Video game character crushes. They are a thing. I prefer them to movie character crushes, because video game characters (most often) aren’t physically represented by pesky real people who might pop up in a tabloid and wreck the fantasy, AND you get to make them do whatever you want (to a certain extent).
Now that we've acknowledged this, I’m ready to get the ball rolling with the hottest collection of pixels to ever grace a screen: Leon S. Kennedy.
LEON SCOTT KENNEDY!!!*
*Never just LEEEOOONNN! Because then someone might mistake me for Ashley Graham, “the President’s daughter,” and I might die of shame. “LEEEOOONNN! HAAALP!” No! NO! What am I typing?! Back to where we were.
Aaaaaaah. Leon Scott Kennedy.
Leon made his first appearance in Resident Evil 2, on (game-time) September 29, 1998. He was running late for his first day on the Raccoon City police force, which … ended up going badly. Despite the whole battling zombies on the first day on the job thing, Leon managed to meet a hot babe in a red dress. And then took a bullet for her. Dreamy, right? But then she died.
Or did she? Because the chick who tossed him a rocket launcher while he was fighting the T-103R looked an awful lot like her…
And then he got down to the real hotness in Resident Evil 4. Oh, perfect swishy hair! (Ed.: To each her own.) Oh, riot gun! OH, Killer7! That JACKET! Let me fan myself for a moment.
So Leon turns up in Spain looking finer than ever (as I said, that JACKET!) to search for the President’s kidnapped daughter. Now guys, let’s not kid ourselves. Resident Evil 4 has one of the worst plots in history. It is ridiculous. I like to imagine it was written over late-night Gchat:
“What if Leon went to Spain to rescue the President’s daughter, and then these parasite-infected people who are not zombies attack him?”
“Hell yeah! They should be like, monks or something! And THEN let’s bring a Bond villain-style little person into the mix!”
“Sounds good, man. But we should throw in some innocent villagers before the monks. It gives it, like, pathos or something.”
“Dude, you’re a genius. After the monks, let’s bring some science-mercenary type guys into it, and a jet ski! We got this.”
“SWEET, bro! Now let’s come up with some sick stuff for all those guys to turn into and program this thing!”
“Don’t forget the dogs!”
Incredibly, it ended up being the best game ever. At the end of the first section of the first chapter, Leon met Luis, the man who SHOULD have become the love of his life:
Do you see it? I see it. If none of the rest of you see it, I will take solace in the fact that my friend Lauren is into it. HOT. Sadly, it was not to be.
Aaanyway, Ada’s not dead. You can actually catch a glimpse of her as early on as the village, if you make Leon go back into the bedroom of that one house after the giant terrifying village chief chokes him like Vader and makes a cryptic creepy comment about “having the same blood” or something, right before coming across a Ganado in the toilet and THEN meeting chainsaw dude for the first time! (Unless you run into that certain house at the beginning of the village and grab the shotgun first thing like an effing HERO. Eeeeeeeee, the sound of a chainsaw revving still gives me the chills.)
After many trials, Ada gives Leon a boat ride (not innuendo), repeats history by throwing Leon a rocket launcher at a critical time, and then, uh, helps (?) him by proffering a teddy bear key chain with a key to the jet ski of escape. Which … come on, lady. Who expects to have to drive a jet ski to safety after beating the big boss? You’re a cruel woman, Ada Wong.
Since he politely declined Ashley’s offer of “overtime” and noted Hunnigan’s removal of corrective eyewear, we’ve seen little of Leon. (I didn’t play The Darkside Chronicles, sorry. I’M SORRY, LEON!) BUT, the trailer for Resident Evil 6 offers us a promising glimpse of sexiness to come. I quite safely assume that the rest of the world is just as giddy as I am in anticipation. LEON SCOTT KENNEDYYY!!! <3 you. Now, let’s all discuss how diabolically attractive you are. And how much fun Resident Evil 4 is in high def.
Next up: Garrus Vakarian. If you’ve got a video game crush nominee, let him or her be known in the comments.
Jennifer Culp once received a riot gun as a Christmas gift after raving about how amazing the weapon is in Resident Evil 4, and will blow a hostile milk jug away without blinking.
Special thanks to Justin Mitchell for procuring Girl Talk Secret cards, as well as being the greatest cutscene photographer Jennifer has ever known.