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I really 'prefer' tougher antagonists. I don't mean DUKE NUKEM FUCK YEAH LOOK AT MY BICEPS tough, but main characters that maintain control over their situation, maintain control of themselves, and generally handle their fucking business. They don't even have to LOOK manly; i.e., Zidane of FFIX is a good example of the above. I dislike heroes that look AND act like girls, though.


I'm not overly picky appearance wise, although I do prefer an average looking character (as in, not scrawny or juiced up).

Mentally though, I need my main character to be strong. He/She/It is allowed to have some weakness, but I don't like it very much when their weaknesses take control over them at every waking moment. Personally one of my favorite main characters is Spike from Cowboy Bebop. Generally just handles his shit.
Spike is not jacked up to shit, nor is he least bit scrawny.
A badass character like Spike would be perfect for an RPG.

If handled correctly...
I'm not really sure which one I prefer seeing as though I've encountered both good and bad versions of both.
I think I prefer strong a little more. I do think having a sissy character is a way to boost character development, but my god, when you have a sissy hero like Emil from ToS:KoR, you just can't help but smash your head against a wall and give up all hope for any other sissy character.
I've recently played Tears of Reality whose main character definitely can be classified as "sissy" and it worked well. However, I think a "sissy" protagonist is more likely to annoy the player if the writer isn't up to the task.

As a rule, a strong protagonist has the ability to get things done. There's a danger with the "sissy" protagonist that he trough his indecisiveness manages to waste time. Sure, the personal problems that character has is supposed to be part of the story and not a waste of time, but the player may not view it that way. Still, an inspired "sissy" protagonist will be better than an uninspired strong protagonist.
Max McGee
with sorrow down past the fence
Of course, strong protagonists can have moments of indecision and "sissy" (what a vile word that is) protagonists can have moments of badass assertiveness (or assertive badassery) as the situation warrants.
TLDR but...

I prefer a wee bit of both. I don't like superheroes that are like, so strong that it's almost mary sue-ish and I don't like overly sissy and girly male characters. But in all honesty, I prefer them as not overly muscular or show too much muscles, just a girl's thing on my side, I find them attractive that way.

S-someone like Mr. Souji Seta will be fine with me.
Squall is probably my favourite lead from an RPG because although he does have his "HELP ME SAVE RINOA PLZ DO SOMETHING" moment or two (like Solitayre implied, is that so wrong, anyway?) he is mostly an all-in-a-day's-work go-to guy. That's what being a lead in an RPG should be all about IMO; putting the "leader" in "lead", despite common weaknesses.

Come to think of it Cloud wasn't that bad either and apart from impractical Buster Sword I don't know why people hate him so much really.

So yeah, I'd go with a mixture of both I guess. Why give preference to one type of personality? Man is ultimately multi-dimensional anyway.

I think Cloud was better in that, while he had his REALLY vulnerable moments, for the most part, he was a fairly strong, optimistic, motivated character. He was actually badass without seeming emotionless. Squall wasn't bad, but a lot of his potential likability for me was lost when he'd pause after EVERY line to inject his "I hate people, I don't want to have friends" monologues. Neither protagonists are nearly as bad as haters make them out to be, though. At least not until the Complication for Cloud anyway.

On the whole, I tend to prefer the less macho characters, if only because I'm more of a brain over brawn kinda guy when it comes to things like that, and the general stereotype is that you cannot have both. At all.

I'd like to see a game star a character like Armstrong from FullMetal Alchemist. Big machismo dude who breaks into tears at the drop of a hat.
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