(Capcom's primary storyline)
The Antarctic Base was an expansive complex built in Antarctica, just south of the 82nd parallel. Constructed for Umbrella Pharmaceuticals in the 1960s out of an abandoned mine, the facility served the dual-purpose of being a transport terminal and warehouse complex of biohazardous cargo, and as a laboratory for the Ashford family's t-Virus project. The complex was largely destroyed in December 1998 when its self-destruct system was activated following an outbreak, leaving the facility in ruins.
Planning on the facility began after the discovery of the Progenitor Virus, a mutagen which a small group of Anglo-American virologists saw as the holy grail for the eugenics movement. In need of funding for this project, they formed Umbrella Pharmaceuticals. They also began the t-Virus Project, in which the Spencer; Marcus and Ashford research teams competed to create a bioweapon to be sold to militaries to fund their eugenics project.
In 1968 the laboratory complex was used for two projects, the t-Virus Project led by Dr. Edward, 5th Earl Ashford, and Project CODE:Veronica, led by his son, Alexander. When Edward died from Progenitor Virus exposure in an incident possibly orchestrated by Dr. Oswell E. Spencer, The Earl Spencer. As Alexander was not a virologist, the Ashford lab's research into t-Virus bioweaponry ceased until 1981, when it was taken over by Dr. Alexia Ashford, Alexander's adopted daughter born as a result of CODE: Veronica. Over the next two years both Alexander and Alexia were mutated as a result of Alexia's fledgling t-Veronica strain. Both survived, though Alexander was kept in confinement and Alexia was placed in a comatose state, projecting another fifteen years before the virus would properly bond with her. With both researchers believed dead by the company, the laboratory was abandoned, with all work in the complex transferred to the transport terminal.
In the 1990s, Alfred Ashford, 7th Earl Ashford was given control over the terminal along with a concentration camp on Rockfort Island. Under his neglectful and disinterested leadership, the terminal became seriously undermanned, with workers kept at the base for as long as eight years without vacation time. The workers consequently saw the facility as no different from a hard labour camp. These problems had a global impact; in one instance, the resultant backlogs caused a temporary shortage of APL-14, and American laboratories had to donate their own supplies to the intended recipient of the large shipment.
In December 1998, the Host/Hive Capture Force, a special forces unit led by the believed-dead Albert Wesker, attacked Rockfort Island in their search for the t-Veronica virus, quickly defeating the island's defence force by releasing the island's viral and bio-organic weapons. A number of infected survivors fled from the island on C-130 Hercules cargo planes, spreading the virus to the aircrafts' auto-navigational system's pre-set destination: the Antarctic Base.
Claire Redfield and Steve Burnside, two of the survivors of the outbreak, managed to requisition a mining vehicle from the abandoned mine and attempted to utilize it as a means of escape. At this point, Alfred, who had pursued them from Rockfort, unsuccessfully attempted to ambush them, but was instead shot by Steve and fell into a disused mine shaft to his presumed demise. Continuing on, Claire and Steve reached the heliport, where they were attacked by the newly released Alexander; Claire, however, soon defeated him.
Meanwhile, a fatally-injured Alfred made his way to the cryogenics laboratory to bring Alexia back to life as initially planned fifteen years prior. She would avenge her brother by destroying the snowmobile in which his presumed killers were attempting to escape.
Claire's brother Chris would later take a Harrier from Rockfort Island to the facility in his search for Claire, finding her cocooned to a wall in the residence connecting to the terminal. After Chris released her, Claire discovered Steve in the base's prison, but it was too late. Alexia had already infected him with T-Veronica, and, not long after Claire discovered him, killed him when he successfully resisted the virus-induced madness to save Claire's life. Despite surviving, Claire was trapped.
Chris activated the facility's self-destruct system to destroy the base and rescue Claire by releasing all locks in the base, killing Alexia and fighting to a stalemate with Wesker before escaping with Claire as the Antarctic Base detonated behind them.
After an unknown period of time, the ruins of the base were uncovered by Umbrella Co., a black market bio-weapons organization using a similar moniker to the pharmaceutical giant and a private military company of the same name. The facility was used in its ramshackle condition as a testing ground for prototype anti-B.O.W. weaponry as well as mercenary training.
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- ↑ Resident Evil CODE:Veronica (2000), file: "Worker's Diary".
- ↑ Resident Evil 2 (1999), file: "Umbrella Memo".