NES - Playable Female Characters

When thinking of Nintendo Entertainment System games that have playable female characters it's hard to come up with more than a couple like the obvious Samus.
But looking closely at the NES library reveals quite a few.
There's 76 games currently on this list which feature 8-bit ladies, with more that still needed to be added.
Only 2 games with female protagonists are on the NES Classic Edition. However it is possible to mod and add your own ROMs to it.

A PARTIAL tag means the games has a female playable character, but you play as multiple characters, as a party, or they are only available in a different mode, like multiplayer etc..
A FULL tag means the game has a female character you play though the entire game as.

A Nightmare On Elm Street as Multiplayer characters Partial%20stamp%20Resized.png
Sidescrolling, Horror. When playing with 3 or 4 players two of the characters will be women.

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: Heroes of the Lance as Goldmoon Partial%20stamp%20Resized.png
Side scrolling RPG. In the game you can switch between 8 different party members.
A Nightmare On Elm Street Screenshot

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: Pool of Radiance Partial%20stamp%20Resized.png
RPG. You create a party, choosing the race, class, and gender of each member.
Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: Heroes of the Lance Screenshot

Apple Town Story (Little Computer People) full%20stamp%20Resized.png
Simulation. You play as a little girl who is given a random name at the beginning of the game.

Alien³ as Ellen Ripley full%20stamp%20Resized.png
Platforming shooter.

Alien Syndrome as Mary full%20stamp%20Resized.png
Shooter. At the beginning of the game the player chooses between Ricky and Mary.
Or if playing coop, one player controls each.
Alien Syndrome Screenshot

Arkista's Ring as Christine full%20stamp%20Resized.png
Top down shooter

Athena as Athena full%20stamp%20Resized.png
Platformer with RPG elements.
Athena NES screenshot

Attack Animal Gakuen as Nokko Win full%20stamp%20Resized.png
3D shooter. Inspired by Sega's Space Harrier.
Attack Animal Gakuen Screenshot

Bad News Baseball Partial%20stamp%20Resized.png
Sports. Possible to play as girl team. Instructions in game page
Bad News Baseball Screenshot

Baseball Stars Partial%20stamp%20Resized.png
There's an all female team, the Lovely Ladies, and a hidden feature
Baseball Stars Screenshot

Barbie as Barbie full%20stamp%20Resized.png
Side scrolling game with shooterish mechanics.
barbie NES

California Games Partial%20stamp%20Resized.png
Sports game. You play as a female character only in the skating event.
California Games Screenshot

Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse as Sypha Belnades Partial%20stamp%20Resized.png
Trevor is the main character, but there are three other support characters you can play in latter levels

Caveman Games (Caveman Ughlympics) as Crudla Partial%20stamp%20Resized.png
Sports game with six different events.
Caveman Games Screenshot

Defenders of Dynatron City as Ms. Megawatt & Buzzsaw Girl Partial%20stamp%20Resized.png
The player can switch between any of the six defenders anytime during the game.
Defenders of Dynatron City Screenshot

Digital Devil Story: Megami Tensei as Yumiko Shirasagi Partial%20stamp%20Resized.png
RPG. You play as Akemi Nakajima with Yumiko Shirasagi on your party.

Dirty Pair Project Eden as Kei and Yuri full%20stamp%20Resized.png
Side-scrolling shooter
Dirty Pair Project Eden Screenshot

Disney's The Little Mermaid as Ariel
Disney's The Little Mermaid gameplay Disney's The Little Mermaid pause screen

Dragon Warrior II as Princess of Moonbrooke
Later in the game you can recruit Princess of Moonbrooke into your party.
Dragon Warrior II

Dragon Warrior III

Dragon Warrior IV

Dusty Diamond's All-Star Softball as Zelda & others
Dusty Diamond's All-Star Softball roster Dusty Diamond's All-Star Softball gameplay

Famicom Detective Club: The Missing Heir (Tantei Club: Kieta Kōkeisha) as Ayumi Tachibana

Faria: A World of Mystery and Danger!
Cursed man

Final Fantasy

Friday the 13th as Camp Counselor
At the start of the game you can choose which camp counselor to play as.
Friday the 13th character selection map Friday the 13th gameplay

Gall Force Eternal Story

Gauntlet as Thyra
At the start of the game you select from 4 different heroes, one of which is female.
Gauntlet NES hero selection Gauntlet NES gameplay

Gauntlet II as Valkyrie
At the start of the game you can choose betwerrn Warrior, Valkyrie, Wizard, and Elff. Valkyrie is the female character seen in the title screen.
Gauntlet II title screen Gauntlet II gameplay

The Guardian Legend as Miria
Action Adventure Shooter. In the first level of the game you control a space ship. After that you play as Miria for some levels and go back to the scrolling shooter in the ship for other levels.
The Guardian Legend Miria The Guardian Legend gameplay

Idol Hakkenden as Erika
Text adventure gameplay
Indivisible as Ajna
Homebrew. Join Ajna as she battles through forgotten temples in search of her tapir, Roti!

