10 Greatest Female JRPG Characters
Are JRPGs coming back?
Square Enix’s announcement that they’ll be remaking FFVII got us thinking about our favorite JRPGs, specifically, our favorite female characters. Here’s our top ten:
10. Ming Numara (Lost Odyssey)
‘Strangest outfit award winner 2007.’
Lost Odyssey is a bit unknown in JRPG circles, which is a shame, because it is a truly great game. The plot was written by the great Hironobu Sakaguchi who created the Final Fantasy series and the game will feel instantly familiar to anyone used to playing the old, turn-based Final Fantasy games.
Ming Numara is the Queen and founder of the country of Numara and one of Lost Odyssey’s four immortal party members. She is a thousand years old at the beginning of the events of Lost Odyssey, and has lost her memories along with the other three immortal characters in the story.
Ming is shown to be a kind and fair monarch, advocating a pacifist approach to her country’s affairs. Her pacifism only seems to extend to affairs concerning her country, Numara, however, which is fortunate because Ming is a powerful spellcaster with a ton of MP and quick cast times.
9. Shiki Misaki (The World Ends with You)
‘I’ll never understand fashion.’
In The World Ends with You, you follow the story of Neku who finds himself in a strange new place called the Underground, which is the setting of the ominous-sounding Reapers’ Game. Neku notices he cannot speak or interact with anyone, until he runs into Shiki.
Players quickly grow to love Shiki as the story progresses and Shiki and Neku try to solve the mysteries of the Underground and survive the Reapers’ Game. Even Neku’s antisocial attitude is no match for Shiki’s earnestness and positivity.
Shiki is also noteworthy because the only way she can fight is by using her stuffed cat, Mr. Mew (who some people say bears a resemblance to Cait Sith from the Final Fantasy games, also by Square Enix). As the story progresses, Mr. Mew even gains the ability to periodically grow to gigantic size and fire lasers beams out of his eyes. That’s not a joke.
8. Sarah Sisulart (Lost Odyssey)
‘She looks sweet, but she’ll nuke you into oblivion.’
Sarah is the third immortal you can recruit to your party in Lost Odyssey and, like them, has also lost her memory of the last thousand years. The way you meet Sarah is one of the most unique ways a character has been introduced in a JRPG. Players will be quickly won over by her great backstory and sweet personality.
Besides being a memorable character, Sarah is also a very powerful spellcaster, boasting very fast casting times, magical attack power, and max MP. Being an immortal, Sarah is also capable of learning every type of magic in the game, making her a valuable addition to your party.
7. Marle (Chrono Trigger)
‘Proof that not all healers carry staves and wands.’
Marle is actually the Princess of Guardia who gets bored of her rich, pampered existence and sneaks out to check out the Millennial Fair at the start of the events of Chrono Trigger. Her pendant is the cause of Lucca’s teleporter malfunction which is responsible for sending the party back in time, beginning the events of the game.
Marle has the best healing techs of any other character enabling her to keep your party fighting in top form. Be sure to protect her though as she has low health and can’t take much punishment. Marle is a fun and mischievous character whose personality is the cause of much of the excitement in the game.
6. Seth Balmore (Lost Odyssey)
‘You know, just because it’s called armor doesn’t mean you can only wear it on your arms.’
There is a reason why three characters from the same game made it to this list: Because Lost Odyssey’s character writing was phenomenal. Seth Balmore is the first immortal to join your crew and she is no joke. She even survived a damn meteor crashing into a battlefield at the start of the game!
While Seth is not the most powerful character in the game, she can attack and use magic fairly well and she’s pretty fast to boot making her a flexible member of your team. She fills a somewhat unconventional role of being a frontline physical damage dealer/supporter. She’s a bit of a jack of all trades, master of none.
Seth, like Ming and Sarah, lost her memories of the last thousand years for some unknown reason before the start of the game. We suggest you take the time to read the short stories which show up in the Thousand Years of Dreams sequences because not only are they great, some give some heart-wrenching backstory on Seth along with the other immortal characters. Let’s just say that being an immortal, but not all-powerful has some serious drawbacks.
5. Tifa Lockhart (Final Fantasy VII)
‘She will beat you to death with her fists.’
Tifa is surprisingly strong and prefers to fight without weapons. She is a friend of Cloud Strife and they both come from the same hometown. We love Tifa for memorable blend of shyness and supportiveness.
In the game, Tifa is a strong hand-to-hand combatant with the potential to have the second highest strength of any character in the game. Tifa has, as many people know, become an object of infatuation for a large number of gamers and speculation about her character design for the upcoming remake of Final Fantasy VII has been the source of a fair bit of drama across the internet.
4. Lightning Farron (Final Fantasy XIII)
‘The pink hair is just to distract you while she cuts you up into tiny, little pieces.’
Lightning is the main female protagonist of Final Fantasy XIII and while initially being quiet and aloof, she eventually grows to trust her companions and becomes leader of the group. She also has the coolest weapon of any of the characters on our list. Final Fantasy is great at inventing cool weapons and they definitely achieved that with Lightning’s gunblades.
The gunblade reflects Lightning’s status as a well-rounded character. She serves equally well as a melee fighter, ranged damager, or a medic.
3. Lucca (Chrono Trigger)
‘Pictured: The biggest technological genius in any game, ever.’
Lucca is not only a fantastic character, she is also directly responsible for kicking off the events which start Chrono Trigger. As we all know, nothing good happens right after someone invents a teleporter. Lucca’s teleporter malfunctions and opens a rift in time which sends the party back to the Middle Ages.
‘Should there be a wormhole there? Because I feel like there shouldn’t be a wormhole there.’
Lucca is also noteworthy for being responsible for the addition of another party member later in the game. Lucky for us Terra can fix practically anything. Even technology from hundreds of years in the future is no match for her nimble mind and keen intellect.
2. Mitsuru Kirijo (Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3)
‘I feel like people who lead execution squads usually look much more menacing.’
Mitsuru Kirijo is the unofficial leader of SEES (that’s the Specialized Extracurricular Execution Squad for those unfamiliar), which is an extracurricular club at Kirijo’s high school. Apparently Japanese high schools are pretty liberal with the kinds of clubs their students start. I feel like any students trying to start a club ending with “execution squad” would get put on some kind of list somewhere and expelled in America, but I digress.
We love Mitsuru Kirijo even if she is a bit of a Mary Sue (she’s the student council president, the leader of SEES, valedictorian, and member of the fencing team). We don’t want to spoil anything, but Kirijo turns out to be a much deeper and more complex character than she sounds. Kirijo’s decision to be her own person and break the hold her family name has on her makes her an unforgettable character.
1. Celes Chere (Final Fantasy VI)
‘All the other pictures were sprites.’
General Celes Chere is arguably the main protagonist of the amazing Final Fantasy VI. The majority of critics hold that Terra is the main protagonist, but there are convincing arguments for Celes being the protagonist as well. Regardless, Celes is a great character.
Celes was a general in the evil Emperor Gestahl’s army who became troubled by the direction being taken by the Empire. Her crimes were never fully explained, though they were serious enough to brand her a traitor and be shipped off to South Figaro to be executed. She is saved by the thief, Locke, and joins up with the player’s band of characters.
In the game, Celes may not be able to unleash the same destructive power as Terra, but she has other redeeming qualities such as being a surprisingly good opera singer. I’m not joking.
For all you Malaysian gamers, be sure to check out Video Games Live Set to Rock Malaysia and the World, Video Games Live: 5 Reasons Why You Should Attend The World’s Greatest Video Game Music Concert, and Video Games Live: The World’s Greatest Video Game Music Concert.
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