5 Star-Crossed Lovers in Video Games

Zack and Aerith

Star-Crossed

Video Games – some of them have great and immersive stories and more often than not, there are lovers in these video games that we envy or love; and they earn a special place in our hearts. Not to sound cheesy but, one way or the other, they remind us that love is such a powerful force. Unfortunately, not all love stories have happy endings filled with flowers and dancing-in-the-rain sort of romance. As usual, there are spoilers. So if you read the characters of a game and you know you haven’t played it yet, play them first then come back. I believe that these stories will have more effect if you’ve built a strong relationship with the characters. Without further ado, Here are some of the star-crossed Romeo’s and Juliet’s in video games. Enjoy.

Max Caulfield and Chloe Price

That look : Chloe looking at Max
That look : Chloe looking at Max

Probably one of the most memorable games I’ve played in recent years, Life is Strange. It tells the story of Maxine Caulfield, who discovered that she has the ability to turn back time after seeing her childhood friend, Chloe Price, killed by her annoying spoiled classmate, Nathan from the influential Prescott family. After saving Chloe – through Max’s newly discovered ability – Max opened her powers to Chloe and the pair decided to use it for good. Starting there, the player is brought to a series of breaking in various areas, solving puzzles, and of course, time-reversing moments. All to solve the mystery of the disappearance of Chloe’s friend, Rachel Amber. I won’t reveal who the perpetrator is and jump right to the ending.

Because of Max’s playing around with time, she brought a huge tornado closing in to Arcadia Bay, a fictional coastal city in Oregon. And the only way to save the town is to reverse time to when it all started. At the bathroom where Max saved Chloe using her new ability. It is then the player’s choice to save Arcadia Bay by letting Chloe die or to sacrifice the town to allow Chloe to live.

Life is Strange Max and Chloe
Whichever you path you choose, the pain will still be there…

Remember that philosophical question about which train track would you pass a train: a track with the one you love tied on the path or the other track with multiple people tied on the path? That was how I felt making that decision.

Master Chief and Cortana

Master Chief and Cortana
Master Chief and Cortana

Imagine yourself as a super space soldier, so powerful that even alien species know your name; then, imagine yourself accompanied by a caring, intelligent, and gorgeous woman who is slowly dying. What would you feel? Would the feeling be the same if I told you she’s an Artificial Intelligence?

Meet John-117 aka Master Chief, a Spartan-class commando of the United Nations Space Command, and Cortana, an AI tasked with assisting the Chief through his missions. Playing Halo for all these years, we develop a bond between the two and the player. Which made the events of Halo 4 devastating for the players out there. We can feel Cortana’s feelings for the Chief during the intro and ending of the live-action film, Forward Unto Dawn, which also acted as an introduction to Halo 4. What hurt more was when Cortana, despite ‘decaying’, harnessed all her remaining power to appear as a human-sized version of herself just to feel and kiss Master Chief. Also that part where Cortana sacrificed herself to save the Chief; I don’t know about you but, that hurt like hell.

Cortana confesses
I’ve waited so long to do that…

Ellie and Riley

Ellie and Riley
Ellie and Riley

Oh, Last of Us, we are going to talk about you again. But this time, we will talk about the DLC, Left Behind. It tells the story about Ellie’s flashbacks as she was looking after Joel after he fell on a piece of metal that pierced his flesh during the course of the main game.

Ellie’s flashbacks showed us the story of how she and her best friend, Riley, worked together and survived the harsh world filled with hordes of infected. Along the course of the DLC, we become attached to the pair. They laughed together, helped each other when in danger, but it all reached the climax when Ellie suddenly kissed Riley – Out. Of. Nowhere. Even I was shocked despite anticipating such a reveal. Despite, their sweetness and joy together, the universe didn’t agree. During their struggles in the mall, both of them were bitten and we all know what happens when you’re bitten by an infected. You turn. You become infected yourself. That just what happened.

