[WARNING OF POSSIBLE SPOILERS]
In the spirit of Valentine’s Day earlier this week, I’ve decided to write a list of 10 of my favourite ‘nearly couples’ in video games. But what dos ‘nearly couples’ mean? Well, it means that both characters express an interest in eachother, but neither they nor the game ever states that they are a ‘true couple’ – so official and married couples will not be on this list (sorry Nathan and Elena). But here are some rules:
- As stated, these couples cannot be married or in a relationship.
- I will not include games from manga and animes with spin-off game titles (mainly because I’ll probably do a anime version of this list) and I will include comic book, graphic novels, etc., etc. (otherwise this list will never be complete).
- I can only choose one ‘couple’ per franchise, i.e. if I choose Mario and Peach from the Super Mario series, I cannot choose Luigi and Daisy (spoilers, I didn’t choose either)
Alright, I think those are enough rules, let’s count it down!
#10 – Batman X Catwoman (various games)
For me, Batman and Catwoman are one of the golden comic book couples – their story is complicated yet not complicated at the same time. Their tales have been told in many different ways – sometimes they are in a relationship and even have children together; other times, they choose to abandon their love over their duties.
In the Arkham video games series, Catwoman appears often (even appearing as the antagonist in one of the games), however their relationship is touched upon, but never really explored. You can tell there is something between them – mainly evident in Arkham Knight when the Riddler kidnaps Catwoman so Batman has to solves puzzles in order to defuse a bomb planted on her. A relationship is also hinted between them in Injustice: Gods Among Us when Catwoman pleads with Batman to leave Gotham with her, but Batman being Batman, he declines so he can save the city once again, and they end up fighting eachother.
In Telltale’s Batman game, Catwoman is included at the start and over the course of the 5 episodes, their relationship intensifies to the point where they spend a night together. But in the end, Catwoman flees Gotham out of fear, and Batman has to let her go.
The reason why they’re #10 is because their origins are comic books and is predictable, but being such an iconic couple, I couldn’t not include them.
#9 – Reiji Arisu X Xiaomu (Namco X Capcom, Super Robot Taisen OG Saga series, Project X Zone series)
Who the hell are these people? No, what you should be asking is – who is this man and fox girl thing?
Reiji and Xiaomu first appeared in Namco X Capcom – a action RPG consisting of characters from various Namco and Capcom titles. It was Japan-only release game, so that’s probably why you’ve never heard of them or the game.
Reiji and Xiamou work for an organisation called Shinra, whose investigate disturbances in time and space, known as ‘fluxes’. 10 years prior to Namco X Capcom, Reiji’s father Shougo, was killed in a battle between Shinra and Ouma (another organisation). The game’s antagonist, Saya, is held responsible for the death of his father, which is why the two hold a grudge against her.
Namco X Capcom is a pretty long-winded game (it consists of 45 chapters) and through it, Reiji is given the role of being a ‘tight ass’ – all he cares about is duties and on the occasion, does show his caring side, especially towards Xiaomu. Xiaomu, however, is almost completely the opposite – she’s high spirited, comedic and often flirty towards Reiji. The two are a great team and seem to care deeply for one another. Hell, Reiji has a gun called ‘Gold’ while Xiaomu has a gun called ‘Silver’. Coincidence? I think not.
#8 – Solid Snake X Meryl Silverberg (Metal Gear Solid series)
Now, I haven’t played much of MSG but I know enough to dictate that Meryl was a definite love interest in Metal Gear Solid (it’s even stated on Wikipedia, so it must be true).
Meryl is a trained solider with a tomboyish attitude. She is very open with Snake – evening stating that during her childhood, she understood the world of guns more than the world of female puberty. He fate can also be decided by the player – if Snake endures being tortured by Revolver Ocelot, he will escape with her in the final segment of the game. If Snake does not, however, Meryl is later killed and Snake leaves her body to be buried in the ruins of Shadow Moses.
There are also some scenes the player can prompt during gameplay – for example, if Snake stares at Meryl during first-person mode, she begin to blush and ask embarrassing questions.
