Raccoon City is a fictional city in the survival horror franchise Resident Evil where it was the setting of many games.
It was a small, industrialized city located in Arklay County, an isolated mountain county in the Midwestern United States. It was destroyed during the t-Virus outbreak in 1998.
Raccoon City was largely if not totally encircled by a mountain range known as the Arklay Mountains, which were themselves contained within a larger region called Raccoon Forest. The city's northern extremities were particularly close to this wilderness, starting from Lynn Valley. A number of rivers flowed out of the mountains, including the Marble, Aimes and Circular, the latter of which flowed through Raccoon itself. The forest was not totally devoid of human life, however. Villages such as Stone-Ville and Cedar were located within this area, along with the Umbrella Chemical Plant and a hospital that was closed in 1993.
The city west of the Circular was separated into Uptown Raccoon City, covering the south, and Downtown Raccoon City covering the north, with Ennerdale Street and the Raccoon Police Station forming the border. Not much is known of Raccoon City east of the river, other than it being the site of Raccoon University and, to the north, the industrial zone home to Incineration Disposal Plant P-12A.
Due to its associations with Umbrella and its proximity to the Arklay Mountains, Raccoon City's economy was a mix of industry and tourism. In terms of industry, Umbrella operated a chemical plant east of the Circular River which provided jobs for hundreds. With its subsidiaries taken into account, Umbrella directly or indirectly employed up to 40% of Raccoon City's workforce. Umbrella held a high reputation in Arklay County, and they provided heavy investment in infrastructure, such as constructing Raccoon General Hospital as part of the "Bright Raccoon 21" initiative. Likely outside of Umbrella's control was Raccoon Dam, based at Victory Lake. This dam may have provided electricity for the city, with Victory Lake itself being used as a reservoir for the city's drinking water. Boats also used the rivers for transport, and Umbrella operated a dock from which the transportation of B.O.W.s secretly occurred.
In terms of tourism, St. Michael's Clock Tower was located in the center of Raccoon City and was a local treasure, featured in postcards. Located somewhere in the city was Warren Stadium, home to the football team, the "Raccoon Sharks". Raccoon Zoo was opened in the 1970s and remained a popular tourist attraction into the 1990s, and acquired funding for new building projects such as a biodome, though this became the subject of controversy when the chairman was accused of engaging in the illegal buying and selling of orchids for the zoo. Outside of Raccoon City itself, Raccoon Forest and the Arklay Mountains were popular among hikers. Income for the local community was also likely generated through the opening of Raccoon University to the east of the Circular River.
Tying the industry and tourism together was Raccoon City's transportation routes. A tramway was constructed in the 1960s, which facilitated transport across Raccoon City and out into the mountain community of Stone-Ville. The underground Kite Bros. Railway was opened in 1969, and provided additional transport. By the 1990s it was regularly transporting tens of thousands of commuters between eight stations. However, it suffered from the early 1990s recession, and by 1998 was virtually abandoned outside of commuting hours. Funding appears to have been bad enough they could not support structural repairs, as the tunnels during the 1998 Raccoon City Destruction Incident were found to be derelict.
Urbanization took off rapidly in the late 1960s, either as a result of Umbrella Pharmaceuticals moving into the area or by coincidence. During this decade, the city saw the construction of a tram line linking it to Stone-Ville and the Arklay Mountains, while the Kite Bros. Railway constructed a subway system, opened in 1969. Also in this year was the establishment of the Raccoon Police Department (RPD) as a municipal police force and construction of the Raccoon Police Station, though the Arklay County Sheriff's Department (ASD) had a continued presence in the area.
With the economic boom aided by Umbrella's continued investment in the city into the 1980s, the company town had expanded far beyond its 1950s limits and was fast becoming a tourist spot, taking in out-of-state hikers, and the subway had expanded to encompass eight stations. A river dock was also established along the Circular river following Umbrella's arrival.
The city suffered from the 1990-1991 recession, however, though this was in part reversed by Mayor Michael Warren's Bright Raccoon 21 Plan, a city revival project which was funded heavily by Umbrella. The Raccoon General Hospital was constructed in 1992 as part of this project, while another hospital in the mountains was closed the next year due to a scandal linked to the company. Gaining control of the town, Umbrella financed the creation of an independent law-enforcement agency known as the Special Tactics and Rescue Service (S.T.A.R.S.) in 1996. This organization consisted of military veterans and scientific experts, and was meant to carry out criminal investigations that the RPD was not capable of handling, such as counter-terrorism or riot control.
The Arklay Incidents & Lead-up to Raccoon City Incident
The first outbreak in Arklay County occurred at Umbrella facilities in the Arklay Mountains in May: at the Arklay Laboratory, the executive training school, and a water treatment plant, as well as adjacent buildings. The perpetrator was Queen Leech, an intelligent leech developed by the late Dr. James Marcus, which had sought revenge on Umbrella for his murder ten years prior. The mountains were already in a precarious situation for several years, with an abandoned hospital housing a Huge Plant since 1993 and the escape of Lisa Trevor in 1995, and allegations raised in early 1998 that the river water, a dumping ground for Umbrella, was polluted beyond safety limits. However, the latest contamination was far more dangerous. The Arklay Lab staff were contaminated through unknown means and, following their mental deterioration, allowed a pack of Cerberus to escape from their cells. This led to a number of animal attacks in the mountains, along with Zombie attacks on households. The mountains were closed to tourists and S.T.A.R.S. was brought in to investigate, leading to the destruction of the executive training school and laboratory, and a forest fire which subsequently destroyed much of the surrounding area.
