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The sixth installment of the Resident Evil series, Capcom's survival horror game Resident Evil 4 is centered around Leon Kennedy's mission to rescue Ashley Graham, the United States President's daughter, from a sinister cult, Los Illuminados, that is bent on world domination. The game's main single player campaign chronicles Kennedy's adventure though a rural part of Europe in search of Graham.

His mission reunites him with Ada Wong, a secret agent introduced in Resident Evil 2, who is a playable character in the game's other single player mode. In addition to Kennedy and Wong, there are three additional playable characters, Albert Wesker, Jack Krauser, and HUNK, in the game's Mercenaries minigame. The characters of Resident Evil 4 were designed by Masaki Yamanaka, and voiced by several actors including Paul Mercier, Carolyn Lawrence, Jim Ward, Sally Cahill, and Rino Romano.

Casting and development[edit]

thumb|right|A graphic illustrating the development of Leon Kennedy's character. Resident Evil 4's characters were designed by Masaki Yamanaka.[1] Prior to the game's release, many Capcom producers considered Resident Evil 4 to be a "risky" departure from the series' previous installments.[2] The game's creators sought to reinvent the series by adding a new type of enemy to the game, called "Ganados", as opposed to using the undead creatures from previous Resident Evil games.[2] Unlike other Resident Evil titles, Resident Evil 4's storyline was not centered around the Umbrella Corporation or its exploits.[2] Furthermore, producers expended additional detail to modify and update characters that had previously appeared in the series. In a documentary explaining the conception of the game's characters, a game designer stated he intended to make Leon Kennedy "look tougher, but also cool."[3]

The game's English voice actors recorded their parts in four sessions, over three to four months.[4] Capcom hired Shinsaku Ohara to serve as the game's voice acting, and translate the game's script.[1] In an interview with IGN, Carolyn Lawrence, who provided the voice for Ashley Graham, described her character as "vulnerable, because Leon has to come to her rescue all the time."[4] She also described Kennedy's character as "more brawn, perhaps than brain."[4] In addition to the voice acting, the game's designer detailed each cinematic sequence so that each character's facial expressions matched the tone of their voice actor.[3]

Main characters[edit]

thumb|right|Left to right: Leon Kennedy, Ashley Graham and Ada Wong.

Leon Kennedy[edit]

Leon S. Kennedy (voiced by Paul Mercier) is the protagonist and main playable character in Resident Evil 4.[5] After surviving the T-Virus outbreak in Raccoon City during the events of Resident Evil 2, Kennedy is hired to work with the United States government.[6] During this period of time, Kennedy underwent a period of extensive training, turning him from a rookie police officer into an elite government agent.[7] In Resident Evil 4, he is assigned to rescue the United States President’s daughter, Ashley Graham, who is being held captive by a European cult called “Los Illuminados”.[8] His mission pits him against hordes of indoctrinated villagers, mutated abominations and characters from his past.[9]

Ada Wong[edit]

Ada Wong (voiced by Sally Cahill) is an operative for an unknown company, who is attempting to retrieve a sample of Las Plagas.[10] She originally met Kennedy during the events of Resident Evil 2.[11] She saves Kennedy's life on many occasions and helps him rescue Ashley Graham.[9] Wong waits till the game's end to reveal her true agenda to Kennedy, and steals the sample of Las Plagas. She provides Kennedy and Graham with a jet ski to escape the destruction of the complex and escapes via helicopter.[9] Wong is a playable character in "Assignment Ada", a short side mission, and "Separate Ways", which chronicles her actions in Resident Evil 4's background.[9][12]

Ashley Graham[edit]

