Tyrant (Resident Evil)

Tyrant is the code name of a series of boss characters in the Resident Evil horror video game series by Capcom, introduced in the original Resident Evil in 1996. Tyrants are towering, biologically engineered supersoldiers created and used by the sinister Umbrella Corporation. Tyrant creatures make appearances as boss characters in most Resident Evil games and the desire to create an obedient bioweapon lies at the core of the series' storyline. Tyrants also appear in other media and merchandise of the Resident Evil franchise, as well as in some unrelated games.

Resident Evil character
Resident Evil Tyrant.png
Super Tyrant from Resident Evil 2
First appearanceResident Evil (1996)
Created byShinji Mikami
Portrayed byBrian Steele (Extinction)
Iain Glen
Voiced byGary A. Hecker (Extinction)
Michael McConnohie (Damnation)

Since their debut, the Tyrant series became one of the most recognisable and popular characters of the franchise. A particularly notable Tyrant is Nemesis, the title character of the video game Resident Evil 3: Nemesis.

Character designEdit

Capcom artists went through a trial-and-error process designing the Tyrant creatures and their transformations. For example, the T-103 (more popularly known as "Mr. X"[1] and sometimes also as "Trenchcoat"[2]) was originally envisioned as armed with firearms; in some sketches it can be seen wearing a respirator and various armored outfits instead of a trenchcoat (there were also other types of coats, including a labcoat), and even its overall physical build has varied greatly (from very slim to extremely muscular).[3] The only consistent attribute of most Tyrant creature variations seems to be their large, exposed beating hearts which usually serve as their only vulnerable area.


In video gamesEdit

The game series features many types of Tyrants as the result of several different experiments. Following the discovery of the Progenitor virus, the Umbrella Corporation’s founders become eager to create a Bio-Organic Weapon (BOW) that is both powerful and capable of following orders. Prior to the events of Resident Evil Zero, Umbrella used the Progenitor virus to create the Tyrant virus (T-virus), which they believe can be used to manufacture powerful organisms. A problem with the virus’ compatibility with humans set the project back, as only humans with a very rare genetic makeup are capable of mutating into potent and manageable life forms; only one in a million people are estimated to be compatible. Umbrella eventually overcame this setback by resorting to using clones of Sergei Vladimir,[4] one of their executives who happens to be genetically compatible. These mass-produced Tyrants were given the label, T-103.

The events of Resident Evil Zero and Resident Evil chronicle the Umbrella Corporation's development of the Tyrant prototypes, the T-001 (the Proto-Tyrant) and T-002. Though the early Tyrants are defeated in their first encounters, Umbrella manages to use the battle data from those defeats to produce other, more efficient Tyrants in the later installments of Resident Evil. Numerous Tyrants have been created throughout the game series' storyline, such as Tyrant T-078 and the mass-produced Bandersnatches from Resident Evil Code: Veronica, Hypnos from Resident Evil Survivor, Thanatos from Resident Evil Outbreak and Tyrant R from Resident Evil Outbreak: File 2 each with its own defining characteristics.[5] A revamped version of Tyrant also existed in Resident Evil 5 during the game's development, but not in the finished product.[6] The final boss battle of Resident Evil: Revelations might also be called a variation of the Tyrant (created by that game's T-Abyss virus), but this is debatable.

Tyrants have been consistently depicted as grotesque and brutally violent creatures, but their intelligence has varied. The first two Tyrants in Resident Evil Zero and Resident Evil are depicted as unintelligent, while the T-103 models such as the T-00 (Mr. X) in Resident Evil 2 and the titular Nemesis T-Type in Resident Evil 3: Nemesis are shown to possess limited intelligence and the ability to carry out specific instructions. Both Nemesis-T Type and the T-103 series (two more T-103 Tyrants, code-named Ivan, appear in Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles) are prone to uncontrolled mutation when damaged.[5] Alexia Ashford in Code Veronica retains her full intelligence after being exposed to the T-Veronica virus and gains psychic abilities, including pyrokinesis; similarly, the TG-virus mutated Morpheus D. Duvall in Resident Evil: Dead Aim (Tyrant T-092) gains bio-electric abilities. The weapons used by Tyrants have also varied; while most Tyrants in the Resident Evil series rely on sheer physical force to subdue opponents, Nemesis, retaining some intelligence due to the Nemesis parasite,[7] is able to use a shoulder-fired hand-held rocket launcher (and a minigun in Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City[8]) and T-ALOS (Tyrant-Armored Lethal Organic System) in The Umbrella Chronicles is equipped with a shoulder-mounted multiple rocket launcher.[5]

