No Right Answer: Strongest Female Video Game Lead Ever

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SoulChaserJ:
Neither of these characters are "lead" characters. Jade from BGE is a lead, obviously Lara Croft, Bayonetta, Ecco the dolphin, Samus, etc... Those are leads. Ellie and Elizabeth are both supporting characters.

This: both are merely supporting characters, great ones, but just NPC.

Ukomba:
The violence is The Last of Us might be more realistic, but Bioshock is more prevalent, gory, and even runs counter to the narrative.

It's weird, I don't recall any gory encounter in Bioshock Infinite at all, except maybe the guy right before you acquire the murder of crows vigor?

wildpeaks:

Ukomba:
The violence is The Last of Us might be more realistic, but Bioshock is more prevalent, gory, and even runs counter to the narrative.

It's weird, I don't recall any gory encounter in Bioshock Infinite at all, except maybe the guy right before you acquire the murder of crows vigor?

It's dependent on your play style of course. The Sky-hook kills tend to be the most brutal and gory, even one where you grab them with it for a few seconds then make their whole head explode in a bloody splash that fills the whole screen.

It's not just that, but the whole game is nearly one prolonged killing spree often times of policemen or average towns people. The violence in Bioshock Infinite feels casual, in contrast The Last of Us puts great emotional weight on life and death. The differences in the deaths in these two games are as different as it is between South Park and Game of Thrones.

Btw I irk everytime I hear the word "female", we're not dogs.

Ukomba:
[quote="wildpeaks" post="6.826854.20090793"][quote="Ukomba" post="6.826854.20086756"]The violence is The Last of Us might be more realistic, but Bioshock is more prevalent, gory, and even runs counter to the narrative.

I guess my brain must have censored that one because the skyhokk stomp is indeed my favorite attack (and I wish there were more maps you can use it, like was hinted in the E3 trailers originally), yet I have no memory of it being gory ? Please tell me I didn't play a censored version....

wildpeaks:

Ukomba:
[quote="wildpeaks" post="6.826854.20090793"][quote="Ukomba" post="6.826854.20086756"]The violence is The Last of Us might be more realistic, but Bioshock is more prevalent, gory, and even runs counter to the narrative.

I guess my brain must have censored that one because the skyhokk stomp is indeed my favorite attack (and I wish there were more maps you can use it, like was hinted in the E3 trailers originally), yet I have no memory of it being gory ? Please tell me I didn't play a censored version, I'd be pissed....

Couldn't tell you. Do any of these look familiar?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XXX8rkCb_Mo

What I do know is the violence was so heavy that my wife couldn't connect with the character and didn't even want to play the game. She liked the original Bioshock, but hated Booker.

somonels:
Dan is not Dan's real name?
Does that mean Dan isn't the law?
image

Dan is my real name, who says it's not? Also, I am unicorn judge dredd Dan, and I am the law. Love the still, BTW!

I haven't watched this episode yet but here's my opinion on Elizabeth. The developers said that her outfit is designed as a superhero costume (simple, bright and recognizable.) And that's the problem. She is perfect, the same way a superhero is. I prefer Ellie , because she feels more human and complex. Liz, thought better looking, is more bland and predictable.
EDIT: Wow, Ellie actually won? I didn't expect that.
Also, some people might suggest that Clementine is the best female character, but she's more of a child than a woman. The differences between a boy and a girl are not as big as the differences between a man and a woman. Both Ellie and Elizabeth grow up to be adults during the game, while Clem doesn't change until the very end.

Frozengale:

SoulChaserJ:
Neither of these characters are "lead" characters. Jade from BGE is a lead, obviously Lara Croft, Bayonetta, Ecco the dolphin, Samus, etc... Those are leads. Ellie and Elizabeth are both supporting characters.

Mikeyfell:
Dear No Right Answer:

Please learn what a "lead character" is.
Ellie and Elizabeth are both supporting rolls,

A leading character is one who the story centers around. It doesn't matter if you play them or not. They are still focal points of the story and therefore are by all accounts lead roles. In fact for Bioshock the story is more Elizabeth's then Booker's. Player Character =/= Lead Character. Don't get on the No Right Answer guy's backs when you guys don't understand the definitions yourself.

