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The Smurfette Principle / Video Games

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  • Age of Mythology has eight male major gods note  and only one major goddess (Isis). The Titans expansion averts the principle, by adding Gaia.
  • In the Ape Escape series, Pink Monkey is the only female of the Freaky Monkey Five...though you'd be forgiven for confusing Yellow Monkey for female too, with how flamboyant he is.
  • In Arc Style: Baseball!! 3D, baseball teams compete with twelve members per team. By default, Team Wild Cats and Team Rhinos appear with a single female on each of their rosters.
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  • In the original Art of Fighting, up to ten martial artists are playable characters in the versus mode. Out of the ten, King is the game's only female, and she's disguised as a male. The disguise allows for a Gender Reveal, if she is defeated by a special attack during the final round.
  • Although Bendy and the Ink Machine itself has multiple female characters, it's set in an old cartoon studio which, as was common at the time, had exactly one female character among its cast..
  • Of the gang of playable characters in Borderlands, three are male and one is female, who are all with a fourth man driving the truck. The female is introduced as "The Siren," which is barely a gnat's whisker away from simply calling her "the token girl."
    • Borderlands 2 is the same, right down to the lone woman being introduced "as The Siren" (though a different one), but one of the two DLC characters, the Mechromancer, is also female, bringing it up to Two Girls to a Team.
    • Then Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel! averts it right out of the gate, with an even 50/50 split (two men, two women) for the starting characters, and an equally even split for the DLC. (And, really, one could argue that there's only one man outside of the DLC, since the other "male" character is Claptrap).
  • Billy Hatcher:
    • Out of the four main characters, there's only one female.
    • There is only one female chicken elder, the rest male; her being the only female elder is noted by an NPC.
  • In Bully, each social clique has only a single female member versus about half a dozen male members.
  • Crazy Taxi has four playable drivers; one woman, three men.
  • Darksiders: Out of the six named angels in the series, only Uriel is female.
  • Donkey Kong Country:
  • There are a total of 36 Strength heroes in Dota 2 and out of all them, only 1 hero is female (Legion Commander), whom during the transition from its original source, is genderbent from a male.
  • Dragon Age:
    • Dragon Age II describes the existence of the Forbidden Ones, four ancient demons who first taught blood magic to humans. Of the quartet, only the Undying Xebenkeck is identified as female.
    • Throughout the entire franchise, the heroes battle demons of all shapes and sizes, but only one kind - desire demons - is explicitly female in appearance.
  • Dragon Quest II introduced the Princess of Moonbrooke as the only female in a group of three and the first female playable character in the Dragon Quest series after the original game only had a single playable character, who was male. As an establishment of series tradition, she is the party's dedicated magic user.
    • Dragon Quest VIII has Jessica as the only female combatant and party member in a group of four in the original version of the game. Notably, it is the only other game in the series besides II with only one woman in the party as most of the games either had several female party members or allowed the player to create female characters. The 3DS version of the game added the thief Red as a second female party member.
    • Dragon Quest XI: In the game's backstory, the original Luminary Erdwin had three companions, his party being modeled after the type of group a player can make in Dragon Quest III. Serenica is the only female companion of Erdwin and is the group's sage.
      • Gyldygga is the only female member of Mordegon's Spectral Sentinels.
  • Capcom's Dungeons & Dragons: Tower of Doom (based on Dungeons & Dragons) has the female elf along with the male fighter, cleric, and dwarf.
  • Dynasty Warriors:
    • When Zhenji, Sun Shangxiang, Yueying, and Wang Yuanji each debuted, they were also the only female character in their faction (Wei, Wu, Shu, and Jin, respectively). It is eventually averted in the long run, although it is noteworthy that it took nearly a decade before Zhenji stopped becoming the only girl in Wei (the others merely needed 2-4 years).
    • Although she is not factional, Diaochan was also the only female character not affiliated with the Three Kingdoms until Zhurong was introduced in 3.
  • Ensemble Stars! has Anzu as the only female student in her school's performance department. Apparently it runs in the family, as her brother from Ensemble Girls! served as The One Guy in a recently-integrated all girls' school.
  • Fallout
    • Fallout allows you to choose your character's gender, but of the four recruitable NPCs only one is female, allowing you to choose if the principle is in effect or averted.
    • Fallout 2 increases the number of recruitable characters; eight males, four dogs, a robot...and one female human. There is a Dummied Out second female companion who can be restored via modding, though.
