(Covers information from Anderson's universe)
Raccoon City was a city located somewhere in the midwestern United States.[note 1] It was a huge metropolis built by the Umbrella Corporation, with a population of 654,763 by 2002, and was used for conducting scientific research and experimentation. The city was destroyed after a viral outbreak, prompting a nuclear missile being fired into the city.
In the 2002 film Resident Evil, Raccoon City was the nearest metropolitan center to the large, top-secret underground facility built by the Umbrella Corporation called The Hive which was used to conduct top-secret research. Most of its 654,736 residents were oblivious to the experiments beneath its streets.
In 2002, the T-virus escaped into the ventilation systems of The Hive, prompting the giant supercomputer known as The Red Queen to shut down The Hive, gassed the majority of its employees with Halon, released the breaks and dropped the occupied elevators at high speed, and drowned the remainder by flooding a sealed lab. Umbrella later sent in a special elite team of commandos in order to retrieve information about what had happened.
The team entered The Hive through a secret passage located within a mansion. It is later revealed that the viral outbreak was intentionally done in order to smuggle out the T-virus and sell it on the black market. Just hours later, only two survivors emerged from The Hive, Matt Addison and Alice. Both were seized by Umbrella's scientists and taken to the Raccoon City Hospital for quarantine and experimentation.
Raccoon City outbreak
Immediately after Alice and Matt were taken away, the Umbrella Corporation sent in a research team to re-open The Hive. The team's insertion point was the main entrance beneath Raccoon City. Shortly after entering The Hive the entire team was slaughtered by T-virus Undead and lickers that had been sealed within the complex. With the entrance now open, Umbrella realized that before long, these highly infectious Undead and other experiments would make their way to the surface and begin an unstoppable amplification of the infection.
Knowing that containing the outbreak would be nearly impossible, an emergency plan to evacuate key Umbrella personnel from the city was activated. Important researchers and administrators were collected by two-man teams and removed from the city. After the completion of this operation, the city was sealed. Raccoon City was considered a loss, and to keep the infection from spreading past the city limits, gates at the entry and egress points of the city were closed. Traffic into and out of the city was halted.
A screening center was established at one such point, Raven's Gate Bridge, the city's primary traffic artery. Manned by medics and heavily armed corporate soldiers, this checkpoint was a minor effort to save some civilians from the rapidly expanding disaster. Uninfected civilians were permitted to pass, and control of the increasingly panicked population was maintained by Raccoon City Police units and Umbrella soldiers. However, once an infected civilian did reach the blockade (and was subsequently killed), orders were given to completely seal the city. The gates were closed and locked down, stranding the helpless civilians still within the city limits.
Mercenary soldiers working for Umbrella attempted, and failed, to turn the tide of the Undead onslaught. Losses were staggering and not effective. With nearly all of the units dead, Umbrella's last-line plan was put into motion.
Shortly before dawn on September 30, 2002, a cruise missile equipped with a thermonuclear warhead was launched into the heart of downtown Raccoon City. Umbrella's public relations spin doctors were able to feed a convincing story to the media, who then reported that the city's destruction was due to a terrible accident at the Raccoon City Nuclear Power Facility nearby. Attempts by some of the survivors to spread the truth about what had really happened, met with failure.
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter
In The Final Chapter, Raccoon City is shown to have become a deserted ruin with a giant blast crater in the middle from the nuclear blast and the surviving buildings little more than ruins. Over time, a relatively intact tower at the edge of the blast crater has become home to the last human settlement, containing just over 4,000 people. After escaping from Umbrella custody on her way to the Hive following the events at Arcadia, Claire Redfield was one the few that settled here.
Following the destruction of the settlement at the White House, Alice is warned that this last human settlement will be destroyed in 48 hours and with it, humanity. Alice is forced to return to Raccoon City in order to reenter the Hive and get a potent anti-virus that will end the Global T-Virus pandemic once and for all. On the way, Alice learns that the threat comes in the form of three massive Undead armies led by Umbrella tanks, with the lead tank being commanded by a clone of Dr. Alexander Isaacs. Alice aids the residents in repelling Isaacs' attack, but with two more Undead armies on the way, leads a team into the Hive to get the anti-virus and permanently end the threat.
After Alice releases the anti-virus, all of the Undead in Raccoon City, including in both armies, are instantly killed. With the death of the real Doctor Isaacs, the Red Queen is able to recall the Umbrella forces sent to assault the settlement with the Undead, ending the threat and saving the last of humanity.
The economy of Raccoon City is dominated by The Umbrella Corporation.
Similar to its video game counterpart, Raccoon City is located near the base of the Arklay Mountains, despite this, in both of its appearances, Raccoon City is seen to be on relatively flat land. In an error of continuity, Raccoon City is shown bordering on a large body of water in Apocalypse, while in The Final Chapter, Raccoon City is shown to have a small river running through it, but is relatively land-locked.
In a deleted scene from Resident Evil: Apocalypse, former news anchor Terri Morales has been demoted to weather. On the weather map it shows Raccoon City as being approximately where Allentown, Pennsylvania is located in the real world. Other nearby cities on the map include Selinsgrove, Hazelton, and Trenton, New Jersey. In Resident Evil: Extinction this is contradicted by the opening sequence which shows Raccoon City as being in the same geographical location as Detroit, Michigan.
Very little is known about the cities transportation network. However, the city does seem to be well served by buses and taxies.
- Raccoon City Junior School
- Raccoon City Nuclear Plant
- Raccoon City Hall (Anderson)
- Raccoon City Hospital
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- The weather report at the start of Apocalypse implies it is in east Pennsylvania. However this is not addressed elsewhere.