Girlfriends: plenty of people want one, but you don't always get what you sign up for. Even the most angelic of girls can have dormant, hidden traits. Quirks which only present themselves once you're in too deep (and you're trying to keep up above in your head, instead of going under). Not only can you experience a variety of bizarre and disturbing girlfriends in your real life, but video games too can offer a selection of toxic, romantic relationships to emulate in Full HD 1080.
In this list, we take a look back at the 15 most bizarre and/or disturbing girlfriends in video games. All the way from classic '80s companions, to current-day consorts that will leave you saying "I just really need some space right now." There is a long and protracted history of video games wedging in romance where it makes little sense. In this list, we will explore a collection of love interests which would have been better left to the imaginations of erotic fan-fiction writers. Honorable mentions go to classic video game girlfriends like Princess Peach and Zelda. However, they did not qualify for this list.
The lineup includes sweethearts from consoles, handhelds, and arcade platforms. Wives, steady girlfriends, one-nights stands, and several non-human candidates have all been considered. Some have been chosen for their dubious personal qualities, or disturbingly tragic circumstances, while others have made the cut for the sheer implausibility of their relationship with the protagonist. Here are the 15 most bizarre and disturbing girlfriends in games.
15 Millie Perkins — GTA San Andreas
Millie Perkins is a croupier working in the Las Venturas casino by day, and is a perverted dominatrix by night. She is the subject of an infamous GTA San Andreas mission which tasks CJ with killing Millie's gimp and impersonating him as part of an elaborate heist setup. Carl reluctantly agrees to go along with the ruse, and is subjugated to sessions of humiliating BDSM activity with Millie. The acquired gimp suit can be worn at any other time once obtained. The gimp suit and Millie's 'dungeon' are a nod to Quentin Tarantino's film Pulp Fiction, which included a similarly disturbing scene.
She is also notably part of the 'Hot Coffee' minigame controversy — a hidden feature coded in by Rockstar which allowed the player to have graphic 'fun' with their respective girlfriend or prostitute.
Catherine is a game made in the visual style of the Persona series, also developed by studio Atlus. The protagonist of this game is the much tormented Vincent. Vincent is putting off his commitment to marrying girlfriend Katherine (with a 'K') and has a one night stand with the seductive Catherine (with a 'C') after meeting her at a bar one fateful evening. Vincent is then drawn into a nightmarish world every time he goes to sleep, trying to climb an endless, insurmountable tower.
[spoiler alert] It is revealed that Catherine is a succubus; a she-demon who lures men to an untimely death. Things come to a dramatic head when Vincent decides to end his affair with Catherine, and she is killed in a resulting scuffle with Katherine. Catherine is a great current-gen niche game and is the perfect crossroads of 3D puzzle platforming and Japanese weirdness.
13 Citra Talugmai — Far Cry 3
Citra is considered to be a demigod by her Islander followers in Far Cry 3. Her ambition is to return her tribe to its former glory, and she believes that the game's protagonist Jason is the hero to fulfill this destiny. Citra compels Jason to commit a series of attacks against the island's occupiers. She also drugs Jason with an exotic powdered compound from time to time, sending the player on a traumatizing, psychedelic journey.
Ultimately the player is presented with a choice to either join Citra's tribe or to save their long lost friends. Submitting to Citra's side results in the post-coital murder of Jason, as he is ritualistically cut open by Citra, in tribute to their future child who will grow up to be the 'perfect leader' for her tribe. Citra is one of many bizarre and perverted characters encountered in the recent Far Cry games.
12 Eunice Pound — Bully
Eunice Pound is the entry-level girlfriend of Rockstar's sixth-gen RPG, Bully. She is characterized by her clumsiness, social awkwardness, and her love of food. Eunice is a classic clinger type: she is obsessed with the protagonist Jimmy, and after their first kiss harasses him to no end.
