(Part #2 - 2000-2011)
This is the second third of our Leon S. Kennedy character profile. The full sequence goes like this:
- Leon S. Kennedy (part #1 – the 1990s).
- Leon S. Kennedy (part #2 – 2000-2011). This here profile.
- Leon S. Kennedy (part #3 – 2012+).
History (Resident Evil Darkside Chronicles)
In 2002 Leon was in an unspecified South American Country. He was acting on a tip that a former Umbrella researcher had contacted Javier Hidalgo, a ruthless drug kingpin.
Mr. Kennedy was partnered with Jack Krauser, a decorated US Army Special Forces operative.
Sr. Hidalgo had taken control of a large part of a remote jungle. It essentially was an autonomous country, which he ruled ruthlessly. Rumours of bioweapon outbreaks in this area therefore couldn’t be investigated normally.
While searching through the jungle Kennedy and Krauser came across Manuela, her village’s sole survivor. They wondered why she hadn’t fled, but later they found out that she was none other than Javier’s daughter.
While fatally sick, Manuela kept herself alive by eating plants imbued with the T-Veronica virus.
This eventually led to a showdown with Javier. The drug lord used a similar plant to mutate into a monster.
Kennedy and Krauser eventually managed to defeat him. But it was Manuela who landed the killing blow by infecting her father – with both her variant of a further mutated virus and her incurable disease.
The US government then swooped in to clean up the situation.
- Manuela was taken into custody. And likely used as a lab rat.
- Jack was hospitalized as he’d been badly injured in the final battle. But there soon was a report that he had died in an accident.
Trailer for the relevant chapter of Darkside Chronicles. It seems to be a fan trailer – I’m not sure.
History (Resident Evil 4)
By 2004 Leon was a Secret Service agent.
President Graham’s daughter Ashley was abducted on her way home from the University of Massachusetts . A frantic search unearthed a rumour that she had been sighted in an isolated rural village in Spain.
Leon was escorted there by two Madrid police officers. But their path was blocked by a fallen tree, and they were suddenly attacked by crazed villagers. The officers were killed and Leon was forced to flee into the forest.
After much trekking Agent Kennedy was finally able to locate the village. But it was a total horror show.
The villagers had turned into a death cult led by psychotic prophet Osmund Saddler. To ensure their compliance, he had implanted them all with a genetically engineered parasite called Las Plagas.
Leon was overpowered, captured and infected by the Las Plagas parasite. Oddly, it didn’t immediately make him subservient. Neither did it stop the other villagers from trying to murder him.
Kennedy’s cell mate was one Dr. Luis Cera. Luis had infiltrated Saddler’s research program to steal a Las Plagas egg. His employer was The Organisation, a mysterious group with ties to returning Resident Evil villain Albert Wesker.
Escaping, Leon located Ashley in the cathedral – and exfiltrated her. However, Saddler confronted them. He revealed that Ashley had been infected, and that once under control she would be sent to the US to infect the President.
Leon and Ashley still got away, but :
- The rescue helicopter was shot down as it arrived.
- Their radio frequency was now jammed.
- Ashley was recaptured.
(Actually Ashley was recaptured and rescued multiple times. So many that it makes my head hurt, so we’re just going to pare that down.)
Leon then met up with Ada Wong once again. She too was there to get a sample of the parasite for Wesker.
Trailer for RE4’s HD remaster. So it’s much less grainy than the previous videos.
Dr. Salazar was later killed by Saddler. In the chaos the queen parasite merged with him, forcing Leon and Ada to kill Luis.
The pair then tracked Saddler and the captive Ashley to a nearby island. After fighting through even stronger parasite victims, Leon was confronted by his old friend Jack Krauser.
Jack revealed that :
- He had stolen samples of the virus found during their South American mission.
- He had provided these to Saddler, who used them to create Las Plagas.
- He had been among the team who had kidnapped Ashley.
Enraged, Leon vanquished and seemingly killed Jack.
(Krauser actually survived, but was later slain by Ms. Wong).
Leon took out the radio jammers, and requested help. A second helicopter came in and blew up the compound’s defenses.
Though the helo was eventually shot down, the damage allowed Leon and Ashley to break into the main lab. There, they found the means to destroy the Las Plagas infection.
This led to an epic showdown with Saddler. Leon seemingly slew the mutated prophet, but he suddenly came back to life. Agent Kennedy was only able to finish the job with a rocket launcher that Ada had thrown him at the last second.
