- "You'll...protect me?"
- ―Leslie to Kidman
Leslie Withers is a supporting and plot-crucial character of The Evil Within, The Assignment and The Consequence. He is a mentally-impaired patient under the care of doctor Marcelo Jimenez, and a subject in the STEM program.
Leslie had a normal childhood, and was raised like any other child until one day, when his family was murdered right in front of him, which "broke" something in the boy's mind and sent him into a state of catatonic delirium. Leslie seems to live in denial about what happened to his family, and dreams of the day when he will be reunited with them, thinking he'll take a train ride home.
As a patient of Beacon Mental Hospital, Leslie underwent "treatments" which included ongoing experimentation. These experiments have left him extremely mistrustful of people.
The Evil WithinEdit
Leslie is first seen sitting in the back of an ambulance with Dr. Jimenez and Juli Kidman, panicking at the bumpy ride and Dr. Jimenez is trying to comfort him. He seems to know that they are going to drive over a cliff and when they crash, he and the others are scattered.
Throughout most of the game, Leslie is only seen for a few seconds to a few minutes at a time after being found by either Sebastian, Kidman, or Dr. Jimenez before getting scared and running off again, though how he manages to survive on his own, unarmed, is unknown. Although, the fact that he may have been guided by Ruvik is possible.
There is also a short scene where Joseph and Sebastian see Kidman leading Leslie into Cedar Hill Church.
At one point, Sebastian is locked in a room after becoming infected and attacking Kidman. About a few seconds after she leaves, Leslie is heard repeating "Get it open" over and over again as he tries to get the door to Sebastian's prison open. As soon as it's open far enough, Leslie then starts to yell for help and takes off again apparently knowing that enemies are near.
Dr. Jimenez is the one to mention Leslie's special connection to Ruvik, that he is the only one to survive being linked to him, so Dr. Jimenez attempts to use him to find their way back (which seems to cause Leslie extreme pain), only for it to fail, but getting the attention of Ruvik, who sends his Amalgam Alpha monster after Leslie, killing Dr. Jiminez in the process. Leslie and Sebastian are separated once more because of the beast.
Leslie is later seen with Kidman, who, knowing that Ruvik is after him, promptly tries to shoot him, and by that destroying Ruvik itself, only to be confronted by Sebastian who defends Leslie. Kidman takes a shot trying to shoot Leslie but accidentally hits Joseph.
Leslie is again seen attempting to lead Sebastian somewhere but is once again separated from him by Ruvik, then reunited with Sebastian in the STEM machine room they are all being kept in, as he is running away from Kidman. Kidman tries to reason with Sebastian, but Sebastian disagrees that Leslie should die when their predicament is Ruvik's doing. Ruvik intervenes and Leslie gives in to his influence, allowing him to liquidate and absorb the boy's mentality into that of his own. Leslie's psychological self presumably ceases to exist in the real world after this point.
Leslie is last seen by Sebastian outside of STEM, walking away upright instead of his normally hunched gait. Sebastian gets another headache from what seems to be the same kind of signal he's been hearing throughout the game and takes his eyes off of Leslie for a moment. When he looks back up, he seems to have disappeared. Though Leslie's fate remains unknown, it is heavily implied that Ruvik has taken possession of his mind as means of escaping STEM.
Leslie has pale skin and white hair, and dark rings around his eyes, a possible result of extreme sleep deprivation, or insomnia. One of his front teeth has a large chip in it, while the rest of the set is poorly-maintained and seems to be mildly rotten.
He is almost always seen wearing a straightjacket owing to him being a mental patient. He is initially bound, though the sleeves came undone at the start of Chapter 3, after the ambulance crash.
He usually stands either hunched over or very upright, looking at the floor, with his hands either close together or over his ears.
Leslie is mostly seen as very frightened and easily overwhelmed by his surroundings, and is prone to fits of hysteria when presented with a trigger, be it visual or audio. He has a tendency to repeat the last few words said by whoever may be around him, and seems to be very confused, if not detached from his surroundings, probably living in his own world.
Despite his unstable mentality, Leslie is almost child-like, and is quick to develop a sense of trust in those who are kind to and protective of him, "people" here being chiefly Juli Kidman and Sebastian Castellanos, often hiding behind them and will help them when needed.
