For Leon's character in the film-adaption, see Leon Kennedy (film version).
I'm gonna scrub this virus from the face of the earth.

Leon Scott Kennedy is an American agent operating with the U.S. federal government. Formerly, Leon was a police officer with the Raccoon Police Department. He is one of the Resident Evil series primary protagonists.

Leon burns with the strong desire to protect and serve, and life as a cadet was an eye-opening experience. At the age of 21, Leon was assigned to work for the Raccoon City Police Department after graduating from the police academy. He arrived at Raccoon City on September 29, 1998, a day later than he was scheduled to. Due to the events in Raccoon City, this would be his first and only day as a police officer.


Raccoon City

Hey! It's up to us to take out Umbrella!

On September 29, 1998, Leon arrived in Raccoon City for his assigned police department. Having overslept, the sun had long since set when he reached the city limits via a highway. Seemingly abandoned as a blockade by the U.S. military earlier, he was unaware of the t-Virus outbreak.

File:Leon S. Kennedy Darkside Chronicles Artwork.jpg

Reaching the city's business district, Leon stopped his car to inspect a body on the ground. Being unaware of the outbreak, he was caught by surprise when several zombies (and the body he thought dead) tried to attack him. Escaping from the group, Leon stumbled onto another survivor named Claire Redfield, who had arrived to the city in search of her missing brother, Chris. Together, Leon and Claire decided to seek refuge within the RPD's headquarters, but after arriving there, they get separated when Leon's police car gets destroyed, both of them barely getting out of the vehicle alive when a truck driven by an infected crashed into it, forcing the two to search for a way out of the city separately.

During his probe of the RPD precinct, Leon meets another survivor named Ada Wong, a woman who claimed she was looking for her missing boyfriend, John Clemens. They soon developed a bond, and Leon even took a bullet for her, fired by Annette Birkin. Leon and Ada managed to fight against most of the enemies, but soon, Ada is wounded by a mutated William Birkin's claw. During that time, Leon had found out from Annette Birkin that Ada was actually a spy, and only came to steal the G-virus. However, Leon doesn't believe this until Ada tells him herself. Some time later, Ada saves Leon's life when he is cornered by T-00. She shoots the Tyrant on its back to get its attention, successfully doing so. She is then attacked, grabbed and raised up by the tyrant, in which she then retaliates with a series of gunshots to its face, making the tyrant fall into a lava pit. However, Ada was mortally wounded in the process. She then told Leon the truth about everything. Ada shortly falls unconscious, which Leon mistakes for death. However, at the near end, a mysterious figure (with Ada's voice and silhouette) helps Leon (or Claire) by giving them a rocket launcher to help them defeat the now mutated T-00. Leon is reunited with Claire, and the two (along with William and Annette Birkin's daughter, Sherry Birkin) make their escape through a secret railway and then escape via the train, leaving the mutated Birkin to be destroyed in the self-destruct sequence.


Following the Raccoon City incident, Claire and Leon split up, and she continued her search for Chris, while Leon continued to look after Sherry. Leon and Sherry were soon apprehended by the US government; Sherry was taken away and placed in protective custody while Leon was interrogated. Apparently, Leon never mentioned Claire or Ada, but the government were interested in recruiting him, since he now possessed the experience they were looking for; Leon accepted.

His subsequent training as a government agent turned him from a simple police rookie into an expert special agent. He became much more competent in terms of weapons handling and unarmed combat, specifically knife combat.

In November 1998, Leon sent a friend of his, detective Ark Thompson out to investigate Umbrella's facilities on Sheena Island. The following month, Claire set out for Europe to continue her search for Chris. She was captured by Umbrella after being caught trespassing in the Umbrella facility in Paris. While on the island prison of Rockfort Island, Claire sent Leon an e-mail asking him to inform Chris of her location so that he could come and rescue her. Leon managed to track Chris down personally, and told him of Claire's situation, and Chris headed for Rockfort Island after her.

Gaiden (Non-canon)

Please note that the following section pertains to a game that is non-canon.

