reHorror: The Final Countdown – Leon’s Journey
His gun is readied, aimed right at the head of an incoming zombie. This is nothing new for Leon S. Kennedy, he’s been in this very same position before, having survived the Raccoon City outbreak. What’s different this time is what’s actually facing the barrel of his gun. It’s not just any zombie. No. This is the President of the United States and Leon’s close friend, Adam Benford.
Trying to reason with the infected President, Leon realizes that he must act fast or else the woman he just met, secret service agent Helena Harper, will become a presidential meal. You can’t reason with a zombie, though, so Leon is left with no choice but to pull the trigger. Bang. Just like that, Leon has killed the President of the United States and his former friend. Who would’ve thought, when before this tragic moment, the two of them were conversing, with Adam expressing heavy interest in revealing the truth behind Raccoon City. An act he was about to perform at Tall Oaks University, where Leon now finds himself in the same room with the President’s corpse.
But how did Leon get to this tragic point in his life? Let’s start at the beginning. At the beginning of this hero’s worst nightmare…
(WARNING: Spoilers for Resident Evil 2, Darkside Chronicles, Resident Evil 4 and Degeneration follow.)
The date is September 29, 1998. It seems like it’s a regular night in Raccoon City, but it’s anything but…Leon has just arrived in the city, all set for his first day as a cop for the R.P.D. Little does he know that he will soon find himself in the middle of hell on Earth. After stumbling on a downed body, Leon steps out of his vehicle to examine this humanoid roadblock. It’s human alright, but that’s just selling it short. Leon turns to find more “humans” limping and shuffling their way towards him. In complete shock, and after trying to verbally stop them from coming any closer, the rookie cop readies his gun. One shot, two shot, three. Nothing. These…things just keep coming at him. Oh, and look! The one downed body is trying to bite his leg. Yup, zombies.
And thus, Leon was introduced to bio-terror, on a city-wide scale. He’s unaware of his fate: that he will eventually be pit in a world injected with fear of a global viral outbreak. But that’s still 15 years away for Mr. Kennedy. What he has to worry about now, on this September night, is getting out of the city alive with any survivors. And he does get out with a couple of survivors. One of which he meets pretty early on, right after his first encounter with zombies. Enter: Claire Redfield.
Claire also finds herself in Raccoon City, with a totally different agenda though. She’s not there for a job. No. She’s there to find her missing brother, Chris, who’s no stranger to what’s going on in the city, having survived the Mansion incident months prior. Leon bumps into her at the right time, saving her from becoming a ginger, motorcycle-riding zombie meal at a nearby diner. Leon takes her into a cop car and the they make their way to the R.P.D. station. It’s not an easy trip, though. A zombified truck driver ends up running right into Leon and Claire’s ride, and the two get separated. Leon, and the player, has entered the world of survival horror.
As Leon roamed through the halls of the R.P.D. station, he started to uncover more about what was going on. A fellow officer, Marvin Branagh, filled Leon in on the events leading up to the outbreak in Raccoon City. He mentioned how Chris and other S.T.A.R.S. members discovered how Umbrella was behind everything, but that sadly, no one believed him. Marvin would go on to become a zombie, but Leon’s adventure was just getting started. He would eventually bump into a very mysterious woman in red…
Trying his best not to be side-tracked, Leon just couldn’t resist aiding Ada Wong, a female spy that had been sent to the city to retrieve a sample of the G-Virus. Her cover-up mission, as she told Leon, was locating her boyfriend John, an Umbrella researcher. Then Leon was hit with another Revelation, thanks to a reporter, Ben, who opted to lock himself in a cell for safety: the police chief he worked for, Brian Irons, was under Umbrella’s payroll the whole time. Leon had to get that scum and make him pay. After this, Leon and Ada teamed up as they went deeper in the city’s sewers, ultimately ending up in a secret Umbrella laboratory. Leon started to get feelings for Ada, even going as far as taking a bullet for her directed by Annette, wife of the man responsible for the G-Virus, William Birkin. William had also injured Ada with his claw after becoming a product of his very own creation. Leon vowed to escape the city with Ada, not giving up on her. But things were about to change.
