Leon Scott Kennedy

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Leon Scott Kennedy
Leon Kennedy as he appears in Resident Evil 4
Series Resident Evil series
First game Resident Evil 2
Created by Noboru Sugimura
Designed by Isao Ohishi
Voiced by Paul Haddad (Resident Evil 2)

Paul Mercier (Resident Evil 4, Resident Evil: Degeneration, Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles)

Motion capture actor(s) Teruaki Ogawa (Resident Evil 4)
Live action actor(s) Brad Renfro in Resident Evil 2 commercial made by George A. Romero

Leon Scott Kennedy (レオン・S・ケネディ Reon S Kenedi?) is a fictional video game character from the Resident Evil survival horror series.[1] He is a protagonist in Resident Evil 2 and the main protagonist of Resident Evil 4.[2] During the events of Resident Evil 2, Leon is a new police officer who arrives in Raccoon City for his first day on the job, only to confront the T-virus outbreak first-hand. Six years later in Resident Evil 4, Leon returns as a secret agent for the US government, assigned to rescue the President's daughter.

Concept and creation[edit | edit source]

Leon was created by Hideki Kamiya as a contrast to the male protagonist of the original Resident Evil game, Chris Redfield, who Kamiya felt was the "blunt, tough-guy type". Though he admitted that while he was a fan of a character like Chris, as it had already been done, he opted to take Leon's development in a different direction. As a result he created Leon to have some degree of weakness, but "ultimately a man who was on the ball". He was surprised at how popular Leon had become, praising his evolution into a "cool looking guy" for Resident Evil 4, adding that he "fell in love all over again."[3] While he was originally designed as a veteran police officer, he was changed to a rookie after the original version of Resident Evil 2 was scrapped.[4]

Portrayal[edit | edit source]

Leon is voiced by Paul Haddad in Resident Evil 2, and Paul Mercier in Resident Evil 4, the film Resident Evil: Degeneration, and Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles.

Appearances[edit | edit source]

Kennedy first appears as one of two protagonists in Resident Evil 2. Leon is a recently hired police officer for the Raccoon Police Department. He arrives late to Raccoon City on his first day on the job and finds the town already overrun by zombies. He works with Claire Redfield and attempts to escape the city alive. He is partnered with Ada Wong, a woman claiming to be looking for her missing boyfriend. His attempt to find an escape route leads him to Umbrella's underground laboratory, where he confronts several of Umbrella's mutant creatures.

The epilogues of Resident Evil 3 reveal that Leon joins a US government agency. In Resident Evil: Survivor, the game's protagonist, Ark Thompson, goes to Sheena Island at the request of Leon. In Resident Evil Code: Veronica, Claire gets in touch with Leon when she is trapped on Rockfort Island, and Leon relays her whereabouts to Chris Redfield. Leon also appears in Resident Evil: Gaiden.

Leon returns as the protagonist of Resident Evil 4. He is a special agent for the US government, and is assigned to rescue the newly elected President's daughter, Ashley Graham, who is being held somewhere in Europe.[5] Her kidnappers turn out to be part of a cult known as Los Illuminados,[6] which has taken control of the local villagers with parasites known as Las Plagas. Leon teams up once again with Ada Wong, and Luis Sera, a former researcher for Osmund Saddler, and the merchant, a strange character who sells guns and remedies in different locations.

Leon also appeared in Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles.

In other media[edit | edit source]

Leon once again teams up with Claire Redfield in the film Resident Evil: Degeneration in order to stop another outbreak of the T-virus, as a special agent of the United States government. In an interview between Paul W.S. Anderson and IGN, he has said if Resident Evil: Afterlife succeeds, he will do a fifth film and would like Leon to make an appearance.[7] Leon will return in the sequel to Resident Evil: Degeneration called Resident Evil: Damnation.[8]

Reception[edit | edit source]