Though Umbrella USA had enough control over the people and institutions in Raccoon City to avoid being linked to criminal actions, leading Umbrella virologist Dr. William Birkin and intelligence agent Dr. Albert Wesker quickly made plans to betray the company and move on. Having received orders to send his S.T.A.R.S. police team to the mansion to recover valuable research, he made preparations to fake his death and hand over any data to a rival company.
Running concurrent with this biological disaster, Dr. Birkin accelerated both the t-Virus and G-Virus Projects at NEST while undergoing negotiations to hand it over to the US military when completed. Incineration Disposal Plant P-12A, a treatment plant constructed specifically to process biohazardous waste, became a dumping ground for NEST's failed test subjects. The material became too much for the facility to process at once, and the chemicals became diluted enough the virus mutated in this soup. Despite taking antiretroviral drugs, this mutant strain was able to quickly infect the staff and escaped into the outside world. The ground near the plant was also contaminated, leading to the creation of mutants such as Grave Diggers. Umbrella's sewer facility near the Raccoon Police Station was contaminated by mid-June, with employee "Don" showing symptoms of t-Virus infection. By Monday 17 August, there were reports of monsters appearing within the city itself.
The final weeks leading up to the main outbreak saw a further spike in cases. By Saturday 5 September, the virus had contaminated a treatment plant near the Raccoon Police Station and the sewer facility. Plant worker Thomas showed a delayed infection, and was still capable of non-violent, conscious thought as late as Saturday 12 September, when his friend George Scott, a police officer, also began showing symptoms.
Contamination in the sewer ecosystem close to Raccoon General Hospital led to an increasing population of mutant leeches, which were observed by researchers at a private Umbrella lab in the basement rather than actively fought against. While the t-Virus spread in the sewers below, the Raccoon General/Spencer Memorial Hospital, itself, was seeing a surge of inpatients experiencing symptoms of infection, with reports entering on or before Thursday 10 September, and rapidly increasing on Friday 18 September. The hospital was unable to diagnose the patients with a known illness, but took note of the patients experiencing gangrene, coagulation and uncontrolled aggression. Umbrella HQ had taken notice of the increasing spread of the virus and on Tuesday 15 September had already mobilized the Umbrella Biohazard Countermeasure Service.
Raccoon City Incident
The return of the four S.T.A.R.S. veterans and their pilot Brad Vickers caused a serious problem to the company's control of Raccoon City. They were able to slow down any official police investigation due to their control over the Mayor and Chief of Police Brian Irons, but made plans to assassinate the S.T.A.R.S. officers if it was found they were conducting an unofficial investigation. S.T.A.R.S. itself was shut down and replaced with Raccoon S.W.A.T. Redfield, Chambers, and Burton left the city for their own reasons, while Valentine continued her investigation within the city.
Over the course of September, the t-Virus made its way into Raccoon City, largely due to Dr. William Birkin allowing nearby Umbrella facilities to be contaminated to prevent them from stopping him handing over the experimental Golgotha Virus to the U.S. military. By September 16, the Raccoon General Hospital had wards locked down to slow the spread of the t-Virus, which was understood by its local name as the "Cannibal Disease." On the night of Tuesday, September 22, Dr. Birkin was attacked by an Umbrella Security Service team sent to retrieve the sample. This led to a series of events that culminated in the t-Virus contaminating into Victory Lake via infected rats, and entering the water supply. The city was put under martial law by the U.S. Department of Defense on September 24 as tens of thousands of residents mutated into zombies. The United States Army, the Army National Guard, and the Umbrella Biohazard Countermeasure Service (UBCS) were sent to supplement the efforts of the ASD, the RPD, and the Raccoon City Fire Department (RFD) in the evacuation of civilians. Despite the efforts, the infection continued without major opposition.
On the evening of Wednesday, September 23, Umbrella began warning of the major incident. When Brian Irons, Chief of Police at the Raccoon Police Department, was briefed of the emergency he became hysterical and began preparations to botch police operations. Mayor Michael Warren was also alerted and departed the city immediately, leaving his daughter Katherine in the care of Chief Irons.
With the t-Virus now contaminating the drinking water, tens of thousands became infected. Over the course of the day, violence in the city increased. On the early hours of Thursday 24 September, the Pentagon, having also been briefed, sent out a force to assess the spread of the virus. To cover up the viral outbreak, the Pentagon told the press they were investigating radioactivity in the area, and began working with the RPD and the Raccoon City Fire Department in evacuating civilians, with the first Chinook taking off from Raccoon Zoo at 10 AM. Their destination was an exclusion zone under construction, wherein they were thoroughly examined for signs of infection before they could be released. The situation during the first day was immensely confusing, and many people continued with their ordinary routine despite the increasing violence, with local media reporting instead on violence among spectators at the Raccoon Sharks football game, rather than the city subtly falling under martial law. From 7 PM, police were called out to set up roadblocks, with another team ordered to set off explosives on Main Street. Perhaps with inside information, police were also ordered to kill civilians refusing to comply with police orders.
