pre-FF VII
FF X-2

The road for women's rights has been a long one. In 1848, 300 men and women gather in Seneca Falls, New York to sign the Declaration of Sentiments. Their signatures represented a cry for "the end of discrimination against women in all spheres of society." Today, there are still cases for the uphill battle women have had to endure, but in 1848, the thought of a video game evolution never would have crossed their minds.

Stereotypes branded on women cross all spheres, including video games. This is the pastime of our children, and what they see can give them ideas about certain roles of people in society. By no means can video games control their decision-making skills, but stereotypes can emerge from this popular entertainment.

Final Fantasy is a role-playing game, or RPG, developed by Square Co., Ltd and has survived over the length of almost twenty years. The plots of each game do not build off of one another; they are independent games from each other and so introduce new characters with each installment. Over the years, in each game, women have been included as one of the lead characters in the story. As we travel through the timeline of the Final Fantasy games, we can see important differences in the roles of the women. They have moved from being the damsel in distress to being an independent force of their own. The women of Final Fantasy have evolved with the times (moving with the number of women gamers out there) and have had struggles of their own to overcome the stereotypical expectations of women in video games.

I have skipped some important women characters in part of the saga, such as Quistis in Final Fantasy VIII. My study has concentrated on the most popular of the installments; though a research project, this can be read as an editorial. There are facts stated, but by no means would I reject arguments against some of the opinionated expressions. Final Fantasy is a complex piece of art, and much more can always be said about the women in this popular series.