Some protagonists are ruled by logic, others by their emotions. Some are zesty anti-heroes, others are bland white knights.
But have you ever wondered: which RPG characters could you enter into a long-term relationship with? Who’d romance you sweetly, and who’d become the horror story you tell your friends about after the inevitable breakup?
Here are some of my favorites, rated from Worst Significant Other to Best:
- Renegade Shepard: Mass Effect Trilogy
Let’s face it. The morality system in Mass Effect is bunk. Your options are: be a total goody two shoes, or be a total ass to the people you care about. That’s the difference. Not good vs. evil, or even lawful vs. chaotic. Just pious vs. total dick. And renegade Shepard is the biggest dick of them all. They delight in the misfortune of their crew mates, give zero shits about saving people, and are somehow still the hero.
Renegade Shepard will tell you you’re ugly, take you to a Burger King, and “forget” their wallet.
2. Paragon Shepard: Mass Effect Trilogy
Did you think Paragon Shepard would somehow be higher on this list? You naive fool. While slightly more palatable than their Renegade counterpart, Paragon Shepard would still be a terrible S/O, and here’s why:
The only way to truly be 100% Paragon is to change your opinions/personality depending on who you’re talking to.
Paragon Shepard is so obsessed with how others perceive them that they’ll change their core values at the drop of a hat to convince whoever’s listening that they’re a good person. Paragon Shepard will cave to peer pressure 90% of the time. Also, they’re no fun at parties.
3. Geralt of Rivia: The Witcher Series
While not the worst partner on this list, Geralt is by no means good date material. He’s got a history of pursuing romantic interests while they’re intoxicated, making sexist remarks which his potential partners laugh off, and body-shaming the women he wants to sleep with. Yes, Geralt has clearly studied the Art of Persuasion. Specifically, persuading women to sleep with him by demoralizing them. The Witcher also gets around, and while I’m definitely not anti polyamory, the intent here is not derailing the toxic and misogynistic world of monogamy; the intent is the conquest of female bodies.
Ultimately, Geralt is just what he has always claimed to be: a wolf.
4. Kazuma Kiryu: Yakuza Series
On the one hand, Kiryu has got a lot of good qualities for a lover. He’s always willing to help out, whether it be teaching a dominatrix to be mean or bringing in fresh fish to his favorite restaurant; he’s great at karaoke; and he loves eating out (wink).
However (and it’s a big however), Kiryu is a hyper masculine gangster who literally beats people with bicycles and dumps pots of boiling water on them when provoked. That kind of anger is never healthy.
And anyway, he’s in love with his best friend. You don’t really stand a chance at winning his heart when it already belongs to Nishikiyama.
5. Aloy: Horizon Zero Dawn
Aloy is a total dream girl. She’s 100% badass, she’s got mad skills, smart as a whip, and she’ll kick your ass if you give her shit. Yep. Smart, powerful, and way too good for you. People fall in love with Aloy all the time, but she never seems interested in relationships.
Yes, Aloy is more goal-oriented than romance-oriented. Still, we can dream. *sigh*
6. Abe: Oddworld Series
Abe is the sensitive, proletariat antifa boyfriend you’ve been waiting for. Not only is he fighting the Upton Sinclair-esque oligarchy of Oddworld from the inside; he’s saving actual lives by leading his fellow Mudokons to freedom. In these dark times, you can’t afford to fuck someone who doesn’t want to fight the powers that be. And sure, he’s gawky and awkward, but by and large, he’s ruled by his capacity for compassion and caring.
And just look at him.