Gaming’s best couples

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Affection

It’s Valentine’s day again, and for some of you it means chocolates wrapped in thing red foil, overpriced dinners,  carmine and cerise coloured teddy-bears and roses that cost twice as much as they did yesterday. For others, it means the Mass Effect 3 demo. For us, it means scrambling to come up with some tenuous and clumsy connection between romance and video games – and this was really the best we could do. Sorry.

Yup, it’s time for us to reflect on a few of the great love stories we’ve seen in video games over the years.

5. Mr and Ms Pac-Man

MSpacman

Perhaps the original and most classic of all video gaming couples, I think Mr. and Ms. Pac-Man definitely deserve a spot on this list for being the first romantic couple in gaming. I had no idea yellow circles could fall in love, but they did – even spawning two children and a cartoon series that revolved around their iconic – and lasting – relationship. Don’t ask me exactly how two circles doe the wakka-wakka-wakka; I don’t know – and I don’t want to know.

4. Nathan Drake and Elena Fisher

Elena

Though it’s evident that Drake’s adventures extend to women as well, it’s clear that his relationship with Elena is something of real chemistry – and something not even the brashly sexual Chloe could tear asunder. It’s one of gaming’s most realistic and sympathetic relationships – and it’s mostly a result of the exemplary vocal, physical  – and above all, believable performances of Emily Rose and Nolan North.

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3. Chell and the Companion cube

Chell

The possibly co-incidental videogame application of the Milgram experiment made players become attached to something that was nothing more than a block with a heart on it. In a relationship forged through authority and necessity, the Companion cube is needed to reach high ledges and to shield against the High Energy Pellets – and unlike many othergame relationships, it’s impossible to progress without the cube’s involvement. The “murder” of the cube at the end of test-chamber 17 only reinforces the connection.

2. Mario and Princess Peach

Mariopeach

It’s something that’s been happening for decades; Princess Peach is captured by Bowser and it’s up to the hapless Mario to save his beloved. You’d think by now he’d tell her get lost for good – but he endures, going up against countless Goombas, Koopas, Hammer Brothers and Bullet Bills to save the Princess and win her affection. To be honest though, with his rewards being the mostly platonic kiss on the nose and a cake, I think Mario’s been friend-zoned, and that his princess really is in a another castle.

1. Jackie Estacado and Jenny Romano

jenny

Jackie might be a demon-possess low-life thug and Jenny an orphaned street-rat, but their digital romance is easily the most accurate, endearing and realistic portrayal of a relationship ever seen in videogames. It’s this relationship – and its heart-wrenching end helped elevate The Darkness from mindless action to engaging experience.

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Those were my picks – though there are certainly countless other video game relationships worth mentioning; Master Chief and Cortana, Gordon Freeman and Alyx Vance, Guybrush Threepwood and Elaine Marley, Cloud Strife and Aeris, Link and Zelda, Marcus Fenix and Dom Santiago…

What gaming relationships have left a lasting impression on you?

Last Updated: February 14, 2012

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I’m old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time – they were capable of being masterpieces. I’m here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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