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Virus Virus Analysis: t-Phobos

The Tyrant-Phobos Virus was developed by a research team under Alex Wesker on Sushestvovanie Island, for the purpose of singling out mentally strong individuals, creating super humans, and for B.O.W. development. This Analysis repeatedly references "t-Wesker", Uroboros, and the t-Virus. I recommend visiting the Tyrant and Uroboros Analyses for more information on these viruses.


Search for Immortality

Alex Wesker was a genius researcher at the Umbrella Corporation who worked directly under it's elusive founder, president, and CEO Oswell E. Spencer. She was also one of the Wesker Children - individuals with superior genes who were indoctrinated by Spencer and chosen to populate the new world utopia established by Umbrella. The "children" were all injected with an experimental new t-Virus discovered by William Birkin dubbed "t-Wesker", in order to weed out the genetically unworthy. The only subjects to survive were Alex and Albert.

Many Viruses based on Progenitor have the capacity to create "evolved humans". These mutants would possess heightened senses, strength, speed, intellect, and most importantly, literal immortality. The key to harnessing this mutation once it has surfaced in specialized strains is to slow the spread of the virus enough to allow genes to not break down as they are rewritten, and to eliminate toxicity in the virus itself (this is called "adaption"). For example, t-Veronica could create super humans by slowing infection spread speed for 15 years, and G was supposed to via vaccine intervention.

t-Wesker also allowed hosts with excellent genes to adapt and become super humans, like Progenitor. These genes allow hosts to produce antibodies that control and slow the spread of the virus. Unlike Progenitor, it only triggered via V-ACT. V-ACT is a natural effect in virus hosts where excessive host damage causes stress pathways used for adrenaline to open, which the virus travels through and subsequently re-infects the body with. This second infection results in mutations more excessive in nature, like those seen with Lickers and CMS (final stage C-Virus hosts). For this reason, along with the date of it's discovery, it is likely t-Wesker was based on the strain of T discovered in the Crimson Head Prototype 1.

After Alex was infected with t-Wesker, her genes were advanced enough to allow her to survive and develop eye mutations. But she fell short of full adaption, did not achieve powers and developed a terminal illness. In essence, it was killing her slowly rather than quickly.
After the fall of Raccoon City, Spencer entrusted Alex with the task of creating a virus that would prolong his life. Being terminally ill, Alex was invested in the development of such a virus as well. Spencer gave Alex a research base on Sonido de Tortuga Island for this purpose.
Her search for an immortality virus made Alex come to the realization that the creation of a virus allowing adaption in weak hosts was beyond her abilities. As such, she sought alternative means to escape death. She lied to Spencer and told him she was reaching positive results, and used the resources he provided to develop the bioweapon Kodoku instead.

Escape through Fear

Alex was obsessed with the works of Franz Kafka. Her fear of her looming death gave her an insightful perspective on his works (t-Wesker is only triggered when the host dies, meaning Alex had died before. This experience may have traumatized her). She felt a sort of kinship with Kafka, in particular with his experience with fear. Unlike practical Albert, who saw superiority in genetics, she saw it in character and will, manifested in overcoming fear.
When one of her researchers discovered a mutation in a strain of the t-Virus affecting infection in response to host fear, she took interest. Inspired by her ideology that fear governs life, and that mastery over it was mastery over life, she sought to achieve immortality through fear. While Kafka became figuratively immortal when fear motivated his works, she would use fear to adapt to the virus and become literally immortal.
Thus, this mutant strain of T became the foundation for the t-Phobos Virus (Phobos meaning fear).

Alex had no interest in sharing her discoveries with Spencer. She left Sonido de Tortuga under the care of Dirk Miller, and left for the isolated Sushestvovanie Island to create t-Phobos.
Once t-Phobos was completed, she infected herself to validate her own ideals and self-worth, not realizing that she needed to actually experience fear for pathogenesis to begin.

Even if she adapted, it wouldn't be enough to stop t-Wesker from slowly killing her. So, she settled on finding a host who could adapt, then transferring a copy of her mind to that host. This host needed to be mentally strong, so t-Phobos also served as a convenient way to select the most ideal host. Alex plotted with Neil Fisher to abduct a group of TerraSave members, then injected them all with t-Phobos and let them loose on the island, which had been transformed into a living nightmare by the leaked virus. Among the people in this group were Claire Redfield, Moira Burton, and Natalia Korda.

Moira partially adapted to t-Phobos by overcoming her phobia of guns, and was able to survive being crushed by rubble. Natalia fully adapted due to her mastery over fear, and was chosen as Alex's "vessel".
Alex successfully transferred a copy of her mind into Natalia, then committed suicide. However, right before killing herself she experienced fear and revived as a deformed monster. Monster Alex was killed by the combined efforts of Barry Burton and Claire.
Sushestvovanie was cleared out by the BSAA, and the only known surviving samples of t-Phobos exist in the bodies of Claire, Moira, and Natalia.


