Best Romance (story) in games?

WhiteFangofWhoa

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remnant_phoenix said:
I'll probably get crap this for this, but I dig Tidus and Yuna's romance arc in Final Fantasy X. Regardless of one's feelings on that game series, that entry in particular, or either of those characters in particular, I assert that the romance sub-plot just works well. It's believable. It's not at all perfect-storybook-romance like you often see in video games. It's not the emotionally-detached-dude being brought out of his shell by manic-pixie-dream-girl that infects western cinema, anime/manga, and Final Fantasy VIII. It has interesting twists and misdirection. And it has an effecting, bittersweet end.
Seconded! If anything, Tidus is the manic pixie dream (ha!) boy, but unlike most it also has a practical purpose in the story- getting Yuna to take a closer look at the teachings of Yevon and all that she's sacrificing.

Also, the Prince of Persia and Princess Farah. Another one that accomplishes something besides getting the Prince laid. Even in the third game when she has been robbed of her memory of previous events, she still acts as his shoulder angel at a time when he needs one badly to counterbalance the Dark Prince. 'Seven years, and nothing's changed.'
 

go-10

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I think Zack and Aerith had a rather simple and cute relationship, which made it feel real. I mean they were just 2 people hanging out together that we can assume occasionally boned and made out... since that's what couples do right?
also Crisis Core ending was just awful I mean it ruined Cloud's relationship with Aerith as it just became a love based on old memories and his love with Tifa, at least for me, always felt like a big sister little brother type relationship. Advent Children made this more obvious where Tifa just looks after Cloud like a big sister would look after her mentally challenged little brother
 

Sniper Team 4

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I like Liara and female Shepard, as well as Merrill and sarcastic female Hawke. Those are both my favorite romances in games. Before those, I think I liked the Tifa/Aeris/Cloud triangle one from Final Fantasy VII the most.
 

Ryotknife

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Tidus and Yuna was probably the best one I can think of. Other...interesting ones include:

-Shion and Allen in Xenosaga. Personally I was not a big fan of this because Shion is incredibly emotionally abusive. She appears to mellow out on this account at the very very end, but she still treated Allen like shit for most of the games.

-David and Rush in Last Remnant. While no romance occurred explicitly, it is heavily implied that these two characters are gay and more than just friends.

-Yuri and Jude in Tales of Vesperia. Granted their relationship never got past the extreme passive aggressive flirting.

-Jude and Milla in Tales of Xillia. Their relationship, while cute, was a bit...weird. I got more of a mother-son kind of relationship vibe from them most of the game, until the very end where it was clearly a romance.
 

FPLOON

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If I wasn't being serious, I would say Luka and Alice from Monster Girl Quest... If I was being serious, I would still say Luka and Alice from Monster Girl Quest...

In other words... What is love? Baby, don't fuck [with] me...
 

BloatedGuppy

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I'd go with Johnny and River Wyles from To The Moon. Slightly more nuanced relationship than "Went on wild adventure, boned in cabin between missions".
 

Hawki

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Off the top of my head:

-Jim RaynorxSarah Kerrigan: Not without its detractors, but I like it, especially as it's had the advantage of being spread over 4 games.

-TidusxYuna: FFX is, IMO, a flawed game, but one I enjoyed playing. Same holds true for the TidusxYuna romance. Not without its flaws, but I thought it was a net positive overall.

-Commander Shepardx?: Only played the first Mass Effect. It's more a case of the mechanic being something I found okay, rather than any specific pairing.

-LinkxMidna: Very subjective as to whether the relationship is romantic or platonic, but regardless of its nature, it's excellently written.

-Fire Emblem: Um...yeah. I can't really highlight any one relationship here, but the series is still chock full of them. Out of the FE games I've played however, I'd cite EliwoodxNinian, in that even if a pairing isn't pursued, the story is still written around it and, IMO, is well written.

-Advance Wars: EdxCatleia. 'Days of Ruin' is a strange beast in that it's a story that tries to take itself seriously that I feel works...sometimes. But yes, I did like the Ed/Catleia relationship.
 

lazinesslord

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Off the top of my head there are two couples I really like from Fire Emblem Awakening.
Henry and Lissa
and Morgan and Nah.
Their support conversation were adorable, plus they some of my favorite power couple to use in battle.
 

Fappy

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Can't think of many good ones in all honesty. The Persona series has a few decent romances, but most of the writing is on the part of the female. Aigis and the MC from Persona 3 have a really compelling and sweet relationship, but I have a hard time calling it "romantic". As others have mentioned Bioware has some good ones as well. Bastila and the MC from Kotor will always be one of my favorites. I had a soft spot for FemShep x Liara too.

Oh, oh! Chrom x FemAvatar in FE: Awakening was really good. Lucina drama was da best.
 

scorptatious

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While I guess it's not a romance story in the traditional sense, I always did like Wander and Mono from Shadow of the Colossus.

