Who was your first gaming crush?

Brett Elston, Senior Nintendo Editor: As someone born in the ‘80s, my maturity level has grown in tandem with the games industry. In 1985, for example, I was five years old and only wanted to run, jump and maybe throw fireballs at turtles. Kissing girls, or even playing as a girl was out of the question. Girls were stupid, filthy creatures of pity, not cool enough to understand my totally awesome Wrecking Crew and Mach Rider skills. Then, as I aged, so did games. Our first “Mature” titles started to trickle out as I turned 15 and 16… the perfect age for an idiotic crush.

Above: ZOMG it’s a g-g-g-girl!

And lo, right around the time I smartly realized girls were, in fact, incredible beings worthy of fawning admiration, there were suddenly plenty of strong female leads to enjoy. Chun Li was tough, yes, but for whatever reason the polygonal mess that was Jill Valentine was the first fake girl I really couldn’t take my eyes off of. I think it has something to do with the fact that she was so attainable, just a cop in the woods, lost in a scary house. I wanted to protect her, but secretly knew she would  take charge if another walking corpse shambled through the door.

Above: The real-life actress, bad as she was, helped make a personal connection

Samus was a space-age bounty hunter. Lara Croft was a millionaire globetrotting anthropologist. The aforementioned Chun Li was already in several games kicking ass all over the planet. And here was Jill, with her normal name, normal build and normal demeanor, trapped in the most abnormal of situations.

Above: Did you know rectangles could be this alluring?

Plus she was a brunette, which happens to be the hottest thing in the world. I say “was” because - for no goddamn reason - Jill is blonde in her most recent appearance. (RIP my boner.)

Brett's most recent crush: Etna (Disgaea)

Carolyn Gudmundson, Production Editor: Girls are total pervs sometimes. When my best friend and I played through Ocarina of Time together back in 1998, we spent the duration of the Fire Temple portion talking about how hot Link looked in the red (Goron) tunic. Not the traditional green tunic. Not the ho-hum blue tunic. ONLY the red tunic.

Above: So close and yet so far… 

Why the red tunic? For starters, red is a passionate, spicy color. Second, the red tunic imbues Link with extra strength, like the ability to walk on lava. You have to be pretty tough to walk on lava, and tough is sexy. Also, it may have helped that our spirits had yet to be broken by the infamous water temple.

Maybe the whole crush was a joke, or maybe it was serious, but the line was uncomfortably blurry either way. All I know is that when the idea of a child Link in red tunic suddenly seemed creepy, things had gone too far.

Carolyn's most recent crush: Professor Rowan (Pokemon Platinum)

Matt Cundy, Associate Editor UK: I spent a fair portion of the '80s in arcades, feeding coins to the Gauntlet machine. And I always played as Thyra the Valkyrie. On screen she was a barely distinguishable top-down cluster of pixels, but the cabinet artwork made her look desirably hot (especially if you were into Conan, Boris Vallejo and barely-dressed fantasy babes). If I couldn't play as Thyra, I wouldn't play. Simple as that. And my love for Thyra was the start of my ongoing life choice of always selecting the female character.

In the spirit of any good crush, here’s a poem that I wrote dedicated to Thyra:

Lovely Thyra Valkyrie,
Your armour stats doth pleasure me,
Shield is strong and sword of might,
Let us plunder dungeons all the night,
I am bewitched, besieged by your beauty,
If you were real I'd cop a feel of your booty,
Who to play? It don't take brains,
That I want to fill your slot with my hot loose change.

Matt's most recent crush: Sheva Alomar (Resident Evil 5)

Chris Antista, Associate Features Editor: My mother loves to bring up early signs of my gayness using alleged quotes like, “When I grow up, I’m going to marry Big Bird!” Okay, had I known the ambiguous man-Muppet was swinging lumber underneath those yellow feathers, maybe I would’ve bumped Prairie Dawn up as the object of my affection since she met my only other, extremely rudimentary lady criteria.

Above: Just about any answer will disappoint your parents 

If I may further portray myself as the gayest second grader on the planet, I was also immensely fond of the color pink. Now this was the ‘80s - pink was awesome and not necessarily fabulous. Pink was Trapper Keepers, Jams shorts, Boogey Boards and the absolute best flavor of candy. Ahhh… and then there was Birdo.

