(Capcom's primary storyline)
The Raccoon City Underground Laboratory was a large subterranean laboratory located in the outskirts of Raccoon City that was operated by the Umbrella Corporation and administrated by Dr. William Birkin.
This sprawling facility, built primarily for the research and development of the G-virus, could be accessed via an underground cable car system that linked the facility to the sewers beneath the Raccoon City Police Department and the Umbrella Research Center, a private train station on the lowest level, as well as a personal elevator that allowed access to the Research Center's train station above that.
The Raccoon City Underground Laboratory was constructed in 1991 following the discovery of the G-Virus within a human test subject. Either due to the small size or aging nature of the Arklay Laboratory, Umbrella CEO Dr. Lord Oswell E. Spencer felt an entirely new facility was necessary for this research. Dr. William Birkin, the Arklay Laboratory's chief researcher, was transferred to the laboratory personally to carry out the research along with his wife, Annette.
In July 1998 the facility was put in lockdown after the Queen Leech attacked a number of facilities to the north of Raccoon City. A pack of Hunter α reached as far as the warehouse, and a failed Tyrant prototype escaped storage. Drs. Albert Wesker and William Birkin were able to tap the CCTV feeds from several contaminated facilities into a security room in the surface warehouse, keeping them in control while also away from danger.[note 1]
Raccoon City Destruction Incident
In mid-1998, the Birkins began contaminating Umbrella facilities across the city as part of a plan to hand over themselves and the G-Virus to the US military as a critical element in their bioweapons program. Aware of an attempt by the Umbrella Security Service to steal it, they released their own Hunter R test-subjects from containment and allowed the t-Virus to spread across the facility in order to distract or destroy the unit. At least two USS soldiers were able to reach the P-12A lab in late September and steal G-Virus samples; the subsequent battle with a G-mutated William led to the t-Virus spreading into Raccoon City's drinking water.
Following the sabotage and raid, there was no one left to control the facility and the researchers were forced to deal with the escaped Hunter Rs on their own with no security team. By rigging the low temperature laboratory to affect the entirety of level B4F, Dr. Frost was able to force the Hunters to undergo brumation, freezing them in their tracks. Nonetheless, at least ten researchers were killed in the attack.
Elsewhere, a researcher, realising the effect the outbreak would have on Umbrella's corporate stability, stole a sample G-Virus in the hopes of getting rich on the black market. He would later surface as a senior researcher for the WilPharma Corporation under the name of "Dr. Frederic Downing". Dr. Monica had a similar idea and stole a dormant G-embryo, killing another researcher to further her chances of success and leaving her as the last surviving non-zombified employee in the facility. She was soon discovered by Yoko Suzuki, who had led a group of civilians into the underground platform. The survivors successfully killed off the Hunters and fled the laboratory via a train, while Monica was rendered unconscious by a Giant Moth, parasitised and subsequently killed by her escaped G-embryo.
Dr. Annette Birkin returned to the facility on the early hours of September 30, having uncovered a plot by a rival company to steal the G-Virus, and prepared a last stand to protect her husband's work. This was complicated by the arrival of Claire Redfield, who was looking after Annette and William's daughter, Sherry, when she was infected with the G-Virus. Annette and Claire collaborated in developing as sample of "DEVIL" to prevent the G-Virus from transforming her into something similar to her father. They were ultimately successful and Sherry maintained human form, albeit developing regenerative abilities. Annette did not survive to see her daughter's treatment, however, and died from wounds sustained in the lab.[note 2]
Ada Wong, a spy working temporarily for the rival company - and, by extension, Dr. Wesker - infiltrated the facility around the same time with police officer Leon S. Kennedy. The two were attacked by a T-103 Tyrant sent by Umbrella to steal any remaining samples of the G-Virus. Ada passed after sending the Tyrant plummeting off the B4F main shaft walkway and into the molten metal on B8F. She was ultimately successful in her mission, retrieving tissue sample from William's body.
During the two group's explorations, the self-destruct system was triggered. They escaped the facility via a train at the B8F platform, but were forced to abandon it when William broke in. The train identified him as a biohazardous threat and the train exploded to prevent another leak.
