In an industry that mostly portray female characters as nothing more shameless persona’s with outrageous busts and a habit for wearing revealing outfits, a few games stand out from the rest by having female leads that don’t rely on such innuendos to appeal to the masses. I am not saying that nudity is bad as a little bit never hurt anyone but if its done to the point that it draws attention away from a game – you just know that something is wrong.
With that, here is my list of female leads that has left quite the impression as well as a mark on our beloved industry that is only growing from strength to strength. You’ll be surprised at one of my picks though as she has a knack for getting abducted at the most impromptu times.
Lara Croft – Tomb Raider
“What? Shoot the breeze with some of you other boys? No thanks.”
Debuting on the Playstation in 1996, Lara Croft was the first female lead in a videogame that gain mainstream attention for two big reasons; games that centered on great exploration and clever puzzles. In a flurry of games that had brash, loud and overzealous male leads, Lara stood out from the rest with her charming personality and a penchant for all things shiny.
Elena Fisher – The Uncharted series
“Elena Fisher, last year’s model”
Though initially a brunette, Naughty Dog decided to change her looks to a blonde with a more severe chin before the first game’s release. An independent, and ever resourceful journalist, Elena Fisher is more than capable of holding her own against the big boys.So much so, that she even survives an explosion from a grenade. Throughout the games, her spunky and tough as nails attitude is a good complement to Drake’s endearing and equally unabashed personality.
Jade – Beyond Good & Evil
Don’t let its dated graphics fool you, Beyond Good & Evil is a one game you won’t want to miss.
The once peaceful planet of Hillys is under siege by the DomZ, a group of aliens that abduct beings to convert them into slaves. Caught in the middle of all this mess is Jade, a young reporter who resides in an island lighthouse that doubles as a home for children orphaned by DomZ attacks. She is soon recruited by the IRIS Network after vowing to seek revenge against the DomZ that has ruin the very peace that she has fought to uphold all this time.
Alyx Vance – Half-Life
Alyx’s believability is one of Half-Life’s strongest points.
Alyx Vance is portrayed as a young woman in her mid-twenties of Black/Asian descent, and is a prominent figure in the human resistance fight against the rule of the alien race known as the Combine and their human representative, Dr. Breen. She is a close associate and ally of Gordon Freeman and is widely regarded as the primary heroine of the series. Alyx’s character uses a modified version of real-life actress Jamil Mullen’s face, and is voiced by Merle Dandrige.
Jill Valentine – Resident Evil
“You were almost a Jill Sandwich”
Jill Valentine first appears as one of two playable characters in the original Resident Evil game. Along with Chris Redfield, she is a member of STARS’ Alpha team, deployed to the Arklay Mountains. There, Alpha team was attacked by a group of undead dogs, and was forced to retreat to the Arklay Research Facility. Later in the game, she is saved by Barry Burton from a collapsing ceiling that nearly squished her to a pulp. Headstrong and ever willing, Jill Valentine plays an important role in the Resident Evil games and is forever known for her lock-picking skills.
Yuna – Final Fantasy X and X-2
Yuna’s charming persona will pull at your heart-strings.
Yuna was designed by Final Fantasy X character designer Tetsuya Nomura. The basis for Yuna’s overall design was that of Okinawan kimonos, but Numora has also mentioned that when he learned the character was to perform a dance called the “sending”, he wanted to give the outfit something that was more fitting. For this reason, the specific type of kimono he chose for her was a furisode, a kimono bearing long sleeves. Yuna, the daughter of the High Summoner Braska, who defeated Sin years ago and brought about the Calm, a time of peace is tasked with following in his footsteps. She embarks on a pilgrimage to obtain the final aeon to defeat Sin.
Princess Peach – Mario games
Care to take a guess on how many times she has been kidnapped?
Okay, I know what you’re thinking; How does a princess who allows herself to be kidnapped so easily by Bowser be allowed to be on this list? Well, her appearance in just about every Mario game from the kart racers to the spin offs such as Paper Mario – she is an integral part of the series. With her knack of baking delicious cakes and all things sweet for a certain rotund plumber, Peach is an endearing heroine that has always relied on Mario to save her. Well almost if you count Super Princess Peach, the first game to star her as the lead heroine.
Samus Aran – Metroid Prime
The moment in which she was revealed as female caught many by surprise.
Introduced in the 1986 video game Metroid, Samus is a female bounty hunter that is usually fitted with an armour suit with weapons that include a laser beam and missiles. Throughout the series, she executes missions given to her by the Galactic Federation while hunting the antagonistic Space Pirates and their leader Ridley, along with the energy-draining parasites called Metroids. Orphaned at a young age, Samus was brought up by the Chozo alien race, which trained her as a warrior. The Chozo also gave her the Power Suit, which has the ability to allow Samus to transform into a sphere to roll through tight areas such as tunnels. Samus is one of the first major female protagonist in a videogame, and her popularity among fans has helped her top several lists of the best video game heroines of all-time.
Joanna Dark – Perfect Dark
A highly skilled but inexperienced Agent of the Carrington Institute, Joanna Dark was born on March 18, 2000 in Atlanta. Known for her red hair, blue eyes and a slender but athletic build, she usually dresses in tight leather clothes although she is most commonly seen in her Carrington Institute outfit. She has a stong character, very energetic, competitive and courageous. She also takes time before she warms up to people and does not trust them easily, even more so if they’re associated with a megacorporation. The code name “Perfect Dark” was given to her due to her exceptional scores in training and high proficiency with a wide array of weapons.
The Boss – Metal Gear Solid
A legendary soldier, founder and leader of the Cobra unit, The Boss is also known as the mother of the U.S. special forces. According to the Metal Gear Solid 4: Database, she was born in 1922 and is the daughter of one of the original members of the Philopsophers behind the Philopsophers’ Legacy. She is known in Russia as Voyevoda, meaning The Warlord. In 1944, during the World War II, she lead the Cobra unit to victory at the Battle of Normandy. She was pregnant at the time with a baby fathered by The Sorrow. The Boss gave birth to a baby boy on the battlefield via a messy caesarian section that left a long, snaking scar across her abdomen. The baby was taken by the Philopsophers and would later grow up to be Revolver Ocelot.
Faith – Mirror’s Edge
Faith Connors, a 24-year-old girl of Eurasian ethnicity is Mirror’s Edge’s main lead who has a distinctive mark around her right eye, imitated by the game’s logo. Faith earns her living as a courier who delivers physical communiques around the city, for revolutionary groups that use her services to avoid communicating via highly-monitored telephone and e-mail channels. Faith’s attitude towards the totalitarian government is rooted in her past; her parents were active in protest movements when she was young, campaigning to keep the city from shifting to the oppressive regime. Her mother was killed during the November riots – a peaceful protest gone wrong. Since then, Faith has fended for herself since the age of 16, living a live as a thief on the city streets.
Lightning – Final Fantasy XIII
With a tough exterior and a brooding persona, Lightning may come off as brash initially. Delve deeper into her past and it becomes clear, as a former sergeant of the Guardian Corps, she sought the Pulse fal’Cie, Anima in the hopes that it would break the curse that has befallen on her only sister. What seemed like an improbable solution quickly becomes even more dire as she is tossed in a desperate struggle along with other characters that have been turned into the very thing that they feared the most. Orphaned at a very young age, Claire Farron’s (her real name) anguish got the better of her and she became distant from those who cared for her, even her own sister. Throughout the game, players will begin to grow a sense of connection with this compassionate heroine as her true self begins to prevail in time.
Written by: David