In a secret project to boost morale and help soldiers last longer in the field, a group of high ranking officers contracted NEMEXIS to produce a new stamina drug.
During the final tests, the test subjects had abnormal reactions to the drug. It augmented them with boosted speed, higher stamina, and enhanced resistance to damage, but also caused them to lose their humanity, turning them into mindless creatures.
Unfortunately, the blood of the subjects became a carrier of the mutated drug, causing anyone who came in contact with the subjects to become one of the Infected.
These aberrations began to attack and kill their captors; scientists and other employees working within a certain laboratory. The Infected individuals continued to "Infect" anyone they came in contact with, bringing forth an uncontrollable epidemic.
Attempts to contain the outbreak failed, and the Infection quickly spread within LAB 3 and beyond.
The security force was unable to contain these monstrosities, and many of LAB 3's personnel quickly fell prey to their once captive prisoners.
When the creatures from the laboratory reached the upper levels of the complex, all hell broke loose and many civilians were slaughtered. Those who survived an encounter with the Infected began to show the same symptoms as they did; and from there, the virus began to spread.
More and more employees began to die in the ensuing struggle, as the laboratory outbreak reached an epidemic level. Anyone who came in direct contact with "Infected" personnel would eventually succumb to the virus and "turn", leaving the ever-dwindling number of survivors to fend for themselves.
To prevent any more possible civilian casualties, LAB 3 initiated a lockdown protocol which prevented anyone from leaving the complex. In a last-ditch attempt to warn the outside world, the remaining staff tried to notify the UAF. They managed to get a vague distress signal out, before all contact with LAB 3 was lost.
Upon arrival, UAF reconnaissance found themselves surrounded by hundreds of Infected personnel...
The Infected are seemingly inhuman. Nexon refers to them as "the walking dead," or simply "the undead."
However, they are not your ordinary, everyday "zombies". They are slow yet very aggressive; a cross between the standard Romero undead and the "Rage Virus" infected from the "28 ---- Later" series.
Despite the fact that they are often referred to as zombies, there is no proof that the Infection can reanimate dead tissue (the end of the Combat Arms: Zombies trailer contradicts this). Because the virus originally stemmed from a drug, it may be considered as more of a biological contaminant or a contagious pathogen rather than a disease that brings the dead back to life.
The Infected may simply be "unhealthy" individuals who have no longer retain any previous human traits.
There doesn't seem to be any set precedence from the initial point of Infection to when the person becomes an Infected.
First off, it doesn't seem that anyone is entirely immune to the Virus. Even the Player seems to be vulnerable to Infection, though he-or-she may be counted on to avoid the Infection entirely. Then there is the matter of carriers, or people who have contracted the virus, but have yet to show any symptoms or changes.
If you've played Cabin Fever before, you'll notice that it took at least 30-40 minutes before anyone succumbs to the virus, only in the end. In Quarantine, on the other hand, players can instantly become Infected and "turn" in a matter of seconds.
The different number of ways that you can become Infected is also uncertain, though there seem to be many. While it seems basic that you can contract the Infection from a scratch or wound, the Infected really never seem to bite their victims (Viper was practically eaten alive in the Quarantine Trailer, but she was supposedly mercy-killed by Scorpion before any changes could take place).
It seems that the virus can travel through liquids and through the air by limited means, leaving few possible methods of protection from the Infection. As seen with the Striker, gas-masks and possibly even HAZMAT equipment may offer no protection against the virus.
The Infected (In-depth)
There is currently no limit to how rampant the virus can become; nor is there any information on how to stop or prevent it. For anyone who has become Infected, there is seemingly no cure. Their mutations have become extensive to the point where:
- Have very noticeable changes in appearance, behavior, and all other traits.
- Have more endurance and stamina than a normal Human.
- Have much more strength than any normal Human.
- Suffer a major loss of cognitive skills; though their reasoning is gone, they still retain some of their intelligence.
- Suffer a major loss of vocal skills.
- Suffer a major lack of balance; most Infected are hunched, and some can easily be knocked-back.
- Have an increase in hearing.
- Have an increase in predatory skills.
- Have glowing eyes which leave streaks of light when they move.
- can move very quickly.
- Can directly Infect other people. They also use their claws to attack and Infect.
- Have a general resistance to most types of damage, thanks to their skin.
Have an immunity to:
- toxic chemicals
- falling damage.
Are very resistant to:
- headshots. (They'll still do extra damage, but without the proper equipment, it will never be a 1-hit Kill.)
- bullet damage. (Bullet resistance once ranged from near-immunity (0-4 max), to the current maximum (6-15) after a series of patches).
Are (slightly) vulnerable to:
- melee damage (Though using melee is extremely discouraged..)
- explosives and fire damage (The best weapons against the Infected).