Ashley Graham (voiced by Carolyn Lawrence) is the president's daughter in Resident Evil 4.[13] A college student living in Massachusetts, Ashley is abducted by a mysterious cult while attempting to return home.[8] She is taken to an undisclosed part of Europe and held captive in a village inhabited by humans infected by mind-controlling parasites. The cult's leader, Osmund Saddler, plans to infect her with Las Plagas, to carry out the cult's secret agenda.[14] She is rescued by Kennedy, and works alongside him to thwart the cult's plans and escape. In addition to being able to receive commands and perform simple tasks, Ashley briefly becomes a playable character for a portion of the game.[9]

Osmund Saddler[edit]

Osmund Saddler (voiced by Michael Gough) is the primary antagonist in Resident Evil 4.[15] He is the leader of Los Illuminados, the cult responsible for Ashley Graham's kidnapping.[8] Saddler plans on infecting Graham with a sample of Las Plagas, in hope that she will return home and infect higher ranking members of the U.S. government.[14] Saddler then wishes to control them and seize control of the U.S., and then the world.[14] He uses samples of Las Plagas to infect and control villagers and even a local castellan to perform his bidding.[16] However, his plans are foiled by the combined efforts of Kennedy, Wong and Luis Sera. Kennedy, with the assistance of Wong, kills Saddler near the game's conclusion, and destroys his research and production complex.[9]

Supporting characters[edit]

Luis Sera[edit]

Luis Sera (voiced by Rino Romano) is a European researcher, who is attempting to assist Kennedy and Wong in their efforts against Los Illuminados.[17] He is extremely familiar with the village where the game is set and formerly worked with Osmund Saddler to research and develop the cult's mind-controlling parasites.[18] After realizing Saddler intends to use the parasites for malicious purposes, he begins to attempt to sabotage the cult's mission. Sera meets Kennedy after both men are captured by villagers.[9] He introduces himself as a former policeman from Madrid, who became dissatisfied with his job.[19] Sera continues to assist Kennedy, but is ultimately killed by Saddler before he can present him with a sample of Las Plagas.[9][20]

Jack Krauser[edit]

[[:File:Jack-krauser-57542.jpg|thumb|right|Jack Krauser, voiced by Jim Ward, is a recurring antagonist in Resident Evil 4.]] Jack Krauser (voiced by Jim Ward) is a mercenary hired to do Saddler's bidding.[21] Originally a US government operative, Krauser was friends with Kennedy, before apparently perishing in a helicopter crash.[22] Krauser is responsible for kidnapping Graham, claiming he committed the act to gain Saddler's trust. He has little interest in Saddler's agenda, and only seeks to recover a sample of Las Plagas for Albert Wesker.[23][24][25] In addition to being a skilled knife fighter and archer, Krauser possesses superhuman speed, stamina, strength, and gained the ability to transform his left arm into a giant mutated claw.[9] He confronts Kennedy twice in the game. After apparently dying during a fight with Kennedy, Krauser appears as a boss in the "Assignment: Ada" scenario, and is killed once and for all by Ada in the "Separate Ways" scenario.[9][12]

Krauser appeared in the "Operation Javier" section of Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles, which served as a prequel to the events of Resident Evil 4. He was partnered with Leon during the scenario.[26][27]

Ramon Salazar[edit]

Ramon Salazar (voiced by Rene Mujica) is the castellan of the castle that serves as a setting for part of the game.[28] He comes from a noble family, who were responsible for sealing the Las Plagas beneath the castle's grounds.[16] Years later, Saddler, a cultist who worships Las Plagas, persuades Salazar to unearth the parasites, causing them to spread across the local area.[16] Salazar confronts Kennedy and Graham several times during Resident Evil 4, and mutates into a gigantic monster in his final meeting with Kennedy.[9]

Bitores Mendez[edit]

Bitores Mendez (voiced by Jesse Corti) is a village chief who is ordered to stop Kennedy from finding and extracting Graham.[29] In addition to commanding several possessed villagers, Mendez possesses superhuman strength, as well as a large Las Plagas parasite inside of him.[9] He leads the hunt for Leon and Ashley early in the game, and leaves various documents pertaining to the game's plot around the village. He is killed by Kennedy at the end of the village area.[9]

