s.t.a.r.s. resident evil guide capcom definition

What S.T.A.R.S stands for in the Resident Evil universe, explained

S.T.A.R.S. in their Eyes

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Capcom’s Resident Evil franchise has had its fair share of organizations, companies, cults, and investigative units over the many decades since the series’ inception, but perhaps no one faction, (save for the bio-weapon manufacturer developer, Umbrella) is better known than the original squad of elite special forces operators known as S.T.A.R.S.

S.T.A.R.S., which stands for Special Tactics And Rescue Service was a privately funded division of the Raccoon City Police Department, essentially founded for more hazardous assignments that needed investigation beyond the standard jurisdiction of the RPD. In the Resident Evil timeline, The most notorious incident in S.T.A.R.S. team history, (as well as the one that would be the faction’s undoing), is the 1998 Spencer Mansion incident, depicted in the original Resident Evil.

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S.T.A.R.S. Alpha and Bravo Team (not pictured: Rebecca Chambers)

The Spencer Mansion Incident

After a series of brutal murders were reported in the Arklay mountains outside of Raccoon City, the RPD dispatched S.T.A.R.S. Bravo Team to investigate the nearby Spencer Mansion — a hi-tech compound located in the wilderness. This investigation would result in the loss of four Bravo team members, leaving medic Rebecca Chambers and communications officer Richard Aiken to go to ground. Following the loss of communication with Bravo Team, RPD Chief Brad Irons ordered S.T.A.R.S. Alpha Team to retrace the team’s steps.

Unknown to the team, however, Alpha Team Captain Albert Wesker was a double agent, working with the bio-weapons company, Umbrella. Wesker was under orders from Umbrella to infiltrate the Spencer Mansion, recover precious assets of bio-development, and destroy the complex, ensuring the death of all witnesses, including his S.T.A.R.S. compatriots. Wesker would only be partially successful in his surreptitious operation, however, and the Spencer Mansion incident would be concluded by Alpha Team members Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine.

Altogether, The Spencer Mansion incident would cost the lives of eight S.T.A.R.S. operatives, (or at least that’s what the report would read, with certain deceased parties miraculously returning). Not long after the incident, both Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine would leave the squad, concerned about corruption from the higher-ups and determined to investigate the actions of Umbrella on an individual basis. Chief Irons, aware that the net was closing in on his own relationship with Umbrella, disbanded S.T.A.R.S. soon thereafter, replacing it with a standard military force, more simply known as Raccoon S.W.A.T.


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Chris Moyse
Senior Editor - Chris has been playing video games since the 1980s and writing about them since the 1880s. Graduated from Galaxy High with honors. Twitter: @ChrisxMoyse