Ah, Valentine’s Day. The one day in the year dedicated to celebrating love, warmth, and St Valentine (patron saint of tacky cards, overpriced chocolate, and the Valentine’s Day Massacre). It’s not just real people who have feelings, though. Algorithms are people too! Well okay, they’re not; but the following examples could fool you briefly. Maybe.
5: Mario & Peach/Daisy (Super Mario)
It’s not exactly epic Shakespearean writing, but it’s surely the most famous romance in gaming. A little confusing, too; what’s going on with the whole Peach/Daisy thing? Is Mario dating them both at the same time? Are they aware of this? Do they even know of one another’s existence? If they’re princesses and Bowser is a king, does that mean they’re sisters and he’s their dad? So is Bowser constantly kidnapping his own daughters and forcing Mario to go through elaborate trials to prove that he’s worthy of their hands in marriage? Do they even get a say in this??
Check out Mario HERE
4: Guybrush & Elaine (Monkey Island)
It’s the classic comedy pairing; a lovable buffoon of a man in a relationship with a (relatively) normal woman who somehow fell in love with him. Tempting as it was to put this at number one because of the involvement of a zombie pirate in the love triangle, I think we all have to admit it’s the games we truly love and remember rather than the future Mr & Mrs Threepwood. Still, with razor-sharp banter between the two (including a great many put downs from Elaine to Guybrush), It’s one of the bestest romances gaming has to offer.
Check out Monkey Island HERE
3: Max & Chloe (Life Is Strange)
I was torn about including this, because technically it’s a spoiler. The player-led nature of the game means that it’s not a guaranteed event, though – ‘it’ being the two sharing a kiss during one possible ending. Said kiss is a touching and heartbreaking moment that will draw tears from all but the most unfeeling of souls; and not just because, if that’s where your actions have taken the story, Max and Chloe have both spent the entire series dancing around their feelings for one another. One of my favourite games of all time.
Check out Life Is Strange HERE
2: All the male COGs (Gears of War)
If you’re going to try to deny that Gears of War is the most overtly homoerotic mainstream game series of all time, you’re not even fooling yourself. The hilariously overblown macho talk and “hoo-ra!”s are nothing more than a paper-thin cover for the forbidden love all the soldiers clearly feel for one another. It’s perfectly understandable that they feel the need to conceal their feelings, given the American military’s history on the subject. With the women safely secreted away on ships and in bases so that the men don’t feel uncomfortable, the COG soldiers are free to gaze longingly at each other’s alarmingly oversized and bulging muscles, screaming inside that another bulging muscle must wait until the game cameras are pointed elsewhere for satisfaction.
Check out Gears Of War HERE
1: River & Johnny (To The Moon)
Putting all joking aside – which I am known to do on rare occasions – To The Moon is a beautiful and ferociously powerful piece of art which I demand you all play. And usually, I’ll argue very loudly that games aren’t art. It tackles issues of love but also mental illness, regret, guilt, compromise, and so much more. River and Johnny’s tale is as far removed from a traditional love story as you can get. Why? Because it’s the most tragic, twisted, and realistic relationship gaming has ever seen. I don’t really do crying at fiction, but I sure as hell cried at the end of this.
Check out To The Moon HERE
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