It’s Valentine’s Day, and gamers all over the country will be putting down their controllers in favour of red roses, soft music and candlelit dinners for two. But there’s no reason why video games can’t feature on this day of love for some of the most emotional stories ever known have been told through the digital medium.
Some of the most clichéd and cringeworthy have been too though, and that’s what we’re focusing on today. For every video game couple that are destined to be together, there’s another that seems totally unlikely and we have to ask ourselves ‘Why?’ This may not be the most romantic subject for a post on Valentine’s Day but look at the bright side: the following dysfunctional relationships will remind us just how lucky we are in or on our own.
If you haven’t yet played any of the following games and intend to do so, I’d recommend navigating away from this post now and coming back later. There are some minor spoilers in the following paragraphs.
Broken Sword: George and Nico
There’s something about George and Nico that grinds my gears. Most of the entries in the series start with them temporarily apart but they’re usually back together by the end of each game. This is clearly an unhealthy relationship: Nico ‘innocently’ arranges for George and her ex-boyfriend Andre to work together and wind each other up. And George leaves Paris after the end of The Shadow of the Templars due to the death of his father – without telling Nico. What kind of people do that to one another?
Erica: Duncan and Erica
We enjoyed Erica when we played it during one of our GameBlast20 streams last month, but there was something that caught us totally by surprise: the moment Sergeant Duncan Blake moves in for a kiss. I mean, he’s only investigating the murders going on around Erica, who’s slightly preoccupied with her father’s death and supernatural happenings right now. It turns out that in a timeline different to the one we took, you can get your own back by stabbing him – that’ll serve him right for such poor romantic timing.
The House of the Dead: Overkill: Clement and his mother
This game isn’t afraid to shock but this relationship is really pushing the limits. Clement begins searching for a way to extend his beloved mom’s life when he realises the jail he works at was built on top of an abandoned government laboratory. After finding Varla Guns, he decides to transplant Mother’s brain into the sexy stripper’s youthful body – then celebrates this achievement with a make-out session. As if that wasn’t gross enough, the game ends with him returning to her womb. I’ll leave you with that thought.
Until Dawn: Matt and Emily
The only reason Matt and Emily are together is because they don’t want to be single and, in that bratty-teen way, they need a partner who’s of a similar social standing. They have nothing in common and I’m not even sure they actually like each other. Matt may be caring but hardly ever stands up for himself; and Emily is high-maintenance and bossy. If they manage to survive the night, I’m sure these teenage sweethearts will have many unhappy years together before becoming trapped in a loveless marriage.
The Secret of Monkey Island: Guybrush and Elaine
It’s obvious I’m a huge Monkey Island fan, but what’s not so obvious is that my favourite character isn’t Guybrush (that award goes to Murray). Let’s face it: this wannabe pirate is a bit of an idiot. He’s sarcastic, insults everyone around him and messes up every plan he’s involved in. Someone as independent and courageous as Elaine would have been far better off with LeChuck. They do say opposites attract, but how long will it be before the differences are just too much and one tells the other they fight like a cow?
Don’t you feel better about your own relationship status now? Whatever you’re doing this Valentine’s Day, I hope it involves video games in some way and you’re doing far better than the characters in today’s post!
Video game lover, Later Levels blogger and SpecialEffect volunteer. Big fan of wannabe pirates and fine leather jackets.