ByJordan Baranowski/Updated: April 21, 2022 4:16 pm UTC
If you aren't a student of the Resident Evil series, you may wonder how Leon Kennedy went from bright-eyed, bushy-tailed rookie officer in Resident Evil 2 to monster-hunting super-soldier just a few years later. Why you question this in a world that features a global pharmaceutical company creating zombies for ... reasons ... is beyond us, but we're still here to help.
Especially if you're only a casual fan of Resident Evil, the background of one of its central protagonists has a lot of blank space. If you've ever wondered just how Leon Kennedy got to where he is, you're in the right place.
Leon has been through a lot over the years — in the Resident Evil games and the accompanying media — so we've combed through everything we can to find the events that shaped Leon Kennedy into who he is. Some of it is fairly obscure, some comes from the main games in the series itself, but all of it together is what brought us the Leon Kennedy we know and love today.
Pre-Resident Evil 2
Leon finished his time at the academy in 1998, where he had grown fascinated with the increasing crime in Raccoon City. The city had put out a call for an increased police force due to crime levels rising and a series of bizarre murders, so Leon applied and was accepted. He visited the station and received a basic introduction, then drove home in anticipation for his first day.
The night before Leon was scheduled to begin working for the RPD, he broke up with his girlfriend. He got drunk at a party afterwards and overslept, which is why he was late for his first day on the job. Being late, however, is probably what saved his life: the events of Resident Evil 2 take place on what was supposed to be Leon's first day on the job. As the city descended into chaos, a media blackout was instituted, so he had no idea what he was getting into as he drove towards Raccoon City.
In the remake, Capcom edited out a lot of this backstory, but this is how Leon started: late to his first day because of a drunken breakup.
Raccoon City - Resident Evil 2
When Leon arrives in Raccoon City, he discovers that the city is under a complete military lockdown due to the release of a biological weapon. He meets Claire Redfield, who is searching for her brother, Chris, another central protagonist in the Resident Evil series. Leon and Claire split up to look for survivors and agree to meet later at the police station.
As Leon journeys to, through, and underneath the Raccoon City Police Station, he begins to discover a massive conspiracy that leads to the pharmaceutical corporation Umbrella. He also encounters Ada Wong, who supposedly dies fighting a Tyrant during the course of RE2. Ada actually survives, and she will become a major player in the Resident Evil franchise as it moves forward.
Leon's discovery that Umbrella is behind the destruction of Raccoon City is actually what sends him down the path we see in later games. After he and Claire escape from the ruins of the city, he vows to hunt down those responsible and stop Umbrella from whatever they are planning with their biological weapons.
Special Agent Training
After the events in Raccoon City, Leon joins a secret task force called the Anti-Umbrella Pursuit and Investigation Team. He excels at his training and remains focused on battling Umbrella and stopping the bioweapons they manufactured. The team was actually created in response to what had happened in Raccoon City; as one of the few survivors of that massive outbreak, Leon was an obvious choice to join the organization.
Leon's team answers directly to the president of the United States, they have top-level security clearance, and they are at the front lines of many bioterrorist attacks. They are also top secret themselves; if any of the team were captured, they were disowned by the organization, as if they never existed.
During his training as a special agent, Leon begins to piece together the size of the enemy they are facing in Umbrella. He also learns about Albert Wesker and the fact that Ada Wong may have actually survived the Raccoon City incident.
One of the first missions Leon takes on as a member of the Anti-Umbrella Pursuit and Investigation Team is codenamed Operation Javier, which first appeared in the game Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles. He and another agent, Jack Krauser, are sent to South America to investigate a drug kingpin named Javier Hidalgo. Hidalgo has been in contact with a former Umbrella scientist and is suspected of purchasing biological agents from him. Leon and Jack are sent to discover the truth and save the day.
Leon soon encounters Javier Hidalgo's daughter, Manuela, and realizes she might be the key to curing some of the biological agents that have been plaguing the area. However, he is attacked by Javier, who has infected himself with the t-Veronica virus and merged with the local plant life to become a huge monster. Due to the warm, humid climate and the unique biochemistry of the "Veronica Complex" that Javier becomes, this foe threatens to infect the entire Amazon rainforest unless Leon can stop it.
Leon, Manuela, and Jack eventually destroy the creature, unaware that Albert Wesker has been observing the battle all along.
Los Illuminados - Resident Evil 4
Leon soon finds himself on a new mission: to rescue the president's daughter, who is being held captive in an isolated Spanish village. He soon encounters the Plagas parasite, which is being used by a cult called Los Illuminados to control all who are infected. The cult plans to infect the president's daughter, Ashley, before returning her to the White House, where they can use her as a spy and infect others in positions of power.
