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Week of Love: Gaming’s Most Unconventional Couples
The world of video games is filled with all sorts of settings – everything from worlds made of papercraft to sagas inspired by the music of heavy metal bands has been explored by gamers – and in these many different settings and stories it’s common for developers to throw a dash of romance into the mix, however strange and unconventional it may be. We’ve put together a list of five of the most unconventional couples in video gaming just in time for Valentine’s Day (Or Singles-Awareness-Day if you prefer).
Lilith & Roland
He was a Soldier, she was a Siren – can I make it anymore obvious?
Lilith and Roland as a couple was a nice surprise when I played Borderlands 2 and boy-oh-boy they do make a good, if typically unconventional, video game couple. Both characters make their start as Vault Hunters but over the course of the series they move onto more exciting positions. Roland becomes the leader of a resistance group called the Crimson Raiders while Lilith moves onto becoming a warlord of the Pandoran wastes known as ‘The Firehawk’. The pair work together to protect the (mostly) innocent citizens of Pandora and over the course of the series kick all sorts of ass together. While the first game didn’t do all that much in terms of showing off their relationship, the second does so superbly and that makes it all the more heartbreaking later in the game when the pair are torn apart. That said, their partnership is still pretty strange and unconventional and they easily do enough to earn their spot on this list.
Jim Raynor and Sarah Kerrigan
Space – was there ever a more romanticized setting when it comes to video games?
From the love affairs of Bioware’s Mass Effect series to the more unconventional relationship between Halo’s Master Chief & Cortana the final frontier seems to lend itself quite well to love stories in games and lends itself even more well to the kind of unconventional romances that they so often feature. In any case, the relationship of gruff-space-sheriff-turned-freedom-fighter Jim Raynor and psionic-assassin-turned-alien-warlord Sarah Kerrigan has spanned two decades and four games in one of the most popular strategy game series of all time. While their relationship is in a pretty good place as of the end of Heart of the Swarm, the pair have had their ups and downs – he tried to kill her a few times, she’s got a few cases of genocide on her record. In any case, they easily make the list for gaming’s most unconventional couples.
The Prince of Persia & Farah
While Jim and Sarah don’t necessarily have the most straightforward love story in gaming, they do have the blessing of a story (mostly) devoid of time travel.
The Prince of Persia (Of the Sands of Time trilogy, not the 2008 reboot) is a bit of a player when it comes to time-travel romances and despite his convoluted affair with The Empress of Time during his gothic/emo phase, it’s his relationship with Farah that earns them their spot on this list. While the start of their relationship was a bit rocky – what with The Prince meeting Farah after he sacks her father’s city to earn his father’s approval and then later kills her (sand-zombie) Father – the two do later bond over a mutual affinity for survival and a shared desire to vanquish the sand-zombies infesting the city. Where things get complicated(er) is that after the events of their first adventure together, the Prince rewrites history so that they never truly got to know each other. This becomes all the more awkward for the Prince later in the series when he returns to Babylon to find it overtaken by enemies and finds himself partnering up with Farah once more – allowing their relationship to develop for a second time and ultimately allowing Farah to help the Prince shed his darker self in the game’s final act. With plenty of dark magic, bloody murder and time travel in their story these two – without a doubt – earn their spot on the list.
Eddie Riggs & Ophelia
While their story is pretty bizarre, the romance that binds former roadie Eddie Riggs and freedom fighter Ophelia together isn’t all that much stranger than anyone on this list.
The pair first met in Brutal Legend after time-traveling-roadie Eddie mistook her for a sexy-demon nun while trying to escape from a temple to the metal ancient god known as Ormogoden (built upon a pile of skulls). Although this is admittedly a strange way to meet someone, when you consider that the pair went on to lead a full blown heavy metal revolution against the tyrannical Lord Doviculus – things probably worked out for the best on their end. While I’m not saying that leading a medieval revolution isn’t the worst way to spend time with your significant other but it is the kind of strange unconventional activity that earns Eddie Riggs and Ophelia their spot on this list.
Rosalind and Robert Lutece
It might not technically be incest but it is still (probably) the strangest relationship in recent video gaming history.
Robert and Rosalind Lutece are a pair of scientists in the Bioshock: Infinite universe who first invent the reality-altering ‘Lutece Fields’ that allow the city of Columbia to fly, and then later orchestrate Booker DeWitt’s crusade to rescue Elizabeth. If that’s not already a strange enough backstory, both Rosalind and Robert are actually different versions of the same person from parallel universes. The couple’s desire to be with each other is ultimately what drove them to use their powerful intellect to break through the fabric of reality. The love story of the Lutece’s is the kind of story that both proves the mantra of ‘love conquers all’ and cements their spot on the list of gaming’s strangest couples.
Check out more of Leviathyn’s celebration (or lamentation) of Valentine’s Day with our other features during the Week of Love.