Achievement Unlocked: Video Games
Kick-Ass Women in Video Games: Mirror's Edge's Faith Connors
In this series, I’ll take an in-depth look at some notable female characters in video games. The only rules are that they must kick-ass, and they must be playable. Femme fatales these ladies are not, so strap on your armor and grab your long sword and get ready for battle!
Mirror’s Edge takes place in an unnamed city in the future where crime is low and people live their lives under the watchful eyes of the totalitarian government. Literally everything the people do is closely monitored, including methods of communication and the media. As a result, when people need sensitive information quickly and they don’t want the government monitoring it, they seek out the skills of a runner, which is basically a courier. Runners utilize the city rooftops to run information between sources, running between rooftops, utilizing ventilation shafts, and shimmying down pipes to avoid being spotted by the police.
Faith Connors chooses to live her life outside the system as a runner. When she and her sister, Kate, were just teenagers, their mother was killed during a protest against the totalitarian government organized by Robert Pope. Their father became depressed as a result of the guilt he felt for the death of his wife, and sought to drown his sorrows in alcohol. At the age of 16, Faith ran away from home, supporting herself with a life of crime before being recruited as a runner by Merc. Now 24, Faith earns a living running physical communications back and forth between groups organizing a governmental take down. The game’s story begins just before an election, and Robert Pope, a new candidate, is challenging the current mayor in the hopes to reduce the government’s control over the people. Faith learns that her sister, Kate, is in trouble, and rushes to her side only to discover Kate has been framed for the murder of Pope.
Faith is a unique character. First, she is a woman of mixed Asian and Caucasian descent. She sports tattoos as well: one around her right eye to commemorate her first run, and a second cybernetic design on her right arm. Faith wears clothing appropriate for her character: instead of wearing a bikini top and a short skirt, she wears a black tank with white pants. It would be awfully hard to run across rooftops and crawl through ventilation shafts in heels, which is probably why she sports tennis shoes instead. Faith is a character fully developed and well thought-out, as she is designed to blend in with her surroundings, as a runner in real life would.
Mirror’s Edge is a unique gameplay experience, as it is a first-person runner game, meaning that the player takes the point-of-view of Faith as she climbs, jumps, and tumbles to deliver information. That said, I learned very quickly that the game can cause a fair bit of motion sickness. It is fairly linear, which means that there isn’t a lot of room to explore. Players must generally stick to the pathway of the storyline. There is a bit of hand-to-hand combat, but the majority of the game is puzzle-based, where players maneuver Faith across the rooftops. The story itself is scarily relevant to much of the world in 2015, even though the game was released in 2008, and has since spawned a mini-series in comic form released by DC Comics and EA Games. A prequel game, Mirror’s Edge Catalyst, focusing on how Faith became a runner will be released February 2016.
While Payday 2’s Clover and Bonnie, mentioned in the first article of this series, are strong women for being able to be ‘one of the guys,’ Faith deserves a spot of her own in this series because she stands for something, even though the odds are fully and totally against her.[su_pullquote] In the game’s universe, Faith stands for personal freedom in a world where it doesn’t exist. She chooses to be a runner and to live her life outside the system, undermining the very basics of the government’s regime.[/su_pullquote] She isn’t alone in her fight either; rather, she is part of a group of individuals who stand for the very same thing. Her story is similar to Katniss’ in the Hunger Games trilogy, but unlike Katniss, Faith chooses to stand for something rather than be chosen. She’s a strong woman who stands up for what she believes in, and that’s what makes her kick-ass.