Sadly, she is belittled by her fellow students for her weight problem, and is considered to be the girlfriend option of 'least value.' Eunice's poor reputation is symbolic of a typical high school social hierarchy. While she is a less attractive girlfriend compared to other romantic options in the game, her more beautiful counterparts tend to have outstanding personality flaws. Dating Eunice teaches the player a lesson in humility: that every relationship is a compromise, and you have to love someone for who they are... or not.
11 Tali'Zorah — Mass Effect Series
Tali'Zorah is a member of the quarian alien race in Mass Effect and is part of Commander Shepard's squad on the Normandy. She is one of several romantic options available to the Commander throughout the Mass Effect trilogy. What is most peculiar about Tali'Zorah as a romantic partner is the biological incompatibility of quarian/human sexual relationships, due to a quarian's extreme immune deficiency which requires them to wear an air-tight suit at all times.
Despite these physiological challenges, the player can organize for Shepard to achieve interspecies intromission, following much tedious preparation. Such precautions include "extensive skin sterilization" and "abstaining from any dangerous oral contact." Tali'Zorah is just one of multiple alien species that Commander Shepard can attempt to woo.
10 Cortana — Halo Series
Better known now by most people as Microsoft's inferior substitute for Apple's Siri, Cortana was once Master Chief's A.I. companion in the Halo series. Despite being a manufactured artificial intelligence and not a living, breathing woman, the sexual tension between her and the Master Chief (John-117) was palpable. It has been said that the original Halo trilogy is really a love story between these two characters, backdropped by an intergalactic war.
Cortana chose John-117 as her first pick of any other SPARTAN soldier and was integrated to his power-armor, prior to their trials on the Pillar of Autumn in the original Halo. Throughout their relationship, Cortana maintained an unwavering devotion to John-117 through thick and thin. There is no relationship more compelling between man and artificial intelligence than the tragic love story of Cortana and Master Chief.
9 Maria Santiago — Gears Of War 2
Maria Santiago is the wife of Dom, a major character in the Gears of War series. Maria went into self-imposed exile following the death of her children and parents on Emergence Day — the day of the Locust Horde invasion on Earth. By all means, Maria was a loving wife and mother, and nothing was necessarily disturbing about her, or her relationship with Dom.
The notably disturbing part of Maria's story is her tragic mercy-killing by her husband's hand. Dom persuades GoW's protagonist Marcus to go on a rescue mission with him, hoping to find his wife alive and well. Ultimately, she is found in a Locust prison camp, having been tortured and mentally broken. Dom is devastated but chooses to euthanize his traumatized wife, who is an insane shell of her former self.
8 Bastila Shan — Star Wars KotOR
Bastila is a major character in Bioware's cult hit RPG, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. She is a Jedi Knight and in many ways a classic kidnapped-princess type. Throughout the early game the player will hear Carth bemoan about Bastila's absence for what feels like an eternity — I mean damn, Carth, would you chill out?
KotOR being the precursor to the Mass Effect series in many ways, there are of course multiple awkward opportunities to court your squadmates romantically. Bastila is one such amorous pursuit. But alas, as girlfriends so often do, Bastila falls to the pull of the dark side and betrays her former allegiances. The protagonist then has the choice to abandon hope and join her in evil, or to try and guide her back to the light.
7 Companion Cube — Portal
At risk of degrading usage of 'girlfriend' as a term, this inanimate cube is a totally worthy inclusion on this list of bizarre partners in games. Near impossible to describe to the unfamiliar, but anyone who has played Portal knows the love story of Chell and her Companion Cube is a saga for the ages. The innocuous relationship between Chell and the Companion Cube has been spun-off in a variety of internet media, and can even be found as an Easter Egg in other games, such as in Fallout 3.
The destruction of Chell's Companion Cube in Portal is a depraved punishment handed down by GLaDOS, who would teach Chell a lesson by taking away her only friend. The charred remains of your beloved cubical pal can be briefly encountered much later, in Portal 2.
6 Mary Sunderland — Silent Hill
Mary is the haunting figure of James' delusions in the Silent Hill series, and scarier than that is his aggrieved former wife. It is ambiguous at many times in the Silent Hill series if James is really seeing his deceased wife or if it is merely a grief-stricken figment of his imagination.
