Ada Wong in Resident Evil 4.

What ‘Resident Evil 4’s ‘Separate Ways’ DLC Means for Ada Wong—and the Future of the Franchise

Ada Wong just got her own DLC in the Resident Evil 4 remake, and it’s a multi-hour exploration of how Ada is so much more than a simple spy. All of this shows that the developers are clearly interested in further exploring Ada as a character, which bodes well not just for fans of the character but also for the future of the franchise as a whole.

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Spoilers for the Resident Evil 4 remake and “Separate Ways” DLC.

Who is Ada Wong?

Ada Wong in the Resident Evil 2 Remake

Ada Wong is one of the most popular characters in the Resident Evil franchise and has appeared in 3 of the main titles (RE2, RE4, and RE6).

Being a spy, much of Ada’s background is unknown to characters and fans alike. All we know is that she’s of Chinese descent and had been working in espionage for a long time when she was first introduced in RE2. “Separate Ways” does give us a little hint at a rough life, with her cringing at the smell of burnt human flesh, talking about how she had “left that life behind.” The fact that they’re hinting at a backstory now could mean we’ll get much more in the future.

Another thing to note is that RE4 (and, by extension, the “Separate Ways” DLC) marks the first time Ada Wong has been voiced by an Asian woman in a Resident Evil game (which is wild when you remember that this series dates back to the ’90s and the RE2 remake came out in 2019). Unfortunately, Ada’s voice actress was faced with racist harassment that led to her deactivating her Instagram account.

On the plus side, Lily Gao gets to shine in the “Separate Ways” DLC, maintaining Ada’s professional demeanor but also showing vulnerability at key moments.

Ada’s Relationship with Leon

Ada Wong with Leon Kennedy in Resident Evil 2 Remake

Another aspect of Ada expanded upon in the DLC is her relationship with Leon Kennedy.

After Ada saves Leon multiple times during the events of RE2, he continues to follow her, believing her to be an FBI agent and the only person who can bring justice to the victims of Raccoon City. Though Ada initially attempts to cut him loose, she eventually partners with him and convinces him to help her complete her mission. Of course, Leon eventually discovers that she’s not FBI and is in fact a mercenary looking to sell the G-virus on the black market. Though she initially threatens to shoot him, she hesitates when he tells her to do so.

We ultimately don’t know what her actual choice would be, as she gets knocked off a bridge and ultimately lets go of Leon’s hand when he tries to save her. She, of course, survives and sticks around to save Leon one last time, sending him an anti-tank missile launcher to help him defeat his final boss, showing a bit of her softer side at the end.

Resident Evil 4 continues their story, with Ada once again saving Leon’s life on multiple occasions. Ada even jokes about it to herself in “Separate Ways,” saying the first rescue is free. “Separate Ways” almost takes this to parodic heights, revealing that Ada secretly either helped with or witnessed many of the events of the main game, much like Rosencrantz and Guildenstern in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. It’s legitimately funny to look back on certain scenes where Leon and Ashley are having a moment of friendship and then “Separate Ways” reveals Ada was in the grates above them, looking a tad jealous.

The “Separate Ways” DLC also highlights how Leon and Ada are mirrors of each other; both characters come to this place with a mission but become much more entangled due to being infected and also growing emotional attachment to other characters (Ashley and Luis for Leon, Leon for Ada). Similarly, Ada in RE2 starts off as a very cynical character, contrasting heavily with the much more optimistic and naive Rookie cop, Leon. Meanwhile, RE4 and “Separate Ways” show us that the two characters are somewhat rubbing off on each other, with Leon being a bit more jaded and Ada willing to forsake her mission for the greater good.

Ada’s professionalism


In addition to criticism of the voice actress’ performance, some RE4 players complained that remake Ada is much colder and less openly flirtatious. However, it is important to remember that remake Ada is a different character from the original, just like how remake Leon is a little more somber and serious.

Ada Wong, in the RE4 remake and “Separate Ways,” is a professional who is working to finish her mission as quickly and cleanly as possible. That doesn’t mean she isn’t attached to Leon—far from it. There are also multiple lines in “Separate Ways” where Ada plays off her attachment to Leon when talking with her superiors, only to immediately help him regardless of her orders. Ada being willing to sabotage her own mission for the sake of Leon Kennedy hits even harder when you know how hard she works to finish her job.

Additionally, her decision not to complete her mission becomes a thousand times more impactful after we’ve played as her and know how close she’s come to dying on multiple occasions, all for the sake of the mission. Ada’s character arc has her realize that while not asking questions about her work may mean she gets paid, it also makes her complicit in some potentially world-ending schemes. Unable to reconcile the overall cost with the potential rewards, she breaks off from her organization and betrays her employer for the good of the world.

The future of the franchise

Ada Wong in Resident Evil 6

And now we must (unfortunately) talk about Resident Evil 6. The sixth game in the franchise was highly controversial and much maligned over shifting the focus away from horror and into more action-based gameplay. Another main issue was the plot, which tried to create a mystery by claiming that Ada Wong was the main villain of the game. Fans, of course, didn’t buy it, and it was quickly revealed that the “Ada Wong” who was behind the plot was actually a doppelganger, programmed to think she was Ada Wong to fulfill the fantasies of her boss.

Yes, it is as gross as it sounds.

Unfortunately, it’s made worse by the fact that Ada herself isn’t thoroughly explored as a character, despite the plot being about her. She is allowed one scene at the end where she breaks down from the violation of having her identity taken, but she almost never interacts with the other protagonists, partially as a way of maintaining the “mystery.”

The game’s heavy focus on Leon Kennedy also makes this a case where a male character’s angst is prioritized over the experience of the female character who was actually affected.

However, while “Separate Ways” functions somewhat similarly to Ada’s campaign in RE6, it also shows a path to improving RE6. Showing Ada working behind the scenes while also exploring her character’s experience and emphasizing that she is so much more than a hardened mercenary or a motivation for Leon Kennedy is exactly what we need for Ada.

The RE4 remake and “Separate Ways” DLC aren’t perfect; there are still many lingering shots on various parts of Ada’s body (and, of course, the combat heels) that make it clear that Ada is still meant to be eye candy for players. However, making her a focus of the franchise does bode well for the futures of Ada Wong and Resident Evil as a whole.

(featured image: Capcom)

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Kimberly Terasaki
Kimberly Terasaki is a contributing writer for The Mary Sue. She has been writing articles for them since 2018, going on 5 years of working with this amazing team. Her interests include Star Wars, Marvel, DC, Horror, intersectional feminism, and fanfiction; some are interests she has held for decades, while others are more recent hobbies. She liked Ahsoka Tano before it was cool, will fight you about Rey being a “Mary Sue,” and is a Kamala Khan stan.