Outside of the Resident Evil franchise, there is a Tyrant card in the NDS version of SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighters Clash. In Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes, Jill Valentine has a special move that calls forth a Tyrant. A prototype Tyrant appears in the background of the Tricell Laboratory stage in Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds; Tyrant was considered for addition as a playable character, but was rejected over concerns about the game's ESRB rating.[9] The Nemesis T-Type was later added as a playable character in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3.[7]

In other mediaEdit

The Tyrant Fossil appears only in the novel Resident Evil: Underworld. In the third Resident Evil live-action film, Resident Evil: Extinction (and its novelization), Umbrella's researcher Dr. Alexander Isaacs tries to subdue his mutation with an antivirus after being bitten by an enhanced zombie. He is shot for insubordination by an executive, Alexander Slater, and is immediately reanimated as a Tyrant. Compared to most of the Tyrants from the games, Isaacs retains his mental faculties and personality even after his mutation.[10] A new version of Tyrant resembling the T-078 with the power limiter appears in the CG film Resident Evil: Damnation.[11]

In merchandiseEdit

Several Tyrant action figures were released by various manufacturers, including these by Toy Biz in 1998 (T-002 and T-103),[12][13] Moby Dick Toys in 2001 (four T-103 Tyrants),[14][15][16][17] Palisades Toys in 2001 (T-103) and 2002 (T-002),[18][19] and NECA in 2007 (T-002).[20] A 1:6 scale (35 cm) resin figure of T-002 in Umbrella Chronicles was also released by Gaya Entertainment and a PVC statuette was released by Organic, both in 2008.[21][22] Since 2011, various Tyrant "infected" cards were featured in Bandai's Resident Evil Deck Building Game. In 2012, Resident Evil theme restaurant Biohazard Cafe & Grill S.T.A.R.S. in Tokyo was furnished with one-to-one scale Tyrant prop made by the special effects studio creating costumes for Toei Company's tokusatsu heroes;[23] the exposition is a central part of the restaurant.[24]


In 2009, IGN featured the Tyrants in the lists of the best Resident Evil bosses[25] and the series' best villains (readers' choice).[26] That same year, the Tyrant was included among the 12 characters and creatures that the staff of IGN would like see to return in Resident Evil 6, commenting that "almost as much a hallmark of the RE franchise as the zombie, the Tyrant is a recurring favorite." IGN added: "Resident Evil is supposed to be a terrifying experience, and much of the terror stems from pitting players against foes who completely outmatch them. That's the Tyrant in a nutshell."[27] IGN also included an "any type of Tyrant" in their dream roster for Marvel vs. Capcom 3.[28] In 2012, PlayStation Official Magazine ranked Tyrant as the seventh top Resident Evil monster (in addition to Nemesis placing fifth).[29] That same year, IGN ranked the T-002 as the best boss in the series, adding that "even 15 years later, Resident Evil games continue to use this formula (and its finish) as a blueprint for bosses."[30]

In 2000, GameSpot ranked Tyrant as the tenth best villain in video gaming.[31] In 2013, Complex ranked the original Tyrant as the 13th greatest soldier in video games,[32] the encounter with it as the 25th best boss battle of all time,[33] and the second Tyrant fight in Code: Veronica as the 46th hardest boss battle in video game history.[34] Some publications also singled out the Tyrant T-103 model (Mr. X) for a special acclaim. In 2010, PSU.com included the scene of Mr. X suddenly busting through a brick wall in Resident Evil 2 on the list of ten "pant-wetting PlayStation moments".[35] PSU.com also featured Mr. X, along with the T-002 and Nemesis, on their 2011 list of the "seven badass bosses" in the 15 years of Resident Evil.[36] That same year, Empire ranked it as the 39th greatest video game character overall, adding that "Nemesis never quite captured the silent dread of Mr. X."[2]


