Extra Punctuation: Why No Couples in Games?

hawk533

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Dec 17, 2009
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I agree that this lack of true relationships in video games is silly and it stops video games from being taken seriously as a medium. Your examples remind me of Aeris and Tifa in Final Fantasy 7. I could never tell which of them was supposed to actually be Cloud's girlfriend/love interest so I didn't really care at all when Aeris died.

I think I've yet to see a believable married couple depicted throughout a game.
 

KDR_11k

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Well, there's Love Plus, I hear that lets you marry the girl...

But seriously, yeah. I don't get why the girls always have to be virgins and stuff (when you have a young boy and an older female relative in a Japanese videogame, like Sharla and Juju from Xenoblade, they're ALWAYS brother and sister, why not have Sharla be Juju's mother?). I guess they think players want to see those women as THEIR love interest and that nerds somehow demand virgins but can't we move beyond "it's a she because that has sex appeal"?

Speaking of which, didn't Red Dead Redemption feature a married guy whose family is still alive? That's a rarity right there. Meanwhile Relic takes it a bit further with a gruff dude who killed his wife (as well as everybody else on the planet) for heresy and believes he did the right thing.
 

twm1709

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I think the only game that can truly represent a married couple is the Sims :p
 

ShenCS

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And yet this problem exists in all other media as well. And they have no excuse seeing how they've been around for so much longer. The answer to this problem is really, really simple. Happy couples have no real conflict and that's not interesting. Also, believable romance is incredibly difficult to write and the games industry, at least, still has the excuse of not always being written by professional writers.
 

Strife2GFAQs

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Apr 13, 2009
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As ineffectual as Vincent is, the true endings (Katherine) are sufficient payoff. He took everything for granted but finally learned what was truly important. There's no reason to assume that females MUST be controlling in the relationship. If anything, he figured out he has to live up to his end of the bargain. Contrast that to Link and Mario who are the prime examples of hopeless romantics. What seems easier, going through endless worlds of insane danger and killer enemies, chatting up a nice girl at a store or a bar, or simply paying a few bucks?

Much worse than any of this is the insistance on "ineffectual male falling for harems" trope anime tends to use. Watch any of them and you can guarantee the one he falls for within ten seconds, THEN you spend 10-20 episodes waiting for them to do ANYTHING.
 

Worgen

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Whatever, just wash your hands.
hmm, there is only one couple I can think of in a game that starts out a couple and ends a couple and that was Rosa and Cecil in final fantasy 2 (I think its like 3 in japan) they start our married and she doesnt die to provide him motivation or anything, sure they dont really do married stuff but its still a big improvement from the spouse who only exists to act as motivation

Actualy I do remember them hugging and the place they lived had the only double bed in the game and I think I remember a scene with them sleeping together in it... I guess Rydia could also have been like an adopted daughter to them too... hmm, I wonder how much of that games plot I missed because I was playing it when I was like 10 or something
 

Iron Lightning

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It's a bit unfair to ask for a real relationship in a Mario game since Mario is a holdover from the old days when there simply wasn't enough room on the cartridge for both deep story and interesting gameplay.

Also, I can understand why we don't see many intact married couples (involving the protagonist, anyway) in videogames. Anyone who would go do all that risky-business adventuring so common to videogames would either be a person naturally predisposed to that kind of thing or a normal person in abnormal circumstances. It's unlikely that your usual swashbuckling adventurer would settle down in to a mutually-exclusive relationship, while the normal person might well get married which makes the abnormal circumstance that the normal person's significant other got kidnapped an appropriate motivation. While it would be neat to see a game where a married couple has to go on an adventure after their daughter is kidnapped or something, the generally solitary nature of most videogames' appropriately named single-player modes makes that proposition a bit improbable.

The rest of the points Yahtzee makes are valid. However, I must caution everyone that if we go too far in the opposite direction we might find ourselves in the bleak world of cinema: where every story needs to have a relationship regardless of its wild inappropriateness.
 