(If you’re sensing a pattern here it’s because the final showdown in almost every RE game ends this way. And has since the very beginning.)
Ada then betrayed Leon. She stole the egg killer to complete her mission, but :
- Made sure he had a way to escape. It was a jetski hidden in a cavern.
- Gave him time to ride away before blowing up the islands.
As they left, Ashley made a feeble attempt to hit on Leon – which he quickly rebuffed.
After that the two sailed into the sunset and were eventually rescued by the US government. Leaving Leon to fill out a lengthy report.
History (Resident Evil Infinite Darkness)
This story takes place in 2006, two years after Leon rescued Ashley. It opens with the bloody civil war in Pemamstan.
(This fictional country has Middle-Eastern Muslim aesthetics, but borders China.)
Leon is summoned to the White House in the middle of the night. Sensitive files on President Graham were stolen from within. The POTUS entrusts Leon with finding the mole.
The building also experiences a T-virus leak (cause it wouldn’t be RE if there wasn’t). Zombified staff attack Leon before he can get to the president, but the Secret Service team already on hand is able to protect him. The zombies are eventually destroyed.
Defense Secretary Wilson is once again fixated on China being the culprit, though there’s no evidence.
Leon is partnered with two Secret Service agents who fought in Pemamstan :
- Jason, formerly with the U.S. Army’s Special Forces.
- Shen Mei, a communications specialist formerly with the U.S. Army.
The trio gets aboard a submarine. They’re covertly going to Shanghai, to investigate the possibility of Chinese involvement.
Along the way, Leon sees Jason injecting himself with an unknown substance. The two also have a conversation about the meaning of terror.
Predictably, the trip goes awry. Mutated zombie rats have stowed aboard. After cunningly electrocuting the swarming vermin, Leon survives. But the sub is too damaged and about to self-destruct.
Leon reaches the escape pod, where he finds Jason and Shen. Some crew members had also made it, but they are now dead. Leon notices that they have been killed using knives – not by mutant rats.
The trio recovers and rearms at a Shanghai safehouse.
While Shen is away to get supplies, Jason reluctantly reveals that Defense Secretary Wilson was behind the attack. Jason’s plan was to fake their death — hence the murder of the sailors — then take Wilson out.
Leon refuses, unless he can see some hard evidence for Wilson’s culpability. This leads to a fight, but Leon is faster and seemingly kills Jason. Shen, who has just returned, opens fire on Leon.
But Kennedy escapes, and soon manages to confront Shen and her grandfather – a major Shanghai businessman. Shen agrees to explain what happened in Pemamstan.
The Netflix trailer for Infinite Darkess.
Defense Secretary Wilson formerly was an Army general. In Pemamstan, he headed a project to deploy biological organism weapons (BOWs) and gather valuable combat data. But things went bad when a peacekeeping U.S. Army helicopter was shot down.
Gen. Wilson ordered not to interfere. But Jason and his Mad Dogs commando defied him, and launched a rescue attempt. They only found one survivor, who was in bad shape. Comms specialist Shen also abandoned her posting when she realized that the sole survivor was her brother Jin.
The commando couldn’t make a clean getaway, as the area was tightly controlled by rebels. Half of the force was then slain by zombies, and the survivors had all been bitten. But before he succumbed to the virus, Jin provided the rescuers with injectables that would keep their infection at bay.
Wilson then ordered an air strike to cover up the operation.
Jason and the Mad Dogs survivors nevertheless made it out. And Shen found them, though she was shocked to see Jin. The Dogs had kept her zombified brother as their proof to expose Wilson’s war crimes.
Shen also shows Leon the microchips that had been implanted within Jin. These hold all the necessary data to implicate Wilson. However, both Shen and Jason now need regular suppressor shots to contain the infection. Which only Wilson can provide, thus blackmailing them.
As Shen hands the chips to Leon, her grandfather’s residence is firebombed. This destroys Jin, and only Leon and Shen escape.
They then set off to Washington DC to confront Wilson.
Meanwhile, President Graham has been manipulated into blaming the Chinese. But Leon manages to reach him over the phone in time, scuttling the growing tension. Instead of warlike declarations, the President encourages peace in the Pemamstan area.
Leon and Shen Mei then infiltrate Wilson’s secret underground lab. They discover that Claire Redfield is being interrogated there.