Pre-Mutation (Tier 1)
In dealing with the Infected, two mainstream species have been classified.
(Main article: Host Infected)
The Host Infected are a unique type of Infected. These people may have had an indirect contact with the virus, which caused them to become Infected in the first place. Several known methods of contracting the Host Infection is through source contact (such as with needle injection) or diffusion through the air (involuntarily). In fact, practically ALL of the original test subjects were Host Infected because they were directly influenced by the virus, instead of contracting it from someone else. Because of their unique genetic make-up, and the fact that the Infection has had more time to completely infect the Host, the Host Infected can be much more dangerous than the Viral Infected.
(Main article: Viral Infected)
The Viral Infected consist of anyone who has contracted the virus through someone else. Notable methods of contracting the Viral Infection is through any direct contact (bites, scratches, wounds) or even prolonged exposure to the virus (such as in Cabin Fever). There are many more Viral Infected than there are Host Infected, namely because most people have unwillingly become Infected by another person. Highly violent, numerous, though weaker than the Host Infected, Viral Infected should not be taken lightly.
Despite their similarities, there are still differences between a Host and a Viral Infected.
The Host Infected:
- Are notable for their grayish-pale skin, instead of a bloody-red like most Infected.
- Have much more power, health, and sprint stamina than a Viral Infected.
- Seem to have more "authority" over the other Infected.
- Have clearer vision than the the Viral Infected, since their vision isn't prohibited by any external damage.
- Retain their normal camouflage, since they haven't sustained any major wounds leading to blood loss.
- Seemingly retain some of their hair.
The Viral Infected:
- Usually have a bloody, ashen-red skin after becoming Infected.
- Have a clouded, "bloody" tint to their vision.
- May have a "bloody" camouflage, because their vest eventually became soaked in blood.
- Are the more numerable of the Infected.
- Males have lost their hair, while females retain their hair in a dangley fashion.
Any other type of Infected have evolved from these progenitor species.
Post-Mutatation (Tier 2)
After the initial outbreak, the Infection continued to mutate its victims exponentially. There are currently 4 different types of "Special" Infected (click on their names to learn more):
Maulers represent the standard Infected. They have no special powers or abilities, making them the weakest and slowest of the Infected. To counterract this, Maulers also happen to be the most numerous of the Infected.
Their appearance is that of a male Viral Infection, wearing clothes similar to the terrorists from Desert Thunder.
Maulers do 5 damage 2 times on a player. (disregarding headshots)
Also referred to as the "Exploding Infected" by highly-classified sources, these cumbersome enemies are true to their name.
Chargers are slightly tougher than Maulers, and are the most easily aggravated of the Infected. Though they may seem to be slow and docile at first, Chargers are easily enraged. Once a player ticks one off, they will begin to (quite literally) charge at their enemies and attack them.
Upon death, Chargers will explode and damage anything within its radius. Note that they will only explode when killed; they will still use their regular melee attacks otherwise.
Their appearance is that of a male Host Infection, with a set of dynamite strapped to them.
Chargers do 5 damage 2 times on a player. (disregarding headshots)
Also referred to as the "Female Infected" by highly-classified sources, Strikers are quick and deadly, earning the title of the fastest (and only female) Special Infected. They will begin to appear on Rounds 5+ in Cabin Fever, and Rounds 3+ in Black Lung
These femme fatales are seemingly equipped with special NEMEXIS gear, so they were presumably a pilot or medic prior to Infection.
Contrary to popular belief, Strikers cannot be killed with a single ordinary headshot. No weapon, not even the (CF-Exclusive) L96A1 Black-Magnum, is powerful enough to kill a Striker in just one shot.
For some reason, these Striker can be Cr0wned with a Shotgun (just like the Witches from Left 4 Dead), by firing several bullets point-blank into its head. However, it can be extremely hard to do without getting hurt in the process.
Strikers are also capable of inflicting fatal damage from their melee attacks, and they have a unique trait of being able to OHKO other players with just a single backslash.
Upon death, they drop 2-3 seemingly organic "grenades", resembling brains (it is speculated to be the growths on their sides) that can cause minor-to-severe damage, depending on your distance from them.
Strikers have the appearance of a female Mercenary clothed in a bloodstained-white jacket/suit, with the hood and mask covering most of her face. A pair of googles are strapped to the top of her head, and her jacket is slightly open, revealing some cleavage. Because of their strange attire, it is uncertain what their profession really was before they became Infected.
They do 13/14 damage 2 times on a player. (disregarding headshots)
Also known as the "Tanker Infected" by several known sources, these monsters often regarded as the most powerful Special Infected.
Capable of taking extreme amounts of damage while wiping out multiple squads of Mercenaries, Crushers are a force to be reckoned with.
