Romance in video games

OK, I’m a girl. I admit it. I’m a girl gamer. I can kick ass with the best of 'em (or at least mostly not with the worst of 'em…), but seeing as I do have this… sensitive feminine side or whatever, I’m a total sucker for a romantic subplot.

I think my favorite one has to be The Nameless One/Annah from Planescape: Torment. At first Annah’s really hateful and resistant, but then she’s all cute and jealous and protective, and the individual characterizations are done so well that you can’t help but be fascinated by the interplay. I just wish it had a better ending. ;_; (I also wish they had included an option to pursue Fall-from-Grace. Grr.)

Honorable mentions go to Quest for Glory V: Dragon Fire, and Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines. QFGV had a really cool little system where you not only chose who you pursued, but gave them gifts, compliments, etc., to win them over. If they liked you enough, eventually they’d marry you. VTM wouldn’t be a game most people would call romantic, and it’s not, but I really got into the little thing with Jeanette. It was more of a seduction/conquest than a romance, but it was fun because it was totally dialogue-based, completely optional, and actually a little challenging. (Plus, Jeanette’s insane. In a hot way.)

I’ve been looking for a new game lately with a little twinge of romance in it, but I’ve pretty much convinced myself I’ve played all of 'em worth playing. But I don’t want to play a game JUST for the romance; to me it’s pointless unless I already like the game and care about the characters. I also don’t like the idea of a foregone conclusion… if my decisions don’t influence the outcome of a romance, it’s boring. Might as well be a chick flick.

So, tell me your favorite in-game romances! PC, console, whatever. If I’ve played it, I’ll sigh and reminisce; if I haven’t, I’ll check it out. (But don’t spoil it too much!)

Alternately, you could just make fun of me for being such a dork. I can take it. :stuck_out_tongue:

Guybrush Threepwood and Governor Elaine Marley.

I guess Neverwinter Nights has several romances you can pursue, depending on the gender of the character you play. For some reason they never really engaged me. I always play a female character so I never developed a romance with Aribeth, although I still made the effort to be friends with her (and cared about her enough to shout out loud ARIBETH NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO in that scene when it’s all stormy on the rooftop and Aribeth is in the process of… well, I won’t spoil it, but suffice it to say that she makes a Bad Decision in that scene). I did have a romance with Aarin Gend but wasn’t that into it at all.

I would seriously recommend getting NWN just so you can play the Shadowlord and the Dreamcatcher modules created by Adam Miller. I LOVED those - they were much more interesting than the OC and the level of craftsmanship that went into them is amazing. (Adam Miller was actually offered a job by Bioware, I think, but he ended up refusing them.)

ETA: I also liked King’s Quest VII’s romance: the Princess and the fairy Prince who got turned into a troll or something. Both their names escape me at the moment.

Hah, how about marriage in Fable? I have a wife in one town and a husband in the other (he gives me much better presents). Not terribly romantic, I suppose, however.

Final Fantasy X has a great romantic subplot between the main character Tidus, and another playable character, Yuna. There’s one particular cutscene, in a wooded glade, that’s really breathtaking.

The resolution of the story in Final Fantasy X-2 is…interesting. And not in a satisfying way. But the story in the first part is great.

There are several possible romances, and possible endings to those romances in Baldur’s Gate : Throne of Bhaal. What happens depends on the choices you make in the game, and the gender of your main character. Also, there are various mods that can be downloaded to add new ones, or do things like take out the gender lockout so homosexual romances are possible.

Grand Theft Auto : San Andreas has romances of a sort, with it’s dating and girlfriends system. As well there’s the whole semi-romance with the psychopathic lady who first appeared in GTA : 3 ( Catalina ? ).

Hazel, I didn’t know there were romances in NWN! Damn, well, now I’m gonna have to dig out my old copy and actually play it… I got a ways through it and ran into some sorceror in a castle or dungeon or something that cooked my goose no matter what I tried, so I gave up. I tend to do that. Heh.

capybara, yeah, I wasn’t impressed by the courting process at all in Fable. In fact, the playable character never even takes part in a two-way dialogue at all, IIRC. Fun little game, but definitely devoid of romance.

Only, I’ve played a few FF games and always been kinda disappointed in 'em. I guess because I was brought up on PC RPGs, and the console ones I’ve played have all been so formulaic as to be nearly identical to each other. There’s no real choice regarding storyline involved in any of the ones I’ve messed around with, so I assumed the romances would just be incidental to the storyline. This bothers me in pretty much all games with the exception of old adventure games (like Monkey Island, the one GuanoLad’s referring to).

Der Trihs, I had actually heard there were some really good romances written into BG2. I have a copy and I’m dying to play it, but I’m so anal about continuity that I can’t bring myself to until I finally finish BG1!! Yeah, you heard right, I never finished it. I cannot for the fucking LIFE of me get through goddamn Durlag’s Tower. And I give up easily. >_<

Tying to think of some that haven’t been already mentioned:

Knights of the Old Republic, both the first and the second one. There are some frustrations with both of 'em, but I don’t want to give away too much if you haven’t played either.
Jade Empire, and hey, you can even make it a threesome if you’re into that kind of thing.
NWN2 also has some romance options, but I found myself wishing for more conversations in the romance ‘plots’ as they were rather sparse.

