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Leading Ladies
August 29, 2014 6:33 PM   Subscribe

Big list of Games – "An unfiltered list of games featuring a leading lady, because such a list should exist."
Have a suggestion for a game?
Leading Ladies in Media – "Highlighting female protagonists in Film, TV, Comics, and Books."
Bonus link: hardcore gamingFuck Yeah 1990s
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome (27 comments total) 30 users marked this as a favorite

 
Is that first one a work in progress? There are some pretty glaring omissions...it's an awesome project and I'd like to see it become a more canonical resource!
posted by trackofalljades at 7:06 PM on August 29 [1 favorite]


Where in the world is Carmen San Diego?
posted by Buttons Bellbottom at 7:33 PM on August 29 [12 favorites]


Yes, I believe it's an ongoing project - and they're looking for input (as the link "Have a suggestion...?" .... suggests).
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 7:35 PM on August 29


Final Fantasy VI, X-2, XIII, XIII-2 and that other new one?
posted by ELF Radio at 7:52 PM on August 29 [2 favorites]


Beyond: Two Souls is surprisingly excellent if you open your heart to its quirkily unselfconscious auteurish stylings. And don't mind having things like a lengthy 'tidy up the messy apartment' minigame in between your invisible friend/psychic CIA assassin psychodrama.
posted by Sebmojo at 8:00 PM on August 29 [1 favorite]


Bleed is both a great game and has female player character (have avoided tumblr login, don't intend to start now).
posted by kprincehouse at 8:23 PM on August 29 [2 favorites]


Also I feel like Sabbat needs to be on any list, partially because I nsfw love it, and partially because genderishness is an area in which it particularly excels.
posted by kprincehouse at 8:32 PM on August 29 [1 favorite]


I wanted to be Laura Bow so bad.
posted by yellowbinder at 8:36 PM on August 29 [4 favorites]


Buttons Bellbottom, Carmen and (many other incarnations of) Princess Peach were my very first thoughts!

Joseph Conrad, I will compile a full awesome list and send it along, thanks. :)
posted by trackofalljades at 8:38 PM on August 29 [1 favorite]


No Ms 'Splosion Man? Dang.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 9:10 PM on August 29


The lead in NOS4A2 by Joe Hill is a (strong, awesome) woman, and I'm really enjoying the audiobook read by Kate Mulgrew this weekend if anyone needs some scary listening.

Kate Mulgrew, of course, is also awesome.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 9:12 PM on August 29


Doesn't have Pong.
posted by blue_beetle at 9:41 PM on August 29 [1 favorite]


I wanted to be Laura Bow so bad.

Ha, very cool. :) I came in to mention The Colonel's Bequest, and The Dagger of Amon Ra! I played TCB so many times -- thinking about it now is bringing back memories of the various locations, the game music, and the clock chiming...

Speaking of Sierra games, there's also the earlier King's Quest IV: The Perils of Rosella, where you're the princess trying to save the king. I still clearly recall many of the puzzles and the cutscenes. Roberta Williams wrote TCB and KQ4.

Another one of my favorites is an even older game, Below the Root (based on the book series by Zilpha Keatley Snyder). Very interesting world. The game allows you to choose your protagonist, and there are two female characters (out of five total) included in the options. Each of the characters has different skills that IMO help make the game very replayable.
posted by rangefinder 1.4 at 9:51 PM on August 29 [4 favorites]


Skyrim isn't on that list? I get that the Dovakhin never has any dialogue or anything, but it's still an option to play male or female.

Other than that, I'm glad to see this list. Just wish it was longer. :)
posted by scaryblackdeath at 11:50 PM on August 29 [1 favorite]


Valkyrie Profile, Knytt series, They Bleed Pixels, The Void.

Also not creating a tumblr account, but if anyone wants to add those.
posted by cthuljew at 12:44 AM on August 30 [3 favorites]


Bonus link: hardcore gaming – Fuck Yeah 1990s

I had the Beauty and Beast game. I'm still bitter that my brother got a GameBoy, while I got some lame Disney shit that only had four levels. The game itself wasn't terrible, just a waste of money for my parents considering how quickly I did everything I could with it and lost interest.
posted by ohisee at 4:51 AM on August 30 [1 favorite]


@scaryblackdeath

I suppose they're excluding every game where you can make your own character, because if they didn't, the list would be many times as long. I think it makes sense, given that a generic protagonist that can be either male or female doesn't really count as a "leading lady", I suppose. Like, if we count Skyrim, should we also then count Dark Souls?