[spoiler alert] Mary's story is both disturbing and tragic. After falling ill with a terminal disease, her husband James becomes an alcoholic. Burdened with the duty of caring for his wife, James mentally snaps and suffocates her with a pillow. He effectively represses this memory and only comes to terms with the homicide after rediscovering the incident on tape much later.
5 Fisto — Fallout: New Vegas
If the Fallout series got one thing right, it's sexual opportunities with a variety of grotesque and unusual characters. Ever so briefly encountered —but memorable all the same— is the lovable Fisto of Fallout New Vegas. Fully Integrated Security Technotronic Officer (or Fisto for short) is reprogrammed by the Courier on behalf of a client with a particular mechanical kink.
The Courier may choose to 'test' Fisto before delivery to his client, be they man or woman. Although technically asexual, many video game girlfriends can't hold a candle to the lovemaking provided by Fisto. As the screen goes to black, a sensual pneumatic drill noise is heard, and moments later the bawdy tones of pillow talk — "Numbness will subside in several minutes."
4 Dahlia Hawthorne — Ace Attorney Series
Dahlia Hawthorne is the quintessential innocent seeming girlfriend with a sinister agenda. A recurring character in the Ace Attorney series, Dahlia is the ex-girlfriend of hero lawyer Phoenix Wright. On the exterior she appears naive and lovely. However, she is really an ice-cold killer who will stop at nothing to cover her tracks.
Eventually, Dahlia's crimes do catch up with her, and she is sentenced to death by hanging. But then, in a most convoluted turn of events, she is resurrected by a cunning, katana wielding prosecutor (cf. Japanese plotlines) and retakes the stand as an evil spirit. Ultimately she is banished from the mortal realm and Phoenix wins the case, saving the day, and hopefully learning a lesson in ending toxic relationships.
3 Princess Elise — Sonic '06
In what can only be described as a due service for an exponentially perverse fanbase, the addition of Princess Elise to the Sonic universe was a delight to fans of human/hedgehog intimacy everywhere. There is little explanation required here to justify her place on "15 Most Bizarre And Disturbing Girlfriends In Games." Elise a human woman, who by no coincidence is a stereotypical Final Fantasy-esque anime girl, romantically involved with a blue, cartoon hedgehog.
Why any developer thought it was feasible to pull off a chemistry between these two characters is a mystery. This unlikely pairing, and the infamously cringe-inducing kiss scene between them, are an icon in disturbing video game relationships. Do not seek deviantart.com interpretations of this couple on a full stomach.
2 Candy Kong — Donkey Kong Series
To preface this entry, it needs to be said this is definitely another one you don't want to look up on deviantart.com. This over-sexualization of DK's love interest is a prime example of wedged-in marketing department recommendations gone wrong. The needlessly provocative Candy Kong stands out like a sore thumb compared to the rest of her... family? DK's scantily clad companion is usually implied to be his girlfriend but confusingly shares the same name as all the other Kong siblings and cousins.
From the constitution of her character one would hardly expect she is Donkey Kong's wife, however, there must be no other explanation in lieu of some sick, incestuous monkey affair. Disturbing indeed. Candy Kong is about as necessary to the Donkey Kong franchise as Lola Bunny is to Space Jam.
1 Ms. Pacman — Pacman Series
"What's so disturbing about Ms. Pacman?" I hear you ask. Have you considered what Ms. Pacman, of the classic Ms. Pacman arcade game, truly is? She has no distinct identity herself, but is only a haphazard copy of the original Pacman with some unconvincing hair and makeup applied. Perhaps the unspoken truth is that Pacman, in his loneliness, has taken to dressing in drag to garner attention from the ever-coquet ghosts — as is portrayed in some very questionable artwork on the original Ms. Pacman machines (seriously, Google it).
Ms. Pacman: at the most, a bizarre reimagining of an icon. And at the very least, is truly the laziest addition of a girlfriend in any video game franchise, ever.