Stage 1 - Runners
Runners are a type of the Infected that have recently entered their transformation. Since the eyes are first targeted by the fungus, runners have poor eyesight, but maintain many human instincts. For example, their moans are still human, just like their overall appearance, making them more 'disturbing' to kill than a fully transformed infected, however, a way to tell them apart from normal survivors is their usually glowing eyes. Their body language makes it seem as if they are trying to resist the fungus because they know what they are doing is wrong. Sometimes they do not attack at all. And when they do, runners are confirmed to be able to attack in packs. The runners retain a sense of humanity and morality. They know what they are doing is wrong, but due to the mentally deteriorating symptoms of the fungus, their minds are slowly destroyed.
Like Survivors, they can be strangled when grabbed from behind by Joel.
Stage 2 - Stalkers
Humans under stage 2 of the infection are known as 'Stalkers' and have characteristics of both Runners and Clickers. Stalkers are deadly like Clickers, but they can still move fast and retain the alertness of runners. Stage 2 may take place anywhere between a few days after the start of the infection (Stage 1) and up to a year (Stage 3).
According to the Stages of Infection collectible found in The Last of Us demo released with GOW:A on May 31, the modus operandi of a stalker is to "hide and ambush victims". The collectible goes on, imploring readers to check their surroundings, but no other information is provided.
Stage 3 - Clickers
Clickers are infected that have had prolonged exposure to the fungus. They are completely blind, but maneuver through their area by using a clicking sound that will allow them to "see" obstacles and other characters (this is known as echolocation, bats use this). They appear much less human than runners, with faces that are skewed and scarred by fungus, they are also much more aggressive than runners, and do not resist the fungus anymore because their humanity is now completely destroyed. They always attack on smell or sound. Clickers can kill the player instantly if one grabs on to them, however, this is likely due to the possibility of an infectious bite, it may be revealed that the player can shake the infected off, use the environment, use a gun with ammo or of course rely on the other supporting characters before the infected bites Joel.
Unlike runners, they don't seem to feel pain like ordinary humans. For example, in the infected game-play, Joel kills an infected with his revolver. That infected takes two headshots before it dies. The behavior of the clickers, snapping their jagged and rotten teeth hard at Joel when trying to bite him, can also show for their lack of pain.
They are the only enemy that cannot be strangled. Must use a shiv to stealth kill.
Stage 4 - Bloaters
Bloaters appear to be more bulked up than previous stages of infected. They are very slow, but extremely hard to kill as they can take a driect hit from a Molotov Cocktail and continue walking with little feeling of pain. They too use ecolocation to see, as the fungus has completely covered their eyes and face. This is the most invulnerable type of enemy in the game.
Stage 5- Spore Cadaver
When a clicker/bloater feels it is close to death, it will search to find a dark corner where it will die, and then the fungus grafts it to the environment. When the body dies, it becomes skeletal and brittle, but the fungus continues to grow. At this stage, the fungus is capable of releasing infectious spores.
The runner stage evolves within two days, then the fungus continues growing, making the infected blind and turning them into clickers (Clicker stage takes about one year to materialize). The toughest infected developed echolocation by natural selection.
Cool story Bro. Stool finding it difficult to wait for release though :/
Interesting. Most in-depth info I've seen on the Infected. Thanks for sharing.
I was wondering why that Frisbee kept getting bigger - and then it hit me.
bloater kill sequence = one of the most brutal game things ive seen in a while
Tag for later, thanks TC.
*Totally not a bump*