I know this is a bit of a silly topic, but I'm always happy to talk about silly things.
What are your inspirations for your own version of FemShep?
Movie characters? TV characters? Novel characters?
I'm going to admit that my answers are probably a little oddball here:
-Jenny Shepard from NCIS.
HER NAME IS EVEN SHEPARD, HOW PERFECT IS THAT.
NCIS is a bit of a guilty pleasure, I have to admit.
-Marge from Fargo.
So - what about you? :3
Physically, Damara was originally supposed to be an Emma Watson lookalike, but she eventually became her own entity.
Her personality is my own creation, but takes cues from Mary Shannon (In Plain Sight) and Kate Beckett (Castle).
Appearance-wise, my Sheps are pretty much all their own people. Personality's a different story.
A lot of the time, I don't even notice when I'm being influenced by something, and it takes stepping back and taking a good, hard look at the character for me to see it. I think my first clue was when, while playing as my Canon!Shep (Vi), I realized her internal voice sounded a whole lot like Mary Elizabeth McGlynn (see: Motoko Kusanagi, Ghost In The Shell). It doesn't hurt that her voice and Hale's are very similar, pitch-wise.
Then I started noticing things. The maroon eyes. The nakama. The "screw with me or my crew, and I will mess your shit up" attitude. The snark. The hair-trigger temper. The unresolved sexual tension with her arch-nemesis.
Somewhere along the line, possibly while I was busy doodling and taking screenshots, Shepard had metamorphosed into some kind of horrible amalgam of Malcolm Reynolds, Starbuck, Ellen Ripley and Aeon freaking Flux.It was kind of a "holy shit, what have I done?" moment.
Thing is, now I have a hard time picturing her as anything else. Bugger. >.>
Well, Renee Shepard has long been my main FemShep, and I've had a short list of who has influenced my ideas of her.
1. My good friend Amanda. She's a redheaded woman who's genuinely good, with a mischievous streak. Also, some of the personality items from her have come into Renee.
2. Honor Harrington. It's mostly that I'd read all of the books published to date before I started playing, but I'm not sure any woman commanding a fictional starship can not be compared to Honor. They're both very strong willed women quite capable as both ship commanders and personal combatants. Although I've got a feeling Renee would beat Honor at the gun range, while Honor's height and strength advantage would be overwhelming up close.
3. VADM John D. Bulkeley. World War II PT Boat commander. About one of the most bad-ass people to have lived. From stealing an Ambassador's briefcase, to hauling MacArthur out of the Philippines, and finishing the war as CO of a destroyer, he'd be the sort of person you'd make a game about. His final assignment as Chief of the Board of Inspection and Survey, into the 1980's he would find the nastiest places on a ship to inspect. I could see Shepard being the crusty old officer who tears fleets new ones.
Somehow, I've managed to build 5 Femsheps and 4 Mansheps all with their own looks and personalities, but my "canon" Shep is, of course, just based on me. Well, me as Femshep. I named her Elliot (I was having a bit of a Scrubs phase at the time), she's bleached blonde, beautiful, nicknamed Soldier Barbie (for obvious reasons). Personality-wise, she's just like me; paragon, generally pleasant and morally correct, but with a quick temper - if you mess her around, she'll kick you in the throat and demand her money back. And she HATES batarians.
One of my others is worth a mention too... I basically modelled her off Han Solo, so she's cocky, arrogant, full of belief in her own awesomeness (not without cause, she's my only Shepard of the 9 who kept everyone alive on the SM), but very much morally straight. In a piece of background fanfic I did for her (she's a War Hero, by the way), I wrote out a transcript of an interview she did upon receiving her medal for the Elysium heroics, in which she admitted "I was half drunk that day, and they still couldn't get past me. If I'd been sober, then by the time reinforcements showed up, all they would've been was me sitting next to a pile of dead guys, smoking a cigarette and sipping on some Serrice Brandy, yelling 'What time do you call this?'"
Actually my main Shepard (Angelina) is also a character that I have created in other games, and RPGs under differant names,etc. Her inspiration just comes from I guess strong independent attractive females, but who also have a soft side. With what I'm trying to go for, even if in the Mass Effect games she looks like someone, there really isn't a few actresses or models that I can pinpoint her likeliness too, but many whom I have taken small bits, and pieces from. Her physical look is kinda suppose to be a tribute to alot of Science fiction shows, and movies mainly in the Red hair, and Blue eyes which are actually suppose to be White designer contacts (I'm getting a new PC in a few weeks, so I'll probably show new pics, of what I really want her to look like since I have ME2 on my steam account). She is also intended to be a rather physically imposing female, but I can't do that because the game doesn't allow anymore modification than the Head region. Angelina would probably be around 6'0 tall, and 155lbs; a combat specialist, I usually always have her as a Soldier. Her ethnic background is suppose to be Italian/Greek, I have a thing for People from regions around the Mediterranean so that played into a factor of her dark complexion. Her Personality is majority Paragon, but if she has to push a few buttons, and go fully renegade to get the job done, she will.
My 'canon' Shepard is inspired by, well, Shepard. Starting the game, I observed the character, how she behaved and how other characters reacted to her, and started to build from there. As far as morality choices go, I mostly picked the ones I personally would have picked, were I in Shepard's situation. So she was not a fully developed character before I started playing, but became one on the way.
My ruthless renegade Shepard I'm currently playing is at least partially based on some of the anecdotes one hears in my country, when people are defending Finland's conscription. We're told cautionary tales of how in countries with all-volunteer military, many of the people who end up serving are those who don't really have any other options (no access/ability for formal education, for example), and who consequently might not be the 'right' people for military service.
Of course, it is possible that all my Shepards are influenced in ways I'm not aware of. There might for example be a bit of BSG in some of them. I'm however doing my best to make sure they are their own characters, not too strongly based on anything/anyone pre-existing.
Well, appearence-wise I kinda slapped together most appealing parts and gave a random name that came out of my head, which frankly turned out to be a male name - Jaden.I admit that all my RPG characters have one thing in common- blue eyes.
But biography-wise, when I played with her for the first time I never paid attention to it... after some time passed and I started watching Jaden, pay attention to things other characters say about her and BAAAM, story started appearing.
My major inspiration is Astrid Magnussen from "White Oleander" movie. Insecure girl is taken away from careless but happy life and toughens up against life odds, breaks from her mother's control and becomes free, doing what she liked to do.
My primary FemShep, Braea, was initially based on the light-side jedi I played in SW: KotOR. (Her name was Braea, too, thanks to the random name generator.) From there, I evolved a version of her personality that I thought would fit the ME universe better (she's not nearly as goody-two-shoes as the jedi) and ran with it.
I'm now working on a second FemShep very roughly based on a dominatrix/super-spy character from an old-ish and obscure (and pretty terrible overall, really) fighting game. ;)