Prime universe
(Capcom's primary storyline)

The Raccoon City Destruction Incident,[2] also known as the "Raccoon Incident"[3][notes 1],"Raccoon City Outbreak" and "Raccoon Tragedy", was a catastrophic viral outbreak that occurred in stages between May and October 1998, resulting in the city's destruction in a missile strike, codenamed "XX". Although the incident started in May 1998, the year 1988 sealed Raccoon's fate when James Marcus was assassinated. There was no single event that resulted in the citywide t-Virus outbreak; it was in fact the result of a number of smaller outbreaks that combined together in their common locale.



In 1988, 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]

Main article: Abandoned hospital

In 1993, a dummy pharmaceutical company linked to Umbrella provided the hospital with the experimental T-JCCC 203 reagent, which it used in clinical trials on at least two cancer patients, Doug Frost and Dorothy Lester.[4][5] Dorothy was the wife of Al Lester, the hospital director, and was given the drug on his request out of hope it might cure her of her terminal condition. The reagent itself was understood to be part of Umbrella's bio-weapons program.[6]

A police investigation regarding the drug shipments was launched, and while they were found to be accepting illegal imports, Umbrella's meddling in the police department prevented any charges being filed, and it went unreported by the media. The hospital was officially closed around 1993, as a result, though members of staff continued to work there.[6]

Around late 1993, Kurt, an investigative journalist, picked up on the rumours of bizarre experimentation; dealings with foreign businesses and suspicious patient deaths. Concerned as to why there was a lack of reporting on these incidents, he began an investigation.[4] He was killed soon after. The body of an unidentified individual was also recovered from the Aimes River in late 1996, having been dumped there over six months prior with large quantities of steroids detected in his skin tissue.[7]

Enter Mansion Incident

Further information: Ecliptic Express Incident and Mansion Incident

In May 1998, the experimental "Queen Leech", which had merged with the deceased Dr. James Marcus, enacted vengeance on Umbrella by leaking the t-Virus in the Arklay Laboratory. Over the next month, the facility's staff were infected by the virus and became zombies, or otherwise killed by escaped B.O.W.s and irregular mutants. The creatures began to attack hikers in the Arklay Mountains, and a murder investigation by S.T.A.R.S. was authorized in July. The investigation, which led to the deaths of more than half of the department, concluded that the deaths were indeed caused by a virus spill at an Umbrella facility. However, the physical evidence was lost when the S.T.A.R.S. survivors (Jill, Chris, Rebecca, and Barry) activated the facility's self-destruct mechanism to prevent more creatures from escaping. In August, Umbrella made the Raccoon Chief of Police, Brian Irons, disband the department, viewing them as a threat to their affairs in the city, and his private, monetary relationship with the company.

An inevitability

Dr. Birkin's Underground Laboratory's waste, contaminated with the t-Virus, began to flood the newly commissioned Incineration Disposal Plant P-12A, overloading on June 7, with the facility's staff becoming zombies the next month.[8] Before August 17, reports became apparent that monsters were in the city.[9] Umbrella began preparing for the inevitable, and its U.B.C.S. mercenaries were called into action on September 15.[10]

In the days before the Raccoon City Destruction Incident officially began, the Raccoon General Hospital was already being filled with cases of a "cannibal disease".[11]

Cause and effect


The sewer rats consuming the t-Virus samples.

Readying for a potentially-large biohazard outbreak, Umbrella began conscripting men for its UBCS outfit, with its men being called into action as early as September 15.[10]

By September 1998, Umbrella scientist William Birkin successfully completed his work on the G-virus. Intending on selling his creation to the U.S. military, Umbrella turned against him and sent a U.S.S. unit to recover the G-virus. They discovered Birkin in his lab preparing to escape, and during the subsequent scuffle, an overeager operative shot Birkin. As Birkin lay dying, the operatives took the virus samples and fled the lab through the vast, secret sewer system beneath Raccoon City, specifically the R.P.D.. Before his death, Birkin successfully injected one of the G-virus samples into his body and transformed.

Birkin then went on a rampage and chased the U.S.S. soldiers out of the lab and into the sewers, killing them there and destroying the vials containing the "G" and t-Viruses. The released virus spilled into the sewers and led the sewer rats to ingest it by both consuming it and feeding on the bodies of the U.S.S. The rats then began spreading it to the surface, while the rest leaked into the city's water supply, infecting the inhabitants of the now-doomed Raccoon City.

