After I destroyed Gumption's Twitter with my article about Anita Sarkeesian, I thought I should write something about video games that is positive. I've always played video games and I won't stop soon (I've got a bad obsession with The Legend of Zelda series, and Pokémon, as my t-shirt collection shows).
I was thinking: damn, I know games in which the females kick ass! Why not write about them?
So that's what I'm doing now. Here is, according to me, five strong female characters who marked my gaming experience:
1. Jodie Holmes - Beyond: Two Souls
Beyond: Two Souls is a beautiful game in every way it can be: with breath-taking graphics, the story leaves you speechless and wanting to save the world, and the characters make you fall in love with them. The protagonist, Jodie Holmes, kicks serious asses and you love her as soon as you begin the game.
The story revolves around Jodie, her whole life, and her link with a supernatural spirit, Aiden, who never leaves her. Her bond with Aiden is really amazing and you end up loving the unseeable entity, and the relationship he shares with Jodie.
What makes Jodie a strong female character is the fact that she has been scenarized as a human being, not as a single-purpose female, like most women in gaming industry. And she's also "played" by Ellen Page (who's freaking amazing, admit it!). She's an ex-CIA agent, fights like a martial arts expert, has the guts of a war hero and the heart of an ever-loving mother. She's a rebel teenager and a mature woman at the same time. Her personality is well portrayed and she has a temper that makes the player adore her; if not totally crush on her. Jodie is a badass and certainly one of the strongest female characters in video gaming history!
2. Princess Zelda (and Sheik) - Legend of Zelda series
You might remember Zelda for getting kidnapped by Ganondorf, or any other villain. But in reality, she hasn't been kidnapped all that often (compared to Peach, at least...). Her first real badass moment was back in Ocarina of Time, where she changed appearance to become a male Sheikah in order to disguise herself and be able to help Link in his quest without stirring Ganondorf's attention too much.
If you read the manga, you discover that Sheik is not only helping Link, he's actually one of Ganondorf's minion. He's a spy and takes the information he gets from the Evil Lord to the Hero of Time; his position is really dangerous.
When he returns to his real self, princess Zelda, that's when she gets captured by Ganon. Ok, she becomes useless then on, but you gotta admit it took her some serious courage to accept to show herself and risk being kidnapped! Yet, she did it for Link, and for her kingdom.
Now, in Twilight Princess, she decides to give her life to save Midna's and appear with a pretty kickass sword. In the end, she returns and helps Link defeat Ganondorf by firing arrows of light at him. Not so useless anymore.
In Skyward Sword, Zelda's the reincarnation of the Goddess Hylia. She gives her soul to save Skyloft and creates Hyrule. She's quite a badass.
Zelda is not necessarily always in need of being saved. Once in a while, she does get kidnapped or stuck into a crystal, but she is fine with it as she sacrifices herself to save what she believes in: her people.
She's a great princess, queen, goddess. Ruler.
3. Maxine Caulfield and Chloe Price - Life is Strange
First thing's first: Life is Strange is that kind of game that only pronouncing the title gives me shivers. This is not a game; this is a piece of art! The ambiance, the music, the characters, the everything in it is special and magic. There's something that pulls at my strings, the emotion-related ones, and plays harp with it.
To put it shortly: play that game.
The main character, Maxine Caulfield, has just entered university (or college, I never get the US schooling system) in a photography program in her hometown, which she had quit many years ago, when she realizes she has the power to rewind time. She also gets weird dreams (while being awake) of a tornado, which is later explained. Chloe Price is her best friend, whom she left behind when she left her hometown, way before the game.
What makes Maxine a strong female, and Chloe as well, is once again the fact they're designed as people with issues and feelings and personalities, and not little girls with girly interests and girly problems. Maxine is quite a lazy, somewhat angsty teenager with artistic passions. Chloe is a total punk who has a shitty family life and an ex-girlfriend who disappeared. She is amazing and you just love her at first appearance. Both girls have really awesome personalities, tempers, backstories and design. And they rise to become heroes as an unforeseen disaster is coming to town, one that they're the only ones to know about...
4. Clementine - The Walking Dead (Episode 2, mostly.)
Episode one of Walking Dead makes you love to death the little girl that was Clementine. She is the cutest, most adorable, most intelligent and courageous child of the universe. You just can't resist her huge eyes and puffy hair. Though she's not necessarily strong in the beginning and needs to be protected by the main character, Lee, when season two comes, the tides turn.
I have never seen so many adults being as useless as in season two. Lee isn't there for Clem anymore, and she needs to take care of herself and of the others around her. While the adults, who are supposed to protect her, cower before danger and walkers, Clem takes a machete and slashes her way through the horde, or she persuades people to do right over wrong.
Clementine is a child and yet, she is so, so, so strong. She is caring and sweet, and also a zombie-killing, decision-making machine.
5. Claire Redfield - Resident Evil series
Resident Evil 2 was one of the best game of the series, and it brought us quite a crew of amazing characters: Leon S. Kennedy, Ada Wong, and Claire Redfield. The plot was fantastic because it was still an early game in the series and at that time, Capcom was making some seriously awesome Resident Evils.
So the plot is Raccoon City has been taken over by the Virus-T and Virus-G and it's the zombie-apocalypse. Leon S. Kenny arrives in that shithole on his first day as a police officer while Claire Redfield rides a motorcycle right into that mess to find her missing brother, Chris Redfield (one of the main characters of the series). Claire and Leon work together sometimes, but alone mostly. Claire meets an adorable little girl, Sherry Birkin, and together with Leon, they survive Raccoon City's zombie outbreak.
Claire is strong-minded female with more courage than you and I could find, even if we search for a century. She fights some really nasty creatures and puts her life in danger in multiple occasions to save people she barely knows (Sherry, for example) without any second thought. She's selfless and nothing can stop her.
And she uses shotguns.
So that was it! Please let me know in the comments which female characters in the gaming world YOU think are strong!