Fall, 2004. Six years have passed since the fall of Raccoon City. Despite its best efforts, the destruction of an entire city due to a biohazard leak was a fatal blow to the Umbrella corporation, one which all their money and connections couldn't smooth over. The US government placed the corporation under a complete suspension of business decree; Umbrella's stock prices plummeted, and the company imploded, utterly ruined.
But it was too little, too late. The B.O.W genie was out of the test tube, and the world had to prepare to deal with the new possibilities of bio-weapon warfare. The US government in particular took steps to begin combating the threat of bio-terrorism. One of their first steps? Recruiting Leon S. Kennedy, a former police officer and one of the few survivors of the Raccoon City incident, to work for them as a special anti-bio-terror operative. This they achieved by abducting Leon and Sherry Birkin, daughter of one of Umbrella's top researchers, when they made their way back to civilization in the wake of their escape from Raccoon City - Leon was given a choice to either work for the government, or allow Sherry to become the subject of governmental testing, due to being the last known source of her father's mutagenic G-Virus.
Leon has worked under the direct orders of the President of the United States of America ever since. He has now been deployed to an unidentified region somewhere between Europe and Spain - perhaps the Basque or Catalonia regions - to search for the President's missing daughter, Ashley Graham, who was abducted.
Unbeknownst to him initially, his path will cross with another survivor from the Raccoon City incident, who has her own mission in the region.
Leon's Story (Main Campaign)Escorted by two local police, Leon arrives on the outskirts of an isolated village where the Los Illuminados cult has been tracked to. Whilst the cops declare that they will stay behind and "watch the car", Leon has a brief communication with his handler for this mission, one Ingrid Hunnigan, via a FRVT visual radio before he sets off. Past a sign simply labeled "Pueblo", meaning "Village", Leon finds a two-story shack that has seen better days. The pathway to continue past it is blocked off by a rusty old truck, so Leon decides to check inside. In a living room that reeks of rotten food and filth, he encounters a strange man busily tending to a fire; the house's owner simply curses Leon out when Leon asks him about Ashley.
Leon politely attempts to leave, but the owner grabs a hatchet and suddenly swings it at Leon; when he refuses to obey Leon's order to stop, Leon shoots him in the head without hesitation. He learned the lessons of Raccoon City well.
Suddenly, the truck outside starts and roars away down the road; as Leon rushes to the door, he hears the police shouting and the sounds of metal crashing into metal. He can't escape, however, as several more villages have arrived and are barricading the door, trying to trap him inside.
Hunnigan chooses that moment to contact Leon, who reports to her that he has been attacked. Hunnigan bluntly tells him that saving Ashley is his top priority, and he is to do whatever it takes to achieve that goal.
Leon searches the house for a way out, and discovers an alcove filled with decomposing, maggot-ridden human body parts. This paints an ominous picture of the situation in the village. On the second floor, Leon smashes through a window and is able to leap from the balcony down to the floor, where the villages attack him, screaming profanities in Spanish and brandishing rusty farm tools with the intent to kill. Warning shots barely faze them, and Leon is forced to kill them all in self defense.
With his welcoming committee dispatched, Leon rushes back to where he left the police; the truck has forced their car over the edge of the ravine and broken through the rope bridge that they crossed to reach here, now lying in the river below. Stranded, Leon has now choice but to follow the road to the Pueblo.
As he goes past the shack where he killed the first villager, he hears the sound of pitiful, agonized whining. Looking around, he finds a dog with its hindleg caught in a bear trap - naturally, Leon immediately moves to set it free. Fortunately, the trap was heavily damaged, so the dog is okay; once Leon sets it loose, it bounds away. Now alerted to the danger, Leon continues his advance, evading bear-traps and dynamite trip-lines. Several more villages appear along the way, and Leon guns them all down. In a shack he finds along the way, he finds the corpse of a village woman, pinned to the wall by a pitchfork thrust through her head. Obviously, nobody here is safe.
Over a bridge and past another shed, Leon finally arrives at the Pueblo, where he hides behind a tree on the outskirts of the village proper to do some further reconnaissance; after all he's seen, he's taking no chances. What his binoculars reveal is something out of the Dark Ages; a collection of rickety shacks that have clearly seen better days, with no evidence of electricity or running water, with villages wandering around listlessly tending to animals or shoveling hay.
More ominously, at the center of the village square is a blazing bonfire, with a large wooden stake at its center. One of the policemen is burning, having been impaled through the chest on an enormous metal hook which has now been hung on the stake.
Leon tries to sneak through the village, but is swiftly spotted. At once, every single villager grabs his or her tools and attacks him with the same maniacal bloodlust. Leon tries to take shelter inside of the largest cabin, but they surround him, breaking through his improvised barricade and forcing him to fight a running battle through the village's buildings and streets. Although Leon fights valiantly, aided by grenades and an old shotgun salvaged from that main cabin, reinforcements charge in and it seems that he is doomed...
And then, suddenly, a church bell rings nearby. At once, every single villager stops what they are doing. Gibbering to each other in reverent tones, they drop their weapons and shuffle off, moaning like the zombies they vaguely resemble. Before the last of them files through an iron door into some kind of small chapel in the village square, he mutters two words in recognizable English: "Lord Saddler".
Leon can only shake his head and mutter to himself in bemusement at the sudden twist in behavior. He radios in to Hunnigan to confirm the officer's death, and then begins exploring the village. The chapel door has been locked, so he couldn't follow the villagers to their congregation even if he wanted to. In one cabin, he discovers a note written by the village's chief, one Bitores Mendez; apparently, the villagers knew that Leon was coming, and have moved "the captive" to a building past the farm.
Presuming this to be referring to Ashley, Leon finds a side-route out of the village and follows it. Fighting his way through crazed villagers and their primitive traps, such as an attempt to crush him under a falling boulder, he makes his way first through a farm that is falling into ruin, and then to the burned out remnants of a once-fine house. Here, he follows the sound of somebody banging around to a large wardrobe and opens it to reveal the prisoner...
Who isn't Ashley at all, but a Spanish man, bound at the ankles and wrists with a duct tape gag across his mouth. Puzzled, Leon frees the captive, who is clearly not a crazed lunatic like the villagers. Before they can introduce themselves to each other, several of the villagers enter the room... followed by an enormous man who vaguely reminds Leon of Mr. X with a beard. Bitterly, the prisoner explains that this is "the big cheese" - which Leon deduces means Chief Bitores Mendez. Undaunted by the man's size, Leon leaps to attack with a martial arts kick - but the man catches his foot effortlessly, and then hurls Leon back with superhuman force, sending him flying into the other prisoner and causing them to crash against the wardrobe with wood-shattering force, leaving them both unconscious.
In his insensate state, Leon is carried away. He is unaware of being injected with something whilst he is out-cold, regaining consciousness only later, when he and the Spanish man have been shackled together and left to rot in what looks like a neglected storeroom. Deciding he needs answers, he wakes up his companion and asks him just what is going on; the Spanish man in return asks Leon what he's doing here, and when told that Leon was sent to the village to find a girl, he explains that he heard from one of the villagers that she's being kept in the village church.
The man's name is Luis Sera, an ex-cop from Madrid who quit that role and has become, in his own words, a "good for nothing" who is popular with the ladies. When Leon curiously asks what made Luis quit, he complains that being a hero isn't what it's cracked up to be anymore; as a policeman, people expect you to put your life on the line for them, but none of them show you any appreciation for it. Trying to reciprocate the information, Leon tells Luis that he himself was once a cop - only for a day, though, as he got caught in the Raccoon City incident on his first day on the job. Luis mutters, more to himself than to Leon, that he thinks he once saw a sample of the T-Virus in a lab in Madrid.
The conversation is interrupted when a blood-smeared villager lurches into the storehouse with a huge axe; luckily, through moving at just the right moment, his strike merely cuts the two men free. When he lunges at Leon again, a carefully leveraged kick to the chest sends the villager flying into the wall, where he lands at such an awkward angle that he twists his neck. Luis flees in panic as Leon pulls himself together - by the time Leon is on his feet, the Spaniard ex-cop is gone.
Strangely, the villagers left Leon his equipment, and Hunnigan chooses that moment to contact him. Leon updates her on the situation, explaining that he's got to find a way to the church, and that he believes there's a secret passage under the small chapel he saw in the village center.
But first, he's got to get there. The storeroom is housed high in an isolated valley, teeming with villagers. Outside, though, he finds a traveling merchant who is willing to sell him a sniper rifle, for added firepower. Undaunted by the obstacles against him, Leon fights his way through them, recovering two halves of a hexagonal emblem from either side of the valley to unlock a door at the far end. Continuing to battle his way through the ruins of an abandoned factory, Leon finally reaches a large, almost manor-like house, the most modern-looking structure he's seen since he came to this backwater. Entering through the back door, he reaches a bedroom, where he finds a stylized key reminiscent of the insignia he saw on the chapel in the village center; this has to be the key he needs in order to reach the church.