Many people were still unaware of the outbreak by the evening, with the occupants of Jack's Bar only evacuating when the bartender, Will, was mauled by a supposedly drunk customer. During the chaos, a number of fires broke out around the city, putting a severe strain on the RFD. Their attempts to put out a fire at the Apple Inn proved fatal when a malfunctioning boiler burst, after the fire-injured zombies mutated into Lickers. At Main Street, the police explosives operation was completed with the aid of J's Bar survivors when two police officers were attacked and eaten while assembling the detonator, though a large reinforcement force of police officers were quick to arrive. Around 9 PM, a Chinook crashed when the refugees transformed into zombies. In response to this, the Pentagon announced it would restrict civilian movement. The Army National Guard was already ordered by the State Governor to help with the civilian evacuation and the President also sent in the United States Army to assist in the effort. Both military forces quickly surrounded the city and set up roadblocks sealing off any escape or entry. A no-fly zone was also established, in which only military, Umbrella, RPD, and RFD helicopters were permitted to fly.
On the 24th and 25th, Chief Irons made a number of unusual orders to weaken effectiveness. One was to seal possible escape routes, the other was to empty the weapons locker and store weapons and ammunition throughout the station. Though the latter concept could have improved the defense of the station early on, the loss of ground to the zombies also meant the loss of weapons.
By Saturday 26 September, the situation was rapidly deteriorating. Chief Irons ordered out a large police force, including SWAT, to confront the zombies head-on, leaving the remaining police and civilians inside the station outnumbered and low on supplies. The Umbrella Biohazard Countermeasure Service was deployed into the city at the same time, bringing with them four platoons of trained guerrillas and ex-Soviet Army personnel. However, both forces fared little against the zombies, and they were soon overrun and massacred. Umbrella's plans, however, were beyond that of helping the civilians. Though the UBCS mercenaries had orders to protect and rescue, they had in fact been deployed with the primary goal of testing the effectiveness of trained soldiers against irregular mutants and escaped B.O.W.s, with Monitors within the task-force recording this information on company-issued laptops. Taking further advantage of the situation, Umbrella Europe sent over its Hunter β and Hunter γ B.O.W.s, which were then transported into the city by road, as well as a Nemesis-T Type by air, with orders to hunt down S.T.A.R.S. survivors to prove its viability as an intelligent soldier.
Elsewhere, Raccoon General Hospital came to a complete stop. The hospital was already crowded before the water contamination, and quickly began losing personnel, with many having been killed off or mutated into Zombies. A group of leeches escaped from the sewers and began to stalk survivors and corpses alike. As this mutant species did not produce the proteins and peptides typical of leeches, staff attacked by leeches continued to bleed out until they were too tired to resist. The hospital staff had refused to abandon their posts during the outbreak, as they were desperately researching a vaccine for the t-Virus, and even succeeded in capturing several Hunter γs to assist in this research. Though they were ultimately successful, the staff failed to vaccinate themselves in time and they all mutated. Through unknown means, Umbrella was made aware of their t-Virus vaccine, and "Directive Bravo 16" gave orders for their Monitors to destroy the hospital. During the night, Yoko Suzuki and the other J's Bar survivors entered the hospital and made their escape through the sewers, finding it to be too dangerous to stay.
At NEST, the research staff had suffered from constant attacks from escaped B.O.W.s since the USS raid. Taking heavy losses, an injured researcher used the temperature controls to reduce the temperature below freezing, freezing the Hunter Rs in their tracks. Dr. Birkin's senior researcher, Dr. Martin Walcott, was dead, and Dr. Monica murdered Dr. Frost in the hopes of escaping the city with a G-larvae sample. Dr. Frederic Downing meanwhile had already escaped the city before the blockade with his own G-Virus samples. "Staffer A" and "Staffer B" were still alive, though seriously injured. The hospital survivors reached the laboratory via a sewer tunnel, and made their way through the facility. Monica was parasitized by the G-larvae after being attacked by a Giant Moth; incompatible with the parasite, she was killed. The survivors were forced to confront the "G" to escape the facility via train.
Following the massacres on the 26th, the RPD was limited to over a dozen officers stranded within the besieged police station, losing repeatedly against the zombies due to the arrival of Lickers. Two former S.T.A.R.S. members, Jill Valentine and Brad Vickers, were stranded in the city, with Jill being forced to abandon her apartment in the night, briefly hiding out at a warehouse in Uptown Raccoon City with civilian Dario Rosso. The UBCS' remaining soldiers meanwhile were scattered around the city. Echo Team had been given orders to assist in destroying the Zombies in Downtown Raccoon City and then capture St. Michael's Clock Tower for use as an evacuation site. Only two team members made it to the clock tower, and after it had been captured by wounded UBCS personnel awaiting evacuation. They failed to ring the bell, and the helicopter did not arrive.
On September 28, the officers were attacked in the Operations Room and took serious casualties, including David Ford who may have been their senior. Realizing the station was entirely doomed to hold out, the survivors began drawing up plans to escape through the sewers, and Lieutenant Marvin Branagh helped his colleague Rita Philips escape through a secret tunnel in a plan to call over a rescue van. Rita finally made contact with fellow officer Harry and both arrived at the station in a van. However, the station had been attacked again and Branagh was infected to the point he ordered the survivors to leave without him. Unaware of its abandonment, Valentine abandoned the warehouse and made her way towards the Raccoon Police Station, meeting Vickers on the way. Meeting at the Black Jack Bar, Valentine became aware of the Nemesis-T Type, which had until then been harassing Vickers. She would soon encounter the creature afterwards, and Vickers would become infected and zombified through unknown means.
