10 Best Female Protagonists On The GBA | Screen Rant

As one of the best-selling handheld consoles, it's no surprise that the Game Boy Advance has a large catalog of impressive titles including Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga, The Legend of Zelda: Minish Cap, and Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow. Within this sea of games, however, female protagonists would remain extremely rare until the release of the Nintendo DS.

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Despite this, there are a few memorable female characters in the console's vast library. Even if they're not the center of the narrative, these women still shine and should be remembered.

Developed by Neverland, who were most known for creating the Rune Factory and Lufia franchises, CIMA: The Enemy, or Frontier Stories in Japan, is a 2003 isometric action JRPG. As rookie Gate Guardians, the two co-protagonists, Ark and Ivy, must protect humans from an alien race called CIMA that feeds on human hope.

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At the start of the game, Ivy is arrogant and immature, which makes her a perfect foil to Ark. During the early levels, the two protagonists constantly fight each other over trivial matters such as who is older, braver, or more capable. But, over time, Ivy matures and realizes the important responsibilities she must carry so that she can protect others.

Released in 2002, Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire began the third generation of Pokémon games and are the top best-selling games on the GBA, and the 2004 enhanced version, Pokémon Emerald, is the third best-selling GBA title. These games broke from the ongoing storyline established by the previous generations and introduced a separate region, Hoenn, and plenty of new beloved Pokémon.

In this installment, the main female protagonist is May, and she is either the silent protagonist if the player chooses her or the main rival. As the rival and daughter of Professor Birch, her ultimate goal is to take care of and befriend all Pokémon, which shows her kind and nurturing nature. Though she can be a bit awkward, she's cheerful, friendly, and a great trainer.

Although the JRPG series Summon Night had existed in Japan since 2000, the main games didn't have international releases until 2015. Before that, the only titles that were officially translated were the spin-offs, which includes the 2003 action JRPG Summon Night: Swordcraft Story. Three years after the legendary Craftlord of Iron, Shintetsu, sacrificed his life to save Wystern, his child decides to enter the Craftlord tournament and become a Craftlord.

At the start, players can choose to either be the male protagonist, Cleru, or the female protagonist, Pratty. Although she is a bit clumsy, Pratty is kind, energetic, cheerful, and strong. Also, unlike Cleru, who can only date the female characters, Pratty can also have a male and female love interest, making her one of the few LGBTQ+ characters on the GBA.

Considered to be one of the best Final Fantasy spin-offs, Final Fantasy Tactics Advance is a 2003 tactical JRPG that takes place in the "Ivalice" universeAfter discovering an ancient magical book, Marche Radiuju, his brother, and their two friends find themselves wishing they could live within the Final Fantasy universe to escape their hardships. The book grants their wish and transports them to the fantasy world of Ivalice.

Although Marche believes they should find a way home, the other three try to stay within the fantasy, which includes the brash and outspoken Ritz Malheur. Despite their contrasting goals and Ritz's outwardly cold demeanor, she is the only one out of the three to still help Marche when he needs it (which shows her kindness). Because she has been bullied for her white hair, she dyes her hair red and tries to act tough to hide her insecurities. But, she eventually learns to accept herself.

Created by Camelot, who is known for the Shining and Mario Sports franchises, Golden Sun and Golden Sun: The Lost Age are two GBA JRPGs that, together, make one complete story. When the main character, Isaac, discovers that several characters are trying to bring Alchemy back by using the elemental stars to light the elemental houses, he gathers a party to stop them from unleashing the chaotic power.

One of Isaac's party members is a young woman named Mia, who is one of the last surviving descendants of the ancient Mercury Clan. She always tries to help others with her exceptional healing abilities, and she is the most logical member of Isaac's party. When Mia has to make a tough choice at the end of the second game, she has the emotional and moral strength to make the right decision.

Although never released outside of Japan, the 2006 JRPG Mother 3 is often considered a revolutionary title, has a strong cult following, and has an English fan translation. As the third and final installment of the Mother series, the game follows a young boy named Lucas who gathers a party of misfits to stop the Pigmask Army from pulling the seven Needles.

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One of the party members that joins Lucas on his journey is Princess Kumatora, who the game describes as "strong and wise." She is cunning, not afraid to say what she thinks, and impulsive. Despite her rough edges, she does care about the other characters and has great characterization.

Although the action JRPG Tales of Phantasia was the first entry in the ongoing Tales franchise and was originally released in 1995 for the Super Famicom, this installment wasn't released internationally until the GBA port in 2006. The game follows a young swordsman named Cress Albane, who must use time travel to gather the party and spirits strong enough to stop the powerful alien sorcerer Dhaos.

One of Cress' party members is a half-elf named Arche Klein. She is an exceptionally strong magician and intelligent, but she also faces discrimination because of her mixed heritage. Despite her struggles, she has a cheerful and playful personality.

Created as the eighth entry in the Fire Emblem series and the last of the GBA trilogy, Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones is a 2004 tactical JRPG and the second installment to be released internationally. When the Grado Empire begins invading the other nations and destroying the stones that imprison an ancient demon, the twins, Princess Eirika and Prince Ephraim, must gather allies, stop the Grado Empire, and uncover the truths behind the war.

Considered to be one of the best RPG female protagonists, Eirika is a strong, intelligent, kind, and resourceful woman. Unlike her impulsive brother, who enjoys a good battle, Eirika prefers to keep a level head and solve things peacefully.

From 2001 to 2004, the popular legal drama visual novel adventure series Ace Attorney began with the original trilogy on the GBA. In these games, the player controls a young rookie defense attorney named Phoenix Wright as he defends his clients in court and solves cases.

Although Phoenix has had multiple people support him during investigations throughout the franchise, the spirit medium-in-training Maya Fey was the main assistant during the original trilogy. She is excitable, outgoing, impulsive, curious, resilient, and loves food. While she experiences the trauma and grief of losing her sister, Mia Fey, during the first game, she continues moving forward and eventually becomes a mature and powerful spirit medium.

Metroid Fusion is an action-adventure game released in 2002 that was the last side-scrolling game in the Metroid series until the 2021 sequel Metroid Dread. After the franchise's iconic protagonist, Samus Aran, is infected by the shape-shifting parasites called "X," she has to stop her parasitic clone "SA-X" and other infected beings who have taken over the station.

Though Samus is usually more of a silent protagonist, Metroid Fusion showed more of her personality. Because she witnessed the Space Pirate Ridley murder her mother, the trauma has caused Samus to be more quiet, melancholic, and distant. Despite this, she is determined, resilient, resourceful, and compassionate, and she refuses to take orders from most people.

NEXT: 10 Best And Most Iconic Metroidvania Characters, Ranked

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