Does black romance and love exist in video games? As a matter of fact, the more important question is do black couples even exist in games at all? The answer to those two questions are yes, but being able to find them is like looking for a needle in a haystack.
Voguish as it may be to treat romance in video games like some extraordinary unexplored terrain, the truth of the matter is, romance, love and lovey dobby couples have been a fundamental backbone to video game stories for decades. Some pairings are soppy, some are woeful, while others take a while to blossom.
When most people think of video games, romance doesn't often spring to mind. Nevertheless, games can produce relationships just as omnipotent as any other art form can. Romances like Nathan Drake and Elena, Tifa and Cloud or Link and Zelda are prime examples that games and romance intertwine perfectly together.
Now you're probably wondering to yourself, where's the black versions to these smitten virtual couples we see in video games? Yeah they exist but not on the same level as say Tidus and Yuna's kinship. The problem is that in order for there to be proper black couples, there has to be more prominent black characters.
Let's face it, black video game characters are usually regulated to sidekicks or given minimal roles with hardly any back story, the reason? It's commonly acceptable that a part of the reason why this occurs is because there isn't enough black people making video games. That's a story for another time though, but the point stills stand.
What do most popular black protagonists like Sheva, Sazh and Lee Everett have in common with each other beside their race and skin color? They're all single and were never given a potential partner to fall in love with on-screen. Characters of color are rarely seen with a love interest and when they are in a romantic pairing, it's usually going to be interracial .
Funnily despite this fact, there's still been appearances of black couples in games. Although quite rare, it has happened on several occasions. The most memorable instance of black romance in gaming was Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas in 2004, the main character Carl Johnson had the chance to date several women, two of them were black.
The first girl was Denise Robinson, an alleged prostitute. She first encounters CJ during the mission Burning Desire, where Carl, on the command of Officer Tenpenny sets light to a set of buildings belonging to Vagos gang members. Denise, who is trapped inside one of the houses cries for help and is saved by CJ. They then begin to see each other.
Denise isn't afraid to get her hands dirty and is the definition of a 'ride or die chick', this wasn't the first on-screen black pairing in gaming but the chemistry between the two felt so right, it had to be mentioned first. Even though Carl could date other women after Denise, she felt like his one true love in the game.
From dancing with Denise in nightclubs, taking her out to dinner or cruising around the neighbourhood and popping ballas, the two really felt like a match made in heaven. Rockstar did a phenomenal job with Denise and CJ in the beginning but it's really a shame she didn't play a more prominent role in his life, towards the end of the game.
It wouldn't be until nine years later that Grand Theft Auto series would see another black romance, only it wasn't the same. In Grand Theft Auto V there was Franklin Clinton, one of the three main protagonists in GTA 5. In the game he had an ex called Tanisha Johnson, a woman who he still harboured feelings for.
Tanisha and Franklin's love story was a tragic one that could have been so much more then it was, had Rockstar invested more time into Franklin's story. Because of Franklin's mobster lifestyle and the loss of her brother, who was also gang banging, Franklin and Tanisha parted ways before the events of Grand Theft Auto V.
During the game Franklin keeps in contact with Tanisha by cell phone and email, attempting to get back with her, but she snubs him each time. Earlier on in the game she drops by his home to explain her need for a more stabilized relationship. Near the end of the story she visits Franklin's new apartment to tell him she's getting married to a doctor.
Franklin and Tanisha's dysfunctional relationship isn't the best example of a black couple as it's shrouded in negativity, but Rockstar could have really capitalized on Franklin's story by making them get back together by the end of the game, a missed opportunity that would have given Franklin more to chew on other than being a lonely single bachelor.
Prior to Grand Theft Auto San Andreas, in the early 2000s Def Jam was also another game which had black courtship. The game's eye candy was a girl named angel who was the protagonist's ex girlfriend. Def Jam Vendetta gave you the choice of four protagonists to choose from, one of those was a black biker called Proof.
Proof's role is identical to the other three playable characters in story mode. D-Mob, the game's antagonist and Mafia boss kicked him out of town some time ago, consequently which meant he lost the respect of his peers and more importantly his lover Angel. With the protagonist out the picture, D-Mob and Angel hooked up.
Over the course of Vendetta, the protagonist and Angel patch things up and after he defeats D-Mob she gets back with him. Although Angel and D-Mob's relationship was founded on materialism and lust, they looked and moved like a Hollywood power couple. This was the first time a game had featured two black characters together as an item.