Mikeyfell:
Their participation in the plot is either passive or forced upon them.

Please explain how either Ellie or Elizabeth are "passive" characters. I remember Elizabeth being an instigator for at least 50% of the story. Heck, Booker is more of a passive character then Elizabeth half the time. He just goes somewhere because he is told to, that is not an active agent, that is a passive agent. Being a "support" in the game mechanics does not mean they are a "support" story characters seeing as how these are used in completely different senses. Also how the character comes to action is in no way a determining factor of them being a lead or not. That would mean that Harry Potter is only a lead character half the time, since most of the time things just happen around him. Being forced into a situation doesn't take away being a lead. Being passive in a situation does not mean they are not a lead. Having the story focused around you means you are a lead. Ellie and Elizabeth fit that description.

Elizabeth may be the most forefront female character but she is not the lead...Booker is. It's HIS story, Elizabeth is merely there as a tool. On your Ellie argument, I can't say. I certainly haven't played the game since they saw fit not to bring it to PC. However I will offer you this. If Ellie is a female lead...then I guess Clementine(The Walking Dead) is as well...and if that's the case I'd take Clem over the other NPC's you could think of. At least Clem made me care about what was happening in game. How many NPC tag-alongs can offer the same claim?

Frozengale:

SoulChaserJ:
Neither of these characters are "lead" characters. Jade from BGE is a lead, obviously Lara Croft, Bayonetta, Ecco the dolphin, Samus, etc... Those are leads. Ellie and Elizabeth are both supporting characters.

Mikeyfell:
Dear No Right Answer:

Please learn what a "lead character" is.
Ellie and Elizabeth are both supporting rolls,

A leading character is one who the story centers around.

Interestingly enough, that's actually false.
A lead character is the one who's motivation is the catalyst for the why the plot is happening
The central focus of the story can be one or many characters in the main cast, but there is usually only one lead character per plot thread)

It doesn't matter if you play them or not. They are still focal points of the story and therefore are by all accounts lead roles. In fact for Bioshock the story is more Elizabeth's then Booker's. Player Character =/= Lead Character. Don't get on the No Right Answer guy's backs when you guys don't understand the definitions yourself.

I never mentioned gamelpay or player characters,
(The chapter where I said Ellie became the lead is not the chapter where you play as her, it's The Dam, that's when her motivation takes the lead over Joel's. Then in the Firefly base Joel's motivation takes back over)

Mikeyfell:
Their participation in the plot is either passive or forced upon them.

Please explain how either Ellie or Elizabeth are "passive" characters.

Not passive characters. Passive participants in the plot.
Elizabeth is just living in her tower. She goes with Booker because she's afraid of Songbird, not because she wants to help Booker wipe away his debt. In fact she's anti-plot most of the game. She hits Booker with a wrench, she dances on the pier, she runs away, she surrenders to Songbird. It's not until after the future arc that she's willing to participate in the plot.
Granted the game would be much less interesting if she had just flown to New York as soon as they got on the Airship.
She's not a bad character, she's just against the grain of the plot. She's unwilling to drive it forward.

The only reason is in the plot at all is because she's immune. She didn't choose to be immune. She's basically a plot device. She could have been a big syringe labeled "Cure" and the plot would have been the same up until The Dam chapter.
I'm glad she wasn't. She's one of my favorite characters of all time, but up until the mid way point of the game she is a supporting character

I remember Elizabeth being an instigator for at least 50% of the story. Heck, Booker is more of a passive character then Elizabeth half the time. He just goes somewhere because he is told to, that is not an active agent, that is a passive agent.

Well, Elizabeth just goes somewhere because Booker went somewhere?
So she's passively following a passive agent?
Bioshock Infinite's plot is convoluted, You could work under the assumption that the Luteces are the leads because they have a hand in everything that's going on. But the fact is none of it would have started if Booker didn't need his debt wiped away.

Being a "support" in the game mechanics does not mean they are a "support" story characters seeing as how these are used in completely different senses. Also how the character comes to action is in no way a determining factor of them being a lead or not. That would mean that Harry Potter is only a lead character half the time, since most of the time things just happen around him. Being forced into a situation doesn't take away being a lead. Being passive in a situation does not mean they are not a lead. Having the story focused around you means you are a lead. Ellie and Elizabeth fit that description.

