Married bliss: video game weddings

My other-half and I surprised our friends and family by getting married last January. It was something we’d decided to do only two months beforehand and we kept our plan a secret for as long as possible, so it ended up being a nice New Year surprise for everyone.

We’re still playing video games together a year on and there’s nobody else I’d rather have as my player two. Anyone who has watched Pete and I on Twitch together will have seen how we tease each other, but it’s all done in fun and he still makes me laugh every day. He listens when I need to talk, keeps me grounded and buys me chocolate too – what more could you want in a husband? Hopefully there’ll be many more anniversaries to come and to celebrate our first, here are some of the best weddings in gaming.

King’s Quest VI: Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow: Alexander and Cassima

King's Quest, King's Quest VI, King's Quest 6, video game, wedding, Alexander, CassimaI have a feeling that the royal wedding between the beautiful princess Cassima and prince Alexander split the inhabitants of the lands of the Green Isles into two camps. There would have been those who were believers in love at first sight, thinking the couple couldn’t wait to spend the rest of their lives together; while others would say they moved far too fast. Meeting for the first time, quickly falling in love and then getting married all in the course of one four-hour game? Slow down, kids!

Super Paper Mario: Bowser and Peach

Super Paper Mario, wedding, Bowser, PeachAlthough not the most successful or even mutually-agreeable wedding, that of Peach and Bowser was the first time the King of the Koopas did something a little more imaginative than simply kidnapping the princess. Sure, he kind of forced her into it at the start of Super Paper Mario but it meant we got to see just how good he looked in his tuxedo. Fortunately for both of them, the marriage doesn’t hold together and they don’t get to the point of having kids – because I’m not sure how that would have worked out.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: you and whoever you choose

The Elder Scrolls, The Elder Scrolls V, Skyrim, weddingSkyrim proves the saying about there being ‘plenty of fish in the sea’ to be true because you can wed almost anyone in this game. Don’t expect a romantic ceremony however because it’s never anything other than slightly awkward. Marry your lizard-partner while your adopted children moan about being hungry and wanting to play hide-and-seek, and your Housecarl glares at you with all their might. Then never speak to your spouse again because they’re based in Markath and you’ve completed all the quests there. Married bliss!

The Secret of Monkey Island: LeChuck and Elaine

The Secret of Monkey Island, Special Edition, video game, wedding, pirates, Guybrush, LeChuck, Elaine, monkies, churchLeChuck is no villain: he’s simply misunderstood and all his actions were done for love. He ‘dropped dead’ when Elaine told him too; and his feelings for the governor were strong enough to bring him back from beyond the grave and take the form of a ghost, because he couldn’t bear to be parted from her even in death. It’s just unfortunate that Guybrush spoiled his one chance at happiness when he interrupted their wedding – and then went on to destroy him with root-beer.

To The Moon: Johnny and River

To The Moon, video game, dancing, sky, lighthouse, starsThe relationship between Johnny and River in To The Moon has to be one of the most bittersweet in gaming. Throughout the game, their memories of both joy and sadness are shared and almost all of them are entirely ordinary; but it’s the ‘realness’ of this partnership which makes it all so touching. The scene shortly after Johnny and River’s wedding where they dance in her beloved lighthouse under the stars is beautiful and brings a tear to my eye every single time.

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End: Nathan and Elena

Uncharted, Uncharted 4, A Thief's End, video game, wedding, photographs, Nathan, Drake, ElenaAlthough the wedding may only be seen in photographs during the game, the relationship between Nate and Elena is perhaps one of the best depictions of marriage in video games. It’s obvious this adventurous pair love each other deeply but their life together isn’t without issues. They make it work in the end thanks to the power of communication – but to be honest, I’m not sure how Elena puts up with him, his murderous ways or his annoyingly-sarcastic quips. Get out of there as soon as you can, girl!

Happy first anniversary to my other-half – I’m afraid to say you’re stuck with me now. At least you’ll always have someone to play video games with and tease on Twitch.   ❤

Editorial: January 2019

Welcome to January’s new-look editorial post, a monthly progress report which rounds-up all the happenings here at Later Levels along with the games we’ve been playing. This New Year has been an eventful one and we have quite a lot to chat about – so let’s get stuck in.

