Girl in the Machine
Monday, May 5, 2008
The Horror Heroine Effectiveness Scale, Part 4

(Check out Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 of the scale!)

How it works: For the next few weeks, I'll be serving up two rankings every Monday. Since this is a scale, we'll be going from number 10 -- the absolutely least effective Survival Horror heroine out there -- all the way to number 1 -- the greatest of the great.

4. Aya Brea

Appears In: Parasite Eve (PS1, 1998), Parasite Eve II (PS1, 2000)
Horror Effectiveness: Cool Under Fire
Rationale: So poor Aya's pretty much suffered through the Worst Christmas Ever. What's a girl to do when her mediocre date at Carnegie Hall is rudely interrupted by the spontaneous combustion of every member in the audience? Yank a handgun from her evening gown and kick some ass, of course!

Aya, a detective for the 17th Precinct of the NYPD, spends her six days of Christmas hell battling horribly deformed animals, navigating around wriggling burn victims, and chasing an Opera Singer Slash Mitochrondria Mutant Who Also Artificially Inseminates Herself With Super Sperm, all without breaking a sweat. Parasite Eve's kickass battle system succeeds where Koudelka fails: combining the best of RPG experienced-based leveling, hybrid turn-based / real time battles, and weapon customization with some serious Survival Horror atmosphere. When your game features one of the most disturbing cutscenes in PS1 history -- the mutating rat, anyone? -- you know you've got a winner.

Our half Caucasian, half Japanese heroine ends up playing One-Woman Army for the NYPD due to some special mitochondria that protects her from the immolating fun of antagonist Eve. Along the way, she's given a helping hand by her partner, Daniel Dollis, and a scientist named Kunihiko Maeda, both of whom ultimately must leave the fighting up to her. No worries, however -- Aya's not only tough enough to give Eve her due, she also single-handedly delivers a nuke and contends with the birth of the Ultimate Being, all with enough time to catch another opera when everything's said and done.

The Bottom Line: If you were stepping over the twitching bodies of the crispy dead with her, you'd best listen and put on some comfy shoes when she says the next stop is the Chrysler Building.

3. Jill Valentine

Appears In: The Resident Evil series
Horror Effectiveness: Undead-Erasing Expert
Rationale: Allow me to introduce the Queen of Zombie-Stomping, the Empress of Unlocking, the Czarina of Bomb Disposal, a woman who really needs no introduction, Survival Horror's most famous heroine, Jill Valentine. Ms. Valentine first avoided becoming a Jill Sandwich in 1996's Resident Evil, and her adventures continue today in the headshot-happy rail shooter, Umbrella Chronicles. She's also starred in three Horrifying For A Totally Different Reason feature length films, and is the most recognizable character besides the window-crashing zombie dogs of the RE series. Go, Jill!

Ah, so many good times to remember. Splattering zombie craniums in the Umbrella mansion. Fleeing from Nemesis in a miniskirt and tube top. Totally out-cooling Chris Redfield's scenario by finding the bazooka and then going to town on some Hunters, Rambo-style. The list goes on and on.

Many Survival Horror fans my age cut their teeth on the first Resident Evil. Despite the crippled difficulty level of Jill's scenario and her shared screen time with Chris, our Lady Zombie Killer Extraordinaire remains more recognizable -- and more popular -- than her male counterpart to this day. Specially trained in the US Delta Force, a natural crack-shot and lock-picking master, she's one hundred percent badass even with a goofy sweatshirt tied around her waist.

The Bottom Line: If you were staring down a scary-ass Crimson Head with her, you'd best just step back and let her trusty bazooka do the talking.

We're at the end of the line, folks! Stop by next Monday for the very last installment of our spooky scale, and meet my top two picks for the most effective heroines in all of Survival Horror!

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 Posted by BomberGirl
 10:04 AM + Link to this post
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