Leon eventually learns that his former partner from Operation Javier, Jack Krauser, actually works for Albert Wesker and is the one who kidnapped Ashley. He also encounters Ada Wong, whom he believed had died during the events of Resident Evil 2. Leon kills Krauser and the leader of Los Illuminados, Saddler, with Ada's help. However, she then steals a sample of Las Plagas before escaping; of course, Ada is also working with Wesker. Leon and Ashley ride a jet ski away from the island as it explodes, and Leon is heralded as a hero.
Now is where we start to get into some lesser-known territory. Once Leon returns from Europe and his battle with Los Illuminados, he is sent to Harvardville, a small city in the United States, to deal with a bioterrorist attack on the airport there. These events occur as the plot of the animated film Resident Evil: Degeneration.
At the airport, Leon encounters Claire Redfield, who now works with the human rights organization TerraSave. As events unfold, it is eventually revealed that the owner of another evil pharmaceutical company (is there any other kind?), WilPharma, is causing the attacks so that they can make a huge profit selling vaccines for the T-Virus and G-Virus. Leon thwarts Frederic Downing, the head of WilPharma and a former Umbrella researcher, and eventually he is arrested for his crimes. Downing had been using his position to gain contacts who may be interested in buying the T-Virus to use as a bioweapon.
Eastern Slav Republic
Leon returns in the direct sequel to Degeneration, Resident Evil: Damnation. This animated film sees Leon journey back to Europe: he must venture to the Eastern Slav Republic to investigate claims that bioweapons are being used in the country's civil war. Damnation also serves as a prequel to Resident Evil 6; it even shows gameplay clips of RE6 during its end credits.
Leon discovers that there are a massive amount of bioweapons being used in the Eastern Slav Republic, and he suspects Ada Wong is responsible, due to her betrayal in Resident Evil 4. He soon discovers that the president of the Eastern Slav Republic, Svetlana Belikova, is using Tyrants and Los Plagas to maintain her control over the war-torn country.
Just as Leon thinks he is done for — he's about to engage in a knife fight with Tyrants, because apparently bullets are in short supply in the movies, too — a joint force of troops from the United States and Russia intervene in the civil war. Leon is rescued and Svetlana is forced to step down.
Tall Oaks - Resident Evil 6
Leon features as one of the protagonists of Resident Evil 6, and he faces a pretty stiff mental test. Leon is forced to shoot the president of the United States, who has been infected with the C-Virus, carried by a creature called a Lepotica. This is especially heartbreaking for Leon, as the president, Adam Benford, is also the man who had originally recruited Leon to join the Anti-Umbrella Task Force in the first place.
Leon and another agent, Helena, make their way to Tall Oaks Cathedral, where they encounter a terrifying experiment in the catacombs. They discover that the attack was orchestrated by Derek Simmons, who had been President Benford's National Security Advisor. He was also a member of a secret society called The Family. After Leon and Helena escape from the church, Simmons orders the destruction of Tall Oaks and frames Leon as the mastermind who started the attack and assassinated the president.
Simmons flees to China, while Leon and Helena must regroup and come up with a plan. After all, they are now wanted criminals.
Lanshiang, China - Resident Evil 6
As Leon and Helena are now wanted for the president's assassination, the two fake their deaths so they can follow Simmons to China, end his threat to the world, and clear their names. When they arrive in Lanshiang, they discover that Simmons has started another bioweapon outbreak (of course). Leon also encounters Sherry Birkin, the girl he and Claire rescued during the events of Resident Evil 2. She is now an adult and a federal agent herself.
Leon works together with his companions to track down Simmons, who infects himself with the C-Virus to battle the federal agents. Leon, Helena, and the rest battle Simmons through many mutations, and Leon eventually finishes him off with a well placed shot from a rocket launcher. Ada Wong had once again reappears and crosses Leon's path, but she is nowhere to be found when Leon boards her helicopter after the battle with Simmons. He flies away from Lanshiang as his portion of Resident Evil 6 comes to a close.
Leon takes a while to recover from the events of Tall Oaks and Lanshiang, but in the animated filmResident Evil: Vendetta, he eventually returns to duty. However, his next mission in Washington, D.C. is a traumatizing event that almost pushes Leon over the brink.
Leon's team is hunting down a group of bioweapons when the mission goes horribly wrong. His entire team is infected and killed, and Leon himself has to travel to the morgue and execute each of his former squadmates as they turn into mindless killing machines. He is barely able to cope and takes a leave of absence to figure out his situation.
