The Special Tactics and Rescue Service (S.T.A.R.S.) was an elite special forces division under the jurisdiction of the Raccoon City Police Department. It employed ex-military personnel and academic civilians for appropriate positions within the police department. The overall idea was to form a team combining tactically-sound soldiers with scientists, allowing the team to operate in both anti-terrorism and increasingly-potent urban crime.[notes 1]
A unit of hand-picked specialists working with the Raccoon City Police Department, S.T.A.R.S. was founded in 1996 in order to combat the increasing rate of terrorism and other violent crimes. The special tactics team was formed as part of Mayor Michael Warren's redevelopment campaign, "Bright Raccoon 21", funded generously and heavily by the private sector, most notably the Umbrella Corporation. By July 1998, it was comprised of twelve members split into two teams; an "Alpha" team led by Albert Wesker, and a "Bravo" team led by Enrico Marini.
Two years after its formation, S.T.A.R.S. was deployed by the police to investigate a series of brutal cannibalistic homicides, which had taken place in the Arklay Mountains on the outskirts of the city. Bravo team was sent in on July 23, 1998 to investigate these incidents.
However, contact with Bravo team was lost and on the following day, Alpha team was dispatched to follow-up on Bravo team's mission and investigate their disappearance. Their probe of the area led to an isolated mansion (The base of Umbrella's Arklay Laboratory), where various mutated creatures run amok and the mansion's very research staff transformed into undead creatures as a result of a viral outbreak. Moreover, the members of Alpha team also found the remains of some of their Bravo team compatriots, while finding others on the brink of death (with the exception of Rebecca Chambers, who managed to escape with the Alpha team).[notes 2]
It was revealed that the experiments in the mansion were conducted by the international Umbrella Corporation and that the S.T.A.R.S. team's leader, Albert Wesker, was a double agent working for Umbrella, who had orchestrated the deaths of his subordinates in order to collect test battle data for Umbrella's B.O.W. research.
The team managed to thwart Wesker's plot by killing the T-002 Tyrant prototype. Only Alpha team members Jill Valentine; Chris Redfield; Barry Burton; Brad Vickers (Alpha team's helicopter pilot, who initially left the team stranded in the first place, but later regained his composure and airlifted the survivors), and Bravo team survivor Rebecca Chambers survived the mansion incident officially.[notes 3] Albert Wesker proved to have survived the attack from the Tyrant and escaped the mansion on his own.
The S.T.A.R.S. office had to go through a major clean out as over half of the officers were murdered (by products of Umbrella). Their desks were cleaned out and, as such, most every member had their own desk to work at, save Rebecca who was on Bravo team so was usually on a different shift anyway.
After their return to civilization, S.T.A.R.S. requested a full-scale investigation of Umbrella's activities. However, many found their outlandish story too unbelievable to be possible[notes 4] and the Chief of Police, Brian Irons (who was secretly on Umbrella's payroll) disbanded the team officially, replacing the unit with the R.P.D's newly established S.W.A.T. unit to serve as the city's armed response unit. Chris, Jill and Barry banded together and participated in anti-Umbrella operations around the globe.
S.T.A.R.S. was comprised of two different teams: Alpha and Bravo, totaling twelve members. Each team was organized based on the tactical squad formation, with five field operatives and a helicopter pilot. The teams would remain on-duty for 24 hour shifts before switching to the other team, allowing S.T.A.R.S. to remain active in the event of an emergency.
The operatives were assigned to one of the following positions:
- Mission Leader (field commander of the team)
- Pointman (field scouting and reconnaissance)
- Backup Man (provides assistance to the Pointman)
- Omni Man (in charge of vehicle and weapon maintenance)
- Rear Security (in charge of establishing contact between the headquarters and the helicopter, as well as treating injured teammates).
|Rear Security||Rear Security|
There is a member of both teams assigned to one of those positions, with an additional Rear Security operative in both teams in charge of piloting the helicopter.
The requirements for becoming a member of S.T.A.R.S. are not made too clear, though military backgrounds were present in at least three members. However, other members of S.T.A.R.S have little to no combat experience; Rebecca Chambers was accepted as a medic at age eighteen due to her outstanding chemistry progress, and had no formal law-enforcement training beforehand.
|Aiken, Richard||Backup man|| Communications expert||Bravo||Deceased|
|Burton, Barry|| Backup man||Weapons supervisor||Alpha||Alive|
|Chambers, Rebecca||Rear-security||Chemicals expert (Medic)||Bravo||Alive|
|Frost, Joseph||Omni man||Maintenance supervisor||Alpha||Deceased|
|Marini, Enrico||Team Captain||Bravo leader||Bravo||Deceased|
|Speyer, Forest||Omni man|| Maintenance,|
|Sullivan, Kenneth J.||Pointman|| Chemist||Bravo||Deceased|
|Redfield, Chris||Pointman|| Sharpshooter,|
|Valentine, Jill||Rear-security|| B&E specialist||Alpha||Alive|
|Vickers, Brad||Rear-security|| Pilot |
|Wesker, Albert|| Team Captain||Division leader||Alpha||Deceased|
The standard sidearm of the unit is a customized variant of the Beretta 92F known as the 92F S.T.A.R.S. Special (Custom) or Mod. Samurai Edge. It was designed by Joe Kendo, brother of the Kendo Gun Shop's owner, Robert Kendo (a close friend of Barry Burton). A standard-issue model was distributed among the members of S.T.A.R.S., including further specialized versions for Chris, Jill and Wesker. Barry's model was modified to fire the .40 S&W round with burst fire capability instead of the standard 9mm Parabellum round.
