|Resident Evil character|
|First game||Resident Evil 2 (1998)|
|Created by||Noboru Sugimura|
|Voiced by (English)||Sally Cahill (RE2, RE4, The Darkside Chronicles, Retribution)
Megan Hollingshead (The Umbrella Chronicles)
Courtenay Taylor (Operation Raccoon City, Damnation, RE6)
|Voiced by (Japanese)||Junko Minagawa (Operation Racoon City, Damnation, RE6)
Maya Okamoto (Retribution)
|Motion capture||Mayuko Maruoka (RE4)
Jolene Anderson (Damnation)
Michelle Lee (RE6)
|Portrayed by||Li Bingbing (Retribution)|
Ada Wong (エイダ・ウォン Eida Won?) is a fictional character in the Resident Evil (Biohazard in Japan) horror franchise by Capcom, who was introduced in the video game Resident Evil 2 in 1998. Ada (//) also appears in a player main character or supporting roles in the video games Resident Evil 4, Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles, Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles, Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City and Resident Evil 6, as well as a character in the animated film Resident Evil: Damnation. The live-action film series' version of Ada first appeared in Resident Evil: Retribution.
The character is a mysterious and ambiguous antiheroine figure, working for the series' villains but also helping the protagonist Leon S. Kennedy. Ada Wong is widely regarded as one of the most popular female characters in the series, alongside Jill Valentine and Claire Redfield, as well as one of the most attractive female characters in video games.
Design and portrayal
When Resident Evil 2 was still in development, Ada was known as a researcher named Linda who aided the player across the game, but was changed for the game's final form. Ada's costumes include a red casual miniskirt outfit as seen in Resident Evil 2, her now-iconic red dress from Resident Evil 4, a black combat suit from the same game, and an outfit consisting of a red shirt with raised collar, black leather trousers and high-heeled boots from Resident Evil 6. Ada's motion capture actress in 'Resident Evil 6, Michelle Lee, said it was "definitely a challenge and with the amazing team they were very specific on how she moved, her specific characteristics and even how she stood still."
Ada is voiced by Sally Cahill in Resident Evil 2, Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles, by Megan Hollingshead in Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles, and by Courtenay Taylor in Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City, Resident Evil: Damnation and Resident Evil 6. Cahill described the character as "a totally hip, modern, kick ass femme fatale who could handle weapons awesomely" and said she loved Ada's "resilience, her strength with still being sexy and very female." Taylor said: "Obviously, they want the voice you auditioned with, but seeing Ada made me give her characteristics. She's sort of cat-like and she walks very quietly and you can tell she's very lithe. She's sort of effortless, so that was great."
Producers of the Resident Evil live-action film series reportedly "chose her as a foundation" for the film series' Alice. In 2011, Li Bingbing was cast for the film version of Ada, only a few days after her first audition. She did not know anything about the games and the characters, but after learning about them, she thought that Ada's personality is "very much" like her own. The film's producer Robert Kulzer described her as "perfectly cast", saying: "In addition to being an extremely talented actor, she's sharp, sexy and smart—all qualities that the Ada Wong character had to have." During filming, Li wore a $7,500 wig and "enjoyed" the firearms training she received for the movie. She complained about her being cold in Ada's revealing "qipao with a high slit that flapped when the wind blew", but added, "I wanted the slit to be that high after I saw the images of Ada Wong from the game... Not that I wanted it to be that high but that was where the opening would be the most beautiful and cool." Apparently due to the Senkaku Islands dispute, Li did not show at Tokyo premiere for the film and reportedly has also requested that her image be edited out of its promotional posters in Japan. In the film, Ada's voice was dubbed by Sally Cahill in English and by Maya Okamoto in Japanese.
In video games
An American woman of Chinese descent, Ada is first mentioned in the original Resident Evil (1996), set in the year 1998, in a letter written by a dying Umbrella Corporation researcher John Clemens (John's surnames are different in the game's adaptations, as he was given a canonical surname during the game's development but only mentioned by his first name in the final version). Ada, mentioned by first-name only in the first game, was given the full name Ada Wong during the early development of the sequel, where she was an Umbrella researcher, originally named Linda during the early stages of development (a version popularly known as "Resident Evil 1.5"), before she was eventually renamed as Ada in order to provide a connection to the first game. John got infected with the deadly T-virus during an outbreak in the Arklay Laboratory facility and asks Ada (who had manipulated him to steal Umbrella's secrets for their rival company) to destroy the Spencer Mansion (the first game's setting) and to reveal the incident to the public.
