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In the Spotlight: Ada Wong

on 14 November 2012

As Resident Evil’s enigmatic, sultry super spy, Ada Wong remains one of the most popular characters to grace Capcom’s survival horror franchise in its 16-year history. One way or another, the Woman in the Red Dress has been involved in many of the series’ central plot threads, whether it be the destruction of Raccoon City in 1998 or the abduction of the U.S. President in 2004. Mixing with the Big Boys, Miss Wong has found herself working with mysterious organisations over the past decade or so, including a number of Umbrella’s rivals, such as the faceless company headed by Albert Wesker. But what makes her tick? What is she hoping to achieve? And more importantly, is Ada Wong even her real name?

Tall, sophisticated and stunningly beautiful, Wong isn’t afraid to go to extreme lengths to achieve her objective. As such, this is no damsel distress; Ada is highly proficient in a variety of firearms, and her physicality matches that of fellow anti-Umbrella agents Leon S. Kennedy and Chris Redfield. Well-versed in martial arts, Wong is an able combatant and her skills have gotten her out of some sticky situations in the past. Stoic and unreadable, the super spy rarely lets her guard down and shows her real emotions; in fact, only Kennedy has ever managed to break down her barriers, such as they are, and get to her to exhibit her true feelings. This moment of perceived weakness, however, is rarely repeated.

Wong first appears in September 1998, as depicted in the events of Resident Evil 2. Prior to that, her name was utilized as a password in the Spencer Mansion laboratory by her a researcher name John, ostensibly Wong’s boyfriend. In truth, her fling with the poor chap was only a ruse to gather information on Umbrella. Working for a mysterious organisation known only as ‘The Agency,’ Wong infiltrates Raccoon City during the T-Virus outbreak in an attempt to procure a sample of the G-Virus; a deadly, mutagenic toxin developed by William Birkin. She teams up with Kennedy along the way, who saves her life on more than one occasion and eventually develops feelings for the rookie police officer. After being severely injured by a T-103, Wong is presumed dead but manages to escape the city with a G-Virus sample thanks to Wesker’s help, as well as providing a rocket launcher for Kennedy and Claire Redfield to destroy a rampaging Tyrant.

Over the next few years Wong would continue to work for the ex.S.T.A.R.S Captain on a number of undisclosed missions. Fast-forward to 2004 with Resident Evil 4, and Wesker dispatches Ada to Spanish village to obtain an entity known as Las Plagas; a parasitic organism that has the ability to manipulate its host and endow them with super-human abilities. Unbeknownst to Wesker however, Wong is in reality working for another company. During this time she reveals herself to Kennedy, who is on a mission to rescue President Graham’s daughter, Ashley, from the clutches of a group known as the Los Illuminados. Wong also cooperates with local lothario Luis Sera, a former researcher who also offers his services to Kennedy after he becomes infected by the Las Plagas. Ada’s mission is documented in the side-story Separate Ways.

Mission accomplished, Wong heads back via chopper with two samples in her possession: the dominant strain Plagas and a rudimentary species sample, the latter of which she hands to Wesker. 15 years after Raccoon City’s destruction (Resident Evil 6), and the sultry spy is once again called into action, this time during the outbreak of the C-Virus. Here, she finds herself under scrutiny from Derek Simmons; a former associate linked to Neo-Umbrella who becomes obsessed with Wong to the point of cloning her in the shape of Carla Radames. Radames, who is the real instigator behind the C-Virus outbreak, masquerades as the real Ada Wong, fooling both Leon Kennedy and Chris Redfield, who arrive in China on the trail of the truth behind the outbreak. Wong aids Kennedy and his partner, Helena Harper, in their battle against Simmons, who is infected by Radames after she discovers the truth behind her origins. They eventually triumph after a lengthy battle, before Wong departs after receiving a call by her employers regarding a new mission.

In addition to her appearance in the games, Ada also pops up in the animated flick Resident Evil: Degeneration and plays a major role in the film Resident Evil: Retribution, portrayed by Li Bingbing. Quite where Ada will show her face next remains unknown, but given Capcom’s penchant for bringing back old characters as the series evolves, we can bet we haven’t seen the last of her.