With a plethora of main characters that are generic or just not memorable enough to remember, there are a few that stick out and come to mind when thinking of male leads. Females leads on the other hand are fewer and they have to stick out more to make you remember them. Here are the top stylish women in gaming from the past and present.
Sophita from Soul Calibur series
Sophita sports a very peasant looking outfit at first, and it makes her look unique because it’s a conservative style of dress compared to the other females in the series.Yet, seeing how she seemed to be an innocent yet charming young woman in SC II, the wild change in Soul Calibur IV is a bit jarring. Gone is the peasent outfit, in is all the side breast shots you can handle while playing the game and thin, sheer material abounds… Not that many gamers are complaining.
Ada Wong from Resident Evil series
Ada Wong is constantly wearing red dresses and outfits that are designer and style, and she’s usually a professional to boot. When she’s not working with Wesker or against him for the “Organization” she’s the epitome of femme fatale. Her signature red dress is an actual design called a qipao, and even in her tactical gear, she has a red butterfly on the sleeve. While she may seem generic and a copy of La Femme Nikita, she is also the noir version of the bad girl; she does bad things to good and bad people, but she’s in love with a hero.
Tifa Lockheart from the Final Fantasy VII series
While most people might think this is a no brainer, Tifa isn’t really a stylish character in the normal sense of the word. She’s got a visually appealing outfit, but the reason she is on this list is because she’s one of the best examples of how sexuality and strength can become a force to be reconed with in games. She’s got a basic outfit but it’s her body shape and abilities as a person that make her stand out. As one of the few strong female leads in video games that aren’t over done or over sexualized she’s one of the most loved and cosplayed characters in gaming ever. Her character knows love and pain, strength and weakness. She’s a woman that is more than willing to fight for something or someone she believes in, and we need more characters like her in games, male and female. She’s not aware of herself, only the world around her and she’s unique in that. She doesn’t know she’s beautiful to people around her, she only knows that people love and respect her. She doesn’t have to rely on just her fists or breasts to get a job done or something completed, she either does it or helps someone do it because it needs done. As one of the love interests of Cloud Strife, she makes a great counter to Aerith. Where Aerith is proper and reserved, she’s loud and emotionally aware of the people around her. Where Aerith is known for well… dying; Tifa stays strong and keeps on fighting to the end. Don’t get me wrong, I cried like the rest of us when Aerith died and I honestly preferred Aerith in some ways more than Tifa (I wasn’t used to the loud and strong female leads in my games at all when I was playing FFVII); but Tifa has become a staple of the FFVII series.
Elika from Prince of Persia (2008)
Elika has a nice presence with her simple but elegantly put together outfit. The simplicity is the beauty of it. The white lacy top with her capris make her modern with an old world style and her bangle bracelets make a unique outfit. Her hair, the spunky disheveled look, framing her Natalie Portman looks make an instantly recognizable protagonist. The art style alone should tell you it’s Prince of Persia, but looking at Elika makes you realize it is. She is one of the more interesting female leads in gaming that doesn’t over do the sexualization of a female.
Taki and Seung Mina from Soul Calibur II
Both Taki and Sung Mina are very stylish for one reason: the realistic portrayal of the character designs. Unlike most games that use the large breasted and skinny women, Capcom took a different approach for most of the females in this game. Taki is a smaller figure and she’s got unique and interesting ninja outfits that still are in fighters because of the amount of skin they cover. I like it when females in games can be fully or mostly clothed and still have an air of sexual attraction or interest without having to have large breasts everywhere to get your attention. Seung Mina’s outfits, normal and unlockable, are traditional Oriental outfits that accentuate her sexuality and figure in a respectable manner. Taki is a bit more sexualized with her form fitting outfits, but it’s the fact that she is a muscular female that isn’t like Chun Li from Street Fighter IV; man thighs and sausage fingers of doom. Her figure is definitely female without having to rely on the basics of females in games. I like the basic black and red outfit that is her normal outfit is instantly recognizable and so is Seung Mina’s, the very colorful oriental styled fighting outfit. Seung Mina has a bit more color to her outfits, and they are uniquely designed because of her attacks. She uses many kicks and thrusts with her weapon and it all works together to have a visually interesting style with the open leg design. Although the later versions of these two unique females have become a bit more sexualized, I will always respect the choices that Capcom made.
Nariko from Heavenly Sword
Nariko has yet another style that is based on simplicity and uniqueness. She’s not beautiful, but a deadly melee fighter. Having a white outfit with flowing red hair, she is simplistic again, but visually appealing to watch in motion. The images of her are abound with the purity of her white outfits in fan art and in screen shots, with the long red hair streaming around or behind her, contrasting with the earth tones of the game. While not the best looking female protagonist out there, her face is recognizable and unique because of the nearly man-like edges her face has. Nariko isn’t like most women, while having the characteristics of most females (lots of flesh exposed and skimpy outfits) she’s unique because of one reason: she looks like she can do much damage to people. Her character design was created using the idea that not all women would be stunningly beautiful, that their looks would be harder and more chiseled than most when faced with hard choices and results of said hard choices in her life. I like Nariko because she’s not some drop dead beauty that can kick ass, she’s a hard edged woman with a reason to fight.
KOS-MOS from Xenosaga
KOS-MOS is one sleak and deadly woman. Capable of hiding all kinds of weapon and drawing upon them when needed is a neat bonus too. Her design is unique for the color scheme and yet it is traditional for jRPG’s with long flowing hair and overpowered abilities. Her sleak design is interesting visually if you know what exactly she can do when it comes to combat because even if you know how she can pull these massive guns from nowhere, it’s still a neat thing to see happen. Her sci-fi AI design is similar to most female AI’s in games; but KOS-MOS is a great design of what I believe an AI construct in a physical or visual representation might look like if given the choice of how she would look. From her smaller frame to the futuristic high heels, she is striking to see in a world of generic AI’s being visualized.
Edea from Final Fantasy VIII
Tetsuya Nomura created this character based on the style used by Yoshitaka Amano, the long running development artist for the Final Fantasy series. Tetsuya Nomura had created the art for Edea three years prior, but a co-worker mentioned that he would like to use her for the game. The Witch as she had been known until given the name Edea became one of the best known enemies in the Final Fantasy series. Her style takes from modern fashion that large accessories are great for being exalted as a higher class than others. Her design, while over the top and unconventional actually inspired several other villains from movies to games, most noticeably Enchanted with Queen Narissa seems to be a direct copy in style and design minus the larger head piece. Her black dress is simplistic with a somewhat plunging neckline, but it’s still respectable and not too flashy. The head dress is almost like the kind that fashion designers use to accentuate clothes or designs that are unconventional or unique. Her visual style is what a lot of gamers remember about Final Fantasy VIII that I’ve talked with recently. I think that her design is simplistically advanced, the black dress with the headdress makes her stand out. She is instantly recognizable as a Final Fantasy villain and for her unique style of dress.
What do you think? Are there some that I’ve missed with this list? Leave a reply below! PS: if you look up these on an image search engine like Google Images, don’t be surprised to see things you can’t unsee… You have been warned!
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