After Raccoon City, Claire joined a NGO opposing the use of BOWs. While providing humanitarian relief in Pemamstan, she found evidence of BOW deployment. Ms. Redfield had come close to unraveling the truth when Wilson’s men captured her.
Jason, still alive due to his infection, also comes in. He dramatically refuses a suppressor shot, morphesImpossibly shifting into another form into a giant monster, and bites Wilson to infect him.
While Wilson flees, Claire slips her bonds. But Jason’s presence means that the lab goes into sterilization mode. All the BOWs in stasis are dumped into a pool of acid at the bottom of the lab.
Jason wants to present himself to the world during President Graham’s speech. But Shen disagrees, arguing that using the content of Jin’s chip is sufficient. Feeling betrayed, Jason kills her. He then easily repels Leon’s attacks.
Jason tries to dig his way to the surface. Leon shoots him with everything he can find, while Claire commandeers cranes and drops containers about. They prevail, and Jason is destroyed by falling into acid.
Claire demands the microchips, but Leon refuses. He wants to protect the reputation of the United States by keeping Wilson’s scheme secret, and covertly solving the issue with the President.
Ms. Redfield storms off, refusing to ever work with him again.
(They latter reconcile off-camera.)
History (Resident Evil 6 Chris and Leon Secret File)
Reoccurring villain Albert Wesker is seemingly slain by Chris Redfield, and his organization fragments.
Claire introduces Leon to her brother. The two become comrades in arms and fight together on a number of occasions.
They aren’t exactly what one would call friends as their relationship is pretty complex. But they do work quite well together in the field.
History (Resident Evil Degeneration)
By 2005, the Umbrella Corporation has become a global threat. The US government partners with megacorporation WilPharma to produce a vaccine for Umbrella’s deadly T-Virus. It goes well, and allows for preventing an outbreak in India.
However, coordinated terrorist attacks against the Harvardville Airport cause both a zombie outbreak and plane crash. Airborne Rangers are sent in, and the President has Leon oversee this operation.
FBI agent Ingrid Hannigan reports that the terrorists have been captured. But the attack now seems to be a distraction away from an attack against WilPharma. Dr. Curtis Miller, a vocal opponent of WilPharma, was sighted at the airport during the attacks.
Dr. Miller’s sister Angela agrees to cooperate with Leon. But they find Curtis’ house burned to the ground. As they inspect the ruins, they witness a large explosion from WilPharma’s Air Dome Facility in the distance.
The trailer for Degeneration.
Leon leads a team of Rangers into the dome. But Claire Redfield is the only uninfected survivor.
The also find Dr. Curtis Miller. He has infected himself with the Golgotha virus, an unstable T-virus variant. Heavily mutated, he rips the entire Ranger team to shreds. Leon is the only survivor.
Dr. Miller then seeks his sister Angela – the only person he can lastingly infect. But Leon gets to Angela first. They evade the mutant killing machine, who eventually falls down a shaft and into an explosion.
Meanwhile, Agent Hannigan has determined that Dr. Miller had only been the courier.
The actual mastermind is Dr. Frederick Downing, a WilPharma head researcher. He had also been behind the Indian outbreak, and the destruction of the Dome was to cover both his defection and the theft of extensive virus samples.
It is later determined that “Downing” is a fake identity. The researcher is actually one of the few survivors of the science team at Raccoon City.
Thankfully, the captured terrorists have provided enough intelligence to locate and arrest “Downing”. Unlike most RE villains, he gives up rather than infect himself.
Still, the incidents cause a massive fall of WilPharma shares value. The stock is snapped up for pennies on the dollar by Tricell. Which is owned and operated by Albert Wesker.
History (Resident Evil Damnation)
By 2011, the new POTUS is one Adam Benford. He’s a friend of Leon, involved with STRACOM, and has a military background. He also supports a more active approach to the T-virus issue.
Meanwhile, the (fictional) Eastern Slavic Republic has been plunged into civil war for years. The US have largely stayed out of it. But there are now rumours of Umbrella bioweapon use there.
Agent Kennedy is ordered to cut his European vacation short and investigate. He is to link up with CIA operative Scarecrow in Holigrad, the ESR’s capital.
But predictably, the situation goes out of control. Holigrad becomes a war zone, and most US personnel evacuate.