Ada makes her first appearance in person in Resident Evil 2 (1998), set several months after the events of the first game. In it, she is a spy sent to recover a sample of the deadly G-virus from Umbrella's lab in the zombie-overrun Raccoon City, working for an unnamed rival company of Umbrella. Ada poses as a bystander who is searching for her missing boyfriend, John, when she meets Leon S. Kennedy, a rookie police officer trapped in the city. Her secret agenda is exposed, but (depending on which scenario is played) she is seriously wounded by either William Birkin or the monster Tyrant T-103, while saving Leon. She later also drops him a rocket launcher to defeat the T-103. An epilogue in Resident Evil 3: Nemesis as well as a fictional documentary in Code: Veronica confirm that Ada survived the ordeal. Ada's role in Resident Evil 2 is explored in more detail in Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles (2007) and Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles (2009). The Umbrella Chronicles shows Ada's escape from Raccoon City, as she fights her way out, along the way destroying the Tyrant R (introduced in Resident Evil Outbreak: File #2), and grapples onto the Umbrella helicopter as it passes overhead. Ada also appears as an enemy in another Resident Evil 2 spin-off game, the uncanonical Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City (2012), in which she is also a playable character in its multiplayer "Heroes" mode.
Her next appearance was in Resident Evil 4 (2005), set in the year 2004, where she assists Leon in his mission to rescue the U.S. President's daughter Ashley Graham from the sinister cult Los Illuminados based in a remote area of Spain while carrying out her own objectives. However, her true objective is to obtain a sample of the dominant species Plaga parasite developed by the Los Illuminados under the orders of the villain Albert Wesker, now in a high position within the rival company. She is dispatched for this mission alongside Jack Krauser, who distrusts her and believes she is a threat to Wesker. Ada enlists the help of the researcher Luis Sera, who manages to steal a sample before but is then killed by the cult's leader Osmund Saddler, who briefly captures Ada, planning to sacrifice her. After meeting Leon in short battle, Ada saves him from Krauser, who was ordered by Wesker to eliminate Leon, destroys the cult's battleship and the Plagas-mutated Krauser, and aids Leon in various ways. Eventually, she is captured by Saddler, who uses her as bait to trap Leon. Leon, however, is able to free her, and Ada provides him with a special rocket launcher capable of destroying the monstrous version of Saddler, before escaping with a sample via helicopter. Ada appears in the game's sub-scenario "Assignment: Ada", as well as in the "Mercenaries" mode. A new scenario starring Ada, titled "Separate Ways", which depicts the events of the main game from Ada's perspective, as well as a fictional documentary "Ada's Report", where she describes her involvement with other characters in the story, were added to the PlayStation 2, PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii ports of biohazard 4 (the Japanese version of RE4). In her report, it is revealed that she works for a different organization than Wesker's, and stole the parasite sample for herself, sending Wesker an inferior strain instead.
Ada is a playable character in Resident Evil 6 (2012), set in 2012-2013, where she is "a lone spy working in secret" available after the player finishes the storylines for its main characters Leon, Chris Redfield and Jake Muller, with a campaign designed to bring the answer to some of the game's mysteries. During the course of the game, it is revealed that Ada is a former associate of the rogue National Security Adviser Derek C. Simmons, who becomes dangerously obsessed with her. Though originally working to her own agenda, she gets caught up in the game's events and is forced to help Leon in his mission to stop Simmons' plans. Initially single player only, Ada's campaign features the action-oriented gameplay of Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil 5, combined with puzzles similar to the earlier games in the series, as well as stealth elements. Ada is primarily armed with a crossbow with normal and explosive arrows, uses a grapple gun, and is aided by (or "using") Leon and new character Helena Harper. It also incorporates the boss battles against Helena's C-virus infected sister, Deborah, and the mutated Simmons from Leon's campaign, as well as a boss fight unique to her campaign. Ada's sidekick in Resident Evil 6 is a mystery 'Agent' who does not appear in any of the cinematic scenes, as he was added post-release via a patch to be an optional online multiplayer partner during her campaign. In addition, both Carla-Ada and the real Ada are also unlockable playable characters for the game's "Mercenaries" mode.