Overhearing an emergency broadcast from Cpl. Carlos Oliveira of the UBCS, Valentine chose to abandon the station and investigate. At least six people were left in the building at this point: Irons, Marvin Branagh, Elliot Edward, Katherine Warren, journalist Ben Bertolucci, and Dr. Birkin's 12-year-old daughter Sherry Birkin.
Valentine joined up with UBCS Delta Platoon survivors Cpl. Oliveira; Sgt. Nikolai Zinoviev and Cpt. Mikhail Viktor. The three had planned to escape the city by calling the helicopter at the clock tower, and Valentine assisted in the retrieval of components to power a tram to get there. In their attempt, Sgt. Zinoviev disappeared and was presumed dead, and Cpt. Viktor blew himself with a hand grenade in an attempt to kill the Nemesis-T Type when it boarded the tram. Valentine and Oliveira arrived at the clock tower to find its occupants dead and began seriously doubting their prospects of survival. The rescue helicopter did in fact arrive as planned, though was shot down by the Tyrant to deny Valentine's escape. It was seriously injured in a fight with her which resulted in her infection with a mutant strain of t-Virus.
Meanwhile, the Army and the National Guard had sustained severe casualties during their operations in Raccoon City, forcing them to begin evacuating as well. Elements of Delta Force were however sent around to Umbrella facilities across the city, using information obtained from double agents. While one team made their way into the Raccoon General hospital, where they were eliminated by a pack of Hunter βs, another travelled through Umbrella's secret underground subway system headed to NEST to retrieve any surviving G-Virus samples. Due to imprecise information, however, they found themselves at the industrial zone east of the Circular River. Umbrella was quickly made aware of the search effort.
At midnight on Tuesday 29 September, Col. Sergei Vladimir assumed command over all Umbrella personnel in and around Raccoon City. At some point after this, Col. Vladimir's orders were that a helicopter transporting T-103s drop one of its cargo at the Raccoon Police Station to kill any surviving officers and then search for G-Virus, with an additional five ordered to Incineration Disposal Plant P-12A, around which Delta Force was known to be investigating.
Late on Tuesday night, the blockade enforced by Army and National Guard soldiers failed in places due to the relentless zombie attacks the personnel sustained from them hidden among the refugees. With little news coming out of the city other than a riot and apparent radiation spill a week prior, drivers not up-to-date were at risk of attack. At least three people entered the city on this same route: rookie police officer Leon S. Kennedy, arriving a week late for work after an initial warning not to come in; Claire Redfield, sister of S.T.A.R.S. officer Chris Redfield; and a tanker driver. Kennedy and Redfield met up at the Mizoil Gas Station in the outskirts and drove to Raccoon City together when they realized how dire the situation had become, while the driver became infected from a bite and crashed his truck, exploding in the streets.
Kennedy and Redfield made their way into the Raccoon Police Station in search of aid. Kennedy learned of the zombies from Lt. Branagh, who warned him not to resist killing his infected colleagues. Exploring the parking garage, he encountered Ada Wong, a spy for the Organization sent to retrieve the G-Virus on their behalf. Wong bluffed her way through their encounter, insisting she was an FBI agent on a mission to recover the G-virus and to bring Dr. Annette Birkin, wife of Dr. William Birkin, to justice. Redfield meanwhile encountered Sherry Birkin and became her guardian for the night, only for Sherry to be kidnapped by Chief Irons and later rescued by Claire over the pendant. Irons also previously murdered the Mayor Warren's daughter, having desired to kill her and turn her skin into a taxidermy sculpture, and stuffed her body in display at the orphanage. During Kennedy's and Redfield's exploration, Lt. Branagh mutated into a zombie and was killed. Chief Irons was killed by Dr. William Birkin, who was searching for Sherry as a means of reproduction. Prisoner and journalist Ben Bertolucci was killed by T-00 who was dropped into the station to hunt for remaining survivors. Meanwhile, the other five T-103s arrived at the P-12A plant and fought a hard battle with Delta Force troops. Ultimately, all five were killed, some even as Super Tyrants, with the entire Delta Force team also being destroyed.
During exploration of the sewers, the group met Annette, who explained the nature of the G-Virus, Umbrella's attack on her husband, and her suspicions of a spy sent to steal the virus. Sherry was found by her father and a parasite was implanted within her body. Though she was found by Redfield, she complained of stomach pains and later passed out. The four made their way into the NEST, where Redfield realized Sherry had been infected. With help from Annette, who would soon after die, she was able to fabricate the G-Virus vaccine, "DEVIL". Wong's identity as a spy was confirmed when she tried to steal a G-Virus sample Kennedy obtained. She was knocked unconscious in a fight with T-00 and mistaken for dead, with Kennedy throwing the sample down a chasm in anger. In the daylight hours on 30 September, T-00 was finally destroyed in its Super Tyrant form, Sherry was treated and her father was killed on a train. Kennedy, Redfield and Sherry found themselves far out of the Arklay Mountains and on the plains. Redfield left the two to search for her brother, while Kennedy and Sherry were soon found by U.S. military personnel and detained.
On the night of Wednesday 30 September, USS agent HUNK made radio contact with Umbrella and requested for immediate evacuation. HUNK was part of the two-man team that stole the briefcase from Dr. Birkin, and had survived the attack from the infected virologist with a G-Virus sample on his person. An Umbrella helicopter picked him up at the Raccoon City Police Station and left the city completely.
