From Blood-thirsty Rayne to the more current mystical champions of DOTA 1, these female game leads have encouraged a generation of women to step forward and be heard while looking exceptionally good at it
Looking back at the late 90s and early 2000s female led games were taught to not really sell in this male-dominated industry. Back in 2012 EEDAR, a game consumer research company, did a study on 669 games in different genres and consoles and found out that less than 300 games had an option to choose a female lead and only 24 games had female only leads.
But the catalysts to change began even before this study starting a revolution that was slow but surely ready to take over. Through female-led gaming pioneers who developed these games early on the industry is now full of women both at the front and back ends of the industry. Here we give you rundown of eight of the most loved female protagonists in game who have, personally, guided me into my womanhood and my place in the world of gaming.
1.) THE GULLWINGS OF FINAL FANTASY X-2
Who could ever forget about Final Fantasy X-2's opening cinematic where the game's protagonists, The Gullwings composed of Yuna, Rikku and Paine, held a packed concert complete with look changes (Hello Dresspheres!!!) in a packed stadium. The trio were such a great way to project array of personalities of women: Rikku as the bubbly and energetic one, Paine as the tough and reserved edgy girl and of, course Yuna the girl who fully blooms into a woman in the game and find her strength to rescue her love. I mean, who's the savior now?
When it comes to ass-kicking and crazy gymnastics while looking tight and slender in a patent bodysuit, Bayonetta is definitely my girl. The Umbra witch uses her long locks and summons it in different forms to crush both angels and demons. Her confidence, sly demeanor and level-headedness, all things considering, were great values to follow
3.) LARA CROFT OF TOMB RAIDER
When I talk about Lara Croft, I'm not talking about Alicia Vikander. Heck! not even Angelina Jolie! I'm talking about the pixelized and literally edgey Lara Croft of the 1996 Tomb Raider game. As much as the navigation and graphics were old school her intelligence and problem-solving skills were not. That game was so successful that the developer created sequels of the game in the four years that followed it.
4.) RAYNE OF BLOOD RAYNE
Youngin's look away! These might not be for your eyes. It was for mine though when I was 11 and I was thankful for it because Rayne was unapologetic with her sexuality while being headstrong and gutsy. With Dominatrix-esque looks she slashes and burns her enemies with deadly precision. Also let's not forget about that iconic red bob
5.) ELLIE OF THE LAST OF US 2
Ellie I would say is still a pioneer in the gaming industry even if the game was quite recent. Seeing her grow up in the first installment was great to watch but her fully embracing her love for women in the second installment broke barriers in the gaming industry making the game the first lesbian cis female protagonist lead in the industry. The game soon snatched trophies left and right not only for the graphics and controls but also for the full narrative
6.) FEMALE HEROES OF DOTA 1
I remember back in high school my friends and I end up till mall closing playing this game. We would call it V formation when our female characters form a V to gank the enemy. From Akasha's Scream of Pain to Luna Moonfang's Eclipse, this game proved that women champions can be as strong as male ones, or even stronger.
7.) CHUN LI OF STREET FIGHTER
Chun Li was the first female character in Street Fighter. The game was way older than me but as the sequels made its way to my consoles, Chun Li has always been my top pick. She was a short girl at 5'5" but packs quite the punch as she is a master martial artist. Also honoring her heritage with her look, Chun Li was quirky and fun but tough as hell in the arena especially with that iconic spinning bird kick.
8.) NINA WILLIAMS OF TEKKEN
Tekken was my number one Player vs. Player game and my champion and muse would always and forever be Ms. Nina Williams. An assassin who specializes in grapples and takedowns, she is a sure winner if the enemy gets too close. Her love-hate relationship with her younger sister, Anna is a great reflection of some of our relationships IRL--minus the deadly grapples of course. Nina was so popular that in 2005 she became the lead protagonist of her own game, Death by Degrees.