"I don't want to live if it means others have to die…"
"That girl… she brought devils to this village…"
Darkside Chronicles Spoilers Below
The Resident Evil game series is actually very long and detailed, so it's hard to pick a place to start. For Manuela, it's probably important to go over some earlier events, but since one of them is basically a whole game I'll just gloss.
This whole business started in 1967 when three men, Ozwell Spencer, Edward Ashford and James Marcus, founded a company called Umbrella Corporation. It was advertised as a pharmaceutical company, although it eventually grew to such a large size that it endorsed hardware, machinery, weaponry, and even food and cosmetics. However, it was, at its source, a way for the three scientists listed above to perform ( illegal ) bioengineering research on a peculiar strain of virus that would later be developed into what we all know and love as the T-virus. Obviously, this ultimately didn't end so well for a large number of plants, people and animals, but that stuff isn't too important to Manuela.
The grandchild of Edward Ashford, Alexia, is a scientific genius, and engineers a new strain by combining the T-virus with an age-old virus found in queen ants - she names it the T-Veronica virus. She injects it into the family butler to test it, but he mutates into a monster; his body could not coexist with it. Seeing this, she injects it into herself and goes into cryogenic stasis for 15 years to allow her body to become used to and tolerate the virus. It works for the most part - she only mutates by her own command ( or when caused severe damage. A linear launcher will do that to you. ) A certain sneaky man named Wesker manages to get his hands on the T-Veronica virus and is thus able to disseminate it among others of his choosing at will on the black market.
Another sneaky man but one more misunderstood than the aforementioned sneaky man, the rich owner of a drug cartel named Javier Hidalgo, purchases the virus from Wesker some time later. His wife is deathly ill, and there is no way to save her. So Javier gives her the virus, hoping that it will strengthen her cells. It does; however, just like what happened to the Ashford's butler, she mutates due to her body's inability to live with the virus inside, and she becomes a monster.
Devastated by the loss but encouraged by the near success of the T-Veronica, he turns to his daughter, Manuela, who was five at the time. She inherited the same fatal illness that her mother had. To her as well he administers the virus, but with a sick catch; in order to prevent the
virus from quickly mutating and taking over her body, her organs are transplanted regularly. At least fifty young girls from the surrounding area in South America were kidnapped and killed to keep her alive.
Manuela is unaware of her morbid situation for many years. The doctors merely performed their operations on her, with her having little knowledge of what was going on but her father's assurances. She did not know that her mother had been transformed into a creature; she was under the impression she had died of illness. Nor did she know that she had been infected with the T-Veronica virus; it was only in the fateful year of 2001 that she noticed a strange rash of sorts breaking out on her arm. It was obviously unnatural, being rather slick and greenish in color, and she made her doctors tell her what they were doing to her. At that point, she learned everything - the numerous girls that had been killed to sustain her and the deadly virus that lived inside of her - and she fled Javier's mansion in horror and anger.
Her plan was to go to the village near Amparo where she lived, but her presence unintentionally brings the virus to the village in the form of Javier's zombies following her. She makes her way to the church, where she is encountered by two US government operatives, Leon S. Kennedy and Jack Krauser. When they find her, she is not conscious, but instead singing in a near trance-like state. As soon as she stops, she collapses, and an enormous monster attacks. Leon and Krauser are left to fight and successfully defeat it. They bring the unconscious Manuela along with them, planning to use her as a guide to get to Javier's mansion. When she wakes up, she agrees to help them.
When they get to Javier's mansion, it's obvious that Manuela couldn't have Simply Walked Into Mordor; there are zombies everywhere. All she can say is that they 'weren't there' when she came through. Her father plans to snatch her back, and sends opposition Leon and Krauser's way at every opportunity; however, they refuse to give her back, protecting her.
It becomes obvious that something is wrong with Manuela, and Leon eventually wrings the truth about the virus from her. Meanwhile, the pain in her arm is growing increasingly severe. Even if they knew how to help her stop it from spreading, the only option seems to be to continue on to Javier's mansion as planned.
