Skip to main content

Resident Evil 4 ending explained: what the remake changes

Capcom’s excellent Resident Evil 4 remake isn’t a 1:1 copy of the 2005 action-horror classic. The 2023 version departs from the original in some key ways, fleshing out characters and completely reimagining some plot beats. Some of those changes help better connect it to Capcom’s previous remakes, while others rid the game of some of its crass humor.

Some of the biggest changes happen in the remake’s ending — though you may not notice them at first glance. The general plot beats aren’t too far off from the original, but there are some important tonal changes that might be setting the stage for whatever’s next. Here’s exactly what happens in Resident Evil 4‘s new ending and how it departs from the original.

Spoilers for both versions of Resident Evil 4 are below.

Resident Evil 4’s ending explained

Like the original game, the remake ends with a climactic battle against Osmund Saddler. After a long battle with the mutated cultist, Ada Wong saves the day by tossing Leon S. Kennedy a red rocket launcher. With a blast and a stab to the eye, Leon defeats Saddler but is knocked backward onto a metal grate, dropping a sample of the amber containing the Plaga virus in the process. That’s where the story starts to diverge.

In the original game, Ada Wong essentially double-crosses Leon by taking the sample from him at gunpoint. There’s no explanation for the betrayal, as Ada quickly jumps onto a helicopter, starts a timer on a bomb hidden in the island, and tosses Leon the keys to a jet ski. She’s purely a villain in the 2005 edition’s climax.

Things play out very differently in 2023. Rather than holding a gun to Leon’s head, Ada simply picks up the sample while Leon is lying down and notes that she and Luis had “an arrangement.” She casually strolls over to an approaching helicopter, promising to take good care of the sample, and climbs onboard. It isn’t a dramatic escape; Ada even asks Leon if she wants to join him on the helicopter. He declines and notes that it’s where the duo goes their “separate ways” — a pointed reference to a piece of Resident Evil 4 DLC starring Ada.

Ada Wong holds a gun in Resident Evil 4.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

As Ada leaves, an explosion rocks the island, prompting Ada to toss Leon her jet ski key. She doesn’t set the bomb off herself, further removing the original’s supervillain ending. Instead, Ada comes off as much more of an anti-hero in the finale, helping Leon and Ashley escape. The timed getaway sequence that follows plays out mostly the same way, as Leon and Ashley make their way to the jet ski and safely navigate off the island before it blows up. As they leave, they discover that the villagers infected with Las Plagas have been neutralized now that Saddler is dead.

The final moment has Leon and Ashley sharing a friendly moment on the jet ski. Notably, it gets rid of a creepy line where Ashley asks Leon if he’d like to do a little “overtime” with her. Instead, she asks Leon if he’d like her to put a good word in with her dad (who happens to be the President) to get Leon assigned to her security detail. He declines, noting that she can take care of herself. It’s a sweet moment that addresses one of the original’s biggest criticisms, giving the “damsel in distress” a more complete character arc.

The remake cuts out one more dated scene for good measure. The original game ends with a post-credits call with federal agent Ingrid Hunnigan, where Leon confirms that the mission is a success before hitting on her. “Story of my life!” he whines after getting turned down, in a hacky final line. Thankfully, that whole sequence has been cut. Instead, Hunnigan can be heard on Leon’s radio as he and Ashley jet ski to safety, asking for an update on the mission status.

Resident Evil 4 post-credits scene

While the remake cuts that codex call, it does still include a post-credits scene that’s crucial to the series’ future. The scene actually comes from the original game’s bonus Assignment: Ada chapter, which follows Ada as she collects Plaga samples through the game. There’s a small change to how it plays out, though, which has some major implications.

The original scene takes place on the helicopter after Ada steals the Plaga sample from Leon. She gets a call from none other than Albert Wesker, one of the series’ primary antagonists, who reveals he’s been pulling her strings all along. In a supervillain monologue, he notes that he’s rebuilding the nefarious Umbrella Corporation and teasing that a “change” is coming to the world. He laughs manically as the helicopter flies away, setting up what would ultimately happen in Resident Evil 5.

Resident Evil 4 Walkthrough - Assignment Ada No Damage

The remake completely reimagines that sequence. While on the helicopter, Ada calls Wesker to confirm that she’s extracted the sample. When she asks what he plans to do with it, Wesker menacingly teases that a “new dawn” is coming and says billions will die. Ada immediately takes her headset off, holds the helicopter pilot at gunpoint, and tells him to change course.

