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Resident Evil: The Origin Story Of Nemesis

Of all the creatures created by the Umbrella Corporation to stalk players in the Resident Evil franchise, Nemesis stands out from other Tyrants due to his increased intelligence and single-minded purpose to kill S.T.A.R.S (see his signature catchphrase) with his flame-thrower and rocket launcher. He's a gigantic, deadly foe and a formidable boss, starting with Resident Evil 3: Nemesis when he comes up against protagonist Jill Valentine.


Also called the Pursuer or the Chaser, the Nemesis-T Type was a terrifying addition to the Resident Evil world in 1999 and remains a popular and enduring foe in later installments of the series. He even appeared in one of the movies based on the gaming franchise, and resurfaced in 2020 with some updated mechanics in Resident Evil 3 Remake. But what's his story, anyway? Where did Nemesis come from, and what makes him one of Resident Evil's scariest enemies?

The Umbrella Corporation, eugenics, and the Tyrant generations

The Umbrella Corporation is a shadowy and evil company that uses eugenics to pursue its hidden agenda. Even at the start of the Resident Evil series when protagonists Jill Valentine and Chris Redfield travel with Alpha Team to investigate murders in an abandoned mansion housing the Umbrella Corporation's secret labs, the biomedical company was already churning out Tyrants by exposing humans to its man-made t-Virus. 


Within the mythology of Resident Evil, Umbrella started working with the t-Virus' predecessor, the Progenitor virus, in the '60s. Eventually, the t-Virus produced Tyrants that could be deployed as bioweapons. When the first model, T-001, proved to be a failure easily dispatched by S.T.A.R.S.in Resident Evil: Zero, Umbrella created a better T-002. The T-002 was eliminated in the original Resident Evil game. However, Umbrella then cloned it — and the next mass-produced generation became the T-103. Mr. X, also known as the T-00 of Resident Evil 2, came out of that generation.

The ultimate experiment

By Resident Evil 3, Nemesis had been born. Nemesis came from an unholy pairing of the T-103 and an NE-α Type parasite. Specifically, the researchers at Umbrella implanted one of these genetically-engineered parasites onto the Tyrant, which resulted in a creature with more intelligence that still remains under control thanks to two different brains.


This version of the Tyrant turned out to be much more effective than its predecessors thanks to unmatched strength, regenerative powers, a tentacle attack, and plenty of firepower. If you played Resident Evil 3 and were followed around by this boss forever, you know he was practically invulnerable (hint: just run and find yourself some explosives).

Nemesis has an alternate origin story, which you may have encountered if you watched Resident Evil: Apocalypse, the film sequel from 2004. Basically, Nemesis was a human that Umbrella experimented on. Supporting character Matt Addison turned into the monstrous Nemesis in a backstory that's ultimately much less complicated than the original. However, he also eventually turns on Umbrella to help the film protagonists, eradicating much of what was so invigorating about his video game alter ego.