(Capcom's primary storyline)
Umbrella was a giant conglomerate which operated ruthlessly as a major international player in a number of markets; including pharmaceuticals and medical equipment, as well as top-secret operations utilizing genetic engineering and biological weaponry. The company also had a more benevolent public face for the ignorant masses, producing cosmetics, consumer products and foods.
A subsidiary of Umbrella Corporation operated as a malevolent paramilitary organization. This division of the company maintained a highly trained security force capable of rescue, performing reconnaissance, and conducting all paramilitary operations. They used a variety of vehicles, including HUMVEEs. Complementing this security force was an air wing, which maintained a fleet of UH-60 Black Hawks, AV-8 Harrier VTOL jets, C-130 Hercules water-landing capable cargo planes, CH-53 Sea Stallion cargo helicopters for transporting prisoners and AH-6 Little Bird attack helicopters. The company utilized these resources in order to secure and protect its assets, as well as its high-profile employees.
History of Umbrella
Umbrella was founded in 1968 by Lord Oswell E. Spencer, Sir Edward Ashford, and Dr. James Marcus after the discovery of the Progenitor virus the previous year. Another starting member (though not considered a co-founder) was Marcus' student Brandon Bailey, who was with Marcus and Spencer when they first discovered the Stairway of the Sun flower.
Ashford died from exposure to the virus, and Bailey was effectively exiled to the Umbrella Africa Laboratory, where he would send virus samples to Dr. Marcus' newly built Umbrella Executive Training Center.
In 1969, Edward's son Alexander began the construction of the Antarctic Base, attached to which was a research center where he began development of his "Code: Veronica" project, under which he began research into the gene that controls intelligence. From said research, Alfred and Alexia would be born two years later.
Seeking new information on Progenitor, Marcus infected several of his students with the virus. They were, however, unable to survive its effects and died, their corpses dumped in the Water Treatment facility.
Marcus injected leeches with Progenitor in 1978 and bore witness to the creation of a new strain which he named the "t-virus". Later this year, the Training facility would be closed and Marcus' two prized students: Albert Wesker and William Birkin, would be moved to the nearby Arklay Laboratory.
In 1978, Marcus yet again found evidence of tampering. In his increasing paranoia brought on by his quest for glory and isolation from mankind, he wrote in his diary that Albert and William were the only humans he trusted. His trust in them would be betrayed ten years later, however, as the two would - under direct orders from Spencer, himself - have him assassinated by a Special forces unit and dumped into the Water Treatment Facility. Credit for "t" would be taken by William Birkin. His trust in Birkin would also render hiding the source of "t" - the Leeches - useless.
However, by this point in time Birkin had little care for "t", having discovered the G-virus in the body of Lisa Trevor, the daughter of George Trevor, still kept in the estate as a guinea pig for their twisted experiments.
Marcus was completely restored 10 years after his death by the Queen Leech. He would exact his revenge on Spencer and Umbrella by releasing "t" into the Arklay Laboratory's water supply, turning the facility personnel into zombies and leaving the laboratory and mansion in complete chaos, allowing for the team's extremely dangerous research specimens to escape into the surrounding area.
Birkin and Wesker used this as a diversion for their own plans to leave Umbrella, taking their research with them. Wesker, having formed Raccoon City's elite S.T.A.R.S. unit two years prior, would develop a plan to lure the team to the Mansion and obtain battle data from the conflict that would surely follow. Although the Tyrant was deployed - leading Wesker to falsify his death as a realistic "unforeseen side-effect" of releasing it - both the laboratory and the rampaging Tyrant were destroyed by S.T.A.R.S. Alpha team, before making their escape back to Raccoon City with a single Bravo team survivor.
Wesker was forced to go into hiding for a number of months, using his operative Ada Wong to carry out his objectives, including the recovery of Birkin's G-virus. Two months after the Arklay incident, William Birkin finally perfected the viral strain that he'd been toiling to achieve since obtaining Marcus' research so many years before. Birkin planned to use the virus to force the Umbrella Corporation into allowing him onto their executive board, but then changed his plans when he found that selling it directly to the U.S. Government would prove far more profitable - though this is based on Umbrella's opinion.
