The Case for the Woman Warrior in Kingdom Come: Deliverance

IGN is offering up a new editorial that makes the argument of adding a female protagonist to Warhorse Studios' Kingdom Come: Deliverance, using such examples as Jeanne D'Arc, Empress Matilda, Joanna of Flanders, and other such historical figures to help demonstrate why the game can still be historically accurate.

When developer Warhorse Studios recently showed their game Kingdom Come: Deliverance to media outlets, they explained all the options available to your protagonist. You can explore a large open world, create your own weapons, build relationships with characters (including seducing the local ladies), lead an army, and even customize your armor and play style. Yet there is one option that isn't available: a female avatar. The absence of a female protagonist in light of a customizable hero (as opposed to a preset one) seems rather puzzling, but Warhorse Studios insists that Kingdom Come: Deliverance is meant to be as true to life as possible, and a chevalière simply isn't "realistic."

As a history buff, I respect and appreciate this explanation. The desire to be historically accurate when recreating Medieval society is rather refreshing. Yet I can't help but feel pretty bummed about the lack of a heroine. Not because I believe that EVERY game MUST have female representation, but because I love role-playing games. When I play them, I can project my id onto a character and become immersed in their world. For just a few hours I can be a ruler, or a pirate, or even a ninja. And no matter what I choose to be, I always choose a woman if given the option. Because being a woman is so integral to who I am. So I appreciate it when developers like Bethesda and Bioware give you the choice to be either male or female.

But Warhorse Studios isn't doing a fantasy RPG; it's trying to do a semi-historical one, and not many women rode off to battle in Medieval Europe. And yet it is not unprecedented for women to have donned armor in order to defend themselves and their families. The most famous example is seventeen year-old Jeanne D'Arc (Joan of Arc), who took up arms on behalf of the French and fought the English army in the 15th century. And she wasn't the first woman to show courage in battle, either. Here are five other women who made history by being women warriors in the Middle Ages: