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Leon Scott Kennedy is a character from the Resident Evil series. He is one of the two main characters in Resident Evil 2, one of the three main characters in Resident Evil Gaiden, and the protagonist of Resident Evil 4.

During the events of Resident Evil 2, Leon is a rookie police officer who arrives in Raccoon City for his first day on the job, only to confront the T-Virus outbreak firsthand. He survives the incident. Three years later, in Resident Evil Gaiden, Leon is a member of an underground anti-Umbrella organization. Six years after the Raccoon City incident, in Resident Evil 4, Leon becomes a secret agent for the U.S. government assigned to protect the U.S. President's family.


BackgroundEdit

A man with a strong sense of justice and the duty to protect the weak. Leon, at the age of 21, was assigned to work for the Raccoon Police Department (R.P.D.) in their Select Police Force (S.P.F.) division after graduating from the police academy. He arrived at Raccoon City on September 29, 1998, a few days later than he was scheduled to. Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow.


Raccoon City incidentEdit

On September 29, Leon went to Raccoon City for his assignment, but how he managed to tresspass the U.S. Army blockade around the city is never explained. When he arrived, the majority of the city's police officers were already dead and most of the citizens had already turned into zombies. After his first encounter with the living dead, Leon met with another survivor, Claire Redfield, who had arrived in the city in search of her missing brother, Chris Redfield. Together, Leon and Claire decided to seek refuge within the R.P.D.'s headquarters, but after arriving there, they decide to search for a way out of the city separately.

During his probe of the R.P.D. precinct, Leon meets another survivor named Ada Wong, a woman who claimed she was looking for her missing boyfriend. Together, they find a secret entrance within the sewer leading to one of Umbrella's secret facilities. Ada is mortally wounded (first, by a mutated William Birkin's claw and later, by either Annette Birkin or Tyrant, depending on the scenario) and Leon discovers that Ada was a spy working for Umbrella's undisclosed competitor. However, at the near end, a mysterious figure (with Ada's voice and silhouette) helps Leon (or Claire) by giving them a rocket launcher to help defeat the Tyrant. Leon is reunited with Claire and the two (along with William Birkin's daughter, Sherry) make their escape through a secret railway and then escape the train, leaving the mutated Birkin to be destroyed in the self-destruct sequence.

In December of 1998, after the incident, Claire sets out to Europe to continue her search for Chris, while Leon remains in the U.S. He makes an undisclosed deal with the U.S. Government for Sherry's safety and, after that, joined an anti-Umbrella task force, participating in numerous classified missions until Umbrella's operations were shut down by the government. During one mission, he provided Claire's whereabouts to her brother, Chris, after receiving an e-mail message from her.


Starlight Cruiser incidentEdit

Sometime in 2001, Leon, now a member of an underground anti-Umbrella organization, was sent to eliminate a prototype B.O.W. that was believed to be among the passengers and crew of the luxury ocean cruiser, the Starlight. Upon his arrival, Leon discovered that there had been a T-virus outbreak onboard. At some point, Leon met a young survivor named Lucia and fought a good candidate for the B.O.W.: a large, grey humanoid who could produce tentacles from its abdomen and transform into an amoeba. After 24 hours without contact, fellow operative Barry Burton was sent to find Leon. He was eventually found unconscious. After he and Barry saved Lucia from the B.O.W. again, Barry left Lucia with Leon. When they saw Barry on the security camera talking to Umbrella, who had contacted him on the way there, they found him and Leon was seemingly betrayed by Barry. While Barry and Lucia were on an Umbrella-owned submarine, Leon killed the B.O.W., who was trying to destroy the ship's fuel converter, by blowing him into the steam ducts. Afterwards, Barry and Lucia found Leon. In the end, Leon, along with Barry and Lucia, killed the real B.O.W., a fully-grown parasite that had been removed from Lucia's body, with a hail of gunfire, but not before Leon was seemingly infected by the B.O.W. A small cut on his neck was bleeding green blood.


Post-UmbrellaEdit

With Umbrella gone, Leon, in remembrance of the people of Raccoon City, vows to protect the people and to make sure fiendish groups like Umbrella never have their way. He is apparently noticed by the US Government for his already considerable talent and is recruited into its ranks. While receiving special training for a top-secret government organization working directly under the U.S. president, Leon befriends another agent named Jack Krauser. Krauser is reportedly killed in a helicopter crash sometime in 2002. Through harsh training, pushing himself to the limit, Leon has changed from hapless rookie to one of the top agents in the world.


Los Illuminados incidentEdit

In 2004, a 27-year-old Leon was assigned to a top-secret organization under the direct control of the President of the United States. He is assigned to guard President Graham's family, but when the President's daughter, Ashley Graham, is kidnapped, Leon's first mission is to track her down. Information gathered pointed to the kidnappers being located in a remote area of Spain. Leon investigates on his own, along with two members of the local police. Unfortunately, it seems something bizarre has happened to the local townsfolk and after the two officers are promptly killed, Leon finds himself relying on his skills once again in a deadly fight for survival. Leon learns from his superiors that the perpetrators are a group called "Los Iluminados" (from Spanish, meaning "The Illuminated"), a religious cult led by a man named Osmund Saddler. This cult uses a mysterious parasitic organism known as "Plaga" (Spanish for "Plague") to take control of the local townsfolk, as well as many others around the area, such as a group of Mercenaries. Although a seemingly hopeless situation, the fanatical cult finds the formidable Leon to be more than they bargained for as he foils attempt after attempt to kill him. During the course of his mission, Leon is helped by Luis Sera, a man who is revealed to be a researcher who used to work for Saddler, but betrayed him. Leon also once again has a chance encounter with Ada, who is also involved in this incident. She provides assistance to Leon, but has a fight of her own to battle out, as well. Leon is assisted by Hunnigan, an information analyst and fellow government official via a communicator. As Leon progresses, however, he finds the transmission hijacked by the cult and he is forced to fend for himself.

Leon eventually finds Ashley in a church and he becomes responsible for her safety as the two make their way around the Los Illuminados-controlled area. It is revealed, however, that both Leon and Ashley have been injected with the Plagas and are now in a race against time to find a cure for this before they are forever turned into Saddler's slaves. Acquiring weapons from a mysterious merchant with a Cockney accent, Leon manages to fight his way through many harrowing perils within the local village and a mysterious Castle run by the cult. He eventually fights against two of Saddler's underlings, village chief Bitores Mendez and the Castle's castellan, Ramon Salazar. Leon also confronts his former comrade, Jack Krauser, who was now working as a double agent for both a mystery party and Saddler. It is revealed to the player (but not Leon, necessarily) that this mysterious third player in the conflict is none other than Albert Wesker, whom Ada is also working for. Unknown to Leon, a secret battle is being waged behind the scenes, which is explored in Ada's unlockable scenerio, "Separate Ways". Eventually, Ashley is abducted and Leon must race against time to rescue her before her Plaga fully develops, not to mention his own. With continued support from Ada, Leon fights his way through a local military base, where Saddler and the cult have taken refuge. Fighting against both a deadly enemy and the enemy within, this battle tests all of Leon's strength and skill. Leon fights against Krauser for the last time and eventually saves Ashley and himself after removing Las Plagas from within them by use of a special radiation machine developed by Luis late during his mission. Afterwards, Leon battles Saddler in his true form and, with Ada's help (who provides him with a specialized rocket launcher), is able to put an end to him and his plot.

After the battle, Ada takes the Plagas sample from Leon and makes her getaway, but gives Leon and Ashley a means to escape, as well, via a jet-ski. Ashley invites Leon to her residence for "overtime", but Leon politely declines. Despite this turn of events, Leon is aware that he still may have not shed his affection for Ada, the "part of me can't let go." After completing his mission, he talks with Hunnigan, who finally manages to re-establish contact. He compliments her on her appearance (she isn't wearing any glasses at this point) and lightly flirts with her by asking for her number, to which she reminds him that he's "still on duty". Upon being left in the dust by a second woman, Leon can only reply with an amused sigh, "...story of my life."

AppearancesEdit

Leon is one of the two main playable characters in Resident Evil 2, the other being Claire Redfield. Depending on the order in which you play both characters, events in his scenario changes. He also stars in Resident Evil 4 and appeared in Resident Evil Gaiden, a non-continuity spin-off of the series, as one of three controllable party members as well as making an appearance in several of the novels. He will also be appearing the upcoming CGI Film, Resident Evil: Degeneration, though not much is known about the storyline and his role in the movie.

He was voiced by Paul Haddad in Resident Evil 2 and by Paul Mercier in Resident Evil 4. In Resident Evil 4 his character face was designed after model Christian Duerre and his motion capture was by stunt actor Teruaki Ogawa. He was also portrayed by actor Brad Renfro in a series of Japanese Biohazard 2 ads directed by George Romero.


