African Research Centre
The Umbrella Africa Research Facility was the hidden centre of the Umbrella Corporation’s official African division, constructed in the immediate area surrounding the “Sun Garden”; the cradle of the Progenitor Virus in the midst of the West African mountains. After chasing the Ndipaya tribe out of the Sun Garden and the surrounding ruins, the research team led by Brandon Bailey constructed research facilities to accommodate research into the Stairway to the Sun flowers and the Progenitor virus within. Initially the facility was minimalistic, comprised almost solely of tents and temporary buildings whilst the permanent structures were still being constructed under the order of Oswell Spencer. These facilities were finally completed on June 15th 1969.
Shortly afterwards, Bailey requested an expansion of the facility in order conduct more extensive research and hired additional research staff. Due to the inability to culture the virus outside of its natural habitat, the African Research Facility was the main source of Progenitor cultivation, with distributed samples sent worldwide to all of Umbrella’s laboratories. In addition to this, the Africa Research Facility also conducted in-house research on Progenitor, although it was not officially part of the t-Virus project. Brandon Bailey kept in regular contact with James Marcus back in Raccoon City via telegram and the African lab maintained this link for many years until his untimely exile from the corporation.
The research facility was constructed entirely around the sun garden and embedded deep beneath the mountain. The only way in or out was via the ingeniously designed stone elevator built centuries ago by the Ndipaya. The flower bed was originally kept warm by a sustained shaft of natural light reflecting down from a large prism built into the ruins above with meticulous calculation, but once Umbrella arrived numerous artificial light fixtures were installed and the flowers were kept alive unnaturally by modern technology.
The purpose of the research facility was to harvest the Progenitor Virus and perform basic experiments. Air and water purifiers were set up around the Sun Garden as well as generators and measuring equipment. The rumbling of the purifier and water pump would constantly echo throughout the area and any of the of the ruins that got in the way of the new buildings were destroyed and discarded nearby without any regard for their natural beauty and historical significance. The actual Sun Garden was constructed on a raised stone platform with four staircases. Nearby, huge water purifiers marked the entrance to the interior of the base with a small metal bridge crossing over the pond at the far end and ‘No Smoking’ signs installed. Inside was a small tunnel kept largely empty except for the storage of construction equipment including bags of cement and fuel barrels. A large, red metal door with ‘G-024’ written above marked the main entrance to the complex. Inside was a corridor with white-painted cement walls and a lower layer of darkened grey. A yellow door on the left led into a filing and archives room full of sixties supercomputers and numerous shelves for files, sketches and design plans. Back in the corridor were some shelving units and pigeon holes for the individual research staff members.
The corridor then branched to the right and continued downward where another yellow door led to the main computer room. In here supercomputer units covered the left wall and the main space was used for Progenitor Virus culture experiments. Four large, expensive plexi-glass tubes held the Sonnentreppe flowers suspended in a liquid of natural nutrients. Also in here were some silver, pressurised gas cylinders, more computers and other miscellaneous laboratory equipment. A second door out of this room led back into the same corridor which then turned left and double-backed on itself like a horseshoe. The overall interior environment was very sparse and minimalistic with cold, dirty white walls and damp concrete flooring. No attempt at decoration was made and it was all very bare and unsophisticated compared to other Umbrella facilities. This corridor ended at a big metal shutter leading into the main animal housing chamber. The shutters were only ever down if the facility was in lockdown and an alternative route into the warehouse was directly through one of the animal isolation chambers via a steel pressure door with a red valve handle. The animal holding area was essentially a storage warehouse with many animal cages of various sizes for different specimens and researchers would often capture local wildlife to experiment with. There were also several animal isolation chambers with thick transparent windows for the more dangerous animals. In later years these cells would be used to house live B.O.W.s such as the Licker Beta.
Beyond the animal warehouse was another branching corridor and a security office with more computers and CCTV monitors displaying images from cameras set up all across the facility. Valuable personal effects were kept in a large safe in the corner. Back outside, the corridor looped round then went up a flight of stairs to the next floor. A corridor then ran down by more animal pens and a lever on the wall controlled shutters with artificial lights on the other side. Beyond was a security door that required two persons to push release buttons simultaneously for access. Through here was another passage with more holding pens on each side. A single door then led into another passage which looped around to the right and ended abruptly. After being closed down and abandoned by Umbrella in 1998, the facility sat empty and collecting dust until it was discovered and reopened by Tricell in 2007.
The basic layout of the old Umbrella facility remains largely untouched save for a few improvements and quick fixes to some of the crumbling sections. The Sun Garden remains exactly the same except that the Fabiano Company created a new set of pumps that Tricell installed to irrigate the Sonnentreppe flowers more effectively. They have also installed artificial lighting around the area and erected green tents bearing the Tricell Africa logo. The interior of the lab also remains largely unaltered to the extent that packing crates with the old Umbrella logo still litter the hallways. Tricell replaced most of the computer equipment and installed their own high-tech hardware in the computer room. The animal holding cages have all been retained in the main warehouse and now hold a variety of local wildlife for use as guinea pigs and food source for the B.O.W.s. The B.O.W. holding cells have also been kept and now mostly house the Licker β specimens.
