Generic Atelier Heroine (Atelier series)

RPGamer presents Real Heroes of Gaming!

Today we salute you, Generic Atelier Heroine! You're a hardworking, dedicated young lady, and we say that knowing that there's a slightly better than 80% chance that you are a girl, and even if you're not, you are definitely some girl's deuteragonist sorta-platonic love interest, but anyway...

Unlike all those other Generic RPG Heroes out there, you don't have time for all that angst and dark, broody silence. No! There are important things to make and do, and almost certainly not enough time in life to finish them all. But you've got moxie, dreams, friendship, and... and... and PIE! A young lady who's got all that is going places, is determined, is so much the very definition of a Determinator that she might as well be the theoretical love-child of Pollyana and the T-1000. So go get 'em, Generic Atelier Heroine. Make those bombs, fry those monsters, and never forget that today's obstacles are tomorrow's ingredients. Who needs a shiny new Infinity+1 sword when you've got high explosives? — Michael Baker

Yew Geneolgia (Bravely Second: End Layer)

If there is one word that can describe Bravely Second: End Layer's Yew Geneolgia, it is "adorkable." Yew is as cute as a button with his baby face, naivete, geeky tendencies and awkwardness. Though Yew initially presents himself as a brave knight, he is easily flustered and terrified of ghosts and heights. He may be the captain of the Three Cavaliers assigned to protect Pope Agnès, but he is actually very studious and intelligent with stats more geared towards magic than swordsmanship. Yew likely would have become a scholar if family circumstances had happened differently. It's these personality traits that make Yew stand out in a sea of generic nice guy JRPG lead protagonists.

That's not to say that Yew doesn't do heroic things. His inquisitiveness helps out the party on a number of occasions, such as when he and Magnolia discover the secret to how Sagitta Village can float in the sky, simultaneously braving his fear of heights. He is very disheartened when he learns about his family's unsavory history, but this makes him reassess his views and become a braver and more assertive person. He often relies on the strength, abilities, and wisdom of his friends, but while this is common among RPG heroes, the way he interacts with Magnolia, Edea, Tiz, and NPCs is genuine. Yew's English voice actor Michael Sinterniklaas needs to be commended for his part in making him an engaging and very likable hero. Michael portrays Yew's nuances superbly with his performance, whether the boy is panicky, having an amusing conversation with the party, babbling incoherently when his crush on Magnolia is brought up, or giving a unique pep talk during the final boss fight. — Cassandra Ramos

Recette (Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale)

Recette is a character we can all relate to. She's an entrepreneur hoping to make bank so she can ride off in a sexy sports car, fanning dollar bills as she whips by.

Actually, she's a young item shop owner who has to go spelunking for items to sell because she's completely afraid of becoming homeless. Living in constant fear that she will end up in a box, Recette is a unique heroine given that she is an everyday woman. Shy, but a shrewd businesswoman, Recette just wants to succeed in life without feeling as though she is a complete failure. She's lovable, funny, and reminds us that heroines in RPGs aren't necessarily ones that have to save the world — sometimes they just need to save themselves.

Striving towards "Captailism, Ho!" Recette remains memorable because she is someone that many of us see ourselves in, for better or worse. — Sam Wachter

Zero (Drakengard 3)

Zero, from Drakengard 3, is a unique case of a heroine in that she is both the hero and the villain, and the game repeatedly changes the player's perception of exactly what her role is. The most powerful of six goddess sisters who watch over the world, the game begins with Zero on a quest to kill the others. On the way, the violent and short-tempered Zero casually murders countless humans protecting the goddesses. Zero is seen as a monstrous villain by every human she encounters, most of whom are terrified of her but reluctantly face her in battle out of loyalty to her sisters.

But Zero wasn't always a murderous goddess. Zero's story began as an unwanted child with an abusive mother who often beat her badly and, while still a child, sold her into prostitution. Eventually Zero killed everyone in the brothel and escaped, leading a life of stealing and aimlessly killing so many people that she lost count. She contracted a deadly disease that killed her and, as she took her last breath, an evil force, in the form of a flower, took root within her and revived her into a goddess. Zero soon discovered that the flower aimed to destroy everything. To prevent this she tried to kill herself, but the flower wouldn't let her die. She tried to yank out the flower, but the flower panicked and created copies of Zero — her so-called sisters. From this perspective, Zero's murderous rampage to kill her sisters, herself, and the flower, is at least self-sacrificial if not outright heroic.

In her quest she also befriends the dragon Michael, powerful and practical like Zero and the only being she learns to trust and respect. When Michael dies and is reincarnated as the young dragon Mikhail, Zero also finds her mothering side. Unsurprisingly favoring tough love, she nevertheless deeply cares for Mikhail both as a mother and as a close friend, and offers much more than she was offered as a child. Where in every other sense Zero is unquestionably a murdering monster, her relationship with Michael help her find some small semblance of humanity.

After Zero's sisters are killed, the flower overtakes Zero. She transforms into a gray, gigantic version of herself growing out of a flower. Mikhail is the new hero and Zero is the game's final boss and main villain. When Zero is defeated she is sealed away, and the game hints that she may come back eventually. Interestingly, Zero looks and moves very similarly to the Grotesquerie Queen, the main villain in Drakengard, and both share the 'power of song' which originates from the flower. In that sense, Zero may not only be the villain of her own game, but also of others.

Zero is a very confusing character. She was tortured and hurt as a child, and in turn learns to hurt others. She doesn't hate others, and often gives those who get in her way the opportunity to escape. But those who don't are cut down without a second thought. She is simultaneously the main hero and the main villain of her game, and potentially the villain of other games. She knows she is irredeemable, yet wants to sacrifice her life and immortality to save a world whose inhabitants she cares little about. When taking all sides of her story together, Zero comes across as someone desensitized to violence and death who nevertheless cares about the world and others enough to sacrifice herself in spite of that. — Charalampos (Harry) Papadimitriou

« Page 1 | Page 3 »

© 1998-2017 RPGamer All Rights Reserved
Privacy Policy