A hopeless cause


Zombies infest the streets

By September 24, the outbreak had reached epidemic levels in the city. Several people at J's Bar manage to escape the streets, which by then were inundated by zombies. Will, the bartender and Bob, friend of fellow survivor Mark Wilkins, died in the attempted escape. The survivors destroyed a fuel truck and escaped to a small canal, where they met officers at the Apple Inn on the other side. The survivors used a bomb to destroy the zombies on Main Street, where the police in charge were killed or wounded. Elsewhere a helicopter carrying some 40 refugees crashed near the tram line, killing everybody inside. At 9PM, the Pentagon had the city quarantined and sent in the United States Army to restrict civilian movement.[12] The roads were being barricaded by the following morning.

By September 27, Raccoon City was completely infected, and all semblance of normal life had been destroyed as crashed and abandoned vehicles and dead bodies littered the streets and several buildings burned out of control due to the collapse of the Raccoon City Fire Department.

Hordes of zombies filled the streets and overran the last remnants of the Raccoon City Police Department in a major battle on the city streets on the night of September 27, and soon after overran the police station itself, removing what was most likely the last safe zone in the city.

Umbrella dispatched the Umbrella Biohazard Countermeasure Service (U.B.C.S.) to assist the police. In reality, the U.B.C.S. were actually just pawns used by Umbrella while their inside man, Nikolai Zinoviev, acted as their leader and secretly collected data. The U.B.C.S. fared little better than the R.P.D. in containing the zombies, with almost all those dispatched to the city killed by September 28.

Last Escape

"Farewell to my life. Farewell to my home.
This is my last chance for survival... This is my last escape ...
Jill Valentine

On the night of September 27, Jill Valentine, recently resigned from S.T.A.R.S., returned to the city after investigating Umbrella with Chris Redfield and Barry Burton. The three of them made an agreement; Jill would continue her investigation within Raccoon while Chris and Barry would go to Europe to investigate Umbrella's main HQ, with Jill rendezvousing with them later.

When the outbreak hit, Jill stayed in her apartment while the zombies overran the city and the U.B.C.S. and police tried to keep them at bay. She decides to make a run for it and as a former S.T.A.R.S. member, felt obligated to help any survivors. Meanwhile, Umbrella had already taken steps to kill the former surviving S.T.A.R.S. members out of fear that they would expose their secrets, and deployed the Nemesis-T Type into the city amidst the chaos. Jill makes her way into a warehouse with Dario Rosso, where they wait it out for another day before she finally gives up on waiting for a rescue party. Dario refuses to leave and locks himself up in a crate.

She stumbles onto fellow former S.T.A.R.S. member Brad Vickers by chance, saving him from a zombie attack, although he is bitten and therefore infected. He warns her that they would not make it out, because "he's after S.T.A.R.S. members - there's no escape!"

Jill heads to the police station, searching for any way out of the city. Brad runs to the station after her, warning her to run. He is then killed by the creature he mentioned previously - the Nemesis-T Type. The Nemesis kills Brad Vickers, but Jill manages to avoid the creature.

Jill later meets a U.B.C.S. member named Carlos Oliveira. Despite the fact he works for Umbrella and Jill despises Umbrella, Carlos takes her to his leader Nikolai Zinoviev, who doesn't seem to trust her at first. They make a plan to rendezvous at the Saint Michael Clock Tower, where an escape helicopter will pick them up by using a city tram. However, the tram wasn't working, so they plan to find tools to work the tram. While searching for tools, Jill had believed that Nikolai was killed so only Jill, Carlos, and an injured Mikhail Viktor got the tram working and escape. However, the Nemesis attacked the tram and Mikhail sacrificed himself to save Jill and Carlos by using a grenade at the Nemesis. This caused the tram to haywire and crash into the Clock Tower courtyard. Jill managed to make a signal at the clock tower and the rescue helicopter came, only to be shot down by the Nemesis. The Nemesis infects Jill with the t-Virus and Jill is forced to kill it. Jill became unconscious and fell into a deep sleep, just as Carlos showed up where the two were fighting.