Although the facility was primarily constructed for G-Virus research, it was not the only focus of the lab, which also investigated chemicals relating to G-Virus research as well as wholly unrelated B.O.W. research. While Dr. William Birkin engineered the G-Virus, his wife Dr. Annette Birkin led the "DEVIL" project to create a medicine that could restrict the aggressive spread in organisms. Dr. Martin Walcott research team based in the No. 1 R&D room developed a drug that could put G organisms in a comatose state for transportation.
Unrelated to G research, another team, possibly led by Dr. William Birkin, engineered the Hunter R as an improved bio-weapon prototype derived from the Hunter A, which Dr. William Birkin had developed in the 1980s. In the final weeks before the facility's destruction, a team developed Plant 43, based on information retrieved from the Spencer Mansion. An anti-B.O.W. weapon was developed by a team in the No. 2 R&D room called "P-ε".
To keep spies away from the facility, Umbrella constructed the laboratory beneath Raccoon City's northern industrial district with a dummy warehouse serving as the facade. The warehouse complex was itself at the end of a marshalling yard, with one track ending in the middle of the complex on a service elevator capable of carrying an engine full of passengers to and from level B4F. To further allow researchers access to the facility, the warehouse complex also had a station for Umbrella's cable car system, an underground transportation utilising Raccoon City's underground caverns.
In the laboratory proper, levels B1F-B3F were primarily designed to supply the laboratory with energy. Level B1F contained the main power room as well as providing staff with access to a self-destruct mechanism that would set off strategically-placed bombs that would destroy the lab if compromised. Level B2F consisted of the actual machinery for the power room and was normally steam-filled. Level B3F consisted solely of a smelting room and an observation platform above a large, open vat of molten metal.
Levels B4F-B7F housed the complex's actual research labs. Unlike the above floors, which were linked by elevators, these levels had to be reached through ladders. Level B4F was the first of the main laboratory levels, hence the level for the railway elevator. A security office was located against the platform, with another door leading to the main shaft, the centre of the complex where power to the research labs could be turned on and off. This shaft led to two wings - the East Area and West Area. The West Area led to researcher dormitories and a duct for B5F access. The East Area meanwhile consisted of rooms for various research projects: an operating room; low-temperature lab and a culturing room.
Level B5F was the site of the P-12A laboratory where G-Virus research was conducted, with a security office placed close by to keep Dr. Birkin's research safe. The east side of this floor included a storage room with elevator access to level B8F, and was likely where supplies were delivered.
B6F did not have any laboratories, instead being more simple in its design. Its main use was as a second level for the security room, linked to the upper room by a ladder. On the east side was a break room to allow researchers to socialise. Several vending machines and a television were located on this wing to better serve its purpose.
B7F, the final level for the research labs, consisted of chemical storage rooms.
The very bottom level of the facility was B8F. This level was the site of a second platform, with its own train. This area was used for the covert shipment of materials in and out of Raccoon City.
- Dr. William Birkin
- Dr. Annette Birkin
- Dr. Frederic Downing
- Dr. Frost
- Dr. Monica
- Walter Ryan
- Dr. Martin Walcott
- This may be one of the most visited locations throughout the Resident Evil series. It appears in Resident Evil Zero; Resident Evil 2; Resident Evil Outbreak and Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles, and was reimagined for Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City.
- ↑ The facility's appearance in Resident Evil Zero is very problematic. It was decided very late in the project by then-series writer Noboru Sugimura that the lab should appear as a shout-out to fans of the earlier games. This led to its appearance some eight miles north-west of where Flagship established it to be. Consequently, it can be treated by fans as if it were an unrelated facility.
- ↑ As there is no fully-canon path in Resident Evil 2, Annette was either killed by William or died from trauma sustained by falling debris. No later game has established the canonical event.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Wesker's Report II.
- ↑ Resident Evil 5 (2009), file: "History of RESIDENT EVIL".
- ↑ Resident Evil 2 cutscene.
- ↑ Resident Evil Outbreak (2003), file: "Researcher's Will".
- ↑ Resident Evil: Degeneration.
- ↑ Resident Evil Outbreak (2003), scenario: "Below Freezing Point".
- ↑ Resident Evil Outbreak (2003), scene: "Turn Table Goes Up".
- ↑ Resident Evil Outbreak (2003), file: "Top-Secret Memo".
- ↑ Resident Evil 2 (1999), file: "Progress Report".
- ↑ Resident Evil 2 (1998), file: "P-Epsilon Gas Report".