Umbrella deployed its elite U.S.S. Alpha Team (a para-military black operations unit created for Umbrella's most clandestine purposes) led by HUNK in a desperate bid to stop Birkin from handing over his ultimate creation. Although Birkin was mortally wounded in the ensuing conflict, and the G-virus was successfully recovered by HUNK's team, he was able to inject a remaining sample into his own body and devastate most of the team before they could make their escape.
This event would be indirectly responsible for unleashing the t-virus into Raccoon City. HUNK recovered a sample of the virus, extracted it, and gave it to Umbrella. While the Arklay incident had been relatively isolated and concealed from the public and Umbrella's control over key government and law enforcement personnel had ensured that any record of what had occurred could be safely swept into obscurity, they were now faced with an entire city infected with "t" and a trail leading directly back to the Umbrella Corporation. This would prove exceedingly difficult, even for Umbrella, to make simply disappear.
Umbrella fell from grace on September 24, 1998, when the t-virus turned a large percentage of the population of Raccoon City into Zombies. The morning after, the U.S. Government had the city limits bordered off by the military, whilst they began an investigation into the matter.
Umbrella itself was divided on the issue of Raccoon City. Its virologists within the limits spent their time researching a cure, whilst weapons researchers had experimental B.O.W.s sent in to receive combat data on their effectiveness at killing civilians. The Umbrella Biohazard Countermeasure Service (UBCS) was sent in to evacuate civilians, whilst "Monitors" installed within the four Delta Platoons gathered the combat data, sacrificing their comrades to save their own lives, where they would receive a very generous sum for their data.
Meanwhile, some employees even turned on each other. Dr. Frost was killed by Monica for being in the way of a "G"-sample, whilst Yoko Suzuki - a t-virus test subject used in an experiment two years before - lost her Umbrella security card to Monica, who would soon walk right into the infected Birkin and become a host for his offspring.
Former Umbrella researcher Greg Mueller had a University professor create a cure - Daylight - before the Outbreak, knowing what would soon happen. He was wanted by Umbrella, not due to "Daylight", but because of an experiment Greg took with him when he left - an experimental Tyrant. "Thanatos" was activated and sent outside to kill UBCS personnel attempting to claim it. Unbeknownst to him or his creation, the supervisor "Nikolai Zinoviev" had infiltrated the building. Whilst discussing his plan with a few survivors, Nikolai shot through the ceiling, through Greg's head, and out of his neck. His death was instantaneous. The University was destroyed by C-4 charges, whilst the Tyrant was killed by "Daylight" nearby. It was a fitting end to the beast, as one of the ingredients of the anti-virus was the creature's very blood.
Elsewhere in Raccoon, an executive had a UBCS team on the lookout for renegade USS member Rodriguez, who had stolen the executive's "package". Rodriguez was waiting for a researcher - Linda - to return from an Umbrella facility as she left something important behind. This was AT1521 - Umbrella's answer to Daylight. After recovering it, another researcher - Carter - released the experimental "Tyrant R" to kill off the Hunter R running amok. Although seemingly taking orders from Carter without question, it had already counted the man as a threat - a bomb had been planted in the monster, and Carter had the detonator. The creature's betrayal led to the destruction of AT1521, leaving Linda to have to remember how to re-synthesize it all by herself.
Eventually, Umbrella was unable to delay the President's decision to authorize the Sterilization Operation. With little time left, all paramilitary forces were ordered to clear out. Carlos Oliveira and Jill Valentine were rescued by Barry Burton, whilst Nikolai attempted to escape on his own via helicopter. Rodriguez was forced to abandon Linda and pull out, leading to an attempted shoot down by an Umbrella Executive. The rocket missed, but the helicopter's sudden emergency maneuvers led to the loss of the "package", revealing a horrific creation known as "Nyx". The UBCS team and Tyrant R were defeated by Nyx and absorbed into its body. In the end Nyx would eventually be killed by a group of survivors, who successfully escaped Raccoon City by HUMVEE with Linda.
