After playing a little too much Legend of Zelda, we realized that the videogame costume shouldn’t really be clothing—it should be an expression of the character in which they can get the job done. Just like you wouldn’t wear a pantsuit to yoga, a Pokémon gym leader wouldn’t wear something precious in a battle against Gyarados. But at the same time, a kidnapped princess isn’t going to have time to change into something more comfortable. So if you can kick butt in heels, game ladies, by all means, do. Here are some ladies that defy dressing conventions and still stay true to their style, while kicking butt and taking names.
10. Kairi— Kingdom Hearts series
Sweet, loyal love interest Kairi goes from the classic nineties cami + miniskirt combo in Chain of Memories to the keyblade-wielding heroine of Kingdom Hearts 2. with longer hair and less multi-zippered minidresses, Kairi takes on a more mature look as the series continues. Yes, she’s a little less elegant than the other princess of heart (read: Disney Princesses), but she’s also got a little bit more to deal with in terms of, you know, staving off darkness and such.
9. Elizabeth— BioShock Infinite
Adding to the gothy, circus vibes we expect from the BioShock games are the wardrobe sensibilities of damsel-turned-telekinetic powerhouse Elizabeth, who begins the game in a long-skirted look reminiscent of Belle from Beauty and the Beast. Halfway through the game, however, she’s replaced her flowy blouse with a corset-bolero jacket combo, a look that is supposed to convey her increased agency in the game. We see her again in BioShock: Burial At Sea embracing the look of a gilded age New Woman—her cropped hair curled, her lips painted, and a seriously sexy white blouse and brooch.
8. Princess Daisy— Mario Baseball, Tennis and Golf
The early games in this series had Daisy taking on the poofy skirts and sleeves made famous by her counterpart, Peach. Mario Power Tennis introduces a much sportier Daisy, her princess dress replaced by a mod shorts and shell getup. She retains this outfit for the Mario Baseball games, Strikers and Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games. However, for Mario Tennis Open Daisy is in an updated minidress that’s equally cute. She must be doing something right, as Peach practically cosplays as her in Super Smash Bros: Brawl.
7. Franziska Von Karma— Ace Attorney series
Franziska became a prosecutor at thirteen, brandishing a riding crop, and claiming revenge for the humiliation of her late father. Five years later, she’s seen in a more mature Victorian blouse, and she’s graduated to a whip as accessory of choice. This girl has devoted her life to making sure everyone knows she’s a badass. And though she has some anger problems, her steampunk military look is simultaneously rough and feminine.
6. Oerba Dia Vanille— Final Fantasy XIII
The sometimes emotional and always powerful Vanille sports a getup that could just as easily be seen at Bonnaroo this summer—maybe without the fur pelt. At one point she’s got a headdress that matches her orange and yellow mini skirt, topping off the look with her layered jewelry. Vanille is basically a magical girl next door, with her skimpy hipster look, pigtails, and careless bangs.
5. Elesa— Pokemon: Black and White
An electric gym leader that’s way more charming than Lt. Surge, Elesa is a fashion model who literally puts you on a roller coaster before you finally see her. She looks anything but bumble bee in her chevron yellow and black mini dress, space helmet haircut and Sailor Moon-like headphone wires. Then, as if she needed an image change, we see her in Black 2 White 2 with black hair, a puffy jacket (is that fur?) and skirted swimsuit. Talk about luxurious.
4. Seeiah Owens— SSX: Tricky
Speaking of luxurious, who doesn’t love the sassy, fur-collared snowboarder Seeiah. She dances down the slopes in her purple gear and makes even the buxom blonde Elise scowl with envy. Though Seeiah only appears in three of the six SSX games, she’s memorable not just because of her disco-tastic outfit, but because her catchphrases are not completely ludicrous.
3. Princess Zelda— Legend of Zelda: Four Swords
We see Zelda at her most elegant in this game, her tiara gold and prominent, playing off her red anime-style headdress. Her gown is equal parts medieval and equestrian couture; with a crest in the front, a high neck, and the drama of her white cape down the back. And yes, though her gown in Twilight Princess is stunning— it’s almost Spartan— we’ll be honest, we’ve always pictured her as a blonde. Did we mention the cape?
2. Xianghua Chai— Soul Calibur series
Nicknamed “Flower in the Breeze,” Xianghua favors tight outfits with flowy, feminine accoutrements. In the first few games of the series, she’s seen in brightly colored capris under dresses or robes, sometimes with a sleek tiara. She graduates to a more masculine blazer and shorts combination for Soul Calibur IV, and despite getting knocked up by her on-again, off-again boyfriend Kilik, ends her role in the series honorably, as a revered warrior and wife of a prestigious general.
1. Ada Wong— Resident Evil 4
Two words describe Ms. Wong’s style: Simple and sexy. As if the slit up her red dress exists just for easy access to her gun holster, Ada is able to do flips and handsprings despite the length of the red dress and the potential strangling that her ribbon choker could cause. Arguably the sexiest character in videogames, we’re especially fond of her consistency in choosing red motif for her outfits.
Who do you think is the chicest chick in gaming? Let us know in the comments!