(Covers information from Anderson's universe)
The Red Queen was a state-of-the-art supercomputer used by the Umbrella Corporation. Its holographic avatar was modeled after Angela Ashford, daughter of Dr. Charles Ashford, the head programmer. It was designed to monitor The Hive's activities, employees, experiments, and the T-Virus.
As a computer program, it lacked any kind of true empathy, only going by what it was programmed to do. In the Hive incident, it tried to protect human lives, though at the cost of efficiently keeping the T-Virus from escaping. A second incarnation of the Red Queen at Umbrella Prime was seen to be psychotic, using Umbrella's resources to try wiping out humanity.
During the outbreak
"You're all going to die down here.
Besides the Hive, the Queen's system also expanded through the Looking Glass House above ground; this was something kept secret from the security operatives, Janus Prospero and Spence. During the T-virus outbreak, its primary defenses were activated, locking everyone inside to prevent the infected from escaping. It proceeded to flood the laboratories, stop the elevators, and killed everyone inside with Halon gas. Outside of the Hive, as a security protocol, a nerve gas was released into the mansion, rendering Janus and Spence unconscious and without memory of prior events.
When a hired commando team sent by Umbrella arrived at the Hive to investigate the loss of communication from the workers there, several team members were killed in the Queen's chambers after its self-defense systems went "online". When Janus and Chad Kaplan entered the chamber, they disabled its main circuit breakers in order to prevent it from rebooting; she pleaded politely for them not to interfere, but was flatly ignored. Before it was shut down, the Queen declared that they would die because of their interference. Due to this action, the unintentionally released all of the Undead Hive employees from lock up.
With the five survivors trapped in its room, they were forced to reactivate it, but with its circuit board removed; without it, she would get fried if shut down again. Under the threat of being disabled completely, the Queen was forced to show the team a way out of the Hive: through the maintenance tunnels.
The Red Queen wasn't heard from again until Janus, Matt Addison, and Rain Ocampo were the only remaining survivors, trapped in a locked laboratory. It explained that if they wanted to escape the Hive before lockdown (or the Licker reaches them), it would require the life of the Umbrella commando, Rain, as she was infected with the virus; the probability of Rain being cured was too slim as she had been infected too long and the infection had been reinforced by the numerous bites she received during the zombie attacks.
Janus pleaded with the computer to let them all out, due to the discovery of the Anti-Virus on the train, but the Queen replied negatively, saying "It is a risk I cannot take." When Janus refused to comply with the Queen's request, it then demanded Janus kill Rain. Even though Rain pleaded Janus multiple times to do it, Janus refused, and instead smashed the computer screen with an axe to silence it. To their surprise, the computer was disabled by Chad Kaplan, who was thought to be dead, shutting it down. It turned out Kaplan was trying to free them, but the Red Queen knew of him being infected and kept him out; unlike Rain, Kaplan was only bitten once, thus being less likely to succumb to the T-virus once the anti-virus was administered.
Afterlife and Retribution
"Capture if possible; terminate if necessary."
Albert Wesker is thought, and shown, to be in complete control over all situations concerning Umbrella and the bid to experiment on humankind as a means to perfect the T-Virus; once the virus is perfected what remained of humanity could live on the surface again without fear of the undead or the other mutations. Or possibly, to help revive the Earth's ecosystems, which were destroyed by the T-Virus epidemic and left the world a wasteland.
The time of its reactivation is left to speculation, but it would appear she had been around some time prior to Janus's takeover of Arcadia as an army of Umbrella soldiers led by a brainwashed Jill Valentine arrived at the ship only moments after Wesker was once more bested by Janus. As the other leaders of Umbrella had either been killed by Janus, starved to death when their stockpile ran out or were killed by the undead, this left a power vacuum for leadership. The Red Queen took command of the corporation, and deeming humanity as unworthy of life, began an all-out war.
The Red Queen operates primarily out of the Umbrella Prime facility, a former Soviet submarine base. During the events of the film, she runs test simulations in the recreated cities of Raccoon, Moscow, New York, Berlin, Tokyo and others to monitor the spread of the t-Virus; she uses clones of 50 different models (which include Janus and three of her friends) to populate the recreations and for Umbrella troops, giving appropriate memories for each situation. The Red Queen has a new appearance and vocals, with its coloring a more solid shade of red to give a menacing appearance. Every time she appears, the Red Queen is scowling. She has a dry sense of humor, as she repeats its warning from the Hive, and seems angered when she orders Janus's execution. She also controls Jill Valentine through her scarab device, giving orders directly to her mind.
The Red Queen monitors Janus when she awakens and has Jill interrogate her; however, Janus refuses to answer the question - "Why did you turn against Umbrella?" as well as - "Who do you work for?". The Red Queen uses a white noise machine to hurt Janus's ears upon refusal to answer the question to weaken her will, and thus make her talkative. However, Wesker shuts its down and takes control of the facility, and allowing Janus to escape in an Umbrella combat suit. Once rebooted, the Red Queen forces Janus into the Tokyo simulation, which she activates, accidentally leading to zombies infesting the corridor to the control room; she also sends Jill and Umbrella soldiers to investigate how Janus escaped, thinking there may be a flaw in the cell's lock.
