Results 1 to 11 of 11

Thread: Best and Worst Romances in RPGs

  1. #1
    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Nowhere and Everywhere
    Posts
    17,829
    Articles
    57
    Blog Entries
    20
    Contributions
    • Former Cid's Knight

    Question Best and Worst Romances in RPGs

    What are some of the best and worst romances in the RPG genre? What makes it so special or particularly bad?

  2. #2

    Default

    I'm not sure about the best, but one of the worst I remember is Senel X Shirley from Tales of Legendia as it just felt super forced and was one of the very few times I remember being unhappy with a canon pairing. It was basically one sided on Shirley's end as Senel was in love with her older sister Stella, who was believed to be dead at the game's start. Senel views Shirley as a younger sister and even calls her such. Throughout the game Senel X Chloe is hinted at, though to be fair this is also largely one sided on Chloe's end as Senel is pretty oblivious to her feelings. (This was the pairing I wanted if we couldn't have Senel x Stella as they actually had good chemistry together and didn't fringe on creepy sibling territory.) Then you find out Stella is actually alive, except she dies for real shortly after you find out. Senel is obviously devastated, as Stella loved him back. Yet at the very end of the main story we get fed this garbage about how Senel actually loved Shirely all along, even instead of Stella somehow...? It made no sense to me, and I honestly feel like if Chloe just had the courage to confess first things could have easily gone way different. It's made even worse by the character quests after the main game, in which they pretty much admit to them not having any real romantic/dating relationship to speak of. The whole thing just made me so mad, and it didn't help that Shirley was one my least favorite characters to start with (she literally spends the whole main quest getting kidnapped and doing nothing useful, and by the time you finally get her as a playable character in the character quests she's not really necessary as her skills are basically just a blend of Will's and Norma's).

  3. #3

    Default

    Shepard and Garrus, on both fronts actually. I found these two to have wonderful chemistry basically as long as you aren't an asshole, and I kind of saw romantic development as the natural course for the two until . . . well, I actually tried the pairing. The writing for the pair (really every romance I tried, honestly) is absolutely terrible: nothing feels natural, everything feels abrupt, and there's no real comfort to any of their interactions; opposed to how they normally act around each other, the romance is just an awkward mess. Like, Garrus is my dude and all, but he can just stand over in the corner friend zoned from now on. Kind of like Mordin, but not because I didn't friggin' try.

  4. #4
    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Nowhere and Everywhere
    Posts
    17,829
    Articles
    57
    Blog Entries
    20
    Contributions
    • Former Cid's Knight

    Default

    I'm still trying to come up with a good romance in an RPG, even after all this time. If I had to give some bad ones though...

    Zael and Calista from The Last Story. It has all the worst trappings of a bad JRPG romance subplot. Both are incredibly cliched, both have zero personality, they meet Aladdin style and instantly fall in love in one of the most awkward moments in the whole game, and like every notoriously bad romance subplot in an RPG, the damn romance becomes a plot tumor that slowly overtakes the narrative. It has moments of being really cute or interesting, but quickly dashes away any of the pretext of it ever becoming more than a cliche storm really quickly just in case you thought this 16-bit romance would ever upgrade to the modern era the game was released in.

    Cloud and Tifa from FFVII. Oh yeah I hear the pitchforks and torches being readied, but hear me out. The romance starts off really cute in the beginning, with both chilling as childhood friends with a possible hint of something more, and even ignoring the possibility of three other dating options, it looks like these two could be the one true pair. That is until we get to really see their backstory and realize they hanged out together, but didn't really know each other. Cloud had a huge almost stalkerish crush on her, but Tifa actually didn't know who Cloud was until their infamous Water Tower promise, which is when Tifa herself develops some weird warped idea of their romance as well. People often cry foul of Aerith trying to rekindle her romance with her dead boyfriend through a proxy like Cloud as creepy, but honestly, Tifa's motives and history of liking Cloud are largely on the same shakey ground and leads me to believe the two could never have a real relationship because it's built on a fantasy by two people who have a tenuous grip on reality as it is. Their relationship is akin to picking out a classmate you grew up with who had a crush on you that you only learned about years later, and deciding for no real good reasons that they were "your one"despite the fact you probably never really knew this person intimately beyond going to school with them. That's not the basis for a good relationship. Granted, I feel like most romances in FF are not terribly good, but this is one that fans seem to push as a one of the good ones and I have to disagree.

