6 Amazing Romances In Games
I’m always a sucker for a great romance story. Not the kind you see on daytime television or those godawful romantic comedies. No, I’m talking about real meaningful interaction between two individuals that can only be described as true love the moment you witness it. Games seem shy of the idea and if I’m being honest, I had a hard time coming up with games that did the whole romance thing well. Romance is a hard thing to do in games. It can either be shamelessly plugged or done in such a sappy way that you want to kill yourself every time you catch mention of any intimacy between certain characters. It’s a sad ordeal that games don’t delve into the concept of love as often as it should and only wish to have it as a side-dish or something completely redundant.
There are games, however, that do romance right. The games I’m going to mention here in this feature are just my personal favourites and I understand that there are a lot more romances out there that you might have enjoyed. Let’s dive in shall we?
Jenny And Jackie — The Darkness
Ever since playing the first The Darkness many years ago, I was always fascinated by the love that Jackie and Jenny had for each other. This romance wasn’t just purely based on attraction or was done on impulse. This was a real and meaningful relationship. They grew up together, were there for each other through the hard times in their lives and knew everything about each other. You could tell that Jackie loved Jenny to such an extent that he would do anything for her no matter the consequences. I was extremely sad in the first game when Jenny was killed right in front of Jackie and could understand the pain that Jackie felt. Hell, I would also have sprouted tentacles from my back and started killing everyone in my path.
The flashback scenes in the second game made my heart go all warm and fuzzy. Those moments where you hold Jenny and don’t even care that it’s just an illusion were heart-wrenching to say the least.
Squall And Rinoa — Final Fantasy VIII
This is a very special entry for me because this was the first time that I felt an actual human connection to characters in a videogame. The romance that Squall and Rinoa had throughout Final Fantasy VIII had me so invested and interested that I couldn’t help but feel some sort of connection. It’s also the first time that I was infatuated with a female gaming character. What? I was going through puberty when I was playing this game. I blame nature. The fact stands that this was one of the most powerful romances in gaming’s past. Squall was so deeply in love with her that he would do quite literally anything he could to keep her safe and protect her. One of the cutscenes from the game where Squall frees Rinoa and catches her in his arms is still engraved into my head to this day.
Just thinking about this makes me in the mood to play Final Fantasy VIII again just to relive those glorious moments of true love and self-sacrifice.
Garcia And Angel — Shadows Of The Damned
There is something truly romantic about your lover literally going through Hell just to rescue you. Shadows Of The Damned always struck me as a comedic representation of Dante’s Inferno and with good reason. The things that Garcia (Fucking Hotspur. I had to) does to make sure that he rescues the love of his life is amazing. If this was just a fling I’m sure he would have said “fuck it” and just carried on with his life. I know I would have. But he stuck by her through screaming baby doors and scarecrows that don’t know the meaning of modesty.
This is just pure dedication and nothing else. If you’re willing to go through Satan’s backyard for the person you love then it certainly is meant to be. Of course their love can be criticised to no end because of the wackiness of it all, but the principle of it all still stands.
Juliet And Nick — Lollipop Chainsaw
I have a sneaking suspicion that Suda51 is a hopeless romantic. How else would you explain two entries in this list otherwise? The love that Juliet and Nick have for each other had me conflicted in the beginning. On one hand it’s a relationship between two High School students, a concept I despise to no end, but on the other hand it was just so… sweet. I guess it’s just the concept of young lovers that stand by each other through adversity. And there was a shit-ton of adversity to start off with. That and the fact that Juliet cut off Nick’s head and stuck him on a magical device just so that they can be together.
The only thing I don’t understand is how Nick always complains about being a head stuck on his very attractive girlfriend’s butt. That is the dream man.
Vincent And Catherine (Katherine) — Catherine
First off, holy shit I said Catherine a lot in that title. Catherine is a game based solely on love. Sure, it had block puzzles, but the entire reason behind it was love. It was up to you to choose between Chaos and Order. Do you prefer a solid and sustainable relationship where both of you do your parts and everything is routine or do you long for the thrill of excitement and the unknown. Catherine gave you those options. Not only that, but you get to live the life of Vincent, a regular guy conflicted between two women with names that sound the same. Do you stick with Katherine, the more grounded of the two or Catherine, the fun and exciting blonde girl with some secrets up her sleeve.
The tale of romance was so engrossing that I finished the game 8 times just to see all the different variations in the endings. Catherine is most definitely one of the best romance games out there.
Commander Shepard And Whoever You Chose – Mass Effect
Ah BioWare, you sure do know how to do romances. Throughout the entire Mass Effect series, romance certainly played a huge part in the overall scheme of things. You get to choose who you fall in love with and stick by throughout the three games. My personal choice was Tali. She was just so sweet and caring that I couldn’t help but choose her. Sure, there were more attractive choices, but who wants to settle with the norm? That’s the beauty of it. You can choose whether or not you want to settle for a normal human relationship or delve into the unknown and date an alien. Whether you chose to be a hunky man or a sexy lady, there was always someone there for you to choose.
I love this about BioWare games. They make you feel a deep centred love for a fictional character to the point where you actually care so much about them that you’re willing to make sacrifices in order for them to still be around. I was, however, deeply pissed that I couldn’t see Tali’s face. My hand also felt neglected.
Love in games has an almost foreign concept and I don’t see the reason behind that. Sometimes the most memorable part of a game to me is the romance part. For example in the case Final Fantasy VIII I remember the romance between Squall and Rinoa more than the actual storyline of the entire game. We all need some loving in our lives.