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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."
— William Birkin, before being ambushed by the U.S.S.[3]

Birkin quote - My precious G virus

Dr. William Birkin was a virologist who worked for Umbrella Pharmaceuticals in the 1970s-1990s. The head of the Golgotha Virus research project,[4] 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.

BackgroundEdit

Early yearsEdit

Birkin was a child prodigy who earned his doctorate as a teenager. In 1977, at the age of fifteen, he was employed by Umbrella Pharmaceuticals, and offered to take the executive training program at a laboratory in Arklay County under the oversight of Dr. James Marcus.[5][6] Birkin and Dr. Albert Wesker developed a friendly rivalry at the school while being conditioned to Umbrella's ethical ideals.[5] Their education was concluded on 29 July 1978 when a decision was made to close the laboratory's school. Birkin and Wesker were offered senior roles at the nearby Arklay Laboratory, and transferred there two days later.[6][6]

Arklay Lab (1978-1991) Edit

On their first day as senior researchers, the two were introduced to Lisa Trevor, a young woman who had been a test subject at the lab since 1967.[6] The laboratory's chief researcher approved Birkin's study into the splicing of their experimental Tyrant Virus (or "t-Virus") with genes from recently-collected Ebola Virus samples Umbrella had acquired for the purpose of vaccine research.[6] The t-Virus strain at the laboratory had a rapid and high fatality rate, making it useless as a weapon as it was unlikely to spread far. Birkin's study led to a new t-Virus strain which could keep humans alive in an aggressive, brain damaged state.[6]

In July 1981, Umbrella officially employed the child prodigy Dr. Alexia Ashford as a senior virologist.[7][8] Believed at the time to be the granddaughter of the Umbrella co-founder Dr. Edward Ashford, 5th Earl Ashford, the ten year old quickly gained an aura of majesty within the company. Birkin was severely affected by this, firstly with it damaging his pride of being a child prodigy, and secondly his fellow researchers' constant discussion of it.[7] With research having stalled since 1978, Birkin was determined to prove himself and took part in constant research to solve the new problem of some 10% of the population being immune to the t-Virus. This, Birkin solved, with the development of Bio Organic Weaponry, and successfully developed Hunter α, a bio-weapon created through bonding reptilian DNA with a fertilised human egg through the t-Virus.[7] In 1983, Dr Ashford's death was announced company-wide, though Birkin continued in his own research even with the imagined rivalry over.[7]
Thebirkinfamily

From left to right: William; Sherry and Annette.

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.[9]

By 1988, the Arklay Lab hit another dead-end in research when its latest project, "Tyrant", was met with a serious flaw. As advantageous, mutagenic properties of the t-Virus were linked to brain chemistry, a strain that caused brain damage was an obstacle. At some point during the research that gave them the Proto Tyrant and T-002, Birkin created a t-Virus strain which lowered the level of brain damage. However, this strain still required the infected to have certain, rare genetic traits that only one in ten million possessed.[9] During this year he gained access to Dr. Marcus' t-Virus research to bolster his own, when Dr. Spencer ordered his assassination. Birkin followed the USS raid party and began confiscating the research, gaining the moniker of "creator" of the t-Virus while the elderly Marcus laid dying of gunshot wounds.[10][11]
Img-23

Birkin alongside Wesker during Marcus' assassination.

As another possible solution to the intelligence problem, Birkin arranged with Dr. Spencer himself to acquire one of Umbrella Europe's NE-α Types, parasitic creatures able to take-over brain functions. However, the parasites were notorious for killing their hosts in their attempts to bond. After exhausting other options, Birkin resorted to using the parasite on the only viable host, Lisa Trevor, who in had still survived the years of experimentation.[12] When the parasite was placed within Lisa, her body destroyed the intruder and its DNA was added to her genome, giving her tentacles. An investigation isolated a mutant Progenitor species within her body identified as the cause. Seeing the eugenics potential of a virus capable of mutating humans into a superior subspecies,[13] Birkin sought funding from Umbrella HQ to allow him to work on "Golgotha", known in shorthand as the "G-Virus".[12]

Underground Laboratory research (1991-1998) Edit

When Birkin's discovery got Dr. Spencer's attention, Umbrella constructed the Raccoon City Underground Laboratory adjacent to their chemical plant in the northeast of the city, completed in 1991.[14] There, Birkin was chief researcher, and directly led research into Golgotha with his wife, Annette and a team of researchers, with unrelated B.O.W. projects also conducted by other teams in the facility. The Raccoon City Police Department's chief, Brian Irons, received bribes to keep any investigations away from the laboratory, and was given updates as to the research.