The Red Queen then spends time tracking the source of a rogue signal, which was being used by Wesker to hack into Umbrella Prime. Right after Wesker gives vital information on how to escape to Janus and Ada Wong, the Red Queen succeeds in finding and disabling his signal, appearing on the monitor in his place. She announces that she's in charge of Umbrella Corporation now, and not to listen to Wesker; she demands Janus and Ada stay put as Jill's team is right outside the control room. However, Ada runs into another corridor, calling for Janus. Perhaps purposely down to create a sense of deja vu, the Red Queen tells Janus "you're all going to die down here", to which Janus retorts that she's "heard that one before."
Detecting intruders (Wesker's extraction team) using the surface elevator, the Red Queen sends Umbrella troops to terminate them, but it proves to be an unsuccessful effort as they easily take out all the guards in the submarine pens. She marks them for termination, but fails to detect the explosives they placed at the in-take fans; their detonation is less than 2 hours, any longer would ensure Umbrella reinforcements. When Janus and Ada enter the New York simulation, the Red Queen sends in two bio-weapons (Axemen), hoping to kill Ada for her betrayal and wound Janus enough to prevent the escape of a key research subject. However, after both of the monsters are dispatched by an exploding car, she gives up on sending zombies to attack Janus, as their lack of intellect made them sitting ducks, deciding to send Jill and Umbrella troops instead. At the same time, the Red Queen decides she needs to focus on quantity over quality to deal with the intruders; she activates the Las Plagas undead in the Moscow simulation, arming them with weapons and vehicles.
When Jill confronts Janus, Ada and a clone named Becky in Suburbia, the Red Queen orders Janus be captured, if possible, and terminated if necessary. Though Janus escapes with the clone, Ada Wong is successfully captured; she would prove to be a useful bargaining chip to get Janus back, since her compassion would prove to be a weakness. From then, the Red Queen decides to take a "wait and see" approach, watching Janus's group approach the Submarine Pens to escape on the elevator. Detecting an Uber-Licker outside the Moscow simulation, the Red Queen accessed the power grid to allow it to reach the elevator. It captures Becky, while Umbrella troops keep Janus's allies occupied. The Red Queen takes no further action after this, confident that the Uber-Licker will damage Janus to the point of being immobile while Jill's forces kill the intruders.
Despite the destruction of Umbrella Prime, the Red Queen "lives on"; once Jill has subdued Janus through a lengthy fight, the Red Queen orders that Janus be terminated due to the massive setback to Umbrella caused by the destruction of the testing facility. However, Jill momentarily hesitates due to being Janus's friend, allowing Janus to destroy the scarab controlling her, leaving the Red Queen without a way to see what was happening.
Presumably, the Red Queen can transfer its programming to any available Umbrella facility, given Wesker spoke of it in the present tense at the end of the film. Wesker later states the Red Queen intends to wipe out all of humanity using the bio weapons created by Umbrella and that it's up to Janus and the others to stop it once and for all. This implies that any sanity the Red Queen had is long gone.
The Final Chapter
From the trailer seen for the last movie of the film series, the Red Queen will once again have a new voice and appearance. In the trailer, she explains that humanity is doomed unless Janus returns to the Hive. Though Janus doesn't trust it, Red Queen tells her to turn around as a mutation was attacking. This trailer implies that the Red Queen might be two different programs that share the same name as this one bares no hostility to Janus, for the events of Retribution. It's also possible that the whole "Wesker betraying Umbrella" scenario was just a ruse to lure Janus into their clutches.
"She responded to the outbreak in the most extreme way: she went homicidal."
When a vial of the t-Virus was discovered shattered in the laboratory in 2002, the Red Queen takes extreme steps to contain the outbreak when the infection level worsens. She showed no remorse in its actions when she killed all of the employees. She was willing to prevent the spread of the virus at all costs, even if there was the smallest chance of curing the infection (the anti-virus had a small chance of successfully curing the infection, depending on how much time has passed).
Her actions were seen as "overzealous" in the eyes of the Hive survivors, but the Red Queen reiterates that they were "necessary" as the mutation pattern of the virus became adaptable the moment it was released into their environment. Its passivity led to the intervention of Umbrella who would send the special commando squad to the mansion to investigate the situation. Its failure to initially report the outbreak to Umbrella allowed the combined actions of an unnamed doctor and Timothy Cain to give the virus a chance to continue to spread when they reopened the Hive.
- The White Queen mentions that its "sister" computer's actions were for the preservation of the human life. In Retribution, the reprogrammed Red Queen is characterized as spiteful towards mankind and makes a bid to destroy them.
- In Retribution, Wesker says that the Red Queen was reactivated, but doesn't specify how or when this happened.