June is the traditional month of weddings, happiness, and matrimony. June 2020 so far has been… not about those things. In fact, it’s far from those things. So let’s take a moment of levity and talk about something fun. You know what’s fun? Contemplating which video game characters we’d marry, if given the chance.
Please note, I say marry: this is not about thirsting over the hot men and women of games. We’re a classy establishment, darn it. Sure, many video game characters are attractive people, but you wouldn’t want to marry all of them. I love Dante from Devil May Cry, but the fact that, as of the latest game, his business is kind of failing makes me question our future together.
Also, let’s be frank: while some characters are amazing and we’d all love to get a drink with them, their sins are too multitudinous to overcome for a happy life together. For example, while Kratos is the essence of badass both in his youth and when he grew a dad bod, I could never overlook the fact that he killed his previous wife and daughter. Sure it wasn’t intentional, but still — that’d be a hell of an awkward thing to have hanging over everyone’s head during the toasts.
So who, in gaming, would actually make good spouses? Well I don’t know about y’all, but the ten below would be top of my list.
Leon S. Kennedy
Let’s start with a classic, who is as appealing now as he was when he first debuted in 1998: Leon S. Kennedy, the rookie cop-turned-biohazard-obliterating badass. Leon’s the sort who’s very good in a crisis — it’s not just everyone who can rock up to their first day of work straight into a zombie apocalypse. There’s nothing more appealing than someone who has their shit together: If he can handle that, he can handle anything, right?
Leon’s also got an almost preternatural ability to keep his partners and friends alive in dire situations, a quality fellow stalwarts Claire and Chris don’t share. The man put up with Ashley “Heeeeelp, Leeeeeeoooon!” Graham for several days. I doubt anything I could do would be more annoying than that, and he still managed to deliver her to safety.
I had to limit myself to one Bioware entry, lest this list be populated with them. Believe me, between Jedi Knights, hotshot turians, and cute elves, it was hard work to pick who I’d most like to grow old with. In the end, I gotta give it to my girl Liara, the asari archaeologist who joins your party in Mass Effect.
Liara brings so much to the table. She’s by far the most empathetic character in the series, and is unfailingly supportive of player character Commander Shepard. She’s unbelievably intelligent, and has a thriving business as the most powerful knowledge broker in the Milky Way. Out of all the original Mass Effect love interests, she’s the only one who even tried to find only-mostly-dead Shepard and succeeded. Sign me up for a few hundred years in the stars with Liara.
Garrett the Thief
When I claim to want stability, I’m not going to demand that my squeeze earn their living in a strictly legal manner. As long as the money’s in the bank and the food’s on the table, I couldn’t care less where my sweetie gets the loot. My first choice for gentleman thief spouse would have been Sly Cooper, but frankly I don’t think Sly is as successful at heisting as Garrett. Besides, Garrett’s most appealing feature is that he does not give a damn even if his life depends on it.
And given how quiet he is and how he avoids light like a vampire, I can’t help but think Garrett would be the perfect spouse with whom to swap childcare duties. He’s already used to prowling around at night, so he gets to deal with the newborns during the sundown hours. Also, have you heard his voice? He could read the phone book and it would sound like a lullaby.
Mercedes von Martritz
You know the problem with Fire Emblem characters? They come with more baggage than a transoceanic flight, and they’re always more than willing to spill their guts about it. That’s not a bad thing, necessarily, but I’m grown and I don’t have time to fix other people’s lives before starting my own.
That’s not a problem with the lovely Mercedes. The Blue Lions’ resident white mage is perhaps the most levelheaded person of her class, and though she has baggage, doesn’t let it keep her from pursuing her dreams and interests. I like that in a lady. And have I mentioned she can cook? Obviously that’s not the only criterion I look for in a fictional spouse, but I’m a simple person — I think with my stomach.
Final Fantasy and its characters run the full gamut from angsty and broody, to cheerful and dumb. Considering how long the series has been around, it might sound strange that it’s only the latest in the series where I found marriage material, but I don’t think anyone who’s seen the stoic, bespectacled royal advisor Ignis would blame me for immediately putting him first in line for the altar.
