It’s that time of the year again…
In typical JRPG fashion, I’ll let you choose what I’ll say next:
- when love is all around, reflected in everyone’s loving eyes.
- when evil corporations exploit emotions for their gain.
- (no response)
In fact, video games aren’t that far off when it comes to love and romantic themes—from Cloud and Aerith with their ambiguous labels to the Mass Effect series with its choose-your-partner Romance system.
Despite the many ways to fall head over heels in games these days, there’s just something about romance when it comes to games—it’s a lot simpler and it’s always an integral part of the storyline.
So, no matter how you feel about the saccharine weekend, here are our five picks for the most romantic scenes for all the tito and tita gamers out there.
This cliff will be our secret place, The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening
It’s unusual for The Legend of Zelda to be on such a list, since the relationship between Zelda and Link was never the highlight of the series. But in Link’s Awakening, we can see that our silent hero may be capable of romance. This game, in particular, hinted at a budding relationship between Link and Marin, a woman whom he mistook for Zelda.
While the game didn’t fully explore what could become of the two characters—it’s a dream after all—it contained scenes between them that arguably can be perceived as beyond just friends. In their first walk, Marin cherishes this fact and says those iconic lines.
Arshtat killing Ferid, Suikoden V
We’re fans of Suikoden here at Variable, but one thing the series doesn’t have is romance—until Suikoden V was released. The story follows the royal family of Falena Queendom, ruled by Arshtat and Ferid. Of course, a Suikoden game isn’t complete without a gut-wrenching death, and the fifth installment isn’t exempt.
In this case, tragedy strikes after Lymsleia’s engagement ceremony. As the Godwins stage a coup, Arshtat uses the powerful Sun Rune to save Ferid from an archer’s attack. However, this causes the queen to lose her mind, killing her husband in the process. Even worse, she regains sanity after killing her husband, which causes her to go berserk in her desire to incinerate the assassins. Faced with the risk of Arshtat in her crazed state, Georg Prime thrusts his blade through her back, killing her.
Mami and Fou-Lu, Breath of Fire IV
Mami got the short end of the stick in this relationship. After all, she fell in love with the Fou Empire’s most wanted man—who was kind of a jerk to her. But it’s apparent in the game that Mami fell in love, and hard.
As to whether Fou-Lu loved her back, the game answers us in the most horrific way possible. After being captured by the empire, Mami is tortured and is ultimately sacrificed for the Carronade. After being hit by the Carronade, Mami’s hairpiece falls to the ground. Upon realizing who the sacrifice was, the first emperor lost it.
Lake Macalania, Final Fantasy X
Say all you want about blitzball and the sphere system, but a few couples in the Final Fantasy series can match the chemistry between Tidus and Yuna. For one, the game doesn’t force you to root for Tidus and Yuna immediately. It allows you to get your bearings first before you get to join the ragtag crew of Yuna’s bodyguards. But here’s where FFX becomes amazing: Instead of hitting you with a cutscene where the two protagonists finally become a couple, the game builds on little moments where Tidus and Yuna talk and get to know each other better, like that laughing scene.
As the game moves forward, you get more involved with Tidus and Yuna that by the time you escape Seymour and end up in Macalania Forest, the only thing left for them to do now is just kiss. And boy was it magical.
Thoughts Far Away, Lunar Silver Star Story
Rounding out the list is Alex Noa and Luna—a couple that can put a lot of real-life couples to shame. For one, it helps that Alex and Luna are childhood sweethearts. This allows the story to build on that, which it does masterfully.
Honestly, there are a lot of romantic cutscenes to go around, but the one that many players remember is the events before entering the Blue Dragon Shrine in Lyton. After the team fails to call out the shrine using a song sung by a couple deeply in love, Alex decides to try it alone by playing “Thoughts Far Away” on his ocarina, hoping his song will reach Luna. Meanwhile, Luna also begins singing even as she’s imprisoned in the Grindery. The scene, which effectively conveys longing and love, causes the shrine to rise up afterward—and an “aww” from the player.
So what’s your go-to romantic video game scene? Let us know in the comments—who knows, we might like them too!
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