Though work on Golgotha was promising along the 1990s, Birkin began to suspect Umbrella was disinterested in giving him a position as a corporate executive. During 1998, the t-Virus broke out across the Arklay Mountains, leading to several civilian deaths and mutations as well as the loss of the Arklay Laboratory itself, the recently re-opened training school and a train transporting staff to it. Birkin had the training school destroyed, though he and Wesker already drew the ire of Umbrella executive Col. Sergei Vladimir, who blamed the pair for losing control of the school in the first place. Wesker made the decision to leave Umbrella and sell secrets to a rival company, though Birkin, adamant on completing Golgotha, officially stayed with the company. Plotting to betray them from the inside, Birkin entered talks with the US military to sell them Golgotha for their own bio-weapons project in exchange for asylum for he and his family.[15]

During the Summer, Birkin began sabotaging the facilities. The newly-commissioned P12A facility, designed to process contaminated waste, was rendered useless when Birkin flooded the facility with a radically accelerated supply of failed test subjects. The chemical effectiveness was diluted, allowing the virus to mutate and infect the staff with a strain their antiviral medication could not fight. The t-Virus also made its way around the city, infecting the staff at a water treatment plant near the Raccoon City Police Station,[16] and sending dozens to the hospital to be treated for the so-called "Cannibal Disease". Umbrella took notice of Birkin's erratic behaviour and, knowing only his lab had samples of Golgotha, grew evermore concerned he would prevent them receiving the virus.[14]

Mutation and death (1998) Edit

With Golgotha complete, the U.S. military sent a team out to meet with Birkin. Having moles within the military, Umbrella HQ's suspicions were confirmed and a USS squad was sent out on a race to confiscate the virus first. With advanced warning, the USS operation was disrupted when a police officer spotted them entering the sewers and recovered C-4 explosives. To deny Umbrella a chance to copy the work, Birkin released the laboratory's Hunter Rs to attack and kill the research staff. On the night of September 22/23, Alpha Team leader "HUNK" arrived at the facility with a subordinate to obtain 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,[13] and instead transformed into a large creature simply known as "G".

Intent on vengeance, G 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.[17][18] In the process, he also destroyed several "t" samples, allowing rats to consume them and spread the virus into the city's water supply.

Edit

Dr. William Birkin 12

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, G 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 Edit

Birkin from RE2 - HD

William Birkin's G forms

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 Golgotha 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 G'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 developing cranium emerges in his place. Discarding the pipe he previously used, this form of G 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 new, 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, G’s 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 G's ribcage, forming a bizarre kind of mouth.

In his fourth form, G 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, G’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.

BibliographyEdit

SourcesEdit

Notes
References
  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 CAPCOM
  2. Evident by his research into the Golgotha Virus.
  3. Capcom Production Studio 4. Resident Evil 2. (Capcom Co., Ltd.). Scene: Birkin's Assassination.
  4. Capcom. Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles. (Capcom Co., Ltd.). File: William Birkin.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Resident Evil 0 (2002), "Assistant Director's Diary".
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 Wesker's Report II, part 1
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Wesker's Report II, part 2
  8. Resident Evil CODE:Veronica (2000), file: "Newspaper Clip".
  9. 9.0 9.1 Wesker's Report II, part 4: "Enter Nemesis"
  10. Resident Evil 0 (2003), scene: "Confrontation With Marcus".
  11. Resident Evil 2
  12. 12.0 12.1 Resident Evil (2002), file: "Observation Note".
  13. 13.0 13.1 http://www.projectumbrella.net/articles/Yasuhisa-Kawamura-Interview-Project-Umbrella
  14. 14.0 14.1 Tahara (ed) Official Guide Book, p.259.
  15. Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles (2007), file: "William Birkin Profile".
  16. Resident Evil 2 (1998), file: "Watchman's Diary".
  17. Tahara (ed.), Official Guide Book, p.260.
  18. https://youtu.be/Dzr1hmWIWaw?t=114