Valentine’s Day is tomorrow, and gamers all over the country will put down their controllers in favour of red roses, boxes of chocolates and candlelit dinners for two. But there’s no reason why video games can’t feature on the day of love: in fact, some of the most emotional stories ever known have been told through the digital medium.
Below are some of our favourite partnerships – from those that will bring a tear to your eye, to close friendships that will make you laugh out loud, to those that will have you going on a rampage until your sweetheart is avenged. Some of the summaries reveal a few plot details so if you want to skip the spoilers, you may wish to move forward to the next section.
Kim: Wander and Mono from Shadow of the Colossus
“Sometimes love can make you do crazy things, like trying to bring your deceased girlfriend back from the dead by entering into an ominous pact with a formless voice to slay 16 towering beasts. Mono is successfully revived after Wander has killed the last of the colossi, but his deeds are sadly rewarded by demonic possession and a painful death.
“Wander essentially traded his life for that of his partner and that’s an act which is as loving as it is tragic. Although they do eventually end up back together, it’s not in the way they would have hoped for. With barely a word spoken, the story in Shadow of the Colossus ends up being more powerful than a lot of the other romantic tales in video game history.”
Tim from GeekOut South-West: Banjo and Kazooie from Banjo-Kazooie
“One of them is a big dopey bear, the other is a sassy birdie. Together, they make up one of gaming’s most famous friendships. With the brawn, Banjo carries his feathered-friend from place to place; and with the brains, Kazooie gets into verbal fights with their enemies and calculates how to get the duo through the dangerous spots. They’re a flying, fighting, fixing and funny partnership that will be remembered throughout all of gaming history.”
Kevin from The Mental Attic: Gabriel Knight and Grace Nakimura from the Gabriel Knight series
“It’s the age-old story, isn’t it? Boy meets girl, boy hires girl to be his assistant in his bookstore, greeting his customers and helping him delve into the world of savage voodoo killings.
“When Boy becomes a demon-hunter Girl goes to Europe after him, keeping him safe by annoying local Germans with snark and sass. Boy would think more of Girl, be more open about their relationship, but between werewolves, blondes and the advances of Bavarian nobles, he’s got his hands full. And that’s without even mentioning the mind-controlling vampires and sacred babies.
“He’d ask her to marry him on the spot, but as Boy always said: ‘Gracie’s like a chair… Say you see this really great chair. And you like the chair, and your mother likes the chair and everyone says you should buy the chair, but you know that if you take it home, everything else would have to go, like the chair is Louis XIV and everything else is IKEA.’
“Doesn’t that make your heart go aflutter? Such way with words Gabriel has, such way to describe the value of a loved one.”
Nathan, friend of the site: Nathan Drake and Elena Fisher from the Uncharted series
“When it comes to relationships in video games there’s a few that stand out such as Banjo and Kazooie, PaRappa the rapper and Sunny, or even Tiny Tina and her love for crumpets. However, the one that stands out for me the most is Nathan and Elena . In many of the Uncharted titles their love is tested as they’re either put at risk and have to save each other or they think the worst has happened. Naughty Dog was good at creating a realistic connection between the two characters, as well as scaring you a few times throughout the series.
“The fact that their relationship spans over four games, along with the trials and tribulations they’ve been though together, means that this is a relationship worthy of your admiration. Their love blossomed in the first instalment after Nathan ‘used’ Elena to help fund an illegal sea excavation of Sir Francis Drake’s coffin; and it’s still there at the end, when they’re married with a child and living on an island. How they get there – well, you’ll have to play the games to find out.”
Ethan, my stepson: the Boy and Trico from The Last Guardian
“I’m going to choose the Boy and Trico, because they’ve been together for such a long time and developed a really strong bond.”
Join the discussion and let us know about your favourite video game partnerships in the comments below. We hope you have a lovely day tomorrow – lots of love! ❤
Video game lover, Later Levels blogger and SpecialEffect volunteer. Big fan of wannabe pirates and fine leather jackets.