The long-running Japanese role-playing game Ys (pronounced "ees") is home to several memorable female characters, but the most recent entry, Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana, is the latest in a long line of awesome women.
The blue-haired woman is the titular "Dana"—Dana Iclucia, to be exact, and she's the main female protagonist of the game, which players will take up the role of alongside main character and series mainstay Adol Christin. Her winning personality and intriguing history make her June's Video Game Heroine of the Month.
Dana has a peculiar life in that her memories were dreamt up by Adol Christin himself throughout Ys VIII, and her childhood wasn't much better since she was plagued by terrifying visions due to her inner "Essence" power, which allowed her to perform the great feats she's capable of. Dana is no ordinary woman. She's part of an ancient civilization with the blood of what many calll Eternians, and is one of the great Wardens of Evolution. Long ago, she sealed herself into a tree to avoid having to become one of the Wardens, individuals charged with watching over the world after it's destroyed and a new one takes its place.
Dana is an important character who has to come to terms with the parts of herself she doesn't like, a difficult lesson to learn for any of us who have ever struggled with things we just don't want to think about ourselves. Her shortcomings included the fact that she didn't even want to face the fact that she had powers as a child, using an accessory given to her by her mother to help suppress her abilities so she could live life as a normal girl. When she deals with the death of her mom because of these issues, she ends up blaming herself for the tragedy. If only she hadn't suppressed her true potential.
We've all been there — who hasn't? And that's part of what makes Dana such a delight to meet and play in this new JRPG, especially given the fact that she's a spicy little firecracker in addition to a powerful, world-changing magic user. We need more women in games like her, especially when they're as entertaining and inspirational as Dana.
The way to the end throughout this mystical journey is a bit unclear for Dana and her companions as they fight to keep the world safe from oncoming threats. Throughout it all, she always remains a stalwart, trustworthy member of the crew despite the various problems she's having inward and outward, always there for her friends and working to make the world a better place no matter the cost.
We warn you that you may be in for a bittersweet ending to the journey, but it's still very much one worth taking, even with the hurt involved. If you're interested in seeing Dana's multi-faceted story play out, you can pick up Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana on PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, and PC right now. It's also coming to Nintendo Switch this month on June 26, so you can take the action with you on the go.