Ashley has short blond hair and brown eyes. She wears an orange, sleeveless turtleneck sweater with a burgundy sweater around her neck. She also wears a green, plaid skirt with a white g-string underneath and knee-high brown, buckled boots.
If the player beats the game and selects the Special Costume where Leon wears his R.P.D. uniform the next time they play, Ashley will wear a revealing white pop star outfit. If Ada's adventure "Separate Ways" story is completed, Leon gains a gangster suit and Ashley will don a suit of armor.
Ashley can be cheerful and kind, though when a conflict happens she usually complains or gets angry like with Luis made a comment about her breasts or when she and Leon jumped in a dump. Ashley seems to have a crush on Leon, having a few flirting moments when she asked for overtime after being rescued.
She is the twenty year old daughter of the newly-elected President, taken captive by Jack Krauser during her trip home from Massachusetts and held in a European village by the Los Illuminados. It is Leon S. Kennedy's initial objective in the game to ascertain her whereabouts and retrieve her. After meeting her, it is revealed that she has been implanted with a Plaga parasite, so that the cult could gain control of her before returning her to America.
The rest of the game then becomes a quest for Leon and Ashley to find a way to remove the parasites inside their bodies before they fall under Osmund Saddler's control. When Ashley is with Leon, it is the player's duty to protect her.
After Saddler was eliminated, Leon and Ashley made their escape from the collapsing island via a jet ski left by Ada Wong. Ashley offered Leon to come over to her place, which Leon politely declined. Afterward the both of them are picked up by US Government authorities and taken into custody for debriefing.
As with many Capcom games that feature short sections in which the player takes control of a supporting character, the player takes control of Ashley during a brief chapter of the game.
Ashley will be controlled by the CPU for the majority, who will mostly follow the player. Her most common hazard will be being picked up by an enemy and carried away. While able to keep up with Leon on foot her activities such as climb are noticeably slower, she is also more limited in what she can climb or go around. meaning Leon will have to assist her in some situations.
In Chapter 3-4, Ashley is controlled, however there are some oddities. Contrary to how the common villagers, zealots, and islanders handle the CPU Ashley by simply picking her light frame up with an over the shoulder carry, they instead lift the player controlled Ashley by the neck if they grab her, if her health goes to zero a small cutscene plays where they break her neck then fling her lifeless corpse over their shoulder. The other enemies of the chapter, the suits of armor, also do not hesitate to kill her.
Ashley may be untrained, but she is not totally helpless. While Ashley is by no means out of shape she isn't "fit" for combat, lacking the physical training for combat Ada and Leon have obtained. Her small frame and lightweight generally make it easier for enemies to re-kidnap her from Leon. Ashley doesn't have any one on one combat skills, giving her no means of direct attack against her enemies. When the player controls Ashley when she escapes the grasp of an enemy she causes no damage to her assailant, while Ada and Leon both can behead their opponent potentially. Ashley can not escape an enemy's grasp alone, despite her struggling. Meaning the player has to free her by shooting the enemy or slashing (without hitting Ashley) with the knife. Bear traps are also dangerous for her. Any bear trap Ashley falls in will not kill her, but she can not escape them by herself she loses health while trapped meaning she can be left at zero health if not freed rapidly enough. Ashley also dies in one hit to any misfire by Leon aside from eggs.
Furthermore Ashley has moments of simply not using her head. She (somewhat humorously) falls for an obvious trap that appears to have been specifically made for someone of her build to stand in the specific spot she willingly stood in to spring. She also wanted to go with Luis for no apparent reason, despite Leon taking good care of her and Ashley bearly knowing Luis. Ashley seems to have less ability to resist the Plagas than Leon, as Saddler was able to control her without any resistance, while Leon was always able to fight the Plagas controlling ability to a degree.
Ashley is not without her positives however, her light build means Leon can easily give her a boost so she unlocks doors or gets items for Leon. This ability was important in the castle as Leon helped Ashley reach a high place to pull the cranks that would open the way. Furthermore Ashley can crawl under smaller areas than Leon can. Ashley also drove heavy machinery at least once in the game to make progressing possible. When Ashley is left alone in 3-4 she made up for her lack of combat ability by using lanterns to burn her assailants.
In game, Ashley can perform the following actions.
- Crawl, this action is exclusive to Ashley in the game. She simply crawls under an object. This is available to the CPU and player Ashley.
- Climb, Ashley can climb small fences and ledges. Ashley has a unique animation for this action compared to Ada and Leon. As Ashley is a civilian with no parkour skills she takes noticeably longer to complete this than the other protagonist. This ability is only used by the CPU Ashley but can be used if Ashley is hacked into a place she isn't supposed to be played.
- Throw, this action is exclusive to the player Ashley near lanterns. Ashley grabs a lantern and automatically throws it to the nearest enemy. Ashley throws the lantern where the enemy is, not where they will be so it is advised to throw it while they are not moving or while they are not running. There is also a delay between when the action is initiated and when she throws the item. While Ashley gains invincibility frames while performing this action, it is not recommended to use this while the zealot is close to Ashley, as it will also burn Ashley and lower her already small HP.
- Crank, Ashley can pull levers, the CPU Ashley will always do this at the slowest speed but the player Ashley can speed it up similarly to how they can with Leon and Ada.
- Push, Ashley can push and pull objects. Her pushing speed is similar to Ada's and noticeably slower than Leon's.
- Catch, this action is exclusive to the CPU Ashley. When Leon is nearby and Ashley is on top on a high ledge Ashley can fall safely into his arms. This is one of two ways a CPU Ashley can go down high places, the other is while an enemy is carrying her they can jump down ledges while still holding Ashley.
- Climb Ladder, Both the CPU and player Ashley can climb ladders regardless of heights. The CPU Ashley needs help from the "Catch" ability to get down but the player Ashley can climb down ladders, this is much slower than Ada and Leon's jumping down of ladders.
- Shake, Like Ada and Leon, Ashley can escape an enemy that grabs her. Ashley's escape is noticeably less impact and does no damage to the enemy however.
- Using cheating devices, players can see many oddities in terms of actions, Some include the semi unused "climb" action that the player does not have access to in 3-4, and the "Jump Over" where Ashley instead of simply jumping a gap her body splits in half and the game soft locks.
For more of this character, see more their gallery.