Given the vast amount of games being made in Japan, redheads are left unnoticed by the masses. Characters either have black hair or typical Anime blond. Even if the game's made in America, blonds, blondes and brunettes are much more common than carrot tops. I don't have red hair myself (Italian-Americans usually don't) but I thought this list would be amusing to write regardless. Also, as a caution to the uninformed, there are some slight SPOILERS in the list.

You don’t play as her and you never fight her, but Malon is a vital character in Link’s 3D adventures. The farm girl in Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask is the source of many memorable moments in Zelda history: the nickname Fairy Boy rings a bell, and who could forget the alien sequence of Majora’s Mask? But most importantly, it was Malon (or one of her bizarro-selves) who teaches you Epona’s Song and gets you Epona, Link’s trusted steed. Without Malon you’d be walking across a giant field for most of the game, there would be no fun horseback archery, and getting over the bridge to Gerudo Valley just wouldn’t look as cool. For giving us bizarre lines, fun minigames and a horse, Malon’s our #10

And the prize for character with the largest amount of red hair is Red XIII, who has so much that he’s named after it. Red is one of the more interesting characters of the series, as he fights using headdresses and is some sort of wolf/tiger thing. He reeks of coolness left largely unfiltered by an annoying emo attitude (I’m looking at you Cloud, Vincent, and Sephiroth.) Disregarding Cid, Red’s the only character that I enjoyed throughout the game. He looks awesome, dominates the ending of the game, and does it all with a full coat of red. Technically he’s not really a redhead given that it’s largely fur, which is why he’s so low on the list, but he definitely deserves a spot.

Perfect Dark is basically Goldeneye but with a new star: the redheaded Joanna Dark. She’s got stealth, smarts, and impeccable aim, and happens to be in one of the better first-person shooter series in the business. I mean, she's a spy who fights alien lizards, that's pretty nifty. Dark, based off the French saint Joan of Arc (or Jeanne d’Arc, get it?) is one of the first heroines of the 3D world that had more realistic proportions, which helped more people take the character seriously. She’s also super fun to play as in her classic game, even if her prequel was sub par at best. For being a Bond chick without actually being a Bond chick, Dark earns her stay on the list.

Even though most of his body is red fur, Knuckles the Echidna definitely has some dreadlock action going on up there. He starts as a villain, who never actually fights you but just messes with your plans and alters your routes. But when Sonic and Knuckles appeared you actually fought the echidna and won, resulting in him learning he’s been tricked by Robotnik and causing him to join your team. When you hook up Sonic and Knuckles to Sonic 3 you get the awkwardly titled Sonic 3 and Knuckles, and can play as the red-haired monotreme to your heart’s content. The glides, the climbing, and the new level layout makes Knuckles one of the better platforming figures in the 2D golden age. Sadly for some reason Sega decided that one villain-turned-antihero wasn’t enough and made Shadow, the awfully named immortal clone of Sonic who for some reason uses guns, and Knuckles became no more than a brooding nuisance who’s involved with a bat despite nature’s rules against this. Still, Knuckles deserves a spot on this list for his glory years on the Genesis.

Rayne is, in a word, unique. Not many heroines in any form of media are as vicious, bloodthirsty, or parasitic as this redhead. Rayne’s more brutal than most GUY characters; I mean, she’s Kratos but with fangs. She has a wide array of skills ranging from acrobatics to sucking the blood of her enemies using remote vision, and she uses them all perfectly to become a murder machine. While Joanna Dark is a great character for her stealth and smarts, Rayne is great for her all-out slayfests, requiring no patience and providing instant satisfaction.

He may be from the same series as our #10, but the differences between these two redheads are vast; for instance Malon is nice, she’s a female, she wants you to live, and she can’t transform into a giant pig demon. Ganondorf is a fantastic villain: snide, intelligent, strong and conniving. He’s also one of the longest-living villains, surviving the flooding of the planet to fight Link’s reincarnation in Wind Waker. I mean sure he gets fat and turns into stone after being stabbed…in the face…but he’s a tough guy. And most importantly he has a motive for world domination that isn’t entirely power. He’s just a guy who doesn’t want his people to suffer in the desert. Sure he kills a lot of people and ruins the world and is a power-mad overlord, but at least he’s got SOME shreds of sympathy.

