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The town is located in a valley surrounded by green hills and vegetation. The center and populated area of town can be accessed via bridge where several houses and farms lie on the town's border. The town is an average American settlement, with restaurants, businesses, homes and schools. Willamette's most popular attraction is the Willamette Parkview Mall with 79 stores.
- Main article: Willamette Incident
Willamette, Colorado, was the target of Carlito Keyes for his terrorist attack to expose the what the United States government did in Santa Cabeza. Nearly the entire town was infected and turned into zombies, who would then proceed to wreck havoc on town, attacking residents and killing them, with many coming back to life as zombies themselves. As chaos enveloped the town, car wrecks filled the streets and several buildings caught on fire and law and order was lost. A large number of survivors found refuge at the mall in the center of town, where Carlito rode out the outbreak.
Ultimately, the rescued survivors at the mall are detained and evacuated out of town by the Special Forces while Frank West and Isabela Keyes fought with the hostile soldiers and attempted to flee town, but were ultimately picked up by government agents after Commander Brock Mason was defeated.
According to game dialogue not found in the final version of Dead Rising 2: Case Zero, after the Willamette Incident, the United States enacted the Willamette Act, that presumably outlines the measures to be taken in case of a major outbreak, such as in Las Vegas. In Rebecca Chang's original broadcast that is to be heard in the beginning of Dead Rising 2: Case Zero, she mentions that the President has initiated the Willamette Act, that has the government scrambling the military and setting up a 50-mile perimeter.
Many years after the outbreak occurred the town was eventually declared safe to be inhabited again and it once again was repopulated the old mall was torn down and was replaced with another this time as one of the largest in the world.
The military built a base in the town where a group know as obscures began experimenting on the few remaining zombies following the discovery of the cure for the infection. Frank West who had previously broke the story about the first outbreak in Willamette broke into the base with his student Vick who had heard rumors of the experments. After this incident a team of soilders lead by a man named Calder raided a lab that use to belong to Dr.Barnaby the man who created zombies after an accident his men where infected and Calder in an attempted to save himself using Barnaby's machine was turned into the first intelligent zombie and the strongest while being in control of an exo suite.
The newly built mall was finally ready to open for the holidays when the now infected Calder attacking the mall and beginning the second Willamette outbreak within days the town was once again overrun with zombies.
Obscuris was now attempting to capture Calder while losing over 100 men to him and new evo zombies ZDC agent Brad Park later found Frank and informed him of the outbreak entering its 6th week and convincing Frank to get the story before Vick does who was also in the town.
After gathering the evidence needed to expose what had happened and with the proof needed to expose the government being the one's who created zombies Frank defeated Calder and attempted to flee with Vick and Brad however he let go of the evacuation chopper and was turned into a zombie. After Blackburn gave Frank control of himself again he cured himself with Barnaby's machine and escaped with the rest of the survivors becoming famous once again Willamette was then firebombed by the Military to stop the outbreak.
- Killing 53,594 zombies (the town's population), earns you an achievement and the Real Mega Buster.
- Even if the entire population of the town is killed, the swarm of zombies will not end. This is just a game mechanic, as the game spawns infinite amounts of zombies.
- During the "Payback" episode of Terror is Reality, Willamette is mentioned by the announcer.
- In the No Mercy campaign in the zombie shooting game, Left 4 Dead, in the safe room in the lobby of Mercy Hospital, there is graffiti on the wall where survivors wrote down how many Infected they killed. One number scrawled on the wall is 53,595, a nod to the population of Willamette (despite the number being one more than the town's population).
- There are three stores on the street that cannot be viewed from the helicopter. Through modding, one can find that there are two stores with signs that clearly refer to Capcom's other work.
- ↑ This text is not in the final version of the game, it can only be found in the game text files. See Rebecca Chang#Trivia for full scrapped text.