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Phenotrans is a large pharmaceutical company and multimillion-dollar corporation responsible for manufacturing the controversial, anti-zombification drug known as Zombrex. They have been criticized by numerous parties, including C.U.R.E. and Gretchen of Tape it or Die, for their exploitative approaches towards development of anti-zombification medication. There are rumors that Phenotrans purposefully withholds the creation of a cure in order to extract money from its customer base.
Much of the corporation’s background is shrouded in mystery as the identity of their leader has never been revealed, and the nature of almost all of their operations are kept confidential and out of the public's view. In spite of all the suspicion and misgivings about the Phenotrans Corporation, many Americans don’t question their methods because of the growing demand and dependence for Zombrex in the nation.
For the most part, they are considered to be the main antagonists of Dead Rising 2, Dead Rising 2: Case West, and Dead Rising 2: Off the Record due to the fact that they were secretly responsible for starting the Las Vegas and Fortune City outbreaks.
Post - Dead RisingEdit
In the two years situated between the "Willamette Incident" and the "Las Vegas Outbreak", Phenotrans adopted the development of Zombrex presented to them by Isabela Keyes. Because she and her brother Carlito Keyes were ultimately responsible for the events of Willamette, Isabela was given a choice to atone for her crimes by the American authorities: either accept employment with Phenotrans and help them in further anti-zombification research or go straight to jail. Isabela chose to work for Phenotrans, and mass-production and marketing of Zombrex began soon after.
Las Vegas OutbreakEdit
Zombrex had been bringing in overwhelming profits for the company, and the demand for Zombrex continues to increase. However, Phenotrans was running out of Queens needed to develop the medication, so they created a gas substance that attracts and causes regular zombies to mutate, creating more Queens.
Phenotrans decided the best way to keep Zombrex in production was to intentionally release the Queens into a city to infect the entire population. This would cause the city to be quarantined then Phenotrans would move in and release the gas to attract zombies and force the Queens from their mutated bodies. Las Vegas was infested with zombies and all went according to Phenotrans's plan.
Chuck Greene, and his daughter Katey, were among the few survivors who managed to escape Las Vegas alive. Chuck's wife turned and bit their daughter before they escaped. Chuck had to constantly procure Zombrex for Katey, unaware of the reason behind the outbreak. Las Vegas was subsequently destroyed three days later with a government firebomb.
Fortune City OutbreakEdit
- The events that follow are covered in Dead Rising 2.
Three years after the Las Vegas incident, Phenotrans decided to repeat their earlier work in Fortune City, a crowded adult entertainment resort.
The TV show Terror is Reality was hosting a television show with hundreds of zombies, which were gathered from other small town outbreaks which were kept under control by the military[Verification needed], and from the Las Vegas outbreak. Chuck was also competing in the show for money to buy Zombrex. Katey was staying with Chuck during the event.
Phenotrans conspired with the show's host, Tyrone King to help with the plan, offering him a large sum of money. Phenotrans framed Chuck as the cause of the outbreak. Phenotrans employee Sullivan waited in the emergency shelter. Shortly after Terror is Reality, someone disguised as him released zombies which was purposely captured on Channel 6 Action News. Within minutes thousands of people were infected.
This time, Phenotrans' plan did not go as smoothly. First, their decision to implicate Chuck as the cause of the outbreak prompted him to set out and clear his name. Chuck first believed that TK was behind the entire operation, and that the outbreak was merely for financial reasons.
The military arrived three days after the outbreak. But during the cleanup operation Phenotrans released the gas that mutated the zombies, and the soldiers were wiped out. As a result, a military firebombing was imminent.
Chuck decided to track the origin of the gas to find clues as to what was happening, and found Phenotrans extracting the Queens beneath Fortune City. He stole a Phenotrans laptop with all the evidence to expose Phenotrans as the cause, and took it back to the Safe House. At this time Sullivan revealed himself as the perpetrator. Sullivan fled but Chuck pursued and killed Sullivan. Chuck acquired Sullivan's transceiver and made contact with Rebecca's news crew; Channel 6 Action News, informing them that there were still survivors within Fortune City. As a result, the firebombing was put on an indefinite hold, while rescue helicopters were dispatched.
