Badass warrior women in video games

SolVanderlyn

Member
Oct 28, 2017
6,977
DON'T JUST POST PICTURES/NAMES

This is one of my favorite character archetypes. The complete inverse of the princess in need of aid, the warrior woman is usually portrayed as extremely confident and capable, and is sometimes put in the position of mentor or teacher. Maybe I love it because it seems kind of rare, or because it's an inversion of ye age olde princess trope, or maybe simply because their aesthetic designs are usually just really damn cool.

My favorite example is Titania, from Fire Emblem 9/10.



The "Oifey" of the game, in Fire Emblem terms. For the uninitiated, this means she starts out as a mentor more powerful than the other characters, but can still hold her own even after everyone catches up to her.

She acts as a mother figure to our protagonist Ike, wields an axe in mounted combat, is cool and collected, and has a fantastic, striking design that accentuates her red hair with with flashy, golden armor. Her design and personality are portrayed in a respectable way and she is a complete tank in combat. One of my favorite game characters of all time.

Any other examples?
 
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HardRojo

Member
Oct 25, 2017
8,329


Ellie (The Last of Us/TLoU Part II): Not sexualized, ruthless and gets shit done. Also has a personality and is not a boring, depressed, powerful-for-no-reason character.
 

Faiyaz

Member
Nov 30, 2017
1,157
Bangladesh
I see you're a man of culture.

I give you, Mathilda from Fire Emblem Echoes.



The wife of Clive and a badass warrior who surpasses her husband in battle, which becomes quite a recurring theme in their conversations in the game lol.
 

djinn

Member
Nov 16, 2017
2,615

Always loved Julia Schwartz from Trails in the Sky.

Edit because I'm an idiot:
She's a Knight to the royal family of Liberl and a sister figure to the crown Princess. She takes her duties extremely seriously and often considers herself unworthy of the praise she receives. In-game she's a useful all-rounder and has a very handy support move too.
 
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Aigis

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
6,391
I still like Hinoka in Fire Emblem Fates as a capable warrior who strives to be more capable when Corrin is first taken
 

TaySan

Member
Dec 10, 2018
3,810


From the upcoming classic style build engine FPS, Ion Fury :) Not a whole lot to say, but there is not many badass women characters in FPS games especially of this style.
 
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Musubi

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,816
OP asks people not to just post pictures/names and everyone does just that. lol way to read the OP guys.
 

Calvinien

Member
Jul 13, 2019
20


Cassandra Allegra Portia Calogera Filomena Get-on-with-it Pentaghast


Honestly. you could pretty much shake a box of bioware's female characters out into this thread and fill every post. I'm just limiting myself to the ones who are described as warriors (Liara and Merrill can straight up murder you by thinking at you too hard, but they aren't strictly warriors.).

She's intelligent, open minded, fierce, the most well rounded fighter in the game (bull being too squishy and blackwall being well, a wall), has more than a few uberfrau-like qualities...like tearing down a millenia old religious institution by fiat and rebuilding it through sheer force of personality. Or telling thedas's equivalent of the pope, (an accomplished sorceress in that timeline) that she's a tyrant and formally quitting a position that is normally somethin you do not quit but are released from.

The devs also avoid that annoying trope where to make a female character 'strong' they kill off everything traditionally feminine about her character. At no point does Cass's narrative beat us over the head with how she's 'not like OTHER girls'. She unabashedly likes pulpy romance series (that may or may not be erotic freind fiction based on the characters of the previous game. And by may I mean it totally is.), poetry, candles and all the sappy trappings of a storybook romance.
 

Chopchop

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,646
Emily Kaldwin in Dishonored 2. She was the kid who needed saving in 1, but her father taught her how to fight as she grew up, and she shows she's just as good at it in 2.
 

Faiyaz

Member
Nov 30, 2017
1,157
Bangladesh

Always loved Julia Schwartz from Trails in the Sky.

Edit because I'm an idiot:
She's a Knight to the royal family of Liberl and a sister figure to the crown Princess. She takes her duties extremely seriously and often considers herself unworthy of the praise she receives. In-game she's a useful all-rounder and has a very handy support move too.
Great choice. Another fantastic Trails character.
 

Alastor3

Member
Oct 28, 2017
4,106


Wow

Not even one mention of senua??

