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Nerds Without Pants   

Nerds Without Pants Episode 39: The Mushy Stuff

I love you, you love me...

Howdy folks! Julian here again. It's close to Valentine's Day, or Single Awareness Day as I like to call it. Last year, Patrick came up with a very smart, high-brow topic, but this year I decided to be super uninspired and talk about romance in vidya games. Join us, will you?

We have JD as a special guest to talk about his recent game jam, but Angelo kicks things off with his hate/less hate relationship with Kingdom Hearts. It's a good intro, because it turns out that Angelo has a block of ice where normal people keep their hearts! Patrick joined a LAN (or is that land?) party, and I've been cuddling up with my 3DS lately.

We then move on to the subject of love, romance, and all of that mushy stuff in games. We bring up some of the power couples such as Eddie Riggs and Ophelia, Tidus and Yuna, and The Prince and Elika. Angelo has some choice words for BioWare games, but he's entitled to his wrong opinion. I kid! I kid! JD talks about how Mass Effect helped him through some personal romantic issues he had, and Patrick holds a special place in his heart (container) for Link and Zelda.

We wrap things up by talking about our most epic fails with romance, as well as getting a little bit creepy by coming up with the virtual characters we'd like to date if they were real. Is this episode in desperate need of a woman's touch? Absolutely!


Nightwish: Slow, Love, Slow

The New York Dolls: We're All in Love

Garth Brooks: The Red Strokes

The Pretty Reckless: Make Me Wanna Die

The Darkness: I Believe in a Thing Called Love




02/10/2014 at 03:48 PM

For me the most memorable romantic moments in games are all ones that are totally dark, outrageous, and hard to believe can exist in a game. Get ready to be disgusted and depressed, I have two examples that will knock your pants off.

Fable 2 is a game that gave me a lot of dark emergent stories through the romance system. I created a lady hero and set out to make her a lesbian. I found a suitable female mate in Oakvale named Violet, we got married, and I moved her into a idyllic upscale house around Bowerstone Market. For a while I kept my wife as happy as possible by fully upgrading the house, putting the family allowance as high as possible, having sex with her often enough, giving her gifts, and going for walks. But a time came when I wanted to start having kids and in Fable 2 they didn't give you the ability to adopt children when you're a gay or lesbian couple (which was rectified in Fable 3). I realized I was going to have to break up my lesbian marriage with Violet and find a male to replace her with so I could have kids.

The thing is, getting a divorce in Fable 2 isn't simple. You can't pick an option and break up a relationship diplomatically or amicably, you have to use the systems to make your mate unhappy enough for them to leave, which requires you to be a total psycho. I took all her allowance away, I stopped having sex with her, and eventually I started hitting her and things got crazy dark in a hurry. Since I had made her so happy earlier in the relationship her love values in the systems were super high and took forever to knock down, so it ended up seeming like stockholm syndrome because I kept having to abuse her to knock those values down, but she wouldn't leave because it takes so long to change status.

I would go off to Bloodstone and have crazy sex-trains with both male and female prostitutes, catching 4 STDs in a row during a visit there, and the news of my character's cheating catches up to my wife but it still didn't activate her divorce function. All of this absurd abuse culminated in me punching my character's wife and pulling out my gun and shooting it around inside our house, and finally her unhappiness was so low that she suddenly started crying, she made a declaration that she was leaving, and she ran out of the house. I didn't know how the game handled all of this so I ran after her to see where exactly she was fleeing to. That day in Fable was super moody too because it was raining in Bowerstone, so I chased her as she ran through the rain and eventually she went out the exit that leads towards Oakvale, where she was originally from. I assumed she was going back home, so a couple days later I went to Oakvale to see what she was up to and she was nowhere to be found. The place she once occupied was taken over by a completely new character. There's a lot of rabbit-holes to go down in Fable games and systems to interact with, break, and exploit, but this romance one was by far the most absurd and depressing. I ended up marrying a male and having two kids, but they ended up being a puppet family & I couldn't bond with them at all (can't even remember their names) because I couldn't ever get my mind off of my original wife Violet and the crazy dark story that unfolded there and all the awful things I did in order to scare her off. When Fable 3 came around I ended up not having any marriages, there could be a few reasons for that, but I think one of them was that I still felt bad about Violet.

That was a pretty uplifting story, it only gets worse in my second example, but luckily it's much shorter and sweeter, but it has a major spoiler for F.E.A.R. 2 for anybody that cares. My second most memorable moment in game romances was the very end of F.E.A.R. 2 where the main protagonist Beckett gets raped by the main antagonist Alma, who is long dead by the way and exists as a Paranormal Activity type of entity except amplified on a giant scale. You have to go through a terrifying end battle sequence of visions, and it's implied by the end that while you were having these nightmares in your mind, in the real world Alma was raping you because she is standing over you rubbing a clearly pregnant belly.