Minor characters[edit]

  • Ingrid Hunnigan (voiced by Salli Saffioti) is Kennedy's radio contact throughout the game. In addition to supplying Kennedy with intelligence reports, she also provides the player with general gameplay advice. Kennedy and Hunnigan eventually lose contact with each other, but then regain contact at the end of the game. She also makes a cameo in Resident Evil Degeneration.[30]
  • Mike is a helicopter pilot, who is deployed to support Kennedy and extract Graham. He pilots a heavily armed helicopter, and is able to defeat many enemies before being shot down by one of Saddler's minions.[9]
  • The Merchant (voiced by Paul Mercier)[31] is a mysterious salesperson who sells, buys, and upgrades various weapons and items. He also operates several shooting galleries throughout the game.[9]


Resident Evil 4's characters and story generally received positive commentary. GameSpot's Greg Kasavin praised the game's voice acting, but claimed that it was betrayed by "some uncharacteristically goofy dialogue."[32] Yahoo! Games' Adam Pavlacka and GameSpot's, Kevin VanOrd, acclaimed Capcom for adding great amounts of detail to the game's characters.[33][34] IGN's Matt Casamassina went into further detail in his review for Resident Evil 4, praising not only the detailed character design, but also the fight choreography and three-dimensional modeling within cinematic sequences.[35] Casamassina also complimented the game's voice actors, especially Paul Mercier, commenting, "For once, the characters are believable because Capcom has hired competent actors to supply their voices. Leon in particular is very well produced."[35] Diego Luna, a writer for Cerise Magazine, criticized Ashley Graham's character for being stereotypical, claiming, "[Graham] is a rapid departure from previous women in Resident Evil, who relied on their own guile and skill to survive."[36]

IGN and Nintendo Power specifically recognized Resident Evil 4's character design and voice acting. Nintendo Power acknowledged the title's voice acting in its 2005 Power Awards,[37] while IGN gave Resident Evil 4 awarded the game the "artistic design" award in its the "Best of 2005" segment.[38] The International Game Developers Association nominated Resident Evil 4 for their best "visual arts" award,[39] but lost the award to Sony's Shadow of the Colossus.[40]

thumb|right|Collectible Resident Evil 4 figures by Agatsuma Entertainment. The popularity of the game's characters prompted the release of action figures based on the likeness of Leon Kennedy and Jack Krauser.[41][42] Agatsuma Entertainment has also created various miniature collectibles based on several main characters and enemies from Resident Evil 4.[43] Furthermore, the merchant has made numerous appearances in media within video game culture. A comical rendition of the merchant appeared in an issue of VG Cats, a popular web comic, in 2005,[44] as well as Penny Arcade within the same year.[45] Additionally, a member of Mega64 attempted to act out the merchant’s character in a public area, by imitating the character’s appearance and voice.[46]

