An Ode to All My Video Game Love Interests

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In my nineteen years of existence, I have had a plethora of romantic conquests. How can I forget the months I spent exploring Albion? I’ve had so much fun that by the time I left, I had a spouse in almost every village. I would have done the same thing in Skyrim, but I only had time to settle down with one spouse because of some silly civil war.  Sadly for my families in Albion, I had to travel to this other nation called Ferelden where I met a lovely bard by the name of… wait what was her name? Isabella or Leliana? I thought I found love again until this witch named Flemeth transported me to another dimension. I woke up in this station called Peragus and met this cocky pilot who called me ‘the exile’. Alas, I had to leave again and travel to another universe. In this next space world, I learned how the phrases “embrace eternity” and “meet me in the engine room” can get someone laid. At this rate, I’m qualified to have my own Jerry Springer or Maury Povich episode.

Joking aside, I’m just a simple girl named Benny who abhors the whole idea of polygamy. Yet, video games are the perfect platform for me to release my inner Casanova just for the heck of it. Exploring romances in video games aren’t just elements added in for random fun though, it can also enhance the substance of our experience playing a game. For some games, love interests are more than just passive distractions. They evolve into becoming characters we actually fall in love with. You put them in your party almost all the time, or sometimes you simply look forward to seeing them in another cut scene.  They can even be the driving force behind some of the decisions we make in video games. While we know that they aren’t real characters we can date, the emotions they evoke within us are undoubtedly real. Join me as I recount my illustrious video game love life as a tribute to these wonderfully written characters. Feel free to chime in and share your experiences with a video game love interest!

NOTE: This is not a ‘best of all time’ post. These are my own choices.

1. Anora (Dragon Age: Origins)

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Okay, I know Anora is not really a full love interest in the game. A couple of players also dislike her character due to her Machiavellian nature and her sly tactics. There are times when she is being compared to Cersei Lannister but I stopped watching Game of Thrones so I don’t know if I agree to that. However, I appreciated that about Anora’s character. She believes that she’s the best person to lead Ferelden, and I admire her tenacious confidence. If she simply wanted it as a status symbol or for riches, I would have been singing a different tune. Yes, she may be cold and calculating but I think she has the right to be. She essentially governed Ferelden while her childish husband Cailan took all the credit. How would that make you feel?

I married her to my male Cousland character and together they ushered in the next golden age of Ferelden. It kind of miffed me that she only made me a ‘prince consort’ (Warden is referred to as King in II though), but I like how she doesn’t give in to everything I want at the same time. In a way, Anora is a perfect match for my ‘renegade’ Cousland. I always thought that I could do a better job than Alistair. I’m excited to find out what has become of Cousland and Anora in Dragon Age III in any form. David Gaider mentions in a forum post that if there is a plot involving Ferelden and its monarch, then we will very likely see her again! Yey.

2. Atton Rand (KOTOR II)

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You’ll soon notice I don’t romance a lot of male characters in video games. I feel that male love interests for female protagonist’s aren’t written in ways that appeal to me. When that happens, I often just play a male character and model him after my ideal man. Atton was an exception. Perhaps, he’s the only guy in a video game that I was really drawn to. I loved his sarcasm, and how he would go into a fit of jealousy whenever other crew members would express an interest for Surik. His jealousy wasn’t creepy or annoying, but what makes it adorable is how he would fail miserably at trying to hide it. He is also fiercely loyal and protective of Surik. There are times when he has this cocky streak and I find that very appealing. He sort of reminds me of Joker or my Shepard from the Mass Effect series. Perhaps if Joker was a love interest, I would include him here too. Ultimately, Atton wasn’t the type of guy who would dote on you. He’s not that direct about how he feels, but it’s the small and subtle things that wins me over to his side.

3. Miranda Lawson (Mass Effect series)

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Sorry,  Miranda Lawson deserves to be in GIFs because I think she’s really awesome. I remember the first time I played Mass Effect 2, she wasn’t succumbing to my charms. She was cold, and I was immediately intrigued. It felt like an exciting challenge. You know how the saying goes: “break the ice queen.” However, as I played more and more of the game, she wasn’t just a challenge anymore. I was starting to see the depth of her character. One of my favorite scenes was the part where Shepard and Miranda kissed, if you jokingly accused her of being jealous of Shepard. I loved the playful and risque dynamic she had with my Shepard. Like Anora, I admired her ruthlessness and intelligence. Unlike most of the full love interests in-game (with the exception of Jack), she wasn’t all over you. You had to earn her trust, and when you do it’s pretty sweet. If you want more in-depth discussion about Miranda, feel free to check out my post about her on my blog.

4. A Quarter of Albion’s Population (Fable series)

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Thank you to trashcanman for reminding me that I, along with almost every other player, have had at least one spouse per village  playing Fable. It’s really quite funny, since I was talking to my friend about this a couple of days ago. We were discussing the three choices at the end of Fable 2, and he told me: “Of course, I chose my family! That’s like half of Albion’s population.” That line alone made me laugh like a madwoman because it’s true and I’ve never realized it before. If you want a game to indulge your hedonistic pleasures, the Fable series can indulge your curiosity for polygamy. Oh, did I mention that you can own a bordello too?

11 Comments

  1. Banditone April 15, 2013
  2. Remy Carreiro April 15, 2013
  3. Benny Bedlam April 15, 2013
  4. Johannes P Anderson April 15, 2013
  5. trashcanman April 15, 2013
  6. trashcanman April 15, 2013
  7. Seth April 15, 2013
  8. Benny Bedlam April 15, 2013
  9. Sara Clemens April 16, 2013
  10. sean April 16, 2013
  11. sean April 17, 2013

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