Friendly Relationships in COG?

The most talked about relationships in the forums are usually the romantic kind :wink: Which is fun, of course, but I’m just as interested in other relationships. Well written platonic relationships are a bit more rare to come by, and I suppose I can see why-- family members are hard to write without assuming a per-constructed history, and if a friend is well written and likable than most people ask to romance them anyways.

My favorite friend in COG games is Morgana from Guenevere (she’s also on of my favorite LI’s, go figure). She’s so supportive to your needs and desires, and always has your back. And nothing screams BFF’s like escaping from kidnapping together and saving a kingdom :kissing_cat:

One of the most interesting family members in IF to me is Carver from DA2. He’s polarizing in the fandom, since he’s… sort of a dick. But I think the sibling dynamics between him and Hawke are SO GOOD. Since IF games ask you to slide into the role of the MC, usually characters that are antagonistic towards the MC are villains. Carver’s not your enemy-- he’s your brother, and he loves you. You just annoy the shit out of each other and it’s so refreshing.

I could go on and on… :relieved: But I was wondering who you guys thought were the most stand-out friends or family members in COG or other interactive fictions?


Garrus from Mass Effect and Varric from Dragon Age are pretty good friendly characters.

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I guess Rhys and Fiona from Tales from the Borderlands, you play as both the characters but there are funny and sad scenes between the two, at the start the two hate each other but they eventually warm up to one another.

The problem with CoG and HG is that almost every friend that you have is a potencial romance too, I wish writers would put time on friendship as much as they put on romance.

The best friendship and family members of CoG/HG games to me are:

Jenny and Gran from Heroes Rise.
Arthur from Lord of Aswick (I think he is the only childhood friend that is not a romance).
Dame Mildred from Hero of Kendrickstone (Its hard for me to choose another mentor because I like her relationship with the PC that is almost like a Mother/Son relationship).
Your robot from Choice of Robot.

From another media:

Mass Effect: Wrex and Garrus as best friends and Grunt as adoptive child to my Shepard.
Dragon Age: Varric and Bethany to my Hawke and Vivienne (older protective sister) and Sera (little annoying sister).
Witcher: Ciri as adoptive child, Siegfried and Roche as best friends.
Walking Dead: Clementine as adoptive child.

I second Tales from the Borderlands - but I liked Rhys and Vaughn, and all the flavours of friendship possible (or less-than-friendly-ship).

I enjoyed the different kids in Sixth Grade Detective. I thought the relationship, especially for a game that isn’t terribly lengthy, were well-developed and interesting. That scene where you come across Evan doing what he does in the shop, for instance. Gorgeous.

One of the reasons I’m working on a choicescript game is that I really wanted a game with some well-developed friendship options - some of which might be romances, some of which might not.

I think amazing friendships have a special way of making books memorable - I wonder if it’s part of why Sherlock Holmes, The Wind in the Willows, Lord of the Rings, and other books that largely revolve around friendships have such enduring followings.


Morgana from Guenevere is one of my favorite characters to have any sort of relationship with too. I really enjoy the relationships you can have in Carhalow, particularly those you can have with your family members.

Varric from DA2 is one of my favorite characters period, not just because he has some great dialogue, but because even if he doesn’t see eye-to-eye with Hawke, he’s a loyal friend. He’s there for Hawke no matter what. He’s not really there for the Inquisitor in DAI (let’s be real, his loyalties are still with Hawke), but I still love him anyway. You can get quite close with the characters in DA:O (I love having a friendship with Zevran even if I’m in a relationship with someone else), but in DAI there’s still a bit of distance between you and the other characters unless you’re in a relationship with them. You’re working together, but none of them is your best friend. (If you’re an elf in DAI and your clan dies, no one comments about it. Hawke had better friends. After Leandra dies, someone is there for you.)

I enjoyed the friendships in Until Dawn. I like Sam and Josh’s friendship, and I love Mike’s interactions with pretty much everyone.

The friendship path with Morrigan in DA:O never fails to get to me. (“Live well, my friend. Live gloriously.” *sniffle)

Bioware games are usually full of good friendships! I can’t believe I didn’t mention Varric. I love him so much…

@SheaMcD Would you have had to play Borderlands to enjoy that games? I like that company, and I see people talk about Tales from the Borderlands a lot, but I don’t want to buy it and end up confused :frog:

@Urban I think you’re right, friend ship paths usually have far less content. I understand why, but I still want it haha.

@Fiogan I love your game! I’m glad you’re making friendship a priority, the characters you’ve created are very interesting. I agree that they make them memorable. I think that while romance creates a stronger reaction at first, friendship is more relateable, and (some) would say more important.