Crushers are slightly slower than most Infected, but what they lack in speed they make up for in endurance and power. With the most health, protection, and strength of any Infected, it may take several Mercenaries to take down even one.
Like the Striker, there is absolutely no way to OHKO an Crusher. No single ordinary shot can take down one of these beasts with just one blow.
Upon death, they will release a cloud of extremely toxic acid; which if not properly avoided can kill players instantly. They can also cause major damage from their powerful swipes.
Crushers have the appearance of a large, muscular officer or security guard. What's unique about them is that they are mostly blue and white, which distinguishes them from other Infected. Though they have no visible hair, they also continue to wear their company hats. Crushers wear a special military uniform, as well as having blood splattered all down their center. Their faces are constantly baring their teeth. Players are rewarded with a mask of its visage after beating Cabin Fever on Extreme.
Crushers can inflict approximately 15-20 damage twice, about on par with Strikers. They also have the most range, but unlike the Striker, they attack much slower, with at least a second before each swipe. (unless it's a headshot)
Advanced Mutation (Tier 2.5)Though the virus's mutation has seemingly halted, the Infected themselves are reported to have grown more intelligent. Several of them have retained a few of their cognitive skills from when they were human, and as a result, they can still "use" the weapons they were wielding before they became Infected.
A special "variant" of the Mauler, which can be seen only in Operation: Black Lung. Though they retain their usual look, each of these Infected awkwardly wields a gun by the tip. This grants them slightly farther range than normal. They can currently have two weapons. a camouflaged M3/G3, or a MP5 (unconfirmed). They deal 25 damage via swinging their gun. Oddly enough, these also seem to be the only type that consciously attacks objectives, such as the generators in Black Lung.
A iOS-variant of the Crusher,
- Host Infected retain their base camo, but newly Infected take on a "bloody camo" similar to the desert camo.
- Infecteds leave a trail of bloody footprints wherever they go. This can be attributed to the fact that the blood vessels in the feet have expanded and burst, making the blood bleed out of the shoes onto the ground.
- In Overdose, there is some evidence of animal testing, meaning that humans may not have been the only test subjects. That may make it possible to have Infected types other than just humans later in the game.
- In the official Quarantine Mode Trailer, Viper gets eaten by the Infected. This may mean the Infected can eat after all. Not much known, however, if the Infected can eat anything else.
- Other than with their claws or other melee weapons, there is currently no other way for the Infected to attack and Infect. The Infected do not have long-range methods of attacking.
- You can find a Quarantine poster in the new map Kill Creek at the Bravo respawn site, right before the train tunnel.
- Like certain "zombies, "the Infected seem to follow a given hierarchy. With the Tier 1 Infected, the Host Infected are usually the "leaders", while the Viral Infected follow along. In the Tier 2 stage, the Infected seem to act like a "hive", by sending the workers (Maulers) first, and then gradually sending more efficient Infected (like the Crushers).
- A prototypical vaccine was developed within the confines of Sector 25. However, terrorists who hoped to sell the antidote on the Black Market attacked the site. The antidote's current fate is unknown.
- The Infected cannot pounce outside of any cinematics; they must be standing "straight" before they can leap.
- The Infected seem to be nocturnal, as they only come out in the late evening or at night. Though this might indicate that they are sensitive to light, it wouldn't explain why they are immune to flashes.
- The Infected may resort to hiding underground while it is still daytime. A statement Nexon stated once also supports this theory, "But watch out! When the sun sets, the Infected roam..."
- When a player is is lagging, loading, or D/C'ing from a game, their Infected form still wields whatever primary gun is in the first slot. It could be anything, from an RPG to a simple M9 Knife.
- As of the 3/3/10 patch, the Infected have lower HP, but gained the ability to regenerate their HP. They can do this by simply standing still for 3 seconds. According to Nexon, an Infected regains 10% of its health every 1 second. Of course by then, the 10% could be lost. Due to a recent patch, the Infected have lost their ability to regenerate. The newest patch allows them to regain 10% health again.
- It is possible for some people to lag out and spawn with infected hands, but the rest of their body is human.
- If the human is lagging with a weapon, when he/she is infected the infected soldier will be an infected with a weapon in their hand.
- It is possible that the Infected are able to lay dormant for a while, as seen in the Combat Arms: Zombies trailer. While the team sent in fended off the infected horde in front of them, the "dead" team rose up from behind. Though this action was only seen in the trailer, this further contradicts with the Infected's origins as being living beings who've lost their humanity instead of reanimated beings. It is possible that it was only for trailer purposes.
- The NEMEXIS mercenaries encountered in NEMEXIS HQ and Labs can be seen to have glowing red eyes when viewed up close, suggesting they are on some 'refined' version of the Infected drug.