Animyr

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Ah, Kratos. I've never played a god of war game, but even I know you're such a dick.
 

GonzoGamer

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Yahtzee Croshaw said:
the lady had to appear free-spirited and attainable to make the nerds wet.
Don't you mean hard?...Oh I see what you did there.

twm1709 said:
I think the only game that can truly represent a married couple is the Sims :p
True, my wife and I mostly just mumble at each other now... but at least woo hooing in real life lasts longer.

I thought San Adreas did a pretty good job on relationships. I've dated girls like the first one: liked flowers, bars, fast food joints, and "blastin foos,"
GTA4 tried doing it too but made it more annoying and made all the girls too similar.
 

GonzoGamer

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Yahtzee Croshaw said:
the lady had to appear free-spirited and attainable to make the nerds wet.
Don't you mean hard?...Oh I see what you did there.

twm1709 said:
I think the only game that can truly represent a married couple is the Sims :p
True, my wife and I mostly just mumble at each other now... but at least woo hooing in real life lasts longer.

I thought San Adreas did a pretty good job on relationships. I've dated girls like the first one: liked flowers, bars, fast food joints, and "blastin foos,"
GTA4 tried doing it too but made it more annoying and made all the girls too similar.
 
Feb 13, 2008
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Yahtzee Croshaw said:
Yahtzee wonders why there are no functioning relationships in games.
Haven't relationships been systematically removed from games? Zoey and Louis were meant to be having one in L4D. Ellis and Zoey is nixed pretty quickly, as is Francis and Rochelle.

Lara went from being coquettish to ice-maiden. Alyx flirts with Gordon outrageously, but his reaction is almost gay indifference.

And it's not like there's not room for it. A number of Baldur's Gate mods let you form meaningful relationships and even go on picnics together...

Ah...

That's it....

How can you have slash when there's no potential? Rule -34, if you will. If you've already drawn them having sex, where will all the slash come from?
 

Richardplex

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Strife2GFAQs said:
As ineffectual as Vincent is, the true endings (Katherine) are sufficient payoff. He took everything for granted but finally learned what was truly important. There's no reason to assume that females MUST be controlling in the relationship. If anything, he figured out he has to live up to his end of the bargain. Contrast that to Link and Mario who are the prime examples of hopeless romantics. What seems easier, going through endless worlds of insane danger and killer enemies, chatting up a nice girl at a store or a bar, or simply paying a few bucks?

Much worse than any of this is the insistance on "ineffectual male falling for harems" trope anime tends to use. Watch any of them and you can guarantee the one he falls for within ten seconds, THEN you spend 10-20 episodes waiting for them to do ANYTHING.
The World God Only Knows says Hi.

OT: Pretty interesting to read, I did feel that the romance in Dragon Age was more believable than in ME, because of it not being locked in (Mass Effect only talking to them after missions, and sex scene just before final one, DA:O one could do it half way through the game).
 

Zhukov

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It might be partly due to the whole pre-existing relationship problem. It can be tricky to get players to care about a character whose relationship to the protagonist depends on a shared past that the player doesn't know anything about. (Arg, awkward sentence.) It's one of the reasons why you see so many outsider and/or amnesiac video game heroes.

As for games that depict in-progress relationships... well, The Witcher 2 started with Geralt and Triss being lovers. However, Triss does get nabbed eventually, and Geralt seems to have various other women flinging themselves at him throughout the game.

Also, dare I mention the ME2 DLC Lair of the Shadow Broker? I found the ongoing Shepard-and-Liara relationship in that to be surprisingly endearing.

Lastly, yes it would would be cool to see an old married couple as adventurers.
 

Squilookle

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What about Mafia? Wasn't that a proper relationship done right? Sure it didn't exist at the start of the game, but not only was the blossoming romance believable, but the woman doesn't even die at ANY point in the game!