As he quietly exists the bedroom, he hears two people talking to each other in Spanish. One of them says a phrase that Leon doesn't recognize; "Las Plagas". Before he can hear more, Chief Mendez suddenly sneaks up on Leon, snatching him up by the throat and strangling him with one hand. Though Leon struggles as best he can, he is powerless in the face of such inhuman strength...
And then, suddenly, Chief Mendez tosses Leon to the floor, ominously declaring that Leon "carries the same blood as us", before warning the American agent that he's still an outsider, and will face severe consequences if he remains unpleasant in their eyes.
The chieftain returns to the bedroom, leaving a puzzled Leon behind. He doesn't have long to puzzle it over, though, as Hunnigan radios him with new information: it's been established that Ashley's kidnappers are a religious cult calling themselves "Los Illuminados". Leon tells Hunnigan about his strange encounter with Chief Mendez, then resumes his mission.
If Leon goes back into the bedroom, Chief Mendez suddenly attacks him with a charging punch, knocking Leon to the floor and sending Leon's gun flying across the floor. Before Leon can recover, the hulking brute stamps his foot down on Leon's ribcage and starts slowly grinding into the floor, threatening to crush Leon's lungs - the American agent is saved when two shots ring out; like the Tyrant he increasingly resembles, Bitores Mendez barely flinches at the blow, but still whirls around to find the shooter. Leon's gaze follows his to the nearby window, where a red-clad woman is dangling from a hookshot, holding a smoking gun. The over-sized chieftain charges at his attacker, but she ziplines to safety as he leaps through the window, sending Mendez crashing off into the forest. Left behind, Leon hauls himself upright; he's positive that his life was just saved by Ada Wong. But that's not possible... is it? Didn't Ada die back in Raccoon City?
Exiting what is evidently the chieftain's house, Leon returns to the village. Once more, he faces resistance from the crazed residents, but this time he has sufficient firepower to cut his way through the ones who have been left behind. As he suspected, the key from the chieftain's house unlocks the chapel, which contains a cave that leads to a cemetery and church. Dispatching the minor resistance he faces, Leon reaches the church... but it's locked by a puzzle key. He contacts Hunnigan to inform her of this, and then sets off to retrieve the emblem.
A route past the church consists of wooden scaffolding linking a set of rocky outcrops. Midway along, in a hut, Leon finds another note from Chief Mendez that explains why he is facing relatively little resistance; apparently, Luis stole something of vital importance to the Los Illuminados - something that could thwart whatever it is that they have planned for Ashley. Because of this, Leon is distinctly second-place on the priority list. The message also notes that a copy of the key to the church can be found by crossing a nearby lake, but apparently, Lord Saddler has awakened something called a "Del Lago" to serve as a guardian. In addition, Leon now "carries the same blood" as the Los Illuminados, which Chief Mendez asserts will inevitably cause Leon to join their cause.
With that ominous memo to guide him, Leon follows the path around to the second outcrop, where a gate leads him through to a quarry. The mine has been sealed up with a thick door of lashed-together logs, and something is ominously growling from behind it. Still, whatever is in there seems content to stay there, so Leon makes his way further. On the far side of the quarry, he finds steps leading down to a partially flooded cave that has been turned into a hidden dock. There's no boat here at the moment, so instead he returns to the quarry and leaves through the gate.
A winding, narrow path proves the perfect site for another rolling boulder ambush, but Leon manages to outrun it. Fighting his way through a small ambush in a patch of wetlands, he finally reaches the lake, where he finds himself presented with two paths; one to the left leading up, and one to the right, leading down. He takes the left path first, which leads to a ledge overlooking the lake. Here, he uses his binoculars to scope out the lay of the land, and spots two villagers on a boat dumping the body of the other police officer... which is then devoured by something enormous lurking within the lake. It moves too fast for Leon to see what it is, but it reminds him uncomfortably of the giant alligator he fought back in Raccoon City's sewers.
Hoping that its recent meal will occupy what is obviously the Del Lago, Leon races back down the track, where he finds a boat moored at a small pier. Unfortunately, his luck doesn't hold out; about halfway across the lake, Del Lago - an enormous, mutant salamander - attacks Leon's boat. With the aid of a plentiful supply of harpoons, and the fact that it keeps hooking itself on the boat's anchor, Leon kills the creature - then narrowly manages to avoid being dragged into the deep with its sinking corpse when the anchor's rope catches around his leg. Fortunately, Leon cuts himself free with his trusty knife.
Upon reaching the far shore, Leon's luck takes a turn for the worse again. Excruciating pain suddenly rips through his chest, causing him to cough blood and scream. He barely has the strength to stagger into a nearby shack before he collapses on the floor and loses consciousness. A hideous nightmare involving tentacles growing under his skin finally rouses him from his involuntary slumber; Hunnigan calls him and tells him that he's been out cold for the last 6 hours. Leon explains how he lost consciousness, which Hunnigan speculates may have something to do with what the chief was talking about. But Leon brushes it off, declaring he has to continue his mission.
Before he leaves, he examines his surroundings, and turns up a letter written by an unknown author. Whoever wrote it apologizes that they can't help with what is making Leon sick, but it tells him that he can find the key to retrieve Ashley behind the nearby waterfalls - however, it also warns him that the villagers have deployed some creature called "El Gigante" to stop him from reaching the church.
Refusing to let a mere monster stop his mission, Leon sets off again; night has fallen, and a rainstorm has rolled in, but it's still bright enough for Leon to see, thanks to various torches erected along the way.
As he heads for the falls, he encounters a villager, whose eyes are glowing an eerie, sinister red hue. As he lurches towards Leon, the villager spasms and twitches, before his head explodes! In a spray of gore and yellow slime, a squamous mass forces its way out of the stump; a tumorous parody of a head, seemingly knitted from eyestalks and whipping tentacles.
Fortunately, this horrific new creature goes down easily. In fact, Leon kills it by accident when his attempt to blind it with a flashbang causes it to melt in an instant. The thing is obviously some kind of parasite, and the whole village must be infected; that would explain their almost, but not quite, zombie-like behavior. It also explains why he hasn't seen one of these things emerge until now - they clearly can't stand bright light, or at least sunlight and the UV light contained in Leon's flash grenades.
Leon makes his way past a dam and down a cliff-side, where he finds a cavern hidden behind a waterfall; activating some machinery on the far side of the dam redirects the flow of water, removing the liquid barrier preventing access. A small band of villagers attack Leon, but he swiftly cuts them down - several more of the parasites emerge from wounded villages, confirming his theory that the whole village must be infected.
Inside the cave, he finds the round emblem-based key he needs, and briefly radios Hunnigan to report the good news. The "wall" it was mounted into turns out to be a door, which leads to an underground river - with a boat inside. Taking this boat brings Leon back to the underground pier at the quarry which he found before, giving him a shortcut.
When he emerges into the quarry, he discovers what El Gigante is. As Leon watches, a band of villagers open the sealed mine he passed before, using ropes and numbers to drag an enormous, ogre-like abomination into the center of the quarry region. But El Gigante is evidently uncontrollable; the beast turns on its would-be handlers, crushing them or ripping them apart with its bare hands before turning its sights on Leon!
To Leon's surprise, the dog he rescued before makes a surprise return, bravely distracting El Gigante and giving Leon a chance to outmaneuver it. The creature seems to be impervious to bullets, but when Leon blasts it in the face, it staggers and another parasite - an enormous disgusting creature, like a cross between a leech and a centipede - erupts from a scar on its back. Leon scrambles atop the reeling ogre's back and viciously hacks away at the parasite, but he can't kill it before it manages to retreat to safety inside of its host and he is thrown off.
Still, Leon has the formula down now; stunning El Gigante with shots to the head and then hacking at its parasite. When he cuts through the squamous thing, the hulking ogre bellows and roars, then collapses dead on the ground.
With the way clear, Leon returns to the church, though he has to fight his way past a small pack of parasite-infected wolf-dogs to get there. Once inside, he climbs a ladder to the second floor; after a brief puzzle involving specialized lights, he removes some bars that prevent access to a room on the second floor. Inside, he finds Ashley, and after reassuring her that he's there to help, he contacts Hunnigan to inform her that they're ready for extraction. She tells him that the extraction point is to be found on a route out from the village, and Leon and Ashley get ready to meet the evac helicopter.
In the church, however, they are confronted by a disfigured, ugly man wielding a bizarre staff of seemingly equal parts metal and pulsating flesh. He reveals himself to be Osmund Saddler, leader of the Los Illuminados. Connected to the parasites in some way, he is able to exert total mental control over anyone who bears them; this is how he has spread his cult's influence over the region. He bears a grudge against the United States of America, mocking them as arrogant; he kidnapped Ashley to prove his point - and to gain access to the reigns of American power himself by infecting her. He also reveals that he infected Leon after the American agent was captured by Chief Mendez. Of course, now that he's told them this, he can't let them escape until the eggs hatch and he has total control, otherwise they'll reveal that they're infected to their commanders.
