You know how it goes don’t you? The crush on a girl, the adrenaline as you approach her…the hot flushes as you reach out to put on your console. That’s right, that’s how it went for us when we were younger; way before we discovered actual women.
Girl characters used to be in the ‘damsel in distress’ role most of the time and if they were in another role it was usually the ‘tom boy ‘ role which made them notoriously uninteresting. Usually girls could be found being dragged along by the male lead while being chased by something and then they fall down at the most inconvenient time. We liked the male characters because they were strong, fast and seemed to like yelling at people. They were everything we wanted to be. Then suddenly something happened…girls became the center of our universe, they seemed important…they looked good…oh my god we hit puberty. Now suddenly they were what we wanted!
Let’s take a look back (in no particular order) at some of the girls we obsessed with as teenagers…
First seen in: Final Fantasy VIII
We like her because: She has angel wings printed on her back and is pretty much the sweetest girl you’ll find in any game. She’s petite, elegant, has a pet dog called Angelo and can kick your ass using her Blaster Edge. Rinoa had one of the most interesting personalities and had a feel of realism about her. Her history with Seifer sounded like something you’d actually see in real life too as you always seem to find the sweet girls with the biggest idiots in the world.
Rinoa has some of the most memorable scenes ever seen in a video game and will always be a boyhood crush for a great many gamers out there. It pains me to admit that she might vanish from memory entirely if the FFVIII remake rumor turns out to be nothing more than just a rumor.
First seen in: Tomb Raider
We like her because: She has big boobs and dual wields guns. Okay that’s not all…she’s rich too! Seriously though; Lara is iconic and was even more so at the time of the release of Tomb Raider. Tomb Raider was 1st ranked at the top of video game charts for months on end and was the first game of it’s kind. We loved solving puzzles and exploring ancient ruins as Lara and when our parents weren’t looking we swung the camera around to uhm…look at things.
Lara has a new game which features her in her younger years. The new game attempts to make her more ‘real’ than she’s been up until now seeing as there’s much to be desired on that front. Her new past seems to be more troubled so it can give her more character. By the looks of things Lara Croft will continue to be a big part of the video game world and we can barely contain our glee!
First seen in: Final Fantasy VII
We like her because: Unlike most girls we’ve seen up until then she could actually pull off being sexy in low resolution pixels and be useful at the same time. Tifa was (and is) an iconic hero girl who manages to keep her feminine side perfectly in sync with her ‘tough as nails’ side. There’s little else to say except we love Tifa and will always love her.
The CGI movie (Advent Children) rekindled most of our Tifa fantasies in 2005 and since then her popularity skyrocketed with a new generation of gamers. Tifa’s managed to develop a cult following and is probably the most recognized female character of the entire Final Fantasy series.
First seen in: Street Fighter II
We like her because: She was the first girl in a crowd of male characters & kicked all their asses. Yes, we liked her straight away. One look at Chun Li left us going ‘wow’. She also didn’t have to turn into a ‘tom boy’ to accomplish her goals and could remain tough yet feminine. Similar to Tifa? Yes. I’d say so.
Chun Li was one of the very first video game girls and was also the first female character in Street Fighter. In an era plagued by sexism she sure showed everyone a thing or two! She remains one of the most recognized (and cosplayed) video game girls in the world and will always be an iconic part of the video game industry.
First seen in: Mortal Kombat
We like her because: She was a pretty good character to use and was one of the earliest heroines of video games. Like Chun Li she was created in an era where girls in video games were a joke (Sonya is however a tom boy). You always got that “you’re a girl” comment from your friends when you selected Sonya and then had to listen to accusations of cheating when defeating them.
Sonya is considered Chun Li’s rival on many levels (video game wise their kind of similar) and continues to spur our obsessions with girl fights. If any female from any video game ever deserved to have her own stand alone live action film it would be Sonya (more so than Lara) and we’d stand in line for days to see it. We just can’t get enough of her chasing Kano around!
Any video game girls you were obsessed with as a kid? Let us know in the comments!