In honor of Halloween today, let’s celebrate witches in video games, the best examples of one of horror’s most misunderstood tropes.
Zombies, Ghosts, Ghouls, Vampires: Halloween is full of familiar archetypal creatures. Usually, they come from fairy tales and myths, while others are rooted in real events, like witches. A dark story lurks behind the Sanderson sisters’ antics at Hocus pocus or campy rate like Sabrina the Teenage Witch, but when it comes to video games, the representation is much stronger.
So let’s take an ethereal spotlight on five digital witches that are raising the bar higher.
5) Matoya (Final fantasy series)
Matoya started out as a fairly typical witch-type character in the original. Final fantasy– you meet her after the first boss, looking for the crystal ball she needs to see, which was stolen from her cave. Bats hover around his lair while Fancy-Style brooms sweep, talk in puzzles if you investigate them. Once you defeat the Dark Elf Astos and collect his Crystal Eye, she gives you the potion needed to wake the Elf Prince and leave the first area of the game world. Standard witch fare, right?
From there, the name of Matoya became an allusion in many others Final fantasy games, but she really entered the limelight with Final Fantasy XIV. We meet her in the Toward the sky expansion, as guardian of our staunch ally mage Y’shtola. She imparts wise wisdom to the Scions of the Seventh Dawn and sees what her elder pupil is hiding from them. Later in Shadowbringer– without spoiling the current expansion – it provides a vital service to our heroes, and Y’shtola herself takes the name Matoya as an alias.
Like the franchise itself, Matoya begins by being steeped in classic fantasy lore, to transcend stereotypes.
4) Triss & Yennefer (The witcher series)
Although technically witches and not witches in the show’s lore, Geralt’s love interests are both huge mages, which is a pretty rare honor in The witcherof the world. Additionally, they are both members of the Lodge of Witches, a secret fraternity of the most powerful mages of all realms. In this way, they operate almost like a coven, seeking to use their influence to have a positive impact on the world.
Although the two are linked to Geralt, the protagonist, they each have their own momentous achievements. Triss was the sole survivor of the 14 mages who took a stand against the Niflheim Empire at Sodden Hill, while quarter-elf Yennefer trained at Aretuza’s Magical Academy and is considered one of the witches most more powerful to travel the earth today.
You can get a new look at both characters in the new trailer for Season 2 of The witcher, coming soon to Netflix.
3) Bayonetta (Bayonetta series)
One of the last remaining Umbra witches, Bayonetta caused a stir when she arrived in 2009 and quickly proved her game wasn’t easy. The devil can cry clone. Her unconventional fighting style and magical hair – yes, magical hair – sets her apart not only from other protagonists in the action, but from other witches as well.
She’s one of the most over-the-top characters in video games, and yet she has a well-rounded and deep personality beneath her innuendos and jokes. She has become the last fighter DLC in Super Smash Bros 4 thanks to the result of the Smash Bros Fighter Ballot, where her popularity took her to second place in the fan vote. (We now know that she came in just behind Sora, or was at least considered the most popular and achievable character at the time.) She quickly became one of the best characters on the entire roster, and carried most of that reputation throughout. Ultimate.
As shown on the recent Nintendo Direct, Bayonetta will be back to face “mysterious life forms that appear to be neither angel nor demon” next year.
2) Shanoa (Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia)
Normally, the Belmonts are the only ones who can bear the burden of defeating Dracula in the Castlevania series. But in the years 2008 Order of Ecclesia on Nintendo DS, their clan was nowhere to be found, leaving humanity to seek other methods of countering Dracula if he were to return. The eponymous order was their best answer, and Shanoa was chosen to carry the Dominus, their anti-Dracula weapon. However, she is betrayed by her friend Albus and must embark on a quest to recover not only the Dominus, but also his memories and emotions.
Shanoa’s magical powers are incredible, worthy of her place as the first woman, sole protagonist of a Castlevania Game. Their glyph-based nature makes her all the more unique, and she doesn’t hesitate to rise to the occasion when, surprised, Dracula returns.
Shanoa also exerted an irrefutable influence on Bloodstained: Ritual of the Nightthe protagonist of Miriam, another creation of Koji Igarashi and candidate for this list. We’re keeping our fingers crossed that DS games get the same collectible treatment as their GBA predecessors so new audiences can see its debut.
1) Morrigan (Dragon age series)
Again, Morrigan is technically a witch, but carries many of the attributes of traditional folk tale witches. Having been raised in the wilds of Ferelden by her evil mother Flemeth, it is Morrigan who saves the hero from Dragon Age: Origins after the game’s disastrous opening events. Her abrasive tone differs markedly from most people encountered so far, and she becomes an invaluable source of knowledge for the team. She joins a repertoire of appropriate “wizarding” spells like shapeshifting, elemental attacks, and arcane horrors.
At the end of the game, however, and in his final DLC track, “Witch Hunt,” Morrigan becomes very important to the future of the series, depending on the player’s choices. She can also introduce herself Dragon Age: Inquisition, which will certainly be a touching reunion for all those who have fallen in love with her in Origins. However, it is the strength of his character that earns him the number one spot on this list. Voiced impeccably by Claudia Black, she is an extremely well-written and complete character with unexpected strengths and weaknesses, unafraid to speak her mind when she needs to and back her up with magic if she does. the finger.
Of course, that only scratches the surface of the wide variety of strong and magical female characters in video game history. Hopefully we’ll continue to see more of them follow in their footsteps, defying any negative connotations that can be clustered around witches and witchcraft. For now, have a safe and fun Halloween!