Leon finds Scarecrow, but he has been mortally wounded by “lickers”.
(These are relatively common enemies, introduced in the second game. Vaguely humanoid, crawl on all four, called “lickers” because of their three-feet-long razor-sharp tongue.)
Scarecrow’s last words are “bee keeper”, which puzzles Leon. But Mr. Kennedy is soon captured by rebel leader Ivan Judonovich. He thus learns that the rebels use parasite called the Dominant Species – an altered form of Las Plagas. The Species allow Judonovich to control lickers.
The rebels demand to know why an American agent is in the ESR, but government forces attack. Judonovitch and two other rebels, Alexander Kozachenko and JD, are forced to flee in the sewers.
Hoping to gain more intel, Leon follows them.
Leon is attacked by a “ganado”. These are rebel leaders who have been taken over by the parasite, and are now feral killers. Judonovich then orders Kozachenko’s execution to prevent him from turning into a ganado.
Leon and JD escape. They mostly evade roaming ganados, and see infected persons spreading the parasite throughout Holigrad.
Eventually, they reach a rebel base within a church. JD accuses Leon of spreading the parasite, but other rebel soldiers — and especially JD’s friend Buddy — confirm Leon’s explanations about how Las Plagas spreads.
Still, Leon is furious. The rebels’ use of the Dominant Species is an even worse global infection risk than Las Plagas was. He decides to leave and call on the US military to contain the Holigrad cluster.
Trailer for Damnation.
As Leon leaves, JD pleads with him to save his friend Buddy. Once a peaceful school teacher, Buddy was radicalised by a government bombing of his school, which also killed his fiancée. Buddy is about to get his revenge in a terror attack, but JD can’t stand his friend becoming a mass murderer.
Leon reaches the marketplace Buddy is to attack. But he gets into a scuffle with a mysterious figure, who evades his attacks then nearly escapes across a rooftop using a grappling gun. This is Ada Wong, Leon’s frenemy and toxic love interest.
They flirt heavily. But Ada only drops a few hints, and a warning that the city will soon be purged.
Leon tracks Buddy back to the church. But JD has been taken over by the parasite, and killed the other rebels there. Leon kills JD, and faces Buddy. But the government begins bombing the area, and the two are separated.
Looking for a safe area, Leon reaches the Presidential Building. But it has been overrun by lickers.
One licker attack results in Leon discovering an elevator shaft, likely leading to a BOW-producing lab. Agent Kennedy investigates.
Leon runs into Ada in the lab. She explains that it’s actually the government that has been mass-producing the Dominant Species. But they are interrupted by President Svetlana Belikova and her elite presidential bodyguards.
Ada suddenly cuts the light. Under cover of darkness and stray gunfire, Leon takes President Belikova hostage. He starts getting away with her, but she turns out to be a trained operative. She shakes Kennedy loose, allowing her guards to reengage.
Buddy comes in with several lickers under his control. But Svetlana unleashes two advanced tyrants – some of the most dangerous biological weapons Umbrella has ever produced.
(Tyrants were final bosses in some of the early RE games).
This triggers the lab’s self-destruct sequence – and the tyrants demolish everything anyway. Leon and his allies still manage to find an exit, but a third tyrant was released and follows them outside.
Buddy uses his lickers to lure the tyrant close to a fuel truck. Leon detonates the fuel – but all it does is destroy the creature’s limiter device, making it even more dangerous.
Leon and Buddy use a tank to attack anew. But the tyrant proves too intelligent and agile.
Buddy eventually has a licker cover the tyrant’s face. Leon seizes the distraction, blowing the tyrant’s head off with the tank’s main gun.
However, the other two tyrants got out of the lab. They destroy the tank. Leon and Buddy get out in time, though at that point Leon is armed with but a knife.
At that point, an American attack plane blows the tyrants to smithereens. Leon thus realises that Holigrad had been under surveillance from the start.
Buddy requests that Leon kill him before the Dominant Species parasite takes over. Leon refuses, and snatches the gun away when Buddy attempts suicide. He then has to shoot Buddy in the spine. That kills the parasite, but Buddy is left paraplegic.
The US and Russian then launch a joint invasion of the ESR, to destroy the BOWs within. President Belikova resigns in the aftermath.
This profile is concluded in its final third.
Source of Character: Resident Evil (video games).
Helper(s): Wikipedia, Sébastien Andrivet.