Valentine’s Day is upon us again, for both the gaming couples and for those of us who are single. You’re either doing one of two things today. Celebrating the occasion with your Player 2, or you’re single and walking into work to be reminded what day it is with a special “Valentine’s Day Burrito-Eating Contest.” Don’t ask.
This one goes out to the single people on Valentine’s Day, not to cheer you up, but to make you feel even more lonely. These are video game couples that have it much better than you. The salt in the wound is that they’re not even real, but you are.
Spoilers for several games ahead. You have been warned!
Nathan Drake and Elena Fisher
This is arguably the best part of the Uncharted quadrilogy, but Nate and Sully are a close second. Nathan Drake and Elena Fisher were destined for each other. Nate being the smart mouthed, adventure-craving hero, and Elena having the tough skin to bear his compulsiveness. Elena proved to have a knack for getting into the thick of danger, especially in Uncharted 2. When Uncharted 3 comes around, we see trouble in paradise between the couple. There’s wedding rings present, but not being worn. Then by Uncharted 4, Elena has seemingly had it with Nate’s obsession to go after “one more” job, but not before a cozy game night and some fourth wall-breaking over a game of Crash Bandicoot. A gamer’s dream. Well, it’s mine anyway.
Mario and Princess Peach
Year after year of getting kidnapped, and what’s the best that Mario can get? A peck on the nose and a thank you cake. Even as recently as Super Mario Odyssey, once Mario finally liberates Peach from Bowser, they each take turns trying to propose to her. Peach simply passes them by. Mario has barely reached first base, but he hasn’t struck out yet either. In a world as vast as Super Mario Odyssey has given us, at least everyone’s favorite mustachioed plumber has someone who thinks highly of him. If Nintendo skirted this close to the theme of a wedding, then maybe these two still have that chance. Can you imagine the size of that wedding cake?
Link and Zelda
There’s really only two incarnations of Link and Zelda that I can see actually being together. One is from the cringey, but memorable TV series that aired in the late 80s. This Link is one stark contrast from the other Links that have appeared over time. Granted, there were only two Zelda games at the time, we know that Link is quite the silent protagonist today. The cartoon Link is one boorish, self-centered ass. His respective Zelda shuts him down, but manages to be fond of him at the end of the day. The real shocker though? It’s the Link and Zelda from Skyward Sword. This Zelda is the most animated we’ve seen. She isn’t shy about flirting with Link right up in his face. The real surprise is that this Zelda has the hots for a mute. Link doesn’t utter a single word. Man, would I love to see a documentary or case study about a successful relationship predicated on one mate’s tendency to grunt their affection over time.
Sonic and Amy… and Elise
If there’s anything that Sonic the Hedgehog loves it’s chili dogs and adventure. Amy Rose doesn’t love either of those things. She just loves Sonic. No, it’s more like she’s obsessed with the blue blur. That’s okay with Sonic, because if Amy tends to stray too far out of “Friend Zone: Act 1” then he instinctively makes a run for it. That isn’t to say that Sonic has eased up a bit. Somewhere, deep down, I’m sure he cares for Amy too. In a personal feat of willpower, I successfully played through the complete ending of “Sonic 06”, in which Sonic undergoes some Sleeping Beauty curse only to be awakened by a true love’s kiss from Elise. I was slightly into it, because I knew beforehand that Lacey Chabert, who played Gretchen Wieners, my favorite mean girl on Mean Girls, provided her voice for Elise. I didn’t know what the furrydom was at the time, but Sonic 06 had something for everyone.
Chell and the Weighted Companion Cube
The fiercest of loves can endure all things. Deep within the labs of Aperture Science, Chell, the protagonist of Portal, is given the Weighted Companion Cube to assist her in solving Test Chamber 17. After successfully navigating the chamber, GLaDOS forces you to “euthanize” the Weighted Companion Cube by dropping it into an incinerator. Luckily, the Weighted Companion Cube survived the ordeal, and appeared next to the cake in the game’s ending. In Portal 2, I was overjoyed to see the return of the Weighted Companion Cube in a test chamber with a faulty Material Emancipation Grill. If you can fish the Weighted Companion Cube from its puzzle, you can take it with you to the elevator and gain an achievement… and then GLaDOS remotely disintegrates it. Chell and the Weighted Companion Cube get to ride off in the sunset, however, because GLaDOS releases the very same cube at the end of Portal 2. You know you’re a loser in the gaming world when a box gets more heat than you do.
