A Fatal Mistake: The Origins of Resident Evil Virus Strains


Video Games

The Resident Evil storyline gets muddled with every new release. The franchise always has new puzzle pieces to fit and more riddles to solve. Avid gamers have welcomed the franchise with great anticipation. However, since the game’s storyline is an enigma of its own and as the remake of the 1999 Resident Evil 3 crawls closer, a quick flashback of the story and its true virus origins will freshen up the lore to an extent. Keep your eyes peeled and pay close attention to the brief breakdown of each virus and its corresponding origins. We have made sure not to bloat it with confusing bits. So here it goes!

The Progenitor Virus

The virus that created a havoc and rooted the abomination of a virus-ridden world we see in every Resident Evil game, is the Progenitor Virus. Founders of Umbrella Corporation, Edward Ashford, James Marcus, and Ozwell E. Spencer are responsible for creating this distasteful virus. The three real tyrants built the Umbrella Corporation in 1967. Soon after, varied experiments took place to produce a virus strain capable of building super-humans with limitless power and intelligence. Their true intentions were designated to help the handicapped regain movement. However, shortly after Ashford’s death, the project’s scope shifted toward the creation of deadly bio-weapons.


The history of bio-weapons originates from the Progenitor Virus, but the standard virus outbreaks in most Resident Evil games roots from T-Virus. What is it all about? Both Ozwell and Marcus experimented on leech DNA by infusing it with the Progenitor Virus. Their intentions were to subdue the prior that faced shortcomings and bring forth a stronger, deadlier version of the original virus. Later on, the same T-Virus was used to produce the Tyrant Virus, which was solely responsible for turning Raccoon City locals into zombies, and soon started a near zombie warfare.

T-Veronica Virus

While treated as a side story in the franchise, the T-Veronica Virus does play a vital role in shaping the lore and extends its origins toward the T-Virus. Edward Ashford established an Umbrella laboratory headquarters in Antarctica, led by both Edward and his son Alexander Ashford. The virus, however, is named after Victoria, the head of Ashford household. Alexia Ashford, an artificially created daughter of Edward Ashford, created the T-Veronica virus. Her obsession with the T-Virus strain drove her to insanity and coerced her to create a unique form of the virus, mixed with queen ant DNA and the actual Progenitor Virus. Alexia prowled for power and ultimately injected herself with T-Veronica. Consequently, she slept for fifteen years, while the virus spread into her veins, made her maintain her intelligence and gave her full control of whoever she infects the virus with. The T-Veronica virus wasn’t meant to lead as a bio-weapon and was solely an outcome of the selfish desires of Alexia.

Tyrant Project

Dr. William Birkin plays an integral role in turning Raccoon City into zombie land. With a laboratory assigned to him for experiments just below Raccoon City, creatures like the prowling Lickers in Resident Evil took form. Alongside mini experimentations, Umbrella started tweaking the T-Virus, in hopes of creating the ideal bio-weapon. Thus, the Tyrant Project was greenlit for the very same reason. Umbrella maimed test subjects of which many succumbed to the torture and died. Soon after, Umbrella’s efforts bore fruit and the perfect bio-weapon, the Tyrants, were made. However, Umbrella’s true intentions were to create a Tyrant host capable of taking orders from them directly and the initial Tyrants were capable of doing so. With a numerous lineup of failed experiments, the same T-Virus strain was experimented upon to commence with the Nemesis Project. Amidst constant failures of trying to create a faithful and intelligent Tyrant, their efforts activated the archenemy of S.T.A.R.S, an anti-Umbrella unit, named Nemesis. The plotline of Resident Evil 3 revolves around the Nemesis Project. While Tyrants are extracted from the T-Virus, the backstory of Nemesis wasn’t given much clarity in the 1999 game, except that Nemesis was sent to wipe out the remaining S.T.A.R.S members.


The G-Virus covers a major spectrum of the Resident Evil plotline. The virus was created by Dr. William Birkin and so far, there have been only two successful hosts of the G-Virus, William himself and Curtis Miller. William began to conflict with the Umbrella Corporation and decided to betray them by selling the G-Virus to the U.S. government. Spencer just wasn’t having it and shot down Birkin by Umbrella Special Forces. However, just before Birkin saw death, he injected himself with the G-Virus and turned into a virus-ridden blob of mass destruction. The G-Virus takes form in Resident Evil 2, in which Birkin is also the game’s final boss. Unlike T-Virus, the G-Virus either breeds into a host with similar DNA in the form of implantation or needs to be injected directly. While no official reasoning has been given about its true origins, the virus is likely a blend of the T-Virus.

To conclude

Improvised intentions turned cruel and led to a fatal mistake. The game’s lore is connected from end to end, but the prolonged history of the virus strains and their origins can be confusing to grasp. Fans of the game are awaiting to know what carries on after Resident Evil 7, but with a new remake of Resident Evil 3 brewing up, maybe we will get a better closure on the Nemesis Project and the gruesome outcome of Raccoon City’s virus outbreak. The cherry on top? Resident Evil 3 also comes with a multiplayer online game, Resident Evil: Resistance. The gameplay is expected to take a shift from the traditional roots of the franchise and lets up to four players play the game at once. So, ensure your Spectrum internet connection won’t give up on you while you outrun some flesh-hungry zombies and survive from a catastrophic zombie apocalypse.

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