It’s Valentine’s Day, and every game site worth its salt is posting about video game love and video game couples, so it took me a little bit to figure out how I would differentiate my post. I decided to look at popular video game couples or couplings that didn’t make it, whether it was for plot points, or just because the relationship only exists in the minds over undersexed gamers. Sometimes the developers aren’t making a love story, but they build a lot of chemistry between characters, which lead the player to infer that there is some kind of relationship there. Other times a really bad localization helps push the gamer into such thoughts. There are times where multiple love interests exist, but the developer makes it clear that only one of them is cannon. What I’m trying to say is that there are a ton of options to choose from, so let’s begin. Note: There will be spoilers
|This is why the internet is the greatest invention of mankind. It’s because things like this exist.|
1.) Cloud and Aeris (Final Fantasy VII)
What’s that internet? Don’t I mean Aerith? I’ll use the proper name when Final Fantasy VII gets a new translation, but until then, I’m sticking to what I know. Anyway, this is one of the most famous pairings on this list. The player could make choices throughout the game that allowed Cloud to get romantic scenes with either Tifa or Aeris, but even if you ended up getting Barret scenes, Aeris was still the clear romantic interest for Cloud. Even Cloud’s mom wanted him to be with her (Wanting an older woman for him). Aeris was built as the primary love interest so that players would be extremely upset when she was killed halfway through the game. Her death is one of the defining moments in gaming, so I’d say that Squaresoft did a pretty good job. Unfortunately, no matter how many “revive Aeris” rumours there were, there was no way to bring Cloud and Aeris back together. Of course after Crisis Core, fans know that she was really Zack’s girl, so fans can take heart that they were reunited after their horrific violent deaths… wait.
|If Aeris is dead here (Advent Children picture), does that make Cloud a necrophiliac?|
2.) Solid Snake and Meryl (Metal Gear Solid)
Meryl was Snake’s love interest in the first Metal Gear Solid. In that game, it was left unclear as to whether she died or not, as there were two endings: one where she and Snake lived, and one where she died and Snake rode off into the sunset with Otacon (This pairing could also make the list). She didn’t appear in another Metal Gear Solid until the fourth one, showing that her surviving was the cannon ending. Of course by the fourth game, Solid Snake had aged horribly due to his genes (No, I’m not explaining Metal Gear Solid’s plot to you), and love was kind of off the table then. The funny part of the whole ordeal is that she ended up with a character named Johnny, who was an regular grunt in the original Metal Gear Solid and has had cameos in all the others until taking up a bigger role in the fourth game. The reason this is funny is that all of the regular guards in Metal Gear Solid were genome soldiers, which, long story short, makes Johnny essentially a clone of Solid Snake. So they did end up together in a really backwards kind of way, aww.
|Don’t worry, premature ejaculation happens to everybody|
3.) Hawke and everybody who wasn’t Isabella (Dragon Age 2)
This isn’t exactly a popular pairing, nor does it come from a very well received game, but it is a good example of developers shoehorning a cannon romance into a game where you are supposed to be able to romance anyone you want. The reason I say that this is the cannon romance is that the ending has all of the characters distancing themselves from Hawke, but only Isabella remained at his/her side. This is the same even if you romanced one of your other characters, so it’s a little weird. It is strange that a rather progressive game that allows any gender Hawke to fall in love with any gender party member would stick this at the end, but at the same time, it could just be an oversight, as the writing got pretty lazy near the end. My Hawke romanced Meryl, and that is the romance that I care about, not some stock pirate queen.
|Or romance Fenris, I don’t care.|
4.) Link and Zelda (Zelda… I don’t have to tell you this right?)
Link and Zelda have the worst love life you could ever see. For half of the games that Zelda even makes an appearance, she’s just a damsel in distress so we can’t tell if Link ever got his love on. Even assuming he does, most of the games involve a totally different Link (No, I’m not making sense of that awful timeline), so he has to start at square one every time. In Wind Waker and Phantom Hourglass, Link was effectively friendzoned by Tetra (Zelda). Even in Ocarina of Time, Zelda just sends Link back in time after they can finally be together. In other words, their romance is pretty bare bones at best. Still, gamers just assume that they are destined to be together, so it can be frustrating that they see so little romance between the eponymous character and her little green fairy boy.
|She’s still not beyond jealousy.|
5.) Nier and Kaine (Nier)
Alright, this is the only niche game I’m putting on the list so bear with me. Nier (The game) is actually two games, one called Replicant, which was released only in Japan and had a young fresh-faced Nier (The character), while North America got Gestalt, which had Nier as an older man. Some of the developers have spoken out saying that Kaine is the romantic interest for young Nier, but not older Nier. The confusion comes from the multiple endings, one of which has your character erasing his entire existence (Not just dying) to revive Kaine. The other final ending (There are four, but only the last two really count), has Kaine dying, so basically whatever you do, they won’t be together. That’s just the way Nier (The game) is. Its entire job is just to screw with your emotions and rip out your heart (This is getting a little dark for a Valentine’s Day post).
|This Valentine’s Day, tell your lover that you’d erase your entire existence for them!|
6.) Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine (Resident Evil)
Of course I had to mention this couple. She has the word Valentine in her name; the temptation was too great. Anyway, these were the two playable characters from the original Resident Evil, and have been the most prolific playable characters throughout the series. Capcom didn’t really start on the whole “Chris and Jill should be together” train, until the fifth game, where almost every word out of Chris’ mouth is about “partners” and how great his old “partner” was. This is continued in a far more overt way in Resident Evil Revelations where both Chris and Jill seem to be mindless idiots when it comes to trying to find each other. Despite this dialogue, and I’m sure lots of fanfiction, Jill and Chris haven’t ever gotten together, and their weird obsession with “partners” can probably be chalked up to Resident Evil’s generally abysmal writing and voice acting.
|Every romance needs more Wesker.|
There we go internet, a bunch of couples that will probably never get together. But remember there are plenty of successful video game relationships, like Mario and Peach, Squall and Rinoa, or Commander Shepard and the entire galaxy. And who knows what the cast of Street Fighter is up to, probably something unseemly I’d bet.. So happy Valentine’s Day, internet. Try to make this day a little more like Catherine and a little less like Manhunt. If you don’t have a special someone, then make the day a little more like Dead Space.
– Mistranslations for the Modern Gamer.