Meryl does return in later MGS games (despite her absence in MGS 2 to leave the previous game’s ending ambiguous) but is no longer seen as Snake’s love interest – in fact, she goes on to marry Johnny Sasaki/Akiba, the solider who imprisoned her in the first MGS game.
#7 – Delsin Rowe X Abigail ‘Fetch’ Walker (InFAMOUS: Second Son)
This is the first game I picked up in the InFAMOUS series, and also for my PS4. Second Son follows Delsin Rowe – a typical ‘bad boy’ teenager who suddenly gets super powers and decided to use them to fight against the prejudice of ‘Conduits’ (people who can absorb superpowers).
After discovering a series of murders of drug dealers, Delsin tracks down a girl called Fetch. After having a little fight and talking some sense into her, Delsin discovers that reason why she has been killing drug dealers is because of the death of her brother – the only person who accepted and protected her (this is explained more in InFAMOUS: First Light). Fetch eventually begins to trust Delsin, and there’s even a flirty conversation between the two before she helps him out on taking down some down guys.
#6 – Silver X Blaze (Sonic the Hedgehog series)
Not all of my ‘nearly couple’ can humans. Equally, I wanted to include LBGTQ characters too, but I couldn’t find any (boo).
Both Silver and Blaze first appear in Sonic ’06 (shudders) working together, despite how they met never being explained. Together, they try to stop Iblis and Sonic himself. Blaze is seen as the more calmer of the two – even to the point where she has to rescue Silver to ‘keep him out of trouble’.
Upon finally defeating Iblis, Silver tries to seal it within himself, but is rejected. Blaze, with her pyrokinesis skills, was accepted as vessell, and thus sacrificed herself. However, all events are erased, meaning that Silver and Blaze never actually crossed paths.
Due to Blaze’s powers, she often isolated herself due to other people’s fear, meaning she often spent time alone and found it hard to trust people. So, in order for her to even consider Silver a friend – despite how they met – means that they have some sort of special connection.
#5 – Warren Graham X Max Caulfield (Life is Strange)
Life is Strange is a beautiful indie game about friendship and consequences. You play as Max Caulfield – a shy and dorky teenage girl who discovers the power to turn back time. Warren is one of Max’s closest friends and a typical ‘science geek’. He is introduced almost at the beginning of episode 1, in which Max has to return the flash drive Warren gave her which contains films. Once Max gets it back from one of her classmates Dana, it is hinted that Warren has strong feelings towards Max, but she does not feel the same way.
Throughout the episodes, there are little ‘moments’ between the two – Max can help Warren with a science experiment to help his grade advance later in the week. At the end of episode 2, Max is seen with Warren watching an eclipse after going through the day’s events, ending with Warren moving closer to her so she is no longer cold.
Warren also takes a few beatings for Max through the game, mainly by one of the game’s antagonists, Nathan Prescott. Many characters seem aware of Warren’s feelings for her, despite Max being oblivious or just plain ignoring it. You can also make a choice to go on a date with Warren for a movie marathon in episode 2 and towards the end of the final episode, she can choose to hug, kiss or leave Warren before jumping back in time.
How Max’s and Warren’s relationship develops after the game ends is down to the player’s final choice in episode 5. If the player decided to sacrifice Chloe for Arcadia Bay, all of their developments through the episodes are erased due to Max rewriting history. But if the player does not sacrifice Chloe, a body is seen covered in a blanket by the Two Whale Diner next to a car that looks similar to Warren’s, indicating that he was killed during the storm.
#4 – Alex Weiss X Lara Croft (Tomb Raider (2013))
Similar to Max and Warren, it is heavily hinted throughout Tomb Raider that Alex has feelings towards Lara, but she does not return them. Alex often defends her when Reyes turns on her or tries to cheer her up when she feels helpless.
