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There is 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 (way back in 1987!), choosing her for the top spot was a no-brainer.
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)
With so many strong female characters, is it any wonder that the RPG genre has long had a larger female demographic than just about any other genre in console gaming?