“Wrong Hole, Darling” – Love Story Misses Countdown #1

Alright ladies and gents, here it is: Riddlethos.com’s #1 worst video game romance OF ALL TIME. The moment you’ve all, assuredly, been waiting for. The moment of truth. The moment of… of… ah… meh, I’m done trying to butter this up. Just read the article.

Pretty... and pink...

Pretty... and pink...

#1 Worst Video Game Romance: Squall and Rinoa

Yet another representative from my beloved Final Fantasy series makes the dubious list today. That’s a bit of a sad statement, yet both spots are more than deserved… especially in the case of Mr. Leonhart and his little squeeze.

If you’ve been following my internet travails for any length of time, you likely know that I adore Final Fantasy VIII. I recognize that a lot (and I mean a lot) of people don’t share my opinion of the game; and to be honest, I can understand a lot of the complaints that often arise. But strangely enough, a lot of the problems others have just aren’t problems to me. I don’t mind the junction system, for one thing; in fact, I always rather enjoyed the hours upon hours I spent fooling around with it. I think the game’s storyline is incredibly enjoyable, in spite of some rather gigantic plot holes that, admittedly, are a little hard to forgive. I love most (key word: most) of the game’s main characters, including the protagonist Squall, who’s long been a popular punching bag for FFVIII haters.

Regardless of all the good points the game has, the romantic subplot – the supposed centerpiece of the game – is a trainwreck. While it has occasional moments of heartfelt sincerity, the utter ridiculousness of it all overshadows anything good about it. What it boils down to is this: Rinoa, Squall’s love interest, is the worst character in the game. She’s flat, ditzy, and immature. She’s meant to be the polar opposite of Squall’s cold, introverted persona, and that’s fine; the difference is, while Squall actually has reason to act the way he does, Lord only knows why Rinoa consistently acts like a horny, airheaded high school girl.

Almost Believable at This Point

Almost Believable at This Point

For the first half of the game, the supposed “love story” can be summed up in a single sentence: Rinoa repeatedly throws herself at Squall, who repeatedly throws her ass to the proverbial curb like she’s a bad habit. Somehow, though, Rinoa only finds his utter coldness attractive, and refuses to give up. Then, after a battle with an evil sorceress, Rinoa falls into a coma.

Somehow, out of nowhere, this makes Squall realize that he does, in fact, have feelings for Rinoa. Where did they come from? Who knows. Perhaps he’s a necrophiliac. Or maybe he just kept his true feelings buried REAL DEEP. Or maybe, just maybe, Final Fantasy VIII is an example of a poorly written romantic buildup.

Yeah, I’m gonna go with that. I mean seriously, it would be fine if Squall showed some concern at her unconcious state, but his reaction was WELL over the top. I could say more, but I think I’ll let my lackey partner Ethos take it from here.

Bio pics 004Ugh. Blah. Also: barf. I know a lot of the “Misses” I write have started out that way, but this one deserves it most. The fact that I hate it is perhaps the biggest testament against this shitty relationship. Why is that? Well if you read the post about Zidane and Dagger, you have an idea: I am a complete and utter sap. I love love. I practically cried the first time I played a game called Flower. FLOWER! It is quite literally a game in which you float flower petals around fields. I’m a fruitcake sap who gravitates to love stories with the same tremendous force that Riddles gravitates to poor life decisions. And I think the Squall and Rinoa love story is such an outright GUFFAW in the face of all Final Fantasy fans, of all fans of love stories, and of all fans of not being treated like a ham sandwich. Because maybe a ham sandwich could believe that what Squall and Rinoa had was love. MAYBE.


Unlike my darling and dumb minion partner, Riddles, I am rather endeared to Rinoa and think that Squall is a complete tart. But despite that disagreement, he was entirely right to imply that there is no chemistry, and no reason that one should be attracted to the other. Not in the way their interactions played out. Because yes, like mentioned, opposites can attract and even make each other better, but there is no progression, no believable human traits that would lead to love, and definitely no sparks. Even as a horny teenaged boy in high school playing this game for the first time didn’t buy the couple. In fact, I was so disturbed by one scene that I instantly had a vision of a short movie to mock it. I made it the next day.

So without further ado, a condensed and far more entertaining summation of Squall and Rinoa’s romance: (I didn’t upload it and the user disabled embedding, sorry!)
Squall’s Stupidity

Anyway, this couple has now officially received too much attention. Good night!

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19 Responses to ““Wrong Hole, Darling” – Love Story Misses Countdown #1”

  1. Ethos says:

    Lookit that, SN! Not Freya and Fratley! Freya might piss me off, but I’m too apathetic toward her romance for it to be in ANY list except maybe for “Love Stories I Care the LEAST about”

  2. Andogo says:

    Freya and Fratley? Really? That had a chance of making this list? It practically didn’t exist.

    Oh wow, coming on a little strong there.
    I don’t remember anything before last night. Was that you?
    Oh my god, are you pregnant? Do we have kids?

    But as for FFVIII. Squall has a massive hard-on for Elly. And then Square goes “Oops, she’s your sister!” Edea lures Seifer into bed, tells him “I’ve been waiting to do that since you were 5. Not worth the wait, sadly.” Seifer runs away in a fit of butthurt, realizes Squall is his true love, takes up fishing while Fuujin watches on, “DYICKS”. Rinoa is just bad cosplay fodder until she falls into a coma, at which point Squall gets a massive hard-on for her because he likes his women unavailable, physically or emotionally. That scene in space? Squall was waiting for that fine equilibrium between permanent coma and brain death before reconnecting the oxygen line. Guess he got it wrong.

