South Park Genetic Engineering Ranch
The workplace and likely home of South Park's resident geneticist Dr. Alphonse Mephesto and his family, the multi-floor Genetic Engineering Ranch sits atop a hill just outside town, with a massive and imposing gate, as well as a 'Keep Out' sign, designed to scare away the ordinary and uninformed stranger. Mephesto is happy to see friends and neighbors to assist them, however, and the ranch is open nights for tours of the public. In the meantime, the main genetics laboratory is a great place for genetically altering animals with multiple asses, while other modified animals enjoy spacious enclosures.
Throughout most of its appearances on the show, only one room is ever seen - a large entrance door leading to Mephesto's central laboratory, with a workbench in the middle for experimenting and with many of his animal creations are caged. Early appearances showed light gray walls and blue floors for the building.
It was re-designed in "201" to have a much browner appearance amid dimmed lights. Mephesto's workbench features a number of colorful display screens, with surgical tools closely available, and a small stool for him to sit on while working, with a small fluorescent light above the area. A few animals are caged behind him. Animal experiments were now kept in cramped, well-lit yellow cages on a back wall between the entry area and the workbench. A doorway to an additional room is visible on the opposite end of the rooms seen.
The video games suggest an overall layout:
- The Ground Floor contains a main area with a receptionist's desk near the main doorway, and a large public area similar to the Visitor's Center in Jurassic Park with many supervisors and a large central tank housing a multi-assed horse. A platform allows for guests to tour with Mephesto through a greenhouse area where genetically-modified plants are worked on.
- The Second Floor serves as the area for animal exhibits, such as Donkey-Apes and a tank for Bunny Fish, with large, naturalistic habitats for intimate study.
- The Third Floor is home to genetic mutations of his son and potentially other projects aimed towards helping humanity.
- The Final Floor was home to genetic experiments for a wealthy donor, including aggressive genetically-enhanced cats and sixth graders.
- The Gift Shop is seen only briefly.
No living space has ever been seen in the building.
The Mephesto family have never been seen living elsewhere, but are almost always at the ranch, so they are believed to live there.
Appearances and Sightings
- An Elephant Makes Love to a Pig (s01e05; debut)
- Starvin' Marvin (s01e08)
- Cartman's Mom is a Dirty Slut (s01e13)
- Prehistoric Ice Man (s02e18)
- Jakovasaurs (s03e05)
- Are You There God? It's Me, Jesus (s03e16)
- Cartman Joins NAMBLA (s04e06)
- 201 (s14e06; re-design)
In a leaked early build for the game, the Genetic Engineering Ranch would have been located behind the Church within the Cemetery, where it would have appeared run-down and abandoned and been used by the Vampire Kids as a headquarters until they were defeated. This level was cut from the final game.
The ranch is visible from early on in the game, located northwest of the town, behind a broken perimeter fence in the woods west of Skeeter's Wine Bar and north of Stark's Pond, but it is inaccessible for much of the game.
The ranch plays a key role in the game's central storyline, where the player is tasked to visit it to uncover the villain's efforts to have cats and his henchmen genetically altered. The level "The Many Asses of Dr. Mephesto", styled on a classic dungeon crawl, portrays the location radically different from the series, featuring it as a sprawling science facility with a wide, bustling variety of scientists, employed under the 'Mephesto's Tech' banner, with the interior visually resembling the Visitor's Center from the 1993 film Jurassic Park, and with Dr. Mephesto playing a role as a tour guide.
Mephesto explains that the science facility is funded by donors, including the villain, who has asked him to genetically alter cats and local sixth graders, boosting their aggression and number of asses, for his operation. When the complex security grid is turned off, the player is forced to lead the children and Mephesto through the facility to escape, killing many of his creations in the process, while Mephesto struggles with his own technological designs, including opening electirified doors. The player eventually escapes the facility, and can return to the main hall at any time to snap a selfie with him for Coonstagram.
As Mephesto's ranch looks wildly different from the show, his assistant Kevin is not present, and Terrance has continued to appear in the background of episodes after its release, in addition several episodes after his death is suggested to have taken place, these scenes are presumably non-canon. The facility seems to return to its classic appearance by "South Park: Phone Destroyer", published by Ubisoft one month later.
During the character creation process, Mephesto can be seen working in his laboratory in the background, with his sons occasionally walking past.
- In seasons 1-4, Bunnyfish atop the gate, but since season 14, two asses fill the role instead.