Sometime after the Raccoon City incident, Leon; as a member of an underground anti-Umbrella organization, was sent to eliminate a prototype B.O.W. that was believed to be among the passengers and crew of the luxury ocean cruiser, the Starlight. Upon his arrival, Leon discovered that there had been a t-Virus outbreak on board. At some point, Leon met a young survivor named Lucia, and fought a good candidate for the B.O.W.: a large gray humanoid who could produce tentacles from its abdomen and transform into an amoeba. After 24 hours without contact, fellow operative Barry Burton was sent to find Leon. He was eventually found unconscious. After he and Barry saved Lucia from the B.O.W. again, Barry left Lucia with Leon. When they saw Barry on the security camera talking to Umbrella, who had contacted him on the way there, they found him, and Leon was seemingly betrayed by Barry. While Barry and Lucia were on an Umbrella-owned submarine, Leon killed the B.O.W., who was trying to destroy the ship's fuel converter, by blowing him into the steam ducts. Afterwards, Barry and Lucia found Leon. In the end, Leon, along with Barry and Lucia, killed the real B.O.W., a fully-grown parasite that had been removed from Lucia's body, with a hail of gunfire. A small cut on Leon's neck was bleeding green blood, meaning he was actually the shape-shifting Tyrant. What happened to the real Leon is not revealed.

This game is non-canon as its plot is contradicted by the main series in key parts, and its events are ignored.

Operation Javier

Resident Evil The Darkside Chronicles - Operation Javier - Leon Scott Kennedy render

Leon clad in his Special Operations uniform during Operation Javier, 2002.

The virus continues to grow... Altering its form, strengthening perpetually until the day comes when it can be destroyed.

In 2002, before the destruction of the Russian branch of Umbrella, Leon was sent to a small South American country as part of a secret military detachment after the headquarters were informed that a former researcher from Umbrella contacted a man named Javier Hidalgo. Due to the difficult nature of the operation, Jack Krauser, a seasoned operative with a history of brave service, was selected to be Leon's partner.

Krauser and Leon were sent on a mission by the U.S. government to infiltrate this small South American country. Finding Javier was their objective since he was a drug lord who has taken de-facto control over a large area of the jungle. He ruled the entire area absolutely. The small government was unable to do anything about Javier's control of the drug trade, so Krauser and Leon have been called in. The U.S. government had received information that a former Umbrella researcher had somehow entered the region. Sources indicated that something strange was going on, but no accurate information could be obtained. Unwilling to risk a Biohazardous outbreak, a secret military agency paired Leon and Krauser and sent them into this volatile region to determine what, if anything, was going on.

They later found themselves having to cooperate as a two-man cell in a t-Virus outbreak. Leon also met a mysterious girl called Manuela, who seemed to be the only survivor of the village, though it was unknown why she didn't escape. Manuela turned out to be Javier's daughter; she contracted a rare disease, and was kept alive by her father through the T-Veronica virus. While exploring Javier's compound, Leon opened up to Krauser about his hellish night in Raccoon City, as well as Claire's encounter with the t-Veronica virus to explain how Umbrella's B.O.W.s worked.

Eventually, Leon and Krauser fought Javier after the crime lord combined himself with a plant infected with the T-Veronica virus. Manuela assisted them by unleashing the effects of the virus on her father. Javier was killed, and Manuela was taken into government custody. Leon lost his partnership with Krauser after the latter is discharged from an injury during the mission. Sometime later that year, Leon learned that his former partner died in an accident.

Los Illuminados

File:Leon RE4.jpg
Guess that's a local's way of breaking the ice. Anyway, you know what this is all about. My assignment is to search for the President's missing daughter.

In 2004 Leon was assigned to guard the newly-elected President Graham's family. When when President Graham's daughter Ashley was kidnapped, Leon's first mission under the new President was to track her down. Information gathered pointed to the kidnappers being located in a remote area of Europe. Leon investigated on his own, along with two members of the local police. Unfortunately, it seemed something bizarre happened to the local townsfolk, and after the two officers disappeared, Leon found himself relying on his survival skills in a deadly fight for survival.

Leon learned from his superiors that the perpetrators were a group called "Los Illuminados" (Spanish, meaning "The Illuminated"), a religious cult led by a man named Osmund Saddler. This cult used a mysterious parasitic organism known as "Las Plagas" (Spanish for "the swarm") to take control of the local townsfolk, as well as many others around the area, such as a group of Mercenaries. Although a seemingly hopeless situation, the fanatical cult found the formidable Leon to be more than they bargained for, as he foiled attempt after attempt to kill him.

During the course of his mission, Leon was helped by Luis Sera, a man who was later revealed to be a researcher who used to work for Saddler, but betrayed him. Leon also once again has a chance encounter with Ada, who is also involved in this incident. She provides assistance to Leon, but has a fight of her own to battle out as well. Leon is assisted by Ingrid Hunnigan, an information analyst and fellow government official via a communicator. As Leon progresses however, he finds the transmission hijacked by the cult, and he is forced to fend for himself.