Leon found out the truth about Ada from Anette. How she was sent there to just retrieve a sample of her husband’s G-Virus. After this revelation, Leon was confronted by a T-103 Tyrant. It looked like he was about to fall victim to the frightening B.O.W. that had been pursuing him throughout his adventure, but Ada stepped in and saved Leon’s life, at the cost of her own seemingly. Ada shoots the Tyrant in the face, sending him plunging to the fiery depths below them. But she had been badly wounded. A touching moment ensues between the spy and rookie cop, where she confesses her love for him. This just became personal for Leon. He had seemingly just lost the woman he had fallen in love with amidst the zombie apocalypse. But hope isn’t lost for Leon, as Ada ends up returning to his life six years later in another viral incident.
It was time to escape the city. Claire contacts Leon and lets him know about the little girl she’s been protecting, Sherry Birkin. Yes, the daughter of the creature lurking in the shadows. Leon goes and picks up Sherry from where Claire had left her, he then leaves her sheltered in an escape train as he goes off to get the damn thing up and running. And you guessed it. The Tyrant makes a comeback. Ada’s “final act” wasn’t enough to take down the monster, and he was now in a mutated state. Leon does battle with the B.O.W. and puts the period at the end of the monster’s sentence thanks to a mysterious figure in the shadows that throws him a rocket launcher. Could this be Ada?…Who am I kidding, you all know the story!
With the Nemmy precursor out of the way, Leon returns to the train and reunites with Claire who injects Sherry with a vaccine, since the poor girl had been implanted with a G-embryo by her own father. Ew. The three make their way out of the laboratory via the train until…Yup, big Willy is back. Knowing Sherry is on board, William wasn’t going to let the trio escape the city. But, even he in his final form wasn’t enough to stop them. After taking enough damage, the unrecognizable former Umbrella researcher was left to ignite in flames as the entire underground facility went boom.
It seemed as if it was all finally over. But, of course, that wasn’t the case at all. This was just the beginning as Leon and Claire would soon realize. The beginning of their war against Umbrella. Now they had to finish them off once and for all. Claire would set off on her own to continue the search for her brother, which ultimately landed her in Europe, and Leon and Sherry were left to a much different fate, one out of their control.
As Leon and Sherry made their way out of Raccoon City, they were eventually taken in by the US government. Both survivors were of great interest to them. Sherry because of the traces of the G-Virus she carried within her, and Leon because of him surviving what happened in the city. So what better way to get such a skilled person like Leon to work for them than by using Sherry. Sherry will be in protective custody by the government, so long as Leon serves them as an agent. This was a huge turning point in Leon’s life, from a mere rookie cop at the wrong place at the wrong time, to a government agent. An awesome promotion? Yes, but this new chapter in his life would also lead him to more horrors.
On November of the same year, Leon, now a US government agent, sent his friend, Detective Ark Thompson to investigate Umbrella’s facilities on Sheena Island. His mission was to expose their presence, as Leon continued to battle Umbrella. In another behind-the-scenes act, Leon told Chris of his sister’s location. after she had contacted him while on the Umbrella-owned Rockfort Island telling him to do so. It was because of Leon that Chris and Claire were able to be reunited, but still, the fight against Umbrella wasn’t over yet. Leon would go to face the very viral threat Claire had been exposed to during her time in Rockfort Island: the T-Veronica virus.
The year is 2002, and Leon has received his first major mission as a government agent. He wouldn’t be alone in this mission, though. He ended up being paired with Jack Krauser, this mission was just too risky for one person to go it alone. The two were sent to a small South American country to look into recent intel that was received, which indicated that an Umbrella researcher had gone into the area. Said researcher had contacted Javier Hidalgo, a druglord who has full control over a vast area of this small country. Unfortunately, Leon was about to face the evils of the T-Virus once again, and a new biological evil altogether.
As Leon and Krauser made their way through a South American village experiencing a T-Virus outbreak, Leon recounted his first time experiencing what said virus could do. He told Krauser all about what happened in Raccoon City and how it led to the position he’s in now, working directly for the President. Leon also told Krauser about what happened to Claire after they split ways having survived the Raccoon City outbreak. She went off to continue her search for her brother, which landed her in a prison cell on Rockfort Island after she Infiltrated an Umbrella HQ in Paris. Claire ended up facing the evils of a brand new viral threat: the T-Veronica virus. And it just so happened that the same virus was being used in this part of the world where Leon and Krauser now found themselves in. As one could imagine, said virus was in the hands of Javier himself.
