Thursday, February 14, 2013

Top Ten Greatest Gaming Couples

It's Valentine's Day, and love is most certainly in the air. SuperPhillip Central is celebrating by doing something special with our list of the ten greatest gaming couples. We're using the word "couple" a bit loosely here, but this list has a wide assortment of franchises and types of couples represented. Will your favorites make this list?

10) Viewtiful Joe and Sylvia (Viewitful Joe series)

Starting off, Joe is an average guy with an insatiable love of movies, much to the annoyance of his girlfriend, Sylvia. In fact, Joe oftentimes neglects his girl for a good movie. When both of them get sucked into Movieland, Joe gains the power to turn into superhero Viewtiful Joe in order to save his girlfriend from the creatures who captured her. By the conclusion of the game, a new evil arises, and the recently rescued Sylvia decides she's going with her heroic boyfriend to kick some tail. It creates one of the best superhero couples in history, Viewtiful Joe and Sexy Sylvia!

9) Diddy Kong and Dixie Kong (Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest)

Some might question whether these two are related considering they both share the same surname. This would make them being boyfriend and girlfriend quite disturbing, no? Regardless, the relationship between the two in Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest is one built on equality. While they share separate strengths, such as Diddy Kong's speed and cartwheel abilities whereas Dixie Kong possesses the ability to twirl her hair around to cross chasms, both parts of this couple are important in kicking Kaptain K. Rool out of their homeland and for saving Donkey Kong.

8) Cecil Harvey and Rosa Joanna Farrell (Final Fantasy IV)

One of the earliest romances in a Final Fantasy game, Final Fantasy's Cecil Harvey and Rosa Joanna Farrell find themselves in the midst of a colossal adventure that sends them from their home planet to the moon. Despite having trepidation in allowing her to come with him on his dangerous journey, Rosa still stays by Cecil's side, whether he was a dark knight or after he became a paladin. After defeating Zeromus on the moon, the two held a royal wedding and became the king and queen of the once troubled kingdom of Baron. All's well that ends well.

7) Squall Leonheart and Rinoa Heartily (Final Fantasy VIII)

Sometimes love turns you into a better person. It certainly did for Squall Leonheart, who at the beginning of Final Fantasy VIII is a loathsome and easy-to-dislike character. When Squall and Rinoa first meet, it is at a graduation ceremony, and the two share a romantic moment on the dance floor as Squall tries his best to keep from displaying to Rinoa that he has two left feet. Despite being Seifer's (Squall's rival) girl, Rinoa moves on to take quite a liking to Squall. Before the credits of the game, Squall is seen struggling to keep to his feet as he wanders a vast wasteland. The only thing that keeps him going is the memories he has of Rinoa. The two finally reconvene and embrace after the credits.

6) Master Chief and Cortana (Halo series)

Despite Master Chief being a combination of man and machine, and Cortana being a great bit of holographic AI, these two are still an interesting couple. Whether they are bantering with one another or simply flirting in the midst of an epic battle with the Covenant, Master Chief and Cortana give the players a welcomed love story on the side of all the combat within the Halo series. Halo 4's campaign dealt with how Master Chief deals with his own humanity while Cortana deals with her own mortality. Their journey together is all the more endearing because of it.

5) Nathan Drake and Elena Fisher (Uncharted series)

Nathan and Elena initially meet when Elena agrees to film Nathan's search for underwater treasure. Little did they both know that this original meeting would take them into adventures across the world. What I like about Nathan Drake and Elena Fisher's relationship is that the two come across as more equal than they might at first seem. Drake has the capabilities of being a great shot with a gun, an outstanding climber, and an all-around terrific treasure hunter. However, Elena can pretty much hold her own with Drake, in both the arduous climbing sequences and witty retorts. The chemistry is definitely there, and it makes for one of the more realistic relationships in gaming, thanks to the wonderful scripts of the Uncharted series.

4) Ico and Yorda (ICO)

Despite not knowing each other as players started the game, this duo trusted one another in a swift fashion to help one another. That's what the foundation of a good relationship is all about, the idea of trust. All game we see Ico being the one that watches over Yorda, but as the two finally escape the castle that they were both prisoners in, the situation is flipped as an obviously exhausted Ico is carried out in the arms of Yorda, the girl he was protecting and taking care of all this time. There's many reasons why ICO is such a revered game, and the relationship between the two main characters is one of them.

3) Tidus and Yuna (Final Fantasy X)

If this list has shown you anything, it is that the Final Fantasy franchise is full of intriguing relationships between characters. Perhaps Tidus and Yuna's is the greatest of them all. If this were a Hollywood romance, we'd have to combine each person's name into one identity like Tomkat or Brangelina. Perhaps Tuna would work. Regardless, Tidus starts off as a professional blitzball player, and Yuna begins the game as a summoner, forced into a marriage with Seymour for his political gain. As the marriage is interrupted and the adventure continues, Yuna resumes her quest to defeat the evil Sin that is ravaging the party's homeworld. In a cruel twist of fate, it appears that accomplishing this task means the demise of Tidus, who may not be of Yuna's world. The final moment where the two embrace before Tidus vanishes into thin air is one of the more tragic and heart-tugging moments in a Final Fantasy game.

2) Link and Zelda (The Legend of Zelda series)

By far the most touching version of Link and Zelda's relationship comes in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. The pair live on an island in the sky known as Skyloft. Zelda is no princess in this game-- she's much more realistic a character. She is like the girl next door to Link, and the two share a tender moment together when they ride their loftwings together. When Zelda is taken by a twister and propelled to the world below the clouds, Link starts off on an adventure to rescue her. Little does he know that this time Zelda isn't simply waiting in some dungeon or trapped in a crystal this time around; she's a girl on the go. The two's relationship is one of the better ones in a Zelda game, and it is a lovely change of pace for the franchise. It's not just Skyward Sword, but the franchise's history of the different relationships between Link and Zelda are so storied that it'd be foolish to put the couple any lower on this list.

1) Mario and Peach (Mario series)

After all of the times that Mario has allowed Princess Peach to be kidnapped, you think this pair would need a significant amount of couples counseling. Mario shows that he greatly cares about the princess each time he rescues Peach from the king of the Koopas, Bowser. He generally does it just to get another kiss from his favorite little damsel in distress, or in Super Mario 64's case, a nice, delicious cake. You definitely have to admire the pure dedication that Mario has to Princess Peach, and you have to admire Bowser's persistence in capturing the princess. These reasons are why Mario and Peach make it to number one-- that and the fact that the two's relationship is so well known in gaming.

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