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I recently stumbled upon Snowy_One's thread of "How many positive and well-made female characters can you think of?" I worked hard on a post I would love to make to it, but the threat is locked so they won't let me do that anymore. So I made a second one that continues it and here are the positive and well-made female characters that I can think of: Blaze the Cat from Sonic the Hedgehog franchise: Blaze is awesome, no doubt about it. She’s the princess of some parallel dimension and her duty is to guard the Sol Emeralds. However, when she was young, Blaze feared that getting too emotional would cause her flame powers to go out of control and so she locked her own emotions away and became more distant with other people and more focused on her objectives. She distanced herself from other people and didn’t get along well with others. Then came the events of Sonic Rush when she ended up on Sonic’s dimension and met up with Cream the Rabbit and became friends with her. She still had an icy persona and quickly rejects any offered assistance, believing that she’s better off facing her challenges alone. However, Sonic eventually talked her into opening up to other people and learning to trust other people helped her accomplish what she couldn’t do alone. Becoming more passionate made her even stronger as it allowed the Sol Emeralds to turn her into Burning Blaze who is like Super Sonic except she can throw fireballs. They beat Dr. Eggman and his interdimensional counterpart and Blaze then happily returned to her home dimension. Which leads me to Sonic Rush Adventure which is the sequel to Sonic Rush. In that game, Sonic and Tails get caught in a storm and wake up on an island, they search for answers, they get attacked by one of Captain Whiskers’ robots until Blaze rushes in and saves them. There, Sonic and Tails learn that they ended up in Blaze’s dimension, and while their search for answers continued, Blaze traveled with and fought alongside Sonic while her royal subjects helped them find the Sol Emeralds to keep them out of the wrong hands. When they defeated Captain Whiskers and found the Sol Emeralds and the Chaos Emeralds, they beat the two Eggmen a second time and Blaze managed to take Sonic and Tails back home. Sash Lilac and Carol Tea from Freedom Planet: I got into playing Freedom Planet last year and boy am I glad I did. I instantly got a kick out of Freedom Planet not only because of its awesome gameplay, but also because of its two main heroines: Sash Lilac and Carol Tea. Let’s start with Sash Lilac. Out of all the characters in Freedom Planet, Lilac’s my personal favorite. She’s the most fun to play as and she has a great personality. She’s cheerful, nice, mature, smart, and always willing to help people out when they are in trouble. And no matter what happens to her, she never loses sight of her goal and keeps on going. However, she’s at one point in the game forced to wonder if her actions are doing her friends more harm than good and is willing to question what needs to be done in order to protect them. But when it becomes clear to her what she needs to do, she’ll do it, whether it’s for the sake of her friends or even planet Avalice itself. And then there’s Carol. Carol is a snarky, energetic, and adventurous wildcat who longs for the simple things in life like a mansion, worldwide fame, and more money than she’d know what to do with. But she ultimately sticks by her best friend, Sash Lilac and helps her out when things get rough for her. Even when she felt like she shouldn’t be putting herself in danger just to be with Lilac, she ultimately decides to act to help her out when she needs her. Always caring for Lilac and Milla, Carol, despite her impulsive behavior, often acts as a voice of reason to Lilac and occasionally calls her out on being too reckless. But in the end, she still rises up for Lilac and Milla when they are in danger. I’d talk about Milla too, but she’s not exactly on the exact same level as Carol and Lilac. While she is capable, she’s not a hardened warrior like Lilac and Carol are. She is still lovable though. Judith from Tales of Vesperia: Now, I really love this lady. She’s a very strong and independent woman who fights big scary monsters and has fun while doing it. Her carefree attitude makes her incredibly lovable and she’s definitely not afraid of any monster or corrupt warrior that gets in her way. In fact, she’s more than happy to take them down, and relishes every battle she partakes in. She also cares very deeply for her new friends in the party after she joins them as we constantly see her offer comfort and consolation to her fellow teammates like Estelle, Karol, and Rita. She’s like the mom/big sister of the