Women in video games are nothing particularly new. Any gamer can name a handful. And even someone with little game exposure can often at least name Princess Zelda, even if they may mistake her for Link and Princess Peach. But there is much more than a handful of well-known damsels in distress. And no, I am not discounting the heroic actions of the previously mentioned princesses; they have of course had their moments in the various settings and situations of the multitude of games that their male counterparts Link and Mario span.
But we want to look at more empowered heroines. The characters that make you feel as though you should cheer or weep for them regardless of gender. These are characters that show strength and skill that are not bordered by a sense of gender requirements. Some may be slightly sexualized, a subject that is slowly being corrected by many companies as years go on, after all video games are still a predominately male aimed genre. While others may seem oddly androgynous to the point, the player may not have even grasped their gender until it is revealed. Sometimes gender is simply not important to the story. In this series, we will cover several badass female video game characters.
Let’s start with Samus Aran.
Now if you have been gaming for a while. Or simply do not live under a rock, you probably know who Samus is. For those who do not, I will take a moment to explain. Samus is the main character of the Metroid series. Introduced in 1986 game Metroid. Since then there have been numerous games with the character either as main character or playable in some manner.
In the first Metroid game, we assumed the gender of the character male throughout the entire game, and she was even referred to as a male in the game booklet. It was not until the end of the game that the helmet of our hero is removed and the flowing blond hair reveals him to in fact be a her! Despite knowing this, I still got a thrill when I finally got through the game once I was old enough to play it.