Geography and characteristics
The city and its outlying areas house several bioengineering laboratories belonging to the Umbrella Corporation. These laboratories develop viruses that can mutate humans and animals into zombie-like creatures. One of the laboratories, unnamed in the video games, is located under Raccoon City and is the producer of the G-Virus. These viruses are the plot devices driving the story behind the games; sabotage and security failures have unleashed these viruses and infected creatures on Raccoon City, and players have to escape the city.
Raccoon City is depicted in the films as a 21st-century cosmopolitan city with an infrastructure largely funded by the Umbrella Corporation. Similar to the games, the first two films feature the Hive existing as a secret underground laboratory under the city. Housing more than 500 employees, the facility has an artificial intelligence, the Red Queen, controlling its security. The theft and deliberate release of the t-Virus starts the chain of events depicted in the opening of the first film. Although the Hive is sealed off at the end of the film, it is reopened in Resident Evil: Apocalypse by the Umbrella Corporation. Infected creatures spread out of the re-opened Hive into Raccoon City and Umbrella placed the city under quarantine. Near the end of the film, the city is destroyed with a nuclear missile.
Instead of creating large sets for Raccoon City and the Hive, the film crew filmed on location at Toronto, Canada; and Berlin, Germany. Due to the fictional city being located in the American Midwest, the film's director Paul Anderson chose Toronto to serve as the fictional city in the film. The city was filmed untouched, and many of its prominent features, such as its City Hall and the CN Tower, are visible in the films. For the underground train station in the Hive, Anderson chose to film in the Berlin U-Bahn. He said that the atmosphere of the underground labyrinth structure was conducive to the acting and promoted a sense of realism and mood in the production. Resident Evil: Extinction features another Hive in Death Valley, which is used for the research of a cure to the t-Virus and of the Tyrant Program.