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Ada Wong's entire timeline explained

One of video gaming's very first femme fatales, Resident Evil's Ada Wong — if that is her real name — has been a fan favorite and something of a mystery since her debut. Let's get one thing straight: she's so much more than just a love interest for Leon Kennedy, although that complicated relationship is a big part of her character. Resident Evil boasts a whole batch of strong heroines that can fight mutated monsters in the most impractical of outfits, and Ada is no exception. Those stiletto heels don't slow her down. 

Ada flits in and out of the games, following her own agenda. We'll call her something of a chaotic good: she's far from evil, but she's usually focused on self-serving motives. A girl's gotta eat, right? Ada pays the bills through presumably big payouts from the shady organizations that hire her, but it could very well be possible that she's into the espionage and intrigue for the thrill of it. We don't know a lot about her, but we do know Ada's story through the games' timeline. And that she's very, very adept at finding rocket launchers in the nick of time.

Who is Ada Wong?

It's hard to get to know a spy. They're masters of assuming an alternate identity and playing that part in order to get close to unsuspecting people. In Ada's case, she's an expert at corporate espionage. She steals trade secrets on behalf of rival corporations by infiltrating another business. This requires all the usual skills of a spy, namely acting, sleight of hand, and stealth, alongside knowledge of the business. For Ada, she's definitely got a science background. Her expertise lies in snatching up experimental virus samples. 

We have no idea how she got into this unorthodox line of business, though. A scientist gone rogue? Is she just a super nerdy spy? We haven't seen her involved in the usual thievery involved with corporate espionage: she's got a deathgrip on the deadly, mutating virus niche rather than stealing budget reports and blueprints. Her past is an utter mystery, and we're willing to bet that she likes it that way.

Password: Ada

Ada is mentioned by name before her debut in Resident Evil 2. The fact that she looks great in a little red dress actually comes to help her in her work. In order to properly infiltrate the super secure, ultra-mysterious Umbrella Corporation, Ada charmed the head researcher of the Arklay Laboratory. We don't know how Ada so completely seduced John Clemens, but it appeared that he was utterly head-over-heels in love with her. 

John's final letter to Ada in the original Resident Evil gave her instructions on how to self-destruct the facility and make the whole fiasco public. John also begged her to put him out of his misery if she found him in his new mutated form. This suggests that even as a fake girlfriend, Ada was whip-smart and capable. John used her name as his password and left another code in a roentgenogram, saying, "I know you, and I'm sure you will be able to work it out without any trouble."

FBI and/or concerned girlfriend

Ada never got that letter. Instead she was in nearby Raccoon City, where the t-Virus had turned the town into a veritable nightmare. In the original Resident Evil 2, she nearly shoots Leon because of his police uniform. Leon doesn't ask a lot of questions about her red cocktail dress and buys her story that she's looking for information on her missing boyfriend, John. In the remake, she's wrapped up in a trenchcoat and, cool as a cucumber, saves Leon from being an undead dog's chew toy. When Leon asks her what a girl like her is doing in a place like this, she claims she's FBI and gives the classic G-Man response: "That's classified."

Eventually, after saving his butt from Mr. X, Ada tells Leon that she's planning on taking down the entire Umbrella Corporation and that she's looking for Annette Birkin, who is responsible for the outbreak. Annette isn't exactly friendly, and she might just be seeing through Ada's FBI pretense when she says that they'll never get the more powerful G-virus. She tries to shoot Ada; Leon, chivalrous to a fault, takes the bullet for her.

Feelings/rocket launchers for Leon

Ada patches up Leon and goes after Annette, sans trench coat, armed with some futuristic spy tools. Unfortunately for her, Annette has much more knowledge about the underground facility and leaves Ada injured in a heap of garbage. It's Leon's turn to come to the rescue and help Ada limp to the elevator to NEST, Umbrella's underground lab. This is where Ada, with a rousing speech and a well-placed kiss, says her "Leon Kennedy, you're my only hope" equivalent.

