The following is a guest article by SlowDragon in association with the guys over at Project Stardust, be sure to check out their Twitter for more information. For more information on how to submit a guest Dream Smasher article, click here.
In 1996, Resident Evil was released for the Sony PlayStation, the first in a new genre that the series later coined as “Survival-Horror”. It was an instant success and quickly became one of Capcom’s frontline series. It had 2 more sequels on the PlayStation, with Resident Evil 2 receiving a port to the Nintendo 64. These games were different from other shooters of the time, with their gameplay focusing on avoiding monsters and only firing when absolutely needed, due to the incredibly limited ammo that was available.
The early 2000’s had the series leave PlayStation consoles, in favor of exclusivity on the Nintendo GameCube. The remake of the original Resident Evil, and the prequel game Resident Evil 0 were both exclusives, along with a game that is considered by many to be one of the greatest games of all time: Resident Evil 4. Unfortunately, fans of Leon will have to wait quite awhile for him to possibly be included in an official Smash Bros. game, but today, we’re going through how Leon Kennedy will appear when he makes his unofficial playable Smash debut in Project Stardust, a mod for Super Smash Bros. for Wii U that balances gameplay and adds new content such as stages, skins, and soon; characters.
Who is Leon Kennedy?
Leon S. Kennedy was a rookie cop for the Raccoon City Police Department, who was unfortunately late to his first day on the job. The fact that there was also a zombie outbreak the same day only made it worse. He would then team up with other survivors, and the mysterious Ada Wong, to figure out what was going on and contain the situation. He defeated the mutated scientist William Birkin, and was later enlisted into the U.S. Federal Government, where he met Jack Krauser.
Six years later, he was sent on a mission to an undisclosed area of Europe to rescue Ashley Graham, the sixteen-year-old daughter of the President of the United States. This assignment would see him battling cults, mind-control parasites, and a behemoth with a chainsaw; all while wisecracking and unloading ammunition into any monster that crossed his path. A few years after that, he would find himself fighting back the undead once more during the Tall Oaks incident, where he would escape from the small town after a bioterrorist attack.
Importance to Nintendo/Series
Leon is described by many to be the lead protagonist of the Resident Evil series, along with Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine. However, between the three, Leon is much more popular with the fans, as well as having the largest connection to Nintendo out of any Resident Evil character. He was the star of Resident Evil 2, the only game in the series to be on the Nintendo 64, as well as being in the originally GameCube exclusive Resident Evil 4; which also had an enhanced port on the Wii. He also featured in the Game Boy Color exclusive Resident Evil: Gaiden, and most recently the Wii exclusive Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles. He was voted 14th for Best Nintendo Hero by Nintendo Power in 2010, and was 36th on Guinness World Record’s list of the top video game characters of all time. In terms of Smash Bros, he has been repeatedly listed as IGN’s most requested newcomer, and he also came in 30th in Source Gaming’s breakdown of characters that are requested by the Japanese Smash Bros audience, and was the only Resident Evil character to make the list.
How will they play?
Leon’s alternate skins are a bit more varied than most characters, with him having both his Jacket and Jacket-less variants from Resident Evil 4, as well as his Police Uniform from Resident Evil 2. His third skin, the one with the black jacket, is based upon his outfit in Resident Evil 6, and his seventh skin is based upon Ada Wong. This was done to represent every major game Resident Evil game that Leon has appeared in, and to give fans of Leon the ability to play as the incarnation they prefer.
Leon’s playstyle will work similarly to the first three games in the Resident Evil series, with him being somewhat slow and tank-like. As a super-heavyweight, he can take quite a bit of damage before being KO’d. He is armed with his starting loadout from Resident Evil 4, including his custom Silver Ghost handgun, his shotgun, his knife, and First Aid Spray. His moves are based upon games he’s appeared in, mostly Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil 6.
His greatest strengths are his amazing recovery, and powerful attacks, as well as the aforementioned weight. His weaknesses come from how slow he is on both the air and ground, his fast falling speed and short range. His main gameplay element revolves around his limited ammunition. Leon’s handgun and shotgun both have a numbered amount of shots that can be fired before needing to be reloaded, and can leave him vulnerable if the amount of shots isn’t monitored.
- Can they crawl: No.
- Can they wall jump: Yes.
- Can they wall cling: No.
- Do they have a tether: No.