Not even just badass warrior but also a brutally badass human being that deal with psychosis
 
Nov 1, 2017
142
Samus Aran

From 1986 on, Samus has been running around desolate and dangerous worlds kicking ass and taking names.

The original Metroid gave us one of the most atmospheric games on the NES. Isolation and despair fill every inch of planet Zebes yet she pushes forward on an alien world in search of the Metroids.
 
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Strings

Member
Oct 27, 2017
7,639
My pick isn't traditionally 'badass', but I think her evolution throughout the series is very cool. Esty Erhard from Atelier Rorona starts out as the receptionist who briefs you on the jobs you've been assigned:

She's MIA in the following game, Atelier Totori, but reference is made to her abandoning her post due to general unhappiness with the state of her life (there's some admittedly icky stuff about her being desperate to find a husband alongside wanting to be free of her desk job).

She's back in the next game, Atelier Meruru, now a soldier/bodyguard who's given up on the whole husband thing and is focused on breaking her younger sister (the current receptionist) out of her shell. Plus, she has amazingly over the top battle animations:

 

Lady Bow

Member
Nov 30, 2017
5,708
Obligatory Samus Aran from the Metroid series.







Stars in some of the best games of all time. Truly Iconic designs through her Power and Varia Suits. Single handedly saves planets, galaxies, hell...even the universe from the phazon threat. Not one you want to mess with!
 

Gold Arsene

Member
Oct 27, 2017
16,460
The Hyrule Warriors version of Impa is easily the best incarnation of the character.


Big fucking sword plus Musou gameplay equals badass water ninja lady. Actually having people besides Link get to fight is just to cool and lets the other characters get some really impressive showings.
 

Lady Bow

Member
Nov 30, 2017
5,708
The Hyrule Warriors version of Impa is easily the best incarnation of the character.


Big fucking sword plus Musou gameplay equals badass water ninja lady. Actually having people besides Link get to fight is just to cool and lets the other characters get some really impressive showings.
While I do like the SS version the best, combing both the OoT style and SS style for Hyrule Warriors was brilliant. She was a lot of fun to play in that game.
 
OP
OP
SolVanderlyn

SolVanderlyn

Member
Oct 28, 2017
6,977
As a compliment to my example in the OP, let me post someone with a completely inversed color scheme!



Lenneth Valkyrie, from Valkyrie Profile.

Lenneth is a no-nonsense, hardened servant of Odin whose duty is to collect the souls of fallen warriors and lead them into battle at the end of time. She's pragmatic, logical, and dutiful. But what really makes her interesting is the splinter in her backstory.

Lenneth has no memory of her human life as a girl named Platina, who fell in love with a boy named Lucian before her untimely death. When Lucian meets Lenneth, he suspects that she is one and the same as Platina, and, long story short, manages to break the seal on her memories. Lenneth's love for Lucian and the human experience she had greatly changes who she is, showing a vulnerable, human, and feminine side without short changing any of her strengths.

There's actually three Valkyrie sisters in this universe, all of who could fit here to some degree, but Lenneth is the first we see, and still my favorite.
 

DaciaJC

Member
Oct 29, 2017
2,139
Meve, Queen of Lyria and Rivia



She's more of a leader figure than astonishing warrior, but she is singularly strong-willed, courageous, and just. She suffers a near-complete betrayal by her closest aides yet continually finds the strength to forge ahead, even under the bleakest circumstances. She always leads from the front to inspire her men in battle, even when the odds are hopeless.
 

Barn

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,800
Los Angeles
Alastor3 knows the business. Senua (Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice) is not only a badass warrior (by trade), but a fully layered human being, brought to life by one of the most convincing digital performances I've ever seen. Her badassery extends from swordplay to dealing with persecution to journeying through psychosis. It's very rare that a single video game character has elicited such deeply felt empathy from me, in 30 years of gaming. And I'm far from alone.




Also, while I fully support all the mentions of Samus, I think Alis Landale (Phantasy Star) needs a similar shoutout. She took matters into her own hands, laid down a sword against injustice and became the central figure in her series' mythology. Her place as the leading hero wasn't treated as a big deal in 1987, wasn't shouted from the mountaintops as "girl power" -- she just was the hero, which I feel is pretty great for the time. Props to legendary Sega designer Rieko Kodama.

