE supposed to look like a bunch of hooters growing all over it. It's a terrifyingly pestilent looking mutation, and it kind of does just the kind of thing I would expect from such a design: all those tubes and pores in its sagging flesh can spew forth C-virus into the surrounding air! When C-virus is inhaled, rather than injected, it actually generates a more standard, classic zombie, so the Lepotica is a sort of "mother zombie" kind of monster, something I'm surprised we haven't really seen before!
COMPLETE MUTATION: LEPOTICA
Cooler still? The Lepotica's ENTIRE upper head splits open into a totally inhuman maw!!
So yeah, incidentally, there are "regular" zombies in this edition as well, though when they sustain enough damage they can sometimes mutate further into a "bloodshot!" It's a skinless, slimy super-zombie that spews infected fluid from its chest, and what a gnarly mouth!
Another kind of C-virus zombie is distinguished by its massively distended lungs and ear-splitting scream, though it's not the simple "sonic attack" you might expect from such a monster. More interestingly, it acts as an alarm to attract other C-virus zombies from afar, and it seems to make them more aggressive.
This bio-organic weapon is another in Resident Evil's more recent tradition of humanoid giants, but much more monstrous and much more appealing than El Gigante. Perhaps not quite as uncanny-disturbing, but the long-toothed underbite and dripping, hanging flesh are extremely cool looking, as is its overall bony, gnarled and rotten appearance.
What's also fun about this giant is how badly it apparently stinks. So badly, just getting anywhere near it will steadily deplete your health!
Speaking of big smelly guys, the Ustanak is this game's equivalent to a Tyrant or Nemesis-like figure, but perhaps one of the oddest in that lineage. It doesn't look like much, no, but in addition to a Swiss Army cybernetic arm with multiple weapons and attachments, it has a marvelously fun secret weapon:
Hidden on the Ustanak's back is an orifice from which it can dispense little critters nicknamed Oko, meaning "eye." Oddly enough, they don't actually have eyes, and the Ustanak is virtually blind as well. Instead, these bat-winged polyps use natural sonar to track prey and communicate back to their Ustanak symbiote. This is fun enough concept as it is, but the fact that they glow bright red and emit siren-like noises when excited propels them to cartoonish levels of absurd charm.
...Seriously, are there enough monsters in this one? I'm not complaining, but the number of completely different creatures and scenarios in this game is pretty far out! It would have been cool enough to just have all those nutso bug folks, but then we also get stuff like the BRZAK, which is apparently a human that's been mutated into a "shark." I'm really loving how sad and lonesome its big goofy shark face looks, and especially how said face takes up most of its body.
The strangest thing about the Brzak is its tongue, a spiny and colorful appendage that really looks more like an insect appendage than that of a vertebrate. Only one Brzak was ever created, and lived in a network of catacombs where it was used to dispose of garbage and even "incriminating data"...by feeding it entire computers.
This is a huge, mutant snake that can turn invisible. I'm almost getting numb to the volume of different creature types they're throwing at us here, but it's a damn nice looking snake! Been a while since we had a snake in this series!
This is a boss fight against a young woman injected with a mega-dose of C-virus, and unfortunately the first monster in Resident Evil 6 to deeply disappoint me, because this was some of Deborah's original concept art:
WHAT WERE THEY EVEN THINKING toning these ideas down to just a naked lady with some spider legs?! She almost had tattered little insect wings and a face that could break open!
A sideplot in this game pits recurring antiheroine Ada Wong against her own doppelganger, actually a different woman mutated into her doppelganger and later the founder of the new Umbrella corporation.
When her mutations finally get the better of her - as they always do for our villains - Carla becomes what's basically an ever-changing mass of undifferentiated, gooey cellular matter, all the more unsettling for its slick white coloration, that can sprout into a variety of partial clone bodies. Her dripping, almost mushroom-like duplicates are creepy enough, but sometimes she generates one big, giant face that can burst open into a three-lobed maw! Maybe they scrapped the face gimmick from Debbie because they REALLY wanted to do it with these giant slime-heads, and they thought it would be redundant. If they really had to pick between the two, I guess I'm glad they went with the slime-heads.
