Just like in real-life, relationships in video games aren’t always that rosy.
Sometimes true love is stricken by unfortunate circumstances. In other cases one falls madly in love with another but the feelings aren’t fully reciprocated. It’s sad, I know, but that’s life. And without these tumultuous relationships many of the great games we know and love just wouldn’t be the same.
So sit back, relax, and maybe cuddle your loved one while you read about video games’ seven most tragic lovers. Though be warned: there be spoilers in these ‘ere words!
1Bayek & Aya – Assassin’s Creed Origins
Bayek and Aya’s story is a tragic one indeed.
When their son, Khemu, is inadvertently killed by Bayek after being abducted for unknown reasons, their relationship is strained as they split up to hunt down those responsible. Throughout the game, however, you can just tell that Bayek and Aya have a deep love for another.
They kiss, they hold hands, they make love; there’s a real tenderness to Bayek and Aya’s relationship. But rarely are they able to spend any real time together, what with Aya’s servitude to Cleopatra in addition to both of their lust for vengeance.
As they work their way through those who need to brought to justice, they soon realise that Egypt needs people like them to look out for its people from the shadows, and upon forming the Assassin brotherhood decide to go their separate ways. Of course, both are visibly upset about the decision, but at the same time they know they can never go back to simply being partners.
2Mary & James Sunderland – Silent Hill 2
Sometimes, good people do bad things.
Silent Hill 2‘s James and Mary were a happily married couple who seemingly used to visit the sleepy lakeside town of Silent Hill frequently. But then Mary died.
Three years later, James finds himself visiting Silent Hill alone, believing that he’s received a letter from Mary saying that she’s in their special place. “It’s ridiculous. It couldn’t possibly be true!”, James proclaims. And he’s right. Because the fact of the matter is he killed Mary three years ago because he couldn’t cope with seeing her suffering.
Whether his crime was carried out through mercy or malice, there’s no doubt that James sincerely loved his wife; why would he head back to Silent Hill otherwise? Though it’s ultimately up to you to decide whether he dwells on the past or comes to terms with his actions and moves on with his life.
3Cloud Strife & Aeris Gainsborough – Final Fantasy VII
Okay, so maybe Cloud and Aeris (or Aerith, depending on where you are in the world) weren’t ever officially a couple, but you get the impression that they are very close as you work your way through the first third of Final Fantasy VII.
Cloud first meets Aeris while fleeing from from a terrorist attack he’s just committed – blowing up a Shinra Mako Reactor in Midgar. He meets her again when a second Mako reactor attack goes wrong. After coming to her rescue, their relationship blossoms.
Before they can ever display their affection for one another, however, Aeris foolishly goes off alone to the Forgotten City. Cloud and his friends rush to join her but get there too late; the despicable Sephiroth skewers her like a kebab right before their eyes. Cloud is heartbroken, obviously, and carries her body to a nearby lake so that her life energy can be released back to the planet.
If you didn’t cry at this moment when playing Final Fantasy VII you were probably dead yourself.
4Ellie & Riley – The Last of Us: Left Behind
Ellie and Riley are close friends, but the world they have found themselves in is one fraught with danger.
Running off together to an abandoned shopping mall, they have fun before Riley discloses that she’s joined a militia group known as the Fireflies, and has been stationed in another city. The news comes as a shock to Ellie and they argue, but she soon comes to terms with Riley’s decision.
After having a dance together when Riley plugs Ellie’s walkman into a sound system, however, Ellie begs Riley not to leave, expressing her true feelings with a kiss. Their happiness is short lived though, as the infected are drawn by the noise of the music and pursue Ellie and Riley who eventually both get bit. Ellie survives, as we all know, but Riley… well, she doesn’t make it.
5Chloe Price & Rachel Amber – Life is Strange: Before the Storm
In Life is Strange: Before the Storm, Chloe is a girl that is finding life hard. After her father died in a car accident and her best friend Max moves away, she feels alone. But then she meets Rachel.
Chloe and Rachel are similar, yet also very different. Both are angry at the world and want to lash out; but while Rachel is popular, Chloe is a bit of an outcast. Over time, however, they develop a strong yet stormy relationship based on the understanding of one another’s feelings. Though it’s a relationship that we learn comes to an unfortunate end.
By the time that Life is Strange picks up three years later, we learn that Rachel has gone missing. And towards the end of the series it is revealed that she was actually murdered. It was a shocking moment when we originally played through Life is Strange, but knowing how close Chloe was to Rachel makes it even more powerful.
6Gabriel & Marie Belmont – Castlevania: Lords of Shadow
Gabriel Belmont was a member of the Brotherhood of Light, a holy order of knights who protect the people from supernatural creatures. Sent to the Lake of Oblivion by the Brotherhood to investigate a spate of attacks, he becomes embroiled in a series of unfortunate events when the spirit of his dead wife contacts him.
Explaining to Gabriel that the world is in great danger, she indicates that the Lords of Shadow have the power to save the world. It’s only towards the end of Gabriel’s adventure, however, that the true nature of the Lords of Shadow is revealed.
Believing he could bring his wife back from dead, Gabriel defeats one lord after another, obtaining pieces of the God Mask that is said to hold such power. Eventually he learns that he has been but a pawn in the machination set into motion by Satan, who wishes to once again rise to the heavens. Coming to terms with the fact that it was actually he who killed his wife while being under the influence of dark powers, what pushes Gabriel over the edge is the discovery that the God Mask doesn’t have to power to bring the dead back to life at all.
Distraught and with little meaning left to his life, he eventually becomes Dracula. Though while vilified, he still fights the powers of darkness, preventing Satan from fulfilling his nefarious plans.
7Sebastian & Myra – The Evil Within 2
Sebastian and Myra Castellanos, along with their daughter Lily, were once a happy family. But then things went wrong.
First, Lily was presumed to be dead as a result of a house fire. Then, Myra suddenly disappeared. Sebastian understandably took it hard, but his dedication to his job enabled him to work through his loss. That is until he came face to face with MOBIOUS’ STEM system.
In The Evil Within 2, Sebastian learns that Lily didn’t die in a house fire after all. He willingly re-enters the STEM system against his better judgement to save her. Then, in another shocking twist, he discovers that Myra is in there too; she disappeared all those years ago because she suspected foul play with the reported death of their daughter and caught wind of MOBIUS.
Hoping to once again be reunited outside the STEM system with both his wife and daughter, Sebastian does all he can to save them – but Myra has changed. Now a monster wishing to keep Lily in the STEM system for her own safety, Sebastian reluctantly fights his wife. Emerging victorious, he tries to get both Lily and Myra to safety, but his wife insists on staying behind to shut down the STEM system for good.