Some great, lesser known, female video game characters?

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shrillgore

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#1  Edited By shrillgore

Whenever the topic of good female video game characters comes up in an article or list, we usually hear about the same characters every time: Samus, Lara Croft, Fem. Shep, Peach, Zelda, Alyx Vance, Jade from BGaE, etc.

My question is: who are some other, more obscure female characters who you think don't get the recognition they deserve?My only criteria other than popularity is that they have to have some defining characteristic other than "she's a badass!"

I'll start with my favorite female game character of all time: Chris Lightfellow from Suikoden III.

Edit: So I derped and forgot to add why Chris is my favorite female game character. She has a great arc throughout the game and so many facets to her personality. The first is her professional life as a military leader, following in the footsteps of her adoptive, nobleman father. She is tough and stoic but has a lot of care for her people and comrades which is evident in her "tough love" approach to leadership. Despite her devotion to her country, she hates the fame that comes with being a knight captain because she sees being a soldier as her duty and a dirty job that has to be done. Her loyalty is broken when she is forced to raid a defenseless village and kill a young boy who attacks her, causing her to desert the military and run away from her home country.

Afterwards, we get a look at Chris' personal life as we see she never had a husband/lover because of her dedication to military life, her only friends being her young squire and butler. She also gets to experience life as a commoner and discovers that the people she was fighting against are not the savages she was led to believe they were, and that there is much more to life than her duty.

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joshwent

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@shrillgore: You should specify if you're talking about specifically playable characters, or just female characters in games that we think don't get the credit. There's a pretty big distinction there.

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mike

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#5  Edited By mike

Cate Archer from No One Lives Forever.

But...you said one of your requirements is that these characters have to have some defining characteristic that makes them great, then you just listed a bunch of characters without saying anything about them.

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vocalcannibal

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I think a lot of the female characters in the Metal Gear Solid games besides Meryl, EVA, and The Boss don't get enough recognition. Plenty of them are given completely equal status to the male characters in a ton of different areas, not just combat skills. Naomi isn't particularly well-liked but she's complex, Sniper Wolf was close to Big Boss in actuality (as opposed to Liquid, who only really knew his philosophies), Olga commanded her father's entire unit and no one questioned her authority, E.E. wanted revenge on her brother by outdoing him intellectually, and so forth.

I've always appreciated that the MGS ladies are hardly ever remarkable just because of how their gender relates to their actions and circumstances.

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Yummylee

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Hana Tsu Vachel's pretty badass. She's very sexualised, but still empowered all the same and in many cases uses her sexuality to her advantage.

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shrillgore

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@joshwent: To me, it doesn't matter if they are playable as long as you consider them to be a great female character who is in the game.

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Make_Me_Mad

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I dunno how "lesser known" she is, but Heather from Silent Hill 3 is probably one of my favorite protagonists in anything, hands down.

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Whitestripes09

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Pretty much all the girls in Fire Emblem Awakening are pretty bad ass imo.

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penguindust

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#11  Edited By penguindust

Alicia Melchiott from Valkyria Chronicles comes to mind. She's not a badass but a kind but resolute young woman called to duty when her homeland is invaded.

I also really like Bianca from Dragon Quest V. What I find interesting about her is that she's a mother (well, becomes one over the course of the game). You don't find that characteristic in too many video game heroines. In a sense, this could apply to Nera or Debora, but Bianca's the one I liked the most. She had spunk.

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Blackout62

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#12  Edited By Blackout62

The Scythian from Sword & Sworcery. She had to face and overcome her own shadow archetype. What video game character outside Persona can claim to do that?

Oh, and all the female characters from Persona for the same reason.

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FrostyRyan

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Heather in Silent Hill 3, most female characters in Persona 3 and 4

No clue why people still considered Lara Croft an amazing female character in video games, at least before the reboot happened.

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DeadpanCakes

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I really liked Chie because her gender identity stuff reminded me of myself when I was about her age. Though, I don't know if I'd consider her under-appreciated or lesser-known around here.

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coaxmetal

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April Ryan from The Longest Journey is one of my favorite characters

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Mechanical_Ape

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#16  Edited By Mechanical_Ape

I always liked Sis from Alpha Protocol. She's very tough and dangerous, but there is also a vulnerability to her. Plus some of the missions involving her are some of my favorite in the game. I wish the game gave more information about her and her background.

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emfromthesea

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#17  Edited By emfromthesea

Jenny Romano and Aunt Sarah from The Darkness don't get a lot of recognition. You don't see much of them throughout the games, but I found both to be good, real characters. Not many games allow you to watch the entirety of "To Kill A Mockingbird" with your character's girlfriend. The ending of The Darkness 2 goes a little off the deep end (for a game about demons), but I enjoy those characters nonetheless.

