Let’s hear it for the ladies!
In my first article, I gave a rundown of five favorite video game guys I’m rather thankful for. But what of the ladies? Well, as a female gamer, in a video game world mainly populated by big, burly (handsome — some, anyway) dudes, I always have respect for the video game vixens who prove that there is more to them than just their skimpy outfits and unrealistically huge breasts, especially the ones who are doing all of the saving, instead of being saved.
That being said, there are five women who encompass intelligence, morality, and who stand firm for the rights that they believe in — while still proving that there are still normal women. Oh, and they kick ass. In fact, this article is a dedication to the brains, intelligence, and overall greatness of these women in video games who prove that there is more to them than just a pretty face (and unrealistically-sized hooters), and who I am thankful to for changing up the standards and the video game world for the girls who live in it.
5. Sophitia Alexandra from Soul Calibur
As stated in the game, “What lies within her heart is truth,” and there are definitely no second guesses about that. In many ways, she is very much like my number two on this list: a normal woman loyal to her country and especially her family who uses the strength bestowed upon her by the gods to combat evil, along with being exceptionally kind and just as beautiful.
Sophitia, born and raised in Athens, Greece, is the embodiment of the Three Virgin Goddesses: Artemis, Hestia, and Athena, with each goddess representing hunting, home, and wisdom respectively — and with Athena specifically being the one Sophitia prays to the most. Sophitia is an efficient and deadly warrior, a very intelligent and strong woman, and…
She also happens to be a wife and a mother.
Sophitia is living proof that one can be deadly as a rattlesnake but gentle as a lamb when it comes to her husband and her children. In fact, her family is the main reason she sets out on her next adventure in Soul Calibur II, because a shard of the accused sword Soul Edge had fallen into the hands of her children, which made them fight violently amongst one another, and even began to affect her sister, Cassandra, as well. Cassandra steals the shard to protect her sister, and her sister’s family, which makes Sophitia give chase after her to defeat Soul Edge and all who are possessed by it.
Of course…I believe everyone knows how dangerous it is to f*ck with a lioness like Sophitia — especially if her kids are threatened. In Soul Calibur III, that demented hula-hoop extremist, Tira, threatens Sophitia by saying, “You’re annoying…when the time comes, I’ll come for your children.”
Bad move, Tira. Sophitia then pulls a Molly Weasly moment, and said, “NOT MY KIDS, YOU BITCH!” (okay, not really) and goes to destroy Soul Edge for the sake of her children, while leaving her kids with her husband. Unfortunately, her daughter gets abducted, that’s when things really go to hell, and that’s when Sophitia actually pulls a Molly Weasly moment:
Sophitia proves that she is not just a warrior by trade, but fights for her family’s safety in a way that is noble, selfless, and benevolent — driven by those traits that encompass a mother’s love.
4. Sheva Alomar from Resident Evil
Sheva was a trailblazer in many ways, but I’ll start with the obvious — she was the very first, black female partner of Chris Redfield, and she’s a positive, black role model for girls to look up to. P.S.: She’s a badass.
Sheva is a definite do-not-f*ck-with woman as she makes her debut in the gaming world in Resident Evil 5. She received highly-acclaimed reception from various gaming magazines, with a couple being, “The absolute antithesis of vulnerable, Sheva is a walking fortress that is equal parts kick-ass and intimidating feminine sexuality,” —GamesRadar, and, “Sheva isn’t just beautiful, she’s smart and tough (…) [but her addition] is probably the highlight of the Resident Evil 5 experience,” —PlayStation, The Official Magazine.
Sheva is very much how I love my video game girls — highly intelligent, and with the right amount of strong and sexy (Her tribal costume is a future cosplay of mine). As an agent for the Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance (B.S.A.A), she becomes Chris’s partner while he’s in West Africa, showing him the land and a good majority of the territory as well as the ways of her people. (Kind of like Pocahontas, if she carried around a Magnum: S&W M500 and a shotgun, and went around killing zombies and using the the colors of (not the wind) those zombie entrails to paint the forest red and brown and whatnot.)
