Through the years and epic stories, we have all experienced some amazing female characters. We’ve saved many damsels in distress, we’ve romanced dozens and killed just as many, I’m sure. What about the ones that never needing saving and in fact did the saving themselves? Many didn’t even have to be the lead in the game to be an astonishing heroine. As I’m sure there’s probably dozens of female characters whose heroics have surpassed their male counterparts, I’m going to mention some of the more memorable ones here. This is not a list per se, these characters are in no particular order and not necessarily my favorites, just five of the greats. With that let’s get into it.
Samus Aran, the seemingly unstoppable space bounty hunter. Appearing very early in the console space in the mid 1980’s with her exoskeleton armor with an arm cannon (arm cannon’s were all the rage in the 80’s.) Fans of the Metroid series have come to love Samus above almost all other characters, almost to a cult following. The lone wolf that needs no help, fighting for a noble cause, unstoppable and unwavering. Many times she has been brought to the point of defeat, only to comeback and destroy the evil she fights against, much like a Rocky movie. How did Samus come to be so badass?
She was born and raised on the mining planet K-2L, and when she was a child, the planet was raided by Space Pirates, led by Ridley, in an attack that killed both her parents and destroyed the planet. The orphaned Samus was then found by a bird-like alien race known as the Chozo, who brought her to their home planet Zebes. Samus was infused with Chozo DNA to give her a strong resistance to foreign environments, then trained as a warrior and given one of the alien race’s artifacts, the Power Suit.
Jill Valentine, Ex-Delta Force turned S.T.A.R.S. agent. If there was only one word to describe Jill Valentine, one might use, brave. How she persevered through the absolute horror she faced is unfathomable. After playing the first Resident Evil as a middle schooler, I became fearful of every creek in my house. During the summer the air-conditioner just outside my room made this noise, the exact noise as a zombie’s footsteps in RE. It scared the living hell out of me at night and yet Jill took the heads off the “real” thing. Jill faced the undead, lickers, hunters, sharks, plants, defeating them all. She took on Tyrant one on one and lived. She survived the outbreak at Raccoon City and even put down the even more deadly Nemesis. She set numerous self destructs in underground labs and escaped them all. After all is said and done, she even sacrifices herself to save Chris Redfield in their fight against Wesker. If that’s not enough, she’s also highly intelligent. She’s able to create anti-venoms and heal herself using herbs. I can barely follow directions in a first aid kit. Come on, who doesn’t love Jill Valentine?
Terra Branford, half-human, half-esper, all rad. Final Fantasy VI opens up with her story. A young girl being mind-controlled by the Empire. She breaks free with the help of Locke, a rogue character that befriends her early on. Her father an esper, her mom a human. Born incredibly powerful and with human emotions and attachments. During the course of the story you watch Terra go from timidity to a boldness you didn’t see coming. Even as the final battle with Kefka approaches, she’s unmoved. Knowing that the defeat of Kefka could mean the end of her life, she moves on hoping to rid the world of him forever. After all is said and done, she lives but the esper side of her and her powers are gone. She continues to live on as Terra Bradford and we couldn’t be happier. Terra suffers and prevails. Her loyalty to her friends is almost unmatched. Green hair, pale skin, pink demon esper power thing. Terra’s rad.
Female Shepard, that’s right she’s here. Are you asking me why FemShep is here when just a simple button press changes her into a male? Well isn’t that the point? She matches her male counterpart to a tee. Anything he can do she can do, exactly the same. She can be just as ruthless or just as empathetic as him and with that, many of us know what she is capable of doing. She’s able to befriend almost anyone. Gain incredible loyalty and unshakable faith in herself from others. Save almost anyone and accomplish a feat no other organic has ever done, stop the Reapers from annihilating the galaxy (Spoilers!) She’s able to slow down enough to even fall in love or calculated enough to stay focused on the miniscule mission of saving all life in the galaxy. She is every woman (man) and may be one the greatest heroes we know of, woman or man.
Cortana, the pinnacle of human science, the ultimate artificial intelligence. Does she count because she’s an artificial intelligence? Yes, because she was mapped from the brain of Dr. Katherine Halsey. Cortana far surpasses all other forms of technology in the galaxy, even that of the Covenant. Numerous times she bypasses and infiltrates their systems. With the help of Cortana, the Master Chief was able to stop the first Halo ring from firing. Cortana even stays behind on the Covenant’s capitol ship, High Charity, to ensure that the second Halo Ring doesn’t fire. She does so knowing that by staying behind, means she’ll have to deal with the Gravemind. In Halo 3, she helps to finally (hopefully) annihilate the Flood forever. She’s even able to keep her 7 year rampancy at bay, but for how long is unknown, I’m sure we’ll find out in Halo 4. Cortana, humanity’s last hope?
I also asked on Twitter, who are some of your favorite female characters? Here were some of the responses.
@TimothyWedel: Young Samus from Metroid: Other M.
@Fluxuations: Alyx Vance from Half Life 2, Bolo Santosi from Just Cause 2, Faith from Mirror’s Edge, Shaudi from Saint’s Row, Zoey from L4D
@IRObot_Dave: Nariko (Heavenly Sword), Samus (Metroid series), and Lara Croft (Tomb Raider series)
@Next_Jen: Yuna (FFX) and Terra (FF6). And then you have FemShep and Lady Hawke.
@Snickelsox: Jade from Beyond Good and Evil. Also, Kate McReary from GTAIV.
Below are some Cosplay of the characters mentioned in this article, enjoy! I’ll probably do another installment of this same feature in the future, because I’ve already though of five more characters I could write about. Thanks for reading!
Thanks again Wikipedia!