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Mystyr_E

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#18  Edited By Mystyr_E
Alicia from Bullet Witch. Totally love her design but game was....eh so people kind of just forgot about her.
Alicia from Bullet Witch. Totally love her design but game was....eh so people kind of just forgot about her.

Elika from Prince of Persia (2008). Think people just hated the game (and by extension, her) cause you never died though all she did was mask loading times between
Elika from Prince of Persia (2008). Think people just hated the game (and by extension, her) cause you never died though all she did was mask loading times between "deaths". Shame we'll probably never get a sequel.

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RVonE

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The Scythian from Sword & Sworcery. She had to face and overcome her own shadow archetype. What video game character outside Persona can claim to do that?

Oh, and all the female characters from Persona for the same reason.

YES! The Scythian is a great pick! I still clearly remember the moment when it dawned on me that defeating the enemies was killing her but there was no way back. I had to put the game down for a while.

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Blackout62

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#20  Edited By Blackout62

@mystyr_e: Always feel bad about Elika. She's an interesting character with a great design but in a game that barely does anything with its characters.

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SomberOwl

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Triss from The Witcher games.

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jadegl

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#22  Edited By jadegl  Moderator

Elspeth "Doc" Holliday from Nocturne and, from where I was initially introduced to her, The Blair Witch Volume 1: Rustin Parr. In the games that she was in, she was smart and capable, kind of like a 1940s version of Dana Scully. Plus, I always thought her design was super stylish, especially in the Blair Witch game.

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Fredchuckdave

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#23  Edited By Fredchuckdave

Celes, KOS-MOS, assorted Suikoden characters. Rosa and Rydia. I'm sure there's others but can't think of them at the moment. Karin from Shadow Hearts: Covenant.

@somberowl: Sile's not too bad either, her story arc isn't that interesting but the character is solid.

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fisk0

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#24 fisk0  Moderator

Patricia Tannis from Borderlands doesn't get the recognition she deserves, I think. She's not a playable character, but in the first Borderlands there are quite a few sidequests building up her background story, which I not only think is the most interesting aspect of the entire Borderlands franchise, but one of the best stories in games of the past few years (I mean her story missions specifically, not Borderlands as a whole, which generally doesn't hold that quality).

I would like to say Koudelka from the titular game as well, but seems like they kinda screwed her up in the later Shadow Hearts games.

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FLStyle

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The Boss (MGS3) is the number 1 female video game character as far as I'm concerned. Also:

  • Rose from The Legend of Dragoon
  • Aveline from Dragon Age II
  • Cassandra from Dragon Age: Inquisition
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Draugen

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#27  Edited By Draugen

I have a soft spot for Lt. Rachel Townsend from Binary Domain.

Lt. Rachel Townsend
Lt. Rachel Townsend

Built like a dump truck, face like that dump truck's bumper after a fender bender, voice like an angel. Strong moral compass. Good soldier, but her skills don't get exaggerated to show how tough she is. Nor does she need constant rescuing. She's just a valuable member of the team. What's not to love? You just don't see many women like her in games, or indeed even in fiction in general.

Cecilia
Cecilia

Honourable mentions go to a couple of the women from Dishonored. Lydia, Callista and Cecilia stand out, mostly for how well they are played by their respective actresses. You feel them, their suffering, their struggles against their lots (which are overall pretty bad). Just really, sympathetic, believable (as much as it can be in Dunwall) characters.

Oh, and Billie Lurk from the DLC. Because she's called Billie Freakin' Lurk! The best name for an assassin ever.

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Catarrhal

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FemShep totally qualifies as a "lesser known" character, considering that 82% of Mass Effect players never experienced Ms. Hale's brilliance. This is confirmed by BioWare.

@fisk0: Totally agree on Tannis. I haven't played it yet, but it's kinda too bad the new Telltale adventure game doesn't revolve around her (instead of video game everyman Troy Baker).

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Justin258

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Celes, KOS-MOS, assorted Suikoden characters. Rosa and Rydia. I'm sure there's others but can't think of them at the moment. Karin from Shadow Hearts: Covenant.

@somberowl: Sile's not too bad either, her story arc isn't that interesting but the character is solid.

Rydia maybe, but Rosa? I only played Final Fantasy IV earlier this year and I seem to remember Rosa staying in the background for a good chunk of the game and she didn't really come across as a strong and independent character when she was actually saying and doing stuff. Rydia is a vastly more powerful mage anyway and could have probably pulled double duty if the game didn't give us some throwaway line about her not being able to use white magic anymore.