Instead, he spends his time drinking and trying to forget his pain. This is where Chris Redfield finds him. Chris recruits Leon to investigate a new series of bioweapon attacks. Leon reluctantly agrees, but he's starting to get jaded. Leon continues to question the point of fighting what he feels like is a futile war against bioterrorists.
Leon and Chris head to New York City, where Glenn Arias is planning a massive bioweapon attack that will trigger a massive airborne virus. Arias had been accumulating bioweapon technology from the various corporations that Leon had been taking down, eventually amassing a noteworthy collection that he hoped to use to seize global power.
Leon and Chris battle through Arias' creations, eventually coming face-to-face with the mastermind himself. Arias, of course, infects himself and manages to get the upper hand in a one on one fight with Chris. Leon comes to the rescue, crashing his motorcycle into the mutated Arias, where it explodes and nearly kills the monster. Chris finishes Arias off with a grenade launcher.
After the battle, Leon continues to question his commitment to battling bioterrorism, as he sees it as a battle he can never truly win. Chris encourages him to never plan that far ahead, and just to continue fighting whatever is directly in front of him.
In Code: Veronica Claire returns the romantic affections Steve gave her after getting to know him.How old was Leon in re6? ›
A 28 year old Leon was selected by the president to take charge of the S.R.T. team due to his experience with the t-Virus. Under his leadership and advice, they learned how to effectively kill the zombies and rescued five survivors, including Claire Redfield.Does Leon Kennedy marry Claire Redfield? ›
Leon S. Kennedy (Alternate Timeline)
|Leon S. Kennedy|
|Weapons:||Heckler & Koch VP70 Beretta 92F Custom 'Samurai Edge' AKMSU|
10/15 Leon Has Strong Feelings For Ada Wong
Leon S. Kennedy maintains an uncanny relationship with Ada Wong throughout the series. For him to look the other way on Ada Wong's illegal acts shows that Leon S. Kennedy must have some pretty strong feelings for her.
Dying Declaration of Love - In Leon's B route for the original Resident Evil 2, Ada tells him that she fell in love with him shortly before she dies. First Kiss - In the original Resident Evil 2, they have their first kiss shortly before Ada seemingly dies.Who is Chris Redfield wife? ›
Jill Valentine (Alternate Timeline)
|Weapons:||Škorpion vz. 61 Heckler & Koch USP Ithaca 37 Katana|
|Occupation:||Political Activist,Terra Save Member|
|Relationship:||Chris Redfield(Elder Brother)|
|Spouse(s):||Leon S. Kennedy|
Claire is the younger sister of series hero Chris Redfield, former officer of Raccoon City Police Department's S.T.A.R.S team to fight the Umbrella Corporation, a pharmaceutical company whose bioterrorism creates zombies and other bio-organic weapons.Does Leon appear in re3? ›
While not playable in Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, Leon makes an appearance during the epilogue. He's approached by a member of the US government about joining their ranks. Although the game doesn't reveal his answer, he's a full-fledged FBI agent by the time Resident Evil 4 rolls around.Does re9 have Leon? ›
According to the leaks shared by a 4Chan user, Resident Evil 9 (Apocalypse) will star the original 4- Chris, Claire, Leon, and Jill. The game will seek closure for the stories to the original cast and will feature a semi-open world, similar to the Village.
Jake and Sherry are six years apart in age; born 1992 (Jake) and 1986 (Sherry) respectively.Who is Chris Redfield love interest? ›
Jill Valentine was introduced as one of two playable protagonists, alongside her partner Chris Redfield, in Capcom's 1996 survival horror video game Resident Evil. She was created by director Shinji Mikami and designer Isao Ohishi.Is Leon left handed? ›
He is left-handed. Though initially he sides with the three previously-mentioned characters, he soon follows a different path than the others. After the Emperor's attack on Fynn, Leon mysteriously disappears.What race is Chris Redfield? ›
In the rejected Resident Evil film script written by George A. Romero in 1998, Chris is a Native American civilian and ultimately one of the few survivors. In 2000, Capcom fired Romero and replaced him with Paul W. S. Anderson, who wrote a new script.Why does Leon only drink milk? ›
Metaphorically, it's a symbol of wholesomeness and his paternal concern for Mathilda. He attempts to enrich her and provide her with a more wholesome environment, and milk represents those qualities.Why is Leon rated R? ›
MPAA explanation: scenes of strong graphic violence, and for language.Did Ashley have a crush on Leon? ›
Ashley seems to have a crush on Leon, having a few flirting moments when she asked for overtime after being rescued.Does Leon get with Angelica? ›
She later became the one of the first fiancées of Leon Fou Bartfort after the Principality invasion.How old was Leon in RE4? ›
Like many of the RE characters, Leon's first experiences with the undying comes while in the bloom of youth – he's just 21 when he first starts taking down zombies.Does Leon have blonde hair? ›
Appearance. Leon was a tall, physically fit young man with short dark blonde hair in his late teens. Leon also wore an armor in the war.
