Now, I know I’m not the only gamer to have fallen for a game character…and I’m sure not going to be the last. Some characters are so well written and superbly voiced that you can’t help but fall for them. I mostly blame Bioware for my ‘game loves’, but there are plenty of other developers creating engaging characters. These articles will name my big game crushes and loves…and please remember these are my reasons for loving these guys…you may have different opinions; you may think I’ve made the wrong choice. I can only hope it helps you understand how I see these characters…memorable.
It probably won’t shock you that they’re all written in first person…I get quite attached to games and the characters in them. So get ready for some all out Nerdgasmic confessions…
Note: I decided to write about them in the order I met them. Also, a couple of theses guys will get more page space simply because I feel more for certain characters and I just crush on others…see if you can tell the difference!
1 – Alistair Theirin – Dragon Age – Bioware
OK, Alistair…how can I describe him? …He’s dreamy, sweet, goofy, honest, funny, strong yet vulnerable…the list could go on and on…and on. For me, Alistair was my first real ‘game love’. And boy did I fall hard.
Even though I haven’t played Origins for a year now, I can see his handsome face clearly; that cute blushing smile when he’s being teased; his big brown puppy-dog eyes… and as I write this I’m smiling to myself as if recalling happy memories.
Right from the beginning of the game his wry sense of humor had me giggling;
“You know, one good thing about the Blight is how it brings people together“.
Put that humor with his gorgeous British accent and my first impression of him was imprinted. Here was a charming, witty, handsome guy…yes, he was going to be my love interest for sure.
I didn’t even question the fact that I began to think of him as ‘real’ and cared about his well-being and emotions like I would any other friend, it just seemed so natural to do so. In Alistair, David Gaider created a beautiful balance between gentleman and joker and the immensely talented Steve Valentine brought him to life exceptionally well. Everything uttered by him is completely believable, which is an extremely important factor for a character like Alistair. He has depth to his character; he has a sweet innocence and a fighting spirit. As the game develops and opens up so to does Alistair. The death of his father figure Duncan, and his encounter with his half-sister Goldanna harden him to some aspects of the world. He comes to realize that some people are undeserved and uncaring and will fiercely demand justice be carried out for King Cailan and Duncan. The inner strength he has and his loyalty to his fallen comrades is a really alluring trait.
Being raised by the Chantry, he is naive in the ways of the world…and women, and when he told me that he had “never licked a lamppost in winter” it drew a huge dreamy *sigh* from me. After our night together in camp, he became the sweetest man in Thedas; always calling me ‘my love’; always happy to make out in front of the party…so rebellious for Alistair! I loved it!
I emotionally attached myself to the game and to Alistair; I was a Grey Warden; I was Alistair’s love; I became his wife… And to become his wife I had to talk him into sleeping with Morrigan… Not the most pleasant thing to do, asking the man you love to bed another woman…but if that meant saving one of us from loosing the other I had no issue. There was no way I was going to die after fighting hordes of Darkspawn, and even less chance of me letting Alistair make the ultimate sacrifice…so Morrigan’s ritual it was.
It’s hard for me to pin-point the exact reason for loving him because it’s a perfect mixture of many things. His wit; his fierce loyalty to me and the Grey Wardens; his strength; his awkwardness; his resilient sense of right and wrong …they all add up to create an exceedingly lovable man (and of course it doesn’t hurt that he’s pretty damn hot too!).
He may not have any previous experience with a woman but that doesn’t stop him being passionate about his feelings for me and he will openly speak of them, giving him a vulnerable, helplessly in love quality that screams ‘hug me! Love me!’ and I do. Very, very much.
2 – Anders – Dragon Age II – Bioware
Anders is a man with…issues. Big-fade spirit-apostate-runaway Warden-shaped issues. But, I cant help but fall for this guy. He screams ‘baggage!’ from the first meeting in his Darktown clinic, but there’s just something attractive about his paranoia.
