(Capcom's primary storyline)
The prototype strain was developed for use in "Project W", advanced by Umbrella founder Oswell E. Spencer as part of a special screening process for identifying the most genetically-gifted of the Wesker children. Only two of the thirteen remaining test subjects survived: Albert Wesker and Alex Wesker, having survived largely due to special genetic markers.
Albert had injected the virus on July 24, 1998, during the Mansion Incident. The virus was given to him by William Birkin. This allowed him to survive impalement from the T-002 and to escape the Spencer Mansion before the Triggering System had detonated, unbeknownst to Umbrella and the remaining S.T.A.R.S. members. The power gained from the virus allowed Albert to become a global threat.
Alex had injected the virus sometime after contracting an illness. She had survived the infection, but lacked certain unique physical benefits that Albert had possessed. Alex had attempted to commit suicide in 2011 during the Sushestvovanie Island incident, but had only entered a dormant state, due to the virus, and awoke in a body mutated by her own T-Phobos Virus.
Effects of Infection
This virus increases the metabolism of its host, giving them incredible superhuman strength, speed, agility, endurance, and healing factor. Its healing factor and superhuman endurance can take effect as soon as the subject is infected, allowing the subject to withstand fatal wounds and illnesses.[Note 1] The virus potentially has some degree of slowing down the aging process. Advanced subjects are able to gain the full benefits of the virus.[Note 2]
The virus' effects limits itself to muscle tissue and the lower organs, leaving the brain relatively intact. This breakthrough means that the subject's mind is retained and no ill effects take place provided they carry a special gene for adapting to the virus.
The virus has a unique effect on ocular tissue. The only visible effect of the virus is the way in which it affects the subject's eyes: the appearance of the pupils is altered, narrowed down to resemble slits (similar to a feline or a reptile) and the eye color is changed to a yellow or red hue. In addition, the eyes also develop a form of periodic bio-illumination, glowing a deep shade of red whenever the subject feels an intense emotion, such as anger. Despite this, the virus does not have much impact on light-based visual processing of the eyes.[Note 3] Advanced subjects have demonstrated the ability to move faster than the naked eye in short bursts, indicating the possibility that these subjects are capable of processing visual information much more quickly than a normal human.
The virus itself is extremely selective. If the host does not possess certain "superior" genes, it will kill them. If a person possesses such genes, the virus will turn into a benefit, granting them abilities far beyond a normal human. However, if the host is weakened such as due to an illness, the benefits of the virus will be weakened. Despite the benefits, the virus is very unstable, so the host has to regularly inject a special Progenitor-based serum—PG67A/W—to keep it under control, otherwise it will cause the host's abilities to atrophy.[Note 4] The serum itself must be given in very precise dosages, lest it act like more of a poison and damage the host from the inside.
- ↑ In the Japanese version of the Virus Memo in Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles, it is made clear that the virus doesn't actually revive the dead host, but rather strengthens the host enough to only render them unconscious from otherwise extremely fatal wounds, as well as heal them within five minutes to wake up.
- ↑ Alex Wesker does not possesses the strength, speed, and agility that Albert Wesker displays. This is thought to be a result of being infected with the virus while not in peak physical condition.
- ↑ This is proven when Chris Redfield turned out the lights in Resident Evil 5 and it blinded Wesker due to his sunglasses being used in the dark, which ultimately led to his poisoning.
- ↑ In the cutscene where Jill calls in to tell Chris and Sheva about Wesker's one weakness relating to the prototype virus, both Sheva and Jill specifically state that if Wesker doesn't take a regular injection of the serum in the time allotted, it would cause him to weaken, indicating that his abilities atrophy as a result of missing an injection
- ↑ Resident Evil 5, file: "Albert Wesker".
- ↑ Resident Evil CODE:Veronica
- ↑ Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles
- ↑ Resident Evil 5
- ↑ Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles (2007), file: "Wesker's Notes on Differing Mutations "