I would make one exception, though: the Mass Effect series. It's true that Shepard can be either male or female, but Female Shepard is such an amazing character, and amazingly voiced by Jennifer Hale. When I think awesome female protagonist, Commander Shepard is at the top of that list.

I occasionally hear people call Shepard a "he", and I realize that they played Mass Effect with a male Shepard, and I suddenly feel very sorry for them. They totally missed out on the best version of those games.
posted by gkhan at 6:22 AM on August 30 [8 favorites]


"I suppose they're excluding every game where you can make your own character, because if they didn't, the list would be many times as long. "

They're not. They even have a section called: "Games with Optional Female Protagonists
Meaning that there is the option to play a male protagonist as well."

Hmm, looks like Skyrim is there but only as "Elder Scrolls Series"
posted by I-baLL at 7:28 AM on August 30 [1 favorite]


Also, I don't know how to link to direct posts from Tumblr, but those pages from the Spider-Woman comic with Gwen Stacy, on the "Ladies in Media" tumblr, look awesome.

EDIT: Figured it out!

http://leadingladiesinmedia.tumblr.com/post/95769574975/gailsimone-jasonlatour-first-look-edge-of
posted by I-baLL at 8:12 AM on August 30 [1 favorite]


I occasionally hear people call Shepard a "he", and I realize that they played Mass Effect with a male Shepard, and I suddenly feel very sorry for them. They totally missed out on the best version of those games.

My friends talk about Mass Effect so much that I'm at a point where I want to leave the room (or the party) every time it comes up. It's been going on for a couple of years. To be fair, the lifespan of it all is extended because a friend came up with a pretty brilliant hack for a table-top RPG set in the ME universe and we're all playing in it, but... gah. This discussion. So many times.

But here's the thing: yes, Hale puts in a much better performance than the other guy, whose name I can't remember. His performance is perfectly fine; hers is just better. But it's worth it to play both, if only because of the different romance options.

And that, hopefully, is the last time I'll let myself get suckered into talking about it. :)
posted by scaryblackdeath at 8:54 AM on August 30 [1 favorite]


rangerfinder 1.4: Speaking of Sierra games, there's also the earlier King's Quest IV: The Perils of Rosella, where you're the princess trying to save the king.

Not just IV, but also VII, where you swap between Rosella and her mother, who I think was called Valanice? It was also a lot more cartoony than the previous installments.
But then, from IV I still remember being amazed that you could see her braids swing as she walked. It might not seem like much, but when you compare from King's Quest 1 it was the height of animated sophistication.

As for The Colonel's Bequest, I remember being scared by it as a kid when I would watch a friend played it who loved it. She and I would both jump at discovering new bodies or when the shadow of the killer would walk past the room, or if we accidentally walked on the wrong bit of floor in one of those classic Sierra death-trap moments.
Turns out there's a whole lot more to it than we ever found, as the internet informed me when I thought to look. The clock, the crypt, the corpses... I found the sequel much less effective, though maybe that was the way a text parser always seemed more magical than the point-and-click interface, as you found new things to do to new objects rather than just see/examine/pick up/combine.
posted by gadge emeritus at 10:35 AM on August 30 [2 favorites]


The Legend of Kyrandia 2: The Hand of Fate also has a female protagonist.

Also: the creator of the list seems to believe that computer games were invented around 1998.
posted by Pyrogenesis at 12:10 PM on August 30 [1 favorite]


No mention of Dragon Age? You can make your Warden or Hawke female, after all, so it seems like it should fit under the "optional female protagonist" header.
posted by eternalstranger at 12:22 PM on August 30 [2 favorites]


I really loved The Perils of Rosella.
posted by naju at 3:39 PM on August 30 [1 favorite]


Red Rogue.
posted by JHarris at 6:30 PM on August 30 [1 favorite]


Also, Metroid is on the list, but not any of the other Metroid games.

And there's Fuurai no Shiren Gaiden - Onna Kenshi Asuka Kenzan!, that is, the Shiren Mystery Dungeon game where Shiren was replaced as lead by Asuka, who we might refer to as FemShiren.
posted by JHarris at 6:34 PM on August 30 [1 favorite]


gadge emeritus, King's Quest VII totally slipped my mind -- thanks for bringing it up. Waaay back, I got a Sierra game pack called The Roberta Williams Anthology to replay some of my favorites. It looks like KQ7 was definitely on it, but I have no recollection of playing it.

I agree with your assessment of the second Laura Bow game -- it had a different feel to it, and I don't remember playing all the way through the game. I definitely enjoyed Colonel's Bequest much more. I wonder if I'd be able to find that old game pack again...
posted by rangefinder 1.4 at 9:24 PM on September 5


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