With Women’s History Month underway and in honor of International Women’s Day, the video game team at Geek Girl Authority has decided to honor our most inspiring female video game characters. They may be digital, but their stories and struggles inspire not only us, but people around the world every day. Be mindful that there are spoilers up ahead for several franchises.

Jill Valentine – (Resident Evil Franchise)

Taylor: Jill was introduced in Resident Evil as a member of the BSAA (United Nations’ Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance). She was a former member of Delta Force and later becomes a founding member of the BSAA. Jill was one of the first female protagonists I’ve ever played in a video game. Her strong will to take care of her team, fellow friends and civilians is amazing.

She will protect herself and others no matter the circumstance, even putting herself at risk. Throughout all of the Resident Evil games, she remained sweet, yet stern and will always be prepared to hop into battle if need be. Her spirit, and passion to grow, to learn and to survive has always been inspiring.

Jill Valentine, an inspiring lady in the Resident Evil franchise.

Miku Hinasaki – (Fatal Frame Franchise)

Taylor: The main protagonist in the Fatal Frame series; she has survived it all. Coming from a family of those sensitive to spirits and ghosts, encountering the unusual was the common occurrence. Losing her father and mother, her older brother Mafuyu took care of her. Throughout the Fatal Frame games, she is able to utilize the Camera Obscura, which captures, defeats, and spots the ghosts. Trapped in a haunted mansion, Miku’s main task is to find her brother and escape safely.

Battered and worn throughout the game, reminded of her parents, the heavy stories of the spirits; and the dark and violent past of the mansion leaves Miku struggling, but even through all the rough patches, she escapes strong and a better version of herself. Each game she’s featured in she’s always helpful, and caring. She’s determined to take care of her remaining family, and her friends till the last breath she takes.

Miku Hinasaki of the Fatal Frame series.

 

Celes Chere (Final Fantasy VI)

Renee: Celes Chere, the General-turned-Returner in Final Fantasy VI, is a complex and strongly independent character. Her story is one of redemption. She starts as a Magitek Knight in the Empire’s army then becomes one of its Generals. Realizing that the Gestahlian Empire is evil she renounces them. The result is her immediate capture and planned execution. She is rescued by Locke Cole, a member of the Returners, and she decides to join their cause, becoming an integral part of their group.

Celes is strong-willed and independent. Having been on her own for much of her life, she has had very few opportunities to get close to people. Her progression through the Empire’s ranks shows her ambition and pride, but in the end, she realizes that she can use her abilities for good and help those in need. Celes shows us that regardless of the path we set out on, it can always change. That despite mistakes in our past, we can learn from them and more forward. And in the end, we never have to go on the journey alone.

Celes, a character in Final Fantasy VI.

Commander Shepard (Mass Effect Trilogy)

Renee: Commander Shepard, aka Fem Shep, from the Mass Effect trilogy is one of the best female characters in any game, full stop. While the male character is the default of the game, it is the female Shepard playthrough that shows us how powerful and resilient women can be. From her journey from Eden Prime in Mass Effect to her final battle with the Reapers in Mass Effect 3, Commander Shepard consistently proves to be a formidable leader, a trusted friend, and a shining example of humanity.

Her entire story arc is one set in conflict and duty, and she while she carries out her orders, she is not afraid to push back in the name of doing what is right. While she is doubted by those in power, she refuses to back down, and she follows her instincts. Even in the end, when she is tired and broken, she still finds the strength to stand and complete her mission. She shows us what it means to be strong in every sense of the word. 

FemShep of the Mass Effect triology.

Sadie Adler – (Red Dead Redemption 2)

Emily Rose Sadie Adler is one of the best fleshed-out female characters to come out of Rockstar Games‘ Red Dead Redemption series. She starts as a weakened woman whose husband and home were taken by the O’Driscoll gang. But throughout Red Dead Redemption 2, she goes from an isolated woman to one of the most fearsome and brilliant members of the Van Der Linde gang. In addition to this character arc, we also get to see so many facets of her throughout the game: Her kindness on the homestead, her ruthlessness when she confronts her attackers, her humor as she makes fun of Pearson, and her loyalty and trust with Arthur Morgan.

Sadie Adler is a woman who does not let her past and fear define her. She gets right back up and makes the best out of any situation. Honestly, I wish there was a DLC option to play as Sadie on her own. She’s one of the most fearsome women of the West, and one of the most inspirational female video game characters of the last decade.

Sadie in Red Dead Redemption

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Isabelle – (Animal Crossing)

Emily Rose- Who Runs the World? Girls. That lyrical phrase best personifies Isabelle from the Animal Crossing series. She is a hard-working, continuously positive woman working in the municipal government. Isabelle’s sincerity, charm, and work ethic are what have made her not only one of THE most popular Animal Crossing characters but also a fantastic female character. Moreover, this sweet Shih Tzu isn’t afraid to admit her shortcomings and doesn’t pretend to be something she’s not. Because Isabelle GETS IT. She is perfect the way she is (and knows how to rock a cute cardigan). And you know which Animal Crossing NPC got added to Super Smash Bros? Not Tom Nook. Not Restti. But Isabelle. This woman has got it ALL.  

