The Arklay Research Facility is a fictional laboratory and setting of the original Sony PlayStation video game Resident Evil and the 2002 Nintendo GameCube remake of the same name. It is managed by the Umbrella Corporation and disguised as an isolated mansion located in the Arklay Mountains region, outside of Raccoon City. It is referred to as the Spencer Estate in the S.D. Perry novelizations.
The Arklay Research Facility was originally commissioned for construction during the mid-1960s. It was designed by architect George Trevor and named after Ozwell E. Spencer, co-founder of the Umbrella Corporation and the individual primarily responsible for the financing of the Progenitor and T-Virus research programs. Soon after its completion, further construction was carried out by Umbrella, with the addition of a subterranean laboratory and helipad facility. However, the mansion itself, and the traps and puzzles located within, were designed and constructed by Trevor at the behest of Lord Spencer.
Soon after the modifications were in place, the entire Trevor family was invited to join Spencer at the mansion to celebrate its completion; however, the family was taken prisoner, with George separated from his wife. As George and his family were aware of the mansion's existence, Spencer had decided it prudent to have them all eliminated to keep the facility a secret. George initially escaped his holding cell and attempted to flee, but after several days wandering the mansion, unable to locate an escape route, his strength eventually waned. Towards the end, George discovered that his attempted escape had been orchestrated by Spencer, in order to test the facility's design. He eventually starved to death.
His daughter, Lisa, and wife, Jessica, became the subjects of Spencer's viral experiments, with Jessica dying early in the program's life. From the late 1960s onwards, the Spencer Mansion was used by the Umbrella Corporation to conduct cruel experiments on the Trevors' surviving daughter, Lisa, who was forced to suffer decades of misery at the hands of the Arklay Research Team. In 1978, the T-Virus, successfully created after years of research on the then recently discovered ebola virus, was created by a team of scientists lead by chief researcher, Dr. James Marcus and his assistants, William Birkin and Albert Wesker. This research was primarily conducted at the Arklay Management Training Facility, located nearby, until Dr. Marcus was assassinated by Birkin and Wesker, who then stole his research and relocated to Spencer Mansion where research of the T-Virus would continue under the pair's authority.
Outbreak and the Arklay Incident
As Umbrella's influence within Raccoon City grew, so did their ability to construct and conceal even more grandiose research facilities and projects. William Birkin was transferred to a more advanced laboratory located directly beneath Raccoon City to continue research into an even deadlier viral strain, the G-Virus, whilst Albert Wesker was chosen to head up the newly formed Special Tactics And Rescue Service unit in order to constrain and supervise Raccoon City's law enforcement community. Although Birkin and Wesker were no longer involved in T-Virus research, another researcher by the name of John was transferred from Umbrella's Chicago branch to assume control of Spencer Mansion's projects. Research continued steadily for years at Spencer Mansion until May of 1998, when the T-Virus was leaked through the mansion by James Marcus, infecting almost every member of the facility. As mentioned in diaries and memos left throughout the facility, the entire security team was either infected or killed almost immediately, and at least half of the research team had died in the initial outbreak, with the other half displaying symptoms of T-Virus infection. The various projects and creatures housed at Spencer Mansion were also affected, and safety and security protocols rapidly deteriorated. Spencer Mansion became a battlefield, with the handful of remaining researchers attempting to fend off a wide array of ferocious monstrosities created by their own hands. Realizing death to be imminent, some of the survivors committed suicide, whilst others reflected on the atrocities they had helped perform for the Umbrella Corporation. John, the facility's chief of research, who had despised the crimes being conducted at Spencer Mansion from the beginning, tested positive for T-Virus infection. He then attempted to atone for his past actions by asking that his lover and fellow researcher, Ada Wong, destroy the facility to prevent further infection and alert the media to Umbrella's activities. His requests went unanswered, as he had placed his faith in the wrong person. Through all of this, the horribly disfigured and mentally deteriorated creature that was once Lisa Trevor also escaped captivity and begun a search for the mother she had lost decades earlier. After being forced to endure so much agony at the hands of Umbrella's researchers, Lisa no longer trusted anybody, and was more than willing to kill any that would stand in the way of her one and only reason left to live.
Weeks after the initial outbreak at Spencer Mansion, the T-Virus infection rapidly spread throughout the Arklay Mountains, and news of cannibalism in outlying Raccoon City began to filter in at an alarming rate. Although mutilated corpses had been found in the Arklay Mountains and its rivers, which flow through Raccoon City, as far back as the late 1980s, in June and July of 1998, the body count drastically increased. There had been reports of a vicious cult operating in the Arklay Mountains for several years and the increased number of bizarre murders drove Raccoon City's Chief of Police, Brian Irons, to blockade all roads leading into the mountains for fear of further casualties. The newly formed S.T.A.R.S. Bravo Team was then assigned an aerial reconnaissance mission in the Arklay Mountains on July 23. Umbrella operative and S.T.A.R.S. captain, Albert Wesker, who had learned of the outbreak at Spencer Mansion, decided that this would be an ideal opportunity to gather test data for his creations housed at the facility. Sabotaging Bravo Team's helicopter, Wesker ensured that the S.T.A.R.S. would be forced to the ground to battle Umbrella's creations.
On July 24, S.T.A.R.S. Alpha Team was assigned a search and rescue operation, after Bravo Team dropped out of contact the previous day. After locating Bravo Team's ruined helicopter, Alpha Team was attacked by the T-Virus infected guard dogs formerly housed at Spencer Mansion. Alpha Team was overwhelmed and forced to seek shelter within the facility, which by this time had been entirely overrun. Finding the corpses and severely injured members of Bravo Team also trapped within its walls, Alpha Team discovered various research notes and files implicating the Umbrella Corporation in illegal bio-weapons research programs. Wesker, having intended to eliminate the S.T.A.R.S. unit all along, resorted to blackmail and murder in order to buy just enough time to ensure that he would be able to unleash his ultimate creation, the Tyrant, and pit it against the remaining S.T.A.R.S. members. This action almost cost Wesker his life, and the Tyrant was ultimately be destroyed by the remaining members of S.T.A.R.S. Spencer Mansion was then destroyed via an self-destruct mechanism activated by Wesker. The creatures, personnel and research facilities were all destroyed in the explosion which also cost the remaining S.T.A.R.S. members any hard evidence against the Umbrella Corporation. This lack of evidence, coupled with the smear campaign conducted by Umbrella's corrupt lackeys, Mayor Warren and Chief Irons, would eventually lead to the unit being scorned and ignored by the public for their outlandish claims and accusations.
This is a list of personnel assumed stationed at the facility during the T-Virus outbreak. This information comes from various documents and reports collected by the surviving S.T.A.R.S. operatives during the incident. Due to the informal nature of many of these notes and memos, there are several instances in which only the first or last name have been given.
* Chief Researcher: John. Albert Wesker was only able to make sporadic visits, due to his guise as a S.T.A.R.S. officer.
* Consultant Researchers: Albert Wesker, E. Smith, S. Ross
* Researchers: Jon Toleman, Martin Crackhorn, Henry Sarton, Steve, Robert, David, Eric
* Chief of Security: "The man in dark glasses", presumably Albert Wesker
* Visual Data Room Manager: Keith Arving
* Guards: Scott, Alias
* Keeper: Peter
* X-Ray Subjects: Alex Bennett, Clark David, Ed Fisher, Gail Holland