Since his appearance in Resident Evil 2, Leon has received highly positive reception. Nintendo Power listed Leon as their 14th favourite hero, stating that he went from a "glorified meter maid with a bad haircut" to a tough guy.[9] IGN has featured him in numerous articles, numerously calling him one of the two main characters of the series along with Chris Redfield,[10][11] also describing him in one article as the "straight-laced hero" of Resident Evil.[12] Another article makes yet another comparison between the two characters, calling him the "determined guy clawing his way up the ladder."[13] They noted their preference for the character as a male protagonist over Chris,[14] and twice named him as a character they wished to see in crossover titles, describing him as an "intimidating hero" and a "unique breed of ass kicker".[15][16] IGN editors Phil Pirrello and Richard George listed him as eighth in their Super Smash Bros. character wish list, calling him one of the best things to happen to the Resident Evil series.[17] IGN editor Lucas M. Thomas included him in a list of Capcom characters who should be in, stating that there were more Resident Evil fans on Nintendo consoles than there were fans of Mega Man and Street Fighter.[18] GameDaily predicted that Leon along with Claire Redfield would be the protagonists of the next main Resident Evil title, citing the pattern of alternating protagonists and because Leon hadn't been seen since Resident Evil 4.[19]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Damien Waples, "Leon S. Kennedy Profile," Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles Prima Official Game Guide (Roseville: Prima Games, 2007), 133.
  2. Dan Birlew, "leon s. kennedy," Resident Evil 4: Bradygames Signature Series Guide (Indianapolis: Pearson Education, 2006), 4-5.
  3. Kamiya, Hideki (2009-04-01). Greetings. PlatinumGames, Inc. Retrieved on 2009-08-03
  4. Fahs, Travis. IGN Presents the History of Resident Evil - Retro feature - at IGN. Retro.ign.com. Retrieved on 2010-01-14
  5. GameSpy: Hiroyuki Kobayashi on Resident Evil 4 & Killer 7 - Page 2. Uk.ps2.gamespy.com. Retrieved on 2010-09-14
  6. Jeremy Parish, "LEON KENNEDY," Electronic Gaming Monthly 224 (January 2008), 101.
  7. var authorId = "" by Phil Pirrello (2010-07-25). SDCC 10: What's Next For Resident Evil? - Movies News at IGN. Movies.ign.com. Retrieved on 2010-09-14
  8. http://www.capcom.co.jp/ir/english/news/pdf/e100914.pdf
  9. Nintendo Power 250th issue!. South San Francisco, California: Future US. 2010. pp. 40, 41. 
  10. Schedeen, Jesse. Players Wanted: Resident Evil 6 - Stars feature - at IGN. Stars.ign.com. Retrieved on 2010-01-14
  11. Schedeen, Jesse (2009-03-13). Hero Showdown: Redfield vs. Leon S. Kennedy - Stars feature - at IGN. Stars.ign.com. Retrieved on 2010-01-14
  12. Schedeen, Jesse. Ultimate Zombie Strike Team - Stars feature - at IGN. Stars.ign.com. Retrieved on 2010-01-14
  13. Schedeen, Jesse. Resident Evil: Character Guide - Stars feature - at IGN. Stars.ign.com. Retrieved on 2010-01-31
  14. Shedeen, Jesse (2009-04-24). Top 10 Most Overrated Videogame Characters. IGN. Retrieved on 2009-08-04
  15. Thomas, Lucas M. (2007-11-02). Smash It Up! The Capcom Five. IGN. Retrieved on 2009-08-04
  16. Pirello, Phil and Richard George (2008-02-01). Super Smash Bros. Wish List. IGN. Retrieved on 2009-08-04
  17. Pirrello, Phil (2008-02-01). Super Smash Bros. Wish-List - Stars feature - at IGN. Stars.ign.com. Retrieved on 2010-01-31
  18. Thomas, Lucas M.. Smash It Up! - The Capcom Five - Wii feature - at IGN. Wii.ign.com. Retrieved on 2010-01-14
  19. January 06, 2010 (2010-01-06). Resident Evil 5 on PlayStation 3 Features. GameDaily. Retrieved on 2010-01-14

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