With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, we are feeling the love here at The Nerd Stash and decided to reflect upon it. With so many classic couples in film, television, and literature we felt it was time to pay respect to the gaming side of romance. From classic princesses to aliens from distant galaxies, and even a rowdy bartender or two, love always finds its way into video games…Unless it’s Bloodborne, the only comfort you get in that game is a small oil lantern and a creepy doll. It’s worse than it sounds. However, we will be qualifying our couples, not just on iconic status, but the lengths our hero or heroine go for love. So shake off the dust from your favorite Berry White album, throw some more pillows on the heart shaped bed, and break open the box of chocolates; this is The Nerd Stash’s Top 5 Video Game Couples.
5) Gordon Freeman and Alyx Vance: Half-Life 2
Does someone need to speak in order to develop an emotional connection? If you’re the sexy scientist turned world savior and probable sociopath Gordon Freeman the answer is ‘no.’ Since the start of Half-Life 2, there is clear romantic tension between the duo despite never being explicitly stated by the game itself. There is an unspoken (Haha! Get it?…I’m sorry) romance between the duo, yet their affection for one another couldn’t be clearer. Alyx and Gordon will go to great lengths just to save each other, even if it means putting their own lives at risk so the other may go on. While I am sure it doesn’t help that Alyx’s father Eli won’t stop pestering Gordon about grandchildren, (Slow down old man, he’s trying to save the world!) there aren’t enough head crabs, Combine, and mutated bugs to stop Gordon from being with Alyx.
4) Geralt of Rivia and Triss Merigold: The Witcher Series
Surprised it’s not Yennefer? Well let’s be honest here, Yennefer is kind of a complete jerk to Geralt. Triss and Geralt have a long history together, spanning the entire game series where the player has multiple occasions of wooing the fiery haired mage. She gets the fourth spot due to her not only risking her life as a mage to be around Geralt but not treating him like utter trash when doing it! Geralt’s world is bleak, brutal, and bloody and no one understands a cruelty like that better than Triss. She is willing to drop everything and help Geralt find Ciri, despite not actually having any real relationship with her. Unlike the other choices on this list for video game couples, this one isn’t a mandatory romance as you can easily be a complete jerk to Triss…but why would you ever want to do that? She’s not about to teleport you into the middle of an ocean on a whim and speak to you in completely cryptic manners.
3) Cloud Strife and Aerith Gainsborough: Final Fantasy VII
Sometimes love spans decades, others only last day, and in terms of Cloud and Aerith it only made it to the end of disc one! While the game is clearly setting us up to believe that Aerith, a flower seller, is going to be the main romantic interest for our hero Cloud; no one could have expected such a sudden demise. Acting as arguably one of the most shocking moments in all of the gaming, Sephiroth drives his sword straight through her while Cloud watches. With his reaction echoing that of the player, love turns into rage and determination as he seeks revenge against the game’s antagonist. While they weren’t a video game couple for long, the duo left a lasting impression on not just fans but the industry as a whole.
2) Mario and Peach: Super Mario Series
Apparently repetition and a good dose of kidnapping are the keys to a healthy, loving relationship; otherwise, I cannot really explain how Mario and Peach stay together. Acting as the gaming embodiment of the classic, fairy tale love story, Mario has traversed many worlds, again and again, to be with Peach. From flying gunships to environmental disasters to literally jumping from planets to save this woman; Mario’s dedication to Peach is admirable. That and she seems like an incredible baker, I mean seriously have you seen the massive cakes she whips up? Though it’s rare Mario is ever the one in peril, Peach has been more than willing to come save her reptile hopping hero on more than one occasion. In the end, there will never be a video game couple this iconic as they have been going strong for a long, long time.
1) James Raynor and Sarah Kerrigan: Starcraft Series
Surprised? Yes, it’s true that Mario and Peach are the most well-known video game couples, but the lengths both Raynor and Kerrigan have gone for each other dwarfs that. Originally both human, it wasn’t until Kerrigan was infested and mutated into the now “Queen of Blades” that the depth of their love was apparent. Set on a quest to save Kerrigan and reverse the horrific effects to his lover, Raynor leads all out war with the locust-like Zerg Swarm. Refusing to give up, Raynor not only puts his life in jeopardy but the entirety of his crew. (Of which many, many die.) James is willing to sacrifice every single tank, spaceship, and marine to save Kerrigan; which he eventually does! However, that is not the main reason they have taken the top spot on our list of love. Once Kerrigan and Raynor were finally reunited, the duo was then forcibly dragged apart and Kerrigan was made to believe Raynor was captured. Seeking to avenge her and save him, Kerrigan infected herself again and once more became the Queen of Blades. While the others on this list have gone to lengths for each other, none has struggled like Raynor and Kerrigan. They are on equal footing and understand that, willing to rip entire planets apart just to be with each other.
That’s it you fine and funky readers. Who do you think about the video game couples greatest connections? Disagree or Agree with our list? Sound off below!
A recent graduate of Arcadia University, Collin MacGregor is a freelance video editor and writer. He covers video games, television, and film for The Nerd Stash. Collin currently is the head film/television reviewer for the site.