@Fawkes Morgana is the best. And thank you :smirk:

I had that same issue with DA! I tried to fix it in my head but that doesn’t change the fact that it sucks. I think one of my favorite scenes in DA2 is when Fenris tries to make you feel better even though he’s shit at it.


I had never even heard of Borderlands; I tried Tales because it was on clearance and I liked the art and voice actors. I enjoyed it a lot and didn’t find it confusing at all.

I’ve never played Borderlands but Tales from the Borderlands is one of the best games I have played.

@Fiogan @SheaMcD This is good news! I’ll check it out when I get paid.

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My favorite relationship in a choice game (including romantic relationships) has to be the platonic relationship between you and Jenny in Heroes’ Rise. Even when everyone took a hit with the jerk stick in the second game, Jenny still mostly had my back like she did from the very beginning and there was pretty fun dialog.

For DAI my favorite friendship had to be between my female elf and Dorion. It could be because rather than talk about life and death matters and how important I am, most of the time we just chatted about what was going on with comedic banter back and forth; which meant when we did talk all serious, it felt more impactful because by that point I considered him to be my best friend.

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Oh my dear Varric, he is probably the best friendship I have seen. Like even if you make him mad, his respect for you is still admirable. But I do like Carver and agree with you, he actually reminds me a lot of my younger brother - I thought Dragon Age 2 was great on that part.

I don’t think I played any CoG games where it was that easy though I felt like in Heroes Rise, Jenny was a really good friend if you were a male or a straight female. If you don’t take that route then she makes an awesome friend to me.

While Garrus and Varric will always be my MCs bff I have a third to add. Cassandra is definitely one of my new bffs in Dragon Age. I love teasing her, I find it quite hilarious. She is a great character when you get her to open up, and she will always be the new Divine in every one of my playthroughs. I’d make her one of my ROs if I could make a decent looking male on this game. It’s damn near impossible.

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Drunk Tali from Mass Effect is pretty funny too.


I like friendships in games, but all too often in CS games we tend to go for romantic interests because in many ways the two have huge overlap. Friendships are really difficult to convey because often the audience (or at least a portion of the audience) tend to attribute romantic tendencies to it anyway.

Perhaps I can explain that better…

Have any of you watched the original Star Trek? Captain Kirk, plywood sets, weird racial overtones in the aliens? That one.

Kirk and Spock were the original slash-pairing, with stories about them breaking down and giving in to that strange human emotion called ‘love’ circulating since the 1960s.

So why the huge focus on romantic entanglement between characters? Because we the audience can’t tell the difference between good friendship and good romantic tension. So all the moments of bonding, friendship and cameraderie can look like subtle romantic gestures instead of platonic ones.

Another example? Willow from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It was always said that Joss Whedon used the fanfiction about his own show to basically draw inspiration about what the fans felt was the right fit for a character, although I will state that I can find nothing conclusive beyond Mr Whedon’s general praise for fandoms to back this up.

One of the most common romantic pairings in Buffy fanfiction is that of Buffy and Willow, two best friends who play an important part in each other’s lives. Fans looks at what can reasonably be inferred to be a wholly platonic relationship, and saw the potential for romance in every kind word or protective action.

We can’t help it. We’re hard-wired as writers and fans to want a character’s reward to be as big and grandiose as possible. Winning in this context means finding the love of your life, not ‘merely’ being satisfied with a warm but ultimately platonic friendship. That’s not sufficiently Homeric for us. We like people to find love in their followers and friends because that feels like definitively crossing a finish-line from a narrative perspective.

When two characters get together and fall in love, we feel like they’ve played their parts in the grand narrative, so to speak.

So for CS writers, they are stuck with a choice. Either give the player a friendship, which is fine, or find them the love of their lives, which is ‘better’. The ‘choice’ part of Choice of Games makes that choice seem like an obligation.


Has anyone here played the renpy game Break Chance Memento?

It’s easily one of the best family-based games I’ve ever played.

You play a guy who is dealing with his own problems, associated as a sex-addict, and you see the issues he has with his two brothers but as stuff starts going down- namely being stuck in a time travel loop which has all his friends and one of his brothers dying where he constantly has to go back to save them- he grows as a person and connects better with his siblings as he learns to value people more.

It only has one romance line, which is completely optional, and the art work is beautiful, and the relationships and characters so real.

I really enjoyed it, and the development team- Cyanide Tea- does amazing work- one of my other favorite games is Ristorante Amore and it’s also worth a look at- because you can get friendship endings there as well.

Ristorante Amore is a free game, BCM being commercial, but really worth it.

(No I’m not advertising, haha, I’m just promoting awesome games. Otherwise we should all be shot for gushing over ME/DA.)

(But the bromance between Alistair/Male!Warden is adorable, Garrus to Shep, Varric to Hawke…ah, it’s all so cute. :3 )

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