Love and videogames have had a checkered history, at best. Players are either forced through a cheesy story with the dramatic chops of a high school play, or they're asked to pick a series of branches on a dialogue tree in a game of Choose Your Own Relationship. Turns out game developers aren't as good at approximating the complex emotions of human beings as they are at making grisly blood spatter from a chainsaw gun.
But every once in a while, in between the shy schoolgirls and alien love triangles, you can find some pretty messed up hook ups. We've compiled a list of these outliers, the most ludicrous liasons in gaming. Whatever you do, don't fall in love.
6. You and your spouse in Skyrim
In Skyrim, getting hitched is as simple as wearing a special amulet and chatting up the townsfolk. It doesn't take much for a citizen to become your lifelong partner, but who can blame them? You're famous, you've got great job security as the Dovahkiin and you can carry like 18 cheese wheels at once -- they gotta lock that down. But once you're married, the game's simple romance mechanics show their seedier side.
After you've sworn to carry each other's burdens, your spouse just stays at home and waits for you to return, earning you 100 gold per day while watching over your growing hoard of dragon bones. If you choose to sleep in bed with your S.O. instead of in a cave filled with Nordic zombie corpses, you get a small XP bonus for your swift and inevitable exit to the outside world. Worse yet, if you marry someone who can also be a follower, they're forced into the thankless life that is the Dovahkiin's packmule and meatshield. Accidentally shooting them with an arrow to the back of the head could be considered a mercy killing.
Then again, mariticide actually serves a function in Skyrim -- it's the only way to divorce your spouse. If you do decide to brutally murder the person you vowed to honor and protect, you're officially back on the market. You're welcome to remarry and rekill as often as your heart desires, at least until you run out of mates and remember that you never finished the main quest.
5. Lucas Kane and Carla Valenti (Indigo Prophecy/Fahrenheit)
Before Beyond: Two Souls and Heavy Rain, there was Indigo Prophecy (called Fahrenheit outside North America). It starts out intriguing -- a mystery involving bizarre cults and lost memories -- but it falls off a cliff once the hokey supernatural crap surfaces. If video games could go direct to DVD, Indigo Prophecy would star Lance Henriksen and Cuba Gooding Jr.
At one point, hero Lucas Kane and his old girlfriend fall from a great height to their deaths. Lucas is lucky enough to be resurrected by a mysterious force, but his ex remains digital worm food. Carla Valenti, the cop who had been chasing Lucas the whole time, finally finds her mark. Instead of bringing him in, she inexplicably starts believing his story and his quest to stop the impending apocalypse. Women! Am I right?
Flash forward four scenes and they're both in love for no reason. You can almost feel creator David Cage pushing their faces together like two plastic, polygonal dolls. It's not long before the couple find a private place and get on gettin' down. As Carla notes earlier in the game, Lucas feels dead-cold ("Your lips are like ice") -- because he's dead. Really. Lucas is a reanimated corpse. Carla doesn't put this together, even though Lucas fell off the same platform that killed his ex-girlfriend, and she proceeds with doing said nasty. In one of the endings, that bout of bump n' grind impregnates Carla, who now carries what is essentially a live stillborn child. And that's how Willem Dafoe was born.
4. Nathan "Rad" Spencer and his own arm (Bionic Commando)
In the big-budget console reboot of Bionic Commando, the hero Nathan Spencer ("Rad" if you're nasty) is released from imprisonment on the condition that he complete a mission -- in return, he's promised information on his missing wife. Because it's Bionic Commando, you're given a mechanical appendage that lets you swing around, beat up guys and do anything else that a spider can. It's goes pretty well for a while, but later on Rad's boss, Super Joe (I love video games), does a heel turn and reveals that the missing wife has been with us all along -- as the bionic arm.
As Super Joe explains, for the hot-dog shaped bionics to function correctly, they have to gel with its user on an "emotional and physical level." Before the game started, Nate was in prison for possession of illegal amounts of crusty dreads, so he had no idea that his wife was turned into a robot appendage against her will. Joe falls at the end of the game, but Nathan is left with only his wifearm and a series of bittersweet/incredibly painful handjobs.