- How many jumps do they have: 2, and are about average in height.
- Is there any exclusive abilities they have*: No.
- Weight Class: A
- Height Class: B
- Speed Class: D
- Are they mirrored when they face left: No.
*i.e. Peach’s float
(for a more detailed look at the stats check this link here)
- Just under Ryu’s height (B)
- 110, the lightest in the Super Heavyweight class (A)
- 0.82 (E)
- 1.51 (C)
- Max: 1.68
- Fast: 2.688
- Very strong, and can easily combo his attacks together in devastating chains. Unfortunately, he suffers from having short range and a very weak projectile.
- Leon’s gameplay revolves around baiting opponents to you, and keeping them close. Leon has a projectile with Knife Toss and good reach with Tackle, his weakness is powerful ranged attacks like Mewtwo’s Shadow Ball and Ness’ PK Fire.
- Limited ammunition. Attacks that use firearms will need to be reloaded after a certain amount of shots. Things like knives and First Aid Spray don’t follow these rules.
- Handgun – 10 Shots
- Shotgun – 6 Shots
- Idle equipment. Leon will keep holding certain weapons until he needs something else, similar to Pit’s Bow configurations. For example, Leon will still be holding his handgun after his Jab ends, and will keep holding it until another weapon is necessary, like F-smash. This property is only seen with handgun and shotgun.
- Leon plays similarly to the first 3 games in the Resident Evil series, being very slow and being a literal tank. However, his quick and powerful attacks, as well as good recovery can easily make up for his slow movement.
- When Leon reaches 100%, his idle, walk, and run animations change to their low-health variants from Resident Evil 4.
Universe: Resident Evil (Biohazard in Japan)
Series icon: The Umbrella Corporation logo.
Kirby hat: Kirby gains Leon’s floppy hair, and Knife Toss.
DISCLAIMER: the ESRB and CERO rating systems have an especially unique stance on the depiction of real-life weapons in games like Super Smash Bros. Because we don’t have the full details of what is and is not allowed it became too difficult to judge what aspects of this moveset would need modifying and what would be OK. So bare in mind that we have done our best but for the most part we have gone with what we believe works best with the moveset over what is and is not allowed.
|Entry||A brown door slowly opens and Leon steps out of it, assuming his idle stance and making the door vanish. This is a reference to the famous door cutscenes from the Resident Evil series.|
|Idle Stance||Leon stands with his current weapon in the corresponding neutral position from Resident Evil 4.|
|Idle Pose 1||Leon moves his hair, to make sure it doesn’t block his vision.|
|Idle Pose 2||Leon takes his stance from the Resident Evil 4: Wii Version boxart, and looks around.|
|KO Scream||Leon says “Son of a..” as he rockets into the background.|
|Jab||Leon slashes his knife horizontally
Leon slashes his knife diagonally
Leon elbows them in the face
|Dash Attack||Leon does an evasive dive, which can go under mid-height projectiles|
|Forward Tilt||Leon does the famous roundhouse kick from Resident Evil 4|
|Up Tilt||Leon does an overhead strike similar to the Mii Brawler’s Headache Maker, and can spike opponents (Hits twice, Hit 2 can spike)|
|Down Tilt||Leon does a lowkick, and will send enemies at a dirty angle|
|Forward Smash||Leon equips his shotgun, and lines up his shot when charging. When released, Leon will quickly fire, cock the gun, and fire a second time in a single swift movement. The first shot is angled slightly upwards, and can hit aerial opponents, the second shot is horizontal and has a slightly larger range. When the player is out of shotgun uses, Leon will reload, leaving him open to counterattacks (Hits twice, requires Shotgun)|
|Up Smash||Leon equips his shotgun, and aims directly upwards. When released, he fires a single shot that has very good range and is an incredible anti-air (Requires Shotgun)|
|Down Smash||Leon aims his handgun at the ground directly in front of himself while charging, and will fire 3 shots when released. All of the shots hit the same place, but get progressively stronger. When the player is out of handgun uses, Leon will reload, leaving him open to counterattacks (Hits three times, uses Handgun)|
|Neutral Aerial||Leon swings his knife forward from his waist to his shoulders in an arc, and will propel Leon forward a bit. While this move has a small hitbox, the option to use it for movement makes it at least somewhat useful|
|Forward Aerial||Leon does a shoulder-bash, and gains a few frames of Super Armor|
