Favorite Female Video Game Characters
I am going to write a short snippet of what I think makes great female characters in video games. Now mind you, I am male so take my opinions however you like, you could think I'm objectifying them or you could think I'm right, I don't know how valid my opinions are but hey, this is my hub.
There is no set number of people I'm putting into this list, I'm just writing down all the ones that stick out to me and why (or at least I'm trying to get all of them).
There also some spoilers here so watch out, I'm not always going to put a spoiler tag on, just assume every person I'm talking about has a spoiler in it because I've played all the games they were in.
This is also a hub I might change once in awhile depending on characters that might come in mind. This means I will only add, not delete any of them.
The list isn't really in any particular order except for the last person. The last person is basically my favorite female character in video games ever. So with these points out of the way, let's get started.
What I think makes a good female character.
First, let me talk about what I think makes a good female character in any video game. Sure, as a guy, it's nice to see a girl who is easy on the eyes. The problem with that though, is that it can only go so far. It's a video game, of course the designers and artists are going to make girls look amazing most of the time. There's a reason why actors and actresses have so much makeup applied, it's to look good to that box with the glass, the camera. for video games, it's probably a lot easier to make girls look good since, well to get a flawless face, you don't need as much detail put in. So I think because of the fact that video games have desensitized me to good looking pixel made women, I don't find this feature to be very important.
One thing I find very important is involvement in the story. Now I know some of you will hate me for this for various reasons, but I think a lot of the time the female charcters in video games are just plot devices. Peach is always getting captured for goodness sake! After the first few attempts, I'd think she would know a thing or two about Bowsers MO. She just becomes the component to make Mario go on an adventure. Sure, the first time it made sense, but seriously, it's pretty shallow. She basically gets no lines in the story and really only says anything once in awhile. However, it is Mario which is mostly about game play so I can't really blame them too much for that. What is really intriguing to me is a female character who has so much to do with the outcome of the story.
The other thing I find to make a good female character is if she can hold her ground against the opposition. Fighting alongside the everyone is always much more intriguing than that girl who needs to be saved. Also I'm not too much of a fan of the whole shy girl concept, it's really annoying. Just think of it this way, if you had a shy girl in your group project and you had to present, how annoyed would you be with her? It may have worked at some time, but I don't think it works well in the long run.
So this is just a small rant on the types of female characters I find most appealing in video games. I also have many other criteria that I haven't mentioned but this is pretty much it without making this whole article about this. Feel free to ignore my statements here if you'd like but here comes the list.
I was going to mention Aeris Gainsborough of Final Fantasy VII, since she was the first girl to make everyone cry, but I think there are enough people who pay tribute to her. I was also going to mention Madison Paige of Heavy Rain but I realized I knew very little about her, so they're not on this hub, maybe next time I might add them.
Rikku - Final Fantsy X
I'm going to start this off with the absolutely fun blonde in Final Fantasy X. The first thing I noticed about her was voice actress Tara Strong and immediately my head went to BUBBLES!!!!! Unlike Yuna, she has a lot less to do with the story but her personality makes up for it.. Rikku is an Al Bhed cousin to Yuna. She is a foreigner because people like her find it okay to use machines (machina, I know!). The majority of society in FFX has some prejudice about her kind, yet she is always positive and wants to save the world anyway. Her positive attitude in the world that is FFX makes her unique to all the other characters because of the gloomy world they live in as well as Yuna's supposed fate. She was also very useful technically because she was the thief and extremely fast once you get her. She continues her career as an awesome character in FFX-2 where she also always stays positive about Yuna finding a certain someone.
Overall I really like how free spirited she is in a world that is otherwise too much into tradition. Yuna was even prepared to die because of tradition. Not to mention that tradition (is that three times now?) was conjured up from the dumbest and most evil people of their society. It's quite amazing how she and Tidus were able to convince everyone to take the hard and unknown path but also the path to true peace without death. On a side note a cute thing about her is how she was scared of thunder but overcame it by camping out in the thunder plains making her more awesome.
