Throughout gaming history, there have been women who display an inner strength — a dignity and a will that won’t back down to adversity and won’t buckle under pressure. They can bounce back from the most painful of events and still keep their heads on straight. This is about the strength of the mind and will of the spirit. Here are five of the most resilient women in gaming.
Jade — Mortal Kombat
Since its release in 1992, Mortal Kombat has been entertaining players of all ages. The creators Ed Boon and John Tobias have created characters that connect to the players, like Jade. The best friend of series staple, Kitana, and General of the Edenian Army, Jade is someone who not only values loyalty but practices what she preaches.
When Kitana escaped from Outworld, Jade and Reptile had orders to retrieve her. Jade has to bring her best friend back alive and unharmed. But Reptile’s orders are to kill Kitana on the spot. After learning this, Jade makes the decision to stick by her friend, no matter what. She thwarts Reptile’s attempt on the princess’ life without hesitation. At the time, Jade’s duties as one of Shao Kahn’s soldiers hung over her head. Yet she chose her lifelong friend Kitana over her orders as a mercenary of Shao Kahn.
Kasumi — Dead or Alive
Dead or Alive has been a staple in the arcade style fighting genre since it first came out in 1996. Its story is about a group of adept fighters who take part in the Dead or Alive tournament to further their goals, like Kasumi, the missing ninja on the run from her former clan.
Kasumi left her village to avenge her brother Hayate, after their uncle, Raidou, beat him and left him comatose and paraplegic. Since Kasumi had left her village against orders, her clan considered her rogue. She now had a target on her back and no home to return to. Both the brother she set off to avenge and her cousin Ayane were to find and kill her.
This saddened Kasumi but she never gave up hope. She didn’t hold a grudge against Hayate and Ayane, even though they attacked her at almost every occasion. She only asked that they allow her back home and for them to not fight her. Kasumi stayed kindhearted even though her world was crashing around her.
Yuffie Kisaragi — Compilation of Final Fantasy VII
Final Fantasy VII is the most successful of the series by Square Enix. It tells the story of a young former SOLDIER, Cloud Strife, and his journey of self-discovery. While on this journey he links up with old friends and new ones, like the eccentric ninja Yuffie Kisaragi.
Even though in the original game Yuffie is an optional character, she’s still a bright spot for her friends during dark times. She first comes off annoying with her energetic nature and her quick verbal jabs. But when the team gets to know her, they see the loving and protective person that she is, like when she rescued Vincent Valentine from the WRO after he was shot in the chest.
As a kid, Yuffie heard about the powerful nation that Wutai was before it went to war with Shinra Inc. She grew up wanting to do something about her homeland’s treatment as a tourist resort. Her solution: become a materia hunter in the hopes that the orbs of mako would help her homeland and her people. Yuffie went headfirst into conflict to help her people, and she stuck to it. She’s a great support both as a friend and as a leader for the people of Wutai.
Aqua — Kingdom Hearts Series
Kingdom Hearts is the successful series by Tetsuya Nomura. It’s a story that speaks of friendship and inner balance, teaching that darkness and light should coexist and not eclipse one another. A character that exemplifies this is Aqua.
Aqua, along with her friends Ventus and Terra, have what has to be the saddest hand dealt in the series. She watched as both of her friends lost their hearts to the darkness and even had to face them in battle. In the end, she made the ultimate sacrifice to save what’s left of Ventus and Terra’s beings — thus trapping herself in the Realm of Darkness, cursed to wander the desolate place for years.
Many people would buckle under this kind of fate, but Aqua never did. She never regretted her sacrifice or fighting for her friends. But she didn’t accept her fate either. Aqua showed a sense of resilience and will to not give up or give in to despair. In Kingdom Hearts 0.2, we see that she never gave up on finding a way out. It’s that kind of perseverance that shows why she’s such an important figure in the fandom.
Makoto Nijima — Persona 5
Persona 5 is the latest installment in the Shin Megami Tensei Persona series. It tells the story of the protagonist, a young man who’s accused of assault and sent to live in Shibuya with his new guardian, Sojiro, for a years’ time.
One of the people he meets during his stay in Shibuya is Makoto Nijima. She’s an honors student and the class president. But this doesn’t stop her from having her share of insecurities. Makoto’s journey is one of the most relatable as she overcomes her fear of being useless and a burden.
In the beginning, we see she’s told that she has to be useful and an asset or she’s nothing. She gets these hurtful words from her older sister, her principal, and even her future friends. Instead of letting these jeers bring her down, she rises to the occasion. Makoto uses her intellect to establish herself as one of the most valuable assets to the Phantom Thieves. She proves that other people’s assessments of you don’t have to define you — that you define your own value and set your own benchmarks.