It is important to understand t-Phobos is simply a specialized strain of the t-Virus. No outside agents or genes are ever said to have been introduced. Any abilities it possesses are also present in T, and the two are identical in many ways. The most fundamental difference is that t-Phobos is much less virulent, and remains dormant inside hosts.
Like the A-Virus, a trigger must be used to start infection. t-Phobos becomes active when coming into contact with adrenaline and noradrenaline, chemicals released by the brain in response to extreme stress. A connection between this and the chemical in Gun Survivor used to mass produce Hypnos is possible, but most likely coincidental. Once infection is triggered, the continued exposure to these chemicals causes the virus to spread faster and faster, resulting in excessive mutation and a breakdown of host genetic structure.

However, if hosts experience fear, then exert the will to calm themselves, infection will begin yet remain slow in spread speed, resulting in adaption. If the host never experiences extreme fear at all, like Claire, then the virus will remain dormant forever, although mutation in the virus changing that is possible.

Hosts who do not adapt display extreme aggression, like other virus hosts. Another t-Phobos behavioral symptom is (ironically) extreme euphoria, often manifested in laughing fits. This is seen in Pedro, Gabe, Neil, Alex, and the Afflicted.
For reasons unknown, female hosts who do not adapt to t-Phobos will die rather than mutate.

Hosts who have been affected by the active virus are split into four categories: Adapters, Mutants, Afflicted, and B.O.W.s.


Hosts that experience yet overcome extreme fear adapt. They gained heightened sensory abilities, like Natalia, who could detect things others could not. However, adapters do not become super human until V-ACT occurs, as shown in the Bad Ending. This seems to suggest t-Phobos is derived from t-Wesker, contains genes from it, or at least was developed by studying it, like Uroboros with G and t-Veronica. Alex, as head of the Wesker Project and a host to that virus herself, certainly had access to it.
Phobos Humans have enhanced strength and regenerative abilities, and presumably immortality. They likely have abilities equal to Wesker Humans (like Albert), but it is impossible to say for certain. Their eyes lack the characteristic slits of other adapters, but are otherwise identical in appearance to Progenitor/Wesker/Uroboros human eyes.


Those who experience fear and fail to overcome it experience dramatic and uncontrollable mutation due to excessive virus activity (like Hilda Hildago when her husband repeatedly injected her with the t-
Virus, or like Mary Gray who overdosed). The effects are mostly random, but similarities can be seen: all mutants show an increase in muscle mass and size, and a mental state similar to Afflicted.

Monster Pedro
TerraSave member Pedro Fernandez developed eye growths throughout his body, a latent mutation tendency for viruses derived from Progenitor. His increased muscle mass allowed him to swing a large drill with ease. Pedro retained enough intelligence to speak (mostly about how "good" it felt), but was driven by increased aggression to blindly attack others. Claire and Moira avoided Mutant Pedro, and he was killed six months later by Barry.

Alex Wesker and Neil Fisher also experienced excessive mutation, but other contributing factors were involved:

Monster Alex
Alex had a superior genetic makeup just barely falling short of Albert Wesker, and was already infected with t-Wesker. As a result, she survived activation of the virus despite being a female, retained her personality and intelligence, and survived a bullet to the brain. But Alex still suffered brain damage and behavioral quirks. Like Pedro, she possessed increased strength, able to send Barry flying with the flick of her wrist.
Alex's body underwent adverse mutations, and her appearance became ugly and deformed. Her eyes retained their slit shape from t-Wesker, but turned from violet to red and showed signs of damage. Necrosis appears to have taken hold as well, as her skin peeled and hair turned gray. She required a respirator.
After also infecting herself with Uroboros, her enhanced endurance allowed her to temporarily suppress the growth of the Uroboros pustules, and she experienced a size increase. As Uroboros continued to spread, it darkened her skin and caused her eyes to glow a bright red. She developed a core which emerged from her chest and neck, which served as a weak point. Alex's respirator was still attached, and she could exhale thick smoke.
Her long limbs made bipedal movement difficult, and so she chose to walk on all four limbs.

Monster Neil
Neil was infected with both t-Phobos and Uroboros, and is suggested to have had semi-Uroboros-compatible genes like Mkono. These genes, along with heightened endurance from t-Phobos (like Alex) allowed him to temporarily suppress it's growth. t-Phobos caused his muscles to bulge and like Alex both viruses caused a dramatic size increase. His Tyrant-like form is almost certainly a holdout from the t-Virus, and considering the symptoms shown in Alex and Pedro, all three could be related to Tyrants.
Like Albert and Alex, Neil developed a core on his chest. Claire and Moira took advantage of this, as well as his sensitivity to heat, to kill him.