Her doctors are found slaughtered in the halls. They happen upon the room where Manuela was operated on, finding bodybag upon bodybag of preserved girls. Sorrowfully, she says that she does not want to live if it means others have to die, but Javier drops in, thanking Leon and Krauser for bringing his daughter back before siccing the same giant monster they thought they felled earlier on them. After they kill it, it becomes apparent that this thing was once Manuela's mother, and Manuela begins to realize exactly what's going to happen to her.
Javier is like DAYUM SON THIS AIN'T COOL I'M LOSING and finally goes to Plan Z - there's a giant plant infected with the T-Veronica in his secret garden ( where he must have kept the virus ), and he feeds himself to it. The two combine into a giant pinecone looking zombie and Javier prepares to smush Leon and Krauser with his mighty zombie tentacles. However, the same old story happens again; Javier harnesses that great power, but it only lasts him minutes before the virus overtakes his mind. Seeing all this, Manuela decides that she doesn't want to become a mindless zombie, and she throws herself to her father, preferring to die a human than live a monstrosity. Leon tackles her out of the way, but not before Papa's Big Daddy Tentacle comes rushing towards the two of them.
However, Manuela's case is different. Like Alexia, the virus was able to exist peacefully in her body, since Manuela's organs had been constantly switched over the span of the years. Manuela raises the arm that's been paining her, and as her father's tentacle strikes it, the blood released from her arm lights on fire - a characteristic trait of T-Veronica infectees. Unlike most infectees, though, Manuela is - to her own shock - still in control of her senses. Despite the immense pain, physical and emotional, she assists her two government friends to defeat her father, using her own blood to bring him down.
After he's defeated, Leon and Krauser head back to the US, bringing Manuela with them. She's given to the government to be taken care of, with Leon's words ringing in her head - she has to go on and live, for the sake of all the other girls living inside of her.
Right away, Manuela gives the impression of being a quiet and rather deferential young girl; and for the most part, this is very true. It's likely she's been raised in a closed environment her whole life, with only family doctors and her father for company; as such, she's shy around others and not quite sure how to deal with them. This is not to say that she does not understand other people; in fact, she cares very much for them, and this may be another reason for why she is careful in choosing her words - she doesn't want to cause trouble.
Despite her reticence, Manuela is quick to grow attached to others and place her trust in them. Once she meets Leon and Krauser, she easily allows herself to depend on them and assisst them in any way she can, be it giving directions or alerting them to a monster's presence. She worries for them and believes in them, even though she has only known these two foreigners for a few hours at most. With her caring and optimism for other people comes a contrast in her sensitivity to 'right' and 'wrong.' Her willingness to side with Leon and Krauser becomes more surprising when one considers they are going after her father, effectively to kill him. It is obvious that she cares deeply for her father - she questions them more than once about why they're going after Javier, although she backs out from answering their returned questions each time due to shyness and a reluctance to burden them with her own feelings. After all, he has cared for her for fifteen years. However, the timing of Leon and Krauser's arrival matches up with her learning of her father's kidnappings for her sake and infecting her with the virus, things that shocked her enough to cause her to flee; and later, as she sees her mother turned into a monster and later, Javier himself, she realizes that he cannot possibly be in the right, even though he is her father.
It is not a sense of justice that causes this, but a deep empathy that Manuela has for the human soul. When she looks upon her tortured mother and her lost father, she feels not fear but a sense of tragedy for the loss of their self - most likely the reason she can fight so readily against him when he transforms. Manuela knows that she will become a monster, too, and that scares her not because she is afraid to die or afraid of hurting, but because she doesn't want to lose herself. As she says, "I feel this pain because I am still human, but if I were no longer to feel pain, then that would mean that I…" And just after that, she decides that if she can't stay a human - with a heart and soul - then she no longer wishes to live, throwing herself to the creature her father has become. Her own life does not hold much worth in her eyes - especially because it cost the lives of so many others.