    • Fallout 3 goes for diversity over numbers; three male humans, a genderless (formerly male) super mutant, a dog, a robot, and two female humans! Later games continue this tradition.
    • The Fallout Bible mentions Vault 68, populated with 999 men and only one woman, and Vault 69, with 999 women and only one man. It is never mentioned what happened in these vaults, but considering the tone of the games and the other vaults, they probably didn't end well.
  • Fatal Fury: The first game lacked any female fighters. In the second game, Fatal Fury 2, eight new fighters were introduced, including the first female fighter in the series; the kunoichi Mai Shiranui. By the third game, it's established that female characters are introduced every game, but due to rotating some of the female characters out of the games as well, it doesn't guarantee that a given work in the multimedia franchise will have more than one female.
  • Final Fantasy has consistently averted the trope several ways.
  • For the longest time, Chica of the Five Nights at Freddy's fame is the only animatronic officially confirmed to be a female. The principle is averted as World adds another confirmed female (JJ) and Sister Location adds a number of new female animatronics.
    • Fazbear and Friends keeps up the trend with both the humans and the animatronics - Chica is the only female 'bot, while Ashley is the only female human.
  • Gate Of Doom, known in Japan as Dark Seal, has three male heroes (Knight, Bard, Ninja) and one female (Wizard).
  • Gauntlet:
    • The original has three male (Warrior, Wizard, Elf), one female (Valkyrie) characters.
    • Sequel Gauntlet Legends averts by making a Gender-Equal Ensemble; the androgynous-looking elf is a female elven Archer.
    • Seven Sorrows goes back to the original four characters.
  • The only women in the entirety of Half-Life are the black-clad assassins who never speak and only appear in two areas. Also, despite Black Mesa claiming to be an "equal-opportunity employer", all of its employees seen in the original are men, except for the holographic assistant in the tutorial. The cooperative expansion Half-Life: Decay for the PS2 fixed this by having you play as either Gina Cross (who apparently lent her voice and likeness to the holographic assistant) or Colette Green.
  • Halo:
    • Noble Team in Halo: Reach is made up of six Spartans, of which you are one. There's one female Spartan by default, allowing you to choose between Smurfette Principle or Two Girls to a Team, based on if you make Noble Six male or female.
    • Halo 4 Spartan Ops: Fireteam Majestic begins with Tedra Grant (female) as part of the original Majestic line-up, along with Anthony, Carlo, Paul, and Gabriel (males). Naiya Ray is introduced in Halo: Escalation.
  • Kerbal Space Program added a fourth playable character quite late in the development process; originally the kerbals were a Single-Gender Species. This can be seen as Invoking the Smurfette Principle because Valentina is a female clone of Jebediah, other than a slight stat difference (she's marginally smarter and more courageous), she's superfluous because the original 3 males already cover all 3 character classes (Pilot, Engineer, and Scientist). However, the game provides a method for the player to avert the Principle with an endless number of randomly-generated astronauts of either gender can be hired to adjust the crew's gender ratio as you choose.
  • Killer Instinct features eleven fighters. Initially, Black Orchid was the only female on the original cast of KI but when development started on season 2 of the 2013 game, it was revealed that Riptor is and always was a female, meaning the original KI actually had two female fighters.note 
  • In the Kingdom Hearts games:
    • While there are a small handful of important female NPCs, when it comes to the playable characters, the three main characters are all male, and there's only one female Guest-Star Party Member in each game; Ariel of The Little Mermaid in the first one, Mulan of Mulan in KHII, and Rapunzel of Tangled in KHIIInote .
    • There's also Organization XIII. Out of thirteen official members, there is only one female, that being Larxene. This is mainly because Xion is not considered an official member, and while she identifies as female, and Roxas and Axel (and later Riku and Sora) see her as an 11-year-old girl, Xemnas and Xigbar see her as a early-teen boy, and Saix sees her as a faceless puppet.
      • The creators originally planned on making Marluxia female as well, but changed their minds from the Unfortunate Implications of having two females plot against a male-majority organization, and are foiled by other males (namely Sora and Axel).
    • Out of the six player characters in the franchise, Aqua is the only one to be female. On the other hand, the multiplayer mode for Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days allows for Larxene and Xion to be playable.