  1. ^ Jesse Schedeen, Resident Evil: The Many Looks of the Infected, IGN, September 14, 2011.
  2. ^ a b The 50 Greatest Video Game Characters | 39. Trenchcoat | Empire. www.empireonline.com. Retrieved on November 28, 2011.
  3. ^ Capcom, Resident Evil Archives, BradyGames 2005 (page 216).
  4. ^ "Resident Evil Horror / – Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles". Rehorror.net. Retrieved 2010-07-07.
  5. ^ a b c Jesse Schedeen, Resident Evil: The Many Looks of The Tyrant, IGN, March 6, 2009.
  6. ^ Jonathan Holmes, Zombies and the Tyrant were cut from Resident Evil 5, Destructoid, 08.24.2010.
  7. ^ a b Characters - Nemesis - Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 Archived 2012-10-28 at the Wayback Machine, Capcom.
  8. ^ Zach Pint, The Nemesis Returns in the Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City Trailer, Planet Xbox 360.
  9. ^ Tim Turi, Resident Evil 1’s Tyrant Cut From Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 Roster – News, GameInformer, April 20, 2010.
  10. ^ Keith R. A. DeCandido, Resident Evil: Extinction (page 315).
  11. ^ Ryan Stanford, Resident Evil Damnation Japanese trailer released, Rely on Horror, September 14th, 2012.
  12. ^ Tyrant – Action Figure Gallery. Figure Realm. Retrieved on November 28, 2011.
  13. ^ Tyrant / Mr. X Action Figure Gallery. Figure Realm. Retrieved on November 28, 2011.
  14. ^ Chris Redfield vs Tyrant Action Figure Gallery. Figure Realm. Retrieved on November 28, 2011.
  15. ^ Super Tyrant Action Figure Gallery. Figure Realm. Retrieved on November 28, 2011.
  16. ^ Tyrant Action Figure Gallery. Figure Realm. Retrieved on November 28, 2011.
  17. ^ Tyrant (Biohazard Ver) Action Figure Gallery. Figure Realm. Retrieved on November 28, 2011.
  18. ^ Mr. X Action Figure Gallery. Figure Realm. Retrieved on November 28, 2011.
  19. ^ Tyrant Action Figure Gallery. Figure Realm. Retrieved on November 28, 2011.
  20. ^ Tyrant Action Figure Gallery. Figure Realm. Retrieved on November 28, 2011.
  21. ^ Biohazard: Umbrella Chronicles – Tyrant – 1/6 (Gaya Entertainment). Myfigurecollection.net (June 22, 2011). Retrieved on November 28, 2011.
  22. ^ Biohazard – Tyrant – Biohazard Figure Collection (Organic). Myfigurecollection.net (June 22, 2011). Retrieved on November 28, 2011.
  23. ^ Brian Ashcraft, Japan’s Resident Evil Restaurant Has More Hot Pants Than Zombies, Kotaku, July 13, 2012.
  24. ^ Ben Reeves, We Survived A Visit To Japan's Resident Evil Restaurant Archived 2012-12-01 at the Wayback Machine, Game Informer, September 28, 2012.
  25. ^ Jesse Schedeen, Best Resident Evil Bosses, IGN, September 14, 2011.
  26. ^ Jesse Schedeen, Readers' Choice: Resident Evil's Best Villains Archived 2011-08-20 at the Wayback Machine, IGN, March 16, 2009.
  27. ^ Jesse Schedeen, Players Wanted: Resident Evil 6, IGN, September 14, 2011.
  28. ^ Jesse Schedeen, Players Wanted: Marvel vs. Capcom 3, IGN, September 14, 2011.
  29. ^ Michael Parry, The top ten Resident Evil monsters Archived 2013-10-20 at the Wayback Machine, PlayStation Official Magazine, April 19, 2012
  30. ^ Audrey Drake and Richard George, Resident Evil's Best Bosses: Grab your shotgun and shoot for the head!, IGN, September 12, 2012.
  31. ^ Staff. TenSpot: Top Ten Video Game Villains. GameSpot. Retrieved on 2008-12-31
  32. ^ Chad Hunter, Michael Rougeau, The 50 Greatest Soldiers In Video Games, Complex.com, May 25, 2013.
  33. ^ "25. Tyrant — The 25 Best Boss Battles Of All Time". Complex. 2013-05-06. Retrieved 2014-01-14.
  34. ^ Elijah Watson, The 50 Hardest Video Game Bosses (And How To Beat Them), Complex.com, July 1, 2013.
  35. ^ Mike Harradence, Halloween Special: 10 Pant-Wetting PlayStation Moments, PlayStation Universe, October 30, 2010.
  36. ^ Mike Harradence, Celebrating 15 Years of Resident Evil - Seven Badass Bosses, PlayStation Universe, March 22, 2011.