Welcome back for the second and final part of my unconventional romances in video games. You can find the first part here. Once again, with Valentine’s Day here, its a time to celebrate and realize its time to partner up no matter who that partner is, you gotta get on and ride’em. The only ground rule is that it won’t be a list with two people loving one another. All there needs to be is an undying love or an undead love in some cases.
DEAD SPACE 2: ISSAC CLARKE & TRAIN FACE
I call her Train Face, because every time she opens her mouth, all I see is light, but her real name is Nicole Brennan. While she might be just another side character in the first Dead Space, she’s in the sequel front and center as its antagonist. Nicole leads him through the first game, yet pushes, pulls and yanks him through the second. She’s always there to look freaky and keep you on edge. As a lover, she’s pretty abusive to Issac, always choking him, but always asks for him to join her in the hot tub of hell. She has always felt incomplete without him and wants them to be a couple to “make us whole.” Its later revealed that she has a few dozen kids who need a daddy, but her man Issac Clarke is abusive himself and makes short work of her children before ditching her for another woman. its all just another day in a space soap opera.
FINAL FANTASY LEGEND 2: NILS & FLORA
Everyone says Cloud Strife and Tifa Lockhart are the most romantic couple in the Final Fantasy franchise, but this list is about unconventional romances. Nils and Flora from Final Fantasy Legend 2 are star crossed lovers in a land ruled by an oppressive queen named after a goddess. Originally it was Leon set to marry Flora, but because he’s an ugly stalker, the queen has cast him out of her pristine city. Nils is much better for Flora. These two are the Romeo and Juliet of the Game Boy. They are the unsung lovers in Final Fantasy, up there with Yuna and Rikku. Then when creepy Leon begins to stalk you and your meddling party, you take it upon yourselves to murder Venus so Leon can go back to stalking Flora and not you. Then you abandon them for greener pastures, ruining two happy lives and leaving a land without its ruler.
ALIENS: COLONIAL MARINES: NUGGET & BELL
Two colonial marines on a doomed mission they’ll never survive, but at least they have each other. I’m sure that Bella was the man in the relationship, which seems to be the case with all women in the Aliens franchise. Aliens: Colonial Marines had a lot of things backward, including having Bella stamped on her chest when armed forces has the last name. Although one line twists that around when O’Neil says, “we had a sex thing.” At least that’s what he claims. These two are as wooden as they come. Not because of the voice acting, but their animations. Bishop wasn’t the only android on that planet. I’m shocked with a nickname like “Bell” the developers didn’t make O’Neil’s nickname “Pete.” Instead, its “Nugget” making him the cub of this relationship. These two did a lot together. Shot at walls instead of enemies. Waited for elevators and doors to open. Its quality time well spent.
HATOFUL BOYFRIEND: YOU + PIGEONS
It is a pigeon dating simulator and by simulator I mean text with pictures or a visual novel. After a mutated strand of the H1N1 virus has killed off mankind, the world is now dominated by pigeons. You are the only girl, human or non pigeon in a school full of pigeons. Its a good metaphor for saying men are diseased dirtbags, but no I’ll take the higher road and say this was a good way of not needing art for a visual novel. Oh wait that’s not what I mean. Its a way for men to play a dating game where your choices are men. Yes that’s it. I won’t get any heat for that at all. You and your character love men. That is to say male pigeons that compete for your human heart. They also carry disease and you’re the only living human. Maybe its just to say “love is for the birds.” They could just kill you, but they don’t, because they’re in love. If you think I’ve never played this game before, you’d be right.
PAPERS, PLEASE: YOU & YOUR WIFE
You have a mundane job of looking for discrepancies between passports and other information. It is a boring job, but you do it for four people, your uncle, your son, your mother-in-law and your wife. At the end of an eye straining day squinting at details you get money for every accurate action. You work to keep the heat on, food in the fridge and your family healthy. They are your strength. They are your gauge of failure and they will die if you don’t provide. It is a relatively thankless job with lives on the line. If you job post blows up, that’s the end of a day’s work and less money for you and your wife. Your wife’s life itself depends on you bringing in the money. If there’s no heat she gets sick and needs medicine. Without food or that medicine she’ll die. You can always visit her grave site to remind you of not only how you of your failure, but your love until death do you part. You love your wife so much that your mother-in-law lives off of you. If that’s not love, I don’t know what is.
GONE HOME: KAITLIN GREENBRIAR & LONNIE DESOTO
Who would have thought that a developer with Gay in his last name would capitalize on teenage lesbians and teenage boys. Lesbians might not be a conventional romance, but its getting closer to being one with first world acceptance. I think the reality here is Kaitlin’s obsession with Lonnie DeSoto. As Kaitlin, you go rooting through your sister Samantha’s things to uncover her teenage romance with Lonnie. Its full of reading about her romance and listening to voice overs attached to teenage photos. You’re stalking your own sister to live through her, because sadly, Kaitlin isn’t the most amazing character in her own game. Its her sister. Even your character’s father wrote a book with a more interesting protagonist that needs to stop JFK’s assassination, but you however, just go digging through a house that has 3 bathrooms but no mirror and enough pizza boxes to start a restaurant. Kaitlin totally wants to take a ride Epona at Lonnie Lon Ranch. I still think the real twist could be the fact that your character might not be Kaitlin, but the neighbor who took her passport.