Other weapons used by S.T.A.R.S. members included Barry's custom .44 Magnum Colt Anaconda or .357 Colt Python, Forest's ARWEN 37 grenade launcher, Edward's rifle, and two customized shotguns wielded by both Richard Aiken and Joseph Frost. Chris and Jill also carried their personal survival knives during the "Mansion Incident". S.T.A.R.S. was also using custom-made combat knives sporting the team's emblem on the blade, it is assumed that each had a different knife although they were not seen or heard of until Darkside Chronicles. The S.T.A.R.S. photo also showed members with various assault weapons including several Heckler & Koch MP5 submachine guns and one bullpup assault rifle that resembles the Steyr AUG, held by Enrico. These weapons were not used during actual gameplay, possibly due to the fact that search-and-rescue operations rarely require the use of assault weapons, if any weaponry whatsoever. Also, the inclusion of assault rifles and sub-machine guns would have lowered the intensity and ominously dark atmosphere of the game dramatically. An Ingram M-11 can also be seen in the photo, held by Joseph, though this weapon did not make its appearance until Resident Evil 2 or the game's PC port.
Less lethal equipment:
S.T.A.R.S. also brought less lethal equipment with them during their mission in the Arklay region. Most notably Chris, Jill, and Rebecca. Jill had a Taser during the Mansion incident, this piece of equipment is also known as a Stun Gun. Both Chris and Rebecca had Flash grenades in their arsenal during their time in the Arklay region.
Kenneth and Joseph each had camcorders mounted on their shoulders to record combat data on DV Tapes. Tactically, these devices are used by scouts to record and transmit reconnaissance data and strategic information to the team's command unit, although both of the S.T.A.R.S. field officers were also involved in the situation at the time, and Wesker most certainly would not have wished the information be made known to those outside of his sphere of influence. Rebecca Chambers had her personal S.T.A.R.S. chemical mixing set during the Ecliptic Express Incident.
Walkie-talkies were also available to S.T.A.R.S., though for some reason Chris and Jill did not bring any on their Arklay mountains mission. Both Wesker and Richard used tactical headsets connected to these said Walkie-Talkies during the Mansion Incident.
There were two UH-1/204B models helicopters assigned to the S.T.A.R.S. unit, with one allocated to each team. Brad Vickers was assigned as Alpha Team's pilot, with Edward Dewey assigned as Bravo Team's pilot. One of the RPD's pilots, Kevin Dooley, had been called in on several occasions to contribute support to both Alpha and Bravo as the situation required. The S.T.A.R.S. photo (with an Aérospatiale/Eurocopter AS350B police helicopter in the background) also suggests that RPD patrol helicopters may be used for S.T.A.R.S. operations when needed.
Each member of the unit wore an undershirt (Except for Forest, who wore only his blue Flak vest) with the S.T.A.R.S. emblem over the left sleeve, (Save for Richard, who oddly has the standard RPD emblem on his sleeve. His undershirt also reads RPD on the front) and an M69 Flak vest suited for each operative's personal skills and specialty, exceptions are Rebecca and Jill; Rebecca had a normal body armor and Jill had shoulder armor. For example, Chris' vest was equipped with a sheath for his combat knife, while Rebecca's vest prominently displayed a red cross on the back, the international symbol of a medical assistance officer. Some operatives had leg holsters, Barry had a leather Magnum holster for his Silver Serpent. Most members had SWAT fingerless gloves with watches over the gloves (Edward and Brad were only seen wearing watches, this may be due to the fact that they're pilots). All members had a pair of Jungle boots to complete their basic uniform. Each member is allowed to choose their color for his/her uniform. Some members wore LC1 suspenders along with LC2 belts while some only had LC2 belts with nothing on them. Members had their own pouches attached to their belts or web gear depending on the equipment they were bringing. A much more official and practical prototype S.T.A.R.S. uniform was also designed consisting of olive drab fatigues and a black tactical vest with the S.T.A.R.S. logo emblazoned across the back, but this outfit was never formally adopted due to the (Raccoon City) teams' demise. Instead, Chris wore the only known prototype on his mission to rescue his sister Claire, during the Rockfort Island incident.
- Only eleven of the unit's twelve members appeared in the original game. Edward Dewey, Bravo Team's pilot, was only mentioned in the game's instruction manual, but not actually featured in the game. For a long time it was assumed that the disembodied hand found by Joseph in the game's introductory cutscene belonged to Edward (and indeed, Edward was originally shown with a missing right hand in the N64 version of 0) but a few retroactive changes were made in order to include the character for a small role in the prequel Resident Evil Zero (in the Resident Evil remake, the dead pilot is now identified as Kevin Dooley, the RPD Co-Pilot for Bravo Team).
