The Top 7… disastrous game romances

3. Jackie Estacado and Jenny Romano

Definitely not living happily ever after in: The Darkness

If you’ll excuse us for just a moment as we attach a fake beard to our collective face, just so we can stroke it: sometimes, the quietest moments in games reverberate the loudest. This semi douchebag phrase pretty much sums up The Darkness’ finest moment. In a game where you spend most of your time ripping out Mafioso hearts with tentacle beasties and flipping over cop cars without blinking a possessed eyelid, it’s watching a bit of TV that lingers in the memory longest.

Above: Oh man, it's all flooding back. C'mon, pull it together. Pull it together

Visiting his girlfriend on his 21st birthday, mob hitman Jackie is welcomed by a fairly pathetic-looking cake and then a little cuddle on the sofa with girlfriend Jenny. Where most games express romance in the crudest terms (we’re looking at you Fahrenheit, and your zombie sex-fest on a freezing train), The Darkness is refreshingly understated and tender. Seeing a moment where two characters are intimate with each other, without having to resort to ‘b00bz!’, was truly special. So of course, things had to go spectacularly tits up for the two orphans in the most ‘Bambi’s mum biting it’ fashion possible.

If you’ve got a shitload of hankies at the ready, we suggest braving the video below…

Why their love is doomed from the start: We’ll venture a guess and say it’s down to the fact Jackie’s family are vicious mafia murderers. That, and he’s possessed by a big-ass demon.

More than Lan Di, more than Liquid Snake, even more than Tingle; we’ve never wanted to lay a polygonal smackdown on a character more than  Jackie’s Uncle Paulie. He’s a despicable, deceptive mobster, who’s half Michael Coreleone, half Paulie from Goodfellas. A prick of the almightiest proportions, nothing would make us happier than avenging Jenny by fitting the big-boned bastard with a pair of lead shoes… filled with used needles… and dynamite. Although in fairness, we were just as content at ending his criminal life in the lighthouse level at the end of Jackie’s dark adventure.

Above: Still, even when The Darkness has driven Jackie to do in Paulie, this scene will continue to haunt you

Though their romance doesn’t end surrounded by fat grandchildren, the pair are at least granted one final moment together. Seemingly slipping away after killing his uncle, Jackie shares a final exchange with Jenny in the afterlife, before she sends him back. Apparently, it wasn’t his time. It’s a rare moment of light for a title that’s bleak like the inner depths of Bobby Kotick’s internal soul. But even though it’s a brief win for enduring love, it can’t quite overcome all the pesky murder and (temporary) suicide, which brought a premature end to their romance.

Above: Anyone else feel like jumping off a bridge? 

2. Leisure Suit Larry and any female member of the human race

Definitely not living happily ever after in: Leisure Suit Larry series

Yeah, Larry’s been laid a few times. Lets get one thing straight, though: a couple of bouts of sympathy sex can’t make up for an unremitting patchwork of humiliating, degrading behaviour going back 20 years…

‘Nuff said.


  • KippDynamite - February 27, 2011 4:53 a.m.

    I could be wrong but I believe the Philosophers Legacy is 100 BILLION dollars.
  • LAKERdynasty247 - February 24, 2011 3:51 a.m.

    The Darkness is such an awesome game.
  • oreopizza47 - February 23, 2011 8:41 p.m.

    Woo-hoo! Return of the spoiler Asian! I don't know why that's so exciting to me... great article though.
  • dalef11 - February 23, 2011 8:28 a.m.

    great article as always, my favourite gaming news sight by far, keep up the good work! in my opinion the saddest romance is mario and peach. Mario finds and saves her then the next F**king koopa steals her.. sigh :D
  • Hecticvoodu - February 23, 2011 12:07 a.m.

    *Raises Hand*
  • AlpineGuy - February 22, 2011 9:42 p.m.

    I definitely agree that James and Maria from Silent Hill 2 definitely deserved to be on here, but this Top 7 was still great overall! Seriously, though...that scene from The Darkness was some serious stuff. Like, I still feel a little choked-up, and I read it yesterday.... Anyway, I think I'll pick up the game next chance I get.
  • FinderKeeper - February 22, 2011 8:39 p.m.

    Don't have a PS3 yet, but I'm going to buy the PS3 slim specifically to play the ICO and Shadow of the Colossus remakes. *eyes start watering* What? Oh, I've been cutting onions... *sniff*
  • nerdemon - February 22, 2011 4:39 p.m.

    You missed your opportunity to put the two main characters from Army of Two, it was just asking for a gay sex scene.
  • UDNTNOME - February 22, 2011 1:07 p.m.

    No companion cube? Gamesradar i am dissapoint
  • philipshaw - February 22, 2011 1:03 p.m.

    I knew Shadow of the Colossus would be number 1, I will miss you Meiks
  • SolidEye - February 22, 2011 10:21 a.m.

    Jackie Estacado's romance was technically a comic book romance. Any one who read The Darkness already knew what happened to Jenny long before the game came out.
  • BlackElement17 - February 22, 2011 2:09 a.m.

    I remember that in Shadow of the Colossus. I burned through my entire grip bar trying to not fall in to that pit. It was an excruciating few minutes
  • Yeager1122 - February 22, 2011 1:33 a.m.

    I really have to play shadow of the colloseus one of these days just hope it lives up to all the praise dumped upon it but im sure it will.
  • Dredgon - February 22, 2011 12:13 a.m.

    How about Commander Shepard and Morinth, one roll in the hay and you're dead!!!!!
  • FreedomPhantom - February 21, 2011 11:40 p.m.

    This made me really sad that shadow of the Colossus never came to the xbox.
  • JLThatshilarious - February 21, 2011 10:55 p.m.

    Phoenix Wright's relationship with Dahlia Hawthorne was pretty messed up.
  • 510BrotherPanda - February 21, 2011 10:18 p.m.

    First, Meiks dies on TRUK last week. Now a Top 7, written by him, shows up on Monday. WTH is going on in the Land of Onion?!?
  • Modroneman - February 21, 2011 10:09 p.m.

    Holy crap I need to play The Darkness. I bought that game when I got my 360 like 3 years ago and havn't played more than 30 mins of it! I will definately have dust it off and give it another go.
  • S0ULEATER - February 21, 2011 9:28 p.m.

    No JENNY god that moment was like the most sad i ever felt from a video game
  • KnightDehumidifier - February 21, 2011 8:39 p.m.

    I just realized, Bionic Commando's wife arm!

Showing 1-20 of 54 comments

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