With a name meaning "dismantle," this exceptionally beautiful mutant hearkens back a bit to multiple past enemies includeing the Ooze from Revelations, the Regenerators from 4 and perhaps even the classic leech zombies. Its eyeless, almost doll-like body is apparently just a hollow shell, occupied by a gooey, stretchy, slimy mass of slug-like organisms including a huge "leech" that functions a lot like a feeding proboscis. Blast this monster to pieces, and the pieces can not only keep attacking but eventually fit themselves right back together!
It's a concept I've seen elsewhere, to be sure, but it's always a good one! Who doesn't love a bunch of worms and bugs in a suit, especially when that suit is an organic monstrosity in itself?!
What else do you say when you walk into a room and this is what you see? Incubated in a massive underwater facility, Haos was to be the ultimate bioweapon developed under Carla's supervision, and was intended to spread the C-virus all over the globe. Complete images are difficult to find of the monster, but it's more or less humanoid from the waist up, with four very floppy, stretchy arms and a chaotic, writhing mass of small limbs instead of legs. That lower leg-mass can actually break off when it needs to, the entire monster splitting into essentially two creatures and reforming again as it pleases, and by re-entering a giant Chrysalid stage, it can emerge larger or smaller as necessary.
Haos really wouldn't be all that unique of a design if not for the transparent, gelatinous skin showing off its ghoulishly human skull, but that's a KILLER look this series hasn't really done before, and it's even ghastlier on a creature so immense! It's the "sadness" of skull faces that always really grips me, those eye sockets that look so pained and concerned even on a creature that's trying to murder you.
You can enjoy the poor baby's animations and attacks here!
So you might think Haos or even Carla should qualify as final boss monsters, but there's also this guy at the head of "The Family," an illuminati-like secret organization we found out has been involved with Umbrella and other bioterror entities for some time now. The details aren't really that important; what's important is how over the top this guy gets when he mutates, because apparently they couldn't settle on just a single form or even thematically similar forms. For instance, he's got this four-legged beast mode here that's just a weird mess of bone and flesh and teeth and eyes, and then...
DEREK C. SIMMONS
This is apparently referred to as Derek's "centaur form" in official documentation, though it's more like a big clot of flesh with talond sloth-like legs and a huge "stinger" made out of chitinous, chunky segments and ribs. Almost TOO messy for my tastes, but certainly unique!
Another form retains Derek's human body completely, but sprouts a similar "scorpion tail" around him, which weighs him down even as it protects him until he restores his health.
Then we have what's called Derek's "dinosaur" form, and, wow. It's just a MASSIVE clump of human body parts, mostly limbs, twisted and mangled together into the shape of a tyrannosaurus...but with giant fingers for jaws and an immense eyeballin its throat! This is possibly one of the KOOKIEST ideas ever thrust into this series. What else can you call it!? Eyeball finger dinosaur is KOOKY.
Towards what seems at first like the end of your battle, Derek is overwhelmed and seemingly eaten by mere zombies...but actually consumes and absorbs them all to take on his ULTIMATE form:
Oh my god. They actually chose my very, very favorite animal to be possibly the largest boss in series history and the big grand doomsday incarnation of the C-virus. Not only that, but they didn't change almost anything about a housefly's sweet, sad face. They didn't try to make it look angrier or meaner or more predacious; it's just a really, really huge fly, the kind of fly we all know and love, but built from the flesh and gristle of innumerable mutant zombies.
That...is perfect. I cannot imagine a more perfect final boss for any game with zombies in it. How did it even take Resident Evil this long to do anything with nature's most famous corpse-eating organisms?! Flies should have been a motif from DAY ONE, and the idea of a zombie virus just working right back towards a huge killer fly is such a "me" idea that I ought to be more upset someone beat me to it.
It's really a shame that Resident Evil 6 didn't really know what kind of game it wanted to be and was so, so divisive among fans, because it's ALMOST on par with Revelations for having my favorite selection of monsters. Don't make me choose between insects and sea life, Resident Evil! Figure out how to do BOTH one of these days!
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