During the week, a Congressional committee including Ron Davis discussed how to solve the crisis in Raccoon City, with input from Derek C. Simmons, who was involved in the American bio-weapons research group which wanted the G-Virus. The solution moved towards bombing, with both served as a means of destroying the mutants as well as serving to destroy any evidence in the city of Umbrella's bio-weapons project, which could be used by rival nations like China as a jumping-off-point for their own projects. Additionally, the destruction of this data would serve to wipe away evidence implying the US military was both aware and supportive of illegal bio-weapons development, allowing them to carefully foot the blame entirely onto Umbrella USA. Umbrella HQ was aware of the plan to use a thermonuclear bomb, and protested to give themselves more time. However, their influence in government affairs was diminished, and these protests fell on deaf ears. In the final hours, emergency radio messages were transmitted into the city warning any surviving personnel to evacuate immediately. The no-fly zone that was erected around the city was itself lifted, and the US Air Force was given orders to send out aircraft for the mission.
Cpl. Oliveira searched Raccoon General Hospital for any medication for Valentine, who had been unconscious for two days due to the effects of Nemesis α's t-Virus strain. There, he discovered the hospital's vaccine research and prepared a sample for Valentine. Sgt. Zinoviev set up C4 charges to destroy the building per his orders, and may have been behind the death of fellow Monitor Tyrell Patrick. Cpl. Oliveira and Sgt. Zinoviev escaped before the hospital exploded, and Valentine was treated for her infection.
In anticipation of Raccoon City's destruction, Umbrella executives and mercenary leaders quickly scrambled to finish their missions in the city. One UBCS team had orders to capture or destroy Thanatos, an experimental Tyrant developed by Dr. Greg Mueller, who had left the company in the weeks ahead of the outbreak and was known to be working on a t-Virus reagent called "Daylight". The UBCS team was wiped out at Raccoon University with the exception of Sgt. Zinoviev, who succeeded in assassinating Dr. Mueller before leaving. The co-developer of Daylight, Dr. Peter Jenkins, had successfully conscripted Dr. George Hamilton to complete his work before Muller killed him. Thanatos itself was injured when Sgt. Zinoviev set off explosives, and pursued Dr. Hamilton's group of civilians in its Super Tyrant form. It was killed or incapacitated, and the civilians were picked up by a Fire Department helicopter, whose crew had noticed the university explosion. This group of survivors were taken out of the city with Daylight.
Another UBCS team still operational, under the command of Arnold and executive Tommy Nielsen, was given last-minute instructions to recover "Nyx", an experimental bio-weapon which was stolen from an Umbrella storage depot at the dockyards by rogue USS Cpt. Rodriguez. The team laid landmines to prevent him escaping on foot, with Arnold based on the highway overpass with a sniper rifle in case he avoided them. The team also possessed a rocket launcher should he use a nearby Chinook sitting on the ruined Main Street. Cpt. Rodriguez remained inside the Chinook for some time, having given his co-conspirator Dr. Linda Baldwin time to recover a viral suppressant named "AT1521" from the Umbrella R&D Center. The facility had already been raided by David King's team of survivors and Dr. Carter, who were also searching for AT1521. To escape the building, now controlled by escaped Hunter Rs, Dr. Carter released the experimental T-103 variant, "Tyrant R". The Tyrant soon turned on them and killed Dr. Carter, destroying the sample in the process. Dr. Baldwin, the only one left alive with knowledge on how to create the suppressant, was rescued by King's team after falling down a shaft into the sewers, but was soon washed away by water. Dr. Baldwin was shot by Arnold, who mistook her for a zombie, and sought shelter at the Apple Inn, where she was later rescued. The UBCS team rebelled against Nielsen when Arnold received the emergency radio transmission, and they began preparations to evacuate via left-over Army vehicles in the nearby roadblock on the highway overpass. Whether or not Cpt. Rodriguez escaped with Nyx is uncertain, but its escape would have ensured the demise of the team.
Ada Wong, injured during her experiences and escape from NEST, managed to escape into the sewers before the NEST was destroyed. Though having lost the G-Virus sample, she was able to recover a tissue fragment from Dr. Birkin, containing G-Cells that could be of use for the Organization. Per her orders, she headed for the Apple Inn and meet with a liaison hiding in an upstairs room. The man had given up waiting in her absence, however, and killed himself to prevent mutation. Wong's superior, Dr. Albert Wesker, notified her of an Umbrella helicopter set to escape Raccoon City. This helicopter was the same one used to drop off the T-103s several days prior, now carrying Col. Vladimir, an Umbrella executive, and the UMF-013 supercomputer originally retrieved from the Arklay Laboratory prior to its destruction. Wong, armed with the liaison's hookshot, was able to quickly traverse the destroyed streets and made her way up the highway overpass where she fought Tyrant R. Wong succeeded in destroying the Tyrant and used her hookshot to ride out of the city.
Meanwhile, Valentine and Cpl. Oliveira moved independently through Raccoon Park, in the direction of Incineration Disposal Plant P-12A, with both overhearing radio evacuation orders along the way. While Valentine explored a cabin, she discovered Sgt. Zinoviev. Accounts regarding Zinoviev's final hours after the Raccoon University bombing differ, with several separate accounts for what happened to him. What is known is that Zinoviev was made aware of an imminent plan by the US military to blow up Raccoon City, and made plans to escape the city with his data. Three accounts claim he made his escape attempt at Incineration Disposal Plant P-12A. In one of them, he was immediately killed by Nemesis-T Type. In the second, he commandeered a helicopter and was killed in battle with Valentine. In the third, he escaped in the helicopter. A fourth account instead claims he tried to steal a helicopter from Valentine and Oliveira at the NEST 2 rooftop, but failed and was left behind despite an offer to the reveal the identity of his buyer, though there was a second helicopter on the helipad he could have escaped on. Regardless of these accounts and whether or not he survived, what is known for certain is that Umbrella obtained at least some of his reports from Raccoon City.