Kiki KaiKai: Dotou Hen as Sayo-chan

Kira Kira Star Night DX

Konami Wai Wai World as Konami Lady

The Krion Conquest (Magical Kids Doropie) as Francesca aka Doropie

Labyrinth as Sarah
Labyrinth NES gameplay

Layla as Layla
Layla title screen Layla gameplay

Lee Trevino's Fighting Golf as Pretty Amy
Sports. The player is given the choice of 4 characters.
Lee Trevino's Fighting Golf character selection Lee Trevino's Fighting Golf gameplay

Legacy of the Wizard as Meyna or Lyll
RPG. This game has a unique character selection. You move the cursor over the character you want to play as. There are 2 female options, the wife Meyna or the daughter Lyll.
Legacy of the Wizard character selection Legacy of the Wizard gameplay

Legend of the Ghost Lion as Maria
Legend of the Ghost Lion opening Legend of the Ghost Lion gameplay

Legendary Wings as Michelle Heart

Little Red Hood as Red Hood
An unlicensed Sachen game where you play as 'Red Hood'.
Little Red Hood gameplay

Lost Word of Jenny- Ushinawareta Message as Jenny
Lost Word of Jenny title screen Lost Word of Jenny gameplay

Maniac Mansion
Point and Click mystery. At the start of the game you choose two characters to accompany Dave.
Maniac Mansion character selection Maniac Mansion gameplay

Marusa No Onna (マルサの女) as Ryoko Itakura

Metroid as Samus Aran
Action Adventure. If you beat the game fast enough Samus will take her armor off revealing that she is a woman.
Metroid NES gameplay

Micro Machines as Anne, Cherry, or Bonnie

Miracle Ropitt's Adventure in 2100(Nen no Daibōken)
Action. You control a robot, and when they get hit is destroyed with a girl jumping out who you take control of.
Miracle Ropitt's Adventure 2100 gameplay

size 1.5em]]Namco Classic[[/size]]
Namco Classic NES gameplay

Paperboy 2 as Papergirl
You can choose to play as wither Paperboy or Papergirl.
Paperboy 2 character selection Paperboy 2 gameplay

Perfect Bowling
Perfect Bowling character selection Perfect Bowling gameplay

An unlicensed Sachen game loosly based on the Genesis Pocahontas game.
Pocahontas NES gameplay

The Quest of Ki as Ki

Racket Attack

RollerGames as Hot Flash: Vicki McEuen (the "Sly Fox")

S.C.A.T.: Special Cybernetic Attack Team as Sigourney

Shadow of the Ninja aka (Yami no Shigotonin Kage) as Lady Kaede

Shin Onigashima as Hikari

Space Hunter as Altiana

Sukeban Deka III as Yuka , Yuma, and Yui
Sukeban Deka III title screen

Super Mario Bros. 2 as Princess Toadstool or Peach

Sylviana: Ai Ippai no Boukensha (Adventurer Full of Love) as Sylviana

Times of Lore as a Valkyrie

Titanic Mystery: Ao no Senritsu as the three sisters

Top Players' Tennis

Track and Field 2 - Certain events

Ultima: Exodus

Ultima: Quest of the Avatar

Ultima: Warriors of Destiny

Urusei Yatsura: Lum's Wedding Bell as Lum

Valis: The Fantasm Soldier as Yuko Asou

Valkyrie no Bōken: Toki no Kagi Densetsu] as Valkyrie

The Wing of Madoola as Lucia

Wurm: Journey to the Center of the Earth as Moby

Female Creatures / non-human characters

Clu Clu Land as Bubbles

Hello Kitty World

Ms. Pac-Man

ROM Hacks

There are also quite a few ROM hacks that change the playable character to a woman.
Mario Bros Peach ROM Hack Zelda 2 Female Rom hack

Unknown / Disputed

Mach Rider
Image at the end could suggest Mach Rider was a woman, but there's no definite answer.

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