Yeah, she's dead, so there's not much actual interaction between the two. But considering what Wander goes through in the game in order to bring her back to life, you can tell he REALLY cares for her and wants nothing but to bring her back.

I also really enjoyed Zidane and Garnet's romance in Final Fantasy IX. They had really good chemistry and the way it's wrapped up made me feel all warm inside.

And I'll also agree on Valkyria Chronicles. Welkin x Alicia actually had me rooting for them the entire game.

Finally, I really enjoyed Hanako's route in Katawa Shoujo.
Yes, the sex scene was very uncomfortable, but that was kinda the point. Both Hisao and Hanako were getting into something neither really wanted to do, but both wanted to break down the barriers that divided them. And it worked in a sense. Hanako explains why she let Hisao did what he did and told him how she really felt about everyone and how he and Lilly were treating her like something to protect. In the end, Hanako drops to her knees and cries, Hisao hugs her and tells her about how scared he was of losing her after losing everything once before due to his heart attack. He then finally confesses to her.
 

Estarc

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I'm afraid that I'm the guy who often ends up rooting for two characters to get together that never do. JRPGs are a great example of this since even as a kid I was hoping that Squall and Quistis would get together in Final fantasy VIII, and that Dart and Rose would hook up in The Legend of Dragoon. Spoilers, neither did. :(

Later, in regards to games where you can create your own character, I had trouble since I always pick female and yet wanted to romance female characters regardless and being able to do this is a more recent development, championed mostly by Bioware from my point of view.

So while I'd love to be able to use something less recent, my female player character and Leliana from Dragon Age: Origins is my favourite. I also loved that when I imported my world state into Inquisition, the way Leliana would occasionally mention her love and how much she missed her etc. Made me think back on Origins fondly.

A potential second is a female player character and Chrom from Fire Emblem: Awakening. If the game had done just a little more with it it might be my favourite, but the game has to account for the ability to pair dozens of characters with each other so the strength of any individual couples' narrative was limited from the start. Still, they did great things even within that constraint.
 

Fappy

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inu-kun said:
-Fire Emblem: Awakening, Chrom and female tactitian, it just works so well narratively and make a lot of scenes far stronger and more poignant.
Yes.

scorptatious said:
I also really enjoyed Zidane and Garnet's romance in Final Fantasy IX. They had really good chemistry and the way it's wrapped up made me feel all warm inside.
Shit, how could I forget those two? Their romance was honestly my favorite part of the whole story >///<
 

likalaruku

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I'm not a romantic. I could only tell you some of the worst potential romances from Baldur's Gate 2 & Neverwinter Nights 2, like an obnoxious love interest, or a companion who confesses to you out of the blue after giving no indication they liked you that way.
 

bartholen_v1legacy

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I haven't played that many of these, but I though Starkiller and her girlfriend in Force Unleashed II were really adorable.

Just kidding!

I was initially going to say Chrono and Marle from Chrono Trigger, which is quite something considering the other never speaks, but then I remembered...

No other game made me feel for a bunch of pixels like that one. Best story I've ever seen in a game, best soundtrack I've heard in a game, and most definitely the best love story in a game ever.

/thread

btw, all the mentions about Tidus and Yuna... maybe it's my jadedness and fundamental hatred of Tidus as a character, but that romance involves a massive douchecunt and a naive idiot. Not once did I give a crap about their relationship.
 

Vlado

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Glad to see Tifa and Cloud mentioned already. Easily my favourite romance in gaming, too.

Cloud only opens up near the end of the game, but Tifa's love shows from the very beginning. The length she goes to to help and protect Cloud, and the sacrifices she's willing to make to be by his side are heart-warming.

I should also mention Fei and Elly from Xenogears. Very mature, down-to-earth romance between two troubled characters. I loved it.
 

Maximum Bert

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Gizmo1990 said:
I come here with only 3 in mind and 2 are already here. I love everything about Valkyria Chronicles but that was one of the things I enjoyed most. FYI make sure you stay way clear of the anime they made of the game. Among the many things they fucked up in the anime they added a love triangle between Welkin, Alicia and Faldio. I HATE love triangles so I am not the best judge but a few friends of mine who don't mind them tell me that it is really bad.
Ive seen it and its absolutely terrible. It bares little resemblance to the actual game basically they messed it up. The death scene in the anime was also absolutely hilarious how clumsily they handled it.

Fox12 said:
Small things. How you speak to the characters, how often you use them in combat, ect. Calling Aerith a slum-drunk, for instance, hurts your relationship for some reason. Depending on your relationship with the characters, you will be asked out by either Aerith or Tifa at the Gold Saucer. Or Barrett, if that's your thing. This will impact how Cloud responds to Tifa at the end of the game.