    Romances in any game where you can choose your partner. Like Rez09 mentioned above, there is something too scripted and artificial about the experience. It's fun to choose who your character hooks up with, but often I find the romance itself is kind of shallow.

  5. #5
    Radical Dreamer Fynn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Tower of the Swallow
    Posts
    18,001
    Articles
    57
    Blog Entries
    16

    FFXIV Character

    A'nutoh Tia (Sargatanas)
    Contributions
    • Former Editor
    • Former Cid's Knight

    Default

    Iíd say the Witcher IIIís Yennefer romance is the exception to that rule you mentioned about romances that you choose, but it doesnít really count since it was established in the books and is pretty much the only valid choice in that game. Disregard the writer of the first game who left her out because he didnít understand why the couple were perfect for each other and pushed for another character who really has no place being a love interest, which has now resulted in a rabid fanbase and one of the fiercest ship to ship combats Iíve seen.

    It should have been a pre-determined romance, is what Iím saying.

  6. #6

    Default

    Going to get hate for this but Zack and Aerith. ( Og and Crisis Core)

    Zack: aRE yOU aN aNGEL ??


    Aerith: nO I'M AeRITH !!!







    "You okay?"

  7. #7

    Default

    I like Cloud and Aeris more than Cloud and Tifa precisely because I feel like the latter is more just based on childhood fantasies. Meanwhile the idea that Cloud was like a replacement for Zach seems to ignore some explicit evidence to the contrary in game, and be more based on some later bs square released. Still neither is that great.

    I don't know if there is a best. Just worst and less worst.

  8. #8
    Witch of Theatergoing Karifean's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Wandering the Kakera
    Posts
    3,707
    Articles
    1
    Blog Entries
    138

    Default

    I actually quite like Rean x Alisa in Trails of Cold Steel and feel like it should be a canon/story-forced relationship instead of being open, and really don't get why so many people hate on Alisa; she and Rean actually have a bond, actually care about each other's struggles (Alisa is the only one who explicitly goes up to Rean and wants to understand what he's going through) and they are absolutely attracted to each other. And while their paths eventually diverge because well trout, that's how things go sometimes in life, it's still a lovely relationship while it lasts.

  9. #9
    The Alpha and the Omega WarZidane's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    630

    FFXIV Character

    Cattleya Paphia (Sargatanas)

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf Kanno View Post
    Romances in any game where you can choose your partner. Like Rez09 mentioned above, there is something too scripted and artificial about the experience. It's fun to choose who your character hooks up with, but often I find the romance itself is kind of shallow.
    One of my favorite RPG romances is actually one of these.

    That being in Ar Tonelico 2, Croix and (SPOILER)Jaqli/Mir. Granted, it's rather unique in that most of the romance and the choosing of your partner happens in a visual novel-esque portion of the game. They get bonus points for having a great duet at the end of the game if you go with this pairing.

    Another favorite of mine is Estelle and Joshua in Trails in the Sky, some great scenes there.

    As for worst...I second two of the ones mentioned earlier in this thread: Senel/Shirley from Tales of Legendia and Zael/Calista from The Last Story. Beyond that I can think of a bunch of bad ones but none that stand out as that bad.

  10. #10
    Do Myself a Mischief Vermachtnis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    That Weird Building
    Posts
    7,146

    FFXIV Character

    Ekhi Ysengrim (Sargatanas)

    Default

    I've been having a hard time coming up with something. Romance in most games is eh, at best.

    Quote Originally Posted by WarZidane View Post
    That being in Ar Tonelico 2, Croix and (SPOILER)Jaqli/Mir. Granted, it's rather unique in that most of the romance and the choosing of your partner happens in a visual novel-esque portion of the game. They get bonus points for having a great duet at the end of the game if you go with this pairing.
    It helps that her, Lady Cloche, and Luca are all fully fleshed out three dimensional characters who are deeply flawed. It's been awhile, but I don't think you can even romance them until you've seen them at their worst. I'm going to have to go with that as one of the best too. But I'm picking Lady Cloche.

    Shirley is the worst. At everything.

  11. #11

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •