Okay so one of my last ones was about the hottest male characters in video games. This one? Well I knew I wanted a counterpart post but seeing as how I’m not really attracted to women, the “hottest” theme just wasn’t going to cut it. More importantly, badass male characters exist in spades, while females are mostly poorly portrayed in the game industry. So instead I’m opting for a “most amazing females” theme full of chicks who kick ass and take names.
Here I go!
A counterpoint to the overly sexualized females in gaming today: Bayonetta! Bayonetta easily has to be the best comedic take on sexism I have come across in a long, long time. She’s insanely flashy, not afraid to use her feminine wiles to get what she wants, and not against showing skin. She’s ridiculous. But she is meant to be ridiculous. Everything about her is so over-the-top that at times I feel like she borders on drag queen territory and I absolutely adore it. Bayonetta has no shame, and she shouldn’t. She’s a wonderful, humorous take on the endless sexism found in video gaming even to this very day. She’s like a counter-revolution. Better yet: as you play the game further, despite the story being downright nonsensical at times, you also discover that Bayonetta moves from just being cool and entertaining to being truly likable. That is a hell of a feat for a woman whose legs are probably twice as long as her entire upper body.
And if after reading that you still don’t like her, at the very least you have to admit that her ability to channel demons from hell through her hair and her ability to create massive heels of AWESOME out of thin air to kick enemies in the face with, are both pretty damned cool.
Brilliant military leader, warrior, Queen of the Forsaken, and answers to absolutely no one but herself and her people. Running through the Halls of Reflection with her and watching her fight was nothing short of badass. Picture it: you have entered the Halls of Reflection, your friends at your side, and Lady Sylvanas at the other. You encounter the sword of the Lich King, a battle ensues, and before you know it you are forced to escape. There you are, running down a cliff side, Sylvanas slowing the seemingly unstoppable beast that is Arthas with her abilities. She’s telling you to fight, to give it all you got, as ice barriers build in front of you to stop you. You break through each one, overcoming obstacles and at last you reach what appears to be a dead end. Sylvanas raises her weapon and says the one thing any true military leader would: you will fight with her until the end, you will die with honor…
The thing about Lady Sylvanas is that she’s easily the most recognizable leader of the Horde (you know, the faction of World of Warcraft that doesn’t suck? Oh, I went thar Allies! I went thar!) and the reasons are kind of obvious: Sylvanas is just f***in’ cool in every way imaginable. She begins her story as a warrior and leader (Ranger-General of Quel’Thalas), but eventually looses her life and gets turned into an undead puppet at the hands of Arthas (the future Lich King). But was that the end of her? The f**k it was! She proceeds to break the magical control over herself through sheer f***in’ willpower and leads a rebellion against her former master. She then caps this ten level cake of pure badassery by becoming the absolute ruler of the Forsaken and telling Garrosh Hellscream (the current leader of the Orcs and the entire Horde) to go impale himself while she proceeds to create more undead through the use of Valkyries. Do you know what it takes to do all of that? Metaphorical balls the size of a Fel Reaver and a whole lot of cunning and willpower. Sylvanas has all of those things in spades and it’s hard not to like her because of it.
To Sylvanas: the true leader of the Horde and the real leader of the Blood Elves (yeah, you heard me right!).
She’s a one woman army. She doesn’t have weapons, she doesn’t have super strength, and the only thing standing between her and her goal is how good she is with her Parkour skills. Skills that she has earned through years of intense training and discipline. Did I mention that her goal is it to protect her wrongfully framed sister from being sent to jail? Faith is a lady who has her priorities sorted out really well. That’s right: what she values the most in the world is her sister, because she values real things worth valuing, such as family. Take notes, Bella Swan! Another WIN? She’s not physically typical either: a normal, humanly proportioned female, clearly of Asian descent, and who wears what is obviously functional clothing. With someone like Lara Croft (pre-Legend), I always got the feeling that she would just fall into a pit of doom because gravity would pull down her enormous mammaries like a huge meteor being pulled into Earth’s orbit (note: both, meteor and huge breasts, are equally capable of ending the reign of the dinosaurs). Faith, on the other hand, always feels like she is dressed perfectly to tackle the obstacles ahead of her. That’s quite a feat when you have female game characters in today’s industry dressing like this and thinking it’s perfectly legitimate wear when you’re kicking ass:
Faith is a winner. Now if only we could get a sequel so they flesh her out as a character more…
Come on. She’s mother-f***in’-Morrigan (literally: she kind of f***s her own mother over if you take the quest she gives you later!)! I liked her the instant I recruited her to my party in Dragon Age. She’s witty with a venomous tongue, a clear free-thinker who doesn’t see things in black and white but in many shades of gray. She is my second favorite character in Dragon Age, only after Alistair. It was really fascinating for me how often having her in my party would throw off my decision making. I would play the game, clearly intent on being as good and idealistic as possible, and then Morrigan would open her mouth and make me think twice.
She’s a rich, deeply complex character who can change from being an ice queen to being a loyal, caring friend. At the same time, she’s clever enough to know how to protect herself from what her future holds. I’m terribly saddened that she was nowhere to be seen in Dragon Age II. Don’t get me wrong, Flemmeth is awesome (and she’s voiced by Captain Janeway! HELL YEAH!), but no other female in Bioware’s extensive character roster will ever replace my beloved Morrigan.
She’s an amazing character. She starts off as a mysterious if simple girl, but she is hell-bent on her cause to stop the God of darkness known as Ahriman and return light to the world. Immediately you realize just how incredibly useful she is from a gameplay perspective. From saving you from an ultimate doom, to helping you fight bosses, to removing Ahriman’s taint from the world by healing the corrupted land, Elika is there to aid you, not hinder you, and it becomes obvious that without her help you’re downright useless. Then you learn more about her as the story progresses and you realize just how EPIC she really is. This obviously skilled magic user has only recently gained her abilities, hinting at the fact that she’s an incredibly quick study with a strong mind. But you already knew that, didn’t you? Her dialogue is excellent. Then you learn the main twist behind the story: that she gained these abilities after her own father released Ahriman to bring her back from death. Instead of thanking her father and selfishly being glad to be returned to life or saved as all standard princesses do, Elika rebels to do what she knows is best for her people. She immediately sets out to correct the wrongs of her father, the king, even knowing that to trap Ahriman again will bring her to her death once more.
As the story ends, the Prince rescues her by doing almost exactly what Elika’s father had done too, and you would think she would cave in at last and thank the Prince, especially because she clearly has developed feelings for him. But she doesn’t. She’s angry, very angry, and thinks that the Prince’s mistake is even larger than the king’s because now Ahriman is more powerful than Elika’s magic. With no idea how to heal the land anymore, with death still looming on the horizon, and even with her feelings for the Prince, she leaves him behind and goes in search of her people, hoping to learn new secrets that will allow her to trap Ahriman once again.
She is the definition of a strong hero, and not just a female one. A hero requires one very important thing: a hero must understand (or grow to understand) the difference between what is easy and what is morally correct. Elika is painfully aware of this and she shows amazing courage because almost every chance she gets, she clearly chooses what is right over what is easy or selfish.
P.S. You’re probably crying foul at my lack of Samus Aran. As much as I love the Metroid series I just couldn’t add her on the grounds that she has almost no personality to speak of outside of Fusion and Other M.