Valentine’s Day may be a month behind us but that doesn’t mean video game relationships need a special day to be noticed or enjoyed. In this feature, we take a look at some important relationships in video games.
Elena Fisher & Nathan Drake – Uncharted Series
Imagine if Indiana Jones never had a love interest or if Superman didn’t have Lois Lane. The debate about female characters and tacked on love interests is real, of course, but one thing is for certain: an attractive and manly protagonist is cooler and more appealing with an attractive-yet-capable female at his side.
Nathan Drake is one of the coolest characters spawned out of the last generation. With him we have chief love interest Elena Fisher as well as Chloe Frazier, a sort of Betty and Veronica deal. Chloe clearly has the most sex appeal, but Nate sides with the still-attractive and more down to earth Elena in most cases.
Nate’s hide is saved on numerous occasions by Elena and they partake in a number of dangerous missions together. Instead of being simply eye candy, she plays an important role in all three Uncharted games. Elena proves herself to be just as cool and capable as Nate which makes them the perfect match.
You & Estus Flasks – Dark Souls
In a relationship, you need someone you can unquestionably rely on. It’s difficult to think of a game in recent memory that forces you to rely on health potions as much as Dark Souls. While its prequel Demon’s Souls and sequel Dark Souls II also have health recovery options, you are more limited in Dark Souls with the amount you can carry. For this reason, you will find yourself relying on your Estus Flasks to heal yourself in a deep and passionate way. Every use of this precious commodity is life-saving. It’s scary to imagine going through Dark Souls without them.
The Normandy Crew & Shepard – Mass Effect Series
Mass Effect is one of my favorite RPG series of all-time. As one of the many decisions you make throughout the games, you are able to create relationships with any number of crew members and allies. While these relationships are often fun and entertaining, they also take strides towards gender equality with the ability to host both heterosexual and homosexual relationships as either male or female Shepard.
Mario & Mushrooms – Super Mario Series
Who would our favorite plumber be without his magic mushrooms? He would be a short, stocky, and entirely useless protagonist, that’s who. Without them, he wouldn’t be able to break boxes or unlock stronger powerups. If Mario weren’t there to ingest them, they would be doomed to run off of cliffs or bounce in between two blocks for all eternity, their lifeless eyes pleading for a plumber to aid them. One of the oldest and most famous relationships in gaming to date, it’s clear just how powerful and needed their relationship is.
Joel & Ellie – The Last of Us
As you’ll notice, I didn’t include any hearts in the above image. Joel and Ellie have more of a father and daughter relationship as opposed to a romantic one. Nonetheless, their relationship is important and deep. I wasn’t sure whether to include these two or BioShock Infinite’s Elizabeth and Booker. While both feature an older man/younger girl dynamic, I feel as though The Last of Us managed to approach it in a far more emotional and thematic way.
More than a useless escort, Ellie will help Joel find health kits, items to build weapons, and will attack a Runner going after Joel’s throat. In turn, Joel protects Ellie and learns to care for her as though she were his own. How this plays out late in the game I won’t spoil, but it safe to say that their relationship is open to a lot of interpretation and is one of the deepest I can think of.
What are some of your favorite gaming relationships?
Very well written! And I completely agree, what is mario without magic mushrooms?