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As a partner character[]

For much of Resident Evil 4, Ashley must rely on Leon S. Kennedy for protection as she cannot defend herself from enemies and traps. Therefore, she must be called to "wait" in her current location while Leon advances, or "hide" in nearby crates until Leon whistles to signal the all-clear. When in danger, Ashley will repeatedly scream "Leon, help!" to alert the player; if they fail to rescue her, she will either be kidnapped or killed, resulting in an instant game over.

Most enemies will simply damage Ashley, as they would with Leon. Others, like El Gigante, will kill her if she is not rescued in time. Regular Ganados and Cultists will attempt kidnapping her; the player must save her before she is carried outside of the area. In these situations, it is best to use bullets or the knife to hit the Ganado in the lower body, so as to not risk accidentally killing Ashley. It is worth noting that despite her visual struggles and efforts that Ashley will never escape from an enemy carrying her on her own.

Unlike Leon, Ashley cannot free herself from bear traps; the player must manually free her. In addition, her health will gradually deplete to as low as zero (though not killing her) until she is rescued. If she gets trapped, the player will hear her struggling against the bear trap while occasionally saying "Don't just stand there, help me". In this state, she is vulnerable to being hit by Leon or being picked up by a Ganado.

Ashley will not jump down from ladders; the player must stand by her and use the "Catch" command prompt to catch her. There are some ledges she can jump down through, however.

During some points of the game, Leon can let Ashley operate cranks in places where Leon cannot reach (such as the water room in the castle). In some instances, Leon can choose to operate the cranks himself or ask Ashley to do it instead (like the wrecking ball).

While wearing her Special 2 costume (the suit of armor), Ashley is unable to be killed and cannot be damaged at all. When enemies attempt to kidnap her, they will fall over. Also, when Leon catches her using the "CATCH" command prompt, he shows sign of back pain. When aiming in her direction as Leon, instead of ducking, Ashley's protective visor will lower. Ashley not ducking means she can potentially block the player's shots, but also block arrows and thrown weapons aimed at Leon.

As a playable character[]

For most of Chapter 3-4, Ashley will be controlled instead of Leon. The amount of health she has is based on how much and how far it has been extended by giving her Yellow Herbs while playing as Leon. Her inventory screen will use the default size, which starts out empty. Ashley does not have a knife to use, and during her gameplay segment, there will be no weapons to equip and use either.

The player can find ammo and health items and be given the chance to place them into Leon's inventory once reunited with him. Pesetas and treasure items obtained will be automatically transferred.

While in the Study, the player will encounter two cultists. Unlike the rest of the game where these enemies try to carry Ashley away, they instead will attack by using the strangle move. While here, the player can only defend themselves by throwing the lanterns in the room using the command prompt. The lanterns respawn by moving to the next room and then going back in. In the GameCube versions, Ashley can suplex cultists if the player hits them when opening a door. This was removed in all later versions.

Interestingly, the cultists do not simply try to carry Ashley away similarly to how they try when you are in control of Leon. Instead, they grab Ashley by the neck, left her off her feet, and strangle her. If Ashley does not escape their grasp before her health runs out, she gets a unique death animation (one of the few for Ashley) where the cultist breaks her neck and then places her onto an "over the shoulder carry", similarly how the CPU Ashley is handled. Ashley is presumed to be killed at this point; you can see her head slightly dangle while being handled this way. This contradicts the mission objective, as Ashley would have arguably less use to Los Illuminados in this state. The Armaduras simply attack her how they would Leon.

Sources[]

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