References and notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Game Credits for Resident Evil 4". Moby Games. 2005. Retrieved 2008-07-10.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  2. ^ a b c Staff, (2004). "E3 2004: Resident Evil 4 Interview". IGN. pp. 1–3. Retrieved 2008-05-27.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  3. ^ a b The Making of Resident Evil 4 (DVD). Capcom. 2005. 
  4. ^ a b c Carle, Chris (2005-08-02). "Babe Interview: Carolyn Lawrence". IGN. pp. 2–3. Retrieved 2008-06-04. 
  5. ^ Dan Birlew, "leon s. kennedy," Resident Evil 4: Bradygames Signature Series Guide (Indianapolis: Pearson Education, 2006), 4-5.
  6. ^ Capcom Production Studio 4 (1999-09-22). Resident Evil 3: Nemesis. PlayStation. Capcom. Epilogue: Leon Scott Kennedy is confronted with a man who claims to be a U.S. government agent... He looks at Leon and says, "But you have value. This is a good deal. Make your choice." Without regret or hesitation, Leon closes his eyes and then sharply responds. 
  7. ^ Capcom Production Studio 4 (2005-10-25). Resident Evil 4. PlayStation 2. Capcom. Leon Kennedy: I received special training via a secret organization working under the direct control of the President. 
  8. ^ a b c Capcom Production Studio 4 (2005-10-25). Resident Evil 4. PlayStation 2. Capcom. Leon Kennedy: It was right before I was to take on my duties of protecting the President's daughter when she was abducted. That's the ultimate reason I'm in this lonely and rural part of Europe. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Rorie, Matthew (2004). "Resident Evil 4 - Gamespot Game Guide". Gamespot. Retrieved 2008-05-14.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  10. ^ Dan Birlew, "ada wong", Resident Evil 4: Bradygames Signature Series Guide (Indianapolis: Pearson Education, 2006), 10.
  11. ^ Capcom Production Studio 4 (2005-10-25). Resident Evil 4. PlayStation 2. Capcom. Leon Kennedy: Six years had passed since that horrendous incident. 
  12. ^ a b "Nix", (2005-09-26). "Resident Evil 4: Separate Ways". IGN. Retrieved 2008-05-21. 
  13. ^ Dan Birlew, "ashley graham", Resident Evil 4: Bradygames Signature Series Guide (Indianapolis: Pearson Education, 2006), 6.
  14. ^ a b c Capcom Production Studio 4 (2005-10-25). Resident Evil 4. PlayStation 2. Capcom. Our Mission (File): we must influence the minds of the people who advise the President. After this is done, the rest of the departments will quickly fall under our sway.. 
  15. ^ Dan Birlew, "osmund saddler", Resident Evil 4: Bradygames Signature Series Guide (Indianapolis: Pearson Education, 2006), 11.
  16. ^ a b c Capcom Production Studio 4 (2005-10-25). Resident Evil 4. PlayStation 2. Capcom. Castellan Memo (File): Long ago there once was a religious group that had deep roots in this region called the Los Illuminados. Unjustly however, the first castellan of the castle took away their rights and powers...The reason why I released the Las Plagas from deep under the castle and gave them to Lord Saddler was not only to repay for the sins of my ancestors but I felt certain that the Lord would make better use of this power to help save the world.  line feed character in |quote= at position 457 (help)
  17. ^ Dan Birlew, "luis sera", Resident Evil 4: Bradygames Signature Series Guide (Indianapolis: Pearson Education, 2006), 7.
  18. ^ Capcom Production Studio 4 (2005-10-25). Resident Evil 4. PlayStation 2. Capcom. Sera and the Third Party (File): The whereabouts of Sera are still unknown. Most likely he's using an old secret passage taught to him by his grandfather, who used to hunt in this region long ago. I'm pretty certain that he's hiding our property somewhere in the forest. 