Isabelle from Animal Crossing.

Jaina Proudmoore – (Warcraft Franchise)

Julia Of the multitude of inspiring woman that can be found within the Warcraft universe, Jania Proudmoore has a special place in my heart. She has come up against challenges time and time again and continues to come out stronger on the other side. First, the love of her life turns evil, raises an army of the dead and goes to war with the world. Then later on the Horde, whom she has defended on numerous occasions drops a bomb on her city.

What is truly inspiring, is that even though Jania is an all-powerful mage, she reacts to these events as any human would. In the most recent expansion for World Of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth, we see her return to her homeland and face the consequences of her life’s choices. She fights for them because she believes in her people even when they would rather see her exiled. It is plain to see why she is one of the most beloved Warcraft characters.

Jaina Proudmore in the Daughter of the Sea Cinametic

Yuna – (Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy X-2)

Julia- The Final Fantasy franchise is overflowing with inspiring women and Final Fantasy X and X-2 are no exception. Yuna, the daughter of the High Summoner Braska, knows exactly where her journey will take her and the importance of it. During the game we are able to see Yuna grow as a person and learn what it takes to protect those around her. She also shows how at peace she is to the world, being able to take on such a challenge at a young age. Something we all inspire to be like.

In Final Fantasy X-2 we understand more of what drives Yuna now that she does not have to sacrifice herself to save the world. Her journey to uncover the mysteries of the world helps her to grow as a character. But even still, she always understands the importance of her duty. Her story helped inspire me at such a young age to go out and be the change I want to see in the world. From the moment I played through the series, she became on of the most inspiring female video game characters.

Yuna performing a sending in Final Fantasy X.

 

Yennefer of Vengerberg (The Witcher III: Wild Hunt)
Tyler: Gamers debate whether Yennefer or Triss is the best romance of The Witcher III: Wild Hunt, but Yennefer of Vengerberg is unquestionably Geralt of Rivia’s one true love. Yennefer’s magic ensures that she is not only one of the most beautiful individuals on the Continent, but also one of its most powerful. Yennefer’s past is more troubled and tragic than even a witcher like Geralt. Born with a malformed spine and jaw, Yennefer was abused by her stepfather due to her biological half-elf father. Sold off to the magic academy of Aretuza for a feeble four marks, Yennefer eventually survived her sorceress training and her appearance was enchanted to remove all physical flaws.
 
Yennefer graduates from Aretuza as a smart and ambitious woman. Most gamers and critics tend to focus on Yennefer’s beauty, but the raven-haired and violet-eyed mage is just as feared for her magic. Often more ruthless than the titular witcher, Yennefer has her own “Butcher of Blaviken”-style moniker: the “Horsewoman of War”. Yennefer has the charisma to command entire armies, and she’s powerful enough to stand toe-to-toe against even the terrifying Wild Hunt. Though she has a deep and genuine love for Geralt, and she cares for Ciri as a nurturing mother figure, Yennefer can just as quickly become a cold and threatening force that should not be trifled with.
 
Yennefer in The Witcher III Wild Hunt
 
Elena Fisher (Uncharted)
Tyler: Nathan Drake may be the player-character and star of the Uncharted series. Drake’s father figure and partner-in-crime Victor “Sully” Sullivan might be Nathan’s right-hand man. However, noone can question that investigative journalist and foreign correspondent Elena Fisher is undoubtedly a main character. Her job title alone made Elena iconic long before Drake ever considered proposing to her. Having accompanied Drake on every one of his perilous adventures, Elena actually copes with the dangers better than the hero does. Chloe Frazer might get more attention as the “dangerous bad girl” of the series, contrasting with the naiveté of Elena’s “goodgirl” personality.
 
However, Elena Fisher is just that: a good person. She’s not driven by greed like Chloe, or pride like Drake. Elena is optimistic and cunning. At the end of the day, she just wants everyone to be able to return home in one piece. This isn’t to say that Elena doesn’t hit lows of cynicism or hesitation. But more often than not, she is the angel on Drake’s shoulder. Elena pushes Nate forward when he hits rock bottom, cheers him up when he feels low, and defends him when he gets in a fight. The term “my better half” is often thrown around when referring to one’s significant other or spouse, but Elena really is. Elena understands Nathan Drake better than anyone (even better than Sully) and makes him a better man.
 
Elena Fisher of the Uncharted Series

We want to know who your most inspiring female video game characters are! Let us know down in the comments and on Twitter!

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This was originally published on International Women’s Day, 3/8/20

 

 

 

Julia Roth
Catch Me