team and the skits featuring her have a lot of great dialogue between her and the rest of the team. She starts off being more distant from other people after she lost her father at a young age but as she journeys on with Yuri and his friends, she warms up to them and opens up to them more. One of the most heartwarming moments in the entire game was when she and the rest of the team was about to leave Myorzo after visiting for the first time, the elder says to Judith, “You don’t need to shoulder such a burden. Haven’t you suffered enough?” Judith replys by saying, “Thank you, Elder, but I’m not suffering anymore. If you went into the outside world, you might understand too.” I loved that part. To me, it meant that all the pain she endured since she lost her dad has now finally dissipated all because she now has a new family. And it’s always great to see people rise above despair and move forward with faith in their hearts. Plus, Judith is the most mature member of the party. Whereas Estelle and Rita are girls, Judith is a full-on woman. Now, I know that she has large breasts and wears skimpy clothing which is why I want to briefly discuss a certain criteria that Snowy_One set up for this discussion: Yeah, I really want to call bullshit on this rule he put up right here and now. I have major major issues with people claiming that a female character cannot be a positive image for women simply because they have large breasts and/or skimpy outfits and therefore are “sexualized.” As far as I’m concerned, that is slut-shaming, which I find very misogynistic. It doesn’t matter how well written a woman is, or how smart and capable she is, or even if if all her sexuality is completely under her control, as long as she is sexual in any way, shape or form, people like Snowy_One dismiss her as a bad character in any way shape or form. It’s like women should never be allowed to be comfortable and confident with their own bodies or their sexuality and should never embrace being sexy and to me that just infantilizes women. Any woman that owns her sexuality should be allowed to and scolding her for it is harmful to women and that’s why I think this criteria that Snowy_One put here should be called out on. Sexy women is often called sexist because of the claim that it just panders to male sexuality and I find that to be very misandric as it demonizes the sexual preferences of straight males. Plus, Christina Hoff Sommers put it best when she said, “Spectators are able to gaze at a woman’s beauty and also identify with her on a human level. Many men, not all of them, but many, do like images of beautiful, sexy women. Why shame them for this? Now, traditionally, women, gays, and trans-people have been policed and humiliated for their sexuality. That is wrong. Today at least in some feminist circles, it’s open season on the sexual preferences of straight males. That’s also wrong.” So this shames both men who like to look at sexy women and women who like to be sexy. Condemning a woman, fictional or real, on how she dresses is just bigoted and Snowy_One is being degrading to women by policing them on how to dress or express their sexuality. That’s my issue with this criteria here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FzQ4QG51x4I&feature=youtu.be Snowy_One does take women like Judith and Bayonetta and puts them into a “Positive but fail the criteria/debatable” list which I find to be damning with faint praise. As far as I’m concerned, he should take that “criteria” and throw it into the dumpster because I think it’s degrading to women. Any woman who is proud of her sexuality and appearance shouldn’t be criticized for it and any woman who does get criticized for it should shrug it all off and remain unashamed and Judith has that in spades, which is yet another reason as to why I love her so much. There. I’ve had my rant. In fact, not only is Judith proud of her appearance and sexuality, she encourages Estelle and Rita to be proud of theirs as well. Even though they are not nearly as well-endowed as she is. And that’s truly admirable as in real life, a woman’s insecurity over her sexuality leads to her ranting about hot ladies in fiction like Judith herself. The female protagonists of Odin Sphere: All three of these women are princesses but none of them are your typical damsel in distress. Along with the two male leads, Cornelius and Oswald, Princesses Gwendolyn, Mercedes, and Velvet help to fuel Odin Sphere’s story while also being compelling and endearing characters in their own right. Let’s start with Gwendolyn. Starting off, she, while a fearsome warrior on the battlefield, was longing for her father’s approval. Keep in mind that her father is the demon lord Odin himself. So, Gwendolyn would be incredibly desperate