Zidane and Garnet/Dagger from Final Fantasy IX
The romance between these two all starts when Zidane, who is part of a plot to steal Princess Garnet, bumps into her as she's attempting to make an escape from Alexandria, the kingdom over which her mother rules. As if drawn to each other by fate, Garnet agrees to let Zidane "kidnap" her so long as he and his band of thieves, Tantalus, assist her in getting to Lindblum to meet with Regent Cid who, as it turns out, was the person who hired Tantalus to kidnap her in the first place. Along their journey, they encounter many sinister foes and witness horrible destruction caused by said foes. This only fuels the involvement between Zidane and Garnet. Initially, Zidane's interest in Garnet is little more than one of his frequent displays of shallow womanizing, but as the two get to know each other and Garnet becomes "Dagger", her non-princess cover, Zidane's feelings for her turn into something more. At the realization that there's little chance of them hooking up with each other, he is left heartbroken, convinced that even if Dagger did love him in return, he would never be suitable for royalty. However, towards the end of the game, Zidane is believed to be dead and when the two are reunited some time later, they embrace their love for each other, making for a very happy ending.
Ico and Yorda from Ico
More innocent than most other game romances, perhaps, Ico and Yorda's is not only essential to their survival but a crucial gameplay element. Ico being a horned outcast and Yorda a strange, gentle sort of ghost, all they have is each other. Both characters are trying to escape from a large and haunted castle inhabited by Yorda's evil, shadowy, ghost queen of a mother and a host of other frightful specters that appear to be made of the same shadowy stuff as their queen. Both characters also possess unique abilities that compliment eachother's. For example, Yorda has supernatural powers that allow her to open certain magical doorways and Ico is strong and agile, able to push around large stone blocks and climb chains to solve puzzles. Ico literally holds Yorda's hand throughout most of the game in order to lead her through the castle and prevent her from being stolen away by the queens shadow monsters who are constantly pursuing the two. After a final showdown with the Yorda's mother, both Ico and Yorda escape the castle as it is turned to ruins and wake up together on a beach after.
The Prince and Farah from The Prince of Persia: Sands of Time trilogy
The Prince and Farah from The Prince of Persia: Sands of Time trilogy
The unnamed Prince and Farah's relationship is similar to that of Ico and Yorda in that the two are alone in a world filled with fearsome monsters and depend on each other for survival. The Prince is handy with his sword and dagger while Farah is good with the bow. Farah can slip in through small openings to poke around on the other side, and the Prince can scale walls and swing from pole to pole. One of my favorite things about these two is their constant bickering throughout the games. Believe me, it's very entertaining. The Prince and Farah meet in the first SoT game when the Prince's kingdom is overthrowing hers. While this would normally make these two mortal enemies, they don't really have any choice other than to team up after the Sands of Time are unleashed and turn everyone else except the evil Vizier into sand monsters. During their journey to restore normality by reversing time, the two start to fall in love. They even take a bath together at one point. Sadly, at the end of the game, the Prince is forced to go back in time, erasing his relationship with Farah in addition to saving the day. However, he drops some hints before it's all said and done and the pair meet again in The Two Thrones.
Yuna and Tidus from Final Fantasy X (and X-2)
Yuna and Tidus's love story is one of the most popular of the series, and for good reason. These two star-crossed lovers are destined to save the world together, but in doing so, they must ultimately part from each other in a very permanent fashion. They initially meet after Tidus wakes up 1000 years in the future while Yuna's just beginning her pilgrimage to become a Summoner in the hopes of defeating the monsters known as Sin. This would be a very quick fix that would--as Tidus discovers later--take Yuna's life. For as long as anyone can remember, Summoners have repeated this process in order to grant brief, decade-long periods of peace between Sin's rebirths. From the start, the romance between the two isn't looking too bright. However, after some groundbreaking truths are revealed, plans are changed and things begin to look up for the couple. They get to thinking that there's a way to defeat Sin for good without sacrificing anyone's life. This is all good, but it's later revealed to Tidus that he isn't exactly "real", but rather, a dream of sorts that the Gods (called "the Fayth") came up with in order to put a stop to Sin. When that happens, the Fayth will stop dreaming and Tidus ceases to exist. Knowing this, Tidus continues with his mission and ultimately helps destroy Sin for good. Afterwards, Tidus leaves Yuna with a very touching goodbye and disappears, leaving Spira behind, finally at peace.
Sora and Kairi from the Kingdom Hearts series
What can I say? Square Enix is good at romance. Sora and Kairi, along with their friend, Riku, crave adventure. They build a raft together and while they're preparing to embark on their journey to other worlds, the two start to hint at their interest in each other. Unfortunately, before they get the opportunity to make anything of it, their world is overcome by Darkness and destroyed. However, before Sora is transported to another world, he encounters Kairi whose heart, rather than being taken by the Darkness, becomes one with Sora's, unbeknownst to him until much later. Seperated from his friends, Sora begins his journey not only to find them, but to save the worlds from the Heartless. Along the way, he encounters many obstacles and is filled with intense longing for Riku and Kairi. But Riku becomes jealous of Sora, who has been chosen as the Keyblade Master, as well as his relationship with Kairi, who, without her heart, has become "a lifeless puppet". By the end of the game, Sora battles a possessed Riku, sacrifices himself to restore Kairi's heart, and in turn is saved by her. Then, finally, he seals the door to Darkness, restoring peace to the worlds. After this is done, he finds Kairi on a patch of land that is slowly turning back into Destiny Islands. Separated from her, he reaches out and assures her that he'll come back to her. The two are finally reunited towards the end of the second game and all is well.
Well, there you have it. I would love to hear what your favorite video game love stories are in a comment below. Happy Valentine's Day, everyone.