Chun Li - Street Fighter series
The original chick who can kick ass. What else is there to say about her? She fights in a dress too which apparently is super efficient considering her style of mostly kicks. She was a character that was made in the 90s, and is still an effective design today. I think she contributes just as much story as most of the other characters of the roster besides like Ryu. He's the main character so he pretty much will always get the spotlight. She is highly independent and does not seem to need to rely on others from I've seen in the games and movies. She even made top tier in a few games and if not, was still an effective fighter. In a game where you have to beat each other up, she really stood out. Before Cammy came in, Chun Li was the only female character in Street Fighter. Overall, a big reason she is a great female character is because she made an everlasting mark in fighting games.
Her story is that she is an Interpol agent (I think) who is investigating Bison (or Vega depending on region) who is investigating the disappearance of her father. She runs around and teams up with Guile and Charlie (Nash) to investigate. Her story revolves around the evil that is Shadowloo. That's about as much as I can find out about her story, she is in a fighting game, so I don't think story is really a top priority. Anyways she has been in nearly every street fighter game and their crossovers. If she hasn't I haven't found anyone that was ever close to replacing her.
Just some funny lines from Glados
GLaDOS - Portal
Come on, who doesn't love the sarcastic and cruel robotic bitch. "The cake is a lie" is simply iconic. You go through the game either despising her or really admiring her humor. Now I know technically she isn't female, just the voice, but hey, I don't think the humor would have been as good if it was a male voice. In portal 2, she gets extremely petty because the main character had caused her destruction. She starts making fun of her weight, how she looks ugly in a jump suit and just randomly tells her she is a bad person. Then (SPOILER) she gets turned into a potato leading to more hilarity. She develops a fear of birds because a bird pecks at her potato self. She also keeps bringing back the fact that she is a potato anytime it seems like the main character is under any misfortune.
I don't think I've done any justice by describing her, you really have to play the portal games in order to enjoy her humor. She is a petty, angry, but subtle being who has a robotic voice and she keeps trying to get under the main character's skin with many rather pathetic attempts. She may not have the deep story of the other characters I'm mentioning but who cares, it's portal. I don't think the two games would have been the same had she not been there to host and administer the tests by Aperture Science
Lenneth Valkyrie - Valkyrie Profile
A Valkyrie of Norse mythology with some badass armor. Lenneth doesn't seem to take crap from anybody. If she needs to reap someone, they are being reaped or being reinstated as an Einherjar. If she needs to kill someone, she whips out her sword and slams out a Nibelung Valesti. The middle child of three sisters Hrist and Silmeria being the other two, she seems to be the most intelligent. Silmeria is somewhat naive making rash decisions and Hrist is a perfectionist and Lenneth always made decisions that followed the rules but she always seemed to draw a line. Unlike her sisters, Lenneth was never all in on a cause because that would restrict her own free thought. She didn't defy Odin at first because her job under his employment was one of justice, but I always had a feeling she was wary of him.
(Spoiler) Later on she does defy Odin because she sees the way the gods think of humans and how they drag humans into their disputes. She also finds out about one of her past lives and makes certain decisions because of that. She gains so much of a following that her two main Einherjar go through amazing lengths just to get her back. In the end, she is fair but firm in how she deals with things.
The main reason I like her character is simply because she is very logical but has emotion as well. Her two other sisters bend way too much on one side or the other. Also unlike the normal damsels in distress in most other games, she is the take charge leader. Statistically, she is also the strongest person in a fight, unless you count Arngrim who is strong but relatively slow. She has a strong personality and the fact that she is female seems to be just from the fact that that's just the gender Valkyries are, but it does lend to some story elements as well I guess.
Elena Fisher - Uncharted
A journalist who at first seems like she isn't up to par with the adventurous Nathan Drake. Throughout the beginning of the first Uncharted, it seemed like Elena was just there as a pretty face to go along with Nathan Drake but that quickly changes. Even in the beginning you could see her wit in a match of words against Drake. Eventually she comes to her own and does everything just as good as him. She never slows down the player, but instead she supplements them. She is a crack shot and can help you to clear out areas as well as lay down cover fire. There's no rescuing her or slowing down because she can't keep up, she will go right along and match Drake, falling pillar after falling pillar.
As for her involvement with the story, she is the love interest of Nathan Drake. The story isn't really about anyone being special but just explorers running around discovering ancient world secrets and treasures. So in reality, Elena basically has as much to do with the story as Nathan Drake himself, after all, she is the one making the documentary about him. She even helps with the clues sometimes to puzzles as well as helps with the puzzles themselves. Overall, the Uncharted games would not have been the same had there not been a tag team of Elena and Nathan. She is a strong woman who can put in as much work as the main character can and look good while doing it.