<<Who’s General Failure & why’s he reading my disk? >>

Silverfall was fun, it’s somewhere between NWN and Diablo II, offering henchman romances similar to NWN. It’s also the first game I’ve played which specifically gives an option for gay relationships as well as hetero. Depending on responses to henchman-initiated conversations, female characters can hook up with at least one of the female henchmen (I haven’t played through with the others). I’m not sure if there’s a gay male option, but it wouldn’t surprise me.

The major downside is somewhat poor localization; many of the English translations are awkward and some of the main plot dialogues take a re-read to “get” what they’re saying. Graphics and gameplay-wise, it isn’t groundbreaking and doesn’t touch a game like Oblivion, but it’s still an entertaining little diversion, if you’re looking for something a bit different.

I was going out with one of my neighbours while having an affair with the rich married woman in the first Sims game. Does that count as video game romance?

I then killed the rich lady’s husband. Then I got bored with that game and never played it again.

The second expansion pack for Neverwinter Nights, Hordes of the Underdark, has several possible romantic storylines that are a bit better developed than in the original campaign (the first expansion, Shadows of Undrentide, has no romantic subplots at all, IIRC…which is good, since your primary companion is a kobold :eek: ). Both expansions are worth picking up if you get the original game…in fact, you can buy the Gold or Platinum or whatever edition and get the game and both expansions. It’s a very good RPG series that doesn’t require online play, so you can pause and pick up again any time you want.

IIRC Morrowind has some fan made mods with romances, including some where they follow and fight with you.

Der Trihs, you’re correct about that; there are some which are more “hard core” than others though, so double-check the mod description to make sure you’re getting the style you prefer. There are probably some out for Oblivion as well by now.

It’s also possible to romance Silk Fox playing as a female character. I haven’t tried it (I’ve only played it once and I did it without a walkthrough, so I didn’t know romances were possibilities until I read the forums).

Oh, there’s that mod for NWN where someone made a bunch of nude skins (the author claims to be a woman.) Very bizarre mod–odd plot too, for what plot there is. The mod works best as a high-level character, generally a magic-user, and you have to play a female character. Yes, I’ve played this. It’s kinda like an interactive softcore Cinemax porno.

NWN: Hordes of the Underdark has a romance as well, one for men and one for women. I liked the female character’s romance here much more than the original game’s version.

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic has romance options (two for women, one for men), and the sequel has a bit of one as well but is an inferior game both in that respect and in terms of how the end is wrapped up.

Jade Empire has romance too! I got as far as the grand kiss and then stopped, since I’m not real sure how well I’m going to do in the next battle and it’ll be a Big One. If I recall correctly, both men and women have (at least?) two options. (Hint for this and SW: KotOR for the female characters - you might have to be open-minded to find your other option!)

Edit: Crap, that’s what I get for not previewing. Oh well - Baldur’s Gate 2 has a romance option for a good female character, but the plot development leaves something to be desired. Like others, I usually ended up using third-party mods/addons for improving that plotline/adding more romanceable characters, etc.

Yeah. Valen >>>>> Aarin. It’s the horns, definitely the horns. And the tail :smiley:

It’s worth noting that the fan created add-on mods for BG1 add alot of romance options. On a par, if not better than, BG2.

So, go start it again with the mods. :wink:

Well, if you want to go old school, there’s always Plundered Hearts

Mmm… growl Ahem, sorry. I still have it installed on my computer because it’s quite pleasant to replay. :smiley:

See, I didn’t realize you meant games where you actually play through the romance when I saw this thread, and so I was trying to think of games that merely contained it.

Dokutsu Monogatari, better known as Cave Story, is a huge freeware side-scrolling adventure produced by Studio Pixel, available for download on the web. It’s Metroid-esque, except that it has very engaging plot and lots of enjoyable characters. One of them is an adorable female soldier with a relentlessly positive attitude whom the hero has a sort of platonic thing going with; but the game has three dramatically different endings, based on your actions during the last third of the game, and in two of them this love interest dies.

Either way, she sacrifices herself to save you- except you’re never totally sure that she’s dead, and you play through that last third of the game with this aching desire to find some way to save her- and then you have to abandon the ‘Cave’ as everything blows up at the end, and whether she was still alive or not you just left her to die.

It’s agony.

You can save her, though. God help you if you try doing it without a walkthrough, but it’s just this side of possible, and the additional quest it entails ends up- somewhat improbably- opening up an entirely new section of the game, and the third, truly good ending.

It has one or two minor flaws, but on the whole Dokutsu Monogatari is an outstanding game, and you can’t beat the price.