Leon eventually finds Ashley in a church, and he becomes responsible for her safety, as the two make their way around Los Illuminados-controlled area. It is revealed however, that both Leon and Ashley have been injected with the Plagas and are now in a race against time to find a cure for this before they are forever turned into Saddler's slaves. Acquiring weapons from a mysterious Merchant, Leon manages to fight his way through many harrowing perils within the local village and a mysterious Castle run by the cult. He eventually fights against two of Saddler's underlings, village chief Bitores Mendez, and the Castle's castellan, Ramon Salazar. Leon also confronts his former comrade Jack Krauser, who was now working as a double agent for both a mystery party and Saddler. It is revealed that this mysterious third player in the conflict is none other than Albert Wesker, whom Ada is also working for. Unbeknownst to Leon, a secret battle is being waged behind the scenes, which is explored in Ada's unlockable scenario, "Separate Ways". Eventually, Ashley is abducted, and Leon must race against time to rescue her before her Plaga fully develops, not to mention his own. With continued support from Ada, Leon fights his way through a local military base, where Saddler and the cult have taken refuge. Fighting against both, a deadly enemy and the enemy within, this battle tests all of Leon's strengths and skills. Leon fights against Krauser for the last time, and eventually saves Ashley and himself after removing Las Plagas from within them by using a special radiation machine, developed by Luis late during his mission. Afterwards, Leon battles Saddler in his true form, and with Ada's help (who provides him with a special rocket launcher), is able to put an end to him and his plot.

After the battle, Ada takes the Plagas sample from Leon at gunpoint and makes her getaway, but gives Leon and Ashley a means to escape as well, via a jet-ski. Ashley invites Leon to her residence for "overtime", but Leon politely declines. Despite this turn of events, after completing his mission, he talks with Hunnigan, who finally manages to re-establish contact. He compliments her on her appearance (she isn't wearing any glasses at this point) and lightly flirts with her by asking for her number, to which she rejects his advances and reminds him that he's "still on duty". Upon being left in the dust by a second woman, Leon can only reply with a disheartened look, "...story of my life." Sometime after the incident, Leon filed a report, known as the "Kennedy Report", explaining his experience on this mission, which would be read by other agents, including Chris Redfield.

Harvardville and WilPharma

Shoot 'em in the head.
Resident Evil Degeneration - Leon Scott Kennedy render

Leon as he appears during the Harvardville and WilPharma outbreaks.

In 2005, A year after the events of Resident Evil 4. WilPharma's head of R&D released the t-Virus in a Harvardville Airport Terminal.[5] The building was locked down and the government sent in the Marines along with the Special Response Team to clear out the zombies.[5]

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.[5] Under his leadership and advice, they learned how to effectively kill the zombies and rescued five survivors, including Claire Redfield.[5]

After saving them, Leon was involved in the fight with Curtis Miller, the Marines and Angela Miller at WilPharma.[5] He was able to save Angela and kill the G-virus-infected Curtis Miller.[5] At the end, he, Claire and Angela exposed Frederic Downing for escaping Raccoon City with the "T" and G-virus samples, thet-Virus incident at the airport, and setting a time bomb in the WilPharma building in order to secretly sell the last of the G-virus data, t-Virus along with its vaccine, and the G-virus.[5]

As the incident came to a close, Leon was called in for yet another mission.[5] He and Claire parted ways, with the two hoping that they will each meet again someday under far more "normal" circumstances.[5]

Tall Oaks Incident

File:6730457489 2654a82ea1 b.jpg

Over a decade after the incident in Raccoon City, Leon was sent to investigate an outbreak in the American town of Tall Oaks, where a bioterrorist attack infected some 70,000 people.


Leon wears a full-body RPD uniform in Resident Evil 2 with a vest, in contrast to other officers in the game who wear summer uniforms. This outfit is predominantly different shades of blue. He has two alternate costumes to wear in the game that changes his shooting style with the Handgun. The first is a casual outfit consisting of a leather jacket with a picture of a skull on the back and jeans, while the second costume is a tank top with cargo pants and an RPD cap. The Nintendo 64 version replaced these costumes with a S.T.A.R.S. uniform and another consisting of camouflage pants with T-shirt, leather vest and sunglasses.

In Resident Evil 4, Leon wears a short-sleeved black 5.11 shirt, blue 5.11 pants, black Magnum combat boots, and a brown B3 bomber jacket. However, he loses the jacket early in the game, much to the chagrin of players who liked its look. When playing Ada's scenario Separate Ways, you do however learn the previously unknown fate of the jacket; it was stolen by a Ganado when Leon and Luis were captured at the end of Chapter 1-1. He sports a variety of equipment and gear around his waist, including a attache case on the small of his back, double pistol mag pouches, navigation light, rappel, and radio pouch. A drop leg holster is strapped to his thigh, and he also wears a brown leather shoulder holster. Later in the game, the player has the option of acquiring the Tactical Vest, which puts a black assault vest and assorted gear on over Leon's standard outfit, making him look quite intimidating as well as dramatically increasing his constitution. The vest reduces damage by 30% as well.

