Video Game Pets Mom Would Have Hated: The Licker

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chris-littlechild - April 14, 2012

Back to the dank and disturbing bowels of Resident Evil we go. Today's member of the mutant menagerie is the Licker. While this chap is just as frightful and spine-rippingly murderous as anything else you'll encounter in the series, there's a certain aspect that seems to set it apart.

Zombies are, quite bluntly, thick as pigshit in a bucket. While they sometimes manage to catch you unawares by lurking in darkened rooms, (or in one instance, bursting out of a wardrobe with the grace and haste of a frightened foal) this is entirely coincidental. These bastards live in darkened homes, so there's really no advance planning involved here. There's nary a light switch to be found, even if they had the smarts to flip one. Which they don't. Lickers, by contrast, are intelligent chaps indeed. I like to imagine them at MENSA meetings, running a thoughtful claw across their bloody, fleshless chins as they ponder the brainteaser du jour. Leaving a snail-trail of gore behind them on arising, to the eternal chagrin of the assembled smartasses. The pus/bile/blood/general unpleasantness these guys ooze is surely a bitch to purge from fine leather upholstery.

Lickers are amazingly ninja-esque. They hang silently from ceilings, awaiting the hapless fool who blunders underneath. They then set upon them, like one of those falling micro-spiders girls scream at inexplicably. Except instead of a couple millimetres of harmless arachnid, the result is giant razor-tongue and claws to the face. As a home defense against prowlers, this is sure to prove effective. It may be a touch melodramatic, if I'm honest. Rather surplus to most homeowner's requirements. As some kind of police dog mark II, though, I think we're on to a winner.

In a hostage situation, you want one of these guys on board. I'm not sure of the capacity for training, but if you're willing to surrender a limb or two, imagine the payoff. Numerous officer's lives could be saved if you could unleash a Licker and watch its stealthy progress through the building, offing the criminals with silent precision. You may find a hostage or two has been hideously mangled and partially eaten as well, but what is it they say about making omelettes and breaking eggs? (I don't know. I don't even like omelettes.) Sure, it's a situation you'll never see outside of a movie theatre, but I think the realism ship sailed long ago on this one.

Practically, it's not something you want in your home. I suppose there's limited potential for crude double-entendres, ("what's that long, slippery appendage on my leg?" "don't worry, it's just my Licker.") but beyond this, greet it with buckshot and powerful explosives. Not a leash, food bowl and litter tray.

If you are one of these crazies that has actually named your penis, (I'd never endorse such a thing) it's inadvisable, though amusing, to call it Licker.

Take a look at this clip from WonderCon 2012, featuring a monstrously large Licker chasing our heroes in Resident Evil Retribution. It's like something out of Jurassic Park. If the Tyrannosaurus Rex forgot to put its skin on before leaving its trailer.

Article by Chris Littlechild

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