Statistics:

Followers:

  • WordPress: 896
  • Twitter: 427
  • Facebook: 55
  • Instagram: 136
  • Twitch: 56
  • Posts:

  • Published: 20 posts
  • Most viewed: Triple-A: down or up?
  • Most liked: Leaning on your backlog
  • Most commented on: Triple-A: down or up?
  • My favourite: Ellie, Overwatch and the need to stick together
  • Games played:

  • Guard Duty (PC – preview here)
  • The Elder Scrolls Online (PS4)
  • The Shapeshifting Detective (PC)
  • Vane (PS4 – review here)
  • Blogger highlights:

  • Lightning-cognition: Good GOTY! by AmbiGaming
  • Create Your Own Conspiracy Theory by Alex from McWritestuff
  • The Rise, Fall and Rise of the Adventure Game by Rendermonkee
  • Media Hangovers: How to Overcome by The Hannie Corner
  • Resident Evil 2: Rabbit Hole Involving Windows by Hundstrasse
  • Blog life:

    UK Blog Awards, #UKBA19, gaming, finalist, badge

    After November’s bombshell, there was another F-bomb moment when an email from Lauren at the UK Blog Awards popped up in my inbox. Not only had Later Levels been nominated for the 2019 event, the site had now made it through to the finals – how the flipping-hell did that happen? The other bloggers in the gaming category are seriously talented individuals so it’s an honour to even be named in the same group as them. I’m very thankful to the anonymous person who thought Later Levels was good enough for a nomination – you’re far too kind.

    That’s not the only special thing that happened in January however, for my blogging-other-half Ben made his glorious return! He’s been absent for a year or so now due to work and family commitments but the Later Levels door has always been left open for him. He kicked off with a great post about his love for God of War’s Leviathan Axe, then moved on to the brilliantly-bonkers Mortal Kombat 11 – and I wouldn’t be surprised if you soon see some posts from him in the new Reviews and previews category.

    Real life:

    wedding, Kim, Pete, Ethan

    Some big news: Pete and I got married in early January. It was something we’d decided to do only two months ago and we wanted to keep it a secret for as long as possible so it could be a quiet, fuss-free event. We wed at one of our favourite restaurants in a very small ceremony (complete with music from video games); had a lovely lunch with far too much bubbly afterwards; then went back to work the next day (it was about as low-key as you can get). We’re now in the process of surprising the rest of our family and friends with the news, which is proving to be interesting.

    In other news, last week I attended a Mental Health First-Aid course and this is something I have Pix1001 from Shoot the Rookie and Ian from Adventure Rules to thank for. They made me aware of this training during a discussion in the comments of a post about mental health and I knew I had to sign up. The timing is incredibly appropriate as the next Time to Talk Day is taking place on 07 February 2019, and I’ll be doing my bit to raise awareness and reach out to anyone out there who may need a friend. You can find out more by visiting the Time To Change website.

    Gaming life:

    Pete, Zelda, cat, PC parts, building

    This month we said goodbye to my old PC, as she finally called it quits after several years of accompanying me through digital adventures. My husband (wow, that’s weird) wasn’t too upset by this however because it meant he could indulge in what he calls ‘techno-joy’ and arrange a new machine ready for GameBlast19 next month. Thank you to everyone who helped finalise the schedule for our 24-hour stream by voting on the games you’d like to see us play – full details are now available on the Later Levels Twitch channel. Let the countdown begin!

    I’ve been playing so much ESO over the past month and there’s a post about that coming next week, but I also had the chance to check out a couple of new games. These were at opposite ends of the enjoyment scale: Guard Duty entertained me immensely while Vane unfortunately fell flat. In February I want to tackle The Mystery of Woolley Mountain demo, a title which keeps popping up for me on various recommendations, along with J.U.L.I.A.: Among the Stars now that the developer has very kindly sent me a bug fix.