When a pair of robed, crossbow-wielding zealots enter the church, Leon grabs Ashley and leaps with her to safety through a nearby window. Whilst a gaggle of torch-bearing villages try to confront them in the cemetery, a handy nearby cart full of flammable chemicals wipes them out when Leon shoots it and send it ploughing through their ranks.
Fighting the infected villagers is harder now that Leon has to look out for Ashley, but luckily she's a smart girl who's adept at hiding whilst Leon draws off the infected and kills them. They fight their way to the farm, where Leon discovers another note from the chief. This one reports that Luis Sera is still evading them; his grandfather used to hunt in this region, so he knows many secret passages and hidden trails. More importantly, Luis has access to some kind of chemical that can kill the eggs of the Los Illuminados parasites before they hatch, and which temporarily immunize the taker against reinfection. This, combined with the fact that Luis escaped with whatever it is that he stole before Leon arrives, is proof to Chief Mendez that a third party is involved.
Interesting news... but right now, Leon has more important matters to deal with. After killing the farm's defenders, Leon boosts Ashley over a high gate that was locked so she can open it from the other side and they can reach the route to safety.
Unfortunately, Hunnigan then contacts them with bad news: the helicopter has been shot down. She's dispatching another one, but they'll have to keep fighting their way to the extraction point.
Crossing a rope bridge, they find themselves at a two-story cabin - and caught between two small armies of infected villagers! Leon and Ashley seek shelter inside of the cabin, and are met with Luis, who, despite pervily commenting on Ashley's figure, is armed and ready to fight. He spares a moment to assure them both that there's some kind of obvious symptom before the infection turns a moment, and then the cabin is under siege. Ashley hides in a wardrobe on the 2nd floor, whilst Leon and Luis do battle with their besiegers. It is a bloody, desperate battle... but the determined men finally inflict such carnage that the surviving villagers retreat.
As Leon and Ashley take stock of things, Luis makes a lame excuse about having forgotten something, and wanders off into the darkness. The puzzled Americans shrug their shoulders and decide to press on, as that's the only option left to them.
Outside of the cabin, they find two gates, with a mechanism that can open either one at a time. A note nearby from Chief Mendez reveals that both routes have been stocked with dangers, to prevent Leon and Ashley from escaping. It also mentions that the Los Illuminados cult refers to the parasite-infected members of its flock as "Ganados", and proves that there is a traitor to the US government who is involved with the whole scheme.
Knowing that they have no choice, Leon and Ashley pick a route and proceed.
If they go the right route, they follow a narrow canyon road, where they are ambushed by an El Gigante; fortunately, large boulders mounted as weapons against intruders can be used to batter the creature or temporarily hold it at bay, but the tight confines - and the pair of chained gates - make it a true struggle to survive the ambush.
If they take the left route, they come to an old mining camp turned barracks, where they must fight their way through a small army of Ganados. (This is believed to be the canon route, since Ada takes the right pathway and does battle with the El Gigante in her story.)
Regardless, Leon and Ashley end up across a mountainous divide, confronted with a locked door, a small shack on the edge of the valley, and the upper half of an automated lift - if they came by the left path, they cross a land-bridge to the locked door, whilst if they came by the right path, they must walk past the shack to reach the locked door.
In the shack, they find a final note from Chief Mendez, in which he laments their decision to infect the agent rather than just kill him; they weren't expecting him to be this resistant to the parasite's influence, or this skilled - Mendez is legitimately afraid that Leon will massacre the entire village before he succumbs! So, he's ordered the Ganados to switch their priority from finding Luis to capturing Leon and Ashley. It also reveals that Mendez is waiting in a building used to "enlighten betrayers" at the bottom of the nearby lift, and cryptically declares Mendez has the key to opening the final gate from the village, "for only before (his) sight will the gate open".
Resolute, Leon and Ashley head for the lift. Picking off any Ganados that attempt to ride the lift up to face them, they make their way to the village's torture center; a run-down old slaughterhouse. Leon tells Ashley to hide herself outside, whilst he enters to investigate.
Somehow, Mendez gets the drop on Leon yet again, hurling him contemptuously across the slaughterhouse floor, then twisting the steel doorhandles into origami to lock them both in. Only one of them is getting out alive. Leon narrowly evades an attempt by Mendez to grab him, knocking over a barrel of fuel and the shooting at it; this gives him just enough time to leap to safety before the barrel explodes, sending burning fuel splashing over the walls and setting the slaughterhouse on fire.
But it doesn't kill Mendez. He's made of sterner stuff than that. With his greatcoat burned off, he lets his inner monster out to play; enormous talons rip through his fingers, whilst two pairs of claw-tipped fleshy limbs - half tentacle, half praying mantis forelimb - tear out of his back. Then his upper half messily separates from his lower torso, carried aloft by the parasite that has replaced his spinal column with what looks like a giant centipede.
The tight confines of the slaughterhouse post some issues, but Leon is used to fighting big ugly once-human monsters. He blasts away at Mendez's spine, until finally the weight of his shotgun shells tears the chief in half. But Mendez still isn't dead yet; Leon must continue to evade the chief's upper torso as it leaps and scrambles about like the world's most nightmarish monkey, pouring on the lead until finally Mendez screams, vomits blood, and collapses dead on the floor.
One of Mendez's eyes falls from his face, and Leon hesitantly picks it up. It's a glass eye, and looking into the iris, Leon can make out subtle coding; this is what he needs to unlock the iris scanner on the final gate. When the flames weaken one of the slaughterhouse walls, Leon leaps through the resultant hole and meets up with Ashley, with the two heading back to the gate out of the village.
They find themselves on a path leading up into the mountains - and are ambushed by a Ganado driving a truck. Fortunately, Leon adeptly snipes the driver, causing it to crash - but more villager Ganados pour after them, forcing them to make a fighting retreat to the top of the path. Here, they flee across a drawbridge to an ancient castle, raising the bridge to prevent the villagers from following. They doubt that this place will be any safer, but it's the best hope that they have.
Inside the castle, more Ganados are swarming - these ones wear black robes, looking like medieval monks; they must be the full-fledged cultists of Los Illuminados. When the parasite inside one of these Ganados makes its presence felt, it does so as an enormous worm-like mass that tries to bite off Leon's head.
Leon and Ashley wend their way through the outermost courtyard, evading a bombardment from several catapults before they kill the operators and raise up an ancient cannon, which they use to blow open the gate leading deeper into the castle by way of the barracks.
As they enter the barracks, Hunnigan contacts Leon again. He updates her on the situation, but before she can offer him any advice, her signal suddenly cuts out - something is jamming Leon's radio. Now he and Ashley are completely on their own.
Fighting their way through the denizens of the barracks, Leon and Ashley reach what seems to be the main gate into the castle - at which point Luis surprised them by catching up. They are happy to see him, and he tells them that he has something for them - then he curses; he left to retrieve some doses of a drug that will cure their parasitic infection, but he lost what he had as he was trying to escape Ganado pursuers. Trying to gauge how much time they have left, he asks them if they've been coughing up blood; when they both answer in the positive, he curses - that means the eggs have hatched.
He promptly leaves again to find them some more cure, turning down Ashley's offer to help him lock. When Leon asks why Luis is helping them, Luis merely waves it off as "something that makes (him) feel better".
Left to their own devices again, Leon and Ashley attempt to enter the big gate, but it's locked. A path nearby brings them to a small barracks compound, where Leon finds a key that lets them unlock these gates. Inside, they find an audience hall, where they are met by a bizarre welcoming committee; a small, twisted figure, a living homage to the stereotype of the genetically damaged European noble - Ramon Salazar, 8th castellan of this castle, with the stature of a child and the gray hair and wrinkly, weathered skin of an old man. He is flanked by two large, ominous figures, whose full-body robes fail to hide their glowing eyes, their inhuman hands, or the glimpse of insectile mandibles gnashing under their hoods.
The cackling lunatic sarcastically introduces himself to Leon and Ashley, and reveals himself to be a servitor of "Lord Saddler". He mockingly suggests that they surrender themselves to him, pointing out that Leon has no intrinsic value to the cult, so they're quite ready to just kill him and take the girl. He then sweeps away, with Ashley vowing that she will not let herself be turned into one of the Illuminados' pet zombies, a sentiment that Leon agrees with.
Before they can follow Salazar through the route he took, a door suddenly rises from the floor. It's filled with a familiar sort of puzzle-lock to Leon; a mural depicting a horse-mounted knight battling a chimera, with the chimera itself missing and leaving a divot. They'll have to fill in the blank spot on the mural to proceed. A doorway to the left is locked from its other side, so they have to head right.
