They are dressed in clerical robes bearing the cult's insignia. The color of their robe indicates their rank: black is for the lowest rank, red for the highest rank, and purple for the intermediate rank.
The zealots are better equipped than the Villagers, using a variety of medieval armaments. Also, their robes change in style as Leon S. Kennedy (the game's protagonist) progresses further into Salazar's castle, which includes some high-ranking zealots wearing bullet-proof masks that make head shots ineffective.
The highest ranking members wear goat skull masks, wielding weapons such as scythes, flails and crossbows. Smaller numbers carry dynamite or rocket launchers.
They look and behave significantly less human than the village peasants. Unlike the villagers who can walk, run, speak and carry out daily tasks normally, the Zealots seem more detached from the world, shuffling around, mumbling Muere, muere, muere (Die, die, die) and Morir es vivir (To die is to live). Their skin is much paler than that of the villagers, and all of them appear to be bald. Some have crimson lesions or ritual scarification, while others appear to have tattoos covering their faces.
- "Strangle-Toss" - The Zealot can at point blank attempt to grab or runs forward with his arms out towards Leon and Ada. If the zealot connects he strangles the grabbed protagonist, the player can move the joystick, where Leon or Ada will proceed to kick the Zealot in the head. If the player is too slow with the joystick mashing instead the Zealot will toss Leon or Ada to the ground, doing more damage.
- "Over the shoulder lift and carry" - This attack only works on Ashley. If the Zealot makes contact with Ashley rather than Leon, instead of strangling her he will pick her up in an "Over The Shoulder" carry. Ashley is then carried at a pace slower than their walking speed closest to the nearest door to the next room. If the Zealot that is carrying Ashley reaches this type of door a cutscene is shown where the zealot is walking into a door with a red glow carrying the still struggling Ashley, then the game goes into "Mission Failed".
- "Strangle-Neck Break" - Similarly to the carry, this only works on Ashley. This only appears in Chapter 3-4 while the player is controlling Ashley (earlier in the chapter the CPU Ashley is still picked up as normal). If Ashley is grabbed by the Zealot he grab her neck and lift her by said area asphyxiating her, this version does more damage to Ashley than the Leon-Ada version does to Leon and Ada, a single grab can kill Ashley if she didn't eat any yellow herbs and the player is slow in mashing the joystick. If the player escapes Ashley does a kick to the Zealot that does not damage to them aside from temporarily knocking them down. If the player is killed a cutscene is shown where the Zealot snaps Ashley's neck, then flings her dead corpse over his shoulder, similarly to the CPU Ashley.
- Shield - Shielded Zealots carry a wooden shield with spikes in the front that are capable of blocking a limited amount of shots. These Zealots attack by bashing their shield. It should be noted that unlike unarmed enemies, they also attack Ashley, leading to the player potentially getting a game over because of Ashley dying rather than being carried away.
- Mace - Mace Zealots attack with a spiked mace. They attack faster than unarmed versions, but it is possible for them to grab Leon and Ada unarmed. These zealots try and kidnap Ashley when she is close, but Ashley can be hit if she is in the way of their attack when they go for Leon. There is a variant that has a shield, these use the shield for defense and the mace for offense but still shield bash Ashley.
- Crossbow - These Zealots attack with a crossbow. They make a noise when they start aiming, letting the player know of their presence but not their location. Their bolts can be shot and nullified. Some variants use explosive bolts.
- RPG - These Zealots use RPGs. these style of Zealots usually go away after they shoot.
- Dynamite - Some Zealots throw dynamite. They tend to stay stationary unless Ashley is nearby without Leon, attempting to carry her away.
- If the player uses a cheating device to play as Ashley in any chapter where Zealots are present outside of her designated area in 3-4, if an unarmed Zealot grabs the player, while the camera and sound effects will be the same as what happens normally the animations for both, Ashley and the Zealot will be completely off with both doing an awkward animation and walk while the player loses health.