Leona Heidern (レオナ・ハイデルン, Reona Haiderun), is a character introduced in The King of Fighters '96 as the new member to the Ikari Team. Before production for her debut game began, developers wanted to create a suitable replacement for Heidern as a part of the game's overhaul. Leona was conceived to be an Orochi descendant by the time of her debut and her designers took special care to let their interests at the time reflect in her actions. Her official nickname is The Silent Soldier. In an interview with one of the series designers, Shinkiro, he replies that Leona is his favorite original character in the series.
Leona was born in an unnamed village, residing with her family. When she was a child, Goenitz arrived at her home and demanded to talk with Guidel, the leader of the village. He requested that Guidel join him in their duties to serve Orochi, as everyone in the village were Orochi bloodline members. However, Guidel refused as he and his family liked peace and not the violent tendencies created by the Orochi blood. Enraged, Goenitz leaves, but not before smiling towards Leona. The same night, Leona underwent the Riot of Bloodand slaughtered everyone in the village. Goenitz, pleased by the results, puts her blood lust to rest for another time "when he needs her again". Dazed and shocked, she loses her memories and wanders aimlessly until she is found and later adopted by Heidern. Surprised by her natural fighting ability, he decides to raise her as a warrior under his command.
In 1996, Leona is in her late teens and a capable mercenary. She receives her first official mission: she must take Heidern's place in the Ikari Team for the year's King of Fighters tournament. Her partners were Heidern's favorite mercenaries: Ralf and Clark. Their mission was to investigate Geese Howard, theSouthtown kingpin of crime, who had entered the tournament in search of an unknown goal. Knowing that anything Geese may be after could only mean trouble, the new Ikari Team began their mission. During the events of the '96 finals, Goenitz confronts her and reminds her of her Orochi lineage, causing her to worry about the future.
Her troubled state carried over to the battlefield, which eventually lead to her and her partners' suspension frommilitary service. Wanting to cheer her up, Ralf enlists them again in the the next year's tournament. She eventually remembers her past fully during the events of King of Fighters '97. Towards the tournament finals, Leona, along with Iori, suddenly went into the Riot of the Blood, induced by Orochi. By the tournament's end, she is successfully subdued and Orochi is sealed away again. Even so, Leona regrets her actions and attempts to end her life. Ralf stops her, and encourages her to continue living.
Leona stays as a member of Ikari team for each and every King of Fighters tournaments during the NESTS saga. It was assumed she partook in her normal duties with Heidern during this time frame.
In 2003, at the end of the tournament, Orochi's presence was getting stronger, as the seal was broken again. She entered the Riot of the Blood again and attacked Ralf and Clark, badly injuring them. She was pulled out of the team by Heidern in The King of Fighters XI due to the emotional trauma she suffered after the incident. Overcoming the shock, she is designated to join the KOF XIII tournament with her old teammates, determined to live with whatever flaws the Orochi blood invokes. After the tournament's climax, she loses consciousness and sleeps for several days. Her teammates were worried for her and stay beside her until she awakens. Comforted by their concerns, she laughs for the first time in the series.
Leona is a reticent individual who has trouble expressing herself outside of combat or a mission. Aside from Ralf (whom appears to show feelings towards her), Whip, Clark and Commander Heidern, Leona does not talk to anyone. Due to her past, she often keeps her emotions in check as she is afraid of losing control and hurting her friends because of her Orochi blood. Despite this, Ralf has the ability to make her smile as shown in '96, '97 and Maximum Impact 2. She often feels lonely, but is comforted with the new family she has found with the Ikari mercenaries. She also attempted to commit suicide after '97, but Ralf stopped her by reminding her that she's not alone any more.
- Cutting/Piercing Hands - Leona can cut or pierce with her hands.
- Cutting Aura - Leona can create a cutting aura around her hands and feet.
- Cutting Ball - Leona can create a ball of energy surrounded by several energy blades.
- Riot of the Blood - Thanks to her part Orochi, part human blood, Leona goes into this state whenever Orochi's presence is strong. While in this form, her eyes are dilated, her back is hunched, her skin adopts a darker shade and her hair changes into a reddish hue. She is mostly incoherent and frequently screams. She becomes stronger and faster but loses her sanity.
She shares several moves with her adoptive father, Heidern, and she also seems to emulate Ralf's moves. For example; in Maximum Impact 2 she has the same punch as Ralf when the player presses the R2 button. Also as the games progress, her moves seem to become more explosive much like Ralf's and her style of running changing from being like Heidern's to like Ralf's.