Fighter is a man of few words and even fewer pixels, but he’s earned the love of millions of gamers worldwide. The first star of the colossal Final Fantasy series, Fighter was a constant in parties due to his mastery of weapons and godly attack and defense. With a couple of stat boosts he destroys Black Mage in terms of damage output, and all of his attacks are free. Fighter’s gotten a recent surge of fans due to the 8-Bit Theater comic series, displaying him as an idiotic yet loveable swordophile. But everyone who’s played the game knows that having this redhead on your team is the smartest choice in the game.

Bowser is many things: a dragon-turtle, a king, a villain, an ally, a form of comic relief, even a poet. But on top of all of that, he’s a redhead. Because we all know that mutant turtles (at least post-adolescent mutant turtles) are at least part ginger. Anyway, Bowser is the boss of bosses, resilient as a rubber band and strong as an ox. He’s been put down lava pits, he’s had his castles destroyed by plumbers and the occasional alien smith, and he’s never once given up in his attempts to kidnap Peach. Even though he always fails in the end, this loveable brute easily makes the top ten.

Now I love Chrono Trigger like most people do, so who could forget its main character? The archetypical silent protagonist, Crono is a constant on your team until late in the game, and even then he’s still recommended. He doesn’t develop much as a character; I mean sure he sacrifices himself to save his friends, but given his hero complex he would’ve done the same thing at the beginning of the game. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but he’s the same from beginning to end. In terms of usefulness in-game, Crono’s a champ. He gets Luminaire, one of the strongest spells in the game (Frog Flare anyone?) and his attack and speed are fantastic. He gets a much-needed revival spell as well, and can hit every elemental weakness through combo attacks. All in all, he’s probably the best person on the team until you get Magus, and even then he’s probably tied. Some characters are more popular and more favored personally (I loves my Robo and Frog…and Ayla and Lucca) but Crono’s a champ through and through.

Amarant, the monk and ninja of Final Fantasy 9, gets a lot of hate. And I mean a LOT of hate. I honestly have no idea why. People say he doesn’t develop and he’s there just there to be a token ‘cool quiet’ character. Yes, I agree he doesn’t have many lines and the plot wouldn’t differ at all if he wasn’t in the game. But Amarant is easily the most useful player in the game in terms of fighting, bar none. First off, the guy can hit. His No Mercy attack hits in the mid thousands when the strongest black magic spells are barely passing three digit terrain. Second off, he can fight without magic quite easily. Third, he can revive his teammates with the most health possible barring Full Life, which is gotten way late in the game. But most importantly the guy’s got Chakra. What’s Chakra, nonplayers ask? Well, for a very small amount of magic points Amarant heals any player’s health AND MAGIC by a middling degree. This means unlimited healing, if you have a white mage healing every turn and Amarant recharging her magic supply (occasionally Chakra-ing his own MP back up.) This means unlimited magic attacks, such as Flare and Meteor, without Vivi the black mage wasting a turn sucking back MP via Osmose. This means unlimited use of Shock, a late-game knight attack that hits for 9999 every time. The possibilities are endless. I can’t see any reason to ever have Amarant off your team. He can attack, he can support, he can do absolutely everything well and he does it with flaming red dreads and an awesome goatee. Amarant is the most overpowered character in Final Fantasy 9 by a long shot, and possibly the most overpowered character in the entire series. And who needs plot when one of your weapons is a dead dragon’s hand? He’s a blue-skinned red-haired beast, and he’s #1.

I've got a feeling some of you will not appreciate the godly Amarant's appearance or think that Crono is overrated (I can't stress enough how little his character develops.) This is obviously a personal list, and these are the some of the only redheads I could find. Dr. Robotnik (no, not Dr. Eggman) is a contender given his red mustache, but otherwise I honestly can’t think of many notable redheads. Still, I hope you've had a fun little read. Enjoy playing these games if you haven't already, and enjoy spending bored evenings writing top 10 lists if you have.

List by Kamikaze Tomato (04/05/2007)

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