Best game romance ever, raped by a ghost.

Joaquim Mira Media Manager

02/10/2014 at 06:39 PM

Hahaha Couldn't you have gotten pregnant yourself, and then have the kid as a child of your own without having to torture Violet into leaving the marriage?

Second romance story... that's f**ked up.


02/10/2014 at 07:30 PM

You have the choice to have either protected or unprotected sex, and I tried to get pregnant by having unprotected sex outside the marriage with male prostitutes in Bloodstone, but it only produced STDs and never any pregnancy. I was hoping I could just get my lady hero pregnant some way and be able to mantain my lesbian marriage with Violet but I couldn't find any loopholes in the system or anything, and since there's no adoptions in the game it makes it even tougher. I knew that if I was going to get kids I'd have to marry a male in the game and have unprotected sex, but I had no idea how deep the rabbit-hole would go when it came to convincing your current partner to leave you. It got so bad, I was actually trying to play the Fable 2 storyline like a good-guy but not matter how many "good" choices I made during story-quests I always knew I was the scum of the Earth for what I did to Violet lol.

Yeah that second story is the icing on the cake of absurdity, I was trying to class the place up lol. I really enjoyed the story in the original FEAR, it's a really dark story of revenge and presents an antagonist that I feel incredibly empathetic towards, but the sequel just went way off the rails by the end. At the end of FEAR 2 she rapes you and by the ends of the visions she's got a sort of instant baby-bump, and it's implied that she forced you to have sex and she's trying to birth some sort of anti-christ I guess. It's so bonkers.

Julian Titus Senior Editor

02/21/2014 at 09:27 PM, Mike. Wow.

You know I love me some Fable 2 and Peter Molyneaux. One of the ideas he espoused before the game came out was being a female adventurer and getting pregnant, but having to carry the baby to term while still fighting and questing. I think that would have been amazing, but unfortunately you just get pregnant and it fades to black and then you're a mom. I know it would have gotten in the way of gameplay, but it would have been pretty awesome to have to deal with being a mother AND and adventurer.


02/11/2014 at 09:46 AM

I haven't delved into the world since the second game came out, but Sora and Kairi's relationship was one of my favourites.  I don't remember if it becomes romantic, but it is one that I always hoped would.  I would go to the ends of the earth to find my best friend if somebody took her from me.

Super Step Contributing Writer

02/12/2014 at 03:42 AM

I wholeheartedly agree about Metroidvania needing to be called adventure-exploration instead.

I remember Hercules and Tarzan, but not Pinocchio from my Kingdom Hearts rental years back, or were you talking about 1.5? I'm playing Ghost Trick as I listen, so I may be mistaken. 

A lot of the inconsistencies talked about here regarding The Hobbit may have come from the fact Jackson pulled from the Simarillion and added parts from it in there. However, The Hobbit is the only Tolkien book I ever read in full though, so I have no idea. I do know he took from Simarillion and that accounts for a lot of the changes.

As for Katniss in Hunger Games, she actually did not like Peeta back in the first one; I guess that didn't come through as well in the movie, but it was all an act for the cameras. I'll agree that the second flick was way better for camera stillness alone, though I actually wish they had made the murders as brutal as in the book as opposed to feeling physically ill, but my ranking of books would go Mockingjay, then Hunger Games, then Catching Fire, which I found painfully predictable as a book, but works better as a movie. 

I'll listen to the rest after this comment, since you had a song break here. 

Super Step Contributing Writer

02/12/2014 at 05:44 AM

I've never played an MMO or went to a LAN party, but Doritos dipped in mystery sauce sounds dangerously exciting. Might have to bring that idea up to my book club/orgy group. 

Young Justice actually had good enough ratings to continue so it's not that kids weren't watching, but the wrong demographic was: WB, according to Paul Dini, simply thought that its largely female audience were too tough a sell for toys. You may think that sounds like spite from Paul Dini, but given that programming like that is entirely dependent on advertising revenue, I can see that being the case if toy sellers et al. didn't feel they were reaching the right demo for their products. 

Awesome job on that 3D game thing, man! I too am legitimately impressed by your refining of Rocky's idea and congrats on the nomination!

More in a bit. Now I'm hung up on Youtube videos.

Jon Lewis Staff Writer

02/14/2014 at 11:08 AM

(about YJ) yeah, I did read that. It makes sense, but it still really sucks that such a great show got cancelled because of a wide demographic. If anything, i'd LOVE to see the seires get a direct to DVD ending. That would be sweet.

And THANKS regarding Anaglyph. I really should have posted a picture of it on the show notes. But yeah, it really did come out pretty cool.

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