My Female Gaming Role Models: Yuna

“It would be so easy…to let my fate just carry me away…following this same path my whole life through. But I know…I can’t.

What I do, I do…with no regrets.”

In this post, I’m going to talk about inner strength which I believe is just as powerful as physical strength. Yuna from Final Fantasy X is the embodiment of inner strength, resilience, and sacrifice for the greater good. Her journey to save Spira from Sin was emotionally demanding as  well as physically draining for her. I can’t imagine the turmoil she struggled with internally to continue on her path, no matter how it affected her. Not only that, but she tried to never let her inner conflict affect her outer appearance. She took the term “Always look on the bright side of life” to a completely whole new level.

I will admit when I first played Final Fantasy X I was very skeptical to a lot of the new changes that this title brought. Tidus’ voice acting was enough to make me cringe. Trust me, his character I could have done without. I also looked at Lulu and Rikku as the stronger female types, and Yuna as more of your typical white mage type. Oh great another blah female support character, at least Rikku can steal, and Lulu is a black mage. The more I worked through the story, however, the more I came to realize that Yuna was the strongest in the group, with her determination to sacrifice herself for the greater good, and to do it with a smile on her face. She has so much grace and determination it is a wonder she is not also in the discussion of damsels in distress. She herself is a damsel willingly walking into distress with no expectation of any of her male counterparts to save her. In fact, she tried very hard to exempt them from the same path. She was even going to marry Seymour just to help bring peace to Spira! (I hate that guy!)

Her ability to strive to see the good in people, whether or not it actually exists is another trait that I applaud her for. Even with the racism regarding the Al Bhed, and Wakka’s very strong opinion against the “savages”, she knows that they all want the same thing! Her decision to reach across the thresh hold, again for the greater good, adds to her character significantly. I also liked the realism in Wakka’s racism, since he had no idea that Yuna is half Al Bhed herself! (As a half Korean, I completely related to this aspect of her, especially since you wouldn’t be able to tell such a thing just seeing me walking down the street.) Even though religion was her driving force in the beginning, she defied this indoctrination that she had embraced for so long. To realize your beliefs are false, and to gain strength through that realization is a hard thing to do. Any lesser person would have been in shambles. I think religion is something that everybody struggles with at one point or another in their life. Having your entire belief system turned upside down must have been a very rude awakening.

Yuna is proof that you don’t have to be a Damage Dealer to be considered strong, or a strong character, or a strong female character. Her support and love for her friends and her determination to do what is right, no matter what that actually is, her compassion for others; theses are all traits that make her an amazing role model for any female, girl or woman.

What are your experiences with Yuna? Do you consider her a strong female character?

/bow

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