...And Look Good Doing It.


Disclaimer: This list is based off of games I have had some experience with. I’m sure there are other ladies I don’t know about who could kick butt from games I haven’t played, but that doesn’t make these girls any less awesome. This list is purely my opinion. Conflicting opinions are expected and welcomed. All characters and artwork are property of their respectful creators and publishers.


If you read my previous 40% blog, you’ll know that I’m not a huge fan of how many women are usually portrayed in video games. A lot of people pointed out some video game ladies that aren’t weak or overly sexualized, and I agree. I appreciate the comments that were made and I have made my own list on who represents the way that girls should be depicted in video games by means of modesty and strong will. This is not necessarily a list on characters girl should look up to, this is a list about video game women who dress tastefully and are as good in combat and brain power as men.


11. Konoko (Oni)

Konoko was orphaned when she was 3 years old and was raised as a ward of the World Coalition Government, the unified government over all nations. She is an agent for the Technology Crimes Task Force and has been trained in the most advanced counter-terrorism and combat techniques. However, Konoko learns that her employers have been keeping secrets from her about her past. She goes rogue and embarks on a quest for self discovery, but now she has both the TCTF agents and a criminal organization known as Syndicate on her tail. Nevertheless, Konoko find herself shooting, sneaking and fighting her way to the truth all on her own.



10. Joanna Dark (Perfect Dark)

Joanna Dark is a hot headed bounty hunter who has a knack for finding and getting out of trouble. She spent her childhood following her father around the world while he caught criminals, teaching her many practical skills in order to be self-reliant. Jo is a skilled marksman, basic hacker, lethal fighter and can drive or pilot just about anything. She is also reckless, short-tempered and stubborn. Joanna Dark has her skills and faults, making her a relatable character on top of being a well-portrayed female.



9. Princess Zelda/Sheik (Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time)

If you know me, you know that I love the Legend of Zelda series. “But how can you put Zelda so low on the list?” you may ask. Well, as much as I would love to put her higher, there are just a lot of other characters that own their role as an independent female more than she does. Zelda is first presented as a fairly normal princess. She is curious, young, a bit naïve and oddly not too surprised when Link sneaks past all of her guards. It is later revealed that Zelda is the holder of the Triforce of Wisdom and a very capable ruler. But Zelda really shines in the role of Sheik, a seemingly male character in Ocarina of Time. Sheik helps Link by teaching him songs of teleportation and aiding him in finding the Seven Sages. Zelda uses the disguise of Sheik to both hide from and spy on Ganondorf while he cruelly takes over Hyrule. Sheik manages to save Princess Ruto from the ice that takes over Zora’s domain and constantly helps Link on his quests through dungeons. Sheik’s real gift is imparting wisdom  and aid to Link about life and his quest, all while vanishing in the flash of a deku nut.



8. Bonnie MacFarlane (Red Dead Redemption)

Bonnie is a 27-year old rancher and major ally of John Marston in RDR. She had six brothers but five of them died from sickness or foolish choices, and her only surviving brother lives in New York. Bonnie rescues John after he has been left for dead by his “old friend” Bill Williamson by giving the doctor money to heal Marston’s wounds and providing lodging. In exchange John helps her around the ranch, since she is basically the “man” of the place. She is very outspoken and strong-headed, as well as an adept farmhand and very capable of manual labor. Despite this, Bonnie is kidnapped by a lackey of Williamson and held for ransom after he sets the barn on fire. Marston saves her, but instead of answering him she simply asks “What took you so long?” Outspoken indeed. 



7.  Faith (Mirror’s Edge)

Faith is a 24 year old courier, or Runner, that transports illegal goods for revolutionary groups under the nose of the totalitarian government. The government monitors all communication and controls the media for their blissful, utopian city, enforcing serenity by shooting anyone who protests their ways. Faith hears through the grapevine that her sister, Kate may be in trouble with the government. It turns out that Kate is being framed for the murder of a man named Robert Pope and is set to be put on trial. Faith sets out to find out the truth, leading her to finding the true murderer.  Unfortunately Kate as already been tried and found guilty, so Faith and some other Runners intercept the transport convoy and free her. Unfortunately, the government officials follow them back to their base and recapture Kate, forcing Faith to once again rescue her sister. This time, Faith single-handedly fights off the security forces and then jumps onto a helicopter, freeing her sister for the second time. For being a criminal, Faith does a pretty awesome job of handling herself, both in escaping bad situations and fighting her way through them.



6.  Jade (Beyond Good and Evil)

Jade is a freelance reporter and photographer with her own business at the ripe, young age of 20. She has been an orphan her entire childhood and has no memory of her parents. She lives in a lighthouse with six other orphans and her adoptive uncle Pey’j. Jade grew up in the poor district of Hillys, where she learned street smarts and how to defend herself. The other orphans look up to her as an older sister, and she fiercely protects them from the DomZ, an alien race that has been fighting a war over Hillys for 20 years. Jade is a courageous and strong woman who will do everything she can to gain her desired result. She is primarily level-headed and loyal, only show the depths of her distress when the other orphans are kidnapped by the DomZ. She sets out to rescues them with Pey’j, a soldier name Double H and her skills in martial arts and dai-jo stick.



