Sometimes, we play games that have characters we fall in love with. Their personalities, their play styles, their story. There’s a lot to love.
But, other times, games give us something else to fall in love with. An object. A simple thing involved with the story that somehow manages to find its way into our heart to become more important than anything else.
This Valentine’s Day, those of us without a significant other can instead take solace in these 5 special game objects we know would never leave or betray us.
The Weighted Companion Cube – Portal
This one’s a given. How can anyone ever make a list containing objects we’ve fallen in love with and not mention the Companion Cube? The essential item all of us love? No other game has given us an item that has stood the test of time like this wholesome friend. Though introduced to us as a simple means to solve a puzzle, this beautiful, loving little cube became so much more.
Sure, it doesn’t talk. It doesn’t do anything. It’s just literally a cube with a heart on it. It’s not even a robot, or part robot, like anything else in the Aperture Science ‘Enrichment Center’.
We carry it with us throughout the level, appreciating its cube-ish beauty, enjoying its beautiful heart and warming presence, reassured that this cube will not stab us and is the only thing in this game that probably doesn’t want to kill us. And then, we’re forced to murder it. Sacrifice our one true love to progress and save ourselves.
The Weighted Companion Cube would have wanted it this way.
Cardboard Box – Metal Gear Solid series
The Metal Gear series is one that doesn’t take itself seriously. And, at the same time, absolutely takes itself seriously and deals with some pretty intense subject matter. International wars, the place of mercenaries in the world, the rapid and concerning advance of weapons and the ethics behind cloning and the impact that can have on the lives of the clones themselves.
But, at the heart of the series is the humble cardboard box. The one object that makes hardened men of war like Solid Snake and Big Boss feel truly at peace. Which is handy because they’re apparently a surplus item on the battlefield. Of course, traditionally used to transport weapons/rations/what have you. And, sometimes, used to transport guys who got inside one and want a quick travel option.
Whether it’s being sneaky, an easy way to get around, or just to hang out in and appreciate the serenity one can have inside the cardboard box, this is an item that not only carries legendary mercenaries, but also my heart.
Keyblade – Kingdom Hearts series
From the first moment the Keyblade is put in the hands of a young Sora and, in turn, the player, we know a great adventure and an even greater destiny is laid out in front of us. Full of… Hearts and darkness and whatever’s going on and also Goofy and Donald Duck are there, I guess?
Listen. I’ve played every single one of these things and I still don’t entirely get it, but what I do know is I love the Keyblade. There’s a Keyblade for everyone, whether it’s from your favourite Disney movie or a reference to your favourite Final Fantasy game. It’s a, pardon the pun, key part of the plot in unlocking worlds, hearts and particularly tricky treasure chests.
It makes any time Sora loses access to it for whatever reason all the more heart wrenching, and makes the player feel even more alone. No, it’s not a weird excuse for a sword! It’s really cool! Listen, I know some of them look ridiculous but trust me. They’re awesome.
The L Block – Tetris
There are many blocks in the traditional game of Tetris. The square block. The I block. The J block. But one block stands above the rest. The L block, a champion among blocks, always there to save the day, able to fit into all kinds of situations. But, you might think the square or I block might be better suited for this. Those blocks are simple. Those blocks would leave you at the altar because they found a place where they can fit better. They fit anywhere.
But the L block? The L block requires a little more finesse. A little more careful time spent thinking about how it fits into the bigger picture. It can make the perfect combo or it can create chaos in your game that would be hard to recover from. It rewards the careful thinkers and punishes the careless.
The L block represents true love, in my mind.
Rumu – Rumu
We, that is, humanity as a species, is very, very good at assigning personalities to objects. We can anthropomorphize them in a way other animals could never imagine.
As technology advances, we have applied this to robot vacuums. They’re adorable! They’re like tiny little cleaning puppies that get scared of running into walls or falling down stairs. How could you not love them! They try so hard!
Australian game studio Robot House realized this and used the concept to make an entire game about possibly the worlds cutest robot vacuum cleaner, Rumu.
Stuck alone in a house, Rumu is left alone to investigate the mystery of where all the people went, and solve some puzzles in the process. Not only is Rumu adorable and good at cleaning, but solving puzzles, too?
I wish I had a robot vacuum that could do that, but I’m not mad at them because they can’t, they’re just trying their best.