Javier used the virus on his daughter, Manuela, who had already run across Leon and Krauser. They protected her and eventually needed her help to get to Javier. She was injected with the T-Veronica virus to treat a rare disease that she had. The virus was keeping her alive, but as one could imagine, there were other effects brought about by this virus. Like Alexia Ashford, Manuela had flammable blood, she used this ability (or curse) to help Leon and Krauser take down her father after he fused himself with a T-Veronica virus-infected plan, turning himself into a towering B.O.W. In the end, Leon and Krauser had successfully taken down Javier, extinguishing his threat to spread the T-Veronica virus. Manuela was then taken by the government. Krauser ended up being discharged due to an injury sustained during the mission, and later that same year Leon would find out that his former partner had been killed in a crash. Or was he?
It’s six years after the Raccoon City outbreak, six years after the beginning of Leon’s worst nightmare. On that night, he was introduced to the threat of bio-terror. Everything changed for him on that September night, but it also led to him having quite an important role serving his country. And now it was time for his next mission. No zombies were involved in this new nightmare he was about to face, instead he would face something smarter and even more deadly. Umbrella wasn’t involved in this new evil, they ended up being shut down due to their stocks going down and going bankrupt after the truth about their activities and experiments were revealed. Now it was time to face Las Plagas.
The year is 2004 and Leon has been assigned with protecting the newly elected US President Graham’s family. It seemed like an easy job, considering his time in Raccoon City and Operation Javier, but things would eventually go awry of course. The President’s daughter, Ashley Graham, was kidnapped, and it was up to Leon to get her back home. This mission involved a trip to a remote and desolate region of Europe. Upon landing in an eerie village, with the help of two local cops, and meeting one of the inhabitants for the first time, Leon soon realized what he was up against. He entered a creaky cabin and questioned the lone villager in regards to Ashley’s whereabouts. He showed him a photograph of the girl to perhaps ring any bells inside the villager’s mind. No bells were rung, until a little later at least, but shit did get serious.
The villager swung his axe at Leon, almost hitting him straight on. Leon, like he always does, tried his best to reason with this new form of infected, but that didn’t work. Zombie he was not, but he was still dangerous, even more dangerous than the walking dead Leon had faced in Raccoon City six years prior. So he had no choice but to shoot him down. He then made contact with Hunnigan, his direct contact throughout this whole mission, letting her know about what had just transpired. This was just the beginning, things would surely get worse. Starting with Leon’s cop buddies being taken out of the picture by the other crazed, infected villagers outside. Leon lost his ride. Damn. Now it was time to explore this dreadful village alone as he continued on his mission to find Ashley. A mission that became even more complicated. A simple escort mission is baby work for Leon anyway, right?
As Leon continued to explore the creepy village and face its even creepier infected inhabitants wielding weapons ranging from axes to chainsaws, he would eventually find out what was behind the region’s collective craziness. Las Plagas. Hunnigan informed Leon about the cult group called Los Illuminados that ran the region, which was under the command of Osmund Saddler. They had infected the villagers and taken control of them with Las Plagas, a new form of deadly parasite. Saddler was their king, and he had quite an army under his command, from regular villagers to armed soldiers residing in a nearby island. Saddler also had two main figureheads under his wing: Ramon Salazar and the Big Cheese of the village, Bitores Mendez. Leon would eventually face the both of them, but first he would befriend a local named Luis Sera, a former researcher working for Saddler himself who possessed ample knowledge of this new parasite.
Luis would aid Leon on his mission to find Ashley by informing him that he had overheard some of the villagers talking about a girl being held captive in a nearby church. This was where Leon headed to next, after taking on more hordes of infected villagers, which would eventually come in mutated forms. Leon eventually made it to the church and was able to rescue Ashley. But their journey wasn’t done yet. Hunnigan informed him about the evac chopper and it being a no-show. So Leon and Ashley had to find another way back home. But to the surprise of Saddler and the Big Cheese, Leon wasn’t the only intruder…
Luis was still on the loose, helping Leon as much as he could until it eventually cost him his own life. Luis died at the hands of Saddler, after trying to help Leon get the cure for Las Plagas, which had also been implanted in Leon and Ashley. Leon had defeated the Big Cheese, a giant lake monster and a towering monstrosity, which all culminated into a big challenge for the survivor of Raccoon City. But things would only get more challenging now that he and Ashley had to get rid of the parasite within them, or else they would fall victim to Saddler’s control like everyone else in the region. But there was one more intruder involved in all this, and that was none other than Ada Wong.