In the game, she is utilized in many ways to help advance the storyline, such as having access to areas that Chris cannot enter, as well as taking on certain side missions as well. Her character and personality also develop as the game goes on, such as having a change of heart when they were outnumbered. Originally, Sheva wanted to get the hell out of that dangerous situation, but after listening to Chris lament on Jill, and the hopes he has that she is still alive, Sheva decides to stick with him and help him out, not only as a partner, but as a friend as well, with the two growing closer through the game, saving each other’s butts constantly.
It’s also thanks to Sheva’s help that Wesker, the same man who continued to torment Chris and the rest of the Resident Evil fans, is dead and, hopefully, for good this time (because I give him props as a Boss Baddie, but he’s such a pain to kill).
Overall, I admire Sheva for being a woman of strength, compassion, and many, many firearms.
3. Kasumifrom Dead Or Alive
Let’s ignore the two biggest reasons most people enjoy Kasumi, and focus on what lies behind those reasons — her heart. Kasumi, everyone’s favorite kunoichi, is the total package: she’s strong, deadly, beautiful, and incredibly intelligent and resourceful. But there’s one thing that puts her on my list of women I’m thankful for:
Aside from Yuna, I don’t think I’ve ever come across someone with as much loyalty as Kasumi. From the very beginning, she chose to defy and give up her position as heiress to the entire clan — without hesitation — and became a runaway ninja, all to avenge her brother, Hayate, who was rendered unconscious and a parapalegic by their paternal uncle, Raidou (and let it be known that Kasumi’s mother, Ayame, was also raped by Raidou, which resulted in the pregnancy of Kasumi’s half-sister/half-cousin, Ayane). And of course, everyone knows the fate of a runaway ninja — it’s death. So, Kasumi faces death every waking second by countless assassins who are sent after her, and won’t stop, until she is dead.
But none of that matters, as Kasumi enters the DOA tournament and, with a bit of help, manages to overpower that asshole Raidou and avenge her brother.
Too bad there’s no rest for the weary, because as soon as she was declared winner, she was kidnapped and taken to a German lab where DOATEC used her DNA to help produce the “ultimate” warrior. However, with help from the (yummy) Ryu Hayabusa, she manages to escape, only to learn that her brother had been nearby the entire time, and this makes Kasumi all the more set on finding him and helping Hayate. When she does find him, of course, he doesn’t remember her, and they decide to engage in a battle to help jar his memory. Kasumi loses and Hayate gets his memory back, but the two are forced to part once more.
Even after a series of wildly unfortunate events, even after she and her brother are finally reunited once and for all, she can’t even be with him because of her status as a runaway nin. Still, Kasumi remains bright and compassionate, even as she continues to live out of her life of solitude that may or may not end. Kasumi has a bubbly and kind heart, and despite the cost of her loyalty to her brother, she still remains loyal to him — and him to her — without a second thought, and awaits the day when she can be with her brother.
2. Yuna from Final Fantasy X/X-2
Yuna is definitely one of my favorite characters, and I have so much respect for her, that my first daughter will be named after her.
When we first meet Yuna, she is just exiting the Chamber of Fayth, after being acknowledged by the Fayth as being a summoner (and this also happens to be the moment where she meets her sweetie Tidus, but this isn’t about him — just see my last article if you want more of him).
From that moment on, Yuna is joined by her guardians as she makes a very difficult pilgrimage through Spira, using her aeons, healing people, unfortunately relying on her ability to send departed souls to the Farplane, and defeating in battle those who wish to bring harm to the world of Spira. What makes Yuna such a remarkable woman isn’t her power, however — it’s how firmly grounded she is in her morals, and how unselfish she is. From the very beginning, Yuna is prepared to lay down her life and protect her people without question, and that includes embarking on the journey that she knows and accepts will inevitably end her life. She faces daily battles, comes quickly to terms with her inevitable death, and still manages to carry on with a smile, hiding all of her internal pain, putting on a brave front, and still managing to be sweet and optimistic about everything.