To the disappointment of many fans of the two characters, Chris and Jill have never been confirmed as having any romantic feelings towards each other.Does Claire Redfield have a brother? ›
Early life. Claire grew up with her older brother Chris after their parents died; with this event, the two developed a very close bond.How tall is Leon Kennedy? ›
10/10 Leon S Kennedy: 5 Feet 11 Inches
squad, Leon earned his paycheck when he fought through a Spanish village full of parasite-infested cultists (as well as a police station with an accompanying lab). Measuring in at 5' 11", Leon is one of the tallest player characters from the Resident Evil series.
A community for fans of the Capcom series, Resident Evil, (aka Biohazard in Japan).What color is Chris Redfield hair? ›
In Resident Evil 6, Chris' hair is brown and was cut into a military style haircut. But in his intro and his ending, his hair appears to be dark brown.Are the Redfields orphans? ›
Chris Redfield was born in 1973, and both he and his sister Claire grew up as orphans. At the age of 19, Chris joined the United States Air Force as a pilot and served until 1994.How old is Moira Resident Evil? ›
Barry Burton's daughter Moira was born in 1991 and was approximately seven years old at the time of the incident in Raccoon City, where she lived with her mother Kathy and sister Polly in 1998.Is Claire Redfield a clone? ›
After the events of the sixth game, fans know that Leon is alive and well, but developers haven't given the slightest idea what he might be up to during the events of Resident Evil Village.
The Nemesis, named after the Goddess of Vengeance from Greek mythology, first appears in the 1999 PlayStation game Resident Evil 3: Nemesis as the game's title character and primary antagonist.Does re3 have a true ending? ›
Resident Evil 3 has only one ending, despite there being some choice-based elements close to the end of the game, and the fact that the original game it's based on did have multiple endings. There's no way to unlock any others, though there are consequences for beating the game that'll effect further playthroughs.Who is Leon's face? ›
Eduard Badaluta is a Romanian model who served as a character model for Leon S. Kennedy in Resident Evil 2 (2019) and Resident Evil 4 (2023).What is Leon's middle name? ›
Leon Scott Kennedy (Japanese: レオン・スコット・ケネディ, Hepburn: Reon Sukotto Kenedi) is a character in Resident Evil (Biohazard in Japan), a survival horror video game series created by Japanese company Capcom. He debuted as one of the two player characters of the video game Resident Evil 2 (1998), alongside Claire Redfield.What is Leon's real name? ›
|Born||Leon Preston Robinson March 8, 1962 New York City, New York, U.S.|
|Occupation||Actor, singer, producer|
Finn the Human is the main character of Adventure Time and often appears alongside his best friend and adoptive brother Jake the Dog. Finn was adopted by Jake's parents Joshua and Margaret as an infant.Who is Wesker's son? ›
Jake Muller is one of the lead protagonists in Resident Evil 6. Jake is Albert Wesker's son. He's described as a "mysterious, jaded, battle-worn mercenary." He is being watched and/or protected by Sherry Birkin. He is immune to most viruses, an ability he recieved from his father.Is Finn older than Jake? ›
Jake the Dog, commonly known as Jake throughout the Adventure Time series, is the best friend of Finn the Human. They are each other's companions in traveling the post-apocalyptic world of Ooo. During the debut episode of the series, Jake is believed to be 28 years old in the “magical dog years,” while Finn is 12.Is Jill Valentine still alive? ›
Jill Valentine (died 2012) was a Raccoon City police officer who lived during the global T-virus pandemic of 2002-2012. After her experiences during the outbreak's initial stages in Raccoon City, Valentine became involved in anti-Umbrella operations and was eventually captured and turned into an Umbrella agent.What happens to Jill after re3? ›
After making her return in last year's remake of Resident Evil 3, Jill's future in the Resident Evil video game franchise remains unclear. In the video games timeline, Jill's last appearance was in Resident Evil 5, where she was abducted by Albert Wesker and placed under mind control.