After the player beats the game for the first time, they unlock Leon's classic RPD uniform from Resident Evil 2, albeit updated. This updated uniform was used again in Darkside Chronicles for "Memories of a Lost CIty".

In the PlayStation 2 and Wii ports of RE 4, he is given a classic mafia-style outfit that is unlocked along with the Chicago Typewriter after the player clears the "Separate Ways" scenario. Since the typewriter has infinite ammo, Leon will simply tilt his hat when the reload button is pushed and if the player hits reload four times, Leon will throw his hat in the air and catch it. Wearing the Mafia costume will change Leon's pose on the attaché case screen while the typewriter is equipped and will change the typewriter's magazine from a standard box magazine to a drum magazine. The mafia outfit also changes the look of Leon's knife. Instead of a, Combat Knife it becomes a switch-blade to complete the authentic criminal motif. This change is purely cosmetic, and does not affect the performance of the knife at all.

Leon's Degeneration attire is similar to that of his outfit from RE 4, albeit with a new, leather jacket, lighter gray "5.11" shirt, and different-colored pants.

In RE 2, Leon's primary weapon is a VP70, a graduation gift from his father and uncle. In RE 4, Leon uses a 9mm handgun designed by Joe Kendo especially for Leon. This prized weapon makes a reappearance along side Leon in Degeneration, but is accompanied by a Glock 30, which Leon uses as a backup pistol. In the player manual of The Darkside Chronicles, it mentions that Leon's weapon of choice is the Magnum for "Operation Javier", and the Shotgun for "Memories of a Lost City".

In Resident Evil 6,Leon is wearing a similar attire from RE4. Except, this time, he sports a dark brown leather jacket with white stripes on the sleeves, a black buttoned shirt, and a red t-shirt beneath that. His pants are a light grey, and he wears similar shoes to his Resident Evil 4 incarnation. Leon has also grown a beard and mustache, and his hair is a bit messier in Resident Evil 6.

In other media

Resident Evil: Retribution

Main article: Leon Kennedy (film version)

Paul W. S. Anderson confirmed that Leon will make his live-action debut in Resident Evil: Retribution. The actor Johann Urb will portray him.

Resident Evil: Damnation

Leon appears in the animated film Resident Evil: Degeneration and will return in the sequel called Resident Evil: Damnation.[6]

Resident Evil Deck Building Game


Leon is a character in the base set of the Resident Evil DBG. He specializes in handguns, and his abilities are appropriately similar to Krauser's. Leon's level one effect allows him to decrease the amount of ammo needed to use handgun type weapons. His Level 2 effect allows him to use any handgun he has twice, easily doubling whatever damage he was set to deal to a target. In additon, weapons that have effects that can only be triggered following an Explore action can also have their effects used twice. The Silver Ghost and the Punisher for example, can be easily exploited in this manner.

A second Leon character card has been revealed for the expansion set Alliance. and seems to be based on the Darkside Chronicles rendition of his Resident Evil 2 self. This Leon card does not specialize in handguns, or any weapon for that matter. His Level 1 effect allows the player to move one card from his or her Discard Pile to the bottom of their Inventory. To aid this, his Level 2 effect allows the player to move the card at the bottom of their Inventory to the top, ensuring that they will draw the designated card next turn or through another card's effect. Both of the above Leon cards have 80 Health.

A third Leon card was added in the third expansion set Outbreak, is based on his RE4 appearance, and has new abilities. His Level 1 ability allows the player to put a card from their Hand on top of their Inventory during their turn. This has uses such as saving the Rocket Launcher from the Base set (if owned) until you predict a powerful card, such as Albert Wesker from the first expansion set Alliance. His Level 2 effect state that during a player's turn, they can exchange card in their Hand for an Action card in their Discard Pile. This version of Leon has 70 Health.

A fourth Leon card is one of the ten characters in the Nightmare set. He mimics the effect of the Parting Ways action card, by allowing the player to Trash a card from their hand to gain one worth up to 20 Gold more.



Leon with his bloodhound in Resident Evil 1.5.

Leon original

Leon's first character design.

