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Friday Five - Girls of War
For years, video games have been directed toward a majorily male audience. Many characters have been created to be sexualized by their large busts, curvacious bodies, and scantily-clad outfits. Many femme fatales such as Lara Croft, Kasumi, Mileena, and even Bayonetta were made to keep men drooling as they play. That changed with Gears of War's (2006-2013: Xbox 360) release. Though female characters were not playable until Gears 3, girls loved that these characters were not designed with the desire and need of sex appeal. All of these ladies are not only pretty, but can kick some Locust tail as well. Here is a list of five of the best "girls of war."
5. Alicia "Val" Valera (Gears of War 3: RAAM's Shadow)
"Every life we save today is something special. It's another chance for someone."
Alicia was a part of the Zeta-Six Squad with Tai Kaliso, Michael Barrick, and Minh Young Kim a decade after Emergence Day. The city of Illima came under a threat of a Kryllstorm, and Zeta was sent to evacuate the city. Zeta went to Illima Savings and Trust to only find a teenage Jace Stratton hidden in the vault. The group escorted him out, eventually getting to Illima High School. After learning that nearly everyone had been evacuated safely, Minh called for a convoy for the last of the citizens. Just as it arrived and Gears were greeting Zeta after getting out of the Junker, an Emergence Hole appeared and the Gears were killed. Zeta took cover to try to fend them off, and General RAAM started walking to a down Gear. Jace blocked the Locust's way to protect him, and Alicia pushed the boy out of the way, tried to chainsaw RAAM, and was stabbed and killed. Minh tried to avenge her, but Barrick grabbed, told him that it was not the day, and they boarded a King Raven and left Illima.
4. Beserker (Gears of War 1-3)
"She was almost as tough as my ex."
The Beserker, believe it or not, was responsible for increasing the Locust army. How, you ask? Well, the Berserker actually had to be chained down and raped because they would usually kill their mate in a violent rage. What a Beserker lacks in sight, she makes for in her sense of smell, hearing, and sheer power. In Gears 3, the Lambent Beserker, a meaner, more powerful, and mutated Beserker was introduced. In Beast Mode, the Beserker becomes playable, but the Lambent version is not.
3. Sophia Hendrik (Gears of War: Judgment)
"I turned my heart off. It was the only way I would make it."
During the Pendulum Wars, Sophia was a journalist that criticised the COG constantly. However, hours after the events during Emergence Day started, she enlisted to be a Gear and went to Halvo Bay Military Academy and became an Onyx Guard cadet. Her skill with the Snub Pistol went unmatched, receiving every ribbon possible for the weapon. She was assigned to Kilo Squad with Damon Baird, Augustus Cole, and Garron Paduck, and sent on a mission to escort a convoy, which was ultimately destroyed by the Locust. After killing the Locust leader Karn, Kilo was charged with treason and stealing experimental COG weaponry. In the extra campaign on Judgment, called "Aftermath," Baird and Cole reunite with Paduck at Halvo Bay for the first time since the tribunal. Paduck tells his former squadmates that Sofia was kidnapped while on patrol, and possibly murdered, and he said that if Cole and Baird wanted to remain friends with him they were to never see him again.
2. Samantha "Sam" Byrne (Gears of War 3)
"You're not afraid of a girl, are you?"
Samantha, followed in her father's footsteps in becoming a Gear. Her father, Sam Byrne, was killed during the Siege of Anvil Gate before she was born. Sam is talented with tattoos and redid fellow Delta member Dominic Santiago's tattoo for his wife after he killed her. Sam deeply cares for her fellow Gears. She stood up for Dom when Baird was saying rude things about how he couldn't save Maria. She was a part of the mission to Mercy with Dom, Marcus Fenix, and Anya Stroud, and was devasted as she watched Dom sacrifice his life for his team. She and Baird have a love-hate relationship, and she even joked about them having a home with a family together, to which Baird snapped back saying that he would have a bottle of pills with him as well.
1. Bernadette "Bernie" Mataki (Gears of War 3)
"Yeah, we're too old to run. We'll just sit on the front porch and blow the shit out of anything that moves."
Bernie Mataki was a South Islander who joined the COG during the Pendulum Wars. She and Victor Hoffman were lovers in the past, but they had to part because of his promotions. After retiring from the war, Bernie went back to her farm home. After the Hammer strikes, all of the islands lost contact with Jacinto, so Bernie walked all the way back to find out what has happened to the COG. She rejoined the army after 16 years. Bernie is a sniper by trade, and a survivals expert. She taught Dom to be a commando when he first started in the army, and was also in the same squad as Marcus Fenix and Dom's older brother Carlos Santiago. Mataki was originally featured in the novels, but quickly became a fan-favorite. In the second book Jacinto's Remnant, Bernie admitted to Delta that she was raped during her travel back to Sera, and Hoffman ended up finding one of the men responsible in Vectes; Bernie killed the others. Fans overwhelmingly asked for Bernie to appear in Gears 3, and she appeared in the Anvil Gate mission in the campaign and was a playable multiplayer character.
Honorable Mentions (and why they weren't on the list):
- Anya Stroud (every game) - Putting her on the list just felt way too predictable, even though she was technically the first female to appear in the series.
- Alexandra "Alex" Brand - As awesome as she is, Alex only appeared in the comics until Judgment, but she was only a multiplayer character.
- Myrrah - The Locust Queen is great as well, but the Beserker was a better Locust representative for this list
- Maria Santiago - Dom's wife went through the deaths of her entire family and her children, torture from the Locust, and captivity for who knows how long. Maria was a trooper, but being on the list would not have done her justice.
- Helena Stroud - She was a great leader for the COG. But sadly, she was only mentioned in the novels and comics.