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Top Ten Women In Games

Alright! It's been a while since I've done a list blog. Sexism has popped up a few times in recent blogs and as a married man I have learned that women are way more awesome than we males are. Not to put them on a pedistal; they have plenty of flaws as well. But my wife could kick my butt and make wassail at the same time. So to give her a shout out I'm writing a blog about, you guessed it, my favorite women in gaming. In no order.

1. Kid - Chrono Cross

This is a vastly underrated game (if you like RPGs go buy it!) and it's a shame. Kid has more pluck than almost any character I've seen. She's strong, compassionate, bullheaded and devoted to a cause she believes in. Meeting up with her as she steps in to save your life, she's consistently involved in a large way. She's the character that makes the story happen. I really hate what you have to do to her to get Glenn, but what can you do. She swears like a (teenage) sailor and has a sweet accent and a kickin bod to boot.

2. Yuna - FFX

Anyone who has played FFX knows why Yuna is on this list. She epitomizes quiet strength in every way. She carries a weight that you would never guess due to her personality; she is always finding ways to smile and enjoy the moment in a peaceful way. She's likable, bright, and one of the most useful characters you can use. The summons were changed drastically in this iteration of Final Fantasy and I instantly loved it. Yuna is willing to sacrifice everything for others and there's little I find more admirable.

3. EDI - Mass Effect 2-3

At first, EDI is little more than the sexy computer voice that you can't help but feel is spying on you. As the games continue, however, she grows a personality that I enjoyed interacting with. Partly due to her relationship with Joker (especially in 3) and partly due to her questioning and exploratative attitude, I loved having her around. I never felt like more of a mentor in a game and as the series progressed I felt she was more human than almost anybody else in that universe.

4. Impa - Skyward Sword

Impa has made appearances in Zelda games before but she grew into a character in Skyward Sword. My memories of Impa are largely of dislike to be honest. I felt she was rash, judgmental and unfair. She couldn't understand my motives an blocked me as often as she could (in one case literally; I raged at her in the desert). She constantly called me pathetic and weak, but you know what? At that time I was. At the point where she realized I was capable and needed to help Zelda she stepped aside and sacrifice what she needed to for the good of the princess. She bowed to no man and outshone me constantly and that's awesome.

5. Anya - Gears of War series

I've always thought there was something between Anya and Marcus since game 1 but that's neither here nor there. Anya begins as your handler of sorts reminiscent of Nikki in the Bourne movies. She is your contact to command and on the rare times you actually see her she is dressed in formal. As the situation dissolves into the third game she makes a complete shift and steps up to the plate and becomes tough as nails. It takes intelligence to get ad high as she did in the office world, and She handles that gun just as well as the burly men. She also has butt shots that rivals Miranda's. naturally.

6. Tali'Zorah nar Rayya - Mass Effect Series

I've always liked Tali. Even though my first character was an infiltrator I used her constantly through all 3 games. She is smart and strong. It's been interesting as I'm almost finished with my second ME 1 play through; I've been used to how Tali is in 3, the strong character standing up to the admirals in the fleet. Meanwhile when you first meet her. I forgot how different she is. Precocious, a little naive, scared and homesick. They did a good job of making her the small character suddenly thrust into the midst of things. Seeing how she grows through the games is great, and I miss using her this time.

7. Rydia - FFIV

Rydia is an orphan you run across early in the game. A small girl whose village was burned, she is timid and almost the shy lamb who just follows you around for a while. As a black mage she brings a greatly useful skill set, but eventually she's lost. But wait! You run into her again and she joins up much later in the game, all grown up and strong. With the addition of summoning, she becomes one of the most vital characters in the game.

8. GLaDOS - Portal series

GLaDOS is a character that everyone loves despite how sadistic and evil she is. No topic is free from her ridicule; your intelligence, familial status, even weight are fair game for her taunts. She truly becomes amazing in Portal 2 when you are forced to help one another and especially when you find out her background. One of the greatest moments is when you start feeling empathy for her as humanity starts to show in her and she just twists it into an amazingly and somehow unsurprising moment.

9. Cortana - Halo 1-3

Even people who don't play Halo generally know who Cortana is. An AI developed to help the Spartans defeat the Covenant, Cortana chose John 117 to be her carrier. She is a voice who is your constant guide throughout the series, giving useful information, filling the void of loneliness and offering encouragement. You don't notice how important she is until Halo 3 when she's absent. When you finally get her back you realize she has weaknesses and I'm excited for the promise that they'll delve deeper into that in Halo 4.

10. Midna - Twilight Princess

Midna is the best fairy character introduced to the Zelda series. She's condescending without being cruel, flippant without showing callous, and has a dark sense of humor. She is constantly pushing you forward while criticizing every move you make. She puts on an air of impatience while also making it seem she couldn't really care less about what is going on. There are several times, however, when you see through the facade and her worry shows through. The moment when her true identity is revealed is flat out shocking. Her gumption is what gives this game it's layers, and she far outshines the pathetically weak and flat Princess Zelda.

There you are! I'm certain I have had several slip my mind, but there are my ten favorite females in games. You may notice they're all strong but human. That's on purpose. Women make some of the most complex and interesting characters when done right, but far too often they're typecast as the big bosomed bimbo. Unfortunate. Anyway there are several more women I'm a fan of, and some characters in FF13 are showing promise, but I limited myself to ten. So: who are your favorite digital divas (I know, that was painful)? let me know!

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