Isara Gunther - Valkyria Chronicles
Now I know I could have put in Rosie instead since she is the badass chick of the group being the best shocktrooper and all, but Isara had more to do with the story. She was a Darcsen which were people who were seriously discriminated against. Rikku in FFX had some problems because of her race but at least she was free. The Darcsens were basically engineering geniuses, so the empire decided to use them as slaves, steal their designs and blame them for any misfortune that fell upon any village or town. Even with all that, Isara still wore her Darcsen shawl proudly. She knows what everyone thinks of her especially Rosie but continues to work hard so that everyone would be safe. Her people were the losers in history. They truly are an example of the quote "History is written by the victors." They engineered weapons in order to fight back against the Valkyrur who were invading them but lost leading the Valkyrur to write history as if they were the heroes (sound a bit familiar?).
Of course, I can't write about her without the big spoiler of her departure.
She dies to a gunshot wound from a grunt sniper. Now I know it is not epic like where some super villain comes down with a long as hell sword and stabs her ending the last of her race and adding another notch to his total evilness tab. I think it was more believable how she died. She wasn't a part of a race with magical powers because of their blood but she was from a race of people with a heritage in engineering. Her race is few but still intact and she is trying her best to make a good name for them. The fact that she died to a grunt showed the cruelness of war. It did not matter who a person was, everyone was affected by war. It also showed how evil the empire was using a sniper to kill someone like Isara while the squads guard was down. It could have been any other character who died but I think Isara's death was the most heartbreaking. When she died, the opinions that everyone had towards her people started to change leaving audiences with a bittersweet feeling.
Metal Gear Solid 3 Ending telling the tale of The Boss's end
The Boss - Metal Gear Solid
I'll be honest, she is pretty much the entire inspiration for this hub. There can't be enough things said about her, she is just an amazing character. Now before you go on, there are massive SPOILERS ahead.
The biggest badass of them all. Forget Solid Snake or Big Boss, it all started with her. She was only alive in one game but boy did she make an impact. The entire Metal Gear lore was because of her. She was a true soldier until the end and a person that was rightfully admired. Mother of special forces and creator of CQC for when weapons failed a solider. She held honor above all else and it's easy to see why so many people wanted to execute what they interpreted as her will. She is definitely not a weak woman and undertook so many tasks that any person man or woman would never have the capacity to endure. She could kick anyone's ass without a firearm if she wanted to. She could also most importantly be a woman.
I don't think the impact of her story could have been as great if she weren't a woman. If she were a man, yeah she would be admired but only about as much as any other tragic hero. Being a woman, she had an almost mother like relationship with Big Boss. No man could truly connect in such a way. She also gave birth to a biological son on the battlefield which is just crazy. Everything she did, she did efficiently, she trained Big Boss and brought together the Cobra unit, but what really set her apart was how much care she put into each, much like a mother to her own child. Along with that, her legend was just huge. She survived atmosphere reentry putting her in a coma for several months. She participated in a lot of missions during WWII as well as some covert missions making her a certified hero. The list just goes on and on about the amazing things she achieved, but the thing that contributed most to her being amazing as a female video game character was her final act.
"Always go out with a bang" they say, but she went out quietly and with the majority of the world not knowing what she did. Now admittedly much like Eriko Hirata, I did shed some tears for The Boss's ultimate fate. She went out as the most despicable being to ever walk the Earth. Both the super powers of the cold war told their stories as the dominating force of the world. In reality though, she was the hero that prevented war from breaking out and she did it in such a discreet way. For those of you who played the game, you know how she died and I don't need to tell you it again but she died taking the fall for a catastrophe ultimately ending her life. Her only solace was that the person killing her was a man she had loved like a son. In doing this, she sacrificed everything she had to be the actor that the U.S. government needed. In the end, Kojima makes the player pull the trigger of her weapon that would take her life away (that sick bastard!). She had so much resolve, so much strength to endure so much pain. I don't think anyone could have done what she did in reality. Whether she was a man or woman doesn't matter, she seems to have more depth than almost if not every video game character I've ever seen. In the end, she was the person who started it all, and I can't think of a better character to be the root of such a great series. I don't think the tears people shed upon the ending were of sorrow but manly tears (I mean this like for every gender) of admiration.