Still, this was not the last story to tell of Umbrella's actions in the city. Leader of Umbrella's paramilitary organizations, Sergei Vladimir, stole the U.M.F.-013 storage system - also known as the Umbrella Archives. Ada Wong, who had retrieved the G- virus, was rushing to leave the city, but instead clashed with the revived Tyrant R. In the end she defeated the creature and escaped the city on Sergei Vladimir's helicopter, witnessing the destruction of Raccoon City.
It would take many years, and many more tragedies, to finally gather enough evidence to condemn Umbrella.
- Main article: Raccoon Trials
Umbrella's fortunes failed to improve in the time shortly after the Raccoon City incident. The US government changed its opinions of the company - while it had initially desired to obtain Umbrella's secrets for its own military projects, it was now in full condemnation over Umbrella's failure to contain the situation (the US government's involvement in Raccoon City was carefully omitted). A "suspension of business decree" was imposed on Umbrella USA, Inc., preventing any further presence in the US stock market. Under threat of financial ruin, Umbrella filed an appeal to overturn the decision.
On Sheena Island, undercover investigator, Ark Thompson, operating on behalf of Leon S. Kennedy, succeeded in destroying Umbrella's Tyrant production plant after Vincent Goldman, The Umbrella Director of the island, unleashed the t-virus on its citizens. Shortly afterwards, Claire Redfield broke into Umbrella's Paris facilities in search of her brother and was captured and sent to Umbrella's illegal prison camp on Rockfort Island. While there, she witnessed Albert Wesker attack the island in search of the t-Veronica virus, another descendant of Progenitor. Escaping the island, she found herself trapped at the Antarctic Base, where Edward Ashford's granddaughter, Alexia Ashford, awoke from a self-induced coma with the desire to establish a new order.
By 2002, both Umbrella and the US had been forced into potentially-damaging positions. Over the years, Umbrella had denied liability for the Raccoon City incident on the grounds of US government involvement, which the US government itself denied, arguing that all of Umbrella's testimonies were entirely fabricated. While the general public opinion was slowly moving in support of Umbrella's testimony, the company itself was still closing on financial ruin without access to Wall Street. The situation had become noticeably grave when US intelligence discovered that a rogue former employee was selling B.O.W.s to a South American drug lord, Javier Hidalgo.
Later in the year, USSTRATCOM and Chinese intelligence were called in to investigate the theft of t-virus and t+G-Virus samples from an Umbrella Europe facility by yet another person - the former R&D executive, Morpheus D. Duvall, who was used as a scapegoat for the May 1998 leak. Duvall took the United States and China hostage, threatening to fire t-virus missiles from an undisclosed silo in the hopes of obtaining a ransom of $5 billion in return for their safety. While USSTRATCOM succeeded in taking out Duvall and preventing a missile attack, the Paraguas Line Company cruiser Spencer Rain was lost, with its entire crew and passenger complement becoming infected and subsequently killed during a viral outbreak.
The final blow to the company would come in February of 2003, when a private anti-biohazard paramilitary force was sent to the Caucasus in the Russian Federation in response to rumors of a new B.O.W. being developed there by Umbrella. Leading the attack were Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine, who eventually reached the Russian facility's underground chamber, where they fought Umbrella's final weapon, T-A.L.O.S., after it was dispatched by Sergei Vladimir. At the same time, Wesker managed to infiltrate the facility a few hours prior to Chris and Jill's arrival, and had one final encounter with Sergei, who then mutated into a new, virus-infected monster. While Chris and Jill destroyed T-A.L.O.S., Wesker managed to extract all data from Umbrella's Red Queen supercomputer, while also erasing any of the memory left within the computer itself, in order to use it against Spencer, thus bringing Umbrella to its knees.
Umbrella was finally found guilty soon after the Umbrella Russia incident, after anonymous notification by Albert Wesker, using the data he had extracted. The U.S. government suspended Umbrella's market trading license pending further investigation into their business practices. While this investigation must have already provided Umbrella with severe financial problems, a worldwide manhunt for surviving founder Oswell E. Spencer sealed the organization's fate.