Valentine fought and seriously wounded the Nemesis-T Type in a treatment room; the Tyrant was dropped into the treatment chemicals which, while weakened, were potent enough to destroy the Tyrant body. The parasite, however, lived on and was able to drag the body out into the outside world. Finding itself in a scrap yard where a Delta Force unit and the five T-103 Super Tyrants annihilated one another, the parasite began consuming from one of the Super Tyrant bodies to regain its strength, and mutated further, effectively becoming the main organism and the Tyrant body a parasite. An experimental railgun either named the "Demon Sword of Paracelsus", brought into the yard by Delta Force, was used against the creature by Valentine. The two survivors were then picked up by former S.T.A.R.S. officer Barry Burton, who had been waiting for the no-fly restrictions to be lifted to rescue Valentine. Having gotten in contact with Cpl. Oliveira, he knew to land at the scrap yard.
Sometime between the night of September 30 and the dawn of October 1, 1998, the federal government of the United States (as initiated by Derek Simmons) decided to sterilize Raccoon City by thermonuclear missile, despite attempts by Umbrella operatives within the government to convince the Joint Chiefs of Staff to hold off on the strike. The operation began after daybreak on Friday October 1, destroying the entire city. The official death toll was over 100,000. The President resigned after this event, faced with public outrage at his decision to destroy the city.
What was left of Raccoon City and the surrounding area was searched and categorized thoroughly for any possible survivors and biohazard threats by the U.S. government and Umbrella in early October 1998. By early March 1999, the search and categorizing operation ended with no survivors found. But there were small traces of active T-Virus and G-Virus strains found. The ruins of Raccoon City and twenty miles around it were declared a possible biohazard threat and became a highly-classified, restricted area that only the U.S. government and Umbrella personnel could enter. But as of Resident Evil 4, when Umbrella collapsed, the U.S. government took over the facility. Now that the complex is run by the U.S. military, it focuses on the close watch duties in the gated area and surrounding areas that the Umbrella Corporation once did.
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 publicly revealed for Umbrella's shutdown and bankruptcy. 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. Immediately after Raccoon City's sterilization, the then President of the United States resigned from office following a disastrous press conference. Publicly, the t-Virus' existence, and that of B.O.W.s, continued to be denied by the US government for years.
The newly-established Anti-Umbrella Pursuit and Investigation Team, set up in light of Delta Force's losses, took on responsibilities in destroying biohazardous material and killing or detaining current and former Umbrella employees suspected of smuggling bio-weaponry across the world, along with their customers. In 2002, these would include searching for a smuggler and a drug lord in the Amazon Rainforest, and an unofficial joint mission with the Chinese security forces to destroy a missile silo intended to disperse t-Virus across both countries.
The destruction of Raccoon City had global ramifications. No longer committed to their illegal investiture in bio-weapons from Umbrella, the U.S. government turned on the corporation and banned Umbrella USA from conducting business before liquidating it. Umbrella was also faced with payment of compensation to victims' families. The corporation contested these lawsuits in what became as the Raccoon Trials. As the U.S. government played a role in the outbreak, and made a policy of denying the existence of B.O.W.s as a matter of national security, the actual evidence against Umbrella was contestable, and the trials continued into 2003, only concluded when Dr. Albert Wesker provided a sample of Umbrella's own research data, proving their guilt. The loss of the trial bankrupted the corporation, while its CEO Dr. Oswell E. Spencer went into hiding to escape an arrest warrant from both the United States and Russian Federation. The actual nature of this data was classified, and the public at large was not aware of B.O.W.s until the Terragrigia Panic in 2004.
WilPharma, TRICELL, and other companies in the pharmaceutical industry also faced backlashes when it was discovered Umbrella's bio-weapons research was indirectly aided by them through the purchase of chemicals. To avoid a financial collapse, the Federation of Pharmaceutical Companies provided prosecutors with additional evidence to be used against Umbrella after being offered amnesty. The Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance (BSAA) was founded to counter potential threats of bioterrorism faced by Umbrella's collapse. In 2005, Dr. Curtis Miller took part in a series of bioterror attacks in and around Harvardville as revenge for the death of his wife and daughter in Raccoon City. It was later discovered he had been radicalised by Dr. Frederic Downing, an ex-Umbrella researcher within WilPharma, as a means of faking his death in a terrorist attack and escaping with viral weaponry. This scandal led to WilPharma's collapse and subsequent purchase by TRICELL.
The United States itself was not free from bioterrorism. In 2005, the city of St. Cloud, Minnesota fell victim to an outbreak, and Harvardville was struck twice by Dr. Curtis Miller, the latter in an attempt to force the US government to admit to the Raccoon City cover-up. In 2013, during the presidency of Adam Benford, the possibility of disclosing classified information about the outbreak became a serious policy. This would draw the attention of The Family and its leader, Simmons himself. To prevent China reaping from both information on bio-weaponry and the inevitable loss of prestige placed on the US if such information was revealed, The Family would orchestrate a massive outbreak in Tall Oaks as a means of assassinating the President under the guise of a terrorist attack, with another Sterilization Operation ordered to conveniently eliminate evidence. Some 80,000 were killed during this outbreak, which lasted a mere day.
