Girl Power!

girl-power

This week I wanted to write about the recent Destiny Beta, but since I never got to play more than about 3 minutes of it before it booted me out, I had to think of something else at the last minute. So, while I sat wondering what Destiny might be like when it releases next month, I got to thinking about the kind of characters I’d like to find myself play as and alongside this generation.

Therefore, in a sort of follow up to my article of about women in games, here are my personal top five women characters from TV and film I’d like to see in a video game. TV and film are full of great female roles and for me, these are some of the best. Now, I’m not suggesting that I want to see these exact characters as they appear in film; more that I’d like to see characters of this calibre in the games I play. So, without further ado…

Did someone say steak!?

Did someone say steak!?

5 – Buffy Summers (Buffy The Vampire Slayer Series)

OK, you can stop laughing now. Buffy Summers starts out as an average teenaged high schooler, but by the end of the series she is a nigh unstoppable vampire slaying, demon hunting, world saver. She’s human and so inherently flawed, and yet she possesses great strength. Moreover, she tempers that power with control. The big difference between someone like Buffy and say, Lara Croft from last year’s Tomb Raider, is that no matter how hardcore she get’s, she never kills wantonly.

Lara is transformed into a mass murderer almost immediately, whereas Buffy questions her right to use her powers right to the very end. But maybe the best thing about the show is that all the best lead characters are women — Buffy, Willow, Anya, Tara. The main male lead, Zander, is mostly used for comedic value. It was a groundbreaking show that had women in the lead, supported by more women. I’d love to play a game that was as groundbreaking, instead of one that adds women in as an afterthought.

Revenge is a dish best served bloody... and all over your shirt.

Revenge is a dish best served bloody… and all over your shirt.

4 – The Bride (Kill Bill, Volumes I&II)

The Bride is clearly a psychopath and a whole world apart from the likes of Buffy. But what I loved about her is that she is motivated by one thing only — revenge. Her motivations are never contradicted by love interests, or comedic tangents. She want’s to kill Bill, plain and simple, and she stops at nothing in order to see that realised. I’d love a game that featured a female character as single minded in their goal for cold blooded revenge as The Bride. No trying to rescue a child/boyfriend/Prince Charming. No trying to bring anyone to justice. No exposing the ‘the system’ to the world. Just straight up, sushi-cold killing time.

Check out my cannons!

Check out that piece of hardware!

3 – Sarah Connor (Terminator I & II)

Sarah Connor goes from being a weedy overworked and under-appreciated waitress with a bad hairdo, to a ripped, killer robot smashing ass-kicker with a bad hairdo. It was the 80’s so I guess I can let the hair slide for now, but aside from that, she is such a great character that it’s criminal not to have played as her yet. If looking for a character that just doesn’t quit, look no further. She’s thrown into a world she’s not equipped to deal with, but she rises to the challenge, going on to defeat not one but two Terminators.

Even when she is committed to a metal asylum, disowned by her shitty son and abused by the doctors and nurses, she never stops. She knows that she has an important job to do and nothing is going to stop her. When The Terminator movies came out, Sarah Connor was probably the best female character on screen. Please, please, please, let us play as someone as kick ass as her, because Sarah Conner (much like a Terminator) doesn’t care how big your breasts are, just how big your guns are!

Shit just got real.

Shit just got real.

2 – Mary Poppins (Mary Poppins)

She flies in on an umbrella and fixes your shit! OK, I’m joking… kind of. I mean if Octodad could be such a hit, why not a game based on cleaning up various rooms in a house by using nothing more than a click of the fingers? This scene was my favourite in that classic movie and I used to dream about being able to tidy up like that. Indie devs out there, this is the one we’ve all been waiting for!

What the *!$* did you just call me?

What the *!$* did you just call me?

2 – Brienne of Tarth (Game of Thrones) for reals this time

Game of Thrones is chock full of amazing female characters like Queen Cersei, Daenerys Targaryen and Arya Stark, but my personal favourite is Brienne of Tarth. She stands out for me because she flies against the accepted gender roles of Westeros. All the greatest knights are men, and then there is Brienne, who goes toe to toe with a number of the guys and shows them how it’s done. She is noble, loyal and just in a world populated by people that are exactly the opposite.

The men are always on her case, mocking her for not looking ‘womanly’ enough. But she couldn’t give a shit, she just wants to get the job done. She might be a women, but she is a warrior first and for most. Even when others might submit, she refuses to concede and is prepared to fight on to the bitter end. Obviously a Game of Thrones game would be gaming crack, but great characters like Brienne of Tarth shouldn’t be confined only to the world of Westeros.

I am the harbinger of awesome.

I am the harbinger of awesome.

1 – Starbuck (Battlestar Galactica the new series, obviously)

The difference between most masculine female characters and Starbuck (AKA Kara Thrace) is that most other characters are trying to show the boys that they are just as good as them. Starbuck is different. She’s better than the boys and she knows it. She doesn’t waste time and energy trying to prove herself to the men. Instead she gets the job done early and then rubs it in their faces. She’s a brash, whiskey drinking, cigar smoking, arrogant, opinionated ass and she’s absolutely brilliant.

The great thing about Starbuck is that she doesn’t try to hide her gender but also isn’t fighting for feminine equality. She’s fighting for humankind, plain and simple, and the fact that she’s a women has nothing to do with anything. As far as she is concerned, the only way a person can prove their worth is by how many Cylons they can kill. To me, this is why Starbuck is the greatest female character around — because her being female has so little bearing on her character. Please, God, let’s have some games where the women are just characters, as good as or even better than the men. Let’s have some girl power this generation!

Because one picture of Starbuck is never enough. And also, as killer stares go...

Because one picture of Starbuck is never enough. And also, as killer stares go…Luigi eat your heart out.

About Sebastian Young
Sebastian has been playing games since the age of 8, cutting his teeth with Nintendo and Sega, and now can usually be found dying repeatedly in online FPS’s. Really, he should just quit. Open world RPG’s and grand strategy games also see him lose his sense of reality for several months of the year. You won’t him on twitter though since he lives in a cave