From the Gamertell article, "All too often, female characters in video games are given bit parts, or designed in a manner that shows developers clearly intended them to act as eye candy. While female characters have become incredibly visible in games as time has gone by, it still can be difficult to discern characters who are really good role models for female players.
To make matters worse, when lists are compiled of strong female leads, they tend to feature the same characters over and over again. I've seen Lara Croft appear in lists at least 20 times, and frankly she doesn't always deserve the spot. Samus Aran is also a popular star in these lists. Lara's got her merits, sure, but there are stronger and more competent female characters. And Samus really hasn't had much character development - sure she's a strong bounty hunter and fights aliens, but other than that we don't know that much about her.
Here are eight female characters, many of whom are often forgotten, who should be considered role models for girl gamers. They are unique individuals in their various storylines and possess strong personalities. In order to help narrow down the field of eligible role models, the characters are all ones who appeared in role-playing (or RPG-like) games."