The lives of others, though, she will go far out of her way to save - she only prevents her own death with her fiery blood because Leon would have died as well, and fights using her own blood ( against Leon's protests that she will die from blood loss ) because she fears for Leon and Krauser. Even though, at that point, she knows that she's not transforming, she still puts the lives of her friends far before her own. This gave her a sense of detachment from reality earlier in the game, where she seemed unaffected unless something jumped out; at this point, it is clear that she doesn't worry for herself, but only for the safety of others. After all, a monster jumping out was far more dangerous to Leon and Krauser, who were in point position and fighting the monsters, than it was to her.
So overall, while Manuela may seem shy and remote, she is, in fact, an extremely caring individual, although not in the typical manner and certainly with something of a martyr complex attached. Her greatest motivation is to protect those around her; then, herself, for the sake of those who died to allow her life to continue.
Manuela's powers are only in her blood, and will likely stay that way - she doesn't want to be a monster. If she were to mutate herself, she could get the whole Claws and Tentacles deal most Resident Evil monsters have, but she wants to be a human. However, her T-Veronica infected blood bursts into flame upon contact with the air, and it can be flung as a weapon. It's her only real ability. Obviously, she can only use this talent sparingly, or she'll die from blood loss. Her skin is also more fire-resistant than a normal person's.
Similar to Alexia's ability to control other T-Veronica-infected creatures via hand motions and her voice, Manuela's singing pacifies other infectees - this is how she made it out of Javier's mansion in the first place. It should be noted that her singing occasionally causes her pain, sometimes to the point of passing out, most likely due to the fact that the body naturally rejects Veronica and vice-versa. As her body and the virus continue to intertwine, this effect will presumably wear off, although her dislike of what she has become might hinder its development somewhat. ( the T-virus and its related branches are notable for often having mutations and effects closely linked to the mental state of the victim, with the exception of the Ourobouros virus. )
The T-Veronica virus also keeps the effects of her fatal illness at bay, effectively keeping her alive. Most people are killed or brain-damaged and mutated by T-Veronica; the only way to make the human body exist with the virus is for the two to somehow survive long enough to develop mutual tolerance. It took Alexia 15 years for this to happen; however, for Manuela, it's only been about ten. How is this possible? A lot of the characters in-game question it. However, Alexia Ashford makes a note that her brother 'woke her up late' - this implies that 15 years was actually longer than needed to develop a tolerance for the T-Veronica virus. Additionally, it may be possible to assume that Manuela's genetic makeup is more receptive to the virus, or even that Manuela's inherited illness gives her a predisopsition towards it. These are only possibilities; there's no canon confirmation ( and probably never will be ) other than Manuela having a particularly strong 'soul,' which points towards the 'mental state of the victim' thing I mentioned earlier being a part of it.
You could call her a zombie on technicality, since she's infected with the same virus as the rest and should really be dead.
—> After the City of Glass event ( feb 21 ), Manuela's infection worsened thanks to prolonged use of the infected blood. Her abilities are the same, but her arm's looking a lot crustier and thicker-plated than usual.
—> After the Saving Rion's Body event, Manuela's infection got even worse. She has to cover her entire arm now.
Manuela's not particularly striking when she's not wearing clothes that are totally blood-stained. She has a fairly slender build and tanned skin from living in near-tropical Amparo and her ethnic background. Typically, her dusty brown hair is tied into two small pigtails at the sides of her face that reach down to about the base of her neck, while she leaves the back loose. On her right wrist and ankle she wears a matching bracer and anklet, respectively; these are silver and in the shape of coiled snakes, and are likely gifts from her father that represent his cartel, the Sacred Snakes. Manuela's also rather tall, with most of her height being in her long legs, and looks fairly mature for her age.
She constantly wears a long strip of white cloth wrapped around her left arm to conceal the outbreak on her skin beneath; the skin there is gray-green, smooth and hard, and almost chitinous in apperance - the T-Veronica Virus is heavily based in insect genes. There, too, are several deep gashes that are still in the process of healing from the fight with Javier; flinging that much blood meant she needed to dig deep. Getting her to remove her makeshift bandage would take a pretty serious situation, deep trust, or maybe even both.
While she does appear distantly exotic, she has a simple look overall, and her shy, unobtrusive carriage matches her personality well.