Added to the mix is Carla Radames, a researcher who became a clone of Ada created by Simmons using the C-virus. Carla, who believes she is actually Ada, is the main villain of the game, leading the Neo-Umbrella forces responsible for unleashing C-virus outbreaks and fighting against the Bio-terrorism Security Assessment Alliance (BSAA) forces led by Chris Redfield, first in the Republic of Edonia in Eastern Europe and then in the city of Lanshiang, China. After learning the truth about herself, Carla was driven insane and resolved to infect the entire world. She eventually succeeds in infecting Simmons, but is killed by one of his men. Ada is forced to fight Carla, who injects herself with a massive dose of the C-virus. After destroying the resurrected, mutated Carla, and parting ways with Leon, the real Ada destroys Carla's "greatest creation" before it could fully hatch from its cocoon. Ada then receives a phone call from her organization about a new job, which she accepts.
Ada Wong was featured in the 1998–1999 manhua Shēnghuà Wēijī 2 ("Biohazard 2"). A romantic comedy retelling of the story of Resident Evil 2, centering on Leon, Claire and Ada, was released in the Taiwanese two-issue comic Èlíng Gǔbǎo II by Ching Win Publishing Co., Ltd. in 1999. Capcom screenwriters created two Resident Evil 2 radio dramas, broadcast on Radio Osaka in early 1999, and later released by publisher Suleputer as two separate CDs with the common title Biohazard 2 Drama Album, including Ikiteita Onna Spy Ada (lit. "Ada, the Female Spy, is Alive"). Set a few days after the events of the game, it deals with Ada's mission to retrieve Sherry Birkin's pendant with the G-virus sample from HUNK. Ada intercepts the delivery of the locket in the village of Loire in France, eliminating Hunk and his men, then survives an accidental T-virus leak. Ada escapes and realizes her feelings for Leon, deciding to quit the spy business and return to him. Canonically, the characters' story arcs are continued differently, as Ada keeps the pendant with the G-virus and resumes her activities as a spy.
Two action figures of Ada were included in the figure sets Resident Evil 2: Platinum Edition 2 by Toy Biz (1998) and Resident Evil 4: Series 1 by NECA (2005). Hot Toys released a 1/6 scale action figure of Ada in 2012. A few more Ada statuettes were also released in Japan only. Sony Music Entertainment's Biohazard: The Umbrella Chronicles Original Soundtrack features Ada on the covers. In 2011, Ada Wong was added to Bandai's Resident Evil Deck Building Game in the expansion Nightmare, described as "the card everyone has been waiting to see." Ada related items were also released with the pre-order and limited editions of Resident Evil 4. Ada made her first guest appearance in the browser-based social game Onimusha Soul (2013), where she was re-designed to fit the feudal Japan theme.
In the live-action film Resident Evil: Retribution (2012), Ada Wong is held captive by the Umbrella-controlled Jill Valentine and fights against Jill and Bad Rain, together with Alice. Despite their romantic involvement in the video game series, Li described Ada and Leon Kennedy's relationship in the film as "subtle". In Retribution, Ada is an associate of Wesker and had defected with him from Umbrella to save the remnants of mankind, while Leon is one of their mercenaries. All three of them survive the events of the movie.
The game series' Ada appears in the second CGI animated Resident Evil film, Resident Evil: Damnation (2012), set in an Eastern European war zone. Trailers for the film showed Ada introducing herself as a special investigator from the UN counter-bioterrorism agency BSAA. Ada is actually a spy, and such she is captured by President Svetlana Belikova of the film's fictitious Eastern Slav Republic, but manages to escape and meets up with Leon (who at first briefly fights with her), then survives and flees. She is last seen speaking to an unknown figure, offering him a stolen sample of the Dominant Plaga strains in exchange for the erasure of an arrest warrant that Svetlana and the BSAA had put against her.
