pre-FF VII
FF VII
FF X
FF X-2

Meet Rosa Farrel. She joins your party as she meets with her main squeeze, the lead character of Cecil Harvey. She hails from Final Fantasy IV (released in 1991) and mainly battles as a white mage healer, the basic role for most women in these platforms, when she's around to be in any fights. Her specialty in the game is the ability to scream (er, or in this case, to scroll the words across the screen) "Oh, save me Cecil!" Rosa is not a strong woman; she is depicted as a kind of coward and constantly falls into some sort of trouble, always coming to the point where you must rescue her as the main hero.

This by no means was a unique ability among women characters at the time. Anyone familiar with popular gaming culture knows about the plight of Princess Zelda in Legend of Zelda (hero saves damsel in distress), and Princess Toadstool was a thorn in Mario's side frequently in his numerous adventures. At this time this was the accepted role of women: to fall into the hands of the enemy in their colorful gowns and emit helpless shrieks of silent "help me!"s across the land to their strong male counterparts. In most cases it was the plot of the entire game. Final Fantasy at least had an interesting, complex story line (part of the reason this massively popular series has lasted over the years) and did not solely focus on the rescuing of silly Rosa and her need to open doors to strangers.

For many years, this is how gaming began. Women were included in games and Final Fantasy was no different; every Final Fantasy installment had their weak female character to put up with and to have a romantic encounter with. To be fair, all of the Final Fantasy women were not Rosas, but their stories were never as intricate as those of the characters of the men.