The V-shaped slashmarks that appear at the end of her V-Slasher Desperation Move and Super DM are an homage to Choudenji Machine Voltes V -- the titular giant robot had an attack in which it made a V-shaped slash through the enemy, leaving a glowing V for a few dramatic moments before it is destroyed. Her Rebel Spark Desperation Move and Super Desperation Move where she plants an explosive on her opponent then moving away from the opponent while making a pose, is actually a homage to Kamen Rider Black RX-- a Japanese tokusatsu show where the hero impaled his enemy and proceed to do the same pose as sparks came out from his opponent's belly and eventually exploded. Also, her jumping CD attack (Strong attack which knocks the opponent away using both the heavy punch/kick buttons.) resembles Kamen Rider Black's version of the Rider Kick, owing to the sudden, unexplained glow of reddish energy around her foot, and being performed while in the air. Another sentai homage includes her exploding earrings (Himitsu Sentai Goranger).
- Rumbling on the City - The King of Fighters '96, '98, SNK vs. Capcom: The Match of the Millennium
- W.W.III - The King of Fighters '99
- The Trooper - The King of Fighters 2000
- My Whip - The King of Fighters 2001
- Jungle Bouncer - The King of Fighters 2002
- Inside Skinny - The King of Fighters 2003
- Irregular Mission - The King of Fighters XIII
- DESERT REQUIEM ~Operation02UM~ - The King of Fighters 2002 Unlimited Match
- Ray - Days of Memories (Boku to Kanojo to Koto no Koi)
- Masae Yumi - since debut
- Lisa Leonard - Maximum Impact series (English voice)
- Rachel Waltzer - The King of Fighters XII (English voice)
- The King of Fighters '96
- The King of Fighters '97
- The King of Fighters '98
- The King of Fighters R-1
- The King of Fighters R-2
- SNK Gals' Fighters
- SNK vs. Capcom: The Match of the Millennium
- The King of Fighters '99
- The King of Fighters 2000
- The King of Fighters 2001
- The King of Fighters EX
- The King of Fighters 2002
- The King of Fighters EX2
- The King of Fighters Neowave
- KOF: Maximum Impact
- The King of Fighters 2003
- KOF: Maximum Impact 2
- KOF Maximum Impact Regulation A
- The King of Fighters '98: Ultimate Match
- The King of Fighters XII
- Metal Slug XX
- The King of Fighters XIII
- The King of Fighters 2002: Unlimited Match
- Ikari - Leona Gekitohen
- Days of Memories - (first and seventh games) - unplayable
- Metal Slug Survivors
- Metal Slug Soldiers
- Metal Slug Team Mission
- The King of Fighters Volleyball
- The King of Reversi
- The King of Fighters Mahjong
- SNK Beach Volley Gal's Attack
- Moeyo! KOF Daiundokai
- SNK Gals Island Dokidoki Puzzle Shock!
- SNK Gals Island Senkan Battle Gekichinshichaouzo!
- Metal Slug Mobile 4
- SNK Gals Island Beauty Dungeon Mimi to Kimashita!
- SNK Dream Battle
- The King of Fighters XI - background cameo in PS2 port
- Neo Geo Battle Coliseum - background cameo
- Capcom vs SNK 2 - background cameo; standing beside Edward Falcon
- The King of Fighters: Battle de Paradise
- The King of Fighters '94: Rebout - background cameo
- The King of Fighters (pachinko)
- The King of Fighters 2
- In KOF 98, Leona mysteriously salutes Chang Koehan and belittles Ralf. This was originally thought to be a bug in the game mechanics, but developers add that it was her showing respect for "real power". The exact meaning of this statement remains unclear though it became a popular subject in fan doujinshi for a time.
- She can transform into her Orochi form in KOF 2002, but her voice sets do not change as she transforms; While this could be a programming oversight, this gives a suggestion (although non-canonical as she's half-Orochi) that she may have the potential to completely control her Orochi power while enjoying its benefits.
- In KOF: Maximum Impact 2, Fio compares Leona to her own comrade Eri, but comes to the conclusion that, unlike Ralf and Clark, Leona doesn't really resemble her Metal Slug equivalent.
- After KOF '96, she adopted a heavier training regime and the results are reflected in her current stats.
KOF '98 artworkKOF 2001 artworkKOF XII artworkKOF Maximum Impact 2 renderLeona's Another outfit in the Maximum Impact series.The Ikari Team in KOF: Another Day.Character image album.Leona in SNK Beach Volley Gal's Attack