Protagonist =/= lead
I think that's the miscommunication here.

It's like when the Greeks used to write stories about "fate" Where prophecy was leading the plot and the characters were just reacting to it.
The lead is a different thing than the main character. If the origin of the plot can be traced back to one event it's the characters in charge of that event that are the lead.

Now that I think about it Joel was just passive until Tess dies, so Ellie might have the lead for the majority of the story. (But not at the beginning, the plot still wouldn't have started if left to her druthers) But Elizabeth never has the lead. Even at the end it's Booker's self destructive nature that's driving him forward.

wildpeaks:
Btw, everytime someone refers to women as "females", I want to punch you. We ain't dogs.

It's used to avoid the issue with age. You call a young female a girl and an adult female a woman. Putting both under the term 'female' makes things easier.

Ukomba:

wildpeaks:

Ukomba:
[quote="wildpeaks" post="6.826854.20090793"][quote="Ukomba" post="6.826854.20086756"]The violence is The Last of Us might be more realistic, but Bioshock is more prevalent, gory, and even runs counter to the narrative.

I guess my brain must have censored that one because the skyhokk stomp is indeed my favorite attack (and I wish there were more maps you can use it, like was hinted in the E3 trailers originally), yet I have no memory of it being gory ? Please tell me I didn't play a censored version, I'd be pissed....

Couldn't tell you. Do any of these look familiar?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XXX8rkCb_Mo

What I do know is the violence was so heavy that my wife couldn't connect with the character and didn't even want to play the game. She liked the original Bioshock, but hated Booker.

Ah yes, almost all are non-dismembering and my programmer brain remembers it as non-gory because of that. At least I'm glad I didn't play a different version :)

shiajun:
Umm...where are April Ryan or ZoŽ Castillo from the Longest Journey franchise? You want increidble lead character arcs, fully realized characterizaction, and even put in a dash of feminity into the plot? You can't go wrong there.

:> I 2nd this, but Point&Click is out of the ring, because they win every time.

captcha: move over! yeah really! April and ZoŽ are coming, so move over!

This was actually the first No Right Answer I turned off before it finished. I usually enjoy them, but this one was just...ugh.

I find it VERY interesting that the "leads" were basically glorified NPCs (yeah, fine, you play as Ellie for part of The Last of Us. Big whoop - most of it, you're NOT her). So a female lead is a female character who follows the male character around (because let's be real - that's what an NPC 'lead' does - follow the character you control - and therefore has agency - around). OK. Really, this says a lot about how female characters are viewed, and it's not saying very good things.

Also, really not impressed with the random swipe at Sarkeesian. That was childish, y'all. Do better.

*came in to whine about the characters not being leads and Jade from BG&E totally deserving this instead*

*sees tons of people doing this already*

Good job Escapist ^_^

Seeing alot of people saying Chell or Femshep.The thing about both of these is that they're player avatars, not actual characters.

The whole idea of Mass Effect is that whole personality of Shepard is up to the player, therefore she is not a predefined character anymore, than that character you made in any elder scrolls game, or later fallout game, or saints row character.

As for Chell, she has about as much personality as Gordon Freeman does, aka none. And that's the whole idea, to make her more relatable to the player. Same idea applies to Femshep but Femshep actually talks.

As for the video.... the title is misleading, but other than that a good episode. Bonus points for being the only show on the escapist to not suck up to Anita Sarkeesian.

Except neither of the two suggested in the video are the leads of their games. They're sidekicks to male protagonists. As for actual female video game leads, it would be a toss up with Jade from BG&E and Lara Croft.

Having two supporting characters does not make them leads. A lead character is the main character, your protagonist, your hero, the one in which the story was mainly written for, your head actor the one that the story is fallowing you maybe Booker helping Elizabeth but Booker is the lead not Elizabeth even if she like Yuna should've have been the lead she isn't. Its like saying for Mass Effect that Garrus is the lead not Shepard he is a great supporting character not the lead. We are placed in Shepard's shoes for the whole game. Even if we were placed later on it supporting characters shoes 90 - 99% of the game we're playing as the protagonist so therefore its still his/her game not secondary character. Its the same as saying during Resident Evil Claire's story you switch to the child it doesn't mean its the little gir's story only that portion of the game belongs to the child its still majority Claire's story.