The survivors in the Safe House were evacuated, as was Stacey and Katey and Tyrone King was killed, either through either zombification (Ending A) or falling to his death (Ending S - not used in Case West).
With all the evidence gone, Phenotrans is still capable of blaming Chuck for the outbreak. This leads to Dead Rising 2: Case West.
Dead Rising 2: Case WestEdit
Chuck is left behind in Fortune City as a zombified TK attacks him in the elevator. Fortunately, Frank West arrives to save Chuck, and the pair fly to the Phenotrans Facility west of the city for their own reasons, exposing Phenotrans with the help of an inside source and finding evidence to clear Chuck's name.
An inside source reveals that this is the facility used to manufacture Zombrex and conduct other research, while zombies are flown in via helicopters carrying cargo crates from the now ruined Fortune City. The pair learn that Phenotrans have been using queens to produce Zombrex and kidnapping an assortment of people, including prisoners, the homeless, and missing persons, using them as test subjects for research and production.
Eventually, Chuck and Frank are able to reach Frank's inside source, Isabela Keyes, where she reveals that she was forced to work there and that her work for a synthetic drug and cure were stolen. The director of the Phenotrans, Marian Mallon, makes her appearance. Marian reveals that thanks to Isabela Phenotrans found a cure but she refuses to release it to the public.
Marian then initiates a self-destruction to detonate the facility as she escapes with an unconscious Isabela Keyes. Although the facility and its labs were destroyed soon after, Phenotrans' stocks still continue to rise after the events of Dead Rising 2.[Verification needed]
Dead Rising 3Edit
The status of Phenotrans in the 10 years following the events of Dead Rising 2 and Dead Rising 2: Case West isn't entirely clear. Frank West and Chuck Greene's best efforts to expose the company for perpetrating the Fortune City Outbreak did not succeed in bringing it down, however the rumors of Phenotrans' involvement in the incident eventually led them to declare bankruptcy. While Phenotrans no longer plays as large of a role in the main storyline, they have invented a new method of dispersing Zombrex to the infected via Zombrex GPS chips.
These chips are designed to be surgically implanted under an infected person's skin, usually via the back where there's a good concentration of body fat, and routinely dose them each day with Zombrex so that they do not turn. If they do turn, the chip tracks them via GPS. As a result of their newfound success, the U.S. Government soon made it law that all infected citizens be required to get Zombrex GPS chips. An exhibit found in the Museum of the Americas reveals that the government also agreed to pay for the costs of national mandatory chipping, seeing as nobody wanted a repeat of Fortune City and that not every American could afford Zombrex.
Those who refused to comply with the law became known as illegals, and opted to live off the grid in order to avoid government retribution. Because of this, they often face discrimination and prejudice from other people owing to the fact that each one of them is physically capable of triggering another zombie outbreak. The Zombrex dosage used in Dead Rising 2 is still available for these illegals, but whether Phenotrans still manufactures boxed Zombrex on a regular basis is unknown.
During the events in Los Perdidos, both Marian Mallon and Isabela Keyes resurface. However, it is unknown whether or not they are still affiliated with Phenotrans by this point. In a conversation with General Hemlock, Mallon tells him that, in accordance with their plan, she used a specific type of radiation to deactivate all Zombrex GPS chips throughout the city, which may indicate that she is still working for Phenotrans. Isabela is in the city, desperately continuing her search for a cure to the zombie parasite. Mallon has teamed up with General Hemlock in perpetrating the outbreak. She too is interested in the discovery of a cure, being forced to rely on boxed Zombrex like the illegals. Unlike Isabela, Mallon is willing to go to much more cruel and extreme measures in her search for it.