He cooks, he cleans, he battles monsters — and that’s just what he does for his employer, Prince Noctis. Ignis feels scientifically crafted to be the perfect househusband, and his attitude of dauntless devotion only makes me wonder if he actually was. But whatever, as long as he cooks me more of those delicious recipes he keeps coming up with, I won’t complain.
Between John Marston and Arthur Morgan, Red Dead Redemption is not short on magnetic cowboy protagonists. However, both of them are decidedly anti-heroic characters (Arthur can be a complete bully if you want him to be). Not the sort of people with whom I’m looking to settle down with and raise a couple of kids. That’s where RDR2’s Charles Smith comes in.
Charles is the most morally upright person to get mixed up with the Van Der Linde gang — or at least the most morally upright who also carries a gun, which is very important for a spouse of the time period. Charles is dependable, at peace with himself, and about as well-adjusted as a person could be under his circumstances. It’s everything I liked about GTA V’s Franklin Clinton without the worry that I’ll have to fish him out of another Lamar-shaped disaster.
You know I wasn’t going to leave my girl off the list. While I generally think video game adventurers are not stable people with whom to share a life, (heck, part of the conflict in Uncharted 4 is that Nathan Drake is kind of an unreliable husband) I think Lara’s ability to actually collect her treasures and profit from her derring-do makes her feel more like a possible spouse.
There’s literally no downside to marrying Lara — she’s a giant history nerd, she can kill literally anything, and she may or may not have things like the Holy Grail and Thor’s Hammer stashed in her basement. Inherited wealth doesn’t hurt either. I mean, I try not to be shallow, but have you seen Croft Manor? At least I know through marriage to Lady Croft I shall want for nothing.
This one almost feels like a cheat— Kiryu-chan has been the star of seven long-ass dramaction games, so it’s less that I feel he’d make a good husband and more that I feel like we’re already basically common-law spouses given how much time we’ve spent together. And perhaps it’s hypocritical of me to want groundedness and stability from my hypothetical spouses and also want to put a ring on a man who’s a card-carrying member of an organized crime syndicate.
Kiryu’s got some other redeeming qualities, though, the biggest being that he’s great with kids — heck, the pitch for Yakuza 6 in a sentence had to be “Kiryu with a baby.” His civilian life is as the de facto father to an orphanage full of children. I don’t know about you, but that kinda makes me melt. I’m not saying I approve… but we could make it work.
The very first thing that Aya Brea ever does onscreen, when threatened by a flaming mass of something that destroys an opera house around her, is knock her dumbass date to the ground and take charge of the situation. This is how this character introduces herself, and it takes a special kind of guts to stand up to a boss monster with not but an NYPD-issued handgun and a chic black dress. She should have a business card that reads, “Aya Brea: Can Handle Her Shit.”
Aya’s home game, Parasite Eve, is… a bit of an oddball. One part RPG, one part survival horror, it involves Aya having to fight some truly horrific monsters. But again, Aya can handle it, and I think she could handle just about anything. Mortgages? Kids? I highly doubt Aya could blink at any of it — which is just the kind of energy I need from a life partner.
Most fighting game characters of note are completely out of the marriage pool, and not by a small margin. Kazuya Mishima? He scares me. Ivy Valentine? She scares me more. Scorpion? GET OUT OF HERE! It’s not easy to find a fighting game character with both the requisite appeal and chill vibes any potential spouse of mine would most certainly need. Except… Ryu.
Ah Ryu, with your strident adherence to training and your nobility — take me with you on your journeys! Ahem, despite Ryu’s apparent determination to remain solitary, I can’t help but think he’d make a great partner, the Satsui no Hado notwithstanding. I know “Hot Ryu as supportive boyfriend” was a meme around the time Street Fighter V came out, but in this case I think it’s absolutely true to life.
What video game characters would you dance down the aisle with this month? Drop me a line on Twitter and let me know.