Into 2017, survivors and bystanders of the destruction of Raccoon City and their descendants were noted by mass media news coverage and documentation to still face societal difficulties, including stigmas and discrimination from within the United States due to the infamy regarding the 1998 viral outbreak and its wide spread ramifications.
The following are sites or locations visited by the characters in the Resident Evil series.
- Raccoon Police Department — A former art museum, this large building on Ennerdale St. houses the R.P.D, along with the S.T.A.R.S. headquarters. It has a library, and the hall is decorated with a fountain. Sewers can be reached from the underground levels of the building.
- Umbrella Subterranean Laboratory (The NEST) — One of Umbrella's secret laboratories was located below an abandoned factory on the outskirts of Raccoon City. This lab was used primarily by William Birkin and his staff for research into the T and G viruses. It was here that Birkin injected himself with the G-Virus after being fatally wounded by Umbrella commandos. The laboratory contained facilities for viral research and vaccine synthesis, a station for cryogenic experiments, a smelting pool, and two train terminals (a rotating turntable elevator on the uppermost level and a freight train at the bottom platform). The facility is accessible through the Umbrella Executive Training Center in Resident Evil 0 where the player fights Tyrant for the first time. It also featured in Resident Evil Outbreak.
- Emmy's Diner — This "greasy spoon" was Claire Redfield's first stop in Raccoon City. She was nearly killed by a zombie lurking within, but was rescued by Leon S. Kennedy at the last moment. In the 2019 Remake, Emmy's is replaced by the Mizoil Gas Station, on the outskirts of town rather than within city limits.
- Kendo's Gun Shop — A local armory surplus which was run by Robert Kendo. It was invaded by zombies and Kendo was immediately killed and eaten in the onslaught.
- Uptown—Uptown Raccoon occupied the city's southern portion. This area, also called the Cedar District, contained Jack's Bar, Kendo's Gun Shop, a boutique, the Umbrella sales office, Dario's Warehouse, and the Raccoon City Police Precinct. The area is bordered in part by the Marble River.
- Downtown—Raccoon's Downtown section was located north of the Uptown area. This part of the city contained a restaurant called Cafe 13, a movie theater, the office of the Raccoon Press, City Hall, and a Tram Station.
- St. Michael Clock Tower—Prior to the outbreak, the Clock Tower was a popular tourist site located in the north of the city. The site was a dedicated extraction point for the U.B.C.S. but was heavily damaged by the rescue helicopter crashing into it.
- Raccoon City Hospital—Raccoon's largest hospital was established in 1992, a few blocks from the Clock Tower. During the outbreak hospital staff on Umbrella's payroll engineered a vaccine for the T-Virus. Unfortunately, the hospital was overrun before the vaccine could be produced in large quantities. U.B.C.S. supervisor Nicholai Zinoviev destroyed the hospital to eliminate evidence of Umbrella's experiments. Prior to the arrival of Carlos Oliveira (who was in search of the cure for the virus that infected Jill Valentine), Kevin Ryman, Cindy Lennox, and the others, came through, fighting off an invincible leechman, before fighting and killing a Queen leech. Afterwards, they escaped the hospital through the sewers. It was at this time when Carlos arrived. In the 2020 Remake, the hospital is known as Spencer Memorial Hospital.
- Raccoon Park—A large park located behind the Clock Tower. It contained a forest path, a cemetery, and an adjacent cabin. The Park was connected by rope bridge to the Dead Factory which housed an Umbrella facility.
- Dead Factory—This apparently abandoned structure was used by Umbrella for processing of unwanted or hazardous biological material. In the months leading up to the outbreak this included an increasing number of destroyed zombies, which taxed the facility's capabilities. The site contained a small water-treatment facility, a large room used for chemically processing dead experimental subjects, an incinerator room, and a small helipad. At some point U.S. Army forces attacked the facility, bringing to bear an experimental railgun codenamed 'Paracelsus' Sword'. Umbrella responded by deploying several T-103 Tyrants against the attackers. Jill and Carlos escaped from this facility by helicopter moments before the destruction of Raccoon City.
- The NEST2— In the 2020 Remake, the NEST2 is located beneath Spencer Memorial Hospital (the remake's interpretation of Raccoon City Hospital). After recovering from her bout with the T-Virus, Jill makes her way to the facility below, eventually inoculating and synthesizing another vaccine. This area also duals as a replacement for the Dead Factory, as Jill later faces off with the Nemesis, finally killing it with the FiNGER (the remake's 'Paracelsus Sword'). She later makes her way back to the surface, saving both herself and Carlos from the hands of Nicholai, at the cost of the vaccine. She and Carlos then leave Nicholai behind, presumably to his death when the Sterilization Operation neutralizes the city, though this is unknown. The NEST2 is destroyed, along with most, if not all, structures within the immediate Raccoon City Area.
- Umbrella Corporation Office and Research Facility—Umbrella's main corporate office was located in Downtown Raccoon City. This facility was Umbrella's public location. The laboratories contained Hunters and a T-103 Tyrant Unit. Umbrella researchers Linda and Carter developed a cure to the T-Virus here. It had access to a water treatment plant which then leads to Main Street directly, or to the canal near the Apple Inn if the player is washed away.
- J's Bar—A bar located in the Uptown area. Many often confuse this bar with the bar seen in Resident Evil 3: Nemesis. However, it is obvious that these are both different bars from the different layouts and different entrances. Howether the neon sign in the bar room on the ground floor does say "Jack's Bar" on it though, suggesting a possible "bar chain".