Because of Mallon's own reliance on boxed Zombrex, the cure's "supposed" existence, which she herself had hinted at in Case West had either been a lie or the "prototype" cure later proved to be ineffective.
In several ZDC news updates, the final state of Phenotrans following the Los Perdidos Outbreak is revealed. Phenotrans is described as being "defunct," meaning that it no longer exists. Rumors that the chips may have been the initial cause of the outbreak caused the company's stock market values to plummet, but Hemlock dismisses the rumors as nonsense. Yet another ZDC news update also mentions that Congress discreetly ordered the FBI to conduct a raid on the headquarters of the company responsible for manufacturing the chips, amidst similar rumors. In response, Hemlock angrily calls for the "disbandment" of Congress.
In the end, the Phenotrans Corporation goes out of business.
Dead Rising 2: Off the RecordEdit
In this alternate reality, Phenotrans secretly planted one of their top operatives: "Agent S" (aka. Stacey Forsythe) into C.U.R.E. as its leader. In an effort to harvest queens for Zombrex, Agent S rallied C.U.R.E. into starting zombie outbreaks all over the country, and soon made Fortune City the group's latest target. To ensure the success of their plans, Phenotrans secretly made a deal with Tyrone King (game show host of Terror is Reality) for full-access to the zombie pens in the Fortune City Arena. TK happily accepted the deal as the current ratings on his show were down, and he needed the money.
New recruit to C.U.R.E. Brandon Whittaker was then given a bomb and some instructions by TK to sabotage the zombie pens and release the zombies into Fortune City. Once the outbreak began, most of the inhabitants including the majority of C.U.R.E. were wiped out. At the same time, Phenotrans took great measures to erase any evidence of their involvement, such as trashing the security room in the Arena. Everything ended up going exactly as predicted for Phenotrans, while Agent S, TK, and Brandon all went into hiding in numerous locations throughout the city.
Agent S ended up in the Fortune City Emergency Shelter where she introduced herself as Stacey Forcythe, and was forced to keep up appearances as the leader of C.U.R.E. to avoid suspicion. There she met famous reporter Frank West, and became something of a guide to him, helping him to navigate Fortune City.
TK went underground for a while, until he suddenly decided to betray Phenotrans by implicating C.U.R.E. as the perpetrators of the outbreak. This greatly annoyed Agent S who realized that TK’s idiotic actions would set back their plans significantly, but was too busy maintaining her cover to take action against it. Instead she asked Frank to investigate the matter on her behalf, claiming that the outcome could mean her life. Frank agreed to her request (despite his suspicions of her) since in recent years his career went down the drain and he needed a good story to get back in the game.
As for Brandon Whitaker, he disappeared after the outbreak, only to completely lose his sanity and take a hostage in Uranus Zone. During his investigation, Frank confronted the madman, to which Brandon responding by claiming to be “a soldier for the cause.” After that he tried to set a zombie upon his hostage Vikki Taylor, but Frank quickly intervenes. In response, Brandon killed Viki by slicing her neck with a shard of glass, and then attacked Frank, but Frank came out on top. Afterwards, Brandon got bitten by the same zombie he tried using against Vikki, and committed suicide once he realized that he couldn’t continue his plan if he turned into a zombie.
TK later resurfaced when he and his minions allowed their boundless greed to get the better of them. They soon began a series of heists to rob Fortune City for all it was worth while Frank, believing TK to be the mastermind behind the outbreak, investigated. Following a number of incidents, Frank and fellow reporter Rebecca Chang confronted TK on the roof of the Fortune City Hotel where he was preparing to escape the city via helicopter. After an intense fight, Frank sabotaged the chopper and takes an unconscious TK back to the safe house where he was incarcerated.
During the military rescue lead by Sergeant Dwight Boykin, Frank and Rebecca were covering the military’s arrival when they caught a glimpse of some strange green gas coming through the city’s floor vents. The gas ended up transforming some of the zombies into gas zombies, and most of the soldiers were eaten alive by the mutated monsters.