On the second floor past the remaining cages is where the facility expansion begins. Where there was once a dead end in the solid wall now contains an elevator leading a few levels down. The elevator opens into a corridor of gleaming metal chrome. Directly ahead as the corridor turns to the right is an ammo storage unit. There are four main units each containing four slots for differing weapons. To the right the corridor runs to a metal gantry where the chamber suddenly opens up into a huge atrium extending all the way up to the surface of the mountain.
This atrium contains hundreds of stasis pods for the Uroboros Virus research. It also has a giant turntable that acts as an elevator to various levels of the facility. At the very bottom, a metal walkway leads to a network of cramped corridors full of generators, machinery and large metal pipework. This leads through to the main power room for the facility. At the back of this room a security door leads to a small factory area. In here is another elevator heading to the incineration plant. This is a colossal warehouse full of conveyor belts and machinery as well as huge furnaces where failed test subjects are disposed of. The upper warehouse is where the Uroboros missiles are stored. Further on is the main culture laboratory where the development of the virus takes place. Up above is an observation room through a glass window. From here access can be permitted to the upper levels of the warehouse and overlooking the whole plant is the control room full of panels, stations and even a grey sofa. CCTV and monitoring equipment are also present. A back door in here runs down a dark corridor with green lights on either side heading back to the main atrium on an upper level.
Riding the turntable up to the highest floor, a metal staircase leads to a corridor which emerges into more Ndipaya ruins at the back of the mountain. In front of a beautiful temple-like structure, scaffolding and makeshift elevators litter the sandy ground where a control booth operates a mechanical drawbridge crossing over a deep chasm to the temple. Inside a metal door bearing the Tricell logo is the fabled Ndipaya monarch room where the ancient kings would sit. This room has been left largely untouched by Tricell and remains a marvel of archaeological splendour. Murals are carved onto the walls, documenting the Ndipaya’s fall from grace at the hands of ‘Anicent B.O.W.s’ and upstairs at the top of two grand stone staircases are treasure rooms still containing ancient relics and jewels from the fabled tribe. At the back of the monarch room, Tricell have installed an elevator that leads down to the back of the mountain and to their new satellite and receiving station by the dock.
After stepping out of the elevator built into the mountain, a small metal platform overlooks the valley and harbour where Tricell have constructed this station. A set of stairs lead down to the bottom. Cargo containers and scaffolding platforms surround several satellite and receiving relays. Giant cranes stand tall to continue the construction and powerful spotlights look up into the sky after nightfall. The place is basically a giant construction yard with building materials everywhere. Generators, large fans and cooling equipment are also present. The main communications outpost is constructed on a large stone platform acting as a bridge on top of the water between the two mountains. There are lookout posts, radar towers and rail tracks leading into caves in the mountain where further mining operations are taking place. At the very back of the construction yards is the main communication facility next to a transport yard where cargo containers are kept On top of the communications building is a helicopter landing pad. At the docks is a huge shipping tanker belonging to Tricell for transporting large materials. There is even storage room for a stealth bomber to be housed here.
ACCESS ELEVATOR – Located on B4 Level of Umbrella’s underground laboratory in the turntable annex.
B5 – At the bottom of the access elevator a small iron bridge crosses over a fast-flowing underground river to the entrance of the facility. Inside is a small control room monitoring power levels, purification devices, CCTV and other instruments to keep the overall facility operational. Power can be rerouted to and from the fire tank, warehouse, main control room, pump room, restroom, lodgings, purifying room, the water tank, reservoir and the first and second experiment rooms. A small elevator outside the control room leads down to the next level.
B6 – The elevator stops at a small pump room full of rusted pipes and whirring generators. Air scrubbing fans spin on the walls and a door leads out onto the main annex with mesh gantries running alongside several large water tanks bearing the Umbrella logo. A door to the left requires a valve handle for access and leads to a corridor running down to the lodgings. These are comprised of bunk beds and washing facilities. A door on the other end of the lodgings leads to steps running down to the purification rooms. Alternatively a second door at the end of the main gantry leads to the rec room which holds a bar, pool table and pin ball machine. Stairs here lead down to the next level.
B7 & B8 contain the main facilities for operating the underground dam. Construction materials and forklift trucks are dotted around here. There are also various control rooms, a gondola for transporting materials over the reservoir, and a water treatment pool.
B9 – Contains the main furnace. This is where the Leech Queen made its nest when it became sentient in 1998. This area also contains a large freight elevator that rides up to the surface diagonally and emerges into a small warehouse and heliport in Raccoon Forest.