Civilians are the hapless human inhabitants of Planet Earth, who just want to live out their daily life, preferably without their homes, cars, neighbours or body being destroyed by alien invaders. They appear in all games of the series, mostly as pedestrians or motorists, and come in both genders and various ages, ethnicities, classes and appearances.
Crypto can do anything he wishes to them, and can read their minds, copy their bodies, scare them away or kill or maim them in a variety of ways. Other enemies are seen attacking civilians as well, mostly as a punishment for trespassing (in the case of soldiers) but sometimes on sight (like with Black Ninjas, other aliens and in some missions the KGB).
While most civilians only panic and try the run away upon seeing Crypto or something threatening, there are exceptions. The hillbilly farmers in the first game, while counted by the game as civilians, do fire their guns at Crypto, but go down extremely easily.