Women’s History Month is a time to celebrate the many contributions of women in our lives. Just like everything else video games have plenty of women to celebrate. In the gaming community characters like Chun-Li, Claire Redfield, Samus Aran, Lara Croft and Princess Zelda are, understandably, prominent and respected figures. They are celebrated for their courage, power, and resourcefulness, but there are many more women in video games that deserve to be appreciated as well. With this year’s Women’s History Month coming to a close, what better way to keep the celebration going than to focus on some underappreciated women in the video games we love.
Fortune – Metal Gear Solid
Metal Gear Solid is one of the more popular and acclaimed video game franchises around. It has plenty of women in it that receive their proper share of appreciation but Fortune from MGS 2 is not given the respect she deserves. The fact that her weapon of choice is a massive rail gun is proof enough of her fierce standing but her back story cements it. Fortune was the leader of the black ops group Dead Cell that served as the antagonists of the game. Before she was the team’s leader she was an ordinary person. It wasn’t until her husband, the original team leader, was falsely arrested and died in prison that Fortune joined the army to get revenge on the people she believed to be responsible. She quickly rose through the ranks earning the codename Fortune because of her high probability for success on missions and seemingly superhuman luck in battles.She earned the position of Dead Cell leader and had the complete respect of the team. She also was sporting blonde hair and had people calling her Queen while Beyonce was still in Destiny’s Child.
Faith – Mirror’s Edge Series
Mirror’s Edge is more a parkour running simulator as it is a first person shooter. The game uses realistic camera positioning and movement to create the feeling of vaulting, diving, tumbling and all the other movements associated with parkour. Faith is a runner, a courier of goods and material that are less than legal, in the dystopian Glass City. Like any other runner Faith uses parkour to move along the city’s rooftops to make her deliveries. In both games Faith takes on the utilitarian government controlling Glass City without hesitation in order to save and protect her sister. From government officials to Spec Ops security teams Faith is willing to fight against and possibly topple an unjust government in order to help what’s left of her family. In the Catalyst reboot of the game she doesn’t even use weapons. Her skills in parkour and hand to hand combat are enough to evade and or take down any threat. That kind of fearless determination and loyalty is entitled some appreciation.
Nariko – Heavenly Sword
Nariko is the main protagonist of Heavenly Sword, a God of War style, action hack & slash game released in the early days of the PS3. Her birth was supposed to fulfil a prophecy of a male savior that would use the sacred Heavenly Sword to guide and protect the people of her tribe. Since she was female Nariko was considered to be a disgrace to the prophecy and a curse on the tribe. Of course when the entire tribe comes under the attack of a powerful evil kingdom, Nariko is the only one left to save them. Using the Heavenly Sword which drains the life of any user that is not the prophesized savior Nariko goes on a quest to single handedly free her people and destroy the kingdom oppressing them. By the end of the game and her journey Nariko has realized who she truly is, defeated an entire army, killed an evil King and his court, and saved her tribe. Nariko is fierce on the type of epic levels that few heroes male or female have matched
Ikora Rey – Destiny
As an NPC Ikora Rey spends most of her time in Destiny away from combat. She is usually in one of the game’s safe havens and provides the player with quest insights and gear to buy. Behind her calm and regal demeanor are some accomplishments that set her up as a true badass. In many cutscenes and trailers her high combat abilities are displayed. In fact Ikora is the Warlock Vanguard meaning she is considered to be the most powerful and respected Warlock class Guardian. Before earning the title of vanguard she completed many solo missions to the benefit of all humanity. Her accomplishments as a soldier as well as a scholar have put her in a position of reverence amongst all Guardian classes. Ikora’s voice carries the weight and authority of her position, and even amongst the other Vanguards she often has the final say in discussions. Ikora Rey is the complete package of power, intelligence, and skill.
Nadine Ross – Uncharted Series
Uncharted has become PlayStation’s biggest franchise and with that many of its characters are easily recognizable and popular. Nadine Ross is one of the newest additions to the cast but from day one she was a clear force to be reckoned with. She has been both a villain and a hero in series and is set to become a stable part of the roster moving forward. Nadine has yet to take on the role of a playable character but in Uncharted Lost Legacy, she was the player’s always present companion that helped in nearly every aspect of the game. With just two appearances in the franchise she has already built an impressive list of achievements and reputation. She beat Nathan Drake’s ass within the first five minutes of meeting him, ran her own private mercenary operation, and worked with Chloe to take down a maniacal extremist set on purging India of the weak through war and bloodshed. Take those accomplishments plus the fact that she has arms that would impress Angela Bassett, and you’ve got one truly fierce character.
Share some of your favorite women in video games in the comments, and remember that it doesn’t have to be March for you to show that same appreciation to the real women around you.