(Capcom's primary storyline)
"It's sheer perfection. My precious G-virus. No one will ever take you away from me."
Dr. William Birkin was a virologist who worked for Umbrella Pharmaceuticals in the 1980s-1990s. The head of the G-Virus research project, he turned against the Umbrella Corporation after failing to achieve a promotion to its executive. The company's attempts to prevent an unauthorised deal with the US military served as a catalyst for the events of the Raccoon City Destruction Incident.
The earliest known record of Dr. Birkin was his employment with Umbrella Pharmaceuticals in 1977, at the young age of sixteen. In that year he was selected for Umbrella U.S.A.'s executive training program at a facility in the Arklay Mountains overseen by Dr. James Marcus. Birkin and Dr. Albert Wesker developed a friendly rivalry at the school, and as the top students became assistant researchers to Marcus himself, overseeing the t-Virus development in its earliest forms. The facility closed on July 29, 1978, and the two scientists were transferred to the nearby Arklay Laboratory two days later.
During Birkin's time there he became interested in the Ebola virus, an RNA virus from West Africa which Umbrella had acquired samples of for the official purposes of vaccine research. His interest in modifying the t-Virus by merging its genome with others led to his introduction to Lisa Trevor, a young woman who had been used as a test subject at the lab since 1967.
On July 27, 1981, Umbrella employed Dr. Alexia Ashford as a senior researcher. The genius granddaughter of the late Umbrella co-founder Dr. Lord Edward Ashford, she was employed immediately after graduating university at the age of just ten. This caused serious problems for Birkin's career from that very day, as he became increasingly frustrated over his research failings while such a young girl received praises, along with his pride over his own young employment being shattered. Angered by his colleagues' constant conversations over their hopes of Dr. Ashford working at their lab, Birkin shunned himself from the others in favour of his own research.
Birkin reached a breakthrough later that year with the successful development of the Hunter α, a bio-weapon created through bonding reptilian DNA with a fertilised human egg through the t-Virus. In 1983, Dr Ashford's death was announced company-wide, though Birkin continued in his own research even with the imagined rivalry over.
During his time at the Arklay Laboratory, Birkin began a relationship with another researcher named Annette. They married sometime in the mid-1980s and a daughter, Sherry was born around 1986.
In 1988, Umbrella's corporate leadership was fragmented by the legacy of Dr. Marcus who, while still working isolated at his mountain laboratory, was seen as a threat to Spencer's plans for the company. Consequently, a paramilitary taskforce entered the lab and assassinated him. Birkin, having experience in Marcus' research, was given a research promotion and became the chief researcher at the Arklay Laboratory, leading the t-Virus Project. Likely under Spencer's orders, credit to Marcus as the creator of the t-Virus was wiped from history, and Birkin was subsequently referred to as its "creator". Among the projects the laboratory participated in that same year was on the NE-α Type. NE-α ("Nemesis Alpha") was a parasitic organism created by Umbrella Europe as a replacement brain for B.O.W.s, which frequently lacked human-level intellect. The parasite was notorious, however, in killing its hosts during its attempts to bond. With direct approval from Spencer himself, Birkin was able to secure one of the parasites with the intention of experimenting on Lisa Trevor, who in 1988 had still survived the years of experimentation. When the parasite was placed within Lisa, her body destroyed the intruder and its DNA was added to her genome. An investigation revealed a never-before-seen variation of the Progenitor Virus existing within her body. Seeing its potential for greatly improving the human race, he dubbed it the G-Virus, with the "G" representing the word "god".
Soon after the discovery, Birkin's research proposal on the virus was accepted by Spencer, and the G-Virus Project was made official. An underground facility was constructed under Raccoon City's northeastern industrial district as the exclusive site of G-Virus research. The facility was completed in 1991, and Birkin was officially replaced as head of the Arklay Laboratory. With an Umbrella facility within the city, William and Annette Birkin began bribing Brian Irons, Chief of Police at the Raccoon City Police Department into keeping the research a secret.
Fall from grace
In 1998, Birkin became frustrated again with his project. While the G-Virus development was running smoothly, Birkin was concerned it would not guarantee him a position as an Umbrella executive. In mid-1998, he and Dr. Wesker were assigned to oversee the re-opening of Dr. Marcus' laboratory, which ended in failure when the exploration teams were killed by infected leeches. Knowing their careers would be in jeopardy if the conspiracy against Dr. Marcus was revealed, the two men planned to destroy the facility. Dr. Wesker suggested Birkin leave the company in the confusion, but he was unwilling to abandon his G-Virus research.
The following day, Wesker led the local S.T.A.R.S. special forces into the mountains to infiltrate the Arklay Laboratory, which had suffered a viral outbreak. Wesker successfully faked his death in the facility's destruction, though did not anticipate the survival of four S.T.A.R.S. members. Consequently Birkin made sure Chief Irons kept the survivors' investigations of Umbrella restricted. Alongside these events, Birkin began eliminating nearby Umbrella facilities to hide his plans to leave the company, engulfing the nearby P-12A Incineration Disposal Plant with so much bio-waste it could no longer process and subsequently transformed its staff into Zombies. By early September the t-Virus was spread further, infecting Umbrella's sewer workers and a scrap yard worker named Thomas. The Raccoon General Hospital was also inundated with patients exhibiting symptoms of t-Virus infection, though this may have been a result of the virus migrating out of the Arklay Mountains and not Birkin's plan.
At some point during this period Umbrella took notice of Birkin's erratic behaviour and, knowing only his lab had samples of the G-Virus, grew evermore concerned he would prevent them receiving the virus.