|Back Aerial||Leon’s famous backward aerial roundhouse kick, and his prime killing aerial in Smash. While this move has a bit of startup lag (akin to Shulk’s Bair), getting the timing down can lead to some amazing finishes|
|Up Aerial||Leon equips his shotgun, and fires a single shot directly upward. This attack is incredibly powerful, but has the capability to spike Leon himself if used above a pit. However, Leon can act out of his descent if the player is quick enough and is falling from a high enough distance, and can use any of his other aerials or air dodge. If Leon hits the ground, he will have a laggy getup. If Leon is out of ammo, he will reload. (Requires Shotgun)|
|Down Aerial||Leon pauses in mid-air, and fires a single shot from his handgun downwards. This attack can spike enemies that have reached 122%+, and stops Leon’s momentum. When the player is out of handgun uses, Leon will reload, leaving him open to counterattacks (Can spike, uses Handgun)|
Leon grabs his opponent by the collar, and aims his handgun at the opponent’s head, yelling “Freeze”. Has a quick startup and a good range, but leaves Leon open for a moment if evaded. This is a reference to the beginning of Resident Evil 4, when Leon is attacked by an axe wielding villager (ironic, right?) and tries to apprehend him by yelling the now famous quote “Freeze! I said freeze!”
|Pummel||Leon bashes the butt of his handgun against the opponent’s head|
|Forward Throw||Leon pushes the opponent away and then jump-kicks them in the head, sending them flying away (Hits twice)|
|Back Throw||Leon grabs the opponent by the arm, ducks, and spins them around, throwing the opponent into the ground behind himself. This is a reference to the Armlock Throw from Resident Evil 6 (Hits twice)|
|Up Throw||Leon grabs the opponent by the shoulders and suplexes them over himself, smashing their head into the stage. Hitting the ground sends them flying upwards behind Leon. This is a reference to the Suplex from Resident Evil 4 (Hits twice)|
|Down Throw||Leon trips the opponent and then fires a shot from his handgun at their head, sending them flying upwards in front of Leon. When the player is out of handgun uses, Leon will reload instead, and the enemy will only receive the first hit. Leon’s kill throw (Hits three times, uses Shotgun)|
|Ledge Attack||Leon gets up onto the stage, and swings his knife horizontally.|
|Getup Attack (Front)||Leon swipes his knife directly in front of himself, and kicks backwards.|
|Getup Attack (Back)||Leon does a sweeping spin-kick, and gets back up|
|Trip Attack||Leon slashes his knife twice, once on both sides|
|Forward Roll||Leon dives forward and rolls, landing on his feet.|
|Back Roll||Leon does a cartwheel, and returns to his idle stance.|
|Spot Dodge||Leon holds his gun in a ready position, and quickly steps into the background.|
|Air Dodge||Leon holds his handgun to his chest and covers his face with his arm.|
|Neutral Special (Default) – Throwing Knife||Leon will hold his knife in a ready position while the button is held, allowing the player to choose an angle. The player can choose one of 12 directions, and Leon will throw the knife in whichever chosen direction. The knife is subject to gravity, and will arc downwards from wherever it’s thrown.|
|Neutral Special (Custom 1) – Piercing Knife||The knife is now much stronger, and will go though opponents, allowing it to hit multiple times. However, it doesn’t go nearly as far.|
|Neutral Special (Custom 2) – Trapping Knife||The knife will now lock opponents in place, akin to Corrin’s Dragon Lunge. Does no damage.|
|Side Special (Default) – Tackle||Leon dives forward with a shoulder-bash (Going about the same distance as the visuals of Lucario’s Force Palm), and will knock enemies to the ground. The attack works as a command grab, and leaves enemies on the floor. When missed, Leon will take a moment to get back up off the ground. Using this attack in the air will still floor grounded opponents but will just send aerial opponents flying forward, and Leon also goes a much further distance (about the same as a Pac-Man’s uncharged Power Pellet). Leon is left helpless after this attack, but will still grab ledges. Leon is given Super Armor during his descent, which ends just before he hits the ground.
On-Stage – (Hits twice, Hit 1 knocks down opponents)
|Side Special (Custom 1) – Freeze Tag||Instead of knocking people down, Leon freezes them. The move also goes slightly further in both the ground and the air, but does substantially less damage.