She asks Leon to secure a sample of the G-virus so that she, as an FBI agent, can prevent what happened to Raccoon City from ever happening again. After taking on Annette, Leon learns that Ada is not FBI after all. But after a standoff with her as NEST crumbles around them, he also learns that she has a soft spot for him. This tender moment is interrupted by Annette, who shoots Ada. Leon nearly saves Ada from falling to her death. Nearly. She disappears into a seemingly deadly fall, but we know that she's okay after all when a mysterious figure kicks a rocket launcher Leon's way so that he can defeat Mr. X at last.

Escape from Raccoon City

So how did Ada escape from the self-destructing NEST and the soon-to-be-cinders Raccoon City? We learn of her miraculous escape in Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles. Determined to complete her mission, she limped through the sewers up to the Apple Inn, where she was meant to meet her liaison for a rival company that was after Umbrella's G-virus. Her contact, however, apparently couldn't handle the zombie apocalypse and had killed himself. That's what Albert Wesker on a video call said, anyway. He's angry with Ada for helping out Leon and thus apparently betraying his organization. When Ada shows him that she has a tissue sample laced with the G-virus, his tone changes. 

Wesker lets her know that the city is about to be bombed and that she has a ticket out of town on an Umbrella helicopter. He gives her a hookshot and signs off, leaving her to shoot her way through the city. There are dogs, zombies, monsters, and a stray Tyrant that she has to take on before even getting on the helicopter, which doesn't even land for her. She has to hookshot onto the container it carries, losing a heel in the process.

A Spanish holiday with Leon (kinda)

In Resident Evil 4, Ada reunites with Leon on a Spanish holiday. Kind of. Still working for Wesker, Ada is sent to a remote village in Spain to investigate Los Illuminado, a cult led by former bioweapon researcher Osmund Saddler. Saddler has been infected with a mutagenic parasite known as Las Plagas. The parasites can be controlled via soundwaves, or that's Ada's theory anyway. Ada is there to prove her loyalty to the organization she works for and obtain a sample of the parasite. 

Leon is there to save the kidnapped daughter of the president of the United States. Ada, somehow remaining out of sight in her eye-catching red dress, manages to save Leon's butt a couple times without him noticing her. Ada in fact makes it a point to have it seem that Leon is the "primary player" while she helps him along in the shadows. 

Krauser can't trust Ada

After a not-so-warm reunion with Leon, Wesker commands Ada to focus on the mission, and if she runs into Leon, to eliminate him. Ada plays by her own rules, however, and maybe Wesker knows that she's not willing to kill Leon. So hhe instead sends loyal soldier Jack Krauser to do it. But Ada helps Leon kill Krauser; she even reports Krauser as dead to Wesker. 

Krauser comes back with a vengence, however. Krauser mutated, making a more formidable foe for Ada to fight. Saddler doesn't go down as easily as Krauser, and captures Ada just when she thinks she can finally retrieve the sample. She's used as bait for Leon, and in the final boss fight against an uglier-than-ever Saddler, Ada does what she does best: she gives Leon a rocket launcher. Once Saddler is defeated, she takes the Las Plagas sample from Leon and escapes via helicopter, but not before giving Leon a way out via jet ski.

However, Ada isn't going to hand over the dominant Plagas sample that Wesker wanted. Instead, she gives him a less potent version. She muses that Wesker will figure out her deception: "The mission may be over, but the battle is just beginning."

Russian spy Ada Wong

Las Plagas resurfaces in Resident Evil: Damnation, where the parasite is being used by apparent freedom fighters in a civil war against the oligarchy of the Eastern Slav Republic. Leon is sent there but is immediately recalled by the US, seriously ticking him off — he had sacrificed vacation time for this! He stubbornly decides to stay, and where Leon is, Ada typically follows. 