That's the look when you know it's all going to end...
That’s the look when you know it’s all going to end…

Then, they just decided to just wait it out Instead of committing suicide – enjoy the little time they had together. But, things can get worse. Only Riley turned. Yes, Ellie discovered that she was immune and now she is – incoming pun – left behind. Without Riley…what an ending. Thank you Naughty Dog. Neil Druckman, you…you’re awesome.

Squall Leonhart and Rinoa Heartilly

The graduation ball. Isn't she cute?
The graduation ball. Isn’t she cute?

You must be like, “Final Fantasy…Why am I not surprised?”. Well, unsurprisingly for us, Final Fantasy have some favorable couples in their series. But, we are only going to talk about one pair in particular. If you want to add Ramza and Delita here, be my guest. I was considering them when I was writing this article. *Hysterical laugh* Oh, Ramza. Seriously now, we are going to talk about Squall Leonhart and Rinoa Heartilly from Final Fantasy VIII.

This is probably one of the entries in the franchise that has quite a complicated story that only Whovians can understand right then and there during their first playthrough. Still, we all remember that sweet dance they had during their graduation ball which reminded us of our own Junior Senior Promenades, right? Plus the soundtrack; who didn’t feel something move in their chest every time they hear Eyes on Me play?

Squall and Rinoa
Squall and Rinoa

Even though the couple didn’t exchange I Love You’s, their love for each other is obvious. They even talked in private on where to meet if they lose their way during their last mission against Ultimecia during the big wibbly wobbly, timey wimey stuff that is the Time Compression Spell. Rinoa also brought out the “sweet and caring” side of Squall who is very serious, introverted, and cold prior to falling for Rinoa.

Wander and Mono

Wander with Mono on the altar
Wander with Mono on the altar

When I first saw the cover and the gameplay video for the Shadow of the Colossus, I prepared myself for the action and the challenge that was waiting for me. What I didn’t expect was the plot twist that was lurking at the end of the game. I did have mixed feelings when confronting the giant creature guardians dwelling in the world; a mixture of “Do I really need to kill these guys?” and “Meh, let the challenge begin, down you go, big fella!”. Little did I know – honestly, I didn’t really know, no idea at all – that I was releasing a demon with each colossus that I defeat. All I knew when I was playing through the game is that, I was reviving my love that I left on the altar at the beginning of the game.

Then, down goes the last colossus. I just released a demon and I acted as a conduit for the big guy. Yes, I did revive my love but, I fell into the depths of darkness.

Wander struggling
Wander struggling

Consumed by what I have been slowly releasing through the course of the game. Unable to at least touch a strand of my love’s hair, hold just a shadow of her now-alive beauty, or hear her angelic soothing voice once more. What struck me then was that the game broke my anticipated happy ending and caught me off-guard with a dramatic ending. You can feel Wander’s desire to be by the sides of her love at the ending when you’re controlling him as he struggle against the darkness that was pulling him away from Mono. And then you’ll feel it was all for naught and a same time feel good for the guy. Whether he knew what he was doing or not, it doesn’t really matter. What we all know is that Wander was willing to do everything to bring Mono back.

There are other star-crossed lovers in a lot of video games out there and these are just some of them. How about you? What video game broke your heart after falling for the couple in the game? Which video game couple made you feel what it’s like to love and be loved? Share with us in the comment section below and let’s talk about love and pain.

Playing Games as the Antagonists

Games

To (belatedly) celebrate the release of the film Maleficent, I thought it would be fun to have a look at a number of games and just consider what it would be like to play that game as the villain, rather than the hero. I mean, let’s face it, evil-doers are always so much more badass than heroes anyway, no wonder we’ve recently gotten so into anti-heroes.
So here are my top-five games I would love to play through as the villains, rather than the heroes.

GlaDOS (Portal)
GlaDOS is more of an omnipotent presence, than an in-game character. Just the voice of god that makes you giggle, and then die, as you proceed through her course. It might be boring for GlaDOS, having just Chel to look over and torture in the name of “science”. But let’s imagine when the entire facility was at its maximum potential, with dozens, if not hundreds of subjects to preside over. Create whacky levels for them to explore, or simply watch them fail hilariously. You could either design and test these levels, or simply run the facility from your lovely armchair. Making sure you get the most out of your subjects. Making sure they sit on them chairs without lead-lined underwear.

