Dead Rising Wiki
Dead Rising
Overview (cases/scoops) • BooksClothingFoodPsychopathsStoresSurvivorsWeapons

Santa Cabeza, literally translating to "Saint Head", is a fictional Central American town frequently referenced in Dead Rising. It is the origin of the Ampulex Compressa Giganteus species and the town where Dr. Russell Barnaby's former research laboratory was based. The town was destroyed due to an accidental zombie outbreak and the subsequent cleanup operation led by Brock Mason and the Special Forces, leading to what is now known as the Santa Cabeza Incident.[1] Carlito and Isabela Keyes resided in Santa Cabeza and tragically witnessed their loved ones being killed.

Upon the rescue of lead researcher Dr. Barnaby, he initially claimed that terrorists used Santa Cabeza to disperse a "zombie drug" as a cover for his actions. However, when later confronted by Frank West, he reveals the actual events that unfolded.


Santa Cabeza, the hometown of Carlito and Isabela Keyes, was a picturesque and vibrant locale known for its fertile landscapes and beautiful natural scenery. With an isolated and small population, it provided a peaceful and harmonious living environment. Unbeknownst to the locals, its environmental attributes and seclusion made it an ideal location for a classified U.S. government project.

At an undisclosed time, a covert research facility, staffed by a specialized team of U.S. government-funded scientists led by Dr. Russell Barnaby, was established in Santa Cabeza. Tasked with finding a solution to double local cattle meat production to meet the rising demand, the team discovered a mysterious insect species along the Pachacamac River, later named Ampulex Compressa Giganteus.

Resembling oversized wasps or bees, the Ampulex Compressa Giganteus, casually termed "queens" by the researchers, displayed larger size and heightened aggression. The team, aiming to exploit the species' unique properties, planned to use the parahormone secreted by the queens to stimulate cattle appetites and produce larger cows. However, experiments on rats and cattle revealed an unintended consequence—the queens transformed their hosts into reanimated corpses. Accidentally released from the facility, the queens began infecting the unsuspecting residents of Santa Cabeza.

In response, the U.S. government ordered the military to contain the zombie outbreak. A Special Forces unit, led by Brock Mason, was dispatched to eliminate all undead and living residents of Santa Cabeza to conceal the epidemic. Dr. Barnaby and his research team found themselves in the midst of the conflict, with only Dr. Barnaby surviving. He was directed to falsely claim that terrorists caused the Santa Cabeza incident by dispersing a "zombie drug."

Seeking revenge for Dr. Barnaby's negligence and the harsh U.S. government response, Carlito Keyes unleashed queens in Willamette, Colorado.


  • The only known civilian survivors of the Santa Cabeza incident are Dr. Barnaby, Carlito and Isabela Keyes, and the infected orphans.
  • Judging by Frank and the DHS agents' lack of information, public knowledge of Santa Cabeza and the incident appear to be very limited. This indicates the government's lengths to repress the truth were ultimately successful.
  • Santa Cabeza shares similarities with Raccoon City: both were tranquil communities until they were hit by a zombie outbreak, with survivors hunted down and killed by the military. False narratives blaming terrorists were propagated in newspapers to conceal government mistakes.
  • Santa Cabeza translates to "The Holy Head" or "Patron of Heads" in Spanish.
  • "Pachamama", meaning "Mother Earth," held significance for Santa Cabeza's citizens, including Carlito and Isabela's parents and Diego Martinez's mother. Carlito later used it as a password for files on his laptop outlining revenge contingency plans.
  • According to the museum in Dead Rising 3, the Willamette Incident occurred in 2006. Nick Ramos mentions that the parasite was likely brought from Central America, possibly originating from Santa Cabeza.

See also[]


  1. Off, Greg (August 7, 2006). Dead Rising Official Strategy Guide. BradyGames. , p. unknown
v · e · d
Main Settings
Willamette - Willamette Parkview Mall
Al Fresca Plaza - Entrance Plaza - North Plaza - Paradise Plaza - Wonderland Plaza
Bachman's Bookporium - Beautification - Brand New U - Cam's Camera - Cantonbury's - Casual Gals - CD Crazy - Central Tacos - Child's Play - Children's Castle - Chris' Fine Foods - Colby's Movieland - Colombian Roastmasters (Al Fresca - Paradise) - Contemporary Reading - Contemporary Purses - Crislip's Home Saloon - The Dark Bean - The Distinguished Gentleman - Emerald's - Entertainment Isle - Estelle's Fine-lady Cosmetics (Entrance - Wonderland) - Everyone Luvs Books - Eyes Like Us - Fanfare Fashion - Fashion Fiesta - Fine Cut - Flexin' - Frozen Dreams - Gramma's Kids - Gromin's - Hamburger Fiefdom - Homerunner's - Huntin' Shack - In The Closet - J.F. Nichols - Jade Paradise - Jamming Juvenile - Jason Wayne's Sporting Goods - Jill's Sandwiches - Josh's Jewels - Kathy's Boutique - Kicks for Her - Kid's Choice Clothing - Kokonutz Sports Town - Ladies' Space - Lady About Town - Lovely Fashion House - Marriage Makers - McHandy's Hardware - Meaty's Burgers - Men's Storehouse - Modern Businessman (Entrance - Wonderland) - Ned's Knicknackery - Outta Sight - Pearly White's Photo - Philo's Photos - Players - Rafael's Shoes - Refined Class - Ripper's Blades - Riverfield Jewelry - Robsaka Digital - Run Like the Wind - Scuffs & Scrapes - Seon's Food & Stuff - The Shoehorn - Shoekin's - Shoes of a Lifetime - Shootingstar Sporting Goods - The Lens Zen - The Sinister Read - Sir Book-a-lot - Small Fry Duds - Space - Special Gifts - SporTrance - Sports High - Springtree Jewels - Teresa's Oven - That's A Spicy Meatball! - Tucci's of Rome - TuneMakers - Tyke n' Tots - Universe of Optics - Wallington's - Weber's Garments - Women's Lib - Wonder Jewels - Ye Olde Toybox
Carlito's Hideout - Clocktower Tunnels - Construction Site - Cultists' Hideout - C.W. Factory - Food Court - Heliport - Leisure Park - Maintenance Tunnels - Meat Processing Area - Play Park - Restrooms - Rooftop - Security Room - Sycamore Street - Tornado Gas Station - Warehouse