Ada was sent by Albert Wesker to retrieve a sample of Las Plagas, and this led the lady in red to cross paths with Leon once more. Leon questioned Ada about her loyalty to Wesker and why she was working for him. After this encounter Leon would continue exploring the depths of Salazar’s huge castle, ultimately leading to his demise when he fought him in a mutated state. Unfortunately, Leon would once again have to find Ashley seeing as how she was once again kidnapped, this time taken to a nearby military base on an island. The one who abducted her was none other than Leon’s former partner, Jack Krauser, as ordered by Saddler.
Leon made his way to the island, thanks to Ada who had come to aid him once again, giving him a ride. Ada didn’t stick around for long of course, and she went on her separate way leaving Leon alone. Leon was faced with hordes of armed soldiers infected with the parasite. But he survived and had an epic confrontation with Krauser. His former partner revealed how records of his death were falsified and that he was now working for Wesker. All for Umbrella’s sake…yup, he almost let the cat out of the bag in their first encounter. Eventually, Leon would go on to fatally wound Krauser, leaving him for Ada to finish off. Leon is always getting haunted by ghosts from his past it seems. And now it was time to put an end to Saddler.
Leon was reunited with Ashley and they were able to utilize the appropriate equipment in a laboratory to destroy the parasites within them. A painful procedure, but it worked. Now it was time for the final battle against the man behind all this, Saddler himself. Saddler lured Leon out by having Ada hung overhead, knowing Leon would come to her aid, this was the perfect opportunity for Saddler to reveal himself. He mutated into a huge, grotesque monster, proving to be quite a foe for Leon. But as it happened back in Raccoon City, Ada once again came to the rescue and threw Leon and rocket launcher that would put a definitive end to Saddler. Sadly, Ada didn’t stick around and she once again ended up escaping, this time with a sample of Las Plagas which she took from Leon. It was “mission complete” for the spy, but not for Leon. He still had to get himself and Ashley out of the island which was set to blow. Luckily, Ada, before escaping, had given Leon the key to a jet-ski that they can use to escape. Now it was time to return to the United States…and Leon had to be wary of any sharks that could snatch Ashley from him…No overtime for you, Ms. Graham. Leon’s experience with Las Plagas was then compiled into what would become the Kennedy Report, which would be read by Chris Redfield.
A year passed and Leon would soon find himself in a very familiar scenario once again. Story of his life…This time, he would once again be faced with the T-Virus and, you guessed it: zombies! The T-Virus broke out at Harvardville Airport. The terminal was locked down and the US government sent in the Marines and a Special Response Team, led by Leon, to handle the situation. Once again, Leon had been hand picked by the President, due to his prior experience with the virus. Leon led this team and showed them how to go up against zombies. Basically, you have to go for the head!
It was then revealed that the virus was leaked by the head of R&D at WilPharma, Frederic Downing, a former Umbrella employee who escaped Raccoon City before it was wiped off the face of the Earth with samples of the T and G-Virus. Leon and his team were able to secure a group of survivors, and amongst them was none other than Claire. Her reunion with Leon wasn’t exactly under pleasing circumstances (another outbreak!), but he came back into Claire’s life at the right time. Now it was time to escape and prevent the virus from spreading any further. But the G-Virus had also made a return.
A former WilPharma employee, Curtis Miller had lost his family thanks to the Raccoon City outbreak, he was also the brother of one of Leon’s team members, Angela. He was let go from WilPharma after a dispute with them and being used as a scapegoat for all their wrongdoings. He was also infected with the G-Virus, which led to a blast from the past for Leon, seeing as he had already fought a man injected with the very same virus back in Raccoon City, who happened to be its own creator, William Birkin. Much to Angela’s sorrow, Curtis was finished, and with Downing imprisoned, Leon’s job was done. Another outbreak was dealt with. But it wasn’t over yet for Mr. Kennedy…
Leon now finds himself staring at the corpse of his former friend and President of the United States. He has shot and killed him, for if he had not done so, he and Helena may have suffered the same fate, that of a zombie. What now? Where does Leon go from here?
There are screams heard outside the school’s walls, cries for help. This is all too familiar to Leon, way too familiar. Another outbreak…When will it ever end? Tall Oaks is the new Raccoon City, another hell on Earth. And this new virus, the C-Virus, it’s spreading around the globe. For Leon, the fight against bio-terror is never over. What will he do now that there’s No Hope Left?