On-Stage – (Freezes)
|Side Special (Custom 2) – Pop n’ Drop||Leon jumps into the air, and comes crashing down on his opponents. This can be used to recover vertically, or as a very powerful spike. It can bury grounded opponents. It does not have any horizontal movement.
On-Stage – (Buries)
|Up Special (Default) – Buckshot Upper||Leon equips his shotgun, and then leaps into the air (About the same height as Ness’ second jump). At any time during the leap, Leon can take one of three actions that will all leave him helpless in mid-air, but still able to grab ledges:
Shotgun Forward Aerial: Leon bashes the butt of his shotgun forward.
|Up Special (Custom 1) – Tranquilizer Blast||Leon’s first leap won’t go nearly as high, and his Shotgun Aerials are decreased in strength. However, his second Up Special will put enemies underneath it to sleep.
Shotgun Forward Aerial: Leon bashes the butt of his shotgun forward
|Up Special (Custom 2) – Automatic Shotgun||Leon will fire two shotgun blasts instead of one, sending him incredibly high. However, they are nowhere near as devastating.
Shotgun Forward Aerial: (Hits once)
|Down Special (Default) – First Aid Spray||Leon crouches to the ground, and begins to administer First Aid Spray around his body. Leon can cancel the attack by rolling or being hit, and it leaves him helpless when used in the air. After being used, he will be unable to use it for about 15 seconds.|
|Down Special (Custom 1) – Spray Tan||Leon’s Spray instead gives him a fiery aura that will burn nearby opponents! Leon will still be able to move while in this state, but will take tick-damage until it runs out. Keep your opponents close to really heat things up!|
|Down Special (Custom 2) – P30||Leon injects himself with P30, an incredibly powerful performance enhancer, and it shows. All of Leon’s stats get a 10% buff, making him incredibly strong, fast, and durable. However, true to it’s roots, it doesn’t last very long. After 5 seconds, Leon will be left paralyzed, or in freefall. This is probably best used as a last resort.|
|Final Smash – The Mercenaries||After breaking the Smash Ball, pressing the Special Attack button will make Leon fire a bright red flare into the air whilst yelling “You’re going down!”, and the mysterious agent Ada Wong appears in the background of the stage on a helicopter. She will fire six rockets at the opponents that are closest to Leon, before flying upwards and away, returning the battle to normal.|
|Up Taunt||Leon pulls out his communicator, and attempts to make contact. A faint static is heard, and Leon says “Story of my life.”
If the button is held, a famous conversation from Resident Evil 4 will occur instead. Salazar will be heard saying “I have sent my right hand to dispose of you.”, to which Leon will respond “Your right hand comes off?”. This is the longest taunt in the game, and cannot be cancelled.
|Side Taunt||Leon drops the clip from his handgun and loads in a new one, refilling his handgun’s ammunition. During this, Leon says “Better try a new trick, ’cause that one’s gettin’ old.”|
|Down Taunt||Leon opens his shotgun and empties the barrel, then he loads in 6 more shots, refilling his shotgun’s ammunition. While reloading, Leon says “Hasta Luego”|
|Victory Pose 1||Leon spins his pistol in his hand, and puts it in his holster. Leon says “Game Over”.|
|Victory Pose 2||Leon is typing on a typewriter, a reference to the saving system in Resident Evil 4. You probably wouldn’t want to lose your progress either after a fight like that.|
|Victory Pose 3||Leon spins his knife between his fingers, and throws it to the left of the screen. Leon says “No thanks, bro”.|
The victory theme for Leon is an original remix of the Save Room theme from Resident Evil 2 made by our very own composer!
So, that’s pretty much everything. Are you looking forward to Leon’s inclusion, or should it be someone else? Be sure to leave a comment below and tell us! Due to the current restraints of modding, Leon is progressing somewhat slowly, so it may be a while until he’s fully released for you guys; but you can keep up with his (and other characters) development on our Twitter, Reddit, Discord, and GameBanana pages. If you haven’t played Stardust yet, you can check out Moonlight here; or if you know nothing about modding Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, this tutorial by Etika World Network should help you get started. We just released Version 2.0 of Moonlight, and it’s pretty swell! Thank you to Source Gaming for allowing us to do this, check out their Patreon page to show them some love, and wish Mr. Nantendo a happy birthday! Thanks for reading!