Trailblazers and Trend Setters

We all know women are the real heroes on screen and otherwise and during a year in which films such as...

Lara Croft

Lara Croft

...Ghost in the Shell and Wonder Woman are amongst the most anticipated releases, there has never been a better time to discuss the female protagonist. Delving into the many realms of entertainment; film, television, classic literature, comics and so forth, strong female characters are some of the most memorable. Here, I have compiled a list of five of the best and most iconic female characters in video game history.

Chun-Li – Street Fighter

First appearing in Street Fighter II as the game series’ first female fighter, Chun-Li is considered a trail-blazer for game characters of the fairer sex. She is a special agent for INTERPOL who has been sent to find her missing father but after learning that he has been killed by a Mr M. Bison, she swears to avenge his tragic death.

Although it hardly seems progressive having the sole female fighter wearing a tiny dress and jumping up and down in a giddy fashion after winning a fight, Chun Li is undoubtedly a kick-ass warrior and has become one of the games’ most popular characters.

Fun Fact: It has been revealed that Chun-Li’s love of martial arts began at the age of five after seeing a Bruce Lee movie.

Lara Croft – Tomb Raider

Portrayed by Angelina Jolie in the film series of the same name, Lara Croft is arguably the most iconic lady in the video game universe and has picked up six Guinness World Records to this date. First gracing our consoles in 1996, Lara has undergone a series of regenerations but her strength and intelligence have stayed prominent. Today she is still seen everywhere, from comics to clothing and even appears on a tomb raider game on CasinoEuro.

The Debate has raged over the years as to whether or not Lara is cyber eye-candy or a pixelated powerhouse. Nevertheless, she entered our lives during the resurgence of Girl Power in the 1990s but unlike the Spice Girls, Ms Croft never disbanded to release a single with Brian Adams.

Fun Fact: The original 1996 voice actor for Lara Croft, Shelley Blond, also appeared in an episode of Peep Show

Bonnie Macfarlane - Red Dead Redemption

Bonnie’s early years were spent working on her father’s ranch until life took a strange turn and she made that classic transition from farmhand to bandit-fighting zombie-shooter. A woman in a man’s world, Macfarlane is headstrong and driven and rises above the misogynistic slurs from the game’s male antagonists.

At one point captured and set up to be hanged by a gang of outlaws, she is cut loose and recovers before moving back to her ranch to make a living as a full-time labourer with a spot of killing the undead on the side. Standard.

Fun Fact: Bonnie is actually named after the aunt of a former designer at the game company Rockstar.

Ultimecia - Final Fantasy VIII

Now time for someone from the other side – a villain. Ultimecia may seem a little more obscure than the rest of this list, however, she is integral to the game that she appears in. A self-proclaimed “Cold-blooded tyrant that slaughtered countless men and destroyed many nations,” she will stop at nothing to ‘Compress Time’ so that only she survives.

Ultimecia drapes herself in red and black gothic clothing, worthy of any city square and her tattoos certainly give her an edge that gives the middle finger to those who say women shouldn’t get inked.

Fun Fact: Ultimecia’s story can be likened to the Greek tragedies Oedipus and Perseus, amongst others.

Ms Pac-Man – Pac-Man

Considered by many to be the most famous female video game character of all time, Ms Pac-Man proved to everyone that women can hold their own, become successful and overcome difficult obstacles. She eats, she fights and she wins, and after her introduction in 1981 she soon overtook her famous husband to become a higher earner and a best-seller.

A true feminist icon, Ms Pac-Man has been criticised for wearing a bow and makeup, however, her lipstick, mascara and bow just add to her feminine power and if nothing else they make her look much more human than her Babybel partner, Pac-Man, who doesn’t even have eyes.

Fun fact: Ms Pac-Man inspired an Iowa couple to have a wedding based on the game in the early 80s, they became betrothed in the presence of the game machines.

Now ‘s the time for action

Many other characters deserve a mention in this list which purely just scratches the surface and depending on your level of gaming, everyone will have their own favourite Video-Game Vixen. The world of gaming is highly marketed towards males and is often linked with having a sexist culture, so now is a great time to pick up your controller, kick some serious proverbial and debunk negative stereotypes.