My Favorite Women in Video Games: Samus Aran
Games she appeared in: Primarily in the Metroid series and Super Smash Brothers, but also makes cameo and easter egg appearances in too many video games to list.
Is she being rescued/saved as a key plot point: In her first appearance, Samus’ gender was kept hidden for most of the game. The series chooses not to focus on her gender but instead to focus on the fact she is awesome.
For our video game BFF date, we would: Have a long discussion about why I need my own Power Suit.
With an awesome suit of armor, an interesting backstory, and some of the coolest powers in all of video games, Samus Aran of the Metroid series is an icon of Nintendo games and a favorite of gamers of all ages. Raised by an alien race and infused with their DNA, the orphaned Samus is trained to be a warrior and given her Power Suit. Later becoming a bounty hunter assisting the Galactic Police Federation, the Power Suit and her history drive her towards taking down criminals and fighting the Metroids.
For myself, Samus Aran is the first video game character that got me to question my own gender bias as a gamer. When you play a Metroid game, the fact that Samus is a female is not obvious and when I was just an outside observer of the game, I did assume that the protagonist of the series was male. When you do find out she is female in the first game, it resets your expectation of what that means. Her femininity isn’t questioned or highlighted through anatomical armor, but instead is an achievement for the player to unlock and is a quality that is coincidental rather than the focus. She isn’t just a great female character, she is a admirable hero.