Video games have a way of bringing characters together under the most extreme circumstances. With the push of trigger-happy pirates or giant murderous beasts, players have seen relationships blossom in 12 hours or less. Some end as they start, while others endure across sequels.
An exhausted treasure hunter rests beside his estranged wife. His hand holds hers, noticing a wedding band. He apologizes for missing his half of a strong marriage, outshined by an obsession for wealth and fortune.
A monster hunter sits quietly with a sorceress at the top of a tower. Gazing above the clouds, they agree to let the world go unsaved for a few minutes. For them, it means having a moment of affection to themselves before going separate ways again .
A troubled engineer ignores the cries of his companion over a hologram. She struggles to reverse the controls of an escape pod set for immediate takeoff. He sighs in relief, knowing someone has a chance at escaping a nightmare in space. He stares blankly at a wall, remembering the image of someone else he wished was in the escape pod.
These moments (as strange as they seem) show us that love exists, despite the most challenging odds thrown at characters. Below are some of the matches we’re not forgetting about any time soon.
Geralt of Rivia and Yennefer of Vengerberg (The Witcher)
Although this relationship was bound as a wish, Geralt and Yennefer only grew closer as they separated. The pair started as an intense power struggle between a djinn’s wishes. As time went on, the witcher had found someone he grew to protect.
By Wild Hunt, Geralt and Yennefer had found a middle ground for staying together. Making up for lost time was their responsibility to train the witcher’s adoptive daughter, Ciri. Somehow, the two oozed chemistry when they took on a parenting role to keep watch over her.
While romance options let players be with other characters, Geralt showed signs of missing Yennefer despite his time with fellow sorceress Triss Merigold early on in the series.
If players pursue multiple romances, both Yennefer and Triss would crack a few jokes about their time with Geralt while annoying him at times.
But their best moment packs the entire relationship nicely in a side quest with Yennefer. In The Last Wish, Geralt goes on a boat ride with her across Skellige to find another djinn. Eventually, the pair use the djinn to reverse their magic bond.
At this point, Geralt could either leave her or they both agree nothing feels different. This is the moment that seals their relationship without a wedding ring.
However, we can’t make exceptions for plush unicorns or bathtub crustaceans.
Ideal date: Long walks by the aquarium and zoo.
Nathan Drake & Elena Fisher (Uncharted)
Drake’s Fortune marked the start of a nine year long relationship for PlayStation owners. Elena starts off filming an expedition on a barge, with a younger Nathan Drake uncovering his ancestor’s journal.
Though the deal was “for a coffin,” the two set their goals aside to stay alive in El Dorado. As Nate pulls Elena from her desires for a TV story, she snaps him out of an obsession to keep the cursed gold. Both end the first game empty-handed, until Elena gives Nate the ring of Sir Francis Drake and nearly seal a kiss.
The events of Among Thieves literally form their marriage in later games as Nate crosses paths with Elena in a war-torn city. It doesn’t take too long for the pair to be left alone again when they become separated from their friends. Sparks fly when both discover each other alive in Tibet and keep each other’s near-fatal wounds in check.
A Thief’s End goes all-in with the relationship of Nate and Elena, happily married in an awfully realistic house that resembles our parents’.
It’s also when their witty banter hits players and showed off a life with simple, mundane joys. Betting over who does the dishes with a game of Crash Bandicoot tugged at our heartstrings. Seeing two long-time game characters asking each other if they’re happy adds a dash of comfort.
Their marriage is tested again when Nate sets out to save his brother Sam Drake. Unsurprisingly, Elena finds out about her husband’s fake “Malaysia job” and leaves players in suspense about their future halfway across the game.
When the pair find themselves on another mission to find Henry Avery’s treasure hoard, another unexpected moment summed up Nate and Elena’s bond with jokes amid danger.
Ideal date: A trip to the museum and the hardest escape room possible.
Leon S. Kennedy and Ada Wong (Resident Evil)
No amount of fan fiction could keep Resident Evil players from wishing this was confirmed and canon.
The one-time cop and contract spy have kept scores on each other since the Raccoon City outbreak. Leon Kennedy’s good-guy nature was an opposite that attracted Ada Wong’s profitable habits. They also managed to see each other at their worst when chasing Annette Birkin for the G-virus sample.
But this type of chemistry kept the pair alive, even though Ada was presumed dead.
When Leon finds out Ada’s true motives, he gives her an ultimatum which starts a dynamic relationship for sequels (and animated movies) to come.
The series continues to evolve Ada and Leon into a fun cat-and-mouse dynamic. In Resident Evil 4, both find ways to keep each other going in their missions. This often results in Ada saving the day with bigger weapons – even tossing an occasional rocket launcher for final bosses.
When Ada is framed for the murder of Chris Redfield’s team, the pair act on instinct to keep each other out of harm’s way. These moments are shorter in Resident Evil 6, but are enough to let players know the chase isn’t ending anytime soon.
Ideal date: A much-needed Starbucks meeting and trip to an amusement park shooting range.
Ellie and Riley (The Last of Us: Left Behind)
Though it was short-lived, Ellie’s time with Riley at an abandoned shopping mall reminded us of innocent relationships away from reality.
We explore Ellie’s serious nature coming to equal terms with someone her age. This is when both bring the best out of each other in a Halloween shop, putting their real faces down for some adorable banter.
They both make the most out of their lost time, taking every chance to smile at a carousel, photo booth and arcade. This brought out her frustrations with Riley as she distanced herself with the Fireflies.
Ellie wanted to keep these moments with Riley, leading to the start of escaping together with a commitment.
Sadly, it becomes another memory for Ellie as the game’s enemies make an appearance near the end. It’s also when a zombie leaves a mark on both of them. Despite grim options, Riley tells her friend the best thing is to “wait it out” with the time they have left.
In under two hours, players also got to learn about Ellie when she wasn’t dealing with zombies. Some of the best chemistry came from questioning Riley’s weirdness, though she played along for the hell of it.
More importantly, it’s a love story which finds the best joys in simply being there with someone.
Happy Valentine’s Day from the team at CGMagazine!