Ada was generally very well received by critics. Lara Crigger of The Escapist found Ada to be not only "the femme fatale archetype given pixilated form" but also "a strong, feminist role model" that is "beautiful and sexual" in light of the existentialist philosophies of Simone de Beauvoir. In 2007, Ada was featured by Rob Wright of Tom's Games among the 50 greatest female characters in video game history, with a suggestion that she should be played by Kelly Hu in the live-action Resident Evil series. That same year, she was ranked second on the list of top "video game chicks" by ActionTrip. GameDaily featured her as their "Babe of the Week" in 2007 (described as a "gun-toting hottie" with capabilities to star in her own video game), also including her in the Babe of the Week galleries "Asian Beauties" and "Girl Power" (listed along with Claire Redfield, Jill and Sheva Alomar). IGN included her on the list of characters they would like to see return for Resident Evil 6.
Ada has been often described as one of the sexiest female characters in all of video gaming. GameTrailers listed this "sexy she-devil" at number five among top ten "gamer babes" in 2007. In 2008, UGO ranked Ada as the fourth top "videogame hottie", describing her as "drop dead gorgeous" and stating that they anticipate what the series has in store for her in the future, while Chris Buffa of GameDaily ranked her the 12th "hottest game babe". In 2009, this "kinda babe guys dream about" was featured in MSN's list of "gaming's hottest babes", as well as showcased in a similar article by Polish tabloid Fakt. In 2010, The Times of India listed her among the nine "sexiest babes" of action games, while AfterEllen ranked her as the 11th "hottest" female video game character. In 2011, Complex ranked her as 24th "best looking sideline chick in games", commenting on Ada's resemblance to Nikita from La Femme Nikita. That same year, PSU.com featured her among the sexiest PlayStation characters, stating, "super hot Chinese lady killing zombies, what is not to love?" In 2012, Larry Hester of Complex ranked her as 28th of the "hottest" women in video games, describing her as "enshrined in fanboy canon forever more," while Polish web portal Interia.pl included Ada from Resident Evil 6 among the "sexiest game heroines" of 2012. Ada was ranked as the eight sexiest female video game character by Scarlet Clearwater of Soletron in 2013.
Complex ranked Ada 19th on the 2011 list of "most diabolical video game she-villains", noting her "dragon-lady qualities." In 2013, Liz Lanier of Game Informer included Ada among top ten female villains in video games, stating that "whether you want to call her a bad guy or just an anti-hero, it's clear that her enemy is whoever gets in her way; if that happens to be a former ally, so be it." She was also included on the 2014 list of top ten "hottest" female villains in gaming by Travis Huber of Cheat Code Central.
Together with Leon, Ada was also included by Alexander Villafania in The Inquirer's 2007 list of the most memorable video game love teams. In 2011, "a highly disfunctional relationship" between Ada and Leon was ranked as the ninth top video game romance by James Hawkins of Joystick Division. Chris Warrington of PlayStation Official Magazine included Ada in her iconic red dress on the 2012 list of eight best dressed PlayStation characters, calling her "the wearer of the finest dress on the PlayStation." That same year, Complex's Larry Hester ranked her as the eight best Asian character in video games, stating that this "bad girl killed zombies like roaches with the sophistication of a ballet dancing gunslinger." In 2013, ZoominGames ranked Ada as number one top Asian female in gaming for her aura of mystery and combining "cool with sexy".
There has also been criticism of the character. Play editor Gavin Mackenzie criticized her perceived "bitch" personality in Resident Evil 4 in retrospective from the events of Resident Evil 2, while Matt Cundy of GamesRadar found Ada's outfit from Resident Evil 4 to be unsuitable for the game's theme, ranking her iconic "out-of-our-price-bracket Shanghai hooker" look as the most impractical of all main outfits of the series' stars and commenting that anyone dressing like she does to fight zombies "would have to be certifiably mental." Phil Hornshaw of GameFront wrote that Ada-centered plot of RE6 is the reason why it is "has the weirdest story in the series", as "everybody who died in Resident Evil 6 died because Simmons wanted to bang Ada Wong and Ada said no."
According to Retribution producer Jeremy Bolt, fans were "were very, very pleased with all of our choices [in the film], particularly Li Bingbing, who plays Ada Wong. They visited us on set last week, and they were really blown away by her." Contrary to Cundy's opinion, some film critics expressed a positive opinion about the practicality of Ada's high-slit dress. According to Li Bingbing speaking in 2012, the character has "a big fan base" in China.
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