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Ecliptic Express Incident

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Mainstream universe
(Capcom's primary storyline)

The Ecliptic Express Incident[notes 1] was an event in mid-1998 marked by the deliberate spread of the t-Virus amongst a train carrying Umbrella personnel. It was one of several such incidents as part of a campaign of attacks perpetrated by the "Queen Leech" on behalf of the deceased Dr. James Marcus.


Ten years prior, the Umbrella executive and General Manager of the defunct Umbrella Research Center, Dr. James Marcus, was assassinated on the orders of Oswell E. Spencer and his body dumped into the nearby Treatment Plant.[excerpt 1] His latest experiment, the "Queen Leech", was dumped alongside him and began to assimilate itself into its creator's body.[excerpt 2] After many years,[notes 2] the new Leech/Marcus merger began to attack Umbrella sites within and around the Arklay Mountains as vengeance for its host's death, seeking to inflict evil upon the earth, letting it "burn in the flames of hell".[excerpt 3][notes 3]

At the time of his attacks, Albert Wesker and William Birkin were assigned with re-opening the abandoned Research Center - the "Training school reuse plan"[1][notes 4] - under its original role as an executive training site (already closed to personnel for twenty years).[2][3] Both the First and Second Investigation Units were lost to B.O.W.s Marcus had released, along with his own Leeches. As such, contact was lost between Wesker and Birkin, and the facility.


Unaware of the attack, and with knowledge of concurrent events at the Arklay Laboratory being suppressed, the Ecliptic Express was sent down Umbrella's private train line to the Research Center filled with research personnel. At 20:17 on July 23, Marcus attacked the express train with his leeches, infecting the train's entire complement along with releasing an experimental scorpion B.O.W..

Ecliptic Express outside
Two hours later, the S.T.A.R.S. Bravo Team made an emergency landing due to engine failure, during an investigation of bizarre killings in the Raccoon Forest. While they were intended to investigate the Spencer Mansion and be killed as part of "X Day",[4] they deviated from Umbrella's intentions when the discovery of an abandoned MP prisoner convoy and the lack of its prisoner, 2Lt. Billy Coen, had Captain Enrico Marini's team search the immediate area. The team's rookie medic, Rebecca Chambers, found her way onto the stopped train.

Minutes into her entry, Rebecca had already awoken the zombified passengers and discovered that Billy Coen had hidden inside the train. Uncooperative with her attempt at arresting him, Billy left moments before S.T.A.R.S. officer Edward Dewey entered the train, apparently dying from his animal bites soon after.

Edward Zombie

Rebecca's comrade, Edward, transformed into a zombie not long before the train's derailment.

While Rebecca investigated the train further, Wesker and Birkin successfully sent the U.S.S. Delta Team to regain control of the train and move it. Unfortunately for the two Umbrella researchers, the USS team was compromised immediately after when Marcus' leeches attacked and infected them, leaving the train accelerating to the Research Center uncontrolled. Rebecca and Billy found a key card to access the engine and planned to set off its emergency brakes to stop the train, knowing the track would not last forever. Running to the rear end of the braking mechanism, Rebecca stumbled upon the zombified Edward, who she was forced to kill.[5] It was too late to prevent the train from making a fiery crash into the Research Center's station, however, though the brakes certainly lowered the damage it would have caused and gave the two survivors a better chance of coming out alive.


The Ecliptic Express Incident was the event in which Umbrella began to seriously consider that someone was deliberately infecting their personnel as part of a campaign. This was realised soon after when the Queen Leech/Marcus entity made himself known to Albert Wesker and William Birkin - well aware the Research Center's cameras were linked to Birkin's facility - and made his reasons clear.



  1. Name gathered from the Umbrella Chronicles scenario title for "Train Derailment" in the Japanese script - Ōdōtokkyū jiken (黄道特急事件?)
  2. Queen Leech/Marcus says it took "many years" to be revived in the original script. This was changed to "ten years" in the English version.
  3. The "hell" speech was altered for Western audiences, with the Queen Leech/Marcus instead giving a campy line about the world burning in an "inferno of hate". This is one of several examples of alteration made in the translation of Resident Evil Zero, though the number of deliberate alterations is low.
  4. Based on Yōsei-sho sai riyō keikaku (養成所再利用計画?)
  1. Resident Evil Zero - "Ten years ago, Spencer had me assassinated"
  2. Excerpt from "biohazard 0"':
    But... a miracle happened. With the t-Virus, the Queen Leech breathed new life into me over the years. (だが…奇跡は起こった / 女王ヒルの持つt-ウィルスが 長い年月を掛けて 私に新しい命を吹き込んだのだ Daga… kiseki wa okotta / joō hiru no motsu t - u~irusu ga nagai nengetsu o kakete watashi ni atarashī inochi o fukikonda noda?)
  3. Excerpt from "biohazard 0":
    I vowed to take revenge on Umbrella. I'll bring evil onto this world, and everything will burn in the fires of hell! (私はアンブレラに復讐を誓ったのだ / この世に災いをもたらし… 全てを地獄の炎で 焼き尽くしてやろうとな! Watashi wa anburera ni fukushū o chikatta noda / konoyo ni wazawai o motarashi… subetewo jigoku no honō de yaki tsukushite yarou to na!?)
  1. Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles, Ecliptic Express Notes
  2. Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles - scenario: "Beginnings 2"
  3. Wesker's Report II
  4. Resident Evil, Mail from the Chief of Security
  5. Sumner, Shotten, Owen (eds). Archives. p.16

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