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The Leon of 1998

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The Leon of 1998 was a Capcom staff blog published 15th May 2009. It is the fourth in a series of some twenty-three blogs detailing the development of the game.[1]


The Leon in Darkside Chronicles appears as he was in 1998. This was the year the T-Virus spread throughout Raccoon City and started the whole Resident Evil series. Leon must endure a bitter struggle to escape the doomed Raccoon City.

Leon looks a little different compared to his other appearances in Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil 4. He’s a fresh rookie cop, and his looks are somewhat soft. But we wanted to leave hints of the man Leon would become in Resident Evil 4.

We debated long and hard about what kind of voice to give this young Leon and still maintain his character’s image.

Paul Mercier did most of the voice work for Leon in Resident Evil 4. He also played Leon in the CG movie Resident Evil: Degeneration. Paul has become our image of what Leon’s character is.

We did the voice recording in Los Angeles. Paul’s real voice is actually low and cool, as it is in Degeneration. But since for this setting we needed a very young Leon, we had him say his lines in a higher pitch. Early recording sessions were drawn out at times because during intense lines, sometimes Paul would revert back to his natural, low voice. But, he was very professional. Once he understood what we were trying to accomplish with the character, recording went quite smoothly with little need for multiple takes. In my mind, Paul’s voice as Leon is dazzling. It’s perfect.

In Resident Evil 2, we were shown a Leon who was serious (almost to a fault), and a sucker for the ladies. We tried to maintain those qualities for him in Darkside Chronicles. The aim of the scenario concept for Darkside Chronicles was to preserve the feeling of the old games while making them more interesting, and to retell those stories from the first person perspective. So, we’ve decide to give Leon a little girl trouble in this game as well.
With Claire, Ada, and Sherry as the scenario’s female characters, something is bound to happen. ;-)

More than 10 years has gone by since the release of Resident Evil 2, and graphics technology has come a long way since then. Likewise, advancements in sound technology have made equally great strides. As such, I knew I would have to take character dialogue very seriously. So, I got together with Mr. Suga, whom I mentioned before, to put together the script. We decided to use dialog to give the audience a deeper look into the characters.

How could we create an emotional drama between Leon and another female character?
I met with Cinematic Director Hide Gondoh over and over trying to come up with a solution.
I’ve worked with Mr. Gondoh before on titles like Resident Evil Remake, and Resident Evil 4. He’s an extremely talented director who can handle everything from event scene choreography, to staff coordination. It just so happens that he is fond of Leon’s character. And he wisely suggested that we write Leon with a focus on realism.

Will all this tension and realism Leon is feeling fit into the game’s overall theme of “presence”?
At first I thought that with a pre-existing Resident Evil scenario, the lines for that scenario would be, for the most part, already written. But, for Darkside Chronicles, we are taking it to another level.

We will continue to challenge ourselves and make this one of the most epic Resident Evil games yet!

■About me
I was born in Kanagawa Prefecture, and I’m around 40 now. At Capcom I directed Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles as well as Beatdown, and was involved in a number of other Resident Evil games. I can’t wait to talk more with you about the games I’ve worked on!


  1. RESIDENT EVIL / The Darkside Chronicles TALING EVIL. Archived from the original on 2009-10-31.

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