    Coming up:

    Events:

  • 01-25 February: Question of the Month
  • 07 February: Time to Talk Day
  • 23-24 February: GameBlast19
  • 26 February: The Normal Happenings Blog Awards
  • Take a look at the Side-quests page for more
  • New posts:

  • Is it really over for the adventure genre?
  • Love Your Backlog Week with Livid Lightning
  • Something special for Valentine’s Day
  • Lessons learnt from this year’s GameBlast19 stream
  • Heaven’s Vault preview (hopefully)
  • And now over to you guys: what have you been up to lately, and what have you got planned for the coming month? Is there anything the community can help with or get involved in? Let everybody know in the comments below so we can show our support. Thanks for reading!

    Sam & Max hit the wedding (a QotM answer)

    MJuly’s Question of the Month is brought to you by The Gaming Diaries: owner of the awesome Overheard in a Game Shop series and one of the loveliest bloggers in the WordPress community. To find out more about her and her site, as well as how you can get involved, take a look at this post.

    Aah, wedding season. The time of year when soon-to-be-brides turn into raging bridezillas because the flowers are the wrong colour or they smudged their lipstick. Future grooms either cower in fear or find any opportunity to ditch their chores and slink off to the pub. Event venues double their prices because the word ‘marriage’ is added to their brochure. And guests are expected to shell out for presents, new outfits, travel and hotel stays for a day they’d rather be using to play video games.

    I’ve laid it on thick with that opening paragraph but you get the idea. Weddings can be a beautiful thing and a joyous day to celebrate love and happiness; or they can be more about the event, the dress and the attention than spending the rest of your life with that one special person. They can also be a pain in the butt to attend. I doubt I’m the only person who’s ever got a numb bum from sitting a wooden bench while listening to your stomach grumble and wishing you’d brought a Mars bar.

    That’s why I’d choose Max of the Freelance Police to be my plus-one. My reasons could sound selfish… but just think how much fun the day would turn out to be.

    Sam & Max Hit the Road, dog, bunny, wedding, bride, groom

    The floppy disk version of Sam & Max Hit the Road had copy protection that consisted of dressing either character in a particular set of clothes. One of these was a bridal outfit for Max so he’s aware of just how pretty he’d look in a wedding dress on such a big day. You’d therefore be likely to find him in the pews dressed in white, while the bride is frantically screaming about her stolen dress and running for him in her dressing-robe and curlers (cue the Yakety Sax theme).

    Next, we have the vows. Max loses focus during lengthy exposition due to his short attention span so he’d be snoring from the back of the room while the other guests giggled behind their hands. I’m sure he’d wake up immediately when the words ‘if any person present knows of any lawful impediment to this marriage, they should declare it now’ were uttered. And then he’d find a hundred hilarious reasons the officiant would need to work through before saying ‘you may now kiss the bride’ – and it would be Max who planted a huge smacker on her lips.

    Our hyperkinetic-rabbity-thing of a friend possesses a sharp mind and observational nature, so who better to sit next to during the wedding breakfast? He’d be able to point out all sorts of gossip such as who is clearly having an affair with who and which bridesmaid the best man has his eye on, and he wouldn’t be afraid to let everyone else in the room know either. Cue arguments between partners and food fights; much more fun than listening to boring after-dinner speeches.

    So where would Sam be while Max and I were having all this fun? I’d need to enlist his help before the event in helping me choose the perfect outfit, and with his taste in 1950s suits and fedoras he’d hopefully be able to sort me out with a slinky little evening gown. That doesn’t mean he’d miss out on the wedding however; he showed he can hold a tune (somewhat) in Sam & Max Save the World so I’d expect to see him up on the stage providing the evening entertainment.

    So that’s how the big day would end. The bride glaring at Max angrily across the room while wearing a ripped wedding dress smothered in rabbit fur. The groom completely drunk just to get through it all. The best man and his partner arguing in the corner after his affair with the bridesmaid was revealed, covered in the remains of lunch. And Sam crooning out a song with the line ‘all the girlies hear me and they swo-on’, while Max and I are killing it with our moves on the dance-floor.

    What a way to celebrate love.