SPOILER WARNING: This piece will talk about some key events in the plot of Resident Evil 4.
The Resident Evil series is full of enigmatic characters, and it’s always been happy to parachute in various ‘plus 1s’ to help out the main ensemble (the world’s Chris, Lions, Claire, and Jills) before blasting them out of there again. Think of Carlos Oliveira from Resident Evil 3, whose affectionate relationship with Jill (which was nicely expanded upon in the remake) begged for more. There was Chris’s game partner Sheva Alomar from Resident Evil 5, Helena from Resident Evil 6, the cranky Jake Muller (you would be too if you were Wesker’s son), and the missing and almost forgotten Billy from Resident Evil 0.
Resident Evil 4 also starred a couple of overly elusive characters: recurring ‘Now You See Me, Now You Don’t’ mercenary Ada Wong, and ‘Ladies’ Man’ Luis Sera. Both of them only make fleeting appearances in the game, with some jarring dialogue never getting the most out of the pair. With the return of the game in its completely redone form, there will be room to expand on several of the game’s main characters while keeping the main story intact.
Following the way that the Resident Evil 2 and 3 remakes expanded on the cuteness (and even romance) between Leon and Ada, and Carlos and Jill, respectively, the Resident Evil 4 remake will have a similar opportunity to craft a three-way dynamic. bands. between Leon, Ada Wong and Dr. Luis Sera, one of the most absurdly underdeveloped characters in the entire series.
Our own Luke Maguire recently spoke about the silliness of Resident Evil 4’s story, which felt like a by-product of the ‘old way’ of Resident Evil characterization: characters jump from rafters, maybe save your life, shall we say? some unrelated fragments. of dialogue, act grim, then run away as our protagonist helplessly yells ‘Hey, wait!’ after they do not move to prevent them from leaving. While the series will never be defined by its deep storytelling, it’s fair to say that since Resident Evil 7 it has taken a turn and expectations for storytelling are now a bit higher than they were with Resident Evil 4 back in 2005.
Between them, Spanish scientist Luis Sera and Ada Wong get around 10 minutes of screen time in Resident Evil 4’s main story. Neither of them needs much more than that, and of course it would be an unnatural change in form. of Ada suddenly starting to become attached to Leon as her biggest fangirl (which, admittedly, she is), but the recent Resident Evil remakes proved quite resourceful at establishing character relationships with relatively little screen time; if the same amount of effort is put into RE4 Remake, then there is the potential here for one of the best three-way character dynamics in series history.
First off, there’s the clear and obvious tyrant in the room from the whole Leon and Ada romantic “thing.” If the chemistry wasn’t palpable between these two in the original Resident Evil 2 where they met (despite Ada’s fervent love confession), then the new version increases with their first kiss. So when Leon and Ada reunite in RE4 Remake, you’d expect there to be a bit more reference to that, or to the events of the intervening years. On the one hand, Leon could be confused and frustrated that Ada kept him believing all these years that she had been dead; on the other hand, maybe Ada could feel a bit miffed that Leon didn’t embark on a heroic quest to come looking for her after her ‘death of her’ in Resident Evil 2. Or could it be a bit of both? The point is that there is a complex history there that deserves to be explored.
Beyond enhancing existing fleeting interactions in the main game, Capcom can reference the Separate Ways bonus missions from the original Resident Evil 4, where you play through various chapters from Ada’s perspective. This bonus content expanded on Ada and Luis’s clandestine business deal, and showcases some of Luis’s cheesy sleazy innuendos towards Ada that could use a modern day update. Would Resident Evil 4 Remake work if these Ada chapters were built into it? It would be a bit risky, but taking certain elements from those chapters would help to embellish the characters.
In the original Resident Evil 4, Ada, something of a pioneer of kicking women’s ass in video games, doesn’t respond to Luis’ vulgar comments about “foreplay” and other sigh-inducing advances; the best part of 20 years later, maybe it’s about time she responded with some scathing comments to put Luis in her place? There’s a pseudo-flirtatious dynamic here that could be explored, based on Ada deflating Luis’s ego in a way that the self-styled “Ladies’ Man” has been needing for a long time. It’s very possible that Capcom will sidestep the troublesome Luis by toning down his wild innuendos and his arousal, but it would be much more entertaining if Capcom showed self-awareness about Luis’s ways and addressed them directly in the story.
Similarly, there could be some healthy tension between Leon and Luis, since the former is probably still in love with Ada and may object to the latter’s casual advances towards her. It would make the dynamic of her a little more intriguing than the 10-minute cop-buddy thing they had in the original. By taking Luis down from his cocky stance and offering some resistance to his distinctive ‘2000s lothario’ ways, the Remake could actually build more sympathy for the supporting character before his inevitable demise. In turn, by giving Luis a little more substance and screen time, perhaps Leon’s unspeakable anguish over his heroic death will feel a little more justified when the time comes.
Resident Evil 4 Remake has the wiggle room and potential to depict an intriguing, funny, and tragic interaction between its three main characters while keeping the larger story intact. I’d be very surprised (not to mention disappointed) if Capcom doesn’t take advantage of that.