  19. ^ Capcom Production Studio 4 (2005-10-25). Resident Evil 4. PlayStation 2. Capcom. Luis Sera: I used to be a cop in Madrid. Now I'm just a good-for-nothing guy, who happens to be quite the ladies' man. Policía... you put your life on the line, no one really appreciates you enough for it. Being a hero isn't what it's cracked up to be anymore... 
  20. ^ Capcom Production Studio 4 (2005-10-25). Resident Evil 4. PlayStation 2. Capcom. Capture Luis Sera (File): It appears he took some vaccines when he stole our "sample". The vaccines we can do without, but we must retrieve the "sample" for it is our life blood. 
  21. ^ Dan Birlew, "jack krauser", Resident Evil 4: Bradygames Signature Series Guide (Indianapolis: Pearson Education, 2006), 8.
  22. ^ Capcom Production Studio 4 (2005-10-25). Resident Evil 4. PlayStation 2. Capcom. Jack Krauser: I died in a crash, two years ago. Is that what they told you? 
  23. ^ Capcom Production Studio 4 (2005-10-25). Resident Evil 4. PlayStation 2. Capcom. Leon Kennedy: What do you want?/ Jack Krauser: Hmph. The sample Saddler developed, that's all. 
  24. ^ Capcom Production Studio 4 (2005-10-25). Resident Evil 4. PlayStation 2. Capcom. Jack Krauser: Just so we understand each other clearly, I don't trust you. Nor does Wesker. If you try to do anything clever, I will kill you. 
  25. ^ Capcom Production Studio 4 (2005-10-25). Resident Evil 4. PlayStation 2. Capcom. Leon Kennedy: You got her involved just for that?! /Jack Krauser: All for Umbrella's sake. 
  26. ^ Glifford, Kevin (2009-09-09). "Leon and Krauser Reunite in RE: Darkside Chronicles". 1UP. Retrieved 2009-09-10. 
  27. ^ Thorsen, Tor (2009-09-26). "Capcom illuminates Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles' new chapter". Gamespot. Retrieved 2009-09-27. 
  28. ^ Dan Birlew, "ramon salazar," Resident Evil 4: Bradygames Signature Series Guide (Indianapolis: Pearson Education, 2006), 4-5.
  29. ^ Dan Birlew, "bitores mendez," Resident Evil 4: Bradygames Signature Series Guide (Indianapolis: Pearson Education, 2006), 9.
  30. ^ Dan Birlew, "ingrid hunnigan," Resident Evil 4: Bradygames Signature Series Guide (Indianapolis: Pearson Education, 2006), 11.
  31. ^ "PAUL MERCIER". UnwiredtvMedia. 2009-09-21. Retrieved 2009-10-25. 
  32. ^ Kasavin, Greg (2005-01-10). "Resident Evil 4 for GameCube Review". GameSpot. pp. 1, 3. Retrieved 2008-05-17. 
  33. ^ Pavlacka, Adam (2005-10-27). "Resident Evil 4 (PS2)". Yahoo! Games. Retrieved 2008-05-18. 
  34. ^ VanOrd, Kevin (2007-06-19). "Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition". Gamespot. Retrieved 2008-05-18. 
  35. ^ a b Casamassina, Matt (2005). "IGN: Resident Evil 4 Review". IGN. Retrieved 2008-05-17.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  36. ^ Luna, Diego. "Shotgun vs. Skirt: Gender in Resident Evil 4," Cerise Magazine (October 2007). Retrieved on 2008-05-18.
  37. ^ Nintendo Power, Staff (2006-05), "2005 Nintendo Power Awards", Nintendo Power, 203, p. 55  Check date values in: |date= (help).
  38. ^ Staff, "The Best of 2005". IGN. Retrieved 2008-05-28. 
  39. ^ Sinclair, Brendan (2006-02-27). "IGDA award nominees announced". Gamespot. Retrieved 2008-05-28. 
  40. ^ Thorsen, Tor (2006). "Colossus casts shadow over GDC Awards". GameSpot. Retrieved July 30, 2006.  External link in |work= (help)
  41. ^ Brookhart, Ryan (2007-10-20). "Ryan Brookhart has a Preview of the Hot Toys RESIDENT EVIL 4 Figures". Retrieved 2008-05-21. 
  42. ^ Roswell, Daniel (2007-10-21). "Resident Evil Figures". Retrieved 2008-05-21. 
  43. ^, Agatsuma Entertainment, Retrieved on 2008-05-21.
  44. ^ Ramsoomair, Scott (2005). "VG Cats 137 - Medicinal Herbs". VG Cats. Retrieved 2008-05-17.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  45. ^ "Big Savings In Every Department". Penny Arcade. 2005-01-14. Retrieved 2009-04-11. 
  46. ^ Mega64 (2006). Mega64: Resident Evil 4 (Web-Series, DVD). Awful Video.  External link in |title= (help)

External links[edit]