This route takes them past a small prison cell. At the far end, they find a note, stating that the Ganados have switched priorities back to finding Luis; apparently, he stole not only the anti-parasite drugs, but also a mysterious "sample" that Los Illuminados are desperate to get back. The way forward is blocked by a trap, with two horse statues spewing a continual gout of flame over the pathway.
Looking for a switch to turn it off, Leon grabs a nearby key and descends into the cell. Here, he finds a hulking brute of a man, chained up in a solitary cell; his eyes have been stitched shut, leading Leon to wonder just who he is and why he's here. More importantly, there's a lever next to where the man is chained. When Leon kicks down the door to his cell, the man suddenly stirs to life, shattering his bonds and attacking Leon with wild sweeps from elongated, claw-like blades mounted on the back of his hands.
Later, researchers into the Los Illuminados files will discover that this is a "Garrador", an attempt to create a Ganado super-soldier that failed; it was so mindlessly violent that its creators sewed its eyes shut to try and reduce its vicious urges, and then they locked them away in prisons.
Right now, all that matters to Leon is that he has to fight this thing, and get out alive. It seems virtually impervious to his shots... but when a stray shot rings a nearby bell, it charges toward it in a blind fury, helping Leon to realize two things: firstly, that he can outmaneuver it if he's quite, and secondly, that it has an exposed parasite on its back, an obvious weak spot. Sure enough, when Leon pumps enough firepower into it, the Garrador collapses dead, and he can pull the lever to deactivate the fire-trap.
Killing the cultists that take advantage of this to rush him and Ashley, Leon moves on to the next area; a vast hall, full of water features. Here, he faces a gauntlet of Los Illuminados cultists, in between activating different mechanical systems. In the end, he makes his way to a door at the far end and passes through into what seems to be the castle's temple.
As they are making their way to the far end, Ashley suddenly starts coughing; when she looks at her hands, she is horrified to see blood on them. In her panicked state, when Leon asks her if she's alright, she pushes him aside and tries to jog ahead - only to trigger a trap! She is forced to sprint to the far end to avoid being impaled by one of several rows of spring-loaded spears - but when she hits the wall, iron bands suddenly spring out of slots, trapping her in place before that section of the wall rotates, bringing her into some other part of the castle. As the spears sink back into their slots, Leon runs over, but it's too late; all he can do is pound on the door and shout to Ashley that he'll find her.
At that moment, Leon's radio sounds... but it's Salazar, who has hijacked the transmission. He reveals that the traps are automated, so even the cultists don't know where she is at the moment. That gives Leon time to search for her. He also mentions the release of "miserable insects" into the sewers before disconnecting.
Sure enough, a nearby doorway leads to a room with a trap door down into what are effectively the sewers - really a half-flooded ancient dungeon. Forewarned by Salazar, Leon creeps through the dank halls, calling on skills honed by evading Lickers in the Raccoon City Police Department. He finds out that Salazar's "insects" are giant insectoid horrors with the ability to camouflage themselves and become almost invisible. Fortunately, a shotgun blast to the face still kills them pretty quickly.
In one of the cells, he finds a memo from Luis, talking about the parasites inside of the Los Ganados - apparently, the Los Illuminados call them "Las Plagas". The memo mostly focuses on discussing species of parasites known to have behavior-altering abilities, in an attempt to better understand how Las Plagas have their ability to control Los Ganados. The bulk of the memo is gone, however, leaving Leon with no clue what deductions Luis apparently drew from it. But it does raise the question of just how Luis is involved with the cult... what does an ex-cop know about parasite biology?
After a detour to find the pumps to drain a flooded cell, Leon next has to pass through a hallway guarded by swinging scythe-blade pendulums straight out of an old B-movie! Climbing a ladder past the pendulums brings Leon back to the temple, but this time on the second floor. Here, he is able to swing across the gab by riding on top of the chandelier, activating a lever to open gates that had previously barred the doorway at the top of the stairs.
Through this hallway, Leon enters the castle's parlor. In the first room, he finds a memo written by Salazar; apparently, Los Illuminados is an ancient cult, but the first Salazar persecuted them and tried to drive them into extinction, an act that his heirs mostly followed. Somehow, they "sealed up" the Plagas in the depths of the castle... but then Ramon was born and screwed everything up. Somehow, he met Osmund Saddler, a priest of Los Illuminados, and fell under the man's spell; converting to the religion his ancestors had tried to destroy, he helped them free the Plagas, and now pursues the cult's goals with the fanatical zeal of the converted. He genuinely believes that by spreading the parasites across the world and entrapping all humans under their control, a paradise will be born.
With this disturbing new information in mind, Leon presses on. He fights his way through a two-story gallery, slaying a red-robed cultist that attempts to race for a hidden machine gun turret concealed on the bottom floor. From the cultist's body, he takes a key that unlocks a gallery, where Leon faces a simple puzzle; flipping the paintings to display two guillotine beheadings and two hangings triggers a hidden mechanism, which makes the wall slide over to reveal a door into another part of the parlor/gallery.
Here, he has a face-to-face encounter with Salazar, who taunts Leon that he is no mere "puppet of the parasite", but has full control over the Ganados. He also mentions that he's only twenty years old; this youth explains why Saddler was able to manipulate him, to some degree. Once more, he leaves Leon to his fate, but this time he dispatches a band of cultists to slay Leon. Unfortunately for the Ganados, Leon is the one who leaves their broken bodies dissolving on the floor and moves on - but not before collecting the goat segment of the chimera mural. One down, two to go.
From the gallery, Leon finds himself on the west wall, overlooking a garden maze. Salazar radios him to taunt him some more; before he leaves, he mentions having to hunt down a "couple of rats", which leaves Leon puzzled. One is obviously Luis, but who's the other?
There's two doors leading into a new part of the castle here on the west wall, but one is locked from the other side - Leon needs Ashley to reach the high window beside it - and the other is locked by another emblem lock, forcing Leon to enter the garden maze to find the key. The garden maze is confusing, and being prowled by more of the Plaga-infected wolf-dogs that Leon saw earlier. Despite his remorse, Leon has no choice but to kill or be killed. Still, in the end he retrieves two halves of a plaque that creates a key to unlock the door.
Through it, he finds a bedroom, where he meets the other "rat" that Salazar is trying to find; Ada Wong, alive and kicking. After a brief scuffle, in which Leon manages to get the upper hand thanks to his knife fighting skills, the two share a short, terse conversation; Leon had heard she'd survived - and also that she's in league with Wesker. Ada dances around the question, as always, and then escapes with the aid of a flash grenade hidden in her glasses, leaving the disgruntled Leon to continue his exploration.
The bedroom seemingly belonged to Salazar himself, or maybe even to Saddler; he finds a note here confirming that Ada is the other person that Los Illuminados are searching for. The note concludes that Ada must be both the person who destroyed the Plaga in Luis' body, and that she's after the "sample" on behalf of someone else. For this reason, Luis is now expendable - they're certain she can provide all of the answers that they need.
From the bedroom, Leon finds his way into a dining room, where he encounters his weirdest puzzle lock yet; shooting a glass of wine embedded in a painting of a meal in order to open a lock. When he enters the room, though, he finds himself trapped in a cage with a Garrador, whilst cultists pepper him with crossbow bolts from outside. A quick flash grenade stuns them, allowing him to smash open the locks on the doors and escape, so he has the breathing room he needs to take them all down. Once his foes are slain, he finds he can not only take a shortcut through a storeroom back to the western castle wall, but he now has access to the gallery.
Here, he encounters a third and final form for "active Plaga" Ganados; a winged, bat-like monster that can actually survive the destruction of its host body and continue attacking on its own. It takes two flash grenades to destroy this variant, so long as it's still attached to its host body. Still, he triumphs and makes his way to the concourse - but not before seizing a rocket launcher that was placed on display. This will come in handy.
In the concourse, he encounters Luis again, this time with the drug firmly in hand - alongside a vial of something Leon can't identify. Unfortunately, their reunion is cut short when Saddler suddenly appears, fatally impaling Luis from behind with a massive insectoid appendage, somewhere between a scorpion's sting and a tentacle, that emerges from under his robe and then disappears the same way. He takes the vial from Luis, revealing it to be the "sample" he mentioned in his notes, and then leaves Leon, declaring that Salazar will finish him off.
Rather than give chase, Leon tries to save Luis, but his wound is mortal. With his dying breaths, Luis reveals that he was a researcher who was hired by Saddler to work on the Plagas, that the drug he still has will suppress the growth of the Plagas in Leon and Ashley's bodies, and that Leon needs to get the sample back from Saddler. With that, he expires, and Leon has no choice but to mournfully move on.
In fact, it turns out that he is in the upper part of the room where Ashley wound up when she triggered the traps earlier. Aside from the door that Saddler and Luis entered from, however, the door is locked; Leon instead has to use his sniper rifle first to shoot off Ashley's bonds, and then to gun down several cultists that come after her. From the red-robed priest, Ashley recovers a key and enters a door on her level.
