A Bio Organic Weapon, or B.O.W. for short, is a general term used by several organizations and a number of researchers to refer to a creature intentionally created or genetically modified using a type of mutagen to become killing machines. Bio Organic Weapons were a major focus of research for the Umbrella Corporation. After the discovery of the Progenitor virus by Umbrella CEO Oswell E. Spencer, the Umbrella Corporation sought to create creatures and beasts of destructive powers. Several successful examples include the Tyrant series, Hunters and Lickers. Las Plagas bred by Los Iluminados are also considered Bio Organic Weapons due to the mutations the parasites can cause within its host.
Finding the Progenitor Virus
Although the presence of B.O.W.s did not occur until much later, the first recorded research of attempted mutation was after the establishment of the Progenitor virus. Evidence of a flower in Western Africa arose from the notes of Henry Travis, which were found by Spencer and Edward Ashford. After securing the flower with Dr. James Marcus and Marcus' assistant, Brandon Bailey, Spencer saw to the creation of a secluded mansion in the Arklay Mountains, housing a laboratory beneath. Jessica Trevor and Lisa Trevor, wife and daughter of the mansion architect, George Trevor, became the first official test subjects of the Progenitor and attempts at provoking viral mutations. Although Lisa was not intended as a B.O.W., the results of the experiments run on her with the Progenitor and later variations of viral agents were crucial to the production of bio-weapons years later.
The first official experiments and attempts at creating B.O.W.s occurred in the Arklay Laboratory in the late 90s. Animals were used as the first primary subjects, eventually leading to the creation of monsters such as mutated dobermans, a giant snake and mutated spiders, including one with a peculiar reaction. Shortly after, experiments on human subjects began, the use of Umbrella's stance as a pharmaceutical company used to disguise the virus as a new medicine. This set off a chain-reaction that Umbrella could not have possibly predicted, including many bizarre mutations from human subjects, a horrific outbreak purposely leaked by a resurrected Marcus, and the discovery of new viral agents.
The laboratory in Arklay was not the only source of manufacturing B.O.W.s. Rockfort Island, Sheena Island, and even Raccoon City itself are just some of the places where laboratories were found where various other experiments in creating bio-weapons from viral agents occurred.
After the fall of Umbrella following Raccoon City's destruction, B.O.W.s along with viral agents became popular on the black market throughout the world for various uses. Much like the U.S. Government had done in the past in supporting Umbrella, some government militaries sought weapons and viruses, as seen with President Svetlana Belikova in the Eastern Slav Republic or the president of the Republic of Bajirib, Miguel Grandé. In other instances, such as those seen with Jack Norman and his organization, Il Veltro, B.O.W.s were used for the sake of instilling fear instead of direct combat usage.
Experimentation on new weapons is still active, seen as late as 2013 when the head of an organization known as The Family, Derek C. Simmons, released a new virus in the small city of Tall Oaks to assassinate U.S. President Adam Benford. Not only did this show the production of more adept zombies, but also saw the release of a deadly new B.O.W. capable of spreading infection easier, although it was hardly the only creation. Carla Radames, a former researcher for Simmons, perfected the virus and used it as a means of infection earlier in Edonia, Eastern Europe and later in 2013 in Lanshiang, China to create new intelligent B.O.W.s, called J'avo.
Action against B.O.W.s
The widespread usage of B.O.W.s saw to the creation of the Federal Bioterrorism Commission and the Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance, although the FBC was eventually dissolved into the BSAA. The BSAA was created as a non-government organization, gaining funding and support from their founders, the Federation of Pharmaceutical Companies and officially backed by the United Nations. Along with dealing with threats of bioterrorism, the BSAA is directly responsible with disposing of B.O.W.s and viral agents used in these acts, as well as apprehending the bioterrorists.
The United States did not respond favorably to the existence of the BSAA, particularly after the controversy of the FBC and its leader's involvement in bioterrorism. This resulted in the creation of the Division of Security Operations, a group of federal agents under the direct orders of the U.S. President to deal with any U.S.-specific threats of weapons employed by bioterrorists or bioterror attacks.
To fulfill the bioterrorists' needs, the viral weapons and parasites used to create B.O.W.s were altered significantly to infect and mutate a species or type of living organism perfectly. Some of these mutagens were able to mutate through cross-species, while others simply mutate/bond with one species, and don't bond well with another species.
Being a type of marketable B.O.W., the Lickers are known for their agility and destructiveness as a bio-weapon. Lickers are the most common produced type of B.O.W., and as such, they have appeared in many bioterror attacks. There are at least four types of Licker, two of which are enhanced using the Progenitor Virus and modified Las Plagas.
The Tyrants were originally planned as super soldiers who could withstand many fatal blows and still survive. Over time, the Tyrants were eventually created as a terrorist's ultimate weapon, due to its unmatched strength and durability. However, an individual whose genetic structure is ideal to create a Tyrant is incredibly rare and is the main reason why Tyrants are less likely to be produced, even by the Umbrella Corporation.
Along with Lickers, Hunters are also popular B.O.W.s among terrorist groups. The Hunters were altered in many ways to create and produce different types of Hunter B.O.W.s, although in some cases, their ferociousness means that anyone who deploys them on the battle field must take extreme caution as Hunters also tend to attack their commanders.
First discovered in a rural European country, Las Plagas were used by a cult organization named Los Illuminados to infect and gather as many followers as they could. After being discovered by The Organization, Las Plagas that once bred by Los Illuminados was experimented by Albert Wesker and Tricell Corporation to manufacture new species of Plagas as marketable B.O.W.s, leading to the infamous Kijuju Outbreak in Africa. Later during the Eastern Slav civil war, Plagas are once again being used by the rebels in war, showing that Las Plagas is a useful yet deadly bio-weapon.
These new species of B.O.W.s are manufactured by Neo Umbrella, a new bioterrorist organization founded by Carla Radames. Compared to the commonly used zombies to feed on their victims, these J'avo are capable of orchestrating abduction, terrorism, massacre and commanding lesser B.O.W.s in battle ground. The J'avo only take orders from their highest leader, most prominently the ones who created them.
Due to the highly dangerous nature of Uroboros virus, only a handful of Uroboros-based B.O.W. were created by Albert Wesker. Years after his death, Alex Wesker and her subordinates located his laboratory compound and retrieved samples of Uroboros virus to create B.O.W.s such as Revenant, Slinger and Splasher. After Alex's confirmed death, the BSAA eradicated all known traces of the virus and B.O.W.s.
Many other lifeforms were also used as B.O.W. although their usage are less frequent, and these creatures are sometimes referred to as "irregular mutations". Examples of the irregular mutants are the Zombie Dog, Giant Alligator, Globster and Scagdead.