Albert Wesker kept the stolen data in his secret hideout. Wesker had always desired power more than anything in the world, seeking to dominate all for his own gain. He saw Umbrella as power incarnate. His computer had every Umbrella asset stored away safely, and he planned to one day remake the company under his leadership. This new Umbrella would lead the human race into a new, improved era, fixing a world Wesker saw as unacceptable. His vision for the future would go beyond that of Spencer, but he would later discover that they both had much in common, as Spencer had made Wesker who he had become.
Despite Umbrella's executives best efforts they could not stop the rapid decline of the corporation. With trading suspended, Umbrella's shares quickly collapsed, and the company was left bankrupt. With the corporation shut down, a vast amount of Bio-Weapon and virus samples appeared on the black market, birthing an age of bio-terrorism. The ultimate irony came to be that the world was safer with Umbrella than without it.
In 2005, Umbrella's t-virus was used in a bioterrorism attack on Harvardville Airport, resulting in a mass infection of the entire terminal. However this time it was caused by a company known as Wilpharma. One of its key employees, Frederic Downing, had stolen both the t and G virus samples from his previous employer Umbrella, and had fled Raccoon City.
Umbrella's other monstrosity, the G-virus, was also used in the same outbreak, and was injected into the body of Curtis Miller. Miller wanted the information about the Raccoon City outbreak released, so that everyone who had wronged him and his deceased family would be arrested. Unbeknownst to him, Frederic Downing was using him to collect G-virus combat data for a buyer wanting the "t" and G-viruses. However, the conspiracy was uncovered by the efforts of Leon S. Kennedy, Claire Redfield, and the S.R.T, during the deadly outbreak.
Due to Umbrella's use of medicines developed by other pharmaceutical companies, the Global Pharmaceutical Organization worked to prevent further harm from being done to the names of innocent pharmaceutical organizations, and to prevent the further distribution of B.O.W.s, by forming the Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance, or "BSAA", after Umbrella's collapse in 2003. Among the eleven founding members were none other than Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine.
Company Motto & Slogan
According to James Marcus, Umbrella's 'employee pledge' is stated as being "Obedience Breeds Discipline, Discipline Breeds Unity, Unity Breeds Power, Power is Life." It is unknown if this is the motto for the public or if it is used purely within the company, due to its ominous ring.
In Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles, Albert Wesker states that Umbrella's motto was "Preserving the health of the people." This also appears on Umbrella's official website (link is now defunct) in the non-canon Inserted Evil ARG.
A contributing factor to Umbrella's success were their non-lethal commercial products. Such products include:
- Adravil: A paste-based drug with the motto of "Quick and Easy Relief: Adravil." It may be a reference to the real drug Advil.
- Safsprin: An apparent Aspirin-based brand. This brand's motto is "The Common Cure."
- Uspirim: Another Umbrella Aspirin-based product, introduced in Alyssa Ashcroft's good ending in Resident Evil Outbreak.
- Aqua Cure: Umbrella's crowning public achievement, Aqua Cure is an ointment used on open wounds that made the company famous worldwide. It is considered to be Umbrella's primary public product and is very effective. It is most likely the recurring item "First Aid Spray" that appears throughout the series. It is assumed that the t-virus is used in this product to re-accommodate the damaged cells, though no side-effect has been shown from this product.
- Valifin: A non-canon medication mentioned in the novelization Resident Evil: Zero Hour by S.D. Perry, Valifin is an experimental pediatric heart medication that has a side-effect of renal failure.
It is interesting to note that according to Rebecca Chambers in the Resident Evil Remake, most of the products are "home grown in Raccoon City." It is also interesting to note that all herbs are from Raccoon City. This suggests Umbrella cultivated these herbs, explaining how they ended up in an Umbrella base in Antarctica.
- Sporting Int. Magnum Custom Edition: A mix between a Desert Eagle and a Colt M1911, it uses .50AE rounds.