This brings her to an old library, where she uses stealth and several old oil lamps to burn a couple of the cultists to death. Those obstacles dispatched, she opens some doors and makes her way into an abandoned storeroom; here, she finds a secret passage and a dais to open it... but she needs some kind of trigger to make it function. She also finds an old butler's journal, which laments about how they failed to keep Salazar from being converted and infected by Saddler.
Tracing her steps, Ashley heads into an old, dusty storeroom, where she solves a simple door puzzle and then a sliding tile puzzle to retrieve two things; the serpent portion of the chimera tile, and a Salazar family insignia, perfectly sized to fit into the dais in the castle study. Returning there is not so easy; several Plagas have crawled into this ancient, dusty room and nested inside old suits of armor, which they animate as puppets to pursue Ashley. Fortunately, she is quicker and smarter than they are, so she manages to evade them and reach the study.
Here, the secret door leads to a passage that lets her emerge from behind the locked door on the upper level of the concourse. Reunited, the two first head back through the gallery to the western wall, to unlock that chamber Leon passed earlier; here, he finds a Salazar family weapon, in the form of a Broken Butterfly - a powerful "six shooter style" Magnum revolver, which Leon knows will come in handy against more powerful foes.
Returning to the concourse, they then head through the door where Saddler made his entry and disappearance from. They find a small room that links to a fancy rail car "gondola", and a strange "riding platform" that uses giant cogwheels to move on rails over a pit of lava. Leon tells Ashley to wait here, and then rides the platform over; in the next chamber, he finds a strange gladiatorial arena, with hanging stone turrets in the shapes of dragons that house flamethrowers. Unfortunately for the Ganado cultists manning them, the chains that hold these turrets in place are brittle; two good shots from a sniper rifle and each plunges into the lava below. Mopping up the few remaining cultists, Leon retrieves the last piece of the chimera tile, the lion, and then rejoins Ashley.
Together, they ride the gondola, and find themselves unlocking the door on the left side of the audience hall. With the chimera tiles placed back in place, the wall drops down, allowing them to head onwards once more. They find a second gondola, which leads them to a lobby; this area houses a note, talking about Luis' recent death and how this frees up the cult to focus on capturing Ada and Ashley. Geographically, the area is also home to two doors, but culminates in a locked door flanked by two statues of royals with outstretched cupped hands, each bearing the plaque "A toast to our Royal Majesty".
In one of the connected rooms, they find a display chamber with many suits of armor. A blue grail is the room's centerpiece; when they ignore the warning on the plaque beneath, secret doors open to unleash two waves of the Plaga-infested armor suits. Leon has to kill them in order to unlock the doors.
In the second room, they find a display room dedicated to weapons, with four pressure plates in the corners. Moving two knight statues to occupy two of the plates, and occupying the remaining two themselves, Leon and Ashley open a door that leads to another room. Here, Salazar is waiting for them; to their disbelief, he actually pulls the cliche "lock the door and activate a descending spiked ceiling trap" routine, before running off through another door nearby that locks behind him. Fortunately, there are four panels on the ceiling that, when shot, deactivate the trap and leave them unharmed.
The door Salazar took leads them through stone corridors to ancient food cellars. As they progress, Leon is separated from Ashley by a descending door, at which point two cultists suddenly burst out of nowhere through the wall behind her in a digging machine! Leon snipes the cultists and the door opens, allowing Ashley to leap inside before the digging machine grinds to a halt just in front of the doorway. From here, they find a chest with a red grail inside and a door leading back to the weapons display room.
With grails in hand, the two return to the statues - killing a small squad of cultists that remained behind to guard the area. Through the unlocked doors, they ultimately reach a mostly-destroyed dance hall - which has become the home of an enormous nest of the giant bugs they saw in the sewers. One of these bugs suddenly abducts Ashley and carries her off, whilst Leon is forced to fight to defend himself against the rest of the swarm. Activating a drawbridge, Leon leaves through the door, trying to catch up to Ashley.
Outside of the dance hall, Leon finds himself at the foot of a bridge leading to a clock-tower that stands on a single outcropping of rock, in between where Leon is and another outcropping of the castle elsewhere. Salazar radios Leon to taunt him some more; a quick glance through his binoculars confirms that Salazar has Ashley, and is already leading her through the doors on the other side of the crevasse.
Leon fights his way over to the clock-tower, evading a bombardment from nearby catapults and killing cultists in his way. He climbs to the top of the clock-tower's interior, unjamming the cogs and activating a mechanism that rotates the bridge from where he started to where he saw Salazar and Ashley go, and then descends again, killing two more waves of cultists and even two of the Garradors before he finally catches up to his targets in what seems to be a throne room.
Unfortunately, he falls right into one of Salazar's traps and is dropped through a booby-trap in the floor; his trusty grappling hook saves him from being impaled on spikes at the bottom, and he shoots Salazar's listening tube for added insult. Enraged, Salazar orders one of his mutant bodyguards to find Leon and kill him, whilst he himself leads Ashley away for a mysterious "ritual".
Naturally, Salazar can't resist radioing Leon to taunt him, but Leon blows him off, to Salazar's fury. The American agent makes his way through an old aqueduct, evading attacks from Salazar's guard, until he reaches a power room and turns on the power to an elevator out of this part of the castle. An automatic lock suddenly traps him in the room as the bodyguard - an armored, insectile humanoid later identified as a "Verdugo" - corners Leon.
Unfortunately, it's just not up to the job. Its armored hide is practically bulletproof, and it seems to be capable of regeneration. But a handy nearby canister of liquid nitrogen freezes it almost immobile, making it a perfect target for the rocket launcher that Leon picked up in the gallery. Having reduced Salazar's precious guard to so much goop splattered across the walls, Leon calmly waits for the automatic lock to deactivate and then hitches a ride up in the elevator.
Unbeknownst to him, as he does, Saddler is having a private meeting with another of his agents; a grizzled mercenary named "Krauser", whom he orders to go and retrieve Ashley from Salazar, who is clearly incapable of doing the job right, and to kill Leon if he can.
The elevator brings Leon to a mine deep below the castle; this is where the Las Plagas were evidently sealed and released from. Killing villager Ganados that remain hard at work, Leon retrieves some dynamite and blasts his way through a boulder to reach a smelting chamber. Here, he is confronted by two Gigantes, though he evens the odds when he drops one into an enormous sub-floor melting vat. With both of the hulking brutes dispatched, Leon presses onwards.
Beyond the smelter, he finds a vast underground pit, where he battles against a seemingly never-ending swarm of the flying insectoids to activate two devices that melt through a doorway that has been sealed up with some kind of waxy resin the bugs secreted. This lets Leon open a door and climb a ladder, returning to the surface once more.
Here, he finds himself amidst the ruins of a village; what hasn't been burned down seems to have been blown up, but it looks to have been a pretty big town in its own right. He finds a note from Ada pinned to the ruins of a cabin, which reveals that the drugs he has can weaken a maturing Plaga's control, but they can only kill an unhatched parasite - once they're sprouted, risky experimental surgery is required. She also warns that Ashley has been infected longer than Leon has, and that her time is quickly running out.
A small camp of villager Ganados stands in the center of the ruins, and Leon quickly butchers them. A nearby door is locked with yet another puzzle-lock; a fresco of an open-mouthed lion is etched onto the door around a circular indentation, whilst a plaque demands that it be offered a sacrifice. Looking around, he finds a hidden passageway under some nearby ruins, which leads him to an ancient tunnel complex; one part mines, one part underground chapel for the Los Illuminados. After surviving various hazards, including waves of Ganado miners, another descending spiked ceiling trap, and a perilous mine-cart ride, Leon finds the "Stone of Sacrifice", a stone token bearing the image of an animal sacrifice needed to unlock the lion door, and a ladder that leads him up to a previously concealed door in another ruin.
Through the lion door, Leon finds himself in part of an ornate chapel, dominated by what has to be one of the weirdest - and tackiest - bits of decor he's ever seen; a giant statue of Ramon Salazar, outfitted with mechanical components so it can move its hands up, down and back and forth in praying gestures. The doorway out of the chapel is only accessible by means of a bridge, parts of which have retracted away. Battling a cluster of a dozen Ganado cultists, Leon activates the bridge by means of two levers - and then has to run for his life as the giant statue suddenly lurches forward and tries to crush him!
After a long, desperate sprint and a harrowing leap as the bridge crumbles behind him, Leon finds himself at the base of the tower where he had been separated from Ashley earlier. Inside, he meets Salazar and the second Verdugo; the crazed zealot tries to trash-talk Leon, claiming Ashley is about to undergo a "ritual" at the top of the tower that will make her truly part of the Los Illuminados, but he is cut short when Leon deftly nails Salazar's hand from across the room with his thrown knife.