5.  Kreia (Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords)

This one is probably a surprise. Proof that not all modest women that can beat you up in video games are young and spry, Kreia is the old, blind lady in KOTOR II. Kreia’s loss of sight has allowed her to “see” using the Force. She was cast out of the Jedi Order for training Revan and eventually went to Malachor V. There she learned the ways of the Sith, but another apprentice betrayed her and she was then exiled from the Dark Side and stripped of the Force. She is the first character you meet in KOTOR II and proves to be extremely wise, her use of Force powers is unrivaled by anyone else you encounter. While Kreia can handle herself in a fight, she is also manipulative, deceptive and a betrayer. These traits are not desired, but they do help her defeat her enemies with mind games and clever discussion.



4. Lightning (Final Fantasy XIII)

Lightning begins as a very mysterious character. The player doesn’t know her real name and she seems standoffish and cold. She often distances herself from her companions and is frustrated by the lot she’s cast. Lightning sets off to find her missing sister Serah, who is discovered to be a l’Cie and encased in a crystal for not figuring out and fulfilling her purpose. Lightning comes across as arrogant to her companions since she is very no-nonsense and determined, probably because she is part of the local military force known as the Guardian Corps. Lightning is an expert with the gunblade and has heightened magical prowess due to also being a l’Cie. She is extremely independent and driven, often detaching herself from things that bother her. She does eventually warm up to her companions, even taking Hope under her wing to show him how to fight. But throughout the story of FF13 she is a leader and eventually becomes a protector of her people. Though she could use some longer shorts.



3. Chell (Portal)

Chell is the silent protagonist of Portal and chances are you might not have even realized that you were playing a girl. You learn little about her throughout the entirety of the series, except that she is extremely stubborn and persistent. Chell was in the facility when GLaDOS took over because her father, and Aperture scientist, took part in “Bring Your Daughter to Work Day.” Tough break, kid. Chell goes through a series of test chambers, with a combination of intelligence and tenacity, and eventually find her way to GLaDOS’ main control room. She seemingly destroys GLaDOS, but is taken back to a stasis chamber by a robot. Chell has proven herself to be resourceful, a quick thinker and not easily fazed. While she doesn't encompass the combative realm of being able to handle herself, I think defeating a giant robot that controls the entire facility and is bent on your failure and destruction is a pretty amazing thing.



2.  Samus Aran (Metroid Series)

Ah, Samus Aran. Probably one of the most well known female character in video games, though it came as quite a shock when it was revealed that she is a indeed a girl. Samus is an intergalactic bounty hunter, and in my opinion she is way cooler than Boba Fett. Samus has a powersuit that protects her from most danger and includes an arm cannon, a scanning device and the ability to break down into a sphere in order to roll through tight spaces. Samus desires to exact her revenge on a Space Pirate name Ridley who is responsible for the death of her parents. She has had warrior training since she was a child and is an incredible marksmen. She has not had a true speaking part with the exception of Other M, leaving her personality up for debate and the player's imagination. Her skills in combat, resourceful nature and drive to get things done are what put Samus Aran at number two in my book.



1. Lucca Ashtear (Chrono Trigger)

Some of you are probably surprised by this number one pick. Some of you may not even know who she is. Honestly, I went back and forth between Lucca and Samus for a while, but finally decided that Lucca was the kind of girl I could look up to. Lucca Ashtear is a certifiable genius. She is a brilliant inventor with loads of creativity and is the entire reason that Chrono Trigger has a story. After Crono and Marle jump through the malfunctioning Telepod that sends them back in time, Lucca quickly invents a Gate Key to ensure a safe return and follows them. Lucca is the first one to realize that Marle is a princess and uses her logic and technological skills to help find Marle’s ancestor. You may be asking how any of this proves that Lucca can handle herself, so I’ll tell you. Lucca fights with a hammer, a gun and Fire magic. When Crono is accused of kidnapping Marle, Lucca fights through the Prison Towers and singlehandedly disarms multiple soldiers of the royal guard in order to rescue him. A 17 year old girl that can fight off royal officials in order to save a male main character is exactly the kind of female protagonist that video games need.



Honorary Mention: Female Commander Shepard (Mass Effect Series)

Commander Shepard is only an honorable mention because you don’t HAVE to play as a girl in the Mass Effect series. However, I highly suggest that you do because Commander Shepard kicks some major butt.  Her armor is not cut to ribbons in order to show her midriff or have a low neckline, instead it looks just like male Shepard’s wardrobe, but with a woman’s figure. She can, and does, do everything that male Shepard can do in combat. From fighting off Reapers to learning the secrets of the Collectors, FemShep is the girl to get things done. Plus, you can romance Garrus. What other initiative do you need?



Up for Debate: Lara Croft (Tomb Raider Series)

You may be thinking where Lara Croft is on my list. Sure, she is a resourceful, level-headed, witty character that can surely handle herself in combat against both men and environments, but I could not put her on this list because she has been an extremely overly sexualized character in the past. Her figure defies comprehension and she is usually wearing clothes designed to show off her body. Even her winter outfit is in no way practical or modest, so obviously Lara is not cut out for this list. However, the new Lara Croft concept art that we've seen for the upcoming Tomb Raider game may change my view of her, but we will just have to wait.