Ah, love. Even gamers can recognize the joys of finding that special someone. Heck, some of us even find that spark in our greatest online adversaries. In fact, it was the wise Solid Snake that one said: “I believe at any time, any place, people can fall in love with each other.”
On this Day of Valentine, why not take a moment to celebrate love in the best way a gamer can—by looking at some of our favorite video game romances? Be forewarned, not all of them end so well.
Nathan Drake and Elena Fisher ('Uncharted')
Since the first Uncharted, it was clear that Nate and Elena were going to wind up together. His quick wit and loud personality may make him difficult to love, but Elena’s own personality winds up mimicking the adventurer’s quite a bit.
They’re both strong and intelligent, which often gets in the way, causing things to get rocky between Uncharted 2 and Uncharted 3. Ultimately, love conquered all and the two wound up having one of the most successful relationships in video gaming.
Zack Fair, Cloud Strife, and Aerith Gainsborough ('Final Fantasy')
Before there was Cloud and Aerith, that flower-picking hussy was busy falling for Zack Fair, the SOLDIER member who’s accomplishment Cloud Strife unknowingly steals as his own. Whether Aerith wound up loving Cloud or Zack more is a matter of discussion between superfans.
Zack may have been Aerith’s original love, but Cloud, still delusional about his part in everything, wound up stealing her heart before Sephiroth skewered it.
Otacon and Naomi Hunter ('Metal Gear Solid')
Chances are, when people think of “romance” and Metal Gear Solid, they’ll remember the love affair between Solid Snake and Meryl Silverburgh. Let’s be real, though. Their relationship ended because they simply didn’t work. If you want tragedy, you have to turn your attention to Otacon and Naomi Hunter.
Otacon and Naomi didn’t make it because the world was against them and Naomi’s past caught up with her. A shame, too. They would have made quite the nerdy couple.
Garrus and Commander Shepard ('Mass Effect')
It was a romance that even they didn’t think would work out, but, against better judgment, they went for it anyway! The love story between Garrus and Commander Shepard, while completely optional, was a refreshing touch to the space drama of Mass Effect. Amidst the insanity of the galaxy, two unlikely hopefuls found a way to look past their differing species and just go for.
That means all of you hesitating to talk to the fellow human you have feelings for have no excuses.
Dom Santiago and Marcus Fenix ('Gears of War')
Admit it, few moments in gaming were more heartbreaking than when Marcus had to endure Dom’s death in Gears of War 3. It hit much harder than when Dom had to kill Maria in the sequel. So maybe Dom and Marcus weren’t in the kind of relationship you celebrate on Valentine’s Day, but there’s no denying that, between them, there was a love born through years of watching one another’s ass.
Leon Kennedy and Ada Wong ('Resident Evil')
It was clear throughout Resident Evil 2 that Leon was quite smitten with Ada, though he’d never get the opportunity to express his affections. Their budding love was a forbidden one—he a hero looking for an end to the biohazard threat, she a free agent with seemingly flimsy affiliations.
Through it all, there’s clearly a growing admiration for one another that would have the opportunity to blossom if not for the three D’s: Death, destruction, and deception.
Johnny and River Wyles ('To the Moon')
Though To the Moon may started after River’s death, the bulk of the game focuses on piecing together Johnny’s life so a new and happier memory of how his marriage with River played out could be implanted. While not necessarily the happiest of video game romances to begin with, the union of Johnny and River spans a lifetime and, by the time the credits roll, it’s the kind of love story you’d want to dive into on Valentine’s Day.