The Top 7… disastrous game romances

Love’s a funny old thing, ain’t it? It inspires great works of art. It knows no boundaries, conquering race, creed and geography. And it totally forces you to fork out for cheap-ass chocolates on anniversaries. While love affairs can end a bit messily in real life, we’ve yet to see a couple with romantic woes commit international espionage or murderise a series of skyscraper-sized monsters for each other. But in video games? Hell, its normal practice for digital Cupid’s arrows. So, in the spirit of being a week late for Valentine’s Day, we thought it was high time to celebrate some of gaming’s most ruinous romances.

Warning: If thou should choose to let one’s eye holes wander down this page, one should know a series of mega, game-ruining spoilers lie ahead, including ones for recent titles like Dead Space 2.

Honourable mentions

Romantic relations are often cast in choppy waters when it comes to games. Freezing cold choppy waters… filled with man-eating sharks… that can shoot lasers from their dorsal fins. This being the case, it was especially hard to trim this list down to that magic digit that really hates the number eight.

Which is why we can only give the briefest of mentions to Cole and Trish in Infamous, Leon and Ada from Resident Evil 2, CJ and Catalina’s little murderous tryst in GTA: San Andreas, Scott Shelby and Lauren’s bleak relationship in Heavy Rain or <sigh> Cloud and Aeris from Final Fantasy VII. All these relationships were either ruined by betrayal, one party turning evil or eh… the girl in the lovey dovey equation getting skewered like a sea bass by a giant sword.

7. Naked Snake and EVA

Definitely not living happily ever after in: Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater

Big Boss really is quite the specimen of gaming manliness. A stoic destroyer of nuclear-equipped robots, he strikes a decisive blow for eye patch-wearers everywhere. It’s strange then, that a man so capable of killing the shit out of men made of bees or spawning super soldiers with epic mullets, should be so easily bested by a four letter word. And no, said word is not “love”. It’s “lust”, you slushy romantic dastards.

Above: It may shock monocle owners, but it’s not exactly hard
<score 93 innuendo points>
 to see why Snake was tempted by EVA

Throughout Snake Eater, slinky operative EVA provides Snake with useful intel, gratuitous peaks at her ass and sound advice on how to beat ancient snipers who enjoy worryingly intimate relationships with parrots. Oh, and she can totally do Ocelot-pummelling back flips on her bike, too.

Above: Hands up if you’ve got a motorcycle-related swelling in your pantaloons

Unless you have trouble reading headlines, though, the impending iceberg that’s about to hit the good ship Snake and EVA Sitting in a Tree should come as no surprise.

Why their love is doomed from the start: Because she’s a sodding triple agent more concerned with nabbing covert intelligence than bagging the love of a legendary solider.

Don’t let the above image of EVA acting all sweetness and light fool you. She might enjoy sharing a tender moment over the controls of a flying hovercraft, but she’s also got zero problem both physically and figuratively screwing Big Boss over. Though she helps him under the guise of a Soviet spy who’s defected from the US, she’s actually a triple agent who’s been working for the Chinese all along. She then steals a microfilm (detailing the whereabouts of a hundred million dollar fortune) right from under BB’s stylish stubble. Phew.

Friggin’ hell. If you’re keeping up, you’re doing better than us.

Anyhoo, it’s hardly our boy’s fault. After all, what red-blooded video game soldier could resist the combined charms of a spiked glass of wine and an exhausting stint of horizontal Mambo between the sheets? She’s not all bad, though, as she spares her lover’s life, even though she’s under strict instructions to take out all Snake-shaped loose ends. The two of them even bury the hatchet years later, when she agrees to act as the surrogate mother to Big Boss’ triplets.

And hey, when our man’s only other interest in Snake Eater does this…

We think the choice to hook up with Jenny Backstabber over Sally Compound Fracture is fully justified.

6. Max Payne and Mona Sax

Definitely not living happily ever after in: Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne

Being bitten by the love bug (no, not the shitty VW Beetle) is never easy. Just take one Maximillian Payne the Third, as we’ve chosen to call him. He gets sucked into a shady conspiracy involving a group of contract killers and the murder of a senator, just because Mona Sax looks damn good with a .45 in her hand. A hired-gun who slipped him a sedative (which ended in bloody mafia torture) during the first game, the NYPD detective just can’t extract his head from his crotch whenever Mona’s around.

Above: Max Payne’s saucy comic style = appropriate bedtime reading

Not one to let a little impromptu drugging get in the way of a budding romance, Payne is only too willing to get caught up in Mona’s madness. During the course of Rockstar’s gritty film noir-style adventure, the Matrix-loving cop enters into countless slo-mo gunfights, ends up in the hospital and even takes several bullets for Miss Sax. Why, you ask? Clearly it’s because he’s a compassionate soul… that, or he did it all in the name of copping the almightiest of feels. Sadly, when one lovebird makes a living by murdering people for money, the odds of things ending at the altar are pretty damn long.

