At the beginning of the twenty-first century, the Umbrella Corporation had become the largest commercial entity in the United States. Nine out of every ten homes contain its products. Its political and financial influence is felt everywhere. In public, it is the world’s leading supplier of computer technology, medical products, and healthcare. Unknown, even to its own employees, its massive profits are generated by military technology, genetic experimentation and viral weaponry. Described as “the largest and most powerful commercial entity in the world,” Umbrella represents a worst-case scenario vision of the future in which a single company has achieved a monopoly over networked technologies, to the point that their influence is felt in every home. While zombies are the most obvious embodiment of monstrosity within the Resident Evil films, they are a symptom of this larger threat.
Soon after the opening of its pharmaceutical subsidiary, Umbrella Pharmaceuticals, Umbrella began developing biological weaponry for militaries across the world as part of a worldwide conspiracy to accumulate deadly viruses directly prohibited by the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention. Umbrella Pharmaceuticals was able to cover their true intentions by researching vaccines for the same viruses as a front. Umbrella owned and utilized several paramilitary units to ensure the stability of the company during their viral experimentation.
In the film, one of the Umbrella Corporation’s diabolical secret research projects (apparently) goes wrong, leading to the release of the zombifying T-virus that infects first their underground research facility (the Hive) and then all of Raccoon City, where the facility is located. Symptoms of the T-Virus include mutation and progressive skin decay. They are known as “Zombies” due to their grotesque, corpse-like appearance.
Alice is the recurring central protagonist, an agent who fights alongside other human survivors against the encroaching zombie hoards. Her narrative arc through the franchise is tortuous. She is captured by the Umbrella Corporation, who inject her with a modified form of the T-virus in order to turn her into a new kind of weapon: a super-powered human/zombie hybrid that retains its human form but is controlled by Umbrella.
Managing to overcome Umbrella’s mind control, Alice begins a battle against the Corporation and its genetic experimentation. Along the way she discovers she has also been cloned, but turns this technology to her advantage to create an army of Alice clones with which to attack Umbrella.
One year after the events of Extinction, Alice and her clones lead the assault to attack Umbrella HQ, located in Tokyo, slaying the entire branch except for Albert Wesker, who escapes in a tiltrotor plane and detonates a bomb that leaves a massive sinkhole.