|Behind the Scenes|
Lickers have lost the use of their eyes entirely and cannot track prey by sight. Their super developed hearing however more than compensates for the loss. Upon detecting potential prey it will attack full force with teeth, tongue and claws, often alerting others of its kind in the vicinity as well. Weapons that emit very little sound, such as the bowgun, are especially useful against these blind B.O.Ws.
There has also been confirmation of a further mutation of the Licker in the Raccoon City Underground Research Facility. It differs from the regular Licker in colour, durability and claw size. However it appears to have very similar intelligence to normal Lickers, as its attack patterns are similar, however this Licker appears to be even sharper at detecting prey and much harder to sneak around. It is a theory that these creatures were augmented by Umbrella scientists in an attempt to create an even deadlier version of an already formidable being. Both Licker types were also present during the Sheena Island outbreak.
A Crimson Head in the midst of its transformation into a Licker was encountered by a group of survivors in the Apple Inn during a fire. This creature was dubbed the Regis Licker or Suspended. The subject was clearly a woman prior to infection judging by the remaining clothes, features and body shape, despite the half-transformed shape. It did not yet have the ability to decapitate its prey using its already mutated tongue, but displayed the ability to use its tongue as a whip against attackers.
It is also believed that lickers were even closer to perfection that the Tyrants, due to a statement made by an Umbrella researcher, claiming them to be an 'evolutionary dead-end'.
The name Licker was given to this creature by the officers at the Raccoon Police Department for their incredibly long tongues.
Other changes from normal Zombies to Lickers are brain swelling and becoming visible, an increase in muscle development, and the total loss of skin. This new muscle tissue allows them to do many things that normal Zombies and even Crimson Heads cannot. They can jump incredible heights and distances and move much faster while their warped bone structure makes it more suitable for them to crawl about on all fours. The Licker also uses its talons (elongated from the Crimson Head stage) to easily scale vertical structures and ceilings. This allows the creature to use predator tactics to surprise their prey. These new hunting strategies also showcase its increased primal intellect. Finally, its elongated tongue was shown to be enormously powerful, capable of piercing human flesh and often being used to decapitate its prey. Although naturally quiet and a master of ambushes, the presence of a Licker can often be hinted at by the sound of their raw flesh and claws scraping against whatever surface they happen to be crawling along, as well as a sibilant hissing sound. When attacking or incurring damage, a Licker will also make a variety of screeching sounds, producing a particularly agonized scream when killed.
Identified by their lack of skin and their visible brains, Lickers do have some disadvantages. Their sense of sight has been completely removed, forcing them to use their advanced hearing to track prey. They also tend to hunt in groups, which allows them to surround their enemies. This display of intelligence is particularly worrisome, as it shows that Lickers have developed mental capacities beyond that of zombies.
Licker variations have been spotted with different colorings and increased size. However, despite these cosmetic differences, these Licker variations behave in the same way as the original Lickers, leading to speculation that they may have been modified in minor ways to make them more effective in battle.
Lickers are created when a zombie undergoes further mutation from the T-virus, causing them to evolve into a far deadlier form than normal zombies. Lickers have a long tongue that can be used as a deadly weapon capable of impaling their enemies, increased muscle mass, improved movement capabilities (allowing them to jump, crawl on all fours, and climb on walls), and have lengthy claws.
Seen in the Lab at the end of Resident Evil 2, the Memory of a Lost City scenario in Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles and throughout Resident Evil Survivor. Evolved lickers have greenish-grey skin color and large stinger like claws. Unlike the normal licker they tend to be a lot harder to kill. It's still unexplained how the lickers have evolved into this form.
Main article: Licker β
A slightly modified variant of this B.O.W was created by TriCell in response to the high black market demand for lickers, usually bought by wealthy terrorists for their durability and intelligence. This enhanced version was encountered by Chris Redfield and Sheva Alomar in Resident Evil 5.