A Post Dedicated to my Bioware Boyfriends

January 25, 2010

While this isn’t exactly a MMO-related post, I’ll never turn down a chance to write about one of my favorite gaming companies, Bioware. Not only are they the makers of Mass Effect 2 (which launches tomorrow so expect to see many posts about the adventures of my FemShepard in the near future), they are also the developers behind the highly anticipated MMORPG Star Wars: The Old Republic.

Through their story-driven RPGs, Bioware has brought us some of the most memorable characters in gaming…including our favorite in-game love interests. True to tradition, it is said that SW:TOR will have romanceable companions, and Mass Effect 2 also has a number of characters confirmed as romance options, available for both male and female Shepards. Being a huge fan of Bioware romance arcs, you can bet your ass I’ll be macking on at least one person aboard the SSV Normandy.

So on this eve of the Mass Effect 2 release, without further ado I present to you this post in honor of my top 3 Bioware boyfriends (Warning: May contain spoilers).

3. Kaidan Alenko – Mass Effect

I had looked forward to Staff Lieutenant Kaidan Alenko’s romance arc from the very first moment I encountered him aboard the Normandy…until I actually had a conversation with him. This man clearly has a lot of baggage but not a whole lot of personality. Still, while I may rag on Kaidan a lot, he does have many redeeming qualities that make him quite endearing, provided you can get past his whole angsty biotics-experimentation-ruined-my-life shtick. Consider how the man has had enough traumatic experiences in his life to make him a murderous psychopath three times over, but instead, his experiences have actually taught him open-mindedness and self-restraint. He is also extremely loyal to those he cares about, both as a soldier and as a lover, and a part of me is already dying a little inside when I think about how I’ll cheat on him in the sequel…well, no, not really.

2. Carth Onasi – Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

It seems Bioware has a knack for writing angsty men, and KOTOR’s Carth Onasi is no exception. In many ways, Carth’s whiny-ness is on par with that of Kaidan’s (and sometimes even surpasses it), but at least the former has some semblance of a personality. In fact, there are many times in game where Carth can be just downright petulant and moody. One moment he’s flirting with me after we survive a crash landing on Taris (five minutes into the game, I might add!) and the next thing I know he’s guilt tripping me with his crankiness and trust issues. While certainly not in-game-boyfriend-of-the-year material, getting on his good side required a lot more than simply finessing the conversations (namely patience), which made his eventual declaration of love to my character all the more satisfying.

1. Alistair – Dragon Age: Origins

WARNING! Incoming swooning fangirl rant alert: OMG I *heart* Alistair!!! The characters of DA:O were by far some of the best written I have ever seen from any game developer, and Alistair is easily the most appealing in-game boyfriend out of any of the previous options. He’s strong, sensitive, funny, committed…and royalty, for God’s sake. While he can have his annoying emo moments (he is a Bioware man, after all), Alistair is in many ways the stereotypical Mr. Right, straight out of your latest dungeons-and-dragons-themed issue of Cosmo, complete with the fluffy-puppy eyes. Not that there’s anything wrong with that; it’s a fantasy RPG after all, so why can’t we dreamers dream? Of course, the cherry on top was my fortuitous choice of a human noble origin for my warrior, as it turned out to be the only way to rule Ferelden at his side (and he should be ashamed that his queen can out-tank his ass any day).

Honorable Mentions:

Zevran Arainai – Dragon Age: Origins

I’ll admit, while I loved Zevran for his wit and candor, as an in-game love interest he was unfortunately easier to make than a peanut butter sandwich. I exchanged many vicious insults with him on another playthrough of DA:O as a Dalish Elf, but that didn’t stop him from jumping my bones at the drop of a hat. While the whole situation allowed for many instances of hilarity, it became difficult for me to take “romancing” Zevran seriously, even after a sensitive side to him started to emerge later on in the relationship.

Sky – Jade Empire

Sky would have been an excellent romance if I had been able to get into the story of Jade Empire. I felt that the game, while decent, was too short and lacked some of the depth you saw in other Bioware titles. As a result, my experiences with the game haven’t been too memorable, and the details of the romance arc with Sky remain somewhat fuzzy in my mind.