Ship Tease — As friends, allies and occasional partners Leon and Claire share a fair amount of moments together. They also have more romantic undertones in their scenes together in the 2019 remake of Resident Evil 2 than they did in the original 1998 game.Is Leon undefeated? ›
Since then, he and his partner have remained undefeated in every league and exhibition they participated in. He has been referred to as "the unbeatable Champion" and "the greatest Trainer in all of Galar." He is considered a hero to many Trainers in Galar.How does Leon not get infected? ›
If you mean Leon from Resident Evil the answer is no, he's not immune to the T-Virus, the answer is he hasn't been infected. For gameplay reasons you can keep going after getting a chunk of your neck ripped off, canonically both Leon and Claire haven't been bitten or scratched by the zombies.What is the rarest handedness? ›
A new study suggests lefties are rare because of the balance between cooperation and competition in human evolution. The findings come thanks to some data from the sports world. Representing only 10 percent of the general human population, left-handers have been viewed with suspicion and persecuted across history.Is Chris Redfield a werewolf? ›
And he does not turn into a werewolf or any other kind of monster during the events of the game. He comes out of the end of it relatively unscathed. Chris Redfield survives the events of Resident Evil Village and it seems he survives for some time after that as well.What race is Claire Redfield? ›
Chris and Claire Redfield are visibly Caucasian (and their name is Scottish originated) but have occasionally been claimed to have been Native American. Specifically, they are of Mohawk descent.How old is sherry in re6? ›
In Resident Evil 6 and onwards, Sherry is now an adult 26 (and later 27) year old woman. Her hair is cut shorter.Who does Leon have a crush on Resident Evil? ›
It's always hinted and sometimes outright stated that him and Ada Wong have feelings for each other.Did Ashley had a crush on Leon? ›
Ashley seems to have a crush on Leon, having a few flirting moments when she asked for overtime after being rescued.Who does Claire like Resident Evil? ›
Still, fans immediately shipped them and have been doing so for years. The closest thing that fans of Resident Evil get to confirmation of Claire's relationship status is in Resident Evil: Revelations 2. The characters Claire and Neil are thought to be a couple.
Claire A/Leon B is the canon scenario, it was confirmed in later games, Darkside Chronicles to name one.What was injected into Leon? ›
By examining Sera's notes, Leon discovers that Los Illuminados gained control of their subjects by implanting a mind controlling parasite known as "Las Plagas" into their bodies. Unfortunately, Leon and Luis are captured, during which time Leon is injected with the parasite.Who is the oldest dimitrescu daughter? ›
7/9 Bela Is The Oldest Of The Three
She is seen as the eldest daughter and the "leader" of the three, though she falls fairly early on in the castle part of the game.
An epilogue in Resident Evil 3: Nemesis as well as a fictional documentary in Code: Veronica confirm that Ada survived the ordeal. Her role in Resident Evil 2 is explored in more detail in Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles (2007) and Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles (2009).Does Leon meet Sherry? ›
Leon and Sherry are first introduced in Resident Evil 2, when Sherry is 12 and Leon is 21 years old.How old was Leon in re4? ›
Like many of the RE characters, Leon's first experiences with the undying comes while in the bloom of youth – he's just 21 when he first starts taking down zombies.Who would win between Leon and Chris? ›
5/10 Chris: He's A Better Fighter
There's a lot to consider in a fight between Chris and Leon, but despite their many skills, pure fighting ability is going to be the deciding factor between them. The two briefly come to blows in Resident Evil 6, but all of the media implies that Chris is just the better fighter.
When Jamie goes to jail for illegally dueling Black Jack Randall in Paris, he's imprisoned in the Bastille. Claire, who miscarried their daughter Faith, goes to meet the king and plead for him to free Jamie so they can return to Scotland.Does Claire cheat? ›
It started to change when Claire developed feelings for Jamie. She did develop the lustful feelings at first, but then those feelings developed into love. Claire chose not to return to Frank when she had a chance. She chose to return to Jamie, and that was the moment for many where she cheated on Frank.What is the true ending of re2? ›
At the conclusion of both Leon and Claire's campaigns, they both end up on a train out of the Umbrella laboratory. No matter who you actually played as, Leon enters the train to find Claire and Sherry Birkin already there, with the three of them bound for safety.
X, The Tyrant, follows both Claire and Leon throughout the Police Station and, in Leon's story, the Lab. He is invincible, so you must just avoid him.Should I play Claire or Leon's story first? ›
According to Capcom's official stats, Leon is picked for the first playthrough 79% of the time and is often advised for the first playthrough. Overall, the choice of which character to play first comes down to personal opinion. For a more action-filled, thrilling mystery, players should pick Leon first.