 

Niks

Member
Oct 25, 2017
744
Laura S. Arseid
from the trails of cold steel series




Daughter to one of the series most powerful characters and practitioner of the Arseid school of swordsmanship. While she may initially come across as stiff and formal, she is greatly respected by all of her peers for her fighting ability, and praised as a hero by many of the girls who grew up around her. She wields a massive sword with ease, and is regarded as one of the first 2 games most powerful playable character.

btw, the trails series if full of powerful badass women, definitively recommended.
 

Ragnorok64

Member
Nov 6, 2017
1,769
How has this thread gone this long without Chun-Li?



Strongest Woman in the World. An interpol officer willing to take on shadowy secret organizations to save the world or ever just one girl.
 

lvl 99 Pixel

Member
Oct 25, 2017
12,922


Wow

Not even one mention of senua??

Not even just badass warrior but also a brutally badass human being that deal with psychosis
As someone who has been through this, its something that would likely break even the strongest warrior. And yet its near impossible to truly appreciate without having been there yourself.
 

JediMPG

Avenger
Jan 6, 2019
226

"Mara Sov bows to no one..."
Destiny has it's fair share of great female characters overall. But I think Mara tops the list. She's cold, She's shrouded in mystery but she seems to be right and knows what to do...and the aura around her just screams dominance and power.
 

Xagarath

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,539
North-East England
Io Haborym from HEARTBEAT:



A brash, confident and extremely enthusiastic swordswoman who's obsessed with winning at all costs, and forcibly changed her own natural element in order to become stronger (something that's dangerous and semi-taboo in-world). In actual game terms, she's one of the strongest fighters available and specialises in boosting the party's attack and using counter and enrage moves.
 

Ben-Ou

Banned
May 13, 2019
34
Female Launcher/Storm Bringer from Dungeon Fighter Online


She's one of the many classes in this online RPG 2D sidescroller beat-em-up. Her specialty is nuking the entire screen with insane AoE abilities. Very fun & one of the coolest female characters in any game I've played, hands down. Here's some gameplay footage to go along with it, emphasizing how insane she is.

 

Tfritz

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,223


Sif from Romancing SaGa. Sure, maybe that's not the type of outfit I'd personally wear if I lived in the frozen hinterlands, and it's partially due to the graphic style of the game, but she's honestly one of the Most Swole Women I've seen in a JRPG. She even plays the role of "I'm the higher level badass who saves the protagonist from certain death" in Albert's story.
 

jph139

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,825
Massachusetts
Cassandra Allegra Portia Calogera Filomena Get-on-with-it Pentaghast
I like Cassandra a lot - she has this great balance between strength of convictions as a virtue, and self-doubt as a vice. Like, she knows what's right and wrong, has a very clear moral compass, and is thoroughly uncompromising. But that self-confidence is drawn from her trust in the system she's a part of, and when she's kind of cut loose from that (like when you uncover the Seeker stuff) she flounders. I like the arc where you can help her find her footing and learn to trust herself.

And of course it's nice having a very brusque, "masculine" woman that's heterosexual. They could have easily dropped her in the "butch lesbian" bucket, and I appreciate that Bioware seems to put a lot of thought into character sexuality and identity.
 

Sotha_Sil

Member
Nov 4, 2017
1,355


Billie Lurk, apprentice of the legendary assassin, Daud. Villain in Dishonored, supporting character in Dishonored 2, protagonist in Dishonored: Death of the Outsider.

Basically, play Arkane Studios' games if you like badass women:

Dishonored 2 - Emily Kaldwin
Prey - Morgan Yu
Prey: Mooncrash - Riley Yu, Claire Whitten, Joan Winslow
Dishonored: Death of the Outsider - Billie Lurk
Deathloop - Juliana
Wolfenstein: Youngblood - Soph and Jess Blazkowicz

All from a single generation. Not bad at all. Ok, they're just a support studio for Wolfenstein YB, but I'm counting it anyways.
 

NeoZeedeater

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,744


That's Dahna on the Mega Drive. It's not an exceptional game but she has some bad ass hack 'n slash moves.
 

HueyFreeman

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,884
Blaze from Streets of Rage is an awesome, ass kickin gal. Can’t wait for 4. Really would rather they didn’t put her in a tiny mini skirt though


 
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