I can't think of too many at the moment. Some of the girls from Fire Emblem Awakening. Ashe in FFXII, provided her character doesn't become whiny or something towards the final third of that game that I never finished because I was too busy doing hunts and grinding and poking my nose in different places.

Can the female version of Shepherd and other player-created characters really count? Look, I know you guys are fans of the voice acting and all, but female Shepherd and male Shepherd are the same character in all but appearance. Mannerisms, personality, actions, dialog, all of them virtually the same throughout all three Mass Effect games.

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kalmia64

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#30  Edited By kalmia64

Ashley Robbins from Trace Memory is one of my favorite characters ever. Maybe it's just because I'm fond of the "kid finds out parents are flawed" story beat, but whatever. I was a teenaged girl when I first played the DS game, and they created such a realistic moody, independent, yet still childlike character. I love her so much.

Ashley Mizuki Robbins with the 'DTS'
Ashley Mizuki Robbins with the 'DTS'

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ClairvoyantVibrations

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@blackout62: Link? In the Water Temple.

Most of the Female cast of Dragon Age. I also really liked Fabiana's sister Giovanna in Max Payne 3. She's just about the only character in that entire game who isn't a dirtbag.

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Hunter5024

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@fredchuckdave said:

Celes, KOS-MOS, assorted Suikoden characters. Rosa and Rydia. I'm sure there's others but can't think of them at the moment. Karin from Shadow Hearts: Covenant.

Rydia maybe, but Rosa? I only played Final Fantasy IV earlier this year and I seem to remember Rosa staying in the background for a good chunk of the game and she didn't really come across as a strong and independent character when she was actually saying and doing stuff. Rydia is a vastly more powerful mage anyway and could have probably pulled double duty if the game didn't give us some throwaway line about her not being able to use white magic anymore.

You're right, Rosa sucks. She's just a damsel in distress who loves Cecil ever so much. Rydia I agree with though. She goes from a scared little girl to the biggest badass in the game.

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I_Stay_Puft

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Medal of Honor: Underground had you playing as Manon Batiste who was based on real life wartime hero Helen Deschamps Adams.

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monetarydread

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#34  Edited By monetarydread

Prisoner 849, or the default protagonist, in the game "Unreal," is female. You could go into a menu setting and change the character into a male, but why would you do that when you rarely see your avatar.

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Prisoner 849

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The_Tribunal

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#35  Edited By The_Tribunal

I've always appreciated what R* did with Bonnie McFarlane in Red Dead, even though they screwed it up towards the end. Instead of creating a strong female character in a setting that ignores sexism as a societal problem, they paint her as a strong woman in a man's world. She is in charge of the McFarlane ranch due to all of her brothers either dying or leaving and saves John's life at the beginning of the game, calling him an idiot with a death wish. They start to unravel her storyline though towards the end as they put her in a "damsel in distress" situation, but I still feel that her character is better than most female characters out there.

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StarFoxA

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mithical

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#37  Edited By mithical

I know the spirit of this thread is probably about well-defined characters from a writing perspective, but there's a bunch of female characters I just kind of... like. I'm not really sure if it's because of their design, their abilities in the games, or the quality of their characters.

The Fire Emblem series has a whole bunch: Fir, Farina, Rebecca, Titania, Mia, Nephenee, particularly Lyn from FE7.

Ritz from Final Fantasy Tactics Advance.

Selan from Lufia 2: Rise of the Sinistrals.

Alys and Rika from Phantasy Star 4.

Estelle from Trails in the Sky.

Sarah from Shining Force 2.

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MeMonk

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#38  Edited By MeMonk
Bastila Shan
Bastila Shan
Cate Archer
Cate Archer

Cate archer a female Jame Bond, that is witty and kicks all sorts of ass through both of her games.

Bastila Shan, one of the best characters in KOTOR. She is the 1st Jedi you encounter in the game and her character has interesting developments goes to the dark side.

Jeannette Devereaux or Angel from the Wing commander games. She is just cool, a wingman in the 1st game and your commander in the 2nd on. She has a cool scene in Wing Commander 3.

Jeannette Devereaux, Angel
Jeannette Devereaux, Angel

The last one I got is from Jagged Alliance 2, Shelia "Scope": Sterling. She has the best marksmanship out of any merc you can hire. Once you have the money to afford her she starts raining death upon the enemy. Her British quips are always fun to hear Blighter, Cheerio!!