So for lead females in gaming that help female representation in games that are actually heros (picking from the females we have available to us.) My top 3 are Faith, Nillin, and Femshep those three women are doing alot for women starring in their own games fshep is tougher occasionally butch (aka suffering from man with breast syndrome) which is bad but most of the games she's powerful not empowered and that's great to illustrate Fshep is powerful, latest Lara was empowered by the end of the game which is bad.

Nillin and Faith are both realistic portrayals of women both are average women placed in unusual circumstances these for me are the ones I'd love to see more of it allows the whole game to be grounded and feel natural. I was really looking forward to Nillin being the first fem lead with a romance pre-written in yet due to back lash it was removed. Femshep would be my next game for when I'm on a power fantasy together these three women come close to my ideal hero which would be Ripley from Alien - Aliens 2 she is both powerful, not brawny, grounded, she has realistic goals and expectations, and rises to meet challenges, she doesn't gloat about her power and uses it as the situation warrants she's a complex character and the gaming world needs more complex women in leads so far I'm seeing several for supporting characters but its still rather rare for leads.

Tl;dr I think Elizabeth beats out Ellie

I have to agree with what a lot of people are saying, and say (that sounds grammatically off) that Sarah Kerrigan is the strongest female lead. With Samus being the primary contender I think that fact that she is primarily portrayed as this person is a suit of armour, which I think takes away from her characterization as a woman. With that out of the way, I'd like to take a peck at the Elizabeth versus Ellie thing.

My first impressions of Ellie was pretty good. But as a played the game, I realized that she had two influential points of character growth. The first being when Joel suffers a fatal injury that--if he was not the protagonist in anything other than a video game or movie--would have killed him. The second point is after she is nearly killed/eaten/raped by David. I thought they were going to do more with the latter, but instead they just skip a bunch of time and the issue disappears mostly except for that she seems a but more distant. Even with the former, when your back to playing as Joel, its like nothing has happened. And with what Herman said about her being naive at the beginning? I don't think that is true at all. Any human with the smallest shred of morality/who wasn't a sociopath would have some reaction to murder besides the occasional swear. After just the shortest amount of time with Joel, she starts stabbing people, and throwing bricks, and eventually shooting them. Her reaction from the start is not that of someone who has never seen death. And while I agree the whole "wanting to help" thing definitely makes her seem much stronger, her actually contribution to gameplay is negligible.

With Elizabeth, she starts as pretty much the most naive a person can be. She has had barely any human contact her entire life, and her knowledge of the world is based entirely on a selective collection of books. SO half of her world view is basically that of a fairy-tale. While I liked her reaction to Booker murdering those people when they were attacked while in-line, it would have been nice for her to push the issue more, and only after a few shootouts completely accept that "this is what has to happen". That being said, I really liked how whenever you did a skyhook execution she would act horrified and such. This actually caused me to not murder Slate on my first playthrough, as I felt sorry for her. Of course on my second playthrough I did kill slate, and I thought the following conversation was quite well done. Now the pinnacle o her murder tree is when she kills Fitzroy. Throughout the entirety of the game she never kills anyone, sans this point. Her reaction to this, while a little less than most people would have, is well done. Of course, having it as a video game forces her to get over it quickly (I find having her finish some harrowing dialogue to then say jovially "That little old lock" was a bit annoyingly contrasting) her brief period of just utter hock and seclusion fits well with someone who has spent the past few hours watching Booker murder people. I realize now that this pretty much all been about murder and reactions to murder, so I'll move onto something else. They way she happily interacts with the "Duke and Dimwit" stuff, and her happily trying cotton candy and spends most of her time directly after escaping her tower happily is a good contrast to the way she becomes dark and depressed(?) later in the game. If you read the loading screen text Booker has written that "She [Elizabeth] really has feelings for the folks in Shantytown...". Scenes like when Elizabeth brings in food for people, or talks about how she hopes the Vox Populi can improve life for the lower class show multiple dimensions of character. Considering how much I've already written, I'm going to skip a shit ton of stuff, and move to her faze of being basically a Tardis/the Bad Wolf from Doctor Who. She expresses this whole new side of compete enrapture, and happiness, and curiosity, and is just marveling at the universe. While similar to what she is like after her escape, this has the added amount of wisdom that seems to just pour out of her pores. Her exploration of her/Booker's past shows her going through these fazes of somber, and mournful, and compassionate. Now, as I'm exhausted from typing, I'll pretty much say that the point when she drowns Booker (which also caused me to cry, and listen to the soundtrack to that part for hours) pretty much maxes out the character evolution chart.

