Will they or won't they?
It's a classic trope in the entertainment industry. Take your hero and his or her obvious love interest, add in some long, meaningful stares and a few moments when they almost kiss, and then tease, tease, tease. It's all-too-obvious to their friends, enemies, and everyone else in the surrounding solar system that these two are meant to be together - but for whatever reason they just won't seal the deal (with a kiss, I mean).
Video games have their fair share of long-standing relationships, ever teetering on the edge of romance. Granted, these couples have a lot on their minds and not a lot of time for love, what with having to save the world and all that. With any luck some of the entrants on this list will stop opening chests long enough to open up about how they feel - after they've defeated the last boss, of course.
Fair warning, we're going to get into spoiler territory with all games mentioned.
Link and Zelda
There have been many women in Link's many lives, but none have featured as prominently as Princess Zelda. Throughout the ages, these two have been brought together time and again, as if the fates themselves were conspiring on their behalf. Even so, their relationship has never evolved beyond a kiss on the cheek or a brush of the hands. Despite the fact that they've saved each other's skin over and over - and clearly care for one another - neither has been willing to string those three little words together. Though to be fair, the fact almost every game is a mini-reboot, seemingly casting them both back into the reincarnation pool at its end, hardly helps.
Remember Spirit Tracks? Remember all the long, meaningful glances, blushing, and hand holding going on in that game? Or what about Skyward Sword, where it's implied that Link and Zelda end up together after Zelda decides to remain on the surface, but who's to say for sure? There are some exceptions, of course, such as in Twilight Princess where childhood friend Ilia is Link's main squeeze. But these are the exceptions. Maybe one day Zelda will finally give Link that kiss, for luck.
Sora and Kairi
Poor Sora just can't spit it out, can he? Since the beginning of the franchise, Kingdom Hearts has been playing up Sora's feelings for Kairi. But there's always another quest - or another kidnapping - that keeps the two apart. In Kingdom Hearts 2, Saix even tells Kairi she is "the fire that feeds Sora's anger," which sounds like a really weird thing to write on a Valentine's Day card.
The ways and means in which the Kingdom Hearts games telegraph Sora's feelings for Kairi (and vice versa) are so frequent and numerous that I can't squeeze them all into this paragraph - let alone this feature. Needless to say, these young lovers have been pining for each other for well over a decade now, and apparently we've had to wait for the power of next-gen consoles to (presumably) finally bring them together.
Ada and Leon
Ah, now here's a fun couple. Despite the fact that they're always pointing loaded firearms at each other, openly attacking each other, and periodically double-crossing each other, Ada Wong and Leon Kennedy have been doing the Resident Evil-equivalent of flirting for the past 17 years. One of them had better make a move before they finally kill each other for good.
In all seriousness, Ada does seem to harbor some genuine affection for the often bewildered Leon. One of the most prominent examples can be found in Resident Evil 2, where an injured Ada confesses "I don't want to lose you." More recent examples can be found in Resident Evil 4 and 6, where Ada seems to jump between toying with Leon and expressing genuine empathy. Of course, since Ada can only express herself in cliched, action movie dialog at that point, getting her true feelings across is a challenge.
Raynor and Kerrigan
Love conquers all, right? Right? Perhaps, but Kerrigan - better known by her punk rock moniker The Queen of Blades - is betting it'll take more than some mushy feelings to bring down an ancient evil threatening the galaxy. And she reached that conclusion just moments after finishing her first date with on-again, off-again squeeze Jim Raynor. Granted, this "date" involved teaming up to murder an old man in his office, but let's not get into semantics.
Kerrigan and Jim are destined to fail, and that's exactly why you want to root for them. Their jobs come first for the time being, what with that ancient galactic evil and all, but when Jim finally puts down the bottle and Kerrigan hangs up those blades, wouldn't it be nice to see the two of them ride off into the galactic sunset together? Maybe I'm just a romantic...
Elika and the Prince
Healthy relationships are not without conflict and turmoil. It's overcoming these rough patches, and moving forward, that makes a relationship strong. Elika and the Prince have certainly experienced their fair share of trouble. After going on an adventure together filled with teamwork and flirtatious remarks, the stage seemed set for a classic "happily ever after" ending. Instead, it went sour, in a big way.
You see, at the end of the game the Prince is faced with a sadistic choice: either let the woman he's fallen for remain dead, or let an ancient evil rise again (thereby undoing everything accomplished in the game) to bring her back to life. He chooses the latter, and she resents him for it. Sadly, with no sequel plans on the horizon, it is unlikely these two will ever get to work out their whole resurrection disagreement and make amends, in spite of the chemistry they share.
Gordon and Alyx
This is an odd one, seeing as how Gordon's perpetual silence makes their relationship a little one-sided. Or maybe you're one of those people who thinks Gordon is talking and we, the players, just can't hear him. At any rate, the games have heavily implied Gordon and Alyx are destined to be together, with the bubbly Alyx taking a liking to the stoic doctor from the moment they first meet.
After that fateful encounter, the pair save each other's skin a few times, with the most memorable - and relationship-affirming - instance occurring in Half-Life 2: Episode 2. Here, Alyx is mortally wounded, and through an ancient, alien ritual she is healed with the aid of the Vortigaunts who "weave the Freeman's life with her's." Alyx seems cool with all this, and even gets a little flustered when her father mentions the possibility of grandchildren. All that's left is an affirmation of love fans have been waiting eight years (and counting) to hear.
Monkey and Trip
Monkey and Trip go through a real relationship arc throughout the events of Enslaved. They start out as, essentially, adversaries, with Monkey acting as Trip's unwilling slave and guide through the robot-infested wasteland. Gradually, their budding relationship grows into a sort of begrudging acceptance, then friendship, and then something more than friendship.
This all culminates in Trip offering to release Monkey from his servitude, and Monkey choosing to remain by her side. At this point it's clear just from the looks they give each other that these two are in love, but that all sort of gets swept under the rug once the ending starts. Somewhere between all the giant robots and the memory pyramid, Monkey and Trip's relationship falls by the wayside, presumably to be picked up in a sequel we'll likely never see.
Life is too short for missed opportunities. Better to have loved and lost, as they say, than to have never loved at all. And when you have an attraction as strong as the entrants on this list, the whole 'love' part should come pretty naturally. Rejection sucks, sure, but you can't let it slow you down when the love of your life could be on the line.
And for more lovey-dovey fun on GR+ be sure to check out 11 video game couples who aren't in relationships (but should be) and The Top 7... Uncomfortably sexy video game animals.