- In Resident Evil 2 (starring Chris Redfield's sister Claire and Raccoon Police Department (R.P.D.) rookie officer Leon S. Kennedy), all of the S.T.A.R.S. operatives from the original game (excluding Rebecca), can be seen in a photograph located in the S.T.A.R.S. office on the second floor of the RPD next to Wesker's desk, which can be searched for film D. They were pictured along with two previously unseen members. It is generally accepted that they are simply early versions of Edward Dewey and Kevin Dooley. As Dooley was confirmed as not being a S.T.A.R.S. member, but an RPD pilot occasionally used for S.T.A.R.S., he may in fact be the extra man in the picture. The same picture can also be found in Resident Evil 3: Nemesis but then a special key is needed to gain access to the room.
- Kevin Ryman, from the Outbreak series, tried twice and failed to join S.T.A.R.S.
- After the credits of Resident Evil 4, it mentions S.T.A.R.S. when naming the copyrights.
- Tokyo Marui, a popular airsoft manufacturer in Japan, created a replica of the S.T.A.R.S. "Samurai Edge" pistol based on its original design model, the Beretta 92F/FS.
- King Arms, another popular airsoft manufacturer sells Resident Evil/Biohazard themed M4/M16 metal receivers, one of these receivers bears the S.T.A.R.S. emblem on it.
- GSX, a Japanese watch manufacturer was responsible for making individual S.T.A.R.S. watches. A special collection of these watches were sold to commemorate Resident Evil's 5th birthday, like Tokyo Marui's selection of Samurai Edges, these were only available in limited numbers and are considered a rarity among fans. UBCS watches were also available.
- Many of the equipment (Tac vests, Chris' flak vest, shirts etc.) present in the games were replicated or customized for real life use, they all have the Capcom seal to show that they're official game merchandise.
- Hamamura, Koichi, ed (2003) (in Japanese). biohazard 0 KAITAISHINSHO. Famitsu. ISBN 4-7577-1298-7.
- Sumner, Christian; Shotten, Brian; Owen, Michael, eds (9 November 2005). Resident Evil Archives: Umbrella's Virus Uncovered. Translated by Zpang America, Inc.. BradyGames. ISBN 0744006554.
- Takeo, Sakamoto, ed (1997) (in Japanese). Inside of BIO-HAZARD. ASCII. ISBN 4-89366-659-2.
- Capcom Co., Ltd.. Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles. (2007)
- ↑ Excerpt from biohazard 0 KAITAISHINSHO:
"ラクーン市警 （Raccoon Police Department, 通称R.P.D.） の管轄下にある特殊部隊。 ラクーン市の発展とともに急増した都市型テロや新手の犯罪に対応する目的で、 1996年、 都市計画の一環として設立された。実力重視で民間からスカウトされた者が多くを占めているほか、 アンブレラをはじめ民間企業の資金提供を受けており、 RPD内でも特異な立場にある。アルファチーム6名, ブラヴォーチーム6名の2隊編成で、 今回、 市近郊で多発する猟奇事件の真相解明のため、 ブラヴォーチームの出動が決定された。"
- ↑ Speyer is found dead, Aiken is found poisoned, Marini is shot after making contact with Alpha, Sullivan is found eaten alive and Chambers is found nursing Aiken
- ↑ According to canon, both Chambers and Burton escape
- ↑ Marvin Branagh tells the player in Resident Evil 2 that "No one believed them."
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Sumner, Shotten, Owen (eds). Archives. p.258
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Hamamura (ed.), KAITAISHINSHO, p.013
- ↑ Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles (2007), file: "S.T.A.R.S. Notes"
- ↑ Takeo (ed.), Inside of BIO-HAZARD, p.8
- ↑ Capcom. Resident Evil Zero. (Capcom). Scene: Opening cutscene.
- ↑ Capcom. Resident Evil. (Capcom). Scene: opening cutscene.
- ↑ Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles (2007), level: "Rebirth 2"
- ↑ Resident Evil 3: Nemesis (1999), file: "Jill's Diary"
- ↑ True Story Behind Biohazard. Capcom. p. 53.
- ↑ Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles (2007), file: "Chris Redfield Profile"
- ↑ Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles (2007), file: "Barry Burton Profile"
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles (2007), file: "Jill Valentine Profile"
- ↑ Richard Aiken Profile
- ↑ 14.00 14.01 14.02 14.03 14.04 14.05 14.06 14.07 14.08 14.09 14.10 14.11 14.12 14.13 14.14 14.15 14.16 14.17 Resident Evil: Deadly Silence manual; pages 6-7
- ↑ Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles (2007), file: "Rebecca Chambers Profile"
- ↑ Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles (2007), file: "Edward Dewey Profile"
- ↑ Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles (2007), file: "Forest Speyer Profile"
- ↑ Jill: "Captain Wesker, where's Chris?