I feel as though every dialogue moment between Booker and Elizabeth advances their relationship, while most of the the evolving between Joel and Ellie happens off camera, while only the largest of changes happen on 'camera'. My biggest problem with both is how they get over what they've done/seen. While with ELizabeth, I think her reactions are too short, I suppose it's reasonable, as they can't have a heartwarming moment after every battle, and novel of dialogue every time Booker kills someone, it would have been nice to see more done with that. On Ellie's side, she just kind of enjoys/doesn't really care about killing people, and by the end of the game it's like the massive amounts of homicide her a Joel committed were the equivalent of going to the farthest away possible Tesco. Last of Us is a game about the development of the relationship between Joel and Ellie, and I found that on the point it fell short. The most interesting part of the game for me was Ish's story, which is apparently taken from a book "Earth Abides". I literally cared more about this guy we never saw the Joel and Ellie. Bioshock Infinite's main selling point is the plot. And yet as much as that is the overall theme, when you examine the individual pieces, you find Elizabeth is the focal point. More accurately her development as a person, and her relationship with Booker.

If it isn't clear, I'm very pro-B:I, and I think I have good grounds to be that way. I found that Elizabeth was a much more multidimensional character then Ellie. I think a good comparison to Ellie would be Samwise from Lord of the Rings. While in LotR the Frodo is a more central character, just how Booker is the lead in B:I, Samwise is a more interesting, more important character. Sure the comparison is not perfect--there are many dissimilarities--but I think the way Elizabeth evolves is similar to the way Sam does. Ellie is a great character. But she really isn't as real a person, and certainly wasn't a stonger female character. Unless you're talking about how much of a coldblooded she is than she would be. But if we are talking, strong female character in the sense that they are confident, unique, independent, and real, she misses some key points. Yes she is confident (maybe too confident), yes she is independant, and she is sort of unique (although she reminds me a bit of Laura Croft in how she is a bit skittish for about a second, and then is a murdering psychopath), and she is definitely independant. But she just doesn't feel real. Unless you are a psychopath, I think It's hard to connect with her. I just didn't feel bad for her. She felt like she didn't have a base in our sense of reality. I suppose in a post-apocalyptic sense she is normal, but by contemporary standards she isn't someone I'd want to know. Perhaps in a normal world she would have been a really cool person, she probably would be, but it's impossible to tell. SHe is still a child. I think that takes away from her a strong character. Just being a child devalues your independence, because as a child you are supposed to have limits set on what you can and cannot do. If you don't it is hard to develop into an adult. And she is not an adult. She's a a child, who will spend her whole life as a murderer without help. Basically she is unrelatable as a person, and seems more like a serial killer than a normal person. Yes she's unique, but she's also a murderer.

So basically, I think Elizabeth is a stronger character. She us unique, she is determined, she is independant, and she seems real. I actually know people who re similar to her. She feels more like a modern human being than a video character, has a developed personality, is confident in her position in the world, and is also a woman. I'm pretty sure that you have to be a woman to be a strong female character. If your not female, than you aren't exactly able to be a strong female character.

balladbird:
I don't mean to be pedantic, but if no one knew she was female prior to her removing her helmet, how was she feminine?

First off: It was the 8-bit era. You were lucky you could tell something was even humanoid then, let alone the gender. Still, it wasn't advertized (see: it didn't matter) that it was a woman. Just a bonus that this kick ass warrior tearing through an alien planet happened to be female.

Secondly: Define 'feminine.' The point is that they are a strong female lead, not a girly girl that happens to be the main character and hits things for a few hours of gameplay.

This sounds like the kind of thinking that happens in a game development meeting.

