The Top 7... Irritating female characters

It's no secret to us that GamesRadar is frequently seen as taking an objectifying stance toward women in videogames. However, the truth of the matter is that we greatly love and admire our digital heroines, no matter how sensibly dressed they might be. Tough, capable women in strong roles are something games definitely need more of, and we applaud when those characters are done right.

These, unfortunately, are not those characters. These are the women whose very presence, for a variety of reasons, annoyed the shit out of us. Maybe they were a useless kidnap-bait albatross around our necks, or maybe they just made a point of getting on our case until their voices sounded like panes of glass being shattered against a chalkboard. Whatever their problems, we'd sort of prefer to never have to hang out with these ladies ever again.

Annoyed us in: Mass Effect (360/PC, 2007)

When you first meet Ashley Williams, the horrific slaughter she's just survived will instantly win her your sympathy. That sympathy, however, will slowly erode over the next few hours, as she proves herself to be irritable, suspicious and embarrassingly xenophobic around all your cool new alien buddies. It's sort of like having Michelle Rodriguez's character from Lost following you around all the damn time, what with the getting in people's faces and angrily jumping to conclusions.

Some of the annoyance is offset by the fact that you can carry on a (tacked-on, plot-irrelevant) romance with her, and that you don't even have to keep her in your party for it to play out. But even assuming you want your character to have PG-13 space-intercourse with this irksome henchwoman, the fact remains that it's not easy to like someone who's dedicated herself to the idea that - with all these awesome new aliens to make friends with - humans should only hang out with other humans. That's just boring.

Above: Keep doing what you do best, Ashley: standing around looking annoyed

Oh, and as others have previously observed, she has the same name as the hero from the Evil Dead movies. Yeah, think about that while you carry on your imaginary dialogue-tree romance.

Annoyed us in: Mickey Mousecapade (NES, 1988)

If you've ever gotten mad at a useless sidekick you were supposed to be protecting, now you know who to blame. Twenty years ago, Minnie Mouse set the template for all the irritating hangers-on to come by following Mickey everywhere, being mostly useless (until you found the power-up that enabled her to toss throwing stars, anyway) and easily confounded by ladders, with a tendency to fall off and get stuck until you directed her back up. She'd also have to be taken into account when making a jump over one of the game's many bottomless pits. If Mickey made it and she didn't, both mice would die.

Above: Get ready to see this all the time. Thanks, Minnie

Apart from doggedly following Mickey and mimicking his every movement, Minnie had one other talent: getting kidnapped. Every so often, you'd find a hidden "bonus" that resulted in Minnie getting carried off by some flying thing. When that happened, you'd have to find a secret panel (by throwing ninja stars until they clinked against something) that led to a room full of golden statues. Touch the right one, and you'd get Minnie back. Touch the wrong one, and you'd have to hunt for another secret panel. Not that we were in any hurry to get her back; losing her immediately made the game feel less constricting. In an age of gaming when there were few female protagonists, Minnie stands out as one of the few who was actually better off as a damsel in distress. How sad is that?

Annoyed us in: Resident Evil 4 (GC/PS2/PC/Wii, 2005)

Rescuing the president's daughter is the only reason that Leon S. Kennedy has braved the instant-death nightmare that is Resident Evil 4 - but once he meets her, you might decide it was a wasted effort. Weak and defenseless, Ashley isn't totally useless - unlike some of the other sidekicks on this list, she'll follow orders and stay out of your way - but she's mostly useless, and mostly useless isn't much fun to defend when creepy kidnappers show up and try to carry it away every few seconds.

Above: Ashley in a rare moment of semi-helpfulness

All this might be excusable if Ashley was at least resourceful, but no - she cowers when she should run, she runs when she should stay behind Leon and she all too often falls victim to her former kidnappers' attempts to murder her. Even the not-brief-enough sequence in which you play as her is spent mostly barging around with a flashlight and bumping into things. Trying to keep her safe when she herself makes it so difficult builds up a lot of ill will, so it's no real surprise that things like this exist:


Top 7

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  • suaue - August 15, 2014 5:24 a.m.

    I can't take your list seriously at all. It just comes off as objectifying when it could have come off as something worth reading. I looked up "Best female characters" - got no article. I looked up "most irritating male characters" - again, nothing from GamesRadar. So it seems to me that you're just adding to a stereotype that most women would really like to change rather than coming from a clean perspective where you're equally voicing opinions for and against female characters as well as for and against male ones.
  • leonnasagawa - January 19, 2011 4:13 p.m.