to prove to him that she’s worthy of being one of his valkyrie warriors. After failing to please her father and earn his approval despite helping him win the war over the Crystallization Cauldron, she went out into the forest and had a brief fight with Velvet, another one of Odin’s daughters. Odin, however, intervened and got them to stop, and while Gwendolyn felt crushed over Odin showed Velvet affection despite the fact that Velvet hates Odin’s guts and blames him for her mom’s death, whereas Gwendolyn, who is loyal to Odin always gets the short shrift. When one of Odin’s generals, Brigan betrays and blackmails Odin and decides to execute Velvet, Gwendolyn in her last attempt to get Odin’s approval, rescues Velvet and kills Brigan. However, she gets punished instead, to go into a sleep, and the man who wakes her up will be her wife. Thankfully, the person who woke him up was Oswald, who despite being one of her enemies on their last encounter, cared about Gwendolyn and called Odin out on using her as a tool to get his dirty work done. And unlike the husbands of other former valkyries who are taken from their warrior positions forever, Oswald wanted Gwendolyn to remain strong and brave just like before. And karma greatly rewarded him for that too when she saved him from getting killed by an all powerful dragon who was still in its infancy, and then she saved him from Odette, queen of the netherworld. And to get into the netherworld, Gwendolyn turned the tables on Odin and used him as a tool to achieve her goal. After falling in love with and then marrying Oswald, she abandoned her desperation to gain Odin’s approval and accepted the love of someone who loves her just for being herself. And she saved the world from that exact same dragon in its adult form. Need I say more? Then there’s Mercedes the fairy princess. When her mother died, Mercedes struggled to learn how to become the new queen of the fairies, but she kept struggling to learn how to become a queen. And for a great reason too. Her mom died before she could properly teach her about the benefits and burdens of royalty, so not only was she crowned queen when she wasn’t ready for it, she had nobody to help her get ready. Some of her fellow subjects tried to help, but she was overthrown by a jealous magistrate named Melvin, and so she rallied freedom fighters to fight back against him. When she does, she becomes more accustomed to leadership, and even takes the fight to Odin, who killed her mom. And after defeating him, (she didn’t kill him, though) she became a much more confident queen and a braver warrior as well. And finally, there’s Velvet. Now, I know what Snowy_One is thinking, “Velvet can’t be a positive representation of women she’s too sexualized.” Well, I hope he hears me out. Velvet, unlike the rest of the cast, is aware that there’s an evil plot that would cause the apocalypse. Throughout her story, Velvet does everything she could to figure out how to put a stop to armageddon and does everything she could to find the answers she seeks. She constantly faces hardships and adversity, but in the end, she never loses hope and keeps on going to keep finding what she needs to stop the apocalypse, even standing against her undead grandfather and attempting to thwart his schemes. And in the end, she fights the cauldron and puts a stop to its evil spell. On a side-note, she also stands up to her overly-protective twin brother Ingway whenever he starts trying to keep her away from Cornelius, whom she is in love with and vice versa. She frequently calls him out whenever he gets patronizing and even becomes rebellious towards him. Plus, she helps out a bunch of Pooka villagers. Charlotte Aulin from Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin: Charlotte is easily the best character in the game. She’s a powerful mage who can summon powerful spells that aid her and Jonathan in combat and in puzzle solving and she’s not afraid to help bring Jonathan back to his senses when he gets too impulsive. She’s also very smart and helps provide strategies with Jonathan being more of the muscle of the duo. But even by herself, Charlotte is deadly in battle with such spells as hurricanes, fire, ice fangs, and the like. Plus, she’s cheerful and optimistic but knows to take danger seriously and let’s face it, Jonathan wouldn’t have stopped Dracula if it weren’t for her.
What about the series draws you in? For me its the various lores, characters, mechanics and differences that each game has, the formula doesn't really feel stale at all. I also like how IS isn't afraid to try new things to see if they work (see Radiant Dawn and some of their mechanics in Fates, for a more recent look. and See the Kaga Era for alot of bizarre concepts attempted as well.)