Dev #1: Ok, so the audience really wants more female lead characters, huh. We could have this girl on the cusp of being an adult, and through the game she has to grow and change and make difficult decisions as her story happens.
Dev #2: And you play the generic bearded guy who has to protect her so all that stuff can happen. The audience needs someone they can identify with. But she's the real star of the story.

Semantics aside, can we nominate some ladies for Best Revenge-Fuelled Badass or Best Action Hero or Scariest Mofo or whatever Best (character type here) you want to debate next?

Realitycrash:
Honestly? Neither of those mentioned.
Because the strongest lead is Sarah Kerrigan.
(Despite the fact that they gave her evolved form a thong and high-heels..)

Gotta love how she became a SC fan's wet dream and wishing they were Jim Raynor.

Ukomba:
You know who might have been a better example of a strong female lead?

Fem Shepard - Mass Effect (My Personal Favorite)
Chell - Portal (Another Personal Favorite)
Heather - Silent Hill 3
Rydia - FF4
Rosa - FF4
Tera - FF6
Celes - FF6
Tifa - FF7
Aeris - FF7
Yuna - FF10
Ashelia - FF12
Lightning - FF13
Marle - Chrono Trigger
Lucca - Chrono Trigger
Mara Jade - Jedi Knight: Dark Forces 'Mysteries of the Sith'
Samus - Metroid
Lara - Tomb Raider
Joanna - Perfect Dark
Jill - Resident Evil
The Exile (Canonically female named Meetra Surik) - Knights of the Old Republic 2
Alex - Eternal Darkness
Zoey - Left4Dead
Faith - Mirrors Edge
Jade - Beyond Good & Evil

And those are just games I've played and could think of off the top of my head. Elizabeth and Ellie may make it onto a top twenty of strongest supporting female characters.

Allow me to add a couple:

Aya - Parasite Eve, Parasite Eve II
Morrigan - Darkstalkers (it was more of down the road)
Dawn - Secret of Mana

RJ 17:

Realitycrash:
However, if set in a historical setting, we can speak of 'strong female characters' much easier, simply by comparing them to the norms of the historical setting, and having them overcome specific gender-generated problems inherited from the current setting (like, say, women not being able to vote, or not being allowed to own property, or whatever).

And right there you acknowledge my point that there is indeed a difference between a strong character that happens to be female and a strong female character.

But since Starcraft has none of these problems - or chose not to delve into them, a wise decision I might add - then 'struggle to overcome gender-generated difficulties' is not a possible scenario, and thus we can't use that to help us measure.
In fact, because Starcraft avoids almost all sexism-tropes, and since they do not mention the current gender-structure at all, the society overall becomes rather genderless..Except on the biological level. Thus, Kerrigan is a strong female character. If she had been set in the 1920's she would have, incidentally, been one as well.

In fact it's the very lack of obstacles to overcome in the SC universe that prevent Kerrigan from being a strong female character (again, in the terms of this topic's discussion). Just because gender stereotypes and expected roles don't exist in one universe's fiction (SC, for example) doesn't mean that they don't exist in any form of fiction. That's why I said that you're right to an extent in my previous post. I agreed that Kerrigan is a strong character who happens to be female, but since the SC universe doesn't give her any stereotypes or gender-based hurdles to overcome, it automatically precludes her from being a strong female character.

Look at Ellie, she's a young girl in a post apocalyptic setting. She has to overcome the stereotype of being a helpless little tag-along constantly cowering in the corner and desperately crying for Joel to save her. She overcomes that stereotype to be an independent personality willing to do what it takes to survive in a post apocalyptic world that would be very hostile towards a girl her age. That's what makes her a strong female character. Elizabeth's arc is a bit more drawn out, she starts as literally the princess in the tower, but through the course of the story her personality is forced to harden and come to terms with things that she wasn't used to. She doesn't stay as the delicate flower princess you'd expect her to be and evolves into the strong willed woman we see at the end of the game.

Kerrigan, on the other hand, is as I described her: a competent, capable soldier who is betrayed and seeks vengeance. There's no stereotype that she has to overcome to prove her worth. That's why I say the terms of the topic are important to keep in mind here as they draw out the difference between a strong character and a strong female character. As laid out in the opening to the video: a strong female character "furthers the cause" so to speak, Kerrigan does not do this. She's not breaking out of any mold as to what's expected of her. So again, given that the SC universe doesn't have any gender-based stereotypes or molds for her to break, that automatically disqualifies her for the running of being a "strong female character", and leaves her as "a strong character who happens to be female".

