Resident Evil 4: Otome Edition is a dating sim played from Ashley’s perspective

Go googly-eyed for Leon Kennedy once again in this fan-made origin story.

Finally, we can all follow through on our mad Leon Kennedy crushes from over a decade ago. Resident Evil 4: Otome Edition is a fan-made visual novel told from Ashley Graham’s perspective, tracing her adventure from kidnapping to crushing hard on Kennedy (and, surprise, some cultists). Using screenshots from the game, plus some original art and UI elements, Ashley narrates the early moments of Resident Evil 4, coloring old experiences in a goofy light. 

The ridiculous plot actually jives with Resident Evil 4’s fiction pretty well, openly addressing the absurdity of a scenario in which the president’s daughter is kidnapped by a cult of parasite-infested Spaniards. While not always funny, and sometimes a bit juvenile and tone deaf (there are some uncomfortable innuendos about sliding a needle in slowly against Ashley’s will), it mostly feels like it's in the service of satire. 

RE4: Otome Edition seems to be poking fun not only how shallow the visual novel genre can be (there are plenty of exceptions), but how Ashley is perceived through the game as a helpless, empty character, or as the developers put it “...an objective; at worst, a liability.” 

The result is a long-winded joke, but one that's clearly been put together with a deep understanding of the game. It’s only a demo, so I’m not certain if a full version will be forthcoming, but it’s free and worth checking out if you’re as big a fan as Resident Evil 4 as I am.  

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