Why their love is doomed from the start: Hmmm, probably because she’s been paid to make Payne play Twister with the Grim Reaper.

Above: Shooty love, eh? There's nothing like it

Hormones can sure as sucrose make your brain go with the crazy-making. How else do you explain a cop and a professional assassin hooking up? Overlooking the small matters of arrest warrants and the fact Mona’s been paid to off Max, the feelings the two share for each other are undoubtedly strong. It’s just a shame death by bullet-to-the-head is stronger. Yes, Mona’s reward for refusing to honour the contract taken out on Payne’s life is a lead-sponsored facelift. Okay, so technically Mona can be saved if you finish the game on the hardest difficulty. But our gamz jarnalist thumbs are far too feeble for that.

It’s a real shame, too. Because judging by the few shots released of the long delayed threequel, losing the love of a sociopathic woman can send a man to dark places…

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  • switch22 - February 21, 2011 10:06 a.m.

    I teared up a little inside. *sniff*
  • humpiedumpie - February 21, 2011 10:32 a.m.

    Damn i wish Shadow of the Colossus came to Xbox...i really want to play that game! :( Even though i know the ending
  • speno93 - February 21, 2011 10:32 a.m.

    very funny article thought i would never enjoy a Meikelham photoshop again (Max Payne bedtime story= hilarity)
  • spulungkin - February 21, 2011 10:40 a.m.

    Watch "Reign Over Me" starring Adam Sandler. First good use of videogame in a movie...
  • Rascanuvols - February 21, 2011 10:48 a.m.

    No James and Mary/Maria Sunderland? I don't think it get's more disastrous than that.
  • Games_Radar_DaveMeikleham - February 21, 2011 10:53 a.m.

    @Rascanuvols Dang. That is indeed a good suggestion. Unfortunately, the all seeing eye of GamesRadar overlooked that one... either that, or I just completely forgot about Silent Hill 2 while writing this.
  • chrisat928 - February 21, 2011 10:59 a.m.

    Am I the only one who sees nipple on Mona?
  • Clovin64 - February 21, 2011 11:01 a.m.

    I knew Shadow of the Colosus would have to be #1. I'm aching to play it again for the 6th or 7th time, but I'm determined to wait for the HD version before I play this masterpiece again.
  • cj12297 - February 21, 2011 11:01 a.m.

    But i thought meikleham died!!!
  • DinklemanDog - February 21, 2011 11:16 a.m.

    You will be missed, Meiks.
  • b-dog1991 - February 21, 2011 11:21 a.m.

    What about Red Dead? That was one hell of a romance that didn't end all purddy. Although that list was pretty much spot on, damn the number 7!
  • WrathLord03 - February 21, 2011 11:36 a.m.

    I stopped myself from watching Shadow of the Colossus' ending because I'm still waiting for the remake. And as much as I want to watch that video, those moments are ever more powerful after having built towards them. Good list, would have liked to have seen the Silent Hill 2 one because I know nothing about it and if it's not on Gamesradar, it just ins't worth reading!
  • liamcullen - February 21, 2011 11:56 a.m.

    Meikleham! You're alive !!!
  • peace4me - February 21, 2011 12:39 p.m.

    Whao where did you get the picture in the shadow of the colossus entry? I want!
  • AuthorityFigure - February 21, 2011 1:01 p.m.

    Hate is what makes a good game. Ganon's hate for Link, (not Link's love for Zelda), Niko's hate for lawfulness (not his love for Roman), Marsden's hate is what drives RDR, and so on...
  • KnightDehumidifier - February 21, 2011 1:15 p.m.

    Zero and Alia, or for those who don't remember, "WHAT AM I FIGHTING FOR?!"
  • Odis - February 21, 2011 1:20 p.m.

    Without the need to watch the whole end of Shadow of the Colossus again, just through the beginning and music, I'm tearing up... I want it for a console I own T_T.
  • 8bitBaby - February 21, 2011 1:28 p.m.

    you know the whole time dom was acting up over his special lady he constantly pulled me out of the game when he would start acting up. stupid dom is stupid.
  • Yaro - February 21, 2011 2:06 p.m.

    The ending of Shadow of the Colossus will stay with me forever.
  • Japanaman - February 21, 2011 2:10 p.m.

    If you ask me, MGS2 and 4 just about had the most disastrous romance in video game history. Raiden's like "I love you, but I don't love myself. I'm just a killer who can never be loved. I had myself transformed into a tool of death." And his girlfriend is like "I still love you cyborg killer. You have a son who needs your proper raising." And he's like "I do? How can I help." And a bunch of IT guys are like "We'll make him sofer, slower, weaker, lamer." and transformered him into "Manequinn Man" in order to live a barely normal life with his family. "Daddy? Can you feel my touch?", his son will soon ask.

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