Ah, Valentine’s Day, that sometimes adored, more often hated holiday where couples spend money for no reason and single people fret for no reason.
For the cynical folk out there, an escape to the gaming world might be just what the doctor ordered. Unfortunately, the canonical pairings found there often leave us wishing Cupid aimed for the head not the heart—seriously, Mario, Peach is just not into you. It’s time for our favourite characters to branch out a bit.
If we all have to suffer through this Valentine’s Day, let’s at least imagine a few unlikely pairings in the gaming universe that might actually have a chance at making it:
1. Solid Snake (Metal Gear Solid) and Lara Croft (Tomb Raider)
This one almost works too well, but we also might have created a monster. Snake and Lara Croft would inevitably form one of those fitness obsessed couples that posts too frequently on Instagram. We get it, you went on a hike. You can imagine them forming some sort of apparel or supplement company together and eventually roping in everyone around them—including poor old Otacon.
Their ideal first date? Rock climbing.
2. Wolverine (Wolverine) and Cortana (Halo)
We know what you’re going to say: “this sort of relationship didn’t work in the movie Her.” But we both know that was because of Joaquin Phoenix’s moustache. This time will be different. After all, Wolverine’s love life is plagued by his superhuman longevity. No matter who he decides on as a partner, he’ll probably outlive them. With Cortana, that’s not a problem. She’s also logical enough to balance out his instinctive nature while being witty enough to keep pace with his bitter attitude. This might be the frontrunner for the longest relationship on this list, based solely on the fact that it could last for hundreds of years.
3. Glover (Glover) and Master Hand (Super Smash Bros.)
The perfect pair. Get it? This one seems superficially simple, but actually has a great deal of intrigue to it. Just look at Glover. He has no discernible thumb. Master Hand is a clear cut right hand, but Glover could really go either way. A true man of mystery. The questions just pile up from there. Can these two even hold hands? Is that a form of intimacy for two gloves? Who knows.
4. Zagreus (Hades) and Geralt of Rivia (The Witcher)
Geralt and Zagreus might be the two most eligible yet disinterested bachelors in gaming history. Seriously, just about everyone in their respective games throw themselves at these two protagonists, yet their pulses barely raise. Maybe they just need to meet someone they could consider an equal. This could work, but it could also just devolve into a swordfight of epic proportions. Either way it would be entertaining. We like the taboo angle of Geralt being more or less a demon hunter, and Zagreus being from, well, the Underworld.
5. Isabelle (Animal Crossing) and Mario (Super Mario Bros.)
It’s the quiet life for old Mario now. He’ll spend his days wandering idyllic islands while Isabelle is off working at the mayor’s office. Maybe, if he feels up to it, he’ll start a side business doing some plumbing. Either way, these two perpetual optimists are tailor made for one another. They’ll never argue. Not even when Mario suggests that they go stomp the local mushroom farm on the weekend—y’know, “for old times’ sake.”
6. Winston the Butler (Tomb Raider 2) and You
Still worried that you haven’t found everlasting love on Valentine’s Day? Don’t fret. If you’ve ever played Tomb Raider 2 on the PlayStation, you already have. You’ve simply forgotten.
Despite locking him in a freezer and throwing away the memory card, Winston is still ceaselessly making his jittery journey towards you. No matter where you go or how far you try to get away, he simply won’t give up. Now tell us that isn’t a devoted lover. If you’re feeling lonely this Valentine’s Day, let us offer you some comforting words: Winston is always coming for you.