Jan 052012

There’s a cliche that JRPG heroines are all mages and healers but in actuality, there have been a lot of notable female characters who contribute through their skill with weapons more than magic. Although this list only includes 20 individuals it’s by no means comprehensive – there were several noteworthy characters that I ended up cutting.

Note: Although most of the characters on this list are primarily physical warriors, I did make a few exceptions for some hybrids (characters that are good at both physical and magical combat).

Top 20 Best JRPG Warrior Heroines:

20. Momo (Breath of Fire 3) – Inventor with a bazooka.
19. Azel (Panzer Dragoon Saga) – Dragon rider.
18. Lightning (Final Fantasy 13) – Gunblade warrior.
17. Recette (Recettear) – Shopkeeper
16. Alicia (Valkyria Chronicles) – Soldier (Scout class).
15. Aika (Skies of Arcadia) – Boomerang pirate.
14. Aya (Parasite Eve series) – Police officer.
13. Lin (Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter) – Gunslinger.
12. Alena (Dragon Quest 4) – Martial artist princess.
11. Nei (Phantasy Star 2) – Claw fighter.
10. Jean (Lunar: Eternal Blue) – Martial artist dancer.
9. Freya (Final Fantasy 9) – Spear wielding dragoon.
8. Nanami (Suikoden 2) – Martial arts fighter with a multi-piece rod. Step sister of the main charater.
7. Raquel (Wild Arms 4) – Giant sword fighter. Great strength of will.
6. Tifa (Final Fantasy 7) – Martial artist.
5. Alys (Phantasy Star 4) – Boomerang fighter. Mentor, partner, and friend to the main character.
4. Celes (Final Fantasy 6) – Sword wielding general. Practically becomes the main character halfway through the game.
3. Estelle (Trails in the Sky series) – Wields a big stick. Lead character in the series. Great character development.
2. Chie (Persona 4) – Kicks things to death. Great foil to the main character’s best friend, Yosuke.
1. Alis (Phantasy Star 1) – As the first female lead in a JRPG, choosing her for the top spot was a no-brainer.

Notable omissions:

Terra – Celes just barely fit my criteria because despite her being one of the best mages in the game, she was a sword fighting general who only gained magic at a later date through genetic modification. However, the whole point of Terra is her innate magic ability so off the list she goes.

Lucca (Chrono Trigger) – Momo made the list because although she has some powerful magic skills, she is also very strong with a gun. Lucca, on the other hand, is entirely a mage from a gameplay perspective.

Feena (Grandia) – Although IMO, her best move in the game is her fire whip, she’s clearly setup as a mage, both from a gameplay and story perspective.

Bonus feature – Best JRPG mage heroine:

1. Lemina (Lunar: Eternal Blue)
 Posted by at 3:10 pm

  9 Responses to “Top 20 Best JRPG Warrior Heroines”

  1. I’m a little shocked at the omission of Ayla from Chrono Trigger and less shocked by the omissions of Katt from Breath of Fire 2, Agrias from Final Fantasy Tactics, and a huge number of Fire Emblem characters. Interesting list, though. I have to wonder why Recette made the list, since she isn’t a warrior or even a combatant.

  2. Nice list, glad to see Celes made it on.

  3. Many of the characters from Valkyria Chronicles count – after all, it’s all guns and tanks. Alicia is a good character, but maybe she ends up being a mage-type by the end of the game. But Rosie is definitely awesome, nuanced, and (IMHO) the most powerful warrior in the game. (And I’m including the tanks!)

  4. Hmm, a few of my favorites that aren’t listed are Valkyrie from Valkyrie Profile and Choko from the Arc the Lad games.

    Of the Mia vs Lemina thing, it depends what you are in the mood for. Lemina is great for the comic relief and being strong willed, so to say, while Mia has that mature, girl next door vibe going on.

  5. Mega awesome list of the mega-best mages heroines!
    … >_>

  6. I like the list but the lack of Emeralda from Xenogears disappoints me. Although, I understand if she doesn’t count as a true female.

  7. I have nothing to disagree with, except that Mia Ausa resonated with me more than Lemina. But really I was just stopping by to make sure Alis was at the top of the list. You pass.

  8. No Kos-Mos?

  9. But… Sephiroth was the prettiest girl in al of Nibelheim!

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