  • Left 4 Dead and its sequel justify their decision to use only three men and one woman as playable characters: The gene to be resistant to The Virus is recessive and carried on the x-chromosome. Women need two copies of the gene, while men only need one, explaining the genetically sound 3:1 ratio.
  • The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV, six of the seven Divine Knight Awakeners are male, including The Hero, while the last one is a woman (though she's not the last Awakener to be revealed). Curiously enough, she's also the oldest of the seven Awakeners as she's a 250+ year old Living Legend from The War of the Lions.
  • The Legend of Zelda: For a given game, the Zora characters have usually only one female among a sea of muscular-bodied males. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a notable exception, with both male and female Zora appearing as NPCs in roughly equal amounts.
  • The Square Enix (before the merger; from Squaresoft in this case) RPG Live A Live lets you play as seven different protagonists during different periods of time, and all of them are male. Once you play all of the scenarios, all of the protagonists will come together to fight the Big Bad for the final chapter. In the Ancient China chapter, you initially play as an old martial arts master, and he spends a good portion of the story trying to find a worthy pupil who can pass the style of Kung-fu he has mastered. He passes away at the end of his story, and it's his pupil who goes on to the final chapter. You can still avert this trope by picking Yu Juan or Sammo Hakka, but picking Li Kuugo as his successor will make her the sole female hero to appear in the final chapter.
  • Mega Man (Classic):
    • The villains use the following naming scheme — every Robot Master is called <word> Man. During Mega Man 9, one of the eight villains was Splash Woman, finally participating in the Smurfette Principle.
    • Until Mega Man 4, Roll was the only female character in the series.
  • Metal Gear follows this trope almost religiously:
    • In Metal Gear Solid, Sniper Wolf is the only female in the six-member FOXHOUND squad.
    • In Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, The Boss is not only the boss of the multinational six-member Cobra unit, she's also the only female.
    • In Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, Rat Patrol 01 has Akiba, Johnny, Old Snake, Ed, (males) and Meryl (female).
    • In Metal Gear Solid V, the player can recruit generic female soldiers, and there are audio tapes and flashbacks featuring important female Posthumous Characters, but it's really only Quiet who is important, onscreen and alive. This is part of the reason the Male Gaze elements of her design were controversial - Metal Gear has always had hyper-sexy female characters, but it wasn't usual for them to be the only woman.
  • Despite being the flagship Action Girl of the video game world, Samus Aran of Metroid fame managed to become the Smurfette in her own series in Metroid Prime: Hunters. Six new bounty hunters were introduced, all of them male or ambiguously so. Metroid Prime 3: Corruption is more gender-balanced, as one of the three new hunters is another female.
  • Out of the dozens of characters in Modern Warfare, the only female character is your fellow Cobra pilot "Deadly" in the first game. Mostly justified by being a military game; while women are no longer barred from joining in a lot of places, real life militaries are still heavily male dominated.
  • Let's see, Mortal Kombat... For the first game, the creators realized they didn't have any female fighters in their roster, so they changed the character of male Kurtis Stryker into female Sonya Blade (Stryker would be re-added in the third game). This made her the only female out of 7 playable characters and 10 fighters overall. Later games have made sure to include additional female playable characters from the start.
  • All three games in the MOTHER series have a playable party consisting of three male characters and one female character.
  • Nezumi Man has Wave Nezumi, the only female boss of the eight.
  • In One Piece Mansion, Raspberry gets the descriptor of "The only female in Syndicate 5".
  • Panel de Pon
    • The original Japan-only version presents the Inverted Trope of many female characters and the only (confirmed) male character being Sanatos, the Big Bad.
    • The Western reskin, Tetris Attack plays the trope straight, with Naval Piranha being the only confirmed female character.
  • Pokémon:
    • In Pokémon Gold and Silver, as well as third version Crystal, and remakes HeartGold and SoulSilver, Karen is the only female Elite Four member. Pokémon Diamond and Pearl also has only one female Elite Four member in Bertha, but that is countered by Cynthia being the first female Champion in the franchise.
    • Pokémon Sun and Moon:
      • We have Aether Foundation President Lusamine being the Pokémon series' very first female Big Bad.
      • In Hau's team of six Pokémon, his only female is a Komala.
  • Quiz & Dragons: Capcom Quiz Game (see here) has three male heroes (Fighter, Wizard, Ninja) and one female hero (Amazon).
  • Resident Evil 2 gender inverts this with four playable characters: Claire, a female college student; Sherry, a little girl; Ada, a young woman looking for her reporter boyfriend; and Leon, a rookie cop thrown into a Zombie Apocalypse on his first day on the job.