On the night of September 29, after Jill's infection, Claire Redfield and Leon S. Kennedy arrived in Raccoon City not knowing of the outbreak due to the breakdown of order concerning the military force sent to contain the incident. The two met outside of an alley. The pair headed to the police department, but were separated after a truck driver (who turned into a zombie after being bitten by a zombie earlier) crashed into their vehicle. Claire met gun store owner Robert Kendo, who was killed by zombies moments later, then she arrived at the police station and found injured R.P.D. officer Marvin Branagh. After searching the S.T.A.R.S. office, Claire saw a little girl who was being attacked by a zombie. Leon arrived and found the same little girl who ran away from him. Claire and Leon met up and decided to split up to find her. Under command from Sergei Vladimir, a helicopter airdrops its "t" pods, with T-00 hitting the R.P.D. and the others hitting the Dead Factory to attack a U.S. Army team.[13][14][15] Leon encounters the T-00, who seems to be following and attacking Leon wherever he goes. Leon enters the underground parking lot and meets a mysterious woman named Ada Wong. She is searching for a reporter named Ben Bertolucci who knows about the Umbrella Corporation.

Still in the Police Station, Claire meets Chief Brian Irons, who was supposed to watch over the mayor's daughter, but failed as she was killed. Claire finds the little girl, who's name is Sherry Birkin. Both of Sherry's parents work for Umbrella and her mother tells her to go to the police station. Claire then was able to find a secret passage in Chief Iron's office. She finds the chief, who was attacked by an unknown monster, who implanted an embryo in his body. She learned of Iron's involvement with Umbrella, and the fact that he refused to tell the truth about the Mansion Incident. She also learned about the G-virus and William Birkin, Sherry's father and creator of the G-virus. Irons then died after the embryo in his body hatched. Leon and Ada found Ben and learned about Iron's involvement. Ben was then attacked and killed by the same monster that killed Irons. Ada leaves to find Umbrella's lab to try to find her boyfriend.

While in the sewers, Claire and Sherry got separated and Sherry was then infected by the monster, who is revealed to be William Birkin, who transformed into the monster G after injecting himself with the G-virus. Claire met Sherry's mother Annette Birkin who told Claire about the G-virus. Leon pursues Annette and is shot in the chest. Ada confronted Annette and later came back to patch up Leon. Claire found Sherry, only to find out she was infected. The two continued on into Umbrella's Underground Lab. Leon and Ada made their way to the underground lab, only for Ada to be attacked by G. The tram leading into the Underground lab stopped midway and Leon went out to find out where they were, leaving Ada behind. Leon was able to make it into the lab leaving Ada behind. He learned from Annette later that Ada was a spy, but he refused to believe her. Leon was then attacked by the T-00 only to be saved by Ada. Ada seriously injured and stunned the T-00, but she was also "fatally" injured by the T-00. The T-00 fell into the blast furnace and Ada "died" in Leon's arms. Claire met Annette again in the underground lab. Shortly thereafter, Annette found and tried to reason with William, but she was fatally wounded. Annette gave Claire the information to create the DEVIL vaccine to save Sherry. Claire was able to see Leon on the surveillance cameras. She told him to get Sherry from the security office while she was going to create the vaccine.

Leon found Sherry and headed to the escape train in the underground level. As Leon was preparing the train he was attacked by the now mutated T-00. A mysterious woman, believed to be Ada, gave Leon a Rocket Launcher, which Leon used to defeat the monster once and for all. Claire finally makes the vaccine and heads toward the train. She was attacked by William again, but was able to defeat him. Claire reunited with Leon and Sherry as the train made its way out of the lab. Claire injected Sherry with the vaccine and successfully cured her. However, William makes it on board the train and the train, detecting a viral outbreak, engaged the self-destruct system. Leon found the now severely mutated William in the back taking up half of the boxcar. Claire and Sherry tried to find a way to stop the train since the doors were locked. Sherry was able to reach the control panel and stop the train. The three made their way to the end of the tunnel before the train exploded. Leon, Claire, and Sherry finally escaped on the morning of September 30. Claire left the group to find her brother, Chris Redfield, while Leon and Sherry were picked up by the US Military.

Sometime that night, HUNK, who had survived in the sewers for nearly eight days made his escape out of the sewers and headed to the helipad to be picked up by a rescue helicopter. HUNK successfully escaped Raccoon City with the G-virus in hand.

Raccoon Destruction


The city was totally destroyed.

On October 1, Carlos successfully cured Jill with a vaccine he found at the Raccoon General Hospital. The two left the church soon after to Raccoon Park and Incineration Disposal Plant P-12A, where Jill was informed that the US Army was preparing to launch a missile into the city. The two searched for a way to get out of the city before its destruction. Jill finally confronted Nikolai, who has stolen a helicopter to make his escape. Jill then confronts and kills the Nemesis once and for all. Jill had believed that there was no escape for them, until Carlos learns that someone is trying to save Jill and that a helicopter is on its way to pick her up. The helicopter finds both Jill and Carlos. The pilot was revealed to be none other than Barry Burton.

