March 6, 2014

5 “canon” JRPG romances that I actually like

Posted in video games tagged , , , , , , at 7:55 pm by riulyn

Valkyria Chronicles has just been beaten! Took me more time than it should have, but I had a good time. I especially loved the characters of that game, with the main duo being a great combination of adorkable, funny, and sincere. It’s a well-told story like this one where I find myself “awwing” at the interactions between the main couple. It’s no secret that I’m a “shipper”, or someone who gets emotionally invested in the romantic relationships of two (or more in rare cases) characters, but I usually roll my eyes at many of the “canon” JRPG romances. Let me not tell you about FFVIII but about 5 other “canon” romances that I actually like. (One per series, since I like some representation)

Some spoilers for FFIX, Shadow Hearts, Suikoden V, Tales of Xillia, Valkyria Chronicles below.

1. Welkin and Alicia – Valkyria Chronicles. It inspired this post, so of course it makes this list. I think one of the major reasons I like this pairing is the way that it is portrayed and developed throughout the game. It feels so natural for this closeness to develop between the squad. Add in a little bit of initial attraction and personality traits that complement well, and it’s a recipe for success.

2. Ferid and Arshtat – Suikoden V. Suikoden games have a lot of canon and non-canon romances. None of them quite measure up in the “feels” department as this one. Of course, since it has significant effects on the plot, the romance is featured quite more than usual for a Suikoden game. Even if the end of their story is the reason why this romance is so memorable, there are also rather cute interactions between them and with their kids. A few simple words, a stark contrast between the “Commander” or the “Queen” and the “husband/father” and “wife/mother” really makes a difference here, in my opinion.

3. Yuri and Alice – Shadow Hearts. It’s all their fault for being such loveable characters apart but even better together. Of course it’s due to Shadow Hearts humor that I find them so great. Even though there is a lot of “knight-ish” behavior coming from Yuri (which is totally not his style usually), it stems from wanting to protect Alice and not because Alice is weak and needs to be protected. Actually Yuri has a lot of respect for Alice, while he is still kind of a jerk/ass to most other females. I guess it’s that one true love of his? (Don’t spoil me on Shadow Hearts 2, which I still need to beat!)

4. Zidane and Dagger/Garnet – Final Fantasy IX. Love at first sight from Zidane, but the best part is how the romance starts with building trust and friendship first. I guess I like it better than some of the other FF romances because I like this main duo better? There’s actually a lot of similar goodness in the relationship that buds between Tidus and Yuna in FFX but I guess I like the more cute couple? Sometimes you can’t explain these things well.

5. Jude and Milla – Tales of Xillia. Okay, so I’m cheating a bit. It’s never officially a “couple”. There’s huge hints everywhere about how they feel for each other but nothing happens well because other shit happens. Of course things may happen in the sequel, but please don’t spoil that for me. Anyway, I love the mutual admiration and fondness for each other’s quirks that pops up between these two. There’s all sorts of “mothering” going on, which is pretty amusing. I guess some of the other appeal of this couple to me is how they both sort of embody stereotypical characters ascribed to the opposite gender. Then again Milla acts pretty gender neutral which is a lot of her appeal as well. Maybe it’s the closest we will get to a “non-hetero” main relationship in a mainstream JRPG for a while, and that’s why it has extra appeal?

Anyway, there are a few obvious things that I like in my pairings. Mutual admiration and respect and mutual protectiveness. Banter. Sincerity. A little spark of something different in the way they look at each other versus other people. These are things I expect/hope to feel when or if I ever fall in love. And that is a story for a different blog…



  1. Joseph said,

    Yuri and Alice all the way:) probably will always be my favorite game romance

  2. Final Fantasy IX really is such a charming game.

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