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It was a fairly big plot point in the Resident Evil movies that zombie bites work like bites in standard zombie fiction: You get bitten, you get infected with the virus, and over time the bite turns you into a zombie.

I'm curious if that is ever explicitly shown in the games. I know of plenty of characters who die and become zombies, or characters who get exposed to the T-Virus directly and become zombies as a result, but I'm not aware of anybody who gets turned into a zombie specifically due to a zombie bite.

This is, of course, putting aside the plot armor of player characters that get bitten through the course of gameplay.

  • @Valorum "This is, of course, putting aside the plot armor of player characters that get bitten through the course of gameplay." Of course, the answer to "do bites turn you into a zombie in the games" is "yes", but we can still answer whether it's explicitly shown. – tobiasvl Sep 7 '17 at 10:23
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Out-of-universe

Resident Evil tends to follow a quite strict separation between the events that take place within the video cut-scenes (canon) and the events that take place during gameplay (not canon). This means that all of the things that happen while you're playing, including being attacked by zombies who're close enough to bite you, simply didn't happen, or, if they did happen, you were lucky enough not to be infected.

Note that when it's convenient (from a plotting perspective) for the main character to become infected with one of the various T-Virus variants, they're able to do so.

In-Universe

This one's slightly trickier. There's mention in one of the books seen in RE3 that herbs have an anti-viral component. That might account for your ability to stave off infection.

The bright green herb not only heals fatigue, but it also helps to strengthen the natural healing process so that wounds heal faster.

In addition, it has an active immune function that can be extremely useful against viral infection.

RE3: Botany Plants - 3rd Edition

And there's also mention in RE5 of

"dry bites"

where a zombie bites you but doesn't deliver an infectious load. You may simply be getting lucky over and over again.

  • If you want to cite a case where the player can be bitten and actually turned, Im pretty sure the two outbreak games had such a feature. A player could turn, and become a zombie/enemy to the other players, IIRC. – Gnemlock Sep 7 '17 at 10:05

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