  • Leon's story was different in Resident Evil 1.5, the prototype version of Resident Evil 2. Still the unlucky rookie cop, instead of coming into town upon Raccoon City's destruction as he did in the final version, in the original draft, Leon and a small group of cops are holed up in the Police Station, having battled fiercely since the beginning of the incident. Leon had entered service a few days prior. The Precinct would be compromised shortly before the start of the game, and Leon would declare to the surviving morale-drained cops that they have to brave the gauntlet of horrors outside and escape or be doomed to wait for their death as the game starts. Leon's scenario originally had two supporting characters: Marvin Branagh and Ada Wong (who instead wore a researcher's outfit, and was known as "Linda").
  • A casual portrait of Leon with a bloodhound was featured in Resident Evil 1.5's promotional artwork.
  • In the conceptual designs for Leon, there are numerous illustrations of him and Elza Walker (the early version of Claire) wearing an armored vest with Umbrella's logo and the acronym U.S.S. (suggesting that it belonged to the Umbrella Security Service, HUNK's unit). This was part of a proposed armor system for Resident Evil 1.5.
  • Leon had two different character designs, but Capcom eventually settled for the way he looked in the final version of Resident Evil 2. When Ayumi Saito interviewed producer Shinji Mikami, he claimed that Leon's original design looked too much like Chris Redfield.
  • Leon's arrival in Raccoon City in Resident Evil 2 is never fully explained. It was stated that the U.S. Army had placed a blockade around the city to prevent the infected from leaving, so Leon could not have been allowed to enter.
  • Following Leon's escape from Raccoon City, his position in the government helped him uncover Umbrella's dealings on Sheena Island. Leon requested that Ark Thompson go there to investigate. Ark's mission is playable in Resident Evil Survivor.
  • Leon seems to have a passing familiarity with Kevin Ryman, as evidenced by Kevin's ad-libs in the "Desperate Times" scenario of Resident Evil Outbreak File 2. Kevin was a member of the same unit as Leon. The two had met only once before the outbreak occurred. While they aren't friends, Kevin does have a fond opinion of Leon, mentioning whilst reading Leon's resume that: "The new guy? He seems pretty cool."
  • Leon along with Carlos Oliveira, and Billy Coen were the only playable characters in the Resident Evil series that did not directly meet Albert Wesker, the series' main antagonist, though Leon is the only one of the three who knows about him.
  • He became a temporary guardian for Sherry Birkin before they were rescued by the government. Claire Redfield had left after Leon urged her to continue looking for her brother.
  • Leon worked alongside Jack Krauser in the government. They were allies before Krauser faked his death.
  • In Resident Evil 4, if Leon checks a table full of rations while on the island, he will reminisce of his training days in the O.R.E. (Operational Readiness Evaluation/Exercises).
  • In September 2006, it was rumored that Leon was to be in the third Resident Evil Film. However, this did not turn out to be true and bringing Leon as a character in the film would contradict released information from Resident Evil: Apocalypse. Screen Gems created a promotional faux newspaper, "The Raccoon City Times", that detailed the background of Jill Valentine, and also included that she was dismissed from the S.T.A.R.S. after the death of her partner, Leon Kennedy.[1]

The following is an excerpt from "The Raccoon City Times" that is accessible through a link above.

During yesterday's press conference, Captain Hendersen
noted that Officer Valentine had been suffering from post-traumatic
stress disorder due to the recent death of her partner, Leon
Kennedy. "Jill Valentine is one of our most gifted and intelligent
police officers, but she just needs a good rest right now," said
Captain Henderson. "She made wild accusations of monsters
living in the Arklay Mountains. I think this leave of absence will
give her time to clear her head," Captain Henderson continued.
  • Leon will appear in the new movie "Resident Evil Retribution".
  • Leon, and the events he underwent in Resident Evil 4, are referenced by Chris Redfield in Resident Evil 5, when he refers to the Majini by saying "The whole town's gone to hell. The people here, they're acting like those Ganado detailed in the Kennedy report!"
  • Leon is pictured on the cards in both SNK vs Capcom Card Fighter's Clash and SNK vs Capcom: Card Fighters Expand Edition.
  • Leon is one of the playable characters in Capcom's Trick'N Snowboarder.
  • Dave Whittenberg has played both of Resident Evil's main male characters in non-canon spin off games that are based on their first game appearances. Chris in the Pachislot game and Leon in Operation Raccoon City.



Resident Evil 2

The Darkside Chronicles



Resident Evil 4

Resident Evil 6

Operation Raccoon City



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Leon profile screenshot
  2. Biohazard Archives II. Enterbrain. p. 60. 
  3. Resident Evil 4: Mobile Edition, Resident Evil History
  4. According to Resident Evil: Retribution updates
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 Resident Evil: Degeneration

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