Raccoon City is an fictional city in the survival horror franchise Resident Evil where it was the setting of many games.
Location and EconomyEdit
Raccoon City is based upon an archetypical Hi-tech midwestern United States city. The economy of Raccoon City is largely dominated by the Umbrella corporation. The corporation generously financed most of the city's projects, giving the company a positive image to the people of Raccoon City. Although 50% of the citizens are employed by the international corporation, most are unaware of the company's many illegal activities.
The population of Raccoon City is said to be over 100,000, which is mentioned at the end of Resident Evil 3: Nemesis. The urban area is divided into several districts, including Uptown, Downtown and the more Hi-tech Healthy district. The suburbs lie to the north and east of the city core.
The nearest town is east of Raccoon, named Stone-Ville, which is connected to the city by a tram line. The main thoroughfares in the city include Ennerdale Street, Central Street, Raccoon Street and Mission Street.
Raccoon City was governed by Mayor Michael Warren, who was elected in 1987 and served in that position for eleven years. Warren was the engineer responsible for the establishment of the cable car transportation system, and also made contributions to the city's electrical system. In his campaign to modernize the city, he made a deal with the Umbrella Corporation, which provided funding for several of Warren's projects, including public utilities, welfare work, and law enforcement. The campaign was known as the "A Bright 21st century for Raccoon City" project.
Because of Warren's campaign, the fanciful town gradually transformed from a rural community to an industrialized city. However, the city's expansion and modernization was accompanied by rising crime rates and even terrorist activities. The Raccoon Police Department (R.P.D.) established the Special Tactics And Rescue Service (S.T.A.R.S.) in 1996 as a countermeasure to the wave of crime.
Due to Warren's cooperation with Umbrella, the company became a large part of the people's everyday lives, most of whom were employed by Umbrella. Many stores fronted for the corporation and its influences were a major say in the City Council, truly becoming the main leadership of the city with the mayor as a front man for its ambitions.
The Arklay Mountains IncidentEdit
A series of bizarre cannibal homicides occurred in the forests of the Arklay Mountains north of the city, beginning in May 1998 and continuing through the following months. Victims, usually hikers, picnickers or couples at romance spots appeared to have been mauled by dogs, and partially eaten by humans or other unidentified creatures. The Raccoon Police were at a loss to explain or stop the phenomenon, blaming it on cult activity. On July 23, S.T.A.R.S. was deployed to the area to investigate. Bravo Team's helicopter made a forced landing in the area due to mechanical problems, and Alpha Team was sent to rescue them. Of the twelve S.T.A.R.S. members and a R.P.D. backup pilot sent to the Arklay Mountains, only five returned alive. They reported having discovered a mansion where the Umbrella Corporation had been conducting illegal biological weapons experiments with a mutagenic agent called the T-Virus. The grounds were crawling with the results of that research, including zombies. However, the mansion and all evidence had been destroyed, and due to Umbrella's influence on the city and the corrupt Chief of Police Brian Irons, who was under Umbrella's payroll, the survivors' claims were dismissed and no formal investigations were undertaken.
Umbrella Scientist James Marcus released the T-Virus at the mansion after being assassinated by Albert Wesker and William Birkin. Marcus had planned to release it into Raccoon City, but was killed by Rebecca Chambers and Billy Coen in the Umbrella Training Facility in the Arklay Mountains.
Raccoon City IncidentEdit
Another viral outbreak involving the same virus, occurred two months later on September 22, 1998, when Umbrella attempted to retrieve a sample of the powerful G-Virus from William Birkin, one of its more reclusive researchers. After he was shot multiple times, Birkin was left mortally injured and, knowing its regenerative capabilities, injected himself with a sample of the G-Virus that the Umbrella personnel sent to retrieve anything the virus didn't take. Unfortunately, its mutagenic properties overtook his humanity and transformed him into an unstoppable mutant, killing machine. He destroyed the paramilitary team which had attempted to steal the G-Virus from him, and in the process, vials containing the T-Virus were dropped, releasing it into the sewers. The T-Virus was then carried by rats throughout the city, leading to a full-scale outbreak.
Recognizing an "incident," Umbrella officials began to evacuate the city, placing high priorities on key, essential members. By dawn of September 25, U.S. Army units were called in to evacuate citizens and began setting up barricades around the city's perimeter, effectively enforcing a quarantine. The R.P.D. tried and failed to contain the hordes of zombies created by the T-Virus, using barricades and heavy force (though since they were not trained to handle zombie outbreaks, their efforts were all doomed to failure from the start). Matters were not helped by the actions of Brian Irons, who attempted to trap officers and civilians within the police station, scattered weapons and ammunition around the building and cut off communication to the outside. The police station itself was besieged on September 26. The officers then made a last attempt to destroy the zombies in the streets on September 27, but failed when their road block was overrun by zombies. The survivors within held off the zombies for days until only three living officers remained, Brian Irons, Officer Marvin Branagh, and an unknown officer. Umbrella also sent in several Umbrella Biohazard Countermeasure Service (U.B.C.S.) squads for search-and-rescue missions on the 26th and the 27th, which ended disastrously for the survivors. The supervisors of these squads were also secretly tasked with gathering field data about Umbrella's bio-weapons as well as destroying any incriminating evidence.
By September 29, nearly everyone in the city had either been killed by the monsters and bio-weapons released from Umbrella's laboratories, or had succumbed to the T-Virus and become zombies. The military barricades surrounding the city had begun to fail in some places, allowing unwary visitors to enter the city, and allowing some of the city's few survivors to escape.
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 repeated aerial bombardment despite attempts by Umbrella operatives within the government to convince the Joint Chiefs of Staff to hold off on the strike. The operation, which was codenamed "Mission Code: XX", and called "Bacillus Terminate Operation" in a news report concerning the destruction of the city, consisted of three cruise missiles with high explosive warheads launched from high-altitude bombers or missile silos then repeated aerial bombardment from fighter jets. The entire area of Raccoon City was incinerated, and the death toll was estimated to have exceeded 100,000.
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. As seen at the end of Resident Evil Outbreak, the area that used to be Raccoon City is gated off from the rest of the world, and Umbrella had built a classified research and testing facility. All that is known about this facility is that it is used for experiments and testing and it keeps a close watch for any trespassers or biohazard threats. 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.
Raccoon City's 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, we can see at least 16 nuclear missiles that are launched from aircrafts (probably B2) on a military monitor, causing the great destruction visible in the first RE: Outbreak and showing us 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.
It was originally a single nuclear missile that destroyed Raccoon City, but it was changed to multiple tactical warheads in RE: Outbreak because that is probably more likely how the military would react. (A single bomb like in Resident Evil 3: Nemesis would probably be a H-Bomb and the power of these bombs is hard to calculate!)
There also exists conventional weapons with high destructive power (like the GBU-43/B MOAB - weight over 10tons) but it is not possible to destroy a City of 100,000 people with a single conventional weapon. It would be too heavy for transport.
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 — 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 training facility 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.
- 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 Ginovaef 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.
- 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.
- 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 Ginovaef.
- 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.
- 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 the city is one of the levels to be cleared in Under The Skin.