I'm not a fan of Cloud being alone for the rest of his life, and since the theme of the game is about overcoming grief, I like to think that Cloud was able to move on and live a happy life with Tifa. Especially since Aerith was still carrying a torch for Zack when she died.
I know about the Gold Saucer date thing you can also get Yuffie btw. How does it change how Cloud responds to Tifa at the end of the game? seriously I almost always get Tifa think I have had Aeris and Yuffie once each and every other time has been Tifa (never had Barrett but have had no one come as well). Is it just one line? Ive played that game a lot but cannot remember any concrete proof that Tifa and Cloud get together at the end. Only time I can remember them talking alone together properly outside the lifestream is when you are about to enter the final battle and everyone else goes back to their family and loved ones but since Cloud and Tifa dont have anybody except each other anymore they stay with the ship.

I agree with Aeris still carrying a torch for Zack and largely projecting that onto Cloud. I think Tifa and Cloud are the better pairing as well but as far as I was aware they did not technically get together. What does it change? please tell me I must know so I can replay and look for it lol.
 

Clive Howlitzer

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Knight Captain Kerr said:
There are two romances in games I really loved.

The first is Morrigan and the Warden in Dragon Age. It was easily Bioware's best romantic sub-plot. In a lot of games *cough* Mass Effect *cough* the romance is just building up to sex and that is it rather than looking at how the relationship between the characters impacts them both and importantly their relationship doesn't exist in a vacuum and rather is impacted by events of the story at large. With Morrigan's romance sex isn't the endgame because well, sex isn't the endgame in a romantic relationship. You don't just have sex and then that is it, no more problems ever again. The relationship has problems, real problems, not fake bad rom-com end of the 2nd act misunderstanding where she thinks he did something bad so they break up rather than talk about it for 5 seconds but then she finds out he didn't do anything and they get back together, now they are happy forever, the end. Instead the romance actually deals with the characters' relationship with each other on a emotional level. Morrigan undergoes a character arc as part of the romance/friendship she has with the Warden as she really opens up more and it becomes clear that she isn't just a heartless asshole who is incapable of liking anyone. The relationship ends up being tested with the Dark Ritual and no matter what it ends on a sad note in the base game. Witch Hunt does more to conclude it which I really did like and then scenes in Inquisition where Morrigan is talking about her relationship with the man she loves are extremely touching. I was delighted to know the pair of them were happy together.

The other one is far, far more tragic, it's probably my favourite love story in any game. The story of Deionarra and The Nameless One in Planescape: Torment. The Longing [http://torment.sorcerers.net/unovel/html/trmnt050.shtml] sensory stone where you see part of this story unfold was one of the most heartbreaking parts of any game. Deionarra loves The Practical Incarnation with all her heart and he acts like he loves her but he doesn't. He's just manipulating her, pretending he loves her so he can use her towards his own ends. Ultimately it ends in her death as she tries to please him and even then it doesn't end. He has plans on how he can use her further in the afterlife, still leading her on acting as though he loves her. Chris Avellone says he doesn't like writing traditional romance stories, he prefers ones that end poorly and Deionarra's tale is one of the most heartbeaking stories I've ever experienced.
Nameless one and Annah was what I was going to suggest.
 

someguy1231

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Frankly, I don't think there is one. Video games, to put it plainly, just suck at romance. Even if you got the best romance writers in the world working on a game, I think the nature of video games themselves ensures that it won't be well-received by most players. This is because, when it all comes down to it, there are really only two ways to depict romance in a video game:

1. The first is what I call the "cinematic" method. Here, romance is essentially forced on the player. The story dictates that the protagonist falls in love with their love interest, and there's nothing they can do about it. Examples include most Final Fantasy games with romance in them. The obvious drawback to this is that player agency is removed and the whole romance can appear tacked-on and unnecessary.

2. The second is what I call the "Bioware" method. Here, romance is essentially something the player can "win" from certain NPCs if they say the "right" things or make the "right" choices. This often comes across as a shallow multiple-choice test with some cheesy dialogue or a cutscene of dry-humping as a reward. It also often involves NPCs the player has only recently met and yet somehow fall head-over-heels for them, which feels incredibly immersion-breaking and too player-centric to me. Sometimes, this whole mechanic can create some really galling gameplay-story segregation. In Dragon Age: Origins, you can increase NPC's "approval" by buying them gifts. And yes, if their "approval" gets high enough, you can romance them. I found this whole mechanic eerily similar to prostitution. Not saying that prostitution itself is a bad thing, but for a game that wanted me to believe that this was "true wuv", that whole thing seriously undermined it.

I can honestly say that I wouldn't mind if no video game ever tried to depict romance ever again. Games just aren't the right medium for it.
 

JemothSkarii

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I'm going to pull... two odd, perhaps unpopular choices:

Squall and Rinoa from Final Fantasy VIII and Adell and Rozalin from Disgaea 2. One of the biggest video game scenes burned into my mind was Rinoa floating out into space and then she eventually gets saved. Then there's the whole waiting and the end.

Disgaea 2's I just think was nice. They tried and went somewhat subtle and it wasn't this huge thing. Then the Good End was really satisfying (Probably because the Final Boss kicked my ass a few times)