He believes magic is a gift, not something he, or any other mage should be locked up for. When he talks about life locked up in the Ferelden Circle Tower and the punishments he received, it’s hard to believe he didn’t break. A year in solitary confinement?! Maker, that’s a long time…but he did have Mr Wiggums, the Towers cat for company, and his soft spot for cats is just…cute!
He has a fervent need (a fire stoked by Justice) to free the mages of Thedas from the oppression of the Chantry’s Circle. And he fights passionately for that freedom. He makes me believe in his cause; he makes me want to take on the Knight Commander and win – for him – screw the other mages, I just want him to be free and live a happy, peaceful life…with me… (granted, he’ll still have Justice inside his head…but no Templars hunting him, Yeay!).
I love that he plays hard to get and I have to fight for his attentions. That really bolsters my attraction to him in the beginning…you always want what you cant have, right?! The fact that he really can’t hide his attraction to me is alluring…and yet it drives me a little crazy. He flirts; “sweetheart, I’m not letting anyone lock me up. Not even you”, and says things like “the thought of them hurting you…Everything I’ve done to control this…I don’t care. I would drown us in blood to keep you safe” *sigh*…and just as I think I’ve made progress and I’m closer to breaking him…he dashes my hopes once again…until that scene…
The adorably cute mage putting milk out for kitty cat, equals an even cuter mage that I could throw against the wall and ravage…ahem.
Instead, it’s a sweet moment of thanks for my defense of the mages in Kirkwall, *all for you, Anders, all for you*, and then the air changes. He’s…opening up? Expressing his feelings?! “I’m still a man, you can’t tease me this and expect me to resist forever”. I’m screaming in my head about now, ‘I don’t want you to resist you idiot! Kiss me!’, and this is why I love Bioware, they get it so right, “how long till I drive you mad?” is my reply…then boom! He practically floors me, finally letting his defenses down and kisses the hell out of me! *finally!*
He then visits me and declares that he‘s obsessed with me! *swoon!* and that Justice doesn’t approve of said obsession,
“It is one of the few things on which he and I disagree” Oh! He’s rebelling against Justice! For me! *swoon again*.
And then the sweetest moment of the game for me… “No mage I know has ever dared to fall in love…this is the one rule I will most cherish breaking” *many swoons here*, it’s just so soft and tender a moment…it’s beautifully depicted with the swirls of mana from his hand as he touches my cheek… Here is a seriously troubled man who just wants to love and be loved, free from fear or ill consequence…a truly lovely moment.
After his declaration of love and the realization that I will scream my love for him from the rooftops, he becomes openly devoted and cherishes me. It’s as if it finally dawns on him that he can be happy and love me whilst fighting for his cause, and it’s a beautiful development in his character.
And then comes the end game. The big finale. He blows up the Chantry in the name of mage freedom. Not only does he blow up the Chantry, he murders a lot of people inside the Chantry…and he fully expects me to kill him for it…
It’s as if he wants death; as though he believes the lives he took will get their justice if I take his life. And he’s probably right… But I don’t kill him. I cant kill him. Not after fighting for his love; not after opposing the Templars for him; not after everything we’ve been through together. No way.
I’m not even angry that he did what he did…he’s a mage maybe he put a spell on me…but I don’t condemn him in anyway. I still love him; I still want to fight with him against the Templars; against the Chantry and their ‘Circle’. In fact I’m probably more angry with them than I was in the beginning…they forced his hand. They oppressed mages to a point that made my Anders snap. And I’m a very protective Hawke. You mess with my poor, disturbed magic man and you’ll pay. Simple. All through the game I want to defend the mages for him; I want to fight his battles; I want to keep him safe; I want him to trust me and love me…and by the end of the game I have that. I have his love; I let him live; I defeat the Knight commander for him; I run away with him…
Because he’s handsome but doesn’t play on it; because his past is heartrending; because he’s passionate; because he adores me; because he has big-fade spirit-apostate-runaway Warden-shaped baggage. It makes him a complex and confusing kind of man and I like it!
This beautifully flawed man never asked me to love him…but that’s quite possibly why I do.
NEXT TIME… PART 2 – THE ALENKO EFFECT