Who says you can’t look great in an ankle-length dress?
Male and female gamers are all aware that women are sometimes treated as mere eye candy in video games. Even when a franchise is trying not to be too sexist, it can fail (why does Samus have to suddenly be in her underwear when she dies?) (thanks for the skanky women’s clothing in Skyrim mods, really helping the cause). Every now and again, though, a girl in a game is more than just a pretty face.
She’s human, and she’s treated that way. She doesn’t just get stolen or stared at – she fights her own battles. And she’s probably on this list.
1. Elizabeth from Bioshock Infinite
Most of the time, a man is the face of a video game. Sly Cooper is on every cover of his series’ games, Nathan Drake is on the cover of Uncharted. If a woman’s on the cover of a video game case, she tends to be in skimpy attire, or in some sassy come-and-get-me pose. Certainly it’s rare for a woman to be the face of a video game.
That’s what we get out of Elizabeth in Bioshock Infinite. When we think of Elizabeth, we think of those big, frightened eyes, her hair caught in the wind. We think of a character we care a lot about.
She wears a dress that goes to the floor, when her chest is exposed, there’s limited, natural cleavage, she’s a crucial character, a useful sidekick, and a daughter-figure to the protagonist. She’s smart, though she’s been a little cut off from the world, and her character helps Infinite pass the Bechdel test.
Rosalind doesn’t really count, thanks to the whole (SPOILERS) her-brother-is-technically-her … thing. Though huge points for her being a woman of science, and one who changes history. A lot.
2. Chell from Portal
We just barely see Chell. I actually didn’t even know she was a woman throughout most of my playthrough of Portal.
Thinking realistically, there are ladies all over in that game: GlaDOS has a female voice, “This Was a Triumph” is sung in a female voice. The game’s a big win for lady gamers, in that sense. It takes brains, and it has mostly female characters. It certainly beats beach volleyball games.
Playing Chell, the player must be resourceful, quick-thinking, and rather brave. Chell is a fit lady with a portal gun in her hand. She even manages not to be a mere object while wearing a tight one-piece suit.
This really was a triumph.
3. Ellie from The Last of Us
Ellie’s young and feisty. There’s a lot she doesn’t know, but she’s ready to learn it, and when push comes to shove, she’s a strong, brave young lady who will do anything to help Joel.
Instead of being some sort of love interest or eye candy Ellie is a daughter figure. she’s a second chance for Joel to fix what he feels he’s ruined. And it’s not easy gaining her trust, either. Ellie is far from just a pair of boobs, or a scapegoat: she saves Joel to make up for all the work he goes through for her. Ellie isn’t some poor princess stuck in a tower, either. She’ll put a bullet right through your head if she thinks she has to.
Of course, Ellie does almost get raped … and eaten. Let’s just say that there’s no way her attacker could have claimed she was “asking for it”, though. It’s hard to tell if her sex had anything to do with it: most likely her youth and small stature were bigger motives. Guys like him are usually just looking for easy prey, after all.
Tess could also certainly be put on this list—she’s a strong, independent woman who puts all the vagabonds that surround her in their place, and she makes the ultimate sacrifice without thinking twice. She is technically a love interest, though, so she’ll earn an honourable mention.
4. Lucca from Chrono Trigger
Lucca is kind of like Belle from Beauty and the Beast. Except no one would be singing about how obscenely pretty – but weird – she is. Lucca’s an inventor’s daughter, and she’s known for her inventions. Nothing petty like her looks is involved.
Yes, she is known for her inventions failing, but at least she’s known for using her head.
She’s a studious kid with a kind heart, and she’s even known to be Crono’s wingman and right-hand bro.
Lucca also braves past, present and future, armed with guns – that’s right, she’s a girl in an RPG and she’s not a healer.
Every girl should want to be like Lucca.
Hopefully, ladies like these are a more and more common occurrence in video games. And here are some awesome cosplays and fan art. Just because!