Let’s talk about love.
We’ve all got that one crush that comes from a book or a movie or something not real. Fiction that creates something that sparks a fire in us for a particular character. It could be their design in a game or comic, or it could be their description in a book. Maybe it’s just the dynamics of their character in general that speaks to us on a level deeper than physicality. Either way, there’s always someone you can resonate with in fiction that gets your face flushed and the blood pumping in a way that only real love can do. Some are ashamed to admit it, but honestly a good story and a good character that makes you feel is the best thing you could ask for from fiction. Here’s a list of the loves that did it for me.
1. Rinoa Heartilly (Final Fantasy VIII)
This was the first Video Game character I ever fell in love with and I’m not ashamed to admit it. Sure the graphics were terribly pixelated at the time, but the cutscenes from Squaresoft made up for it. Her character was a dream come true for me because she wasn’t just pretty, she was dedicated and smart and she fought with her friends against what she believed was wrong. Oh and she had a dog too. Must love dogs.
Rinoa rebels against her Military father and fights with a resistance group called the Forest Owls to liberate the city of Timber and gain its independence. As the story goes on, her optimism and kindness are the only things that keep the main character, Squall, from falling apart. As a person who keeps a lot to myself, I felt like Rinoa’s chastising of Squall was actually directed at me since his coldness and lack of openness was her opposite. As the game went on, Rinoa pushed Squall to open up about his feelings and rely on others more in a way that resonated with me strongly.
Her bubbly personality and willingness to move forward despite having any experience or notable strength in the beginning was inspiring and it made me keep her in the party every time I could. We spent a lot of time together and the ending and romantic conclusion was just as real to me as it was for Squall.
2. Judith (Tales of Vesperia)
Tales of Vesperia holds a high rank on my favorite games list and it’s no surprise that I fell for one of its characters. Judith swoops into the story with her stunning beauty and snarky personality and just takes your breath away. She’s fierce in battle, she’s often mean with her sarcasm, and damn she’s funny.
Without giving much away, Judith is a skilled warrior who seems to be flippant about everything. It can come across as airy or careless at times, but what appealed to me was her easy-going nature. The world was going to hell all around these folks and she was just as happy to kill monsters and drink with her friends as she was the day before it all went bad. Her sense of competition with Yuri and her tendency to leave the group and be alone really resonated with me on a personal level and it didn’t help that she was drop-dead gorgeous.
On a side note, Vesperia is an interesting entry in the Tales Of Series in that it doesn’t outright give you a romance for any character. There are some personal scenes you can acquire that lay hints, but nothing really seals the deal. Personally, I felt like the strongest bond was with Yuri and Judith based on their sexy competitiveness in a Mr. and Mrs. Smith kind of way, but maybe that’s just me since I was head over heels for the girl.
3. Mitsuru Kirijo (Persona 3)
Ok, so, after Judith this is going to seem like I have a thing for strong women who fight like a boss.
That is true.
Mitsuru is a cold and calculating genius who works hard and does not give any sympathy for her enemies. On top of her ridiculously awesome leadership ability, she is astoundingly attractive. If you don’t like strong women who are focused on getting the best results at everything, but may have problems socializing, then Mitsuru is not the total package for you. If you do, well, then she is.
Persona 3 allows you to build up your social links with each character and eventually romance them if the option is there. Mitsuru is callous and seemingly uninterested in anything that normal girls her age would like, but after a while of personal time with her and the events of the story you begin to peel back the layers and see that she wants to, but doesn’t know how. Gradually you see that she’s not all stone cold facts and results, and she really just wants some semblance of a normal life.
I have a soft spot for people who are torn between worlds and Mitsuru is no exception. She’s the class president and the leader of our group of heroes against the nightmares plaguing the world. And she’s a girl. That’s something we tend to forget when people are in power in a high position. People are still just people and they have feelings and needs too.
4. Elly Van Houten (Xenogears)
Yes, it’s a another redhead, but I’m not sure Mitsuru’s is natural. Debate that later.
This goes back to my fondness for people torn between worlds and Elly is definitely torn. Her military duty is her familial responsibility versus what she comes to believe is right as well as her growing love for the main character.
Ellly starts out as an untrustworthy enemy and eventually becomes a character that is full of painful memories and horrible brainwashing that is only overcome by the comradery of your party and the budding love from Fei, the main character. She’s not one dimensional and she’s not useless in terms of battle. Xenogears paints a vast narrative that spans religious themes, psychological issues, and existentialism, but at its heart is a story about how Fei and Elly find their identities within themselves and each other. It does a great job of making you feel for Elly and you really get to understand the madness of her world and why she’s tormented. You want to help her and you want to make sure she’s happy by the end of the game and you are rewarded in that you get to see her become stronger as a person.
5. Katherine McBride (Catherine)
Ok, I hear you. Yes, this is another strong-willed woman who values getting shit done. Yes, that’s my type, but that’s what’s so great about games with diversity—if it’s done right then there’s a character or two that you’ll jive with on the same level.
Katherine jives with my personal tastes as well as my personal experience in dating. She’s the take no shit go-getter that knows when the protagonist, Vincent, is hiding something or if he’s not listening, but she’s not without sympathy. She genuinely cares for him and wants their life together to work out. The revelation that they may be having a kid and they should get married pushes Vincent into a serious corner where he has to decide if he wants to move forward with the real deal Katherine or spend his days in frivolity and lust with the spunky Catherine-with-a-“C”.
What made me fall for Katherine was both her sense of style as well as her personality. She’s a straightforward woman who likes Vincent for who he is. Yes, the pressure is on in their relationship because of the decisions they have to make, but that’s life. Katherine forces the player to choose real life over fun. We’ve all been there and if you haven’t yet, I promise it’s coming. She’s the real deal lasting girlfriend that works hard and wants a better life for both of you and that’s appealing to people who have dated a long time and are looking to have that stability. Which was me at the time I played this game and why I tended to lean toward her in my first playthrough. Sure Catherine-with-a-“C” is sexy and cute and fun in that unknown kind of way, but Katherine is sexy, smart, and determined to fight to keep you in a way that you wish people wanted you.
So there you have it, 5 of the most amazing virtual women in gaming who stole my heart. If you’ve got your own list or maybe even just that one wonderful person in games that makes you all a-flutter, then feel free to comment about it and share. The best part of love is that it’s universal and we all love a good love story.