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- See also: Mimicry Marcus
During the Raccoon City Destruction Incident, a vast amount of leeches within and around the Raccoon General Hospital became infected with "t". Along with increasing their size, aggressiveness, and giving them a collective consciousness, the virus imbued them with another insidious method of infection: the ability to infest and control a human. The leeches swarm over a human in vast numbers, attach themselves to every orifice and exposed section above the knee, suck the victim of all their blood, and, through some unknown means, presumably by manipulating the victim's nervous system, take complete control of the body as a host. This entity is called the Leech Zombie.
It is unknown how many Leech Zombies existed, though there had been at least two. At the time when a small group of survivors entered the Raccoon Hospital to obtain medicine and healing items, at least one existed. Although the identity of this Leech Man is not confirmed, it is possible it was an unknown body found in the Laboratory below the hospital by survivors. Although the survivors briefly encountered this Leech Man, it was only for a short amount of time.
Dr. Hersh, a doctor at the hospital, received a mysterious wound that is seen bandaged. The blood attracted the Leech Zombie, which forced its way into the room Hersh and the survivors were in. Though Hersh attempted to escape, he lost his balance climbing over a trolley and was caught by the monster.
It is unknown how exactly he became a Leech Zombie, as the survivors in the room didn't see exactly what transpired when he was attacked, but nevertheless, he became the new Leech Zombie and resumed the hunt for blood. This can be proved by the bandaged hand on the Leech Zombie seen above. He continued to haunt and chase the survivors through the ventilation system as they remained in the Hospital.
Eventually, the Leech Zombie met its demise when it was tricked into entering the Fixed temperature laboratory. While one of the survivors distracted and baited the Leech Zombie with a blood pack, they turned the temperature setting to high. The resulting high temperature killed every single leech covering Hersh's body, effectively ending his reign of terror.
Though there were many bodies for the numerous leeches to use as viable hosts as a replacement for Hersh, no more were made (unless an ally of the player died). It is possible that, with the death of the Giant Leech, the leeches were unable to continue to survive. If so, production of Leech Zombies would cease completely. Another possibility is that the leeches need a fresh corpse as a host - whilst the leeches would not attach themselves to the scattered bodies around the hospital that had been present before the survivor's arrival, they would take host of a recently killed person (e.g., Hersh or an ally).
If one of your allies died during this mission, possibly before or definitely after the first leech zombie is killed, after a short amount of time, a cutscene is shown where a mass of leeches converge on the body, creating a new leech zombie that cannot be killed by the fixed temperature room to emerge and resume chasing you.
The Leech Zombie seems to be the result of Leeches forming a collective consciousness similar to James Marcus' Leeches due to exposure to the T-virus. However, these leeches mutated from the virus in a different way. They don't seem as intelligent as Marcus' Leeches and seemingly behave more animal-like.However, it seems they at least have some intelligence, as they are able to gather together and turn corpses into a form of organic marionette, with the leeches being the strings holding The corpse up and controlling its movements. This can be seen when the leeches start to die in the fixed temperature lab below the hospital from high amounts of heat. The body of the host (in this case Hersh) falls to the floor lifeless.
The Leech Zombie only has one driving force, which is to feed. The Leeches that control it appear to constantly be hungry for blood and will favor already bleeding targets over healthy ones. Because of this single driving force however, it is very easy to distract the Leech Zombie by luring it with blood packs. Once it finds a blood pack it will begin lapping the blood up, keeping it preoccupied for a bit and ignoring the survivors, even if they walk past it.
The Leech Man used the ventilation system to move throughout the rooms, and would enter through a vent cover in the ceiling. The leeches formed an invincible shield around the host, making it impossible for physical damage to do anything but temporarily weaken it. Also, gunfire was extremely ineffective, doing less damage to it than a tackle. Though it was essentially just a cadaver with leeches, the Leech zombie was significantly stronger than any normal Zombie.
Leech zombies should not be confused with the Mimicry Marcus, which are individual masses of leeches who assume a humanoid shape.
- If the leech zombie bites the player, it would leave them under the bleeding status.
- If enough damage is applied, the Leech Zombie will fall over for a second and then get back up. This is easier to do with the Sub Machine Gun, however it's possible to do it with other weapons, more so with Infinity mode active.
- It is recommended to use Melee weapons against him, such as the Scrub Brush or the Crutches.
- The Handgun only deals 20% of their fire power on him, while Mark Wilkins' custom handgun doesn't damage it at all as the Burst handgun as well.
- During offline play, if an AI dies, he or she will become a leech zombie and cannot be killed; this also occurred during Online play instead of the "zombie mode".
- The leeches will suck on their host's blood and once they're dried out, they will try to get another host.
- Three Leech Zombies were present during the outbreak, however, players would only have to deal with two of them (Hersh and an unknown individual).
- When playing as David, you can use his wrench to stun the leech zombie, and maybe make it fall. This strategy is best recommended when no escape route is available. If there is, don't waste the wrenches.