I'm going to be doing some very brief posts regarding the cast of Resident Evil 6 from a faux-analytical point-of-view. I'll be focusing on Leon Scott Kennedy, Helena Harper, Chris Redfield, Piers Nivans, Jake Muller, Sherry Birkin, and Ada Wong (and perhaps Derek C. Simmons). These are just my opinions. Be warned, I will be touching about SPOILERS
As part of a little side project, I've decided to add some other quotes from outside sources that I basically think would apply to the character in some way. Take from it what you will.
Leon Scott KennedyLeon has come a long way since the first time he rolled into Raccoon City back in 1998. Through each incarnation he has transformed into very different beasts, shown through his change into a typical Hollywood Action Hero in Resident Evil 4 (made more evident by his overzealously daring debonair, his awful wit and his desire to bring the bad guys more than simply saving the day). He transcended this on his way into Degeneration, turning into something more along the lines of an angst-driven character. He was considerably darker and more serious, acting even somewhat cold in certain regards. Leon was determined to the point of being a dark and gritty broken record.
"Adam... I'm sorry."
"This is where the reception was going to be. They'd all be here eating dinner, if..."
"I can't believe this is happening again. It's just like Raccoon..."
"Makes me sick seeing good soldiers die like this."
"Too many good agents have died here today... You're not getting added to that list."
"Welcome to the club. You get used to it."
That's not to say that Leon has adopted an entirely serious persona. There is still the room for the occasional wisecrack that gives him just enough balance from becoming that brooding bastard that was seen in Degeneration. On the other side of the spectrum, his moments of joking and sarcasm are not so overplayed that he comes across as making light of the situation as he had so often in Resident Evil 4. From the perspective of looking at it on the outside, the feeling comes across more as trying to keep sane in the face of so much tragedy. A human being can only take so much before they crack of they don't learn to ease up once in a while, and Leon no longer eases up so much that it seems he isn't taking it seriously. This becomes balanced with the rare occurrence when Leon becomes frustrated with events, causing him to come across as more aggressive than normal.
I am someone who hasn't liked Leon. He was forgettable in Resident Evil 2, disinteresting in Resident Evil 4 and downright annoying in Degeneration. I think this may change in Resident Evil 6. Like all of the cast, it seems considerable effort was put into crafting Leon into what he has. Of course, Leon has had the hit-and-miss past that Capcom had to work with, finally finding the balance between two polar opposites. I don't feel comfortable with Leon yet being the great character so many fans perceive him as, as this is one out of four chronological titles that I finally am interested in him... but I can at least now say I do not think he'll piss me off and shows promise. Which is a shame as I don't see him lasting much longer.
"Without heroes we are all plain people and don't know how far we can go.
"To the living we owe respect, but to the dead we owe only the truth.
"What really raises one's indignation against suffering is not suffering intrinsically, but the senselessness of suffering.
Helena HarperIn her favor (in spite of being the freshest main protagonist in the game), Helena starts as being very capable. A member of the United States Secret Service, although Helena lacks the experience with bio-terrorism that others do she at least has some degree of training for combat, it would be presumed. She is clearly able to keep her own alongside of Leon (and other characters at other points) and shows signs of quick-thinking and reflexes in situations not as emotionally disturbing, as seen when she has her Picador pistol ready to unholster when Jake and Leon butt heads. It is unlikely she has as much training as the rest of the cast but it's enough to prevent her from coming across as useless and a waste of space. Also, thankfully, the lack of the same kind of training and experience prevents her from being a Mary Sue. Of course, none of this is what makes Helena interesting or promising (albeit the quickshot with her unique Hydra shotgun is quite possibly one of the most awesome things in Resident Evil 6).
"I... I can't believe this."
"Why did this have to happen?"
"I'll only slow you down. Just go."
Self-Blame and Mystery
"Leon, we don't have time to-"
"It's all my fault. I... I did this."
At this point, it is unknown what Helena's motives are by the time she and Leon are set-up and framed and they are on their way to find Simmons. Revenge? Seeking the truth? Or perhaps something else entirely? Though it seems safe to say by that point, Helena has grown somewhat more accustomed to handling certain things, such as facing the more monstrous forms of bio-organic weapons (namely the Ustanak). However, she still seems clearly bothered by humans that have been turned into zombies - such as seeing the turned soldier while they are in Lanshiang.
"I'm so sorry, Debra! It's all my fault!"
"Stop! Don't shoot, please!"
I had reservations about Helena at first but the more I've seen from trailers and gameplay, the more I've grown to like her. Although I see her as a one-off bit character in the Resident Evil series, she shows the most promise of them all - and more promise than some recurring characters. Her immediate involvement in the story keeps her interesting and her characterization as the unfamiliarized make her something refreshing in the series.
"Anyone can give up, it's the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, that's true strength.
"You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, "I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along." ... You must do the thing you think you cannot do.
"Many of us crucify ourselves between two thieves - regret for the past and fear of the future.
Next time I post, I'll be covering Chris Redfield and Piers Nivans.