Leslie seems to be aware of and largely fearful of Ruvik, panicking when he is near. He views Ruvik as a hostile entity, as seen when he uses Kidman's handgun to shoot at Ruvik's manifestation in The Consequence. Despite this, he is seemingly conditioned to head towards the "source" at all costs, whether he realises it or not, and breaks down more and more the closer he is to Ruvik, and exhibits increasingly bizarre behavior by the time he reaches Beacon.
During a memory showing Leslie in the STEM machine, Ruvik states that the "subject's case history cites developmental delays and indicates issues with communication, social cognition, and repetitive behaviours. Signs of synesthesia was reported. Genealogy suggests increased susceptibility to external stimuli and pattern adaptiveness."
It was also said in a flashback, that since Leslie's family was murdered in front of him as a child, his trauma from the event makes his brain waves correlate with Ruvik, due to Ruvik losing his sister. Their similar traumatic experiences makes Leslie a viable replacement at the core to replace Ruvik.
Leslie has always compensated for his difficulty communicating by unconsciously emulating the thoughts of others. This characteristic is what Ruvik sought for his experiment in linking consciousness. This characteristic is what Mobius sought as well as a sort of "blank slate". Leslie's unconscious emulation of the thoughts of others could enable Mobius to create their own world easily.
Juli Kidman Edit
In the DLC, Kidman is assigned by Mobius to find Leslie and remove him from the system in order to use him as a replacement to Ruvik's brain, as Leslie is tame and easy to manipulate. However, when she realizes that he is the only way for Ruvik to escape from STEM, Kidman attempts to shoot Leslie twice, once at the church and once at the park. At the park, she realizes it's not his fault and that he is innocent and apologizes to him before she is stopped by Sebastian, who is unaware of Ruvik's intentions.
Kidman ultimately fails in her mission to remove Leslie from the system or to kill him to prevent Ruvik escaping.
Sebastian Castellanos Edit
Leslie looks to Sebastian as being someone he can trust, much like Kidman. In Chapter 15, Leslie hides behind Sebastian for protection from Kidman, who was trying to kill him to prevent Ruvik from escaping. Leslie has been shown to help Sebastian out in certain situations. In Chapter 11, Sebastian is locked in a room by Kidman and Leslie helps Sebastian get out via the other door by pushing the debris that was blocking it.
Valerio Jimenez Edit
In Chapter 4, it is revealed that Valerio was Leslie's first doctor in the Hospice. Not much is known about their relationship, or how Valerio took care of Leslie. It's theorized that Valerio might be partially responsible for Leslie's bad appearance, but it is still unconfirmed if this is true or not.
Marcelo Jimenez Edit
Marcelo Jimenez was Leslie's second doctor. He took over the responsibility of taking care of Leslie at an unknown point in time. Leslie seems distrustful of him, although it's clear he has some form of attatchment to him, given he doesn't have much other human contact. He is sometimes seen panicking when he is near, and prefers the company of Sebastian over his. Marcelo is not above using Leslie to prevent Ruvik from escaping (which he ultimately fails at)
Ruvik connects with Leslie due to them both having trauma from losing members of their family (Ruvik lost his sister and later killed both his parents, and Leslie lost his entire family.) Leslie is very fearful of Ruvik and panics when he is near. Leslie views him to be hostile, as shown when he shoots at him with Kidman's gun. Ruvik attempts to use Leslie to escape with unknown results. Ruvik is seen melting Leslie within STEM and absorbs him into his brain.
- Leslie's name may be a reference to an Alfred, Lord Tennyson quote “I must lose myself in action, lest I wither in despair”, referencing to the ultimate fate of Leslie during the situation.
- The answer to where and why Leslie was trying to guide Sebastian to wherever it was he was guiding him is never answered though it is implied that he was doing so in order to help Sebastian through his journey.
- Leslie was originally supposed to be 15 before the design team tacked on 10 more years. Due to some lapse in communication among the concept artists, his character designer visualised his looks based on this supposed age instead of how he was intended to be.
- As a side effect of this miscommunication, Ikumi Nakamura struggled to visualise an appearance and clothing appropriate to Leslie's background, before finally settling on a mental patient look. She seems to have a low opinion of this final iteration, as noted in the official characters artbook.
|The Evil Within|