He then has to dodge it when Salazar's bodyguard throws it back at him, but it was still deeply satisfying. Salazar flees in an elevator for the top of the tower, whilst Leon has to fight his way up through waves of cultists and rolling barrel traps.
Unfortunately, they succeed in delaying him long enough that, by the time he's reached the cathedral at the top of the tower, Ashley has gone. Salazar taunts him, explaining that she's been taken to an island just off of the nearby coast, and then declares he's going to finish Leon off himself. The whole cathedral has become host to an enormous, grotesquely flower-like mass of pulsing flesh; the Queen Plaga. Two huge tentacles break through the walls as the pod-like "mouth" of the Queen Plaga extrudes tentacles and seemingly consumes Salazar and his bodyguard. It then spits them out as part of an enormous, tentacle-like secondary head, with Salazar transformed into a heart-like mass behind a protective ribcage at the appendage's base and the Verdugo turned into an attacking head.
Leon promptly whips out the magnum he took from back in the castle and blazes away at the giant eye studding the Verdugo head; when this causes Salazar's shield to open, he fires at the transformed castellan. When Salazar dies, the Queen Plaga goes with him; its enormous bulk dissolving and revealing a door that Leon passes through.
This leads him down a rope and an elevator to a hidden dock, where Ada is waiting for him with a speedboat. Reluctantly, Leon allows her to drive him over to the island, but when they get there, she uses her hookshot pistol to grapple away, claiming she has "business" of her own to take care of.
Finding a cove, Leon pulls in and sets off to find Ashley. Saddler suddenly contacts Leon by radio; despite the death of both Bitores Mendez and now Ramon Salazar, the mad cult's leader is unflinching in his confidence. He insists on fighting to the bitter end, and Leon is happy to oblige.
Through a small cave, Leon finds himself at the island base - just in time to watch Ashley being carried deeper inside. The place seems to have been used for various purposes throughout its lifespan, but right now it's home to a crude base, crawling with Ganados made from former European mercenaries. He fights his way through the exterior defenses, and ultimately makes it into the base's interior from the kitchen.
Fighting his way through the Ganado militia, Leon reaches the island's monitor room. This reveals that Ashley is being held in a prison deeper in the base, and that she still has her own mind. Fighting his way through the armory, Leon reaches a multi-leveled set of corridors that link to different rooms. Two doors are sealed up behind keycard locks; one to the waste treatment plant, one to a refrigeration room. The only open door leads to a surgery.
Here, Leon finds another note left by Luis; according to this, Los Illuminados conducted horrible experiments to create super-soldiers from their Ganados; the ogres and the insect-men, El Gigante and the Novistadors respectively, were earlier experiments. But something more terrible also came out of the labs here: Regeneradores. These voraciously hungry creatures can continuously regenerate from mortal wounds, and can only be slain if the multiple specialized Plagas infecting them are targeted - which can only be done with the use of a infrared vision scope, which can be attached to a sniper rifle.
Cautiously, Leon explores the surgery and discovers the keycard to the freezer on a dead body. As he grabs it, a Regenerador lurches to life and smashes its way out of a nearby surgery. Without the special tool he needs to kill it, Leon has to evade the thing and flee back to the corridor... where two more Regeneradores are also lurching about looking for food. Evading them, Leon enters the freezer, where he finds a device that can reprogram his keycard to open the lock to the waste treatment plant instead. He also finds the infrared scope, hidden in a freezer unit that's too cold to open... and a device that can turn off the freezing and let him access it.
Naturally, Leon chooses to turn down the cooling and grab the scope - which is when a Regenerador suddenly stirs from amongst the hanging corpses, triggering a bio-hazard lockdown. With Leon's new toy, though, it's a cinch to pick the creature off; its buddies in the corridors outside pose no greater threat, allowing Leon to move on to the waste treatment plant.
Pausing only to use the waste-moving crane to pick off a bunch of Ganados and hurl them to their deaths down the dumping chute, Leon makes his way through the plant itself and reaches the room where Ashley is being held prisoner. Unfortunately, he needs a key to open the storage room where she's being held, and so he heads on into the nearby infirmary. Fighting his way through the mercenaries, Leon reaches a tissue culturing room, where he encounters a mutant form of Regenerador; one bristling with extendable spikes. He'll promptly nickname this breed the "Iron Maiden". Killing it, he retrieves the card key, but heads through a door at the far end to reach a communication tower outside - which also gives him a look at other parts of the island. Unfortunately, he can't break through the jamming from the communications room, and instead returns to Ashley.
Just as he's freed her, a paper airplane with Ada's lipstick kiss on it comes wafting through a nearby window, telling them to make their escape through the dump below the waste treatment plant. Fighting their way past multiple Ganado mercenaries, they reach the plant and Leon drags Ashley with him down into the dump proper. Though they have to kill a pair of Iron Maidens, they push on into a scrapyard, where they need battle waves of militia whilst operating a wrecking ball to reach a previously occluded door.
Having broken through, they pass through to an annex, where Ashley commandeers a large bulldozer to break their way through; Leon rides on the back to fend off the Ganados that try to stop them. Unfortunately, a suicide charge from an armored truck causes them to plow into a building. Fortunately, they're not hurt, so they can continue their mission.
They're inside some kind of factory that has been built on the island. Unfortunately, they're inside a makeshift Los Illuminados church, where Saddler greets them. Using his ability to control Las Plagas, Saddler paralyzes Leon with pain and seizes momentary control over Ashley; enough to make her follow him obediently as he leaves Leon behind, although Leon manages to flick a tracer onto her back as she passes him by.
Of course, Leon refuses to let this development stop him. Once he recovers from his spasm, he picks himself up and gets ready to move. A note from Saddler on the altar mentions that, with Mendez and Salazar dead, he will need to find new subordinates to take their place. Strangely, he claims that the Plaga "reflects the conscience of their hosts", and that a poorly chosen subordinate could betray him.
Confused, but with no time to waste, Leon moves on.
Unbeknownst to him, at that exact moment, Krauser and Ada are having a meeting; they're both agents working for Wesker to retrieve Las Plagas. Krauser has been trying to obtain a sample by feigning loyalty to Saddler, whilst Ada has taken a more direct approach. Krauser warns Ada that he's familiar with her apparent closeness to Leon, and that he'll kill her if she betrays them. Ada merely mocks him, and they go their separate ways.
Leon fights his way through a factory, ultimately reaching a machinery room, where he is ambushed by Krauser; the two are former comrades, but Krauser faked his death two years ago, and has chosen to betray America. As they engage in a deadly knife-fight, Krauser confesses that he is the one who kidnapped Ashley to buy his way into Saddler's confidence. He also reveals that he wants Saddler's "sample", and he's doing it to try and revive Umbrella in some fashion. Overpowering Leon, he almost kills him - but Ada intervenes at the last moment, saving Leon's life by shooting the knife from Krauser's hands. In a display of superhuman strength, Krauser backflips to a platform and flees, taunting Leon that he's doomed to die here.
Leon asks Ada to explain what she's got in mind, but Ada brushes him off and leaves, just like always. Saddler picks that moment to radio Leon and taunt him, whilst ominously mentioning introducing Leon to "It".
Past the chamber where Leon dueled Krauser, and through a corridor protected with laser traps, Leon finds Saddler's personal throne-room, and descends down an elevator to reach an underground mining complex. Where he begins, he finds a fourth memo from Luis, which summarizes all of the facts he's established about Las Plagas whilst researching them. This establishes that they can control their hosts, are a social species, and can create a "symbiotic" environment by communicating with each other despite different host organisms.
But this information doesn't change Leon's mission, and he continues exploring the cave. Here, after trekking through the depths, Leon meets "It": later revealed to be "Project U-3", a Plaga-infested human/insect/reptile chimera, it's a deformed monster, a parody of a centaur with a humanoid upper torso rising from a quadrupedal, bestial body. Its human-like face is marred by insectile mandibles, a lolling worm-like tongue, and a seemingly exposed chunk of brain in the center of its skull. A long tentacle in lieu of a left arm, and a claw-fingered right arm, completes the picture.
U-3 knocks Leon into a set of three transport containers hanging over a deep chasm, forcing Leon to evade it and struggle to find the emergency shutter release buttons in each container. Though each shutter is dropped into the abyss 30 seconds after both buttons are triggered, U-3 escapes both of the first two containers; only when Leon escapes the third by way of a swinging chain does it seemingly plunge to its death...
But appearances are deceiving; U-3 comes racing back up the wall, forcing Leon to fight it in solid ground, its Plaga emerging from its back to wield vicious scything claws. Finally, after a prolonged battle in which he exploits the room he has to move, Leon kills U-3 and then takes a lift up to the surface again.