Not only was “she” pink, “she” wore a bow, which up until this point was the undisputed mark of femininity (Minnie Mouse, Ms Pac-Man, etc) Thing was, I never owned Super Mario 2 - I just rented it damn near every week. When I finally obtained a copy two years later, I got my first look at the manual.

Thankfully, reading the manual was not common practice in grade school, so I received zero ridicule from my heterosexual peers. But the fear never left. Should someone recall the doodles of Birdo and me sitting on tree branches and watching sunsets, I would’ve doubtlessly been “outed” in front of everybody and doused with pig’s blood (a common practice in Southern US public schools.) So yes: I played The Crying Game… and f***in’ beat it!

Chris's most recent crush: Bridget (Guilty Gear)


  • mozaralio - December 22, 2010 12:56 a.m.

    Roll from mega-man 64 (or mega-man legends) was my first crush, she makes you a pie, builds weapons for you and totally watches your back while going on underground expeditions. On top of that she has a fine polygonal body and there is a scene where mega-man (presumably) sees her naked! However you do not get to share this voluptuous image with the boy in blue.
  • fuzzywuzzy - August 6, 2010 8:08 a.m.

    I'm not sure that I actually remember my FIRST game crush... But I do remember my most recent. It's Tali from the Mass Effect series haha
  • iEATbabies - July 23, 2010 8:44 p.m.

    I suppose I had fallen for Kairi of Kingdom Hearts, but now I'm mad for Red Dead's Bonnie MacFarlane
  • Svipdag - July 23, 2010 3:26 p.m.

    Thanks guys! After completely dismissing the karateka eagle in the bad birds of videogame history article, you hit the nail on the head here. I also think mariko would have been my first game crush and i'd say more than half this list is right up my alley. I also pretty much play the girl or don't play at all.
  • jpbr139 - July 23, 2010 12:33 a.m.

    Fina from Skies of Arcadia
  • hero2bash - May 7, 2010 7:03 p.m.

    Karen from Harvest Moon
  • DavidELDiablo - April 5, 2010 6:25 p.m.

    Well at least I'm in the same boat as Charlie, I too have a Video game crush on Franziska von Karma for some odd reason. Guess i'm a sucker for a well written character. Those Ace Attorney games are just to good at everything...
  • olio - October 15, 2009 6:32 a.m.

    I can't remember if mine was Crono from Chrono trigger or if it was Sabin from Final Fantasy VI. I was pretty young for both of them. Oh, I also loved the main character from Secret of Evermore.
  • lovinmyps3 - April 30, 2009 10:37 p.m.

    my first was whats her face from ocarina of time, the girl at the ranch. she was hot when you became an adult lol. my most recent is definatly sheva from resident evil 5. still trying to get her third costume tho lol
  • TifaFFun7 - April 30, 2009 8:16 p.m.

    My heart belongs to Dante from DMC :P great article :)
  • Jordoom - April 29, 2009 9 p.m.

    My first was Ivy from Soul Calibur. Many's the time I've lost matches because I couldn't take my eyes off her. If they ever make holodeck technology...
  • Demonflare - April 28, 2009 8:38 p.m.

    Ha, first crush was Shadow the Hedgehog! F-ed up right! And I kept having dreams of him. Well I was just a kid back then.
  • cknarf - April 27, 2009 10:51 p.m.

    Jade- Mortal Kombat
  • battenfelder - April 27, 2009 2:49 a.m.

    sadly mine wuz Samus
  • jorhorror - April 26, 2009 7:39 p.m.

    I completely agree with Red, Bastila was fricken smokin'. But I think that a more recent addition to gaming lust is Judy Nails from Guitar Hero. She should be in jail for being so hot.
  • katwood92 - April 26, 2009 2:52 a.m.

    Leon from RE. Which is weird, because I just bought that game in late '08, more or less (probably more) 10 years since I started playing video games.
  • jijii - April 25, 2009 2:50 p.m.

    hmmmm, I guess my first gaming crush was probably Princess Zelda (from A Link To The Past).
  • c5555l - April 25, 2009 7:36 a.m.

    amata from fallout 3 : )
  • tokengirlstfu - April 25, 2009 5:48 a.m.

    Carth Onasi From KOTOR. Flawed, bearded, paranoid, what every girl wants in a man.
  • MGS4SolidSnake - April 25, 2009 1:06 a.m.

    i think its straight up weird to think characters are hot i mean its like a cartoon...lmao recaptha, shero creaming

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