After getting to safety, Frank decided to investigate the source of the gas after he and Rebecca deduced that it came from the underground tunnels. What he discovered was a massive Phenotrans complex designed to harvest queens in large quantities. The Phenotrans staff took notice of Frank and attacked him, but their efforts were in vain. Frank then collected a satellite phone and laptop from the bodies of Phenotrans scientists Pearce Stephens and Mark Bradson, and took them back to the safe house as evidence to break the story.
Once Frank presented the evidence implementing Phenotrans as the true perpetrators of the outbreak, Agent S quietly swiped Raymond Sullivan's gun and used it to shoot Rebecca (she survives in “Overtime Mode”) as the reporter tried to contact her station: Channel 6 Action News. Her cover now blown, Agent S attempted to shoot Frank, which caused Sullivan to intervene, but got killed when she turned on him instead. Agent S then grabbed the evidence that Frank procured and fled the safe house, but not before Frank grabbed her by the hair and pulled it right off, revealing that she had been wearing a wig.
Frank pursued Agent S into Fortune Park where he came across a detachment of Phenotrans security guards, who were called in by Agent S to make up for the losses suffered in the underground tunnels. Outfitted with merc assault rifles, blast frequency guns, and a total of eight harvester devices, the guards quickly set to work collecting queens from zombies and gas zombies alike before the military firebombing.
Frank caught the whole scene with his camera, and then destroyed the harvesters before using a radio to make contact with Agent S. Annoyed, but not ready to give in, Agent S invited Frank to meet her in Uranus Zone. When Frank arrived, she ridiculed him for nearly ruining the harvest and destroying so many lives, but Frank shrugged it off and stated that his actions were nothing compared to Phenotrans’ apparent willingness to kill off human beings for harvesting and profit. The two of them then engaged in a brief, but fierce argument, with Agent S revealing that she was the true mastermind behind the outbreak. From her, Frank learned that TK and Brandon were little more than pawns in Phenotrans’ scheme, but they went off the rails. She also revealed that her original intention was to keep C.U.R.E.’s involvement a secret, but TK spoiled it, forcing them to alter their plans.
When the argument ended, Agent S stated that she had been expecting Frank, and then attacked him using a giant, crab/octopus-like, mechanized robot. After an intense battle, Frank disabled the machine and forced Agent S away from its controls, but in the process, he was temporarily knocked to the ground and incapacitated. Agent S then called for an extraction using her satellite phone and prepared to finish Frank by shooting him. Before she could succeed, the robot they had been in malfunctioned and collapsed. Frank managed to get out of the way, but Agent S was crushed like a pancake beneath a smoking heap of twisted metal and wires. Frank then used her satellite phone to call Channel 6 Action News for a helicopter rescue, and he eventually broke the story implementing Phenotrans' involvement in the outbreak to the world.
- In the Dead Rising 2 art book, there is a drawing of a facility named "Biotrans", which is likely the beta name for the company.
- In Off the Record, TK states that the man in the Compromising Photo is the CEO of Penotrans. If that truly is the CEO in bondage gear, then it does imply that he is has a liking for S&M.
- The whole concept of an evil corporation using Bio technology, inhuman experiments, underground research facilities and causing zombie outbreaks to cover their tracks is clearly inspired by Umbrella Corporation, from Capcom's other Zombie-based game series Resident Evil.
- As of Dead Rising 3, the Phenotrans Corporation is the only major antagonistic force in the series which doesn't appear to have received any form of retribution for their actions; even though they were 100% responsible for starting the outbreaks in Las Vegas and Fortune City. In some ways, they did more damage and caused far more harm with the zombies than Carlito Keyes.
- At the very least, Raymond Sullivan, Harjit Singh, and Marian Mallon have all gotten their "just desserts" by this point. Albeit, Marian Mallon dies at the hands of another antagonist.
- While the company wasn't made to pay for its atrocities directly, Phenotrans does end up going out of business after its stock market values tank.