After a long and highly anticipated wait for Jodie Whittaker to grace our screens as the 13th Doctor, we were blown away by her spectacular performance. Female action heroes are starting to take over our screens, but let’s not forget where it all began…
Female leads have been around for over 30 years in the gaming world, so we thought we would take a look at some of our favourites who have truly shown their power as female heroes.
We should start at the beginning and take a look back at one of the original female protagonists – Samus Aran, who made her debut in Metroid (1986.) For over 30 years, this hardcore woman has graced our gaming screens across all 14 releases of the franchise and she’s still going strong. Interestingly, in the very first Metroid game, we don’t actually know Samus is female until the very end when she takes off the helmet of her exoskeleton to reveal herself as a woman! (Spoiler alert.) At the time, this blew a lot of gamers’ minds, as one would assume the character is, in fact, male. Samus also has a hand cannon and she can roll up into a tiny ball, which, if you ask us, is really convenient. She certainly knows how to rock a suit!
Jumping a little further forward, and we come across the magnificent Emily Kaldwin, who we first meet in Dishonored. Her story starts a little differently to most of our female heroes, in that she doesn’t begin her life as a strong, dominating woman. In the first game, she is kidnapped after losing her parents and struggles with a traumatised childhood. Fortunately, she becomes an Empress of the Isles and has an incredibly positive influence on her people. However, all is not what it seems, which brings us to Dishonored 2, where things really start to get edgy. Not only is she completely betrayed by one of her allies, but she is also forced off her throne, which sparks some real rage – and we are not surprised! Emily has some seriously amazing skills: not only is she handy with a gun, but she has a kind of magic instilled in her and can mesmerise her enemies at will. Suffice to say, she makes sure she gets her throne back.
Next up, we have Faith Connors from the game, Mirror’s Edge. Faith arrived on our consoles in 2008 – a petty thief turned runner, raised on the rooftops of the city after the tragic death of her Mother and downfall of her Father. She’s got an attitude and she is certainly not afraid to show it. Running, for her is life; it’s her energy, her passion and she does it for the thrill rather than the money she earns alongside it. Being Faith is a rush in itself and you certainly become encapsulated in the game. She’s powerful, athletic, intelligent and a true fierce female hero, she wants to fight against a government that caused the devastation of which her family endured. She also has an epic alias name ‘Phoenix’ – who wouldn’t love that as their nickname?
For our penultimate female hero, we have Aloy, who we meet in Horizon Zero Dawn. She’s so cool she doesn’t even need a last name! Similarly to Emily Kaldwin, we first see Aloy as a child appearing outside a sacred site of machines known as the ‘old world.’ She is branded an unwelcome outcast and bad omen by the Nora tribe, due to being found in the machine’s location. But luckily, a man known as Rost (also an outcast for other reasons) decides to raise her. At one point, Aloy runs away from the tribal children who have shunned her and discovers a headset that allows her to see things others can’t – awesome right? The whole build up and training as a child is so that she can participate in ‘The Proving’ in order to earn a place in the tribe. Moving forward, we watch a clip where she develops from a child to an adult ready to take on the heavy task. Once ‘The Proving’ is won, Aloy is granted the role of seeker and welcomed into the tribe. But all does not end there as she is then needed to travel the world, unearthing more of her past and saving it from the metal creatures that are devouring the planet’s resources. Does anyone accompany her on this mad journey? No! It’s just Aloy and her super cool bow and arrow. Don’t mess with her!
And finally, we couldn’t acknowledge our incredible female heroes without uttering the name: Lara Croft. 1996 was the debut of our formidable archaeologist, who raids tombs and crushes enemies. And who can forget the creepy Butler who followed us around the house? If that didn’t give at least one person nightmares, we don’t know what else would! So far, 63 million copies of Tomb Raider games have been sold worldwide – not including the new release of Shadow of the Tomb Raider – which just goes to show how truly wonderful we find our female hero. We have all been there, battling through an unforgiving jungle, wading through some pretty nasty waters and finding ourselves in some dark and mysterious tombs. Lara is sassy, intelligent and fearless, she doesn’t need anyone to protect her from getting to her goals and we all aspire to be a little bit like her every day.
These are just a small handful of female heroes that have been a pillar of power over the past 30 years. And we are sure everyone can agree these five are pretty incredible. Keep doing what you’re doing ladies, we love you for it!
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