Galen Marek (Starkiller) and Juno Eclipse
Starkiller was raised to be Darth Vader’s secret apprentice in Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. Over the course of his lifetime, beginning in his childhood, he must have had the disciplines of the dark side of the Force beaten into him. Strip that away and you’ll find that Starkiller has a thing for blonde Imperial pilots in fitted clothing. Juno Eclipse learned that pilots working for Starkiller had a very low survival rate, with her being the eighth pilot to come into his service. Together the pair helped hunt down surviving Jedi, and even helped a fledgling rebellion (in Legends) when Starkiller took up his true name of Galen Marek. Just when the Rebellion was about to be snuffed out by Emperor Palpatine and, in an effort to save the woman he fell in love with, Marek sacrificed himself in order for them to get away. The best part of their relationship? Galen Marek has hundreds of clones on Kamino. He can die to his heart’s content and he’s still destined to be with Juno, and that’s exactly what he does in The Force Unleashed II.
Master Chief and Cortana
There’s nothing quite like forming a bond with something that doesn’t exist in the real world. Much like every gamer’s fandom, Master Chief and Cortana are two beings that shouldn’t be together, but you’re glad they are. The pair successfully shut down the efforts of the Covenant and the Flood. Yet, when the events of Halo 4 come around, the effects of rampancy begin to set in for Cortana. Rampancy being the point in an AI’s lifetime when they behave contrary to their programming, and even begin displaying delusions of grandeur. Cortana sacrificed the rampant part of her coding to infect the Didact’s ship in Halo 4. It’s in Halo 5 that the underlying antagonist within Cortana takes center stage, and we see a determined Master Chief desperately attempting to save her. There’s no love in your life when you know someone won’t risk their neck for you- and you’re real.
Fox McCloud and Krystal
In Star Fox Adventures, Fox McCloud comes across a mysterious planet called… Dinosaur Planet, later renamed “Sauria” in Star Fox Assault for some reason (probably because of the redundancy). There he also rescues Krystal from her crystal imprisonment. Wow, I’m now just picking up on the duplicity of this game. Anyway, yeah, they’re a cool couple. Fox asks Krystal to join the Star Fox team, and she drops her Jabba Slayer Leia getup in favor of a space suit. Either way… damn, Fox, or Nintendo. Or rather, damn you, because I’m constantly looking over my shoulder as I simultaneously type this and filter through highly suggestive pictures of this couple just to get a picture for this entry. Okay… I have to admit… when this game came out in 2002, I can’t deny I wondered how “that works”. I hadn’t had feelings that intense for an anthropomorphic character since the adult version of Candy Kong. Oh god… now the image search is actually displaying “Star Fox Krystal pregnant”…
Okay, I’m just going to stop there. That’s one internet image search too many. Some latent feelings are just screaming back. I was going to do a top 10 with this thing but forget it. The last couple on this list was going to be Ellie and Riley from The Last of Us, but you know what? They go to a post-apocalyptic mall, share one kiss, Riley gets attacked by Clickers and then she dies. So, in actuality, that leaves Ellie a loser like the rest of us. No wonder she falls back on her Savage Starlight comic books. Her comics are like our games. I wonder if there are furries like Krystal in the universe of Savage Starlight… oh geez….
You know what? I’m getting Chinese on the way home today. When I’ve downed that, I think I’ll start playing Yooka-Laylee on my Nintendo Switch. I downloaded that last week and I still haven’t started it. That sounds perfect. A night alone with myself, with a buddy platformer based on another buddy platformer. Alone. Buddy. I have a feeling this is ironically foreshadowing. Happy Valentine’s Day, gamers.