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Mutagen is a substance mentioned in Dead Island: Riptide and it is hinted that it is the cause of the special infected you fight over the course of both Riptide and the original Dead Island.

Dr. Kessler first mentions mutagen when you meet him in his biodome. He's performing experiments and tests using some of the already deceased scientists to study the effect that various mutagen substances have on the virus. He also requests that the heroes bring him some reagents from zombies in his biodome, which he can use for other research.

You find luminous green substances down in the Japanese Tunnels while the heroes are finding a new way to Henderson. Near the tunnels entrance (the one you pump out in the Santa Maria Mission), you can find the inert corpse of a Wrestler in a glowing green pool of chemicals. This is a hint at what the mutagen does to someone who is infected. However, the person who became this Wrestler was likely not immune. Kessler knows about the immunity of the heroes, but also know that their white blood cells only stop the virus from replicating, not killing it off completely. As he doesn't know what these chemicals will do to their blood, he warns them against getting into contact with the substance.

However, they all come into contact as they pass through the tunnels, since it is basically inevitable. As Wayne was infected beforehand, it is confirmed about what this mutagen does as he transforms into a Wrestler shortly after leaving the tunnel. This gives definitive proof of what the mutagen does to an infected person, however we don't know what happens to an immune person who contacts it. We find out soon enough, however, after the heroes contact Kessler via radio to discuss what happened to Wayne. Kessler explains how the immune aren't actually immune and that the mutagen caused Wayne to turn.

While trying to negotiate a passage to Henderson via the chain ferry from the ferry station, which had been taken over by escaped prisoners, the heroes suddenly are overcome by rage, causing them to go crazy and kill all the prisoners in this enraged state. They instantly contact Kessler after calming down and he explains what might have happened. As the mutagen couldn't transform the virus in the their blood, it instead caused them to flip out in rage. He has no idea what might happen, so he warns the heroes to be very careful and not to take anything else that might change their blood.

However, as much as they tried, Harlow forced their hand. After getting into Quarantine to chase her down and find a boat to escape Henderson, they find that Harlow has injected herself with a serum found in Quarantine, causing her to rage and attack the heroes with a chainsaw. The only way for the heroes to be strong enough to defeat her was to inject themselves with the same serum, mixing up their blood (and by extension, the mutagen and virus) some more. They manage to defeat Harlow and find a boat, however. After they sail off, it is unknown what happens to them, but you see the boat hatch bang several times and snarls echo from beneath, suggesting that the mutagen and serum has once again affected the heroes, but we don't know how.

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