JRPGs led by the ladies

Seeing the thread title I thought this would be about JRPGs whose lead developers were women, and although I realized my error, I'll mention the game that came immediately to mind, which also somewhat fits the prompt here.


Tradegood has sung the Fire Emblem song, and I would add a harmonic line to it. Radiant Dawn (FE10) is indeed a direct sequel to Path of Radiance (FE9), which regrettably does not fit the theme as nicely (and is a 40-hour prologue for its sequel). As mentioned, one of FE10's main protagonists is a girl, Micaiah, but you also take control of a number of other factions throughout the game, with several leading ladies among them, including:

  • the queen of Ike’s home state

  • the queen of the wolf tribe

  • the leader of the mercenary band from FE9

  • the leader of the royal pegasus knights

  • the empress herself (there is no emperor)

You want strategy? You want queens? This is your game.

And a bunch of other cool characters of course. There is also a secret super woman later on. Don‘t want to oversell the game on a false premise, half the main characters are men, but this game here’s got a secret spice going on. Worth looking into I'd say

In any case, when it came to mind I was thinking not of characters, but of the developers:

  • director: Taeko Kaneda (director of FE7, game designer for FE9)
  • assistant director, lead level designer, character designer: Sachiko Wada (director and character illustrator of FE8, portrait artist for all GBA games, and level designer for FE9)
  • sound supervisor: Yuka Tsujiyoko (composer of every track in the first six games in the series, and most of the tracks in 7 (the remaining ones in that case composed by Saki Kasuga))
  • character illustrations, portrait design: Senri Kita (character illustrations in FE9)
  • music composition: Chika Sekigawa, Naoto Miyatake, Naoko Mitome, Yoshito Sekigawa (:male_sign:)

I can see how one would think that (and that could be another interesting thread in its own right)! I mostly got stuck on the alliteration while I was coming up with a thread title, lol

This is my kind of lady, I love her already

The good news re: Fire Emblem is that I ultimately did decide on picking up Three Houses, which will now serve as my introduction to the series after many long years of it existing in my peripheral vision—once it arrives on my doorstep, anyway! If I like it, I‘ll probably start looking into other entries in the series, and if I understand the mysterious intricacies of my brain correctly, once I’m “in” I won‘t have to be as picky about the protagonist’s gender, either…but that's at least 50-some hours from now assuming I vibe with Three Houses

On the migration side of thing, formatting should be mostly in order on this thread now, and I think all of the links and images are pointing to the things they should be.

Couldn’t figure out how to get non-quote replies to hook into the replies system over here, so those just link back to the original post at the start for clarity’s sake. At the very least, everything should be comprehensible now

In actual JRPGs with female protagonist news, I’ve been quite enjoying Three Houses in short bursts. Just hit my first little batch of synergy-increasing dialogue scenes between various class members, which may just be my favorite thing in the game so far. It’s always nice to see a game focus on more than just the protagonist’s relationships with the various characters

It’s also helped me realize the main reason I’ve never clicked with the Switch: somewhere in the years between the GameCube and now, I stopped engaging with Nintendo as anything but a handheld company—the last home console Nintendo game I both finished and enjoyed was Twlight Princess—and that seems to have become a permanent fixture of my relationship to Nintendo’s hardware

So Pokémon Violet and Three Houses worked fine for me given their portable-friendly sensibilities, but games like Smash Ultimate and Breath of the Wild that are targeting the home console side of the Switch haven’t (though I dislike Breath of the Wild for a whole host of other reasons, lol)

Anyhow, thanks again to everyone for all the wonderful suggestions, and I’m sure I’ll be coming back to this thread in the future (which is why I wanted it more legible!)


In the spirit of this thread’s objective, it should maybe be clarified that Dragon Quest IV has a fake out about your (potentially female) protagonist.

Although you indeed choose your gender at the beginning, the game will first introduce four characters in their own little RPG adventure, until the 5th chapter in which all four “heroes” will then join the protagonist as her companions for the final adventure. So, aside from a very short prologue added in the remake, your lady protagonist only leads the JRPG halfway through the game.

Fortunately, it just so happens that the very first companion chapter of DQ4 is also led by a lady. [edit] Wait I am wrong, Ragnar/Ryan goes first. But one of the four companions is a lady, and another one is a girlboss.


This is good to know! This sounds like one I can get to at some point, probably after getting my foot in the door with one of the Dragon Quests that lets me choose

Just rolled credits on Fire Emblem: Three Houses and I had an absolutely stellar time with it (and it’s likely I’ll come back to it again for New Game+ at some point). I can’t believe it took me this long to play a game in the series, considering this one had more or less everything I want out of an RPG, with the branching paths and character bonds being such a huge part of the experience

Are those elements common to the series or is that something unique to Three Houses? I’m probably still going to do what I can to check out other entries (particularly those recommendded here!), but if I’ve been missing out for years I’m going to be kicking myself!

I did find the combat a tad easy (playing on Normal difficulty), and I wish I had started on Hard as a result, but the difficulty did pick up after the mid-point of the game, so I don’t really knock it on that front!

Huge thanks to @Tradegood for the absolutely wonderful recommendation!

It’s funny: I remember thinking (and posting here on the forums, somewhere that I can’t remember) that I’d really like a JRPG take on a CRPG, and Three Houses is like 80% of the way there already. Its systems aren’t quite as complex and the dialogue doesn’t have as much branching as you might find in some of my favorites, but so many of the other things I love in CRPGs are there (down to the post-game epilogue slides!)

But anyway! I’ll probably be looking to some of the other recommendations in the foreseeable future before diving into more Fire Emblem. I’m thinking either Odin Sphere or Torna: the Golden Country (because in the course of playing Three Houses I also picked up Smash Brothers Ultimate again and had a lot of fun with Pyra and Mythra) and maybe toss in something that’s not an RPG before that, so I don’t end up giving myself JRPG burnout—I’ve got a lot of games to check out still!


Aw heck yeah!! I’m so happy you enjoyed it! It gets even better on harder difficulties and as you fill out the worldbuilding with different routes. Out of curiosity did you end up S ranking with Edelgard? She and Dorothea are the only F/F pairings for Byleth (though there are a lot of possible lgbt paired endings). It is a great game, and Crimson Flower is a great route. I didn’t want to spoil that there’s a secret 4th route you can go on with Black Eagles if you don’t talk to Edelgard in Chapter 11. New Game+ has some good bonuses too to help you customize your team more easily in future playthroughs.

All of the games since Geneaology have supports, and in Geneaology, Awakening, and Fates they character bonds are even more important because you can have children who will inherit the classes and skills of their parents! Awakening/Fates also have a pair-up mechanic on the map where characters will get bonuses based on their bond. Engage does this too, although slightly differently, as you bond with the ring that you assign to the character and can inherit skills.

All the GBA games have branching paths, and so does Fates (though they’re sold separately). Most of the time, there’s just a few maps being different and it lets you recruit different characters or characters at different times.

This one is in every game and it rules! I don’t know if you let any of your units perma-die but it changes what happens to other characters too.

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I figured there was some potential for that when I hit that point, but I very diligently talked to her every chapter (and monthly tea, lol, I had so much fun with that)

I got S with Edelgard, yes! I got a very lovely gay ending with her and Byleth and then Petra and Dorothea got together. Bernadetta married the…red-headed guy? Ferdinand? I did not pay as much attention to the boys because I was too busy being a lesbian

Perfect! I’ll definitely be looking into more of the series then!

I did not, since I always had enough Divine Pulses to save them. I was really impressed with how interconnected the different characters were though in the rest of the game, so I’m not surprised they went the extra mile here

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