Beneath my tough exterior and general weirdness is the heart of a romantic. I love video game romances. Something about getting an active hand in the love story makes it hit just that little bit harder than in a film or even anime. Plus, I think a good love story can teach you something really important about the world and about yourself.
So here are my top video game romances to make your heart go all aflutter.
The Best Video Game Romances
Link and Illa – Twilight Princess
People have been expecting Link and Zelda to develop a romantic relationship for so long it has become a running joke in the fandom that Link is the most friend-zoned individual of all time. But sometimes people get so focused on them that they miss the fact that the series has one of the most organic and rewarding romances in video game history in the form of Link and Illa from Twilight Princess
What makes this one of the best video game romances is the way it is the driving force behind all of Link’s actions. He leaves home to rescue Illa after she is taken by an ugly dude on a pig. He braves countless trials to return her memory to her. Though he ends up saving the world from darkness, Link originally looks simply to protect his first love. It’s a wonderful lesson in following your heart can’t lead you too far astray.
Crono and Marle – Chrono Trigger
You might think I’m just looking for an excuse to talk about my favourite game of all time (and normally you’d be right) but there is something so wonderful about Crono and Marle’s story. Originally she is a classic damsel in distress, needing to be rescued in order to save her from time-travel-related non-existence.
However, when Crono is blasted to oblivion by Lavos while protecting his friends (and Magus), Marle is the one who rallies the troops and insists on finding a way to bring him back. I mean, they have a time machine, right? How hard can it be?
Turns out pretty hard. They have to succeed in a mimicry game with a creep set of disembodied hands in a tent, convince the old man at the end of time to hand over his life’s work, and climb the cheerfully named Death Peak. At the end, Marle manages to save the hero, reversing the trope, and the two share a peaceful moment on the top of the post-apocalyptic world, without words or grand professions of love. It is one of the best video game romances because it shows us that love can give us the strength to overcome anything.
Welkin and Alicia – Valkyria Chronicles
Valkyria Chronicles is such a weird mash-up of genres. It has got action, strategy, and JRPG-style levelling, all wrapped up in a heavy dose of anime melodrama and escalation. But hidden in all that is one of my top video game romances in the form of Welkin, the leader of Squad Seven, and Alicia, his trusty scout and occasional game-breaking super-soldier. Typically, the two start out somewhat adversarial, but soon it develops into respect and, eventually, romance.
This formula is nothing unusual, but it plays out against the backdrop of a fight to save their homeland from imperial invaders, when surrounded by loss and fear. What makes it so memorable to me is how it shows the strength that love can give someone, even in the chaos of war. In typical anime fashion, it is the power of friendship and love that gives Squad Seven the ability to overcome impossible odds and take down an overwhelming enemy.
These are just my favourite video game romances. Do you have one that didn’t make this list? Give us a shout and let us know!
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