He finds himself overlooking a small camp of Ganado militia... but they've also scattered several fuel drums around the camp, so a single well-aimed shot solves that problem. Passing on, Leon finds a note from Krauser, which reveals Krauser's allegiance to Wesker and that he called Ada here to assist him in retrieving the sample, although he is convinced that Ada is a traitor to Wesker. He plans on killing her once he's dealt with Leon.
Past this point, Leon enters the crumbling ruins of an ancient fort, where he encounters Krauser. This time, Krauser intends to fight; he's scattered two components to a puzzle door across the ruins, and is holding the third for himself. The two former allies engage in a running battle across the ruins, debating Krauser's plans as they go, but despite Krauser's bio-augmentations, including a mutated limb he can transform into a deadly blade-shield combination weapon, he ultimately falls to Leon. As he engages Leon for their final battles, he activates time bombs he installed around the ruins, forcing Leon to run for the door and flee through it once their fight is done.
As the ruins are leveled behind him, Leon is contacted by Saddler yet again. The High Priest of the Los Illuminados is completely unbothered by Krauser's death, revealing he was planning on killing the man himself, and he is looking forward to making Leon his personal bodyguard once Leon's Plaga is done assimilating him.
Resolved to finally break Saddler's composure, Leon continues along the road to a makeshift fort that the Ganado Militia have prepared. As he steels himself for the risky assault ahead, an attack helicopter suddenly flies into view; Leon's backup has arrived at last! Whilst Leon still needs to cut his way through multiple Ganados, he is mostly mopping up the survivors as the copter pilot - who introduces himself to Leon as Mike - slaughters Saddler's minions with gatling gun fire and the occasional missile to blow up a defensive gun encampment.
With such firepower on his side, Leon easily makes his way up to another old chunk of fort, which is being crudely repurposed for Saddler's army. Mike butchers a large contingent of Ganados that ambush Leon - but is then blown out of the sky by Saddler and a rocket-wielding Ganado.
Furious, Leon vows revenge - especially after Saddler immediately calls him to gloat. Pressing on, he enters some kind of old facility that Saddler's Ganados are re-purposing - which is when his Plaga suddenly begins exerting itself. Ada chooses that moment to meet up with Leon, who promptly tries to strangle her; luckily, a non-lethal stab from a defensive knife and a swift knee to the solar plexus shake Leon back to his senses. He apologizes to Ada, and pops some of the growth suppressant pills; she declares that they need to cure Leon, but he is adamant about finding Ashley first, and so they split up again.
Leon makes his way through an old prison and into a part of some kind of industrial facility, where he faces a final assault by Ganado militia. From here, he reaches a laboratory, where he finds Ashley contained in some kind of strange capsule. Saddler confronts Leon, and when the American agent declares his intent to take Ashley back, smacks him around in a feat of superhuman speed and strength. Ada saves Leon by blazing away at Saddler with her machine pistol, but all it does is stun him momentarily; still, that gives Leon a chance to free Ashley and run for a nearby door, which Ada blocks off by blowing up some chemical drums stored above it.
Fortunately, the doorway that Leon and Ashley ran to leads to an old operating theater. Amongst the passages, they find a final memo from Luis, revealing that this is where he researched to find a way to cure Plaga infection - ironically, so Saddler could make his minions harder to cure.
Close by, they find the machinery that Luis Sera helped create, which can use surgical lasers of radiation to kill Plagas inside of their hosts. With this machinery, Leon and Ashley cure themselves of their parasite problems, and are ready to find a way off of the island.
Wending their way through the corridors, they reach the exterior of a construction area, with a lift nearby. On the rocks overlooking the lift, they find a note from Saddler, revealing his ultimate goal: to infect Ashley and then send her back to the US, where her proximity to the President would enable her to infect members of the Justice Department, Administrative Bodies, and the Military. Saddler is confident that, even if this plan fails, they could still infiltrate Ganados into America to launch terror missions and destabilize it. Once it falls to them, he's confident the world will follow.
Reaching the lift at the foot of the cliff, Leon has a premonition that something isn't right. He tells Ashley to wait and then rides the lift up, where he finds Ada bound and hanging from a hook. Saddler confronts him, trying to seize control of Leon's body, but of course it doesn't work. Leon taunts Saddler, and frees Ada with a deftly aimed knife throw.
Showcasing just how insane he is, Saddler still have every confidence in himself; despite the fact Leon has almost singlehandedly massacred his entire army, killed his super-soldiers and butchered his lieutenants, Saddler still thinks he can win, taunting Leon that "Americans saving the day" is a Hollywood cliche. Now Saddler transforms into his combat form, which looks something like an enormous, fleshy, four-legged spider emerging from the stump of his neck, Saddler's head held aloft on a long tentacle and surrounded by three horn-like pincers, with a giant eyeball in Saddler's mouth, and Saddler's right arm turned into a tentacle.
Yet again, Saddler's confidence proves unwarranted - and fatal. Leon weakens Saddler by shooting the eyes in Saddler's legs, and then brutally stabbing Saddler's eye mouth whilst this has him stunned. At the critical moment, Ada throws Leon a rocket launcher, and Leon uses it to blow Saddler to bits.
In classic Ada fashion, she then turns on Leon; holding her pistol to his head, she demands he give her the Plaga sample that Leon just took from Saddler's remains. Reluctantly, Leon does what he is told, and Ada leaps from the construction site to a waiting helicopter. She triggers time bombs that she's set up across the island, and then throws Leon the keys to a jet-ski which she tells him is waiting in a tunnel at the foot of the lift. With three minutes on the clock, Leon races for the jet-ski, grabbing Ashley and clearing out for dear life.
As Saddler's island dies with its master, Leon and Ashley are finally safe. With a grateful President's daughter clinging to his waist, Leon guns the jet-ski's engine and heads for the coast, eager to return to civilization and head back to America.
Ada's Story (Separate Ways Campaign)At roughly the same time that Leon is reaching Pueblo, Ada Wong has already infiltrated it herself, at the behest of Wesker - who wishes for her to retrieve a sample of a "Master Plaga". In actuality, she is operating under orders from another group, whom she refers to only as "my organization".
Dispatching a pair of villages that spot her and immediately rush to attack, Wesker contacts her; he's viewing her by means of an officially defunct Umbrella satellite. He explains that the Plaga-infected villagers will attack outsiders on sight, and orders her to go to the church and ring the bell; due to the indoctrination of Los Illuminados, the Ganados will move to the church and become docile, making her mission easier.
When the sound of gunfire rings out, and she peeks out of hiding to see Leon engaging in battle with the villagers, well, that provides further incentive to hurry.
As Leon distracts the majority of the Ganados, Ada investigates the chapel. The door is locked, but a glint from a nearby rooftop catches her eye; when she uses her hookshot pistol to grapple her way up there, she finds that one of the village's half-feral chickens has managed to steal one of the chapel's keys and hidden it in a nest. With key in hand, she enters the chapel and follows the underground passageway to the church. Just like Leon will later, she finds the church doors locked; unlike Leon, she finds the icon needed to unlock the door in a puzzle-locked device at the back of the church. However, when she removes the icon, a gate springs into place and traps her there. She has to follow the platforms down to the door leading to the wetlands, where she finds a chainsaw-wielding female Ganado guarding a green catseye; trading this for the dial allows her to use the dial to enter the church and ring the bell.
With the chimes calling the Ganados to pray, she beats a hasty retreat out of there.
Whilst the villagers and Leon are busy with their respective worries, Ada makes her way to Chief Mendez' house, where she begins flipping through his books for any useful information. Wesker contacts her again, and tells her that she needs to get into contact with Luis Sera, who has been taken captive. Following his instructions, she makes her way through the farm to the ruined building where Luis was held prisoner, but by the time she gets there, Chief Mendez has shown up and taken Leon and Luis both prisoner.
Ada tries to give chase, but is delayed by the villagers, who are now out in force once again. She arrives back at the Chief's House just as Chief Mendez and several Ganados have returned - which means she checks in on Leon just in time to rescue him from being killed by Chief Mendez. As Ada tries to escape, several Ganados ambush her, distracting her long enough for another to bring her down with a dart rifle loaded with tranquilizers.
The spy doesn't wake up until night have fallen, but she does so just in time; she's lying on the stone altar in the cliffside cave just under the lift near the village exit, and is moments away from being sacrificed!
She deftly frees herself, gunning down her captives, and sets about extricating herself. The lift is inoperative, and requires a key; she makes her way down to the slaughterhouse where Leon will soon fight and kill Chief Mendez, and kills a chainsaw-wielding Ganado woman to acquire the lift key. Making her way back to where she began, she activates the lift and rides it to the top, before following the valley around and entering a long valley/mine area - where she is confronted by an El Gigante.
Keeping her cool, Ada slays the hulking giant, and passes through the door it was guarding; this brings her to the cabin where Leon, Luis and Ashley just fought off a Ganado siege. Luis has just made his exit, and he immediately approaches her on sight. Ada has no time for his flirtations, instead bluntly telling him that he needs to get the sample, NOW. Luis agrees, and they promptly go their separate ways.