    I played a female character, romanced Kaidan a bit, but then left him behind on Virmire. The moment he said “You made the right choice, Commander,” I knew I actually hadn’t.

    But I didn’t think Ashley, the twit, could guard the nuc by herself. So his last line did make me feel a little better.

    • Haha, “Ashley the twit”…I didn’t like her character at all. Maybe it was the way I played, but it always seemed like she was challenging my decisions or second-guessing me. Even if I hadn’t been romancing Kaidan I think I would have left her behind.

      • And there’s the rub! Even though I didn’t finish the romance arc with Kaidan, I couldn’t separate my decision making process with how I liked him a little more than Ashley (I didn’t necessarily hate Ashely, but…)

        So maybe Kaidan died because I actually liked him more. Maybe I overreacted, to prove that I could still make sound, emotionally-detached arguments.

        Speaking of relationships and such: in KOTORII, did you ever have the crazy discussions with your party members about what love was? HK-47’s response was the best.

    • What does it say about me that I left someone to die because she didn’t agree with me? I’m a horrible person, aren’t I? Hahaha 😛

      And arrg, I never did get to play KOTOR II…I was a latecomer to KOTOR and as such, when I did want to play KOTOR II, it wouldn’t run with Windows Vista. I was so sad 😦

      • I justified letting Ashley die because I was a Vanguard and I thought Ashley was way more useful as a soldier/tank than Kaidan (I had been custom leveling her up to that point, anyways). I’m pretty sure it wasn’t a totally objective decision, though, lol.

        In regards to KOTOR II – I thought the story in KOTOR 1 was way better. KOTOR II felt a little rushed in the second half, and I read that the game was rushed in development to completion. So hopefully that helps you feel better about missing out on KOTOR II. Not because KOTOR II was bad, but I thought KOTOR 1 was much more original and had that “wow” factor.

      • In the first Mass Effect, my favorite companions to take with me on missions were Wrex and Garrus. Together with me as a Sentinel, we made the most balanced team 😀

        And with regards to KOTOR II, I did hear that it was a bit rushed (but it was made by Obsidian Entertainment, I believe). I still hear great things about it though, so it’s just a shame that I couldn’t play it on my computer 😦

      • Dude, I think everyone’s favorite team was Wrex + Garrus.

        Also: seriously disappointed that Joker wasn’t romancable.

  2. Did you know that the voice actor for Kaidan is actually… the same one who did Carth Onasi? I’m not kidding! http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0768620/

    *Mass Effect 1 spoiler*
    Anyhoo, maybe you can alleviate your guilt by going back to Mass Effect 1 to Virmire and getting him killed and finishing the playthrough so you can use that for ME2. Till death do us part and all of that. Although, perhaps that should make you feel more guilty rather than less, lol.

    • Hahaha, yes I actually knew that! I was a relatively latecomer to KOTOR so I actually played it very soon after I first played Mass Effect.

      There were times when it felt like I was romancing the same person…I was wondering why that was until I figured out it was the voice and imdb’ed it to confirm lol. He was definitely better in KOTOR 😀

  3. aw…Carth was my favorite! it was fun to just yell back at the screen whenever he started getting angsty (yelling at screens is one of my favorite pass times), i liked Alistair, but it was too much when he revealed that he had never…well you know. i had to stop playing because i had a full on giggle attack. i have to disagree with you on Zevran though, he turned on me both times i played through the game.

    • I totally get what you’re saying about Carth. Every time it felt like I was making some headway, he’d turn around and start biting my head off again.

      And I did like Zevran a lot, and there were a lot of sweet moments (like when he helped me win that game against the cheating lady at the bar) but it’s just that I loved Alistair that much more. and yes, including the fact he has never…licked a lamppost 😉

  4. Just came across this post and I agree mostly! Carth is brilliant and having played KotOR countless times I’ve gotten too used to the voice actor that I couldn’t not love Kaiden!

    Alistair’s voice was brilliant, too and I just loved the things he came out with!

    MASS EFFECT 2 possible spoiler

    Seeing Kaiden again in ME2 was amazing, however, Garrus is definitely my favourite character in the game now! Something I never thought possible!

    • Yep, Garrus is a sweetheart…never thought I’d like romancing an alien so much, but I’m thoroughly enjoying my time with Mass Effect 2 so far!

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