WardrobeEdit

Leon wears a full-body R.P.D. uniform in Resident Evil 2 with a vest in contrast to other officers in the game who wear summer uniforms. This outfit is predominantly different shades of blue and is used by the newly-established R.P.D. Select Police Force (as evident in Resident Evil 3: Nemesis). He has two alternate costumes to wear in the game that changes his shooting style with the handgun. The first is a casual outfit consisting of a leather jacket with jeans, while the second costume is a tank top with cargo pants and an R.P.D. cap. The Nintendo 64 version replaced these costumes with a S.T.A.R.S. uniform and another consisting of camouflage pants with T-shirt, leather vest and sunglasses.

In Resident Evil 4, he wears a brand 5.11 shirt and pants with a brown gun holster over the body, as well as a brown bomber jacket which he loses early in the game, much to the chagrin of players who liked its look. When playing Ada's scenario Separate Ways, you do however learn the previously unknown fate of the jacket. The jacket was stolen by a Ganado when Leon and Luis were captured at the end of the first part of Chapter 1-1. He sports a variety of different holsters, pouches, and equipment around his waist. Later in the game, the player has the option of acquiring the Tactical Vest, which puts a black assault vest and assorted gear on over Leon's standard outfit, making him look quite intimidating as well as dramatically increasing his constitution. The vest reduces damage by 30% as well. The player can also unlock the classic R.P.D. uniform from Resident Evil 2.

In the PlayStation 2 and Wii ports of Resident Evil 4, he is given a classic mafia-style outfit that is unlocked along with the Chicago Typewriter after the player clears the "Separate Ways" scenario. Since the Typewriter has infinite ammo, Leon will simply tilt his hat when the reload button is pushed and if the player hits reload four times, Leon will throw his hat in the air and catch it. Wearing the Mafia costume will change Leon's pose on the attaché case screen while the Typewriter is equipped and will change the Typewriter's magazine from a standard box magazine to a drum magazine. The mafia outfit also changes the look of Leon's knife. Instead of a combat knife, it becomes a switchblade to complete the authentic criminal motif. This change is purely cosmetic, and does not affect the performance of the knife at all.

Character analysisEdit

Leon over the years has become one of the series' greatest unexplored mysteries, which has made him an extremely popular character among the fans. While his introduction as a rookie cop who just happened to have a penchant for being at the wrong place at the wrong time was humble enough, what caused his real surge in popularity was his role in the background of the series from there on.

After Resident Evil 2, like Wesker, Leon seemingly becomes a major player manipulating things from behind the scenes. He makes an undisclosed deal with the U.S. Government for Sherry Birkin's safety according to his epilogue file (which evidently served as a foreshadowing for his occupation as a government agent in Resident Evil 4) and his information skills allowed Chris and Claire Redfield to reunite, and may even have saved both of their lives in Resident Evil Code: Veronica, despite the fact he never appears on screen and is only mentioned. In Resident Evil: Survivor, it is revealed in the end that the main protagonist, Ark Thompson, was actually sent to Sheena Island by Leon on a mission.

In many of the officially-sanctioned adaptations of the series (which includes novelizations and graphic novels), Leon's role in the battle against Umbrella is enthusiastically explored in various ways. Indeed, it seems much of the character's charisma has been accumulated with curiosity as to what he had been up to all this time. While not appearing again for awhile (excluding an appearance in the critically panned Resident Evil Gaiden), Leon's presence is ever felt.

It was only inevitable at that point, that when his long awaited reappearance as the main character in Resident Evil 4, series fans generally rejoiced as a fan favorite had finally appeared again, and in a whole new storyline with a whole new feel to boot. While he was capable in Resident Evil 2, he felt more vulnerable and out of the situation's control due to his status as a rookie.

However as of Resident Evil 4, armed not only with an intrigue-heavy storyline, a very cool new look, and an overall aura of elite skill, confidence, new weapons, his deadly melee techniques including a German Suplex and a Double Roundhouse kick, and great potential as well as the accumulation of fan expectations to further fuel his mystique, Leon's presence in his new role is commanding to say the least. Many feel the game may have even been less tense and frightening just because of how "in control" Leon feels in the game, lending the game more of a 'survival action', rather than 'survival horror'.

No longer running behind everyone trying to figure out what is going on, Leon now takes control and seems possibly even the most competent Resident Evil hero. Even the games' main antagonist admits that he underestimated Leon, and is extremely impressed by him; maybe even a little intimidated. This enormous uphill development from underdog to major player has made Leon even more popular to series fans as well. His enormous popularity will no doubt, ensure a strong presence in the series' future.

Storyline ChaptersEdit

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