Alex is the last member of the Endurance to die (apart from Whitman, but I don’t count him for obvious reasons), and is certainly the saddest death for me. The crew discover the PT boat that needs to be repaired in order to escape Yamati. Alex volunteers to sneak back aboard the now broken-down Endurance, hoping he may get the chance to impress Lara when he returns. Despite this, Lara goes to search for him after he doesn’t return, only to find out that he is stuck and cannot escape. Despite being injured, Alex found the tools but has a gas container pinned on his leg, ultimately breaking it. Lara tries to free him, however with the impending Solarii and the ship on the verge of destruction, she has no choice but to leave him.
A journal can later be found written by Alex, expressing his feelings for Lara. She takes his death hard, and vows that she will may sure no-one else dies.
#3 – Cloud Strife X Tifa Lockhart (Final Fantasy VII)
I’m sorry, but I am a true supporter of Zach and Aeris being a couple.
The Final Fantasy universe has created a large amount of true love stories, but with Cloud being my favourite Final Fantasy character, I had to choose this couple over everyone else.
While Cloud and Tifa’s relationship is not hugely displayed in Final Fantasy VII (due to player’s choice as well), it is probably more evident in the movie Advent Children. I mean, they’re living together with 2 kids no less!
Tifa is a date option in the Golden Saucer segment of the game. It is also revealed that Cloud and Tifa were next door neighbours in Nibelheim before it was destroyed. When Tifa’s mother dies when she is 8, Cloud protects Tifa while climbing Mt. Nibel (despite her mother dying, Tifa thought her mother was there, so she went to go find her) but ended up being injured and their relationship somewhat impacted. However, before Cloud joins SOILDER, he sees Tifa one last time at the clock tower (a frequent date spot, apparently) and vows to protect her should she ever get a in trouble.
#2 – Eddy Gordo X Christie Monteiro (Tekken 4 – onwards)
Despite Tekken being a fighting game, it definitely explores personal relationships – the whole Mishima family are a good example.
Eddy was first introduced in Tekken 3 after being released from prison for a crime he did not commit – the murder of his parents (Kazuya Mishima was the one who actually killed them) and enters the tournament to extract his revenge (even though Kazuya did not appear in this game).
Christie is introduced into the following game as Eddy’s pupil. Eddy’s master is her grandfather and they were both in prison together. Eddy was release before his master, and so he made a vow to teach his granddaughter Capoeria. The two became close – so close that all 3 of Christie’s storylines revolve around Eddy and finding him while he broods on his first world problems.
In Street Fighter X Tekken, Christie pairs up with Detective Lei Wulong to search for Eddy, who she believes is after the Pandora Box. Lei warns her that it is a small chance he is involved, to which she replies, “Even if there’s the smallest chance, I’ll go! I have so much to say to him..,” She later witnesses his ‘death’ and is taken over by the power of Pandora.
Needless to say, Christie shows a much later interest in Eddy (this is especially evident in both their endings for Tekken Tag Tournament 2) but due to Eddy’s ambitious nature, he leaves her behind.
#1 – Link X Zelda (The Legend of Zelda series)
Link and Zelda’s relationship is easily one of the most frustrating romance pairings I have had to deal with. Link is – majority of the time – rescuing Zelda from Ganondorf and other evil doers; Zelda aids Link like a complete badass; it’s obvious they love eachother BUT THEY HAVEN’T EVEN KISSED YET!
Skyward Sword is probably the most we’ve gotten out of their relationship. It is placed as the first Zelda game and probably the strongest of their relationship – not just because of those scenes where it looks like Zelda is about to kiss Link but actually pushes him off Skyloft; or because Zelda’s father mentions how Zelda is slightly jealous of Link’s relationship with his Loftwing (yeah, she really gets jealous over a huge bird) or because of the way Zelda defends Link from Groose’s bullying ways – it’s because everything Link does in Skyward Sword is for Zelda. Yes, he rescues her in Ocanria of Time, but in Skyward Sword, Link allows Zelda to stay under the care of Impa – despite his mission being returning her to Skyloft. Skyward Sword certainly explores Link’s and Zelda’s relationship more than any other Zelda game, but then again, Breath of the Wild looks promising.
And there you have it – I hope you enjoyed! Do you agree with my list? Or would you make any changes? Let me know!
Until next week – take care! And happy belated Valentines Day!