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Yesiamaduck

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#39  Edited By Yesiamaduck

Im going to mention shaundie from saints row. Sure they're in a big game but in a setting where female characters are often portrayed so terribly, helllooooo gta, she comes out looking like a complete badass and is easily the strongest member of the saints crew in many areas, even with that being said she also has a troubled past which haunts her. Her loyalty mission in saints row 4 was fantastic

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Yesiamaduck

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Im going to mention shaundie from saints row. Sure they're in a big game but in a setting where female characters are often portrayed so terribly, helllooooo gta, she comes out looking like a complete badass and is easily the strongest member of the saints crew in many areas, even with that being said she also has a troubled past which haunts her. Her loyalty mission in saints row 4 was fantastic

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dagas

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#41  Edited By dagas
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Liane in Joan D'arc. She starts out afraid and weak and in the shadow of Joan but she faces her fear and in the end she becomes a very strong character. She is a lot more interesting character than Joan as she is brave despite her fear rather than because of lack of fear.

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audiosnow

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audioBusting

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#43  Edited By audioBusting

There weren't that many female characters in Aliens: Infestation, but one of them was my favorite by far. My favorite marine in the game is Zoe "Cutter" Kennedy, a runaway indie musician who joined the military after her father's (a marine commander) funeral. She's kind of an emo stereotype, but her lines are so much more interesting than any other marines I had. She likes to describe gore and horror in a lyrical way, for some reason. I tried really hard to keep her alive, and beat the final boss with one life just so I could get her ending. It's kind of neat that they fleshed out the characters enough even though you won't see most of them. One of the other marines is an Asian-American hacker who speaks entirely in leet-speak and I didn't even get to recruit her.

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Karmosin

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#44  Edited By Karmosin

Kayne is pretty great despite her super-stupid outfit. Alot of the more indepth backstory for her is at the new-game + though so don't really wanna spoil it. Her speech in the beginning of the intro is probably when the game got its hooks into me. Overall, she's mostly just really damn pissed, and I love it.

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mrfluke

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#45  Edited By mrfluke

really the one that comes to mind is really the boss from metal gear solid 3. people like to take a big ol shit on kojima, but i think he still has created some of the strongest female characters in videogames.

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Chocobodude3

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#46  Edited By Chocobodude3
Amanda Ripley
Amanda Ripley

I liked Amanda Ripley as a protagonist

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bluefish

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@karmosin said:

Kayne is pretty great despite her super-stupid outfit. Alot of the more indepth backstory for her is at the new-game + though so don't really wanna spoil it. Her speech in the beginning of the intro is probably when the game got its hooks into me. Overall, she's mostly just really damn pissed, and I love it.

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That's who I was going to say. Typically Nier isn't my sort of thing, but the game is great and she's a surprisingly well done character. (Jennifer Hale ftw again)

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donchipotle

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#48  Edited By donchipotle

@bluefish said:

@karmosin said:

Kayne is pretty great despite her super-stupid outfit. Alot of the more indepth backstory for her is at the new-game + though so don't really wanna spoil it. Her speech in the beginning of the intro is probably when the game got its hooks into me. Overall, she's mostly just really damn pissed, and I love it.

Loading Video...

That's who I was going to say. Typically Nier isn't my sort of thing, but the game is great and she's a surprisingly well done character. (Jennifer Hale ftw again)

Laura Bailey.

Kaine was my first choice. She is a great character in a game filled with four great central characters. That she is also totally the main character is even better. People always seem willing to just write her off because of her outfit, but not only is it deliberate and makes sense story-wise, but people that fall into that trap are playing into the hands of the devs. It's dastardly.

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D_Bones

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I thought Aveline in DAII was a pretty good strong female companion.

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ZolRoyce

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#50  Edited By ZolRoyce
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Moira Brown from Fallout 3.
I remember when the game came out everybody hated her, but she is one of my favorite female characters of all time, she is just so happyall of the time, it is wonderful.
Every single quest she sends you out on is filled with such enthusiasm and with such a sense of wonder and hope for knowledge about whatever she wants you to do, and no matter how you finish her quests she is just so happy about it, and sure you may almost die, like, a lot, on many of her quests but she is always there at the end of the day to patch you up and give you awesome rewards.
Hell, I mean when you nuke megaton and she survives but gets turned into a ghoul, she is absolutely fine with it! She sees it as a new adventure, another chapter in her life with new things to see and study.
In a world filled with death and Death Claws and horribly written endings, she stands out as the one happiest, eagerest, knowledge hungry people in the entire game.
And yes, I even love her voice.