Top 10 Romances in Video Games
As I mentioned last time on 1 More Countdown, January is fan appreciation month. All the lists I write during January will be suggested by YOU! The list this week was suggested by Bigjoe91 aka Jonathan Hallée. He suggested Top 10 Relationships… which I interpreted as romantic relationships… I hope that was his intention.
It doesn’t count because it’s a new game, but a HUGE honorable mention goes to “To the Moon” on Steam. Play it for a true romance story in a video game.
For this list I decided to focus on romantic relationships the game presents to you, and not romantic relationships you create in the game. Therefore games like The Sims and Harvest Moon will not count. As always, only retro games count and only one game per franchise.
10.) Crono and Marle – Chrono Trigger
Crono and Marle is probably one of the least realistic romance in gaming, but it’s one that I kinda enjoy.
Marle is a princess in disguise who after having some problems with her father, escapes to the Millennial Fair. At the fair she meets with our protagonist Crono and the two spend the day together eating food and playing games. Suddenly do to a teleporter malfunction Marle is transported back in time and the game truly begins…
Then there’s not much indicating a relationship between Crono and Marle… then they get married… the end.
9.) Dart and Shana – The Legend of Dragoon
While The Legend of Dragoon is one of my favorite games of all time, I must admit the love story is a bit weak.
Shana and Dart grew up together. Shana loves Dart, but Dart always saw Shana as a little sister more than a romantic companion. The two go on an epic adventure with several other characters and Dart begins to realize his feelings for Shana are much more that platonic. Then Shana gets sick and is replaced in your party… for… umm…. reasons.
It’s not a bad setup, but Shana is so whiny and weak willed, I stopped caring about her part in the story. Especially when backstories much more interesting (Rose and Haschel) showed up.
8.) James and Mary – Silent Hill 2
I’ve come to realize that many of my entries on this list have to do with death… either I’m very morbid, have a skewed view toward love, or think death + love = EMOTIONS!!!
Silent Hill 2 is no exception. Mary and James are a lovely married couple. They happen to vacation in the worse location possible, Silent Hill. After a vacation, Mary becomes terminal and is slowly dying in a hospital bed. When Mary passes away she leaves a note for James telling him to meet her in their special place in Silent Hill… or does she!?
Mary and James seem like a perfect couple, things change when she is destined to die… but the love is still there.
I don’t want to ruin the game because the story is one of the best parts. James meets a woman named Maria, who looks just like Mary but more wild and a ton is revealed about their relationship.. even if it is hidden under the typical Silent Hill fog and mystery.
7.) Rick and Jennifer – Splatterhouse
This is one hell of a tragic romance.
In the original game, Rick and Jennifer enter a mansion. Immediately Rick is knocked unconscious and Jennifer is kidnapped. Rick goes to rescue her, but finds her possessed by the monsters of the mansion. Rick then has to kill Jennifer, his love, in order to progress. It’s a heart wrenching scene. The second game is spent bringing Jennifer back from the dead.
Then in the third game Rick has to save his wife, Jennifer and his son from the monsters once again. The best ending shows Rick saving everyone, but as I mentioned in my Top 10 Game Over screens, the scenes where Jennifer is dead are mournful.
Bringing someone back from the dead is true romance… especially if it involves wearing a demonic hockey mask then shotgunning and chainsawing bloody monsters.
6.) Wander and Mono – Shadow of the Colossus
I’m not a huge fan of the damsel in distress… it’s why Peach, Zelda, and Princess Daphne are no where to be seen on this list. However, there’s a huge difference between Mario rescuing Peach and Wander rescuing Mono.
In the beginning of Shadow of the Colossus, Wander brings a deceased Mono to a shrine… no there’s no necrophilia going on here. Wander makes a deal with Dormin (a mysterious all powerful being… and definitely evil) that if Wander defeats all the colossi, then Dormin will revive Mono. Unfortunately every colossi Wander kills, gives Dormin more power and corrupts Wander.
So Wander kills 16 giant stone beasts, and has his body and soul corrupted by an evil shadow god figure… all for the one he loves. That’s dedication!
5.) Max and Mona – Max Payne
Speaking of damsels in distress…
Mona Sax is a contract killer hired to kill our titular protagonist, Max Payne. It’d be a short game if she did, so instead she falls in love with Max and refuses to kill him.
The two meet up often in the first two games, and nearly every time they do they end up pointing a gun at one another… it’s just the way they operate. In a way she reminds me of Irene from the NES Ninja Gaiden games… or Mr. and Mrs. Smith.
It’s a rocky relationship full of danger and gunfire, but Max and Mona are the type of couple that you know are made for each other.
4.) Guybrush and Elaine – The Secret of Monkey Island
Elaine is the governor of the Tri-Island Area and has some rocky relationships with pirates. She falls in love with the protagonist Guybrush Threepwood at first sight, but it’s not happily ever after. They fight, and have misunderstandings. It takes them time to realize they’re made for each other.
It doesn’t help that the evil pirate LeChuck often kidnaps Elaine and tries to force her into marriage.
Don’t call her a damsel in distress though, Elaine is perfectly capable of taking care of herself. She’s smart, tough, and sane, even surrounded by insanity… but kind and beautiful too.
She’s much more competent than her ‘hero’ Guybrush, but still loves his despite his idiocy. The two have saved each other more times than I can count, and now their relationship has never been stronger.
3.) Anju and Kafei – Majora’s Mask
I said Zelda wouldn’t appear on this list, I never mentioned anything about Anju and Kafei. It’s true I’m not a huge Zelda fan, and I never beat Majora’s Mask, but I beat this quest and am glad I did.
To sum it all up, Anju and Kafei are lovers who dream of being married. Until the Skull Kid, turns Kafei into a child. Then to top it all off, a thief stole the mask Kafei made for his wedding. (It’s equivalent to getting the wedding ring stolen.)
Link helps Kafei get the mask back. Then Kafei reveals to Anju that he was turned into a kid. Anju still loves Kafei, no matter that he’s a kid. Love doesn’t mind. The two spend their few remaining moments together embraced as the moon goes all splat.
2.) Tidus and Yuna – Final Fantasy X
If I had to include an entry from Final Fantasy, then it’s gotta be Tidus and Yuna… (I haven’t played Final Fantasy VII yet… so no Aerith and Cloud.)
So… umm… the plot to this game is complicated, but here it goes. Yuna is a summoner who goes on a pilgrimage to learn summons, then sacrifice herself to a giant monster so that the giant monster will go away for a little bit.
Obviously Tidus goes on the pilgrimage with Yuna as her guardian. The two begin to naturally feel romantic feelings toward each other. It’s a natural relationship. They start off friendly, flirt, fight, and finally come together.
Then it ends tragically… in more ways than one.
1.) Gordon and Alyx – Half-Life 2
Romance isn’t simple. It might be in video games or other forms of media… but in real life, romance is a crazy happenstance.
Therefore, my favorite relationship in a video game has to be Gordon Freeman and Alyx from the Half-Life series. Their relationship isn’t obvious… it’s portrayed through subtle dialogue cues, eye movement, and body language that the Half-Life series is famous for. It’s this fact that still has fans of the series debating if Alyx and Gordon truly are a couple or not.
Even though we can’t get too into the mind of Gordon, our silent protagonist, I believe Alyx has feelings for Gordon. However, there’s a lot going on around them with grotesque extraterrestrial beings to a suppression field, to much more that they can’t explore the relationship.
In short… it’s complicated…
But isn’t that how real love is?
Thanks to Bigjoe91 for the suggestion for this top 10 and remember January is STILL fan appreciation month. So write all your blog suggestions below, and maybe I’ll do it.