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The Umbrella Corporation is a fictional bioengineering pharmaceutical company in the Resident Evil universe, that serves as one of the main antagonists in the series. It is portrayed in the games as a major international player in a number of markets including pharmaceuticals, medical hardware, defense, and computers along with more clandestine operations utilizing genetic engineering and accused viral weaponry.
The company is also presented as having a more public face, producing cosmetics, consumer products and foods.
One of Umbrella's subsidiaries is a private military contractor with a highly trained security force capable of rescue, reconnaissance, and para-military operations. The corporation uses the force to secure and protect its assets and high profile employees. When Ashford dies, Spencer assassinates Marcus to seize complete control of the corporation. Umbrella establishes multiple secret research facilities to develop various bio-weapons. The most prominent research facility is located in the Arklay Mountains, just outside of Raccoon City. Scientists in this facility were able to develop the “T-virus”, a powerful mutagen that could dramatically alter living organisms. The virus leaks and contaminates most of the Arklay Facility and its surrounding area. The lab is comprised by heavily mutated test-subjects, and researches that have mutated into zombie-like creatures.
The T-virus eventually spreads to Raccoon City, where infected citizens, local wildlife, and other mutated creatures leave the city in bedlam. The United States government is unable to rescue the local population, and orders a missile-strike to destroy the city to prevent the virus from spreading.