An immigrant from the King of Fighters series, Leona Heidern has been a playable character in multiple Metal Slug titles since Metal Slug Mobile 4. She appeared as a DLC character in Metal Slug XX, and then later again as a unit in both Metal Slug Defense and Metal Slug Attack.
As an infant, Leona lost her parents in a tragic incident. She became the adopted daughter of Heidern, who included her inside the Ikari Warriors among the Soldiers of Fortune Ralf and Clark, and subsequently oversaw her rigorous military upbringing (sometime before Whip was included in his squad).
This taciturn and aloof young woman has found everyday socialisation difficult, yet she is a consummate soldier with a committed following amongst her subordinates. In combat, she accomplishes her missions in an efficient manner many describe as “sublime”, annihilating the enemy primarily with a hand dagger bequeathed by her foster father. She is also acquainted with the SPARROWS agent Fio Germi and apparently undertook a mission alongside her and Clark, binding this threesome in a tight bond of camaraderie.
The majority of her minimal off-time each year is spent in the unusual pursuit of “factory touring”, which is rumoured to serve as an unusual restorative to her vigour and energy. In the fighting tournaments that she has participated in to fulfil her missions, she is often observed to display an unimaginable fearsomeness whose source and details remain maddeningly obscure...
In Metal Slug XX, Leona is an above-average character, presumably due to her downloadable character status.
Her specific abilities consist of the following:
- She can perform a special melee attack called the Moon Slasher at any time while standing on the ground (by holding the left shoulder + fire + up), dealing about twice as much damage as a grenade (but without requiring any ammo or suffering any cool downs). This technique furthermore erases nearby enemy attacks, but points are not added whilst performing it.
- Increased damage resistance while inside Slugs (can take four hits before getting destroyed, instead of the usual three).
- Gains +20% ammo from weapons drops.
- Gains +20% grenades (12 instead of 10 from the start).
- When she loses a life, she keeps the weapons she was carrying; she does lose them after using a continue, however.
Originally a cameo in the game's POW list, Leona later becomes a purchasable unit alongside Ralf and Clark in a later update. A melee battler, her close and long range attacks is a simple stab, and her special is her exclusive Moon Slasher that is able to destroy enemy projectiles. Unlike her Ikari pals, Leona instantly dies when a Metal Slug Attack runs over her unless she activates her special at the precise moment.
In Metal Slug Attack, Leona could once be pre-acquired as a unit by purchasing the 10,000 medals bundle during an event which included her and the Rebel Gigant. She later became available through the Mystery Crank, and can now also be obtained via the P.O.W shop (as of v1.16.1).
Players may be surprised that a fully-upgraded Leona is a force to be reckoned with, as in MSD she's a purely close-range unit with low health; in MSA, however, she can take more damage and her special adds an evading dash prior to the usual attack-cancelling Moon Slash (making it far easier to get her to the front line alive). This makes her a viable threat if opponents are not prepared with certain units that can block or defeat her as quickly as she arrives. Although downgraded by a later update, Leona remains formidable.
There is also a special variant of Leona in the game, called "Cat Ears" Leona, which has her wearing a cat-girl costume with a bikini. She makes her debut in the "Zombie Parade" event, where she's infiltrating a zombie infested location hosted by Big John. "Cat Ears" Leona sacrifices a bit of her HP for added power, and her close range attacks have more swipes than regular Leona. She was originally a pre-acquisition unit, later a Medal/VIP Crank unit, and now can be obtained in the Extra/Rare Shop.
- Leona originally appeared in the King of Fighters series. In every team-based game she has participated in so far she partners with Ralf and Clark.
- She is currently the only playable character in a Metal Slug game to appear as "downloadable content" (purchased at $0.99).
- By holding the Up + Special Button buttons and either spamming both or quickly alternating the fire and grenade buttons, Leona can perform her Moon Slasher multiple times without waiting for her animation to end.
- In the PSP version of Metal Slug XX, Leona's death scream is based from the early King of Fighters games (which are later used in Defense and Attack). Leona uses a different voice in the XBLA version.
- If performed correctly, her Moon Slasher can cut through most enemy attacks - cancelling them no matter how powerful. The same holds true in Metal Slug XX, Metal Slug Defense, and Metal Slug Attack.
- Unlike other characters, Leona's hair does not retain its colour if she's burned - rather, her whole body is charred.