(Capcom's primary storyline)
For the William Birkin of other realities, see William Birkin (disambiguation).
"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 1970s-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 unauthorized 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 fifteen. 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, for 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.
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.
The purpose of the G-Virus was not to induce random mutations like the t-Virus does, but to induce mutations that can evolve the host into a new, separate stable species. The ultimate goal for Dr. Birkin was to create "G-humans", an evolved super-human species, by using the G-Virus.
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 sample, but the virus didn't properly stabilize onto his body and the scientist himself was unable to become a G-human, and transformed into a larger creature.
Intent on vengeance, William 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, William 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 Station. 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 originally had pale skin, blue eyes and dark blond hair with a fringe in the middle of the forehead. These features differed slightly in The Umbrella Chronicles and Darkside Chronicles, where his eyes were depicted as brown, and his hair had fringes on both sides of his head.
Before Birkin was ambushed by HUNK and his squad and he injected himself with the G-Virus, he wore a white long lab coat with his Umbrella ID on the left side, over a pale green, long-sleeved buttoned shirt with a necktie, blue corduroy pants, a brown belt and black shoes.
In Resident Evil 0's cutscenes, he wore a white buttoned shirt, with dark blue pants. He continued to wear this outfit until the events of Resident Evil 2.
After mutating into his first form, his right arm grew drastically in muscle and mass, and developed a tumor-like eyeball on the shoulder. A pair of vestigial hands have begun to develop on his sides, a sign of his further mutations. In the FMV cutscenes, his skin is gray and purple after his mutation. All of these mutations shredded his buttoned shirt, leaving only the tattered lab coat covering his malformed body from the waist up.
In the Darkside Chronicles, his appearance remained the same, save for the hems of his pants becoming tattered.
In William’s second form, his body becomes even larger, more twisted and inhuman: His skin takes on a black hue, while the vestigial hands grow into a second pair of functional arms and a second tumor-like eye appears on his back. In this form, only shreds of the lab coat hang from his twisted body, as the remnants of Birkin's humanity are cast aside, while the ruined pants now only reach the knees. Perhaps most dramatic of the changes is that his original head is forced down into the left side of his chest, while a second head of him developing cranium emerges in his place. Discarding the pipe he previously used, William instead attacks with the long bone claws that grow out of his massive right arm.
In Darkside Chronicles, his appearance has minor changes and his skin is not black but replaced with bloody parts of his skin as his monstrous head is shown to move when trying to observe his wife, Annette before he fatally slashed her with his talons from his arms.
In his third form, William body gains more muscle mass and a leaner physique; destroying all remaining traces of clothing, his new head becomes more skull-like with a lipless grin, while his original face is just a warped impression in his side, seemingly frozen in an expression of agony or rage. The second pair of arms become more developed, the primary arms now both have talons and have shifted to the shoulders, and a new eye appears on his thigh. Additionally, sharp bones sprout from the center of Birkin's ribcage, forming a bizarre kind of mouth.
In his fourth form, William becomes like a quadruped animal, his primary arms becoming front legs and the second set of arms become even more developed and eyeballs appear on the primary arms' shoulders. His mouth has extended to the ribcage, the bones becoming tusks. In Darkside Chronicles, his body is much larger and shows a couple more extra eyes on his backside.
In his fifth form, William’s body sustained so much damage that, in his attempt to heal himself, he becomes nothing more than a shapeless blob with giant eyes, tentacles and other limbs sprouting all over the body and a huge, gaping maw with countless long, sharp, tusk-like teeth arranged like a leech's mouth.
- 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 0 (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 0 (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.
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 http://www.projectumbrella.net/articles/Yasuhisa-Kawamura-Interview-Project-Umbrella
- ↑ Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles (2007), file: "William Birkin Profile".
- ↑ Tahara (ed.), Official Guide Book, p.260.
- ↑ https://youtu.be/Dzr1hmWIWaw?t=114