With Valentine’s day right around the corner, I wanted to do a post about romance. And in my experience, the video games that do romance best are Bioware’s! In those RPG games, you can engage in romantic relationships with various characters, depending on your personal preferences — and whether you can win over your crush. Here are a few of my favorite romances and moments from Bioware games so far. =)
First Crush: Alistair (Dragon Age: Origins)
My first Bioware game was Dragon Age: Origins. As soon as I saw Alistair — the first companion you get to meet — I was hooked. It was an instant crush. He’s tall, blond, with a British accent and a bumbling, sarcastic sense of humor about everything. He’s down to earth enough to tell you funny stories about life as a Templar in training, but he also gets a little emotional when it comes to the people he cares about, such as Duncan, the man who helped raise him. Flirting makes him blush. He also appreciates true kindness.
Not to gush too much, but between the sarcasm and the sensitivity, he’s pretty much the perfect guy.
Most Memorable Romance Moment: Alistair’s Kiss in the Deep Roads (Dragon Age: Origins)
The cool thing about Bioware romances is that in some cases, they can be unique to your playthrough. This is especially true of Dragon Age: Origins, when you can interact with your love interest anytime, anywhere.
As I mentioned, my first time playing the game, I romanced Alistair. At least, I was trying to. We went on a mission to the Deep Roads, fought a bunch of darkspawn, experienced an epic moment of self-sacrifice from an amazing character we had just met (awesome quest)… and then I turned to Alistair and he confessed his love for my character, giving her a swooping kiss out of nowhere! It was the perfect, unexpected moment. We had blood splattered on our faces from the recent battle, and I was already feeling emotional from the quest we had just been on. The surprise made it all the more romantic.
Hardest-to-Get: Zevran and Fenris (Dragon Age series)
Some Bioware characters like playing hard to get. Of the romances I’ve played, this is definitely true of Zevran in Dragon Age: Origins and Fenris in Dragon Age 2.
I would say Fenris is the toughest. He’s an elf who had magic forced upon him when he was a slave. This past makes him very skittish. Some would call him “emo,” as he spends a lot of time waxing poetic and being dramatic about the state of the world and his history. To romance him, he either has to really like or really loathe your character — nothing in the middle will do. Every conversation you have counts, as does every decision you make. To be honest, I did a little internet research to win this guy over successfully!
Zevran is a tad easier, but it depends on how you want things to play out. Also an elf, he’s an assassin from Antiva, with a sexy “Latin” accent (let’s just say, though I guess it’s Antivan) and a flirtatious personality. It’s very easy to catch his eye and even get him into bed. The trouble comes if you want to actually win his heart. He doesn’t take things too seriously, so in order to impress him fully, you have to decline his initial favor to get a real, personal proposal out of him. It’s tricky but very rewarding if you get it right!
Favorite Bioware Romance: Garrus Vakarian (Mass Effect series)
The Bioware romances I have experienced in full so far are Alistair, Zevran, Fenris, and Garrus. (I’ve also partially romanced Leliana and Kaidan.) Of those, my favorite has to be Garrus. Nobody can come close to matching the badassery that is Garrus Vakarian in the Mass Effect series. He’s your companion in all three games, which is why you get so attached to him, I think. He’s a renegade with a good heart, and your best friend — the sarcastic one with the scars. Sure, he may be a bird-like alien whose face you could probably rap your knuckles on like you were knocking on a door, but he’s still hot. And the dancing date in the Citadel DLC is pretty much the best thing ever.
Most Romantic Moment: Last Night with Kaidan on the Normandy (Mass Effect 3)
This is a moment I’ve only seen in videos — I haven’t gotten to experience it for myself yet. But if I had to choose just one moment as the most romantic in Bioware games, it would have to be Kaidan Alenko’s last night with protagonist Shepherd in her quarters, at the end of Mass Effect 3. He comes in with a drink in hand, but it soon becomes apparent he doesn’t just want to wine and dine — he wants to seduce Shepherd while he’s at it. I kind of love how real that feels. Their relationship has evolved over the course of three games, with ups and downs — they even broke up for a time — and if you’ve romanced him the whole way, he will tell Shepherd he loves her. It’s a sweet, sexy moment that hits all the right notes for me.
Have you played Bioware games? What are your favorite romances and special moments?