Friday, 24 June 2011

Classic Friday: "I'll Handle This..."

For today's Classic Friday, I'm going to bring up my one suggestion for a new playable character in the Smash Bros. series, since apparently we're getting a couple more of those in the future:

{What you are about to see is a veritable explosion of nerdery. Be forewarned. What will follow is only going to re-enforce the notion that I am a little girl. I don’t care.

Also, let it be known that if we’re talking about just any video game characters, female or otherwise, my choice below is tied with the entire cast of Final Fantasy IX. And Chrono Trigger. }

I was sitting here, trying to type up a list of awesome female characters in video games. Oh sure, there are some good and great depictions of the gender opposite my own. Some for being thoughtful, intricate presentations of flawed, realistic human beings(a lot of Final Fantasy heroines come to mind), others just for their wacky charm(Ayla from Chrono Trigger, for example). But I can only think of one that I wouldn’t just pair alongside the likes of Mario, Link and co.; I think she surpasses all of them. This is my favourite female character in any video game:


You’d think the people behind Mario, Link, Donkey Kong and all other kinds of well-known male character designs would have a reasonable amount of women characters who are just as memorable, but the big N’s never been too great in that department. The most popular uterus-haver in their roster is probably Princess Peach, the biggest cliche in gaming: a pretty, pink, defenseless princess who needs to be rescued… repeatedly.

Lyn is almost the exact opposite of the damsel in distress stereotype. She’s smart, well-spoken, virtuous, compassionate, and actually dresses in such a way that covers up all of the “fun parts”. She’s still attractive, but her attire manages to be reasonable and practical as well. Even her colour scheme is appealing and simple, being mostly green/blue. She’s easy to spot on the battlefield even in her teeny little overworld sprites.

And unlike most girly video game characters, she doesn’t sit still and wait for some dashing, heroic knight(or plumber) to come to her rescue; She’s a fighter. That’s putting it lightly actually, as she’s damn-near unstoppable in Fire Emblem. In fact if she does get killed, then you fucking deserve the Game Over screen. The only time I ever lost as her was after a barrage of eight crazy Dragon-riders repeatedly gave her shit, and that was after she took down half of them in a row(two instantaneously).

And yet none of this comes at the cost of her femininity. She’s not a “butch” chick either, she’s kind and sincere to those she cares about and who care about her, and she does everything in her power to protect them. But she knows when people need to be put in their place and refuses to show pity or mercy to those who’ve earned her wrath. She’s a strong, dependable, likeable woman who doesn’t need to dress like a hooker to look pretty while she’s kicking ass. Do you have any idea how much of a rarity that is in video games? Most movies don’t know how to make a female character this awesome.

It’s a shame that a character like this in video games is akin to a gem in a mountain of shit. But it speaks to the strength of her design and presentation that even if there were more characters like Lyn, she’d still stand out. These are some of the reasons why she kicks ass and takes names, but doesn’t come off as an intimidating carpet-muncher while she does it. She’s someone you wish you were friends with in real life, which is true of many great, classic characters in many art forms.

And I am still sore about how half-assed her placement in Smash Bros. Brawl was. She looked 20, but her trophy said she was 15, and she sounded like she was 50. On top of that, she’s not a playable character in Smash Bros. yet, but Pretty Princess Pointless (Marth) is. There is something seriously wrong with Japan, and for once it’s not the geriatric monster tentacle porn.



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