|Hantā α (ハンターα)|
|Status:||Succeeded by mass-produced model|
The Hunter α (development code: "MA-121") can be regarded as the first fully functional and marketable built-from-scratch B.O.W. produced by Umbrella. It was created by injecting reptilian DNA into a human embryo and administering the t-Virus as a bonding agent. The MA-121α went through intensive research and development at the underground lab in Raccoon.
The first of the alpha models were developed by Albert Wesker and William Birkin within the Arklay Laboratory, which was located under the Spencer Mansion. Despite the positive results of the alpha model, Umbrella continued research in diverse variations of the Hunter, resulting in the future production of several Hunter variants.
In the midst of the t-Virus outbreak in Raccoon Forest, a number of α models were released by a resurrected James Marcus to eliminate Rebecca Chambers and Billy Coen as they combed the Umbrella Research Center. There were also a good deal of Alphas still being stored in the Arklay Laboratory, where it appeared that they took to hunting across the estate with at least one of them reaching the estate and slashing at wallpaper, evident in one of the rooms. Although highly reliable, Umbrella continued to make modifications to its specific design, resulting in the Hunter R model.
However, despite Umbrella's newer prototypes, the α model proved to be the most well-developed base, and the mass-production Hunter model stemmed from the α line. An example of the mass-production model's usage was in 2004, during the Terragrigia Panic; the terrorist group, Veltro deployed a massive number of these Hunters into Terragrigia. They were destroyed along with the city by the Regia Solis. In 2005, several Hunters were encountered by the BSAA on board the Queen Zenobia and at an abandoned Veltro base, along with their enhanced t-Abyss counterparts, the Farfarellos.
Hunters possessed limited capability to follow orders, though retained a reasonable level of intellect.
Although the Hunter II and Sweeper heavily resemble the standard α model, they do differ in some ways. While the α model appears to have irises in its eyes, the Hunter II and Sweeper models feature glowing eyes and slightly more muscular bodies than their α brethren.
In the original Resident Evil, Hunters are extremely fast, capable of running in circles around the player if they are allowed to get within close range. Over the years, they have slowed down some, with RE Revelation's Hunters being the slowest. However, they are still annoyingly fast and hop around sideways to dodge incoming fire.
Hunters usually slash their prey when in close range which usually cause light damage. However, when far from their prey's position, they will sometimes jump to close in their distance and attempt to slash at the same time which usually causes moderate damage.
They also have an instant death attack where they will decapitate the character if caught on Caution state.
In the Remake they can pounce the player and attempt to slash their throat and will always cause death if not shaken off.
In Operation Raccoon City, their attack are similar to those in the original Resident Evil and the remake. But their jump attack can usually cause the player to be knocked down. They also have a scream attack which can also knock down the player.
When encountering a Hunter, it is recommended to use the shotgun (any kind, when referring to Operation Raccoon City) as it can stop the Hunter's attacks. Magnums, namely the Colt Python, initially took two shots to take down the Hunter. This was changed in the Director's Cut version to only one. They have remained a one-hit kill in all subsequent appearances. From medium range, rifles such as the "Militia Rifle" are good at countering the Hunter.
As their backs are armored and thus harder to damage, it is recommended to aim for their faces in particular - not just their heads.
- In the REmake, a red version of the Hunter α can appear. The best place to see this variant is in the Kenneth hall after obtaining the Helmet Key. If you enter this hallway from either the Piano bar or the Kitchen, the red hunter will bust out of the door leading to the tiger statue hallway. Now if you enter the Kenneth Hallway from the dining room the red hunter will not burst out of the door.
- In the Saturn version of Resident Evil, a brown Hunter variant with sickle-shaped hands and antennae called a "Tick" will appear in certain locations and replace the normal Alpha models.