Prime universe
(Capcom's primary storyline)
Mansion front

The laboratory used a mansion as a front.

The Arklay Laboratory was a laboratory complex located in the Arklay Mountains, and managed by Umbrella USA. Hidden beneath the seclusive Spencer Mansion, the Arklay Laboratory was one of Umbrella's key facilities, and was involved with viral and bio-weapons research and development. The facility was destroyed following a sabotage which left the entire research staff and associated employees dead or otherwise infected with the t-Virus.


Early years

The origins of the Arklay Laboratory lie with an international eugenics circle which, in the 1960s, considered the use of viruses to improve the human genome. To facilitate covert research, Dr. Oswell E. Spencer began construction of the laboratory within his estate in the mountains in Arklay County. The first known research to take place was in October 1967, with the infection of Jessica and Lisa Trevor with strains of Progenitor virus.[1] With Progenitor not considered to be viable for the "Wesker Project", three members of the circle went on to found Umbrella Pharmaceuticals, intent on raising funding for Progenitor research through the selling of medicines. Umbrella then entered secret talks with the United States military to develop strains of Progenitor dubbed Tyrant Virus, or t-Virus, which could serve as next-generation weapons. The Arklay Laboratory hosted Dr. Spencer's research, with Dr. James Marcus and Dr. Edward Ashford undertaking their own research elsewhere.

Birkin leadership

Throughout the 1970s, the Arklay Laboratory performed its research on t-Virus alongside other RNA viruses such as Ebola Virus. At this point the t-Virus would kill people within hours, making it an impractical weapon. When Dr. William Birkin was transferred to the laboratory as its new research chief, they had successfully stolen a sample of Dr. Marcus' more promising rival t-Virus. Under Birkin's leadership, research was steered toward a new direction with genes from Ebola being spliced into t-Virus with the goal of keeping the majority of infected alive in a deteriorated state to allow a greater spread. This was solved by 1981, with Dr. Birkin then tackling the problem of some 10% being immune to the virus.[2]

During the 1980s the Arklay Laboratory began competing with Dr. Alexia Ashford over bioweapons research. Birkin took the young Ashford prodigy as a threat to his chances of promotion to Umbrella's management, and obsessively drove research in any direction to best her. Among his contributions in this period was the Hunter α , a bioweapon created by grafting reptilian DNA to a female human embryo with the t-Virus as a bonding agent. Birkin's search for new weaponry to create culminated with the incorporation of one of Umbrella Europe's Nemesis-α parasites into the body of Lisa Trevor, who had been kept for well over twenty years by this point as a test subject. The discovery of a new Progenitor strain within her body resulted in the opening of the G-Virus Project; the construction of a new underground laboratory in Raccoon City's industrial quarter, and Birkin's transfer there in 1991.

Clemens leadership

Following Birkin's transfer, John Clemens took over as head researcher. Umbrella did not appreciate his views on their research, and kept him under surveillance. At some point he began a relationship with Ada Wong , a Chinese agent who had infiltrated Umbrella for an unknown agency to provide research data.

Mansion Incident

On 11 May 1998, an accident took place in which the newly developed ε strain t-Virus spread throughout the lab, infecting the staff with the help of the Queen Leech who manipulated and caused the accident to occur as part of its revenge on Umbrella. Personnel were confined within the complex, and anyone attempting to escape was shot on the orders of the security officers. During the incident, Dr. William Birkin ordered a team to recover the cloned embryos of the T-002 to ensure the survival of the Tyrant Project. The confined research staff made attempts to commit suicide to either prevent mutation or not suffer the fate of being eaten alive,[3] while others began killing their colleagues.[4]

In late July of that year, under public pressure, the Special Tactics and Rescue Service under Captain Wesker 's lead began investigating a series of bizarre murder reports and cases of savage animal attacks. Knowing full well that these reports were related to the virus, Wesker went with his mission: destroy the mansion, and recover the data on the B.O.W.s effectiveness by allowing the S.T.A.R.S. Alpha team to be butchered by them.

