Santa Cabeza (literally translating as "Saint Head") is the fictional Central American town which is frequently referred to in the Dead Rising video game. It is the origin of the Ampulex Compressa Giganteus and the town where Dr. Russell Barnaby's former research laboratory was based. The town was destroyed by the accidental zombie outbreak and the subsequent cleanup operation led by Brock Mason and the Special Forces, in what is now called the Santa Cabeza Incident. Carlito and Isabela Keyes lived in this town and saw their loved ones killed.
After lead researcher Dr. Barnaby was rescued he initially claimed that Santa Cabeza was used by terrorists to disperse a "zombie drug" to cover his actions. Although when he is confronted later by Frank West, he reveals what really happened.
Santa Cabeza was the hometown of Carlito and Isabela Keyes. It was described as being a very fertile and lively place, with beautiful natural scenery and landscape. Its isolated and smaller population made it a peaceful, harmonious place to live. Due to its agricultural fertility, a significant portion of Santa Cabeza's land was suitable for livestock. But unknown to the local populace, its environmental properties and isolation made it a desirable site for a U.S. government's classified project.
At an unspecified time, a covert research facility manned by a specialized U.S. government funded scientist team was established in Santa Cabeza. This team was led by Dr. Russell Barnaby. The group was to discover a way to double the meat production of local cattle to ultimately feed more Americans, whose rapid consumption of meat was outstripping supply. The research team discovered a mysterious and previously undiscovered insect species in the local region beside the Pachacamac River, subsequently named Ampulex Compressa Giganteus.
The Ampulex Compressa Giganteus resembled wasps or bees, but were larger and more aggressive. The species was casually referred to as queens by the research staff. Dr. Barnaby and his research team planned to use the species abnormal properties to accelerate the production of meat. The team experimented on rats and cattle and discovered the queens turned whatever host they latched onto into reanimated corpses. The queens then accidentally escaped the facility and beginning infecting the unprepared Santa Cabeza residents.
The U.S. government ordered the military to contain the zombie outbreak. A Special Forces unit lead by Brock Mason was dispatched to completely kill all undead and living Santa Cabeza residence and cover up the epidemic. Dr. Barnaby and his research team were trapped in the middle of this fight and only Dr. Barnaby survived. Barnaby was instructed to claim that the Santa Cabeza incident was caused by terrorists who dispersed a "zombie drug".
An enraged Carlito sought revenge for Dr. Barnaby's carelessness and the brutal US government response, releasing queens in Willamette, Colorado.
- The only known civilian survivors of the Santa Cabeza incident were Dr. Barnaby, Carlito and Isabela Keyes, and the infected orphans.
- Judging by Frank West and the DHS agent's lack of information, public knowledge of Santa Cabeza and the incident seem very limited. This indicates the government's lengths to repress the truth were ultimately successful.
- Santa Cabeza had some similarities to Raccoon City: both towns were quiet, peaceful communities until ravaged by a zombie outbreak. Both had the survivors hunted down and killed while the military gunned the city and a false story was printed out in the newspapers depicting terrorists being the cause when some are merely accidents caused by the government.
- Santa Cabeza means "The Holy Head" or "Patron of Heads" in Spanish.
- "Pachamama", a term meaning "Mother Earth", was cited often by the citizens of Santa Cabeza, including Carlito and Isabela's parents and Diego Martinez's mother. It's impact was so strong to the point of later being used by Carlito as a password to files on his laptop outlining contingency plans for his revenge.
- According to the museum in Dead Rising 3, the Willamette Incident occurred in 2006. Nick Ramos also mentions that the parasite was brought from Central America, probably where Santa Cabeza is.
- ↑ Off, Greg (August 7, 2006). Dead Rising Official Strategy Guide. BradyGames. , p. unknown