It’s an important change, as it once again sets up Ada as more of an anti-hero than a cartoon femme fatale. Rather than her being an active participant in Wesker’s evil plans, she’s more of a victim who’s been used by him. Once she realizes why she’s been asked to obtain the sample, she betrays Wesker without hesitation, staying true to her promise to keep the sample safe.

What does that mean for the future? There are a few ways you could interpret it. On one hand, you could view it as a way for Capcom to avoid remaking the controversial Resident Evil 5 next. It’s a clean slate for new players that leaves the Plaga storyline with a happy ending. Though, you could interpret it the other way too. It could be a more explicit setup for the next remake, establishing Wesker as the big bad and building a new version of Ada who could play a heroic role in the story. It feels intentionally a little vague to leave the door open for whatever Capcom wants to do next.

Considering Resident Evil 4‘s immense success, though, I’d assume it isn’t stepping away from its remake project quite so soon.

Resident Evil 4 is out now on PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC.

Editors' Recommendations

Giovanni Colantonio
Giovanni is a writer and video producer focusing on happenings in the video game industry. He has contributed stories to…
iPhone 15 Pro can natively run the latest Resident Evil and Assassin’s Creed games
Leon and Ashley in the Resident Evil 4 remake.

In a major stride forward for mobile gaming, Apple announced during today's event that console games like Assassin's Creed Mirage, Resident Evil 4's remake, and Resident Evil Village are coming to the iPhone 15 Pro. These aren't watered-down mobile spinoffs or cloud-streamed games either; they're running natively with the help of the A17 Pro chip.

During the gaming segment of Tuesday's Apple event, the power of the iPhone 15 Pro's A17 Pro chip was highlighted. The 3-nanometer chip has 19 billion transistors, a six-core CPU, a 16-core Neural Engine that can handle 35 trillion operations per second, and a six-core GPU that supports things like mesh shading and hardware-accelerated ray tracing in video games. Several game developers were featured following its introduction to explain and show off just how powerful the A17 Pro Chip is. While this segment started with games already native to mobile, like The Division Resurgence, Honkai: Star Rail, and Genshin Impact, it didn't take long for some games made for systems like PS5 and Xbox Series X to appear.
Capcom's Tsuyoshi Kanda showed up and revealed that natively running versions of Resident Evil Village and Resident Evil 4 are coming to the iPhone 15 Pro before the end of the year. Later, Apple confirmed that Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed Mirage, which launches next month on PC and consoles, will also get a native iPhone 15 Pro port in early 2024, while Death Stranding is slated for a 2023 iPhone 15 Pro launch.
Historically, console-quality games like these have been impossible to get running on a mobile phone without the use of cloud gaming. Confirming that these three AAA games can all run natively on iPhone 15 Pro is certainly an impactful way for Apple to show just how powerful the A17 Pro chip is.

Read more
The best games of 2023 so far: Tears of the Kingdom, Resident Evil 4, and more
Link holding the master sword in the clouds.

If 2023 were to end today, it would still be remembered as a historic year for video games. That’s how good it’s been.

After a few mixed years filled with COVID-induced delays, the first half of 2023 has given players a non-stop avalanche of hits, keeping their backlogs eternally filled. We’ve gotten major entries in beloved franchises like Zelda and Final Fantasy, seen some bar-raising remakes for some of gaming’s best horror games, and been treated to some truly original projects from both indie developers and larger studios given a freedom we rarely see nowadays. And it’s only been six months.

Read more
Capcom Showcase 2023: how to watch and what to expect
Key art for the 2023 Capcom Showcase.

Capcom has been on a hot streak this year with the launches of Resident Evil 4's remake, Mega Man Battle Network Legacy Collection, and Street Fighter 6. Now, later this month, the storied Japanese game developer and publisher is going to continue celebrating its fortieth anniversary us a look at what's coming next from them. This will come in the form of a new Capcom Showcase, which the company has typically held around this time each year.

While we don't really know if this show will contain many exciting new reveals, it's still probably worth tuning into for Capcom fans. If you're wondering when and where to stream it, we've rounded up all of that information for you as well.
When is Capcom Showcase 2023

Read more