Leon S. Kennedy - One of the two US agents who came to apprehend her father and whom she ended up tagging along with. Now that everyone she knew is basically dead, Leon is pretty much the only link she has to her old life. Though they didn't know each other for very long, she quickly came to appreciate his just, gentle and protective nature, and she trusts him quite a bit. Probably the only person from her home that she could truly call a friend. She hasn't seen him since he and Krauser dropped her off in the States to be held in government protection.
Jack Krauser - The other of the two US agents who arrived in Amparo. Krauser is much more brusque and no-nonsense than Leon, and rather than kind words, he often gave the blunt truth of the matter ( or his opinion ) to Manuela. Nonetheless, she looks up to him and trusts him, as well. Unbeknownst to her, thanks to her control over the T-Veronica Virus, she was the trigger for Krauser's desire to obtain the power of the virus and his gradual spiral down into the dark side. Get it? Because it's Darkside Chronicles. I see what you did there Capcom. I see it. Like Leon, she hasn't seen him since she was dropped off.
Rion Steiner A boy around her age who has become a trusted friend. Although they're both pretty socially inept (He's blunt, stubborn and anti-social, and she's depressive, shy and evasive), they manage to get along fairly well. Like Manuela, Rion has powers that he can't control and that were given to him without his consent; unlike Manuela, he deals with this pretty well. He's pseudo-promised to protect her from transforming into a monster, and in return, Manuela would like to keep him from getting in over his head and biting the dust. She worries about his health constantly, especially after the events that transpired in Kalliste. Possibly one of the most emotionally taxing friendships Manuela's ever managed to build, but she means every bit of it.
Vincent Valentine Vincent went and picked up Manuela when she first arrived, and has since allowed her to live with him in the Northern District. Although he seems to act distantly towards most others, she's noticed that he seems disposed to taking care of her; as is her nature, she considers herself highly undeserving of it, but since she has nowhere else to go, she hasn't said a thing about it. Apparently, Vincent is, like her, contaminated with something and has a monster inside of him. That's kept in check by what he calls 'magic.' The differences between worlds sure are big. Even then, they can sympathize with one another. He acts as something of a guardian for her.
Went back to sleep. All that remains of him are the three Cait robots that cleaned house, which Manuela brought with her for company to her new home.
America (Alfred) Someone who says that he represents the country of America. She isn't sure if he's telling the truth - after all, she's seen a lot of odd things in Nautilus - or if he's simply insane. Which wouldn't be too unusual, either. In any case, she was telling the truth when she said she thought he was an honest person, and he's been exceptionally kind to her. They've become friends thanks to his naturally cheerful and excited attitude overpowering her awkwardness.
Darwin A United States Agent; Manuela is inclined to trust him, since Leon and Krauser were so kind and protective of her. In that regard, Darwin seems much the same to her - he's very businesslike, but also understanding and helpful. Manuela likes him, even though she knows he probably only comes up to her ankle now.
Went back to sleep.
V Rion's good friend, who then reached out and befriended Manuela due to her own fondness for the creepy kid. Despite his somewhat unsettling appearance, Manuela has found V to be overwhelmingly kind and generous, and he looks out for her as steadfastly as family. After Vincent left, Manuela moved out of his house into V's Shadow Gallery - on V's invitation, naturally.
Blessed With Suck
Cast From HP
Dying As Yourself: She tries, but Leon stops her.
Mafia Princess: A variant. She didn't actually know about her father being a cartel drug lord until about 2 days before he died (and she came to Nautilus.)
Red Right Hand
Woman In White
New in Nautilus:
Combat Tentacles: From her flowers. Not part of her body, but she can control them. She doesn't know they exist yet.
Deadly Upgrade: Manuela's virus is slowly becoming more efficient. And also eating up her arm.
Friendless Background: Everyone she really knew back home was dead by the time she got to Nautilus.
Greater Need Than Mine: Back and forth between her and Rion. Yes, both of them.
I Am A Monster: Constantly.
Just In Time: She just barely saved Rion in Kalliste.
Nakama: With Rion and V