- Semi-Automatic Anti-Tank Rifle: A large rifle used to destroy light armored vehicles. It can punch through 3 cm. of reinforced steel.
- Spark Shot: A gun that fires electric shocks to control experimental animals.
- Mine Thrower: A gun with specialized darts that will detonate if something pass near them, or attach themselves to a creature.
- Elite Python: A modified version of the Colt Python made by Umbrella.
- Linear Launcher: A shoulder-mounted cannon that fires extremely powerful blast of plasma.
- Charged Particle Rifle: A gun that charges particles with negative or positive shocks that can electrocute somebody or deactivate electric shields and damage electric artifacts due to the EMP emitted by it.
- Umbrella Magnum: This model is actually a Raging Bull .44 Magnum, it is called the Magnum Revolver.
There are also a multitude of other products seen briefly throughout all of the Resident Evil games including, soft drinks, cosmetics, and glasses. In Resident Evil Outbreak, in Hellfire scenario, a special item can be found called "Umbrella noodle;" when found it gives the description : "Umbrella, Inc. makes food too...Tastes pretty good too," stating that Umbrella also manufactured food of its own brand.
- Further information: List of Umbrella subsidiaries
Only listed are facilities not known to be under the jurisdiction of any particular subsidiary. Facilities in the United States can be found here.
- Rockfort Island: A solitary island which served as the site of Alfred Ashford's private residence and palace after he purchased the land and drove the villagers out. It also housed an "inescapable" prison camp, a Military Training Center for the Umbrella Security Service Unit (including a lab used to create B.O.W.s), and an airport.
- Antarctic Base: A facility established by Alexander Ashford for his Code: Veronica project. Later, Alexia Ashford, an offspring of the project, used the facility for her t-Veronica virus research.
- Umbrella Disposal Facility: A waste disposal facility on an unnamed island in the Atlantic Ocean. It was to this facility that Umbrella sent some of its worst failed experiments to be disposed of, but for unknown reasons the facility shut down. It was used as a base of operations by renegade Umbrella executive Morpheus D. Duvall.
- Umbrella Africa Laboratory: This facility was set up in the late 1960s by Umbrella Chemical, Inc. in secrecy. Built within the underground ruins of the Ndipaya Kingdom, only high-ranking Umbrella researchers and the remaining Ndipaya knew of its existence. After it closed down in 1998, the pharmaceutical enterprise, TRICELL, Inc., under the guidance of Albert Wesker, claimed the abandoned facility and began creating their own facility further underground. It was here that they further developed the Progenitor virus and began work on the "Uroboros Project."
Umbrella owned and utilized several paramilitary units to ensure the stability of the company during their viral experimentation.
- Umbrella Security Service - Assigned with missions such as hostage rescuing and anti-terrorism. Reported directly to headquarters.
- Umbrella Biohazard Countermeasure Service - Assigned with combating escaped bio-weapons. Reported directly to headquarters.
- Monitors - Secret police. Ordered to report information vital to the company, and inform headquarters of rogue employees.
- Umbrella Trashsweepers - An alternative anti-B.O.W. force using specially-trained B.O.W.s.
- Security forces - Priv Sols hired for the guarding of facilities.
- The Capcom/Level-5 crossover game Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney features a science research group called Labrelum Inc., the name of which is an anagram of Umbrella. Just as with Umbrella, Labrelum conducted inhumane experiments, having formed "Project Labyrinthia", a large scale experiment in which they kept a town of civilians continuously brainwashed into living as a medieval witch-hunting society. Labrelum Inc. was most likely a reference to the Resident Evil franchise by Capcom.
- ↑ Resident Evil 5, From Chief Researcher Brandon's Journal - No. 1
- ↑ Resident Evil 5, From Chief Researcher Brandon's Journal - No. 2
- ↑ Resident Evil 5, History of RESIDENT EVIL
- ↑ Resident Evil Zero, Marcus' Diary 1
- ↑ Resident Evil Archives II. BradyGames. p. 190.
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Resident Evil 3: Nemesis faux Umbrella ads
- ↑ Remain Hopeful (Alyssa)