    Oh… I just figured out who the number 1 couple is.

  3. Ethos says:

    They never had a chance, Andogo, it was just SN’s guess.
    And was it your rant that make you figure out the number couple?
    Because they’re hardly related!

  4. DarthGibblet says:

    Of my many problems with FFVIII, this was the biggest. I played FFVII and VIII for the first time back-to-back, and about 1/2 way through VIII I realized I didn’t care nearly as much about Squall and Rinoa as I did Cloud and Aeris/Tifa (heck, I think you could argue Cloud and Barret had better chemistry). It was during one of the few well-done scenes, and it just served to point out what was lacking in the rest of the game. I do love Riddle’s idea about Squall being a necrophiliac, though. It would explain so much about that game.

  5. DarthGibblet says:

    The #1 couple should be Zell and hot dogs.

  6. Andogo says:

    I’m surprised none of the Mass Effect romances showed up here. Like, Kaiden comes off as a whiny Master Chief. Liara manages to kill both the alien and sexy scientist/librarian fantasy in one fell swoop. And Ashley is just a massive no-fly zone.

    Commander Sheppard should have stayed on Feros with the Asari commando chick.

    Oh wow, I just imagine Joker and a Hanar (because of his bone condition). I need to go away now.

  7. Ethos says:

    Bah-ha. Classic Andogo.
    And no, I considered Mass Effect, but it’s all so variable that it didn’t work. Just like a few of the honourable mentions tomorrow.

  8. Ethos says:

    Also @Darth- LOL

  9. Andogo says:

    Wasn’t there that girl who stuck around and helped him choke down hot dogs during the ending? Always thought that was a bit tragic. “My boyfriend would rather shove tubes of meat in his mouth than talk to me. But that’s ok, he’s been dreaming of them since he started school. I’m happy. I’m happy. Happy, happy, happy, happy, happy.”

  10. DarthGibblet says:

    haha, yeah, Selphie, wasn’t it? I always thought that shot in the credits summed up their relationship better than anything that happened in the game itself.

  11. DarthGibblet says:

    @Andogo: Don’t forget the Asari chick also killed “lesbian” somehow (seriously, I didn’t think that was even possible!).

  12. Ethos says:

    Wait, how’d she kill lesbian? She was hot, and so was the sex!

  13. SiliconNooB says:

    @Ethos- I said Squall and Rinoa, and you told me they’d be getting an honourable mention instead. D:

    Also while they do suck balls, I don’t think they’re anywhere near as bad as Jaster and whatsherface.

  14. Ethos says:

    @SN – Nono, I told you that honourable mentions would exist to deflect you!
    And Jaster and Kisala might be worse in a lot of ways, but Rogue Galaxy didn’t promote itself as a love story as FFVIII had the couple in the logo! Squall and Rinoa are worse because it was constantly being shoved in our face although it never worked.

  15. SiliconNooB says:

    I guess were just using different metrics of measurement. I tend to measure bad things in terms of awfulness, rather than scaling their awfulness in relation to context, FFVIII while not worse, is a thousand times more dissapointing.

    I think the biggest mark against the romance is that the devs neglect story development and character development for the rest of the party in order to bring the relationship to the fore, and it just doesn’t work. IMO FFX is an example of a much better integrated romance, as it doesn’t overwhelm everything else that’s going on, but rather compliments it.

  16. Ethos says:

    Well it’s not just scaling the awfulness. I think Squall and Rinoa was worse because they kept on trying. It’s not disappointing to me, it’s mind-blowing how they think they’re pulling it off, and it just causes my mind to stop working for a moment.

    I will agree that FFX had the potential for a much better integrated romance. But that’s when they didn’t forget it existed.
    Another great thing about the Dagger/Zidane match, the romantic plot is obvious, but they’ve got other shit going on too, and the other characters don’t take a backseat.

  17. SiliconNooB says:

    FFX’s romance doesn’t do enough wrong to negate the stuff it does right. It would have been nice if it kept going through the last bit, but that was really the last stretch of the game, they didn’t really have any down-time in which to have a romantic interlude, it was Calm Lands>Gagazet>Yunalesca>Sin. There isn’t really an appropriate place in all that to continue developing their relationship, thus it’s plausable enough that I am able to justify it to myself, even if the devs don’t bother explaining it. At any rate X’s relationship was far more memorable for me than IX’s, I really don’t think it belongs on any top 5 of worst relationships (though it would possibly be suited to a top 5 of things which could use some improvement).

  18. Ethos says:

    I think its ignorance is more than enough to negate what it did right. And that kissing scene wasn’t really that close to the ending.
    I’m not looking for explicit progression, but after you dedicate a scene to the love, and come back to the rest HOLDING HANDS, you’re going to react to each other differently, and no matter what madness is happening around you, you’d never forget your emotion. I DO love the buildup, and I think it’s very well done for the most part when it exists (despite bad voice acting), and that’s exactly why it qualifies as one of the worst, it’s entirely unbelievable that those characters would just drop it like that. It made the entire situation void for me. It’s just not a natural progression even for those character’s personalities.

  19. SiliconNooB says:

    The kissing scene was close to the end from the perspective of the narrative and not everyone’s going to be as outwardly emotional as yourself when they have shit to be doing, also keep in mind that 1) Yuna circa FFX is a reserved character, probably not prone to tons of outward affection, and 2) for all she knows, she’s marching off to her death, and so probably isn’t looking to be reminded of all the things she’ll be leaving behind such as Tidus.

    Tidus/Yuna is still my favourite video game couple, even more so than Aeris/Cloud and occaisional third wheel Tifa.

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