From here, Ada makes her way over to the Salazar castle, where she encounters Leon briefly in the bedroom on the western wall, as detailed in Leon's story. After escaping, she is contacted by Wesker, who informs her that she is to meet up with Luis, who has retrieved the sample, and she is also to kill Leon. Ada tries to protest this, pointing out that Leon has no idea of Wesker's involvement, but Wesker won't be dissuaded; as a survivor of Raccoon City, Leon is, in Wesker's eyes, far too dangerous to be left alive.
Of course, Ada has no intention of killing Leon. Instead, she makes her way through the maze, fighting off Los Illuminados cultists as she goes. She follows in Leon's wake, catching up to him in the gallery, then slips past as he battles the cultists there. She reaches the concourse just ahead of Leon, and hides as Luis arrives... and is murdered by Saddler. Unable to blow her cover, Ada simply watches.
Ironically, Wesker chooses that moment to contact her, nearly blowing her cover. She informs Wesker that, so far, this mission is a bust; Luis is dead, Saddler has the sample, and she hasn't had the chance to kill Leon. She's lying through her teeth on that last part, but Wesker buys it, and rescinds that directive; Ada is now supposed to use Leon as a distraction so she can complete her own job.
As she'd already planned on doing that, Ada is happy to agree.
From there, she works to get ahead of Leon, making her way to in the hidden dock under Salazar's cathedral tower and waiting for Leon to arrive before escorting him to the island. She goes her separate ways from him again there, stopping in to float him a message on how to escape with Ashley, and then goes to meet with Krauser in the radio room.
As mentioned in the Leon's Campaign recap, Krauser is not happy to see her there, and deeply suspicious of her; he's convinced that she's a potential traitor to Wesker, and promises that he will kill her if he gets proof. Ada brushes him off and leaves - but just outside, Wesker contacts her to get a report on the situation. He observes that Leon has successfully caused massive chaos amongst the Los Illuminados, and Ada reminds him that the best part is that Leon will simply up and leave once he has retrieved Ashley, as he has neither knowledge of their plans nor the desire to interfere with them.
But that's not good enough for Wesker. He informs Ada that he's given Krauser the okay to kill his former comrade, and then hangs up. Ada is shocked and angry; verbally reminding the absentee Wesker that she doesn't always play by his rules, she runs to interfere.
She makes her way through the passage that Leon and Ashley tried to use for their bulldozer escape; wending her way through the wreckage and past Ganado mercenaries, Ada reaches routes that they passed, and ends up in an underground harbor. Here, she discovers the pride of Saddler's forces; a fully functional battleship, complete with multiple operational guns! As Ada discovers when the Ganados crewing the ship spot her and open fire!
Luckily, there are some weapons batteries mounted on the port itself; weaving between safe spots and killing any Ganados standing in her way, she recovers the key cards that allow her to activate each battery in turn, blowing up the turrets on the ship. When she manages to hit the ship's magazine with a lucky strike, she then has to race across the surface of the doomed vessel before it explodes and sinks to the bottom of the harbor, scuttling Saddler's plans to use it as a weapon of conquest.
Wending her way through high platforms in the scrap yard, Ada arrives at the site of Leon and Krauser's duel just as the Plaga-infected mercenary gets the upper hand; her well-aimed shot knocks the knife from Krauser's hand, and he flees to set up his next confrontation with Leon. Ada makes some small talk with Leon, feigning that she doesn't know Krauser, but, as usual, she gives him no useful information in return, and leaves.
In truth, she goes on to sabotage other areas of Saddler's island, but she spies on Leon and watches him seemingly kill Krauser. As Leon follows the cliff road and meets up with Mike, Ada is in hot pursuit; as the helicopter pilot lays waste to Saddler's fort, Wesker contacts Ada, who informs him of Krauser's death. Still, Wesker refuses to be swayed from his plan that Leon be executed; he orders Ada to let Leon and Saddler fight it out, and then kill whoever is left standing.
Ada feigns that she will comply, but privately has no intention of listening to this order. Instead, she follows Leon, fighting her way through the Ganados that survived his and Mike's assault. Enough of them crawl out of the ruins that she is prevented from seeing Mike be shot down, though she unknowingly gets revenge for Leon by killing the Ganado who did it.
She catches up to Leon in an underground chamber, where Leon is having a spasming fit. When she investigates, he suddenly lunges for her throat and starts to strangle her; only a quick combination of a defensive knife stab and a knee to the solar plexus breaks his hold and snaps him back to his senses. He apologizes and pops some of Luis' parasite suppressant drugs; Ada tells Leon that they have to get the parasite out of him now, but Leon refuses until he's found Ashley. With no other choice, an exasperated Ada leaves ahead of him.
She finds herself in an old prison complex, dispatching some minimal resistance before moving on - ironically, she walks right past a quiescent Regenerador without knowing it. Outside, she tenses at the sound of metal screaming, and then dodges a girder as it is thrown at her like an oversized spear. Looking up at the roof, she sees that Krauser is standing on the prison roof; burned, bleeding and injured, but very much alive.
A quick shot from her trusty grapple hook, and Ada has vaulted up to meet Krauser. She taunts him that she's already reported him as dead, and readies herself to kill him; whilst it will give the game away if Wesker happens to watch this encounter play out on his satellite, she can't let him live and report her treachery.
Gunfire echoes up from down below; Leon is fighting his way through the Ganados in the facility. But Ada has more direct things to concern herself with. This environment favors Krauser, but his existing wounds and her trusty shotgun mean that Ada ultimately triumphs, leaving the mad mercenary in a pool of blood on the roof.
She hurries to follow Leon, ultimately reaching Saddler's special laboratory just in time to distract Saddler; this gives Leon and Ashley the chance to escape, but means Ada must now battle the high priest of the Los Illuminados. It's no easy fight; not only can he lunge across the room with superhuman speed and lash out with the tentacle-stinger he used to murder Luis, but he can also expel bullets that she hits him with so ferociously that he effectively shoots them back at her. Ada needs to use a bowgun loaded with explosive arrows to defeat Saddler, stunning him when he makes a superspeed charge at her before stabbing him in the Plaga eye that pokes out his mouth as he is stunned. Ultimately, Saddler seems to be defeated, collapsing on the floor.
Emphasis on "seems to be". As Ada gets in close to retrieve the precious sample, Saddler's tentacle suddenly whips out from under his robes and knocks her out cold.
When she regains consciousness, she has been tied up and suspended from a crane's hook in a construction site. Saddler is taunting Leon, still convinced that he's going to win, whilst Leon cuts her down with a deftly aimed thrown knife. He calls out for her to get to safety, and she grapple-shots her way up to an incomplete tower to get out of danger. As she watches Leon battle the Plaga-form of Saddler, she spots a rocket launcher on another building across the platform where the two are fighting - but she can't get a clear shot to launch herself to it from there.
She grapnels her way to another part of the tower - and finds that Saddler's Ganados have rigged it to explode! Blasting her way past infected mercenaries, she races across different levels of the structure, finally finding a place where she can grapple over to the rocket launcher. As the structure detonates behind her, she grabs the launcher and throws it to Leon, who uses it to blow Saddler to pieces.
As Leon grabs the plaga sample from Saddler's remains, Ada grapples down and holds her gun to Leon's head. She demands he give her the Plaga sample that Leon just took from Saddler's remains. Reluctantly, Leon does what he is told, and Ada leaps from the construction site to a waiting helicopter. She triggers time bombs that she's set up across the island, and then throws Leon the keys to a jet-ski which she tells him is waiting in a tunnel at the foot of the lift.
Trusting that Leon and Ashley will make it out alive, she signals for her pilot to fly them away. As she is carried off to safety, she prepares a final report for her true superiors, revealing several key elements:
- She's a double-agent, infiltrating Wesker's organization on behalf of her own, unnamed group.
- She was ordered by her true superiors to conduct research on Las Plagas and Los Illuminados for them, whilst at the same time ostensibly carrying out Wesker's plan to retrieve a sample of a "Master Plaga".
- She became Wesker's contact with Luis Sera when she intercepted an email he'd sent to a friend of his whom he was unaware had died, pleading for help in escaping Los Illuminados.
- She was aware that Wesker sent Krauser in first to try and infiltrate the cult, but she had planned on playing him for a patsy all along.
- Leon was an unexpected addition to her plan, but she quickly made him central to it; she trusts his skills and his knack for survival implicitly, and was certain he would make the perfect cover.
- Whilst she has the Master Plaga sample, she intends to give it to her true masters; Wesker will be bought off with "something else", presumably just strains of lesser Plagas.
- She's confident that Wesker has grand plans ahead, since he'll need to erect a new cover for his activities now that Umbrella has been destroyed. She's already aware that he's in-contact with another major pharmaceutical corporation that's interested in the seedy market of B.O.Ws.