I feel like for different RO in books I wanted to think of a good way to balance out individual MC’s personality over time like I always tend to go with what would be an interesting reaction or conversation with them.
I feel like as long as each RO has equal scenes with the MC then I don’t mind if it’s soulmates or not. I just end up going for the RO I like first then re-frame my gameplay around my experience.
I don’t mind RO moving on to date other NPC as long as I feel like they suit each other vs. like a plot point. Also the few times I felt awk the actual couple was pretty dysfunctional without the MC.
I’m only here for fictional soulmates if it’s stuff like this. Make it hard and uncomfortable. Make my MC hate their guts and quietly curse the day they were born. I simply cannot imagine playing a game based on a soulmate universe without my MC wanting to rebel against their predetermined fate.
The hardest question, for me, was probably the most important trait in an RO because none of the choices fully applied to me. Loyalty, for one. Yes, I do care about that. However, if my RO is betraying the MC for good story reasons, I will lap it up like nothing. Kindness is all well and good and sometimes I go hard for it, but 8 out of 10 times, I will romance the meanest, cutthroat RO available. Then again, if they aren’t actually kind to my MC somewhere down the line, they’re simply not for me. That’s why Darcy from Professor of Magical Studies bummed me out. (YMMV!) Morality is not super important because, as I don’t mind playing an amoral MC, why would I care about romancing an amoral RO? However, similarly to the loyalty issue, there should be good story reasons present to justify the RO’s amoral actions.
I ended up choosing intelligence because I actually care about interesting dialogue more than anything (even though I wouldn’t necessarily conflate the two as there are so many so-called intellectuals out there who are about as boring in conversation as a bag of bricks). I suppose it always depends on how exactly you’re defining “intelligence”. I tend to prefer the caustic bastards and that is usually served together with braininess.
YOU!!! YOU GET IT!!! YOU GET IT!!! I almost always have kind MCs, who try to work for the good of where they are or otherwise have an arc realizing their actions aren’t 100% condoneable, but when I see soulmate stuff I literally turn into the joker sdhnfsjdk
My MCs LOOK IN THE FACE OF “INEVITABLE” STRINGS OF FATE AND SPIT. HOW DARE ANY FORCE HAVE THE AUDACITY TO TRY AND DICTATE HUMAN EMOTIONS!?! HOW DARE IT HAVE THE AUDACITY TO ASSUME IT KNOWS BETTER THAN THE PERSON DOES!? HOW DARE IT SIMPLIFY RELATIONSHIPS INTO SOME HAPPY GO LUCKY PERFECT WORLD!? HOW DARE IT UNDERMINE THE SUFFERING AND TRIUMPH THAT COMES WITH A HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP, THE FEELING OF “god I’m so lucky to have this person” BECAUSE IN IT’S PERFECT WORLD PEOPLE ARE DESTINED AND WILL ALWAYS BE WITH EACHOTHER. WHAT ABOUT LOVE AFTER DEATH!?!??! WHAT ABOUT GRIEVING AND BEING ABLE TO FIND SOMEONE ELSE TO LOVE YOU AGAIN?? IS THAT NOT ALLOWED IN YOUR PERFECT “NOTHING EVER GOES WRONG” WORLD??? I’LL KILL MY SO-CALLED SOULMATE. I’LL DO IT. JUST TO PROVE TO YOU THAT YOU HAVE NO HOLD OVER ME, THAT HUMAN CONNECTION IS A FEELING THAT COULD NEVER BE RESTRICTED OR BARRED. I’LL KILL THEM, AND I’LL FIND SOMEONE WHO’S THE EXACT OPPOSITE, AND I’LL LOVE THEM SO MUCH IT’LL BREAK THE COSMOS, YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND THE DEPTHS OF FEELING I CAN FEEL, YOU-
Unfortunately most of those IFs don’t let you go down those paths. Don’t even let my MC have a hubristic downfall that ends in their inevitable death, but still having changed something, having gone down fighting god. Alas .
Edit: That got a bit heated and I’ve calmed down more, sorry, sdhfnksjdf. Idk why soulmates get me so riled up. I don’t even feel romantic attraction, djfnkdfngk. To actually answer the questions:
- love is absolutely something to work up to
- For me? An arcade sounds super cute! For an IF? I like tension, haha. A particularly heated game of chess, maybe?
- Value most…? In an IF, I just want the relationship to be interesting, goddangit. I want to be invested in the RO as a character, and not just what they mean to my MC; but I also want my MC’s relationship with them to mean things. Be a little complicated, yk? I don’t neccesarily mean toxic. Childhood-besties turned lovers can be complicated in a completely healthy way. Irl? …I’m aro. Aaand It’s pretty much the same I value interesting conversations very highly.
- LOVEE RO/NPC RELATIONSHIPS- as you can see in my earlier rant, I hate the concept of people being DestinedTM and unable to find love anywhere else. It just makes me sad, yk? That they can’t be with someone that way if they want to, just because I’m not romancing them. Of course, I dislike when their relationship isn’t built up. It should be the same amount of effort for the NPC and RO as it is for the MC and RO.
- Uhhh. Intelligence? I value competency in an RO super highly, I suppose. Ride-or-Die mentalities are always fun to play around with.
Alas!! Leaving this drive-through with my tail tucked in between my legs…