Approaching completion of the G-Virus, Dr. Birkin sent a message to the US military, offering them the G-Virus in exchange for protection. The US military, seeing the G-Virus as having potential in creating more powerful bio-weapons than what Umbrella was selling to enemy nations, agreed to the deal to gain an upper hand. Umbrella became aware of the proposition and their agents within the US military competed with US agents within Umbrella over the information. In the end, the elite Delta Force was ordered to meet Birkin at the laboratory, but were not given information as to where the laboratory was. Knowing himself to be caught-out, Birkin tipped off Chief Irons, who soon received a police report that mysterious men were moving through sewers with explosives on September 20.
Expecting Delta Force to arrive later than planned, Birkin engineered a final betrayal of Umbrella by releasing the t-Virus into his own lab, intending for the escaped Hunter Rs and zombified researchers to kill the elite Umbrella Security Service and allow his escape. On the night of September 23, the U.S.S. Alpha Team, led by agent HUNK, arrived at the facility to apprehend the virus. In the standoff, Birkin was gunned down with automatic fire after a dropped mug was mistaken for him firing his handgun. Alpha Team retrieved a Duralumin case containing "t" and "G" samples and left for the sewers to their extraction point. The injured Birkin infected himself with a remaining G-Virus sample and transformed into a larger creature.
Intent on vengeance, Birkin followed the USS into the sewers and they were all either killed or seriously injured. To guarantee no more samples were at risk of theft, Birkin ate the "G" samples. In the process, he also destroyed several "t" samples, allowing rats to consume them and spread the virus into the city's water supply.
Final days and death
Over the next week the city's population of 100,000 were either killed or infected, and the US military blockaded the city to prevent classified information relating to their dealing from getting out. Driven entirely by basic instincts, Birkin searched for food and vessels for reproduction. Ultimately, the latter was his daughter Sherry who, as a blood relation, was a viable carrier for his parasitic larvae. His search for Sherry drew him to the Raccoon City Police Department. There he found her protected by a group of survivors, Leon S. Kennedy and Claire Redfield, but was able to implant Sherry with a larvae while unconscious following a fall. Following the group back to the laboratory, he went through several mutations to adapt to the conditions. Ultimately he lost the need of his six legs and mutated into a blob. Though he successfully escaped Raccoon City by a train, a bomb on it was set off and he perished in the underground tunnels.
Appearance and Wardrobe
William appears to have a short brown hair with fringes at the center of his head and blue eyes.
Before he was ambushed by HUNK and his squad and he injects himself with the G-Virus, he wears a white long lab coat with his Umbrella ID at the left side of his coat, underneath is a pale green long sleeve button shirt with a neck tie on the collar, blue corduroy pants with a brown belt to his waist and black shoes.
In Resident Evil 0 during the real life cutscenes, he is depicted to have dark blonde hair similar to his wife, Annette Birkin. His appearance has minor changes, his button shirt is now white and his pants are now dark blue.
In both Umbrella Chronicles and the Darkside Chronicles, William is now updated and the fringes on his short brown hair is now in each sides and his eyes are now brown.
His primary outfit remains unchanged since his appearance in Resident Evil 0.
When he was mutated into G from its first form, his button shirt has been shredded and other part of his lab coat remains and mutates a large right arm with a large right eye ball beneath his large right shoulder but his skin appears pale while handing a large pipe. In the FMV cutscenes, his skin is gray and purple after his mutation.
In the Darkside Chronicles, his appearance remains the same and has shreds at the edge of his pants which it shows his socks and shoes. At his torso it gains two hands in each sides.
In his second form, he appears in shirtless but few of his lab coat is mostly shredded and his skin is now covered black. His head has been pushed downward int his left chest and gains two hands in each sides with a developing cranium taking its place. His pants are now in the mid-thigh section and fights barefoot in a beastly appearance. He also discards the pipe in exchange for bone claws that grow out of his hands.
In its third form, G's body gains more muscle mass and a leaner physique; destroying all remaining traces of clothing, its new head becomes more skull-like with a lipless grin and Birkin's original face has almost faded entirely into his side. The second pair of arms become more developed and a new eye appears on his thigh.
In its fourth form, G becomes like a quadruped animal, its arms becoming front legs and the second set of arms become more developed. Its mouth has extended to his ribcage, the bones becoming tusks. In Darkside Chronicles, his body is much larger and shows a couple more extra eyes on his backside.
In its fifth form, G's body sustained so much damage that, in its attempt to heal itself, it becomes nothing more than a shapeless blob with eyes, tentacles and other limbs sprouting all over the body and a huge, gaping mouth with tusks for teeth.
In Darkside Chronicles, his appearance has minor changes and his skin is not black but replaced with bloody part of his skin as its monstrous head is shown to move when trying to observe his wife, Annette before he fatally slashed her with his talons from his hands.
- Tahara, Seiji (田原 誠司), ed (1998). BIOHAZARD 2 Official Guide Book. Japan: Famitsu.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 CAPCOM
- ↑ Evident by his research into the G-virus
- ↑ Capcom Production Studio 4. Resident Evil 2. (Capcom Co., Ltd.). Scene: Birkin's Assassination.
- ↑ Capcom. Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles. (Capcom Co., Ltd.). File: William Birkin.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Resident Evil Zero (2002), "Assistant Director's Diary".
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 Wesker's Report II, part 1
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 Wesker's Report, part 2
- ↑ Resident Evil CODE: VeronicaNewspaper Clip".
- ↑ Wesker's Report II, part 3: "Enter Nemesis"
- ↑ Resident Evil Zero (2003), scene: "Confrontation With Marcus".
- ↑ Resident Evil 2
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 Resident Evil (2002), file: "Observation Note".
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 Tahara (ed) Official Guide Book, p.259.
- ↑ Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles (2007), file: "William Birkin Profile".
- ↑ Tahara (ed.), Official Guide Book, p.260.