The S.T.A.R.S. Bravo team was sent in on July 23, and suffered engine failure, Wesker's attempt to kill them in an 'accident'.[notes 1] Surviving the crash, the team went on to investigate the mansion, where Bravo leader Enrico Marini uncovered evidence that someone on Alpha team had intentionally "set [them] up".[5] Wesker went with Alpha team the following morning to investigate Bravo team's disappearance. An encounter with the mutated animals outside and the death of a Bravo team member allowed Wesker to slip away from his team, and begin destroying potential evidence.

Out of a department of thirteen, six S.T.A.R.S. members would survive the night: Chris RedfieldJill ValentineRebecca ChambersBarry Burton; Albert Wesker and Brad Vickers  Brad having escaped the animal attack on the chopper, stranding the rest. Wesker decided to betray Umbrella and pursue his own career, and would use a prototype virus handed to him by Birkin to allow him to "cheat death", in a literal sense. Staging his 'death' at the hands of a rogue T-002 after his mission had been discovered by the survivors, he used his spare time to escape the facility, and the persistent mutated Lisa Trevor, before its self-destruct device set off.

With the estate destroyed, and witnesses surviving, both S.T.A.R.S. and Umbrella were at a loss. Umbrella would risk a collapse in their revenue if the incident went public, while the S.T.A.R.S. survivors had no information to confirm their stories; all evidence going up in flames like the mansion.

To keep the conspiracy against Dr. Marcus a secret  the revelation of which would have disastrous implications on Umbrella's stock again [notes 2] Umbrella researcher Morpheus D. Duvall would be held responsible for the incident and was subsequently fired. Due to his knowledge of Umbrella's true self, the company kept watch of him via a number of spies.[6]


Arklay Staff

The B.O.W. Development Team at the Arklay Laboratory.

This is a list of employees that were stationed in the facility at the time of viral outbreak. This information comes from various documents and reports collected by Alpha team from the facility. Also, a number of lesser researchers was known to reside at the dormitory: a smaller structure adjacent to the mansion. They were known to have been conducting research on unusual organisms such as sharks and plants, leading to the creation of Neptune and the accidental creation of PLANT 42.

Staff can be separated into two categories: Research & Development and Security. R&D itself has several divisions, two of which are known as "Special Research" and "Sanitation".[7]

Name Department/Role
Alias Security.[8]
Arving, Keith Visual Data Room manager.[7]
Bennett, Alex Unknown
Birkin, William Chief Researcher (former)[9]
Cluckholm, Martin Unknown
David, Clark Unknown
Fisher, Ed Unknown
Holland, Gail Unknown
Clemens, John Chief Researcher
Robert Unknown, possibly Security.[4]
Ross, S. Consultant Researcher.[7]
Sarton, Henry Consultant Researcher
Scott Security.[8]
Smith, E. Consultant Researcher.[7]
Steve Consultant Researcher.[8]
Wesker, Albert Consultant Researcher.[7]
"The Keeper" Research and caretaker.[8]

Alex Bechet may have also been an employee, though it is left ambiguous as to if the X-ray scan was for an employee or a test-subject.



Notes and sources

  1. Dialogue in the original Resident Evil suggest this, as Rebecca notes the unusualness of the incident, citing that she had checked the engine before the mission.
  2. Wesker warns Birkin in Zero that the conspiracy should not be uncovered, or it will damage Umbrella
  1. Resident Evil (2002), file: "Family Picture & Notes".
  2. Wesker's Report II.
  3. Resident Evil (2002), file: "Researcher's Will".
  4. 4.0 4.1 Resident Evil (2002), file: "Suicide Note".
  5. Resident Evil (2002), scenes: "Chris finds Enrico" and "Jill finds Enrico".
  6. Capcom. Resident Evil: Dead Aim. (Capcom). File: Regular Report No. 1162.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 Resident Evil (2002), file: "Security Protocols".
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Resident Evil (2002), file: "Keeper's Diary".
  9. Wesker's Report II
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