However, Yuna also isn’t some fool who will turn a blind eye to something she knows is wrong. When she realizes all of the lies and schemes that the teachers of Yevon have fed her all of these years, she steps back and defies the teachings, and even after being labeled a traitor by all of Spira (and, again, this is the same woman who was willing to marry an undead pain in the ass if it meant bringing peace), she still treks on, finding her own path, and following her true beliefs as well. It is thanks to Yuna that the Eternal Calm was brought, Sin was defeated, and she was able to live in peace.
Only…while everyone was enjoying their own happiness, Yuna’s was the only one who wasn’t truly happy. Two years after FFX, and brand-new Yuna has exchanged her handy summoner’s staff for a pair of dual-action guns (and a sword, staff, bushido sword, electronic blasters, etc., etc.), and shed her more modest robes in favor of a new and updated look, all to match her new attitude, which is empowered, sexy, and very confident, though she’s still the same loveable Yuna we all know and adore.
Yuna joins her cousin Rikku and newcomer Paine in Final Fantasy X-2, and for what does she brave death, saving the world, and even losing what is most important to her?
She does it all for love. The love she has for her man, as well as the love for her people.
And in the end, she is rewarded by the powers that be for her loyalty to Spira, her struggles, and her near-death experiences multiple times by being reunited with the man she set out on her second journey to find and be with: Tidus. The most selfless woman in the world was finally able to receive her own happiness, and it just goes to show you that nice girls don’t finish last at all.
1. Amaterasu from Okami
That’s right — the number one gal on my list is in fact a wolf. Or, to be specific, the Japanese sun goddess, Amaterasu Oimikane, who has taken on wolf form to bring light to the world of Japan after it’s overshadowed by darkness, with no thanks to the game’s antagonist, Orochi. Now, if someone were to ask me why she is at the top of this list, it would have to be for one, exact reason:
She’s a female video game character who doesn’t have to wear skimpy clothes or have unrealistic body proportions to be a badass.
And that’s just the truth. Aside from being the goddess of the sun, she wields the power of the Celestial Brush to summon other little demi-gods to help her, as well as drawing her way through Japan, solving difficult puzzles, overcoming dangerous fiends, and bringing beauty back to the world.
And I mean that quite literally: beauty sprouts wherever she goes, given that whenever she runs, flowers and grass bloom behind her. How is THAT for making a world a more beautiful place to live in?!
Assisted by her friend and celestial envoy, a bug named Issun, the twosome are beseeched by the lovely tree maiden, Sakuya (whose breasts and exposed booty happen to resemble a peach, tee hee), to embark on a journey to find the legendary samurai who once helped saved the world from darkness before. After joining up with him, Amaterasu (Ammy) is greeted by multiple characters, some wishing her well and aiding the goddess, and others, eh, not so much.
And some men like Orochi (or, rather, dragon…uh…snake…eight-headed…thingies) just want to watch the world burn.
But with Amaterasu’s quick thinking, her lighting-fast reflexes, and the power of the cosmos at her disposal, she proves that the night is always darkest before the dawn, and rise and shine, because she is the sun. (Two Batman references in one paragraph! High five!)
Oh, and one more thing that makes her so awesome?
She gave birth to a sun/son (har har, bad pun) who was such a little badass in his own way that he even got his own video game. Too cute.
But again, the main reason I gave Ammy the number one spot is for the main reason I listed above — as the heroine of a video game, she isn’t scantily clad, her t*ts aren’t everywhere, and she isn’t some helpless princess needing rescuing, aka, the Damsel in Distress. She’s beautiful, she’s powerful…and I mean, hello? She’s a goddess. All of that accomplished without so much as showing a tiny bit of sexually-charged human skin. Bam. Take that, video game stereotypes.
(Oh, and let it be known — and I’m not ashamed to admit this — but when I first heard that Okami was being re-released and remastered for the PS3, and I saw the trailer above…yeah. I cried. Tears of joy. A lot of tears of joy. Music, artistry, and an incredible plot…oh God…where’re my tissues?!)