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.


  • 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.

Showing 1-20 of 54 comments

Join the Discussion
Add a comment (HTML tags are not allowed.)
Characters remaining: 5000