- From the day when video games developed the graphic capabilities to simulate cleavage, women in games have been designed mostly from the blueprints of a horny 13-year-old boy's fantasy.
If a female character wasn't in need of rescue - yes, we're talking about you, Donkey Kong - she seemed designed specifically to reinforce negative body images.
But there have been a handful of female video game characters that Brandi Chastain would be proud of, with more seeming to appear in recent years. Below are our picks for the nine greatest video game heroines of all time.
Each was chosen by The Chronicle's video game critics, with the list arranged in descending order of awesomeness, and the name of the nominating critic in parenthesis. Only playable characters are included, and they were judged on toughness and coolness, with no swimsuit or evening gown competition. (This isn't the Maxim magazine list of the nine hottest chicks of gaming.)
We considered adding Ms. Pac Man or Thyra the Valkyrie from the arcade classic Gauntlet, but decided to focus on more modern games. Consider both of those older characters the recipients of a lifetime achievement award.
(Tomb Raider, first appearance 1996): We considered leaving Croft off the list altogether because of...