Ada comes into the conflict posing as a United Nations member and an agent of the Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance. The first meeting with President Svetlana Belikova goes smoothly, but after warning Leon of a plan to bomb the city, Belikova accuses Ada of being a Russian — or American — spy. The two women have a Matrix-worthy hand-to-hand fight before Ada is captured. In the president's underground facility, Ada and Leon discover Dominant Plaga samples that were sold to the rebels in order for the government to legitimize their aggressive campaign against them. Ada pockets one of these to sell to her old employer, Derek C. Simmons, who just so happens to be the national security advisor to the US president.

Simmons' obsession

The "C" in Derek C. Simmons may as well stand for "creep," because this guy has done some seriously questionable things. First of all, it was Simmons who decided to bomb Raccoon City after obtaining evidence of the horror of bioweapons like the t-Virus. That didn't sit right with Ada, who had been working with him and The Family, a cabal pulling the strings behind world governments, and thus she left his employ. 

But Simmons was obsessed. He was in love with Ada, so when she broke off all contact with him, something inside him snapped. Simmons did what anyone spurned by their crush would do: kidnap women to use in an experimental cloning project. The goal of Project Ada was to recreate a perfect replica of the real Ada Wong. This is where Carla Redames comes in. She was a virologist working with Simmons who somehow fell for him. Wanting to please him, she helped him realize his dream. After ten years and 12,235 experiments (read: dead, kidnapped women), it was Carla who would become the new Ada Wong.

The other Ada

The new Ada was just like the old one: sassy and capable, with a sharp wit and sharper stiletto heels. Unlike the original, this other Ada was absolutely in love with Simmons and has a little bit of Carla left in her. Carla felt used and betrayed by Simmons, and so she decides in Resident Evil 6 to take down everything he's ever stood for, namely the stability and order of the world. She wants to use her C-virus, and Ada's identity, to plunge the world into chaos. 

Carla creates Neo Umbrella, and lures Ada to a submarine saying that she's actually Simmons. "Simmons" reveals, as a proper villain does, a plan to bomb major cities everywhere with the C-virus. Leon, who is naturally in on the action, starts to get suspicious after seeing a VHS entitled "Happy Birthday, Ada Wong" showing Carla hatching as a new Ada. When he sees the real Ada, he's a little shaken.

Dynamic duo: Ada and Leon

The real Ada helps out from the shadows, and when all hell is breaking loose in Lanshiang, China, she is at last able to come face to face with her doppleganger. Carla wanted the world to blame the real Ada Wong for what she had done, but Ada just pities her. Carla falls from a helicopter, seemingly to her death, and Ada tells her corpse that if she had been going after revenge on Simmons alone, Ada would have helped her. Carla wakes up, gooey and falling apart after injecting herself with the C-virus. 

Simmons was also infected by Carla, but blames Ada nonetheless. Still creepy and obsessed, he attacks her before Leon comes to the rescue, saying that the real Ada can pull through anything. They take on the centaur-Simmons, but he nearly gets the best of this dynamic duo. Nearly. When Leon is left hanging from a suspension bridge, Ada stabs Simmons and swings him into a convenient explosion with a wry comment that he needs to move on. As she's so wont to do, Ada sashays away as Leon looks on. She has loose ends to tie up.

On to the next job

Ada wants to destroy everything that Carla has built, namely all the horrendous human experimentation. After frying Simmons, Ada went to Carla's lab, where her "greatest work" was ... hatching with human hands. Before this thing could be born, Ada says, "We're beyond sympathy at this point, we're beyond humanity," and unloads a couple clips onto the creature, the lab, and all its equipment in a satisfying slow motion scene. 

It was a rare emotional burst from this usually ice cold spy. We can imagine that identity theft and nearly getting eaten by a grabby former boss can really get to you. However, Ada is quickly back to her old self as fires rage in the lab. She throws away the old communication device that Carla/Simmons had contacted her with and immediately receives a phone call on another one. Smiling, she accepts the job offered, saying that her schedule had just cleared up.

Where does she go? What is she up to? Only time, and future Resident Evil games, will tell.