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The most striking changes that occur (normally when a zombie is in the transition to a Licker) are the exposed brain tissue, an increase in muscle development, and the total loss of skin. Because of the lack of skin-constraint and the development of muscular tissue the Licker is very agile,[1] capable of performing surprising jumps to incredible heights and distances, and moves much more rapidly.

Their quadrupedal bone structure makes it more suitable for them to crawl about on all fours. The Licker also uses its talons to scale vertical structures and ceilings with ease. This allows the creature to use predatory tactics to surprise their prey. These new hunting strategies also showcase its increased primal intellect.

Finally, its elongated tongue is shown to be enormously powerful, capable of piercing human flesh and often being used to decapitate its prey. Although naturally quiet and a master of ambushes, the presence of a Licker can often be hinted at by the sound of their raw flesh and claws scraping against whatever surface they happen to be crawling along, as well as a sibilant hissing sound. When attacking or incurring damage a Licker will also make a variety of screeching sounds, producing a particularly agonized scream when killed.

Lickers have lost the use of their eyes[2] entirely and cannot track prey by sight. Their super-developed hearing, however, more than compensates for the loss. Upon detecting potential prey it will attack full force with teeth, tongue and claws, often alerting others of its kind in the vicinity as well. Weapons that emit very little sound, such as the bowgun, are especially useful against these blind B.O.W.s.

There has also been confirmation of a further mutation of the Licker in the Raccoon City Underground Laboratory. It differs from the regular Licker in color, durability, and claw size, but appears to have very similar intelligence to normal Lickers as its attack patterns are similar. However, this Licker appears to be even sharper at detecting prey and is much harder to sneak around. It is a theory that these creatures were augmented by Umbrella scientists in an attempt to create an even deadlier version of an already formidable being. Both Licker types were also present during the Sheena Island outbreak.

Despite the fact that zombies were an accidental development and not an intended creation of the t-Virus, it seems that Lickers have been established to be practical for the B.O.W market. In addition to the appearance of both regular and Enhanced Lickers on Sheena Island, they are encountered in both the Russian Umbrella Facility in 2003 and in Tricell's West African B.O.W production facilities in 2009.

Lickers have also been used in the civil war in the Eastern Slav Republic in 2011. They can be controlled by inserting a modified Plaga into the host's body. They were controlled by Alexander Kozachenko and used to attack the presidential palace. He also used the Lickers in attacks against three Tyrant models.


Evolved Licker


Seen in the Underground Laboratory of Raccoon City, these Lickers were exposed to chemical compounds within the gases that were released to exterminate the infected plants in some parts of the Umbrella Underground Facility. The gas altered their already t-Virus warped genome, giving them reptilian skin and increasing muscle density, making them stronger and more resistant to damage than their original variants. In addition, their senses appear to have developed further with the obvious exception of sight, improving their ability to track its prey. On Sheena Island, these evolved Lickers are seen with greenish-grey skin color and large stinger-like claws. They tend to be significantly more difficult to kill than ordinary Lickers.


Resident Evil Outbreak 1 - Regis Licker
Main article: Suspended

This unique, irregular mutant resembling was encountered by a group of survivors in the Apple Inn during a fire. This creature was dubbed "Suspended". The subject was clearly a woman prior to infection judging by its remaining clothes, features and body shape, despite the half-transformed state. It did not yet have the ability to decapitate its prey using its already mutated tongue, but displayed the ability to use its tongue as a whip against attackers.

Licker β

Main article: Licker β

A slightly modified variant of this B.O.W. was created by Tricell in response to the high black market demand for Lickers, usually bought by wealthy terrorists for their durability and intelligence. This Licker variant was created by injecting the Progenitor virus into standard Lickers to increase their evolutionary potential. While this did not solve the sight problem all Lickers share, it did increase their sense of hearing and smell slightly, as well as giving them the ability to reproduce. This enhanced version was encountered by Chris Redfield and Sheva Alomar in the Uroboros Laboratory.


  1. Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles (2010), file: "Licker Notes"
  2. Means they are totally dependent of their hearing

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