  • Robopon: In the first game, Miss Amron is the only female Legend out of seven.
  • In Scooby-Doo, Who's Watching Who?, Professor Lorelei Leigh is the only female member of the Ghost Scene Investigation team.
  • In Scribblenauts Unlimited, Maxwell has many, many siblings you can unlock and play as. Most of them are brothers, but there is one sister.
  • In the first Shin Megami Tensei, all of the Seraphim (Michael, Uriel, Raphael, and Gabriel) were presumably male, but the second game reveals Gabriel is a girl, and all subsequent works within the multimedia franchise featuring Gabriel retain their revealed genders.
  • Sly Cooper:
  • Sonic the Hedgehog
  • Starcraft
    • StarCraft I had exactly one named female character: Sarah Kerrigan, who is betrayed but rapidly becomes the queen bitch of the universe as the Queen of the Zerg.
    • StarCraft: Brood War, the expansion set to the first game, added Protoss matriarch Raszagal (the only female Protoss).
    • Starcraft II expands the universe a bit, including adding supporting female human characters, but with Raszagal dead, the role of "only female Protoss" is Executor Selendis. But averted in Legacy of the Void with the inclusion of Raszagal's daughter, Vorazun.
  • Star Fox:
  • Street Fighter:
  • Video Game/SuperKarts: Katie Clark.
  • Super Mario Bros.: The game series tends to avert the principle due to lack of cast, but some entries qualify;
    • During Super Mario Bros. 2, Toad (male) and Princess Peach (female) were added to Mario and Luigi (both male) as playable characters. The Divergent Character Evolution of the Mario cast would inspire later games to include Princess Peach as a playable character.
    • The Mario Party games began with a cast of six playable characters, with Princess Peach as the sole playable female character. This was changed in Mario Party 3 when Daisy was added to the cast.
    • When the Koopalings were introduced in Super Mario Bros. 3, Wendy O. Koopa was the only one of the seven siblings to be female.
  • Super Smash Bros.:
    • In the first instalment of the Nintendo Massive Multiplayer Crossover, the only playable female was Samus Aran from the Metroid games (and her gender is hidden by her armor). Jigglypuff is often assumed to be female, but like Pikachu and Yoshi (who are usually considered to be male), its gender is actually unknown.
    • To avert the principle, Super Smash Bros. Melee, introduced three new females; Peach from the Super Mario Bros. multimedia franchise, Zelda and her alter ego Sheik from the The Legend of Zelda games, and Nana from the game Ice Climber.
    • Brawl only introduced one new woman in Samus's Zero Suit form.
    • The fourth game split Samus and Zelda into their two separate characters, cut Nana, and introduced Rosalina, Palutena, Lucina, and Bayonetta. The Wii Fit Trainer, the Villager, Robin, Corrin, and the Mii Fighters can be either gender; the default Trainer is female, while the default Villager, Robin, and Corrin are male. Finally, Wendy Koopa is an alternate costume for Bowser Jr. Of the genderless characters, Jigglypuff remains the only one that fans consider to be femalenote  while the rest are all seen as male.
    • Ultimate, as of this time of writing, brought the Ice Climbers (and, as such, Nana) back, and also added Daisy and Isabelle as new fighters. Additionally, it's now possible to play as a female Pikachunote  and Pokémon Trainer, while the generic female Mii Gunner is unlocked as a character through the World of Light. A case could also be made for Dark Samus as a female character, being partially comprised from Samus' DNA, and being gendered as such in their official blog post. As for DLC fighters, Kazooie shows up alongside Banjo as usual, but while Terry Bogard has been confirmed for a future update, it's unknown if his female form from SNK Heroines would be available as an alternative in the same manner as certain other fighters.
  • South Park: The Fractured but Whole has eleven male party members and only one female, Call Girl AKA Wendy. The player can make it Two Girls to a Team instead if they choose to have the New Kid identify as female, but even then only Call Girl ever actually finds out the New Kid is a girl. The Casa Bonita DLC adds the goth chick Henrietta as a party member, bumping the female roster to a potential three.
  • Warcraft games: Out of all the 12 heroes available in the initial third Warcraft, only one is female (Priestess of the Moon). The expansion averts this by adding three more female heroes (Warden, Dark Ranger, and Naga Sea Witch).

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