Let’s face it: we’ve all been there.
We’re all drawn so deeply into games that we form all sorts of different connections with the characters we watch and control. That attraction can be so deep that, in our young minds we wished these fantastic characters were real so we could get to know them better.
With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, we thought we’d make this week’s Pixelitis Picks in line with the spirit of that widely-celebrated “Hallmark” holiday. Yep, a selection of videogame character crushes. We were kids!
My forbidden love: Nina from Breath of Fire II
Did you expect anything else from me? Having been infatuated with Breath of Fire II since the day I got it for my seventh birthday, I always found Nina to be one of the most attractive female game characters out there. Show a little leg and the crush only intensifies.
Breath of Fire II’s Nina also happened to be one of the most strong-willed Ninas in the series. She was never made into a damsel in distress (although she’s forced to bend to the Joker Gang’s will that one time when they held her younger sister hostage). She stood her ground in all other cases throughout the game’s story, and though there are subtle hints of her attraction to main character Ryu, she never felt like the sort that absolutely needed to be swept off her feet.
Plus, she still carries the most interesting backstory over her ancestors and descendants in all the other games. A princess banished from her kingdom because her black wings (they look purple to me) were looked down upon as an omen? I felt for her, because I knew what it was like to be the unpopular one in my adolescence.
Did I mention that she’s an offensive magic powerhouse? You can zap me with Bolt X any time, Nina Wyndia.
- Patrick Kulikowski
My forbidden love: Sub-Zero from Mortal Kombat
The only man who can shoot ice from his hands and claim my young girl heart is Sub-Zero.
Despite growing up around a bunch of rowdy boys and older male cousins, I immediately latched on to this ice king. All puns aside, there was something that I immediately fell for in my tiny pre-pubescent state of mind– and that was the fact that Sub-Zero was a man of his word.
His cryomancer lineage was no laughing matter. The Sub-Zero in MK3 was Kuai Liang, the younger brother of the first Sub-Zero Bi-Han, who was killed by Scorpion in the first Mortal Kombat. Both him and his brother were Earthrealm born, from a Chinese father and American mother and eventually were taught the ways of the cryomancer through their father. And let’s be real, any guy who is willing to avenge his brother’s death by entering Mortal Kombat gets my vote.
With revenge on his mind, Kuai Liang sets off to kill Scorpion… and eventually join the good side to beat the heck out of Shao Khan. There’s also the fact that he’s one of the first cryomancers to take his mask off and reveal his rugged, scarred… good-lookin’ face.
Sub-Zero was a manly fighter whose buttons I got to push. Over. and over. and over. Plus, I got to laugh every time I shattered my opponent into itty bitty ice shards when I played as him. Sub-Zero, you might have ice in your veins, but you’re never too cold for me.
- Karen Rivera
My forbidden love: Kid from Chrono Cross
So, I was faced with the dilemma of choosing between sassy sarcasm and the overflow of spontaneous emotion. Seeing the sexy Sub-Zero above, I have opted to explore the slightly more mushy path. I was an impressionable kid back in my youth, and developed crushes on at least one female protagonist per RPG. Sometimes two. Something about saving the world with a beautiful lady warrior was more than a little enticing. However, I was always left with pixelated in-game art and static profile pictures. A minor obstacle, as I soon learned that it wasn’t all about a pretty picture.
Kid is a boisterous girl with a penchant for swearing and wearing a minimal amount of clothing. She speaks with a thick Australian accent and is always one to look out for her friends. All traits that make her crush-worthy, but for me, it all came down to a single scene in the game’s opening sequence.
The intense intro music and scenes of chaos slow down and stop to reveal a blonde girl staring out toward the ocean. As the camera gets closer, she turns to face you, hair blowing in the wind and eyes shining in the sunlight. And what really made me fall hard was when she gave me an innocent smile and reached out her hand, literally pulling me into those big blue eyes.
Kid was the perfect storm of brash and aggressive behavior combine with a subtle princess-disguised-as-tomboy aesthetic that made her a multifaceted character. Unfortunately, it would never work between us.
Because time and space would implode if she were to exist across multiple dimensions. Oh well.