    I disagree that Navi is more annoying than the Beggar lady. I hated that chick so much! She interrupted an assignation mission I had by jumping in the way when I pressed the assassination button which in turn assassinated her, made me have to start the mission again but not before I had to fight all the guards that were alerted to my presence. Honestly what were the creators thinking! I would have been happy if she just begged for money on the same spot but for reasons I can't fathom she decides to only move off her spot and harass Altair.
  • ThundaGawd - January 17, 2011 7:34 a.m.

    the lady in assassins creed also throws rocks at you if you try to climb a building to get away from her -.- Also, don't forget Farah in the first Prince Of Persia. As soon as a fight would start, she'd yell "PROTECT ME!" and sprint headlong into a horde of sand zombies to fight at close range with a bow... dumb b*tch.
  • AznNguyen72 - August 10, 2010 8:10 a.m.

    Don't forget that the beggar lady also threw rocks at you when you ran away and started climbing a nearby building just to avoid her. I mean seriously! just because Altair doesn't give money to you doesn't mean he's going to give it to you after you throw rocks at him!
  • mrmorozov987 - June 1, 2010 2:56 a.m.

    I was severely disappointed when I met Ashley in Resident Evil 4. Seeing how kick-ass and original the game had been to that point, I assumed she'd be a unique and strong character, continuing the game's record of ass-kicking and uniqueness. I met her and carried on as I had before. Shoot him in the head, grenade over there, knife that crate... "HEEEEELP!!! LEON!!!" After clearing a roomful of enemies, I missed one, and he carried her to the door. Now I have to do it all over again. F*** YOU!!! (Okay, so she ducked when you were in aiming mode. Have a cookie.) And, of course, the one time I wanted to show off the game to my friends, I had saved right before Ashley's playable part. Thanks, Capcom. (That said, Resident Evil 4 is still the best sixth-console-generation that was made. Have a truck-full of cookies, Capcom)
  • FNG - April 13, 2010 9:23 p.m.

    I can't believe they forgot to mention that if you try to climb a building to get away from the beggar lady she throws F****** rocks at you. That's why i ALWAYS KILL THEM BITCHES!
  • Alcibiades - March 8, 2010 9:44 p.m.

    ashley is a biatch in the first game and even more of a biatch in the second game, should have just killed her off imo.
  • RanTheAwesome - February 19, 2010 11:56 a.m.

    No annoying male characters? Too bad, because I can name over 100 male characters that have annoyed the shit out of me in games. Wow, how sexist you guys are. It's fucking disgusting.
  • BloodBarrage - December 15, 2009 6:16 p.m.

    Oh my God, Navi is annoying as hell! And I always kill the beggar lady from Assassins Creed lolz
  • Ricochet3438 - December 5, 2009 4:37 p.m.

    when a beggar woman came up to me i would just climb a rooftop to escape hahahahah suck on that beggar woman!
  • Spritle101 - November 23, 2009 4:12 a.m.

    Navi's voice could become the world's most effective & annoying car alarm.
  • Ollieevil - November 14, 2009 10:58 a.m.

    Navi and Ashley are both annoying pains in the ass luckly you can kill ashley UNLESS SHES IN THAT GOD DAMN SUIT OF ARMOUR THATS ALWAYS CLANKING!!!!
  • pascal828 - December 3, 2008 3 p.m.

    Beggar lady from Assassin's creed is Really annoying! she Trows rocks at you when u want to climb! tht sucks... xD
  • Red-Fox - November 28, 2008 3:46 p.m.

    I disagree. They should have put Mariah from The Elder Scrolls: Redguard. Ubelievably annoying!!!!!!
  • thephntm - November 22, 2008 5:46 p.m.

    I hate Navi/Tatl/Celia. PS my Captcha says oil bunting.
  • ryno - November 21, 2008 10:23 p.m.

    in Assasins creed if ever a begger lady bothers me i punch her in the face
  • Dyakki - November 19, 2008 12:15 a.m.

    LOL. Men. No annoying guy characters?
  • pieman215 - October 11, 2008 12:23 a.m.

    If you want to see what Navi deserves, watch the youtube video Random Sprite Toons 7.
  • afrosamurai3838 - October 1, 2008 2:16 a.m.

    Ashley Graham is so fucking stupid
  • BooyaBuda - September 28, 2008 3:26 a.m.

    man the begger lady i would just stealth kill her i dont care abut synch the bicth is annoying i also thought it was ridiculas that the guards could parcore

Showing 1-20 of 58 comments

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