When I first made up my list of favorite female video game characters, it was…long. Very, very long. After a number of cuts, I had a manageable list of a dozen people, and subsequently got to writing. When I was done, my magnum opus reached into the double digits of word processing pages. Fine for a term paper, not so great for a blog post. So I took another look at my list and realized that I had enough characters from the Final Fantasy series to make them their own post, which is what you see below. There are reasons this post didn’t appear directly after the first post, mainly due to my own lack of organization and general forgetfulness, but there’s no sense dwelling on the negative now. The fact of the matter is that the Final Fantasy series has some of the most memorable women in gaming. Any conversation about the games is simply not complete without mention of Aerith (Aeris) or Yuna, two characters who have risen to near-prophet status through player worship, which has been egged on through the pivotal roles they each played in their respective games. Brillaint though they are, there are plenty of other female characters to discuss, so let’s get on with five of my favorites (from FF games that I’ve played).
Refia (Final Fantasy III)
Being the sole voice of sanity among a bunch of knuckleheads is something that would drive anybody mad. However the stalwart and nurturing Refia from Final Fantasy III, handled her position among the trio of Luneth, Arc, and Ingus with aplomb and charm…and a few coarse words when necessary. In terms of gameplay, I liked Refia’s versatility. I often had her working as a mage, but occasionally switched things up by giver her a chance to be a monk, thief, or knight. Even though I did poorly in following Final Fantasy III’s story, I did enjoy any conversation involving Refia and her lovely quirkiness.
Porom (Final Fantasy IV)
If you’ve played Final Fantasy IV, then the tragic (and in the end, happy) story of Porom, and her twin brother Palom, is no secret. (If not, then you should probably skip this paragraph.) Like many women in the FF series, Porom is strong, emotional, and cares deeply for those among her care. I simply adored spending time with Porom, all adorable in her orange-striped costume – and Palom. They were formidable magical allies, and they were about the cutest things whenever they “fought” amongst themselves. Losing them in an act of tremendous self-sacrifice was as amazing as it was heartwrenching.
Rydia (Final Fantasy IV)
The summoner Rydia was my most favorite character in Final Fantasy IV. Her story wasn’t wrapped up in angst and annoyance as is often the case. She had a legitimate quarrel to take up with the main characters, Cecil and Kain, after they inadvertently killed he mother. She rages on them with the intent of never seeing them again. But time heals all wounds, and when Cecil later comes to Rydia’s aid, a friendship between the two slowly blossoms. I loved having Rydia as part of my team. Her magic skills always came in handy, and she was a necessary compliment to the game’s other female teammate, Rosa, who was sweet but a little lopsided in her constant support of Cecil.
Yuffie (Final Fantasy VII)
FFVII is rife with wonderful women, but none stick out in my mind quite as much as Yuffie with her boastful personality and fanatical ninja skills. I know now that Yuffie was an optional character in the game, but I don’t recall having any problems making her part of the team when I first played it. (If I recall, you had a conversation with her and if you picked all the right choices, she’d become a teammate. If not, she ran away. I guess I got lucky!) And once she was one my team, Yuffie and I were constant companions. She was a cunning fighter with fantastic skills. Her knack for trash talking didn’t hurt either.
Lulu (Final Fantasy X)
Forgive the strange introduction, but the first time I saw Morrigan in Dragon Age: origins, I thought “Hey! It’s Lulu!” Okay, so the two have absolutely nothing in common aside from looks, but the fact that I remembered Lulu several years after playing Final Fantasy X rather than, say, Yuna or Rikku, has to say something. So why Lulu over other, more catchy FFX women? Because she was me…well, except for her doll collection, that is. As one of Yuna’s guardians, she was distant, aloof, and occasionally angry at her friends for being such dolts. But nothing would break the bonds she harbored between Wakka, Yuna, Tidus, and the rest of the team. Her mean mage skills were welcome in any battle and I loved taking part in her interactions as she tried her best to keep everyone in line.
So now it’s your turn! Who are your favorite women of Final Fantasy?