After surviving the attack by T-00, Ada escapes the sewers and heads toward the Apple Inn to meet up with her contact. She finds out that he had committed suicide and Ada was then contacted by Wesker who seems disappointed in Ada for letting Leon escape the city. However, he changes his mind about Ada after seeing that she retrieved the G-virus. Wesker then gives Ada a hookshot gun and tells her that a helicopter is leaving Raccoon City and that the city is going to be destroyed. Ada leaves the hotel and makes her escape. Ada finds the helicopter, only to be confronted by Tyrant R. She destroys the Tyrant and manages to get on the helicopter with the hook gun she receives from Wesker. The helicopter had Sergei Vladimir and an Umbrella executive.

The missile then arrives and destroys Raccoon City completely.


The events of the Raccoon City incident, including its destruction, were likewise covered up by the Government, with only portions of the destruction and the overall incident, namely the Umbrella Corporation's ties to it, being publically revealed for Umbrella's shutdown and bankruptcy. Ironically, it also put an irreversible setback into Spencer's plans to create a new race due to the research notes for his eugenics project, Project W (which also resulted in the creation of Albert Wesker himself) being lost in the destruction.

Sometime later, the U.S. Government set up a research tower to oversee any possible hazardous activity left after the destruction of Raccoon City and for virus research purposes with unknown intentions, no other purposes were revealed.[16]

This eventually culminated in the 2005 Harvardville Airport Bioterrorism incident when Curtis Miller attempted to expose the incident under the belief that the tragedy not occur again (as his family was killed in the incident), an event that eventually culminated in WilPharma framing him as well as his infection/mutation via the G virus and eventual death.

Eventually, in 2013, the details of the outbreak and destruction of Raccoon City were planned by then-President Adam Benford to be released to the public in a press conference at Tall Oaks. However, a secret organization known as The Family, which was led at the time by the United States National Security Advisor Derek C. Simmons, opposed Benford's decision as they believed that this would lower the United States' status and have the nation persecuted by the World Government. Simmons orchestrated a similar biological outbreak in Tall Oaks that resulted in the contamination and deaths of tens of thousands people, including Benford.

Other appearances

The Raccoon City Destruction Incident was referenced in three other mediums:

In Robot Chicken, Yoshi, after losing Mario and Luigi, tracked down their locations to either Vice City (from Grand Theft Auto: Vice City) or Raccoon City. He chose Raccoon City, and wasn't able to find Mario or Luigi there before he was eaten by the Zombies.

In Marvel Vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds, the 1998 Raccoon City Destruction Incident was briefly referenced in one of the endings, where Wesker is put on trial and placed in a straightjacket and was questioned about his involvement in the 1998 Raccoon City Disaster by Chris Redfield and Matt Murdock/DareDevil, to which Wesker openly gloated to "causing quite a mess there."

In Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3, Rocket Raccoon is seen fighting zombies during his "vacation" at Raccoon City from recommendation by "the guy with the guns" in his ending.


  1. "ラクーン事件" (Raccoon Incident)
  1. Resident Evil 0 - "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?)
  1. The broadcast just before the credits in Resident Evil 3: Nemesis reports that the death toll is believed to have surpassed the 100,000 mark
  3. Capcom Japan. BIOHAZARD 6 (in Japanese). (Capcom Co., Ltd.). File: レオンとラクーン事件.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Resident Evil Outbreak File #2, file: "Kurt's notebook"
  5. Resident Evil Outbreak File #2 (2004), file: "Clinical report"
  6. 6.0 6.1 Resident Evil Outbreak File #2, file: "Doctor's confession"
  7. Resident Evil Outbreak File #2, file: "Comet News"
  8. Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, Manager's Diary
  9. Another Side of Biohazard. Capcom. ISBN 4-8465-2307-1. 
  10. 10.0 10.1 Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, Mercenary's Diary
  11. Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, Director's Diary
  12. Resident Evil Outbreak File 2, "No Hope"
  13. Capcom. Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles. (Capcom Co., Ltd.). File: Emergency Orders.
  14. Capcom. Resident Evil 2. (Capcom Co., Ltd.). File: Tyrant scene.
  15. Capcom. Resident Evil 3: Nemesis (Biohazard 3 Last Escape). (Capcom Co., Ltd.).
  16. CAPCOM, Resident Evil Outbreak, Decisions, Decisions Post-Credit Scene: Epilogue.