- Raccoon Mall— After escaping J's bar the player walks through an overpass with signs for the Raccoon Mall, however due to the massive zombie mob on the street below the player cannot enter.
- The Apple Inn—Two fire fighters searching for survivors were killed when a faulty boiler explodes in the heart of the hotel. The resulting explosion spreads fire throughout the building and traps a number of survivors inside with the zombies and mutants roaming the halls. The Apple Inn is near the Umbrella Office and the Raccoon Mall.
- Raccoon University—A decent-sized university that was located on the east side of the city. As with many establishments in town, Umbrella's influence extended even here. Some of the faculty toiled at perfecting biological weapons. Others, somehow previous to Umbrella's T-Virus research, worked at a cure. In another parallel to Raccoon City Hospital, the university was destroyed by Nicholai Zinoviev.
- Raccoon Zoo—The city boasted a popular zoo near a main trolley hub in the northwest part of town. Its mascot, "Mr. Raccoon", was known throughout the city. When the outbreak spread here, it infected several exotic species including hyenas, lions, and an elephant. These animals became highly aggressive and hostile when approached and could be said to have played a part in the massacre of survivors or those who weren't infected prior to the outbreak.
- Raccoon Subway—The city's subway system was little safer than the surface at the height of the outbreak. Wrecked trains congested the tunnels and mutant fleas proliferated among piles of refuse, making the underground a dubious refuge. The line visited by survivors during the events of Outbreak: File 2 ran underneath South Raccoon St., a major road which passed through central Raccoon City. Umbrella Chronicles revealed that the Subway stops near the R.P.D, Warren Stadium and Raccoon Mall. A group of stairs to the Raccoon Mall station was on Main Street [South] in File 2, however the player could not enter.
- Raccoon City has been destroyed differently throughout the series.
- In Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, a single missile is launched from a distant missile silo or bomber aircraft and destroys the entire city. A blue pulse traveling with the shock wave has been interpreted as an electromagnetic pulse or is probably just indicating the shockwave.
- In Resident Evil Outbreak, multiple tactical nuclear missiles streak over the city and the blast craters appear consistent with these weapons power.
- In Resident Evil Outbreak: File 2, at least 16 nuclear missiles can be seen launched from aircrafts (probably B2) on a military monitor, causing the great destruction visible in the first RE: Outbreak, showing its origin.
- Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles retconed the destruction of Raccoon City again. This time a single missile is shown flying over Raccoon City and air bursting as a nuke would, but the files within the game say that the city was destroyed by an extremely powerful conventional missile.
- In the 2020 remake of Resident Evil 3, it is retconed, once again, to being one large, thermonuclear missile. The type of missile can be inferred by the mushroom-shaped cloud that forms overhead of the ruins of the city, reminiscent of historical thermonuclear weapons blasts from the past.
- At the beginning of Resident Evil 2, the player comes across a store named Arukas. Spelled backwards, it reads Sakura, a reference to the Street Fighter character.
- Although she did not appear in Resident Evil 2, players will find a photograph of young pre-S.T.A.R.S. officer Rebecca Chambers, titled "Film D", if they search Albert Wesker's desk in the S.T.A.R.S. office fifty times in succession.
- A parody of Raccoon City is one of the levels in Under The Skin.
- The main precinct was originally established in the late-1980s, converted from a former art museum located in Downtown Raccoon City on Ennerdale Street, one of the city's primary thoroughfares. Chief Brian Irons was instrumental in the purchase, acting as mediator on the deal and making several suggestions.It is unknown if there were other precincts, although it is likely there were multiple smaller stations, due to the size of the city. Some of this information, such as the original establishment of the RPD in the late-1980s, would be retconed to 1969, in Resident Evil 2 (2019).
- The skyline of Raccoon City seen in both the main menu and title sequence of Resident Evil 2 (2019) is modelled after the real world city of Montréal, Québec.
- In the English manual for the GameCube version of Resident Evil 2, Raccoon City was stated to originally be a small hamlet before Umbrella got involved. However, the manual was not written by the series writers.
- In Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, Jill comes across Eagle's Pet Shop. Eagle is a reference to the Street Fighter character. There are also many signs above doors with a royal symbol surrounding the name, CAPCOM.
- In the same game, one can also see a sign reading: "Biohazard 4", on the street outside the restaurant. Furthermore, at the beginning of intro cutscene with Jill's narration featured the picture of right curving North Street in Boston, Massachusetts, one can see the sign written with "GRADY'S INN" on the building.
- In the American TV show Robot Chicken, it showed Raccoon City in a skit whereas Mario Kart characters have to take detours to undesirable cities, and Yoshi ended up going to Raccoon City, where he was devoured by zombies.
- In the comic book I Feel Sick, created by Jhonen Vasquez, the main character is on a date with a young man who mentions that he was in Raccoon City. The young man then turns out to be a zombie and begins eating the waiter.
- In Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, the arcade mode ending of Marvel Comics character Rocket Raccoon shows the character paying a visit to Raccoon City after hearing about it through Chris Redfield. Unaware of the truth, he is shown to be fighting his way through hordes of zombies.
- In Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, a magazine article about Raccoon City can be found aboard the Annabelle ship on a table in floor 2F, stating, "16 years after the nightmare of Raccoon City and the survivors are still suffering." Strangely, this same magazine can be found in the break room in the Resident Evil 2 one-shot demo.