In 1997 Tekken featured it's first Capoeira fighter in the series, Eddy Gordo, but it would not be too long until a female counterpart was introduced to take his spot, which happened in Tekken 4. Now we know what you're thinking, Eddy Gordo and Christie Monteiro aren't a couple, they don't get down like that right?
Well you could've fooled us. Christie's grandfather was a legendary capoeira practitioner who taught Eddy the Brazilian martial art while they were in prison together. After his release, his master requests that he find and teach his granddaughter capoeira, which Eddy does in a span of two years.
Christie and Eddy are rarely seen apart and when they are together, Christie is usually very affectionate towards him. With them spending so much time together this would eventually cause a bond so close that fans have even begun to speculate that the two are secretly dating, an opinion that doesn't sound so crazy when you watch Christie's endings.
Clementine's parents Ed and Diana in the Telltale Games' The Walking Dead is another representation of black love. Not much is known about them except that they were isolated from their daughter when the zombie outbreak took place. Diana worked as a doctor and sooner or later ended up getting married to her husband Ed.
Jax personal affairs has always been shrouded in mystery, that was until Mortal Kombat X. Many fans always believed there was something going on between Sonya Blade and Jax in the earlier Mortal Kombat games, but this was thrown out the window when Jax's daughter was introduced to the series in 2015.
The cybernectically-enhanced soldier is in fact happily married to Vera Briggs who he also impregnated. Vera is a good friend of Jax's old Special Forces partner Sonya and knows about her spouse's involvement in the protection of Earthrealm. Though not seen in the game, Vera is referenced during Jax and Sonya's conversation.
It's never expanded on how they first met but Jax and Vera appear to have been together for a very long time when you take into account how old their daughter Jacqui is in Mortal Kombat X. Vera and Jax are one of the the more better examples of black matrimony in video games, although Vera's presence is more so in the Mortal Kombat X comic book.
Assassin Creed IV's Freedom Cry was the first game in the series to feature a playable black male Assassin. It followed Adéwalé, a former Trinidadian slave who became a pirate and would later join the Assassin order. During the story he would encounter Bastienne, a madam of the La Dame en Rose brothel and supporter of the Maroon rebellion.
Bastienne was able to convince the assassin to assist in the growing resistance and uprising against the the oppressive French governor of Port-au-Prince. Bastiennne and Adéwalé didn't always see eye to eye and this caused friction between them, but over the following years they eventually grew close to one another.
At one point after the French Governor's passing in 1737, Adéwalé and Bastiennne made passionate love, leading to the birth of their first and only child, Babatudede. Darkskin couples are normally quite a rarity in popular media but Freedom Cry managed to pull it off, giving us something magical to remember.
Black Panther and Storm's romance is one of the most popular black romances in recent memory. Their marriage only lasted for for six years, before their untimely divorce but in that time, they were the ultimate black superhero power couple in comics. This embrace also managed to make it's transition to video games on two occasions.
Although unfortunately absent from Marvel vs Capcom 3's playable cast, Black Panther appeared in Storm's ending. Storm's love and dedication to her warrior king was expressed with great emphasis and showed a rare instance in video games of strong black matrimony. In Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2, the two also share a special conversation.
Aurion: Legacy of the Kori-Odan is the most recent game to feature a powerful black couple. The game follows Enzo Kori-Odan, a prince of a fictional kingdom in Africa.
At the beginning of the game he was scheduled to marry his lifelong partner Ernie Evou and be crowned the new king, but his brother in law planned to kill and overthrow him.
This results in a charming journey, that showcases the story of a black couple who are fully committed to each other and will not give up even when faced with adversity and misfortune. As they travel around the six different continents in the game, they have to unleash Enzo’s war-ridden legacy in order to win back his rightful throne.
When done right, this is the result. There's never been an RPG about African mythology but when it happens and is created by black game developers this is the outcome, Ernie and Enzo's pairing is the quintessential,untouchable Black couple done right and the most successful representation of black love in games.
So there we have it, these are all the black couples we could find in video games, there were about at least nine right? The representation of black couples has decreased in other mediums like television, movies and comics, but it still exists and hopefully will increase. Who are your favorite black couples in video games, did we miss anyone?