Once the virus is triggered and begins to become active, it can spread to other hosts. As it is already active, secondary infected do not need to experience fear to trigger it. In order to suit her goals, Alex had the virus' lethality weakened. That, combined with it's limited infectious potential, results in a greatly slowed virus. Secondary infected, or Afflicted, will become Zombies, but unlike most strains of T which take days, hours, or even seconds to work, it takes Afflicted months. In the meantime, they are stuck in the insanity stage of t-Virus infection, like the Keeper from RE1 ("itchy, tasty"). When they finally do become Zombies, starvation, necrosis and environmental factors have decayed them to the point they resemble skeletons. These weathered Phobos Zombies are called Rotten, and beyond their decayed state they are identical to regular Zombies.

Afflicted are delusional and highly prone to aggression, like the RE1 Keeper. Technically human, they retain enough intelligence to use weapons, write in journals, and create clothing using human skin. The only visible mutations are a slight yellowing of the skin, some swelling, and eyes identical to Phobos Humans (adapter eyes without slits). The enhanced vitality of Afflicted allows them to survive having severe, open wounds, and they can withstand gunshots to a degree. Some Afflicted develop Phobos Mutant traits, namely a large increase in size and swelling (as seen with Iron Heads and Vulcan Blubbers, the latter of which are protected from damage by a thick layer of fat).

Some Afflicted have formed a symbiotic relationship with a native slime mold infected with t-Phobos. This organism manifests in Cysts, which fuse with Afflicted bodies in a manner similar to how Infected Plants fuse with Green Zombies. Upon the death of the Afflicted host, the Cysts meld with and control the dead body (like the Leech Man) to create Sploders. Both Cysts and Sploders expand when in the presence of other organisms, like human victims, until they violently explode, spraying vision-obscuring pus and bile around them. This pus can cause new Cysts to develop.

All Afflicted encountered are covered in torture marks, which are either self-inflicted or from Alex's fear experiments. Most afflicted have an open cut that runs along the spine, likely made so researchers could monitor or even manipulate the nervous system as they were tortured. Since they are not wearing monitor bracelets and have not mutated like primary hosts, they must have been prisoners infected from a virus leak, not injected. Due to being kept in dark prison cells for so long, many Afflicted are sensitive to light.


Besides her experiments with fear, immortality, and the transference of the human mind, Alex also performed bioweapon experiments with t-Phobos and Uroboros. When t-Phobos leaked and the island was overrun with Afflicted, many such experiments escaped confinement and roamed free. This was likely done on purpose to trigger fear in test subjects brought to the island.

Glasps are adult women fused with insect DNA using t-Phobos as a bonding agent, like the MA-120 Hunters. Since women die from typical t-Phobos infection, female test subjects had to be used in more "creative" ways. Vestigial remnants of these women can be seen on their backs (with the Glasp's new mouth formed from the top of the skull). They were capable of flight and reproduction.
Glasp skin was capable of changing color to match the environment, making them difficult to see. They also expelled a gas that could obscure the vision of prey. While slow creatures, they used these abilities to get close enough to prey, and when in grabbing distance they could quickly and easily break the spine of adult humans. Glasps then release dozens of offspring from a cavity on the body to feed on the paralyzed prey.
"Glasp" is a combination of the words "glass" and "grasp", in reference to their behavior and abilities. They greatly resemble Gregor from Kafka's The Metamorphosis.

Giant Whip Spider
Giant Whip Spiders are whip spiders infected with t-Phobos. Their symptoms are identical to standard t-Virus infected arthropods, in that they grow many times larger than their original size. Whip spiders are tropical and not native to Sushestvovanie, but were imported to the island for use as test subjects. After escaping confinement, they bred in the wild, and many specimens infested the island. While smaller than Webspinners and individually very weak, they were nonetheless dangerous in swarms. According to Evgeny Rebic, they were safe to eat as long as their corpses were sufficiently cooked.

Orthroses are the dog equivalent of either Phobos mutants or Afflicted. Canines were among the first test subjects used during Alex's fear experiments. After research moved on to humans, Orthros creatures were kept as grotesque B.O.W.s.
During experimentation, like Afflicted test subjects, dogs had their backs cut open to get at the nervous system. Even more drastic, most of their heads were removed as well - except for the brain stem - in order to get at the brain. This resulted in the head dying (to a degree) and becoming useless meat, but the enhanced vitality granted by the virus kept the brain (and the body, which is still linked to the brain via the stem) alive. To keep the lifeless, severed head attached to the body, a large metal pipe is forced down the mouth/nose and through the body. In order to prevent starvation, the severed neck is left open at the bottom to create a makeshift "mouth", and a bear trap is placed inside to form teeth. Talk about a PETA nightmare...
In mythology, Orthros was a two headed dog, and the brother of Cerberus.

The only Revelations 2 enemies unrelated to t-Phobos are the different varieties of Revenants, which are covered in "Virus Analysis: Uroboros".
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