Team Rocket (Pokemon)
Let’s just forget Jesse and James for a moment (easier said than done), and think about the actual corporation that is Team Rocket. Why not Team Flare, who star in the new games? Heres why – Team Flares goal’s are to make money, and make the world more beautiful. Team Rocket’s goal; steal all the pokemon and take over the world! Much, much more awesome.
Now imagine you aren’t collecting Pokemon in the orthodox sense, you’re stealing the little monsters. You’re not playing through trying to get all 8 gym badges, you’re playing through to take over the world! Screw daycare centre and grinding. Screw the three starting Pokemon. You start out as a criminal underling, and you can steal whichever first pokemon you want. And if one of those damn whiny kids come walking past in some stupid adventure to beat some league, just challenge them and take all their money. Who wouldn’t rather play a Pokemon game where the aim is to take over the entire world of Pokemon? Or would you rather just bike along to the next gym leader?

A real outlaw (Red Read Redemption)
No matter how you look at it Red Dead Redemption is an awesome game. It follows ex-outlaw John Marston as he holds up banks….Wait…Robs trains…Shoot…Sleeps with….Nope….Kills everyone…He doesn’t do that either. Ok so the game is 50% staring at a horse’s arse, and little else besides. I don’t think anyone would disagree if the game allowed us to get a little Grand-Theft-Auto in the west, and it doesn’t do any of that! John Marston is a pure straight-shooter, which is about as boring as it get’s in a setting that has it’s own satire on the millions ways people die in the west. Ok, we knew he wasn’t an outlaw anymore, and we knew he was married, and was making atonement for his bandit-y ways, but damn did this game concentrate on the wrong section of his life. No one wants to be constrained in the west, we all wanted to go out shooting people, robbing banks and holding up trains for money. But no…. we don’t ge to do any of that.

Any of the Colossi (Shadow of the Colossus)

I’m going to assume you haven’t been living on an uninhabited island for the past decade, and have had access to a games console, rather than just a ball to keep you company, and that you have also played Shadow of the Colosus. If you have (and finished it) then you will know that at the ending you get the briefest most pathetic glimpse at what playing as a Colosus would have been like. Not that Dormin was anywhere near as tall as some of the actual Colossi you take down throughout the game. I’ll admit, just trying to thwart a single-player as he climbs your body and stabs your face might be a bit rubbish, but if it was more than one person? What if you were as large and as powerful and menacing as one of those Collossi, against an army. Let’s say those guys at the end finally get what they deserve, and they step out into the mainland, giving you the chance to utterly destroy them. Even better, imagine fighting another Colossus. Now that would be a fight we would all be happy to participate in.

Alduin (Skyrim)
If you’ve played Skyrim – and if you haven’t then your excuse better be you’ve been in a straightjacket for your whole life – you might vaguely remember one scene where you were invited onto the back of a dragon. But did you get to ride it – well yeah, I guess – but did you get to control it, did you get any sort of decent view? Hell no!
Alduin get’s top marks because Skyrim is a great land to explore on foot, but from the sky, as a hell-bent fire-breathing evil man-kind destroying black dragon, the game probably feels a bit more kickass. And the map is still big enough to give you a good sense of scale even when you’re whizzing past (stopping to incinerate farms because dragon) that it won’t feel restrictive.
Let’s face it, Bethesda missed out slightly here by not allowing you to control a mythical dragon (even for that second of gameplay they put in), because I don’t think anything would make Skyrim better other than being able to play as Alduin himself. Fighting giants and bears would be pretty awesome, but fighting other dragons, aerial combat as a dragon, against other dragons surrounded by giants, perhaps, would be unbeatable. The only person who could give you any trouble would be the dragon-born. But Alduin would have kicked-ass in that final fight if the dragonborn wasn’t accompanied by three other dead heroes.

My close runner-ups were Ganon from the Legend of Zelda, and Vaas from Far Cry 3. What games would you rather play through as the villain.