You have no idea what make's a strong female lead if you think overcoming gender roles or stereotype makes a strong female lead, you're wrong as hell.

Ukomba:
You know who might have been a better example of a strong female lead?

Chell - Portal (Another Personal Favorite)

A much as I like Chell, if you couldn't look through Portals to see she was female, or have backstory to provide you with that information, you wouldn't know she was. There is nothing to characterize her as female in the game, besides her appearance. So she might as well be the cartoon you play when trying your custom built test chambers.

I wanna say Jade from Beyond Good & Evil. Strong, likable and good-humored. Doesn't need a romance subplot in her story, too.

Strongest Female Video Game Lead Ever? Yet you two only talk about two recent games with female support characters. Lara Croft and Samus Aran go by unnoticed because both of their last games put them in a submissive relationship with the universe, or at least I hope that's why.

I can't really speak much for Ellie (need to watch a few more videos of TLoU), but Elizabeth is not a strong character. She's a bipolar girl who's morality is only existent when she wants it to be so, and she's dependant on Booker for half the game especially at the beginning when she's just the Princess in the Tower.

shtoops:

Ukomba:
You know who might have been a better example of a strong female lead?

Chell - Portal (Another Personal Favorite)

A much as I like Chell, if you couldn't look through Portals to see she was female, or have backstory to provide you with that information, you wouldn't know she was. There is nothing to characterize her as female in the game, besides her appearance. So she might as well be the cartoon you play when trying your custom built test chambers.

By that same standard you could say Link has personality. He usually starts a game with little to no backstory, and he never talks. His personality and character comes purely from the game play and adventure. Same goes for Mario and several other famous silent protagonists. After playing through her adventures, to me, she has as much if not more personality than Gordon Freeman.

Jade (Beyond Good and Evil)
vs Samus (minus Other M and the myriad of contradictions made to her character there)

I don't count FemShep since she is the same exact blank slate as Male Shepard (plus Paragon/Renegade/Neutral).
If the lead role is completely interchangeable between genders, it isn't a female lead (or male lead); but a gender neutral lead.
(nothing wrong with that, but calling FemShep a lead is a bit of a stretch)

Clearly neither presenter has played very many games if they seriously think Last of Us or Bioshock Infinite represent the pinnacle of female protagonists. It seems to me this is all about ratings and coming up with material the core of Escapist readership "gets"... which from this terrible piece consists of no one over the age of 16 (or they think no one remembers anything for more than a year). This video was laughably bad.

Ukomba:

shtoops:

Ukomba:
You know who might have been a better example of a strong female lead?

Chell - Portal (Another Personal Favorite)

A much as I like Chell, if you couldn't look through Portals to see she was female, or have backstory to provide you with that information, you wouldn't know she was. There is nothing to characterize her as female in the game, besides her appearance. So she might as well be the cartoon you play when trying your custom built test chambers.

By that same standard you could say Link has personality. He usually starts a game with little to no backstory, and he never talks. His personality and character comes purely from the game play and adventure. Same goes for Mario and several other famous silent protagonists. After playing through her adventures, to me, she has as much if not more personality than Gordon Freeman.

In some senses I agree with you, it certainly felt as though she was characterized, but in actuality she wasn't. What is happening is you are projecting your interpretation of the environment, and story, and dialogues onto her, and thinking that that is how she is. We really know nothing about who she is.

It's a bit like having a pet (eesp. cats or dogs). You humanize them by attributing human emotions and idea onto their actions when in actuality they are not human. Personification is defined as "the attribution of a personal nature or human characteristics to something nonhuman, or the representation of an abstract quality in human form". While in the game Chell is human, to us she is a computer program. Because of this, strong female characters in video games have to be defined by themselves and the environment. Without the addition of the character adding to herself everything else has no context. Particularly in first person games where the character doesn't speak.

So we can't really know what Chell is like. Everything we feel for her, everything we know about her is either empirical information, or just wild speculation and personification of her personality.

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