The 5 best Nintendo character relationships | Nintendo Wire

Please note: This article was originally written in 2017 for Valentine’s Day, so certain elements may pertain to happenings during that year. The sentiments, however, are timeless!


Ah, Valentine’s Day once again, and that means love is in the air. In the wide worlds of Nintendo there’ve been plenty of examples: be they platonic, friendly, romantic, or so ill defined that we’re still trying to figure exactly what the relationships are. But hey, that’s alright, and we all get chocolate in the end don’t we?

For your entertainment I’ve got just a small listing of these relationships. There’s no ranking, and no real reason why one instance made it on here over any particular other; only that I think they could use a little attention and celebration. I hope you enjoy, and remember to feel the love on this day– and every day!

Mario and Peach

Jumping right into that “ill defined” category, we’ve got the hero and the princess. Mario’s been rescuing, partying, golfing and karting into the sunset with this royal for decades now, but there’s still no full explanation of just what they are to each other. With other lovely ladies like Pauline, and maybe even Rosalina, having had eyes for our portly plumber there’s still something about him and Peach that just makes sense. Whatever their bond may be, it’s one that’s existed ever since Peach became a character, and it will likely last in some way as long as there are Mario games.

In Japan there’s a long-held significance in giving sweets to someone you love. Cakes are shared on Christmas, and Valentine’s Day itself is centered on girls giving chocolate to the special boys in their lives. Super Mario 64, probably the most well known Mario game of my own generation, kicks off with Peach inviting Mario over for a handmade cake. Notable for a royal presumably with a full kitchen staff, isn’t it? It’s not the only time this has happened, but certainly the most famous. The simple gesture is one of the biggest hints that maybe there’s a little something more to their relationship, but I think not knowing for sure is the better way to go. After all, those Toads gotta gossip about something, right?

Diddy and Dixie

Unlike the above, these two Kongs are confirmed to be dating from the get-go. While Dixie hasn’t always gotten to join in on adventuring with Diddy, her first game appearance has gone on to become one of the most renowned platformers of all time. That’s one impressive couple’s getaway if you ask me. Donkey Kong Country 2 has these two heading out on a Kongquest to rescue Donkey Kong himself, though not having him as a third wheel isn’t such a bad thing. She’d then take center stage to rescue not just DK, but Diddy as well alongside Kiddie Kong, solidifying the lengths she’d go as a hero, friend and girlfriend.

Sadly, while Diddy has gone on to become a recurring part of Mario spinoff games and even Smash Bros., Dixie is much more sparse in her appearances. When she does come around she’s always welcome and skilled, with Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze having her as the best all-around partner. Maybe Diddy’s worried about going from second all the way to third banana. It may be a while before these two get some alone time again, but those Kremlings won’t stay quiet forever.

Jeff and Tony

It takes a lot to let someone you love go, regardless of whether or not you know it’s the right thing to do. That’s exactly what Tony has to do for Jeff when the bespectacled boy is telepathically called to action by Paula. Tony’s affections for Jeff are potentially one-sided and unrequited, adding to the poignancy when he gives Jeff the necessary help he needs to get out of their boarding school. The Mother games are no strangers to love in all its forms, but this selflessness from a boy who understands his personal wants can’t outweigh the world has always stood out to me.

Jeff will get a chance to return the favor, rescuing Tony, along with several other NPCs, from capture later in the game. Tony comes up again to Pray for the party’s success at defeating Giygas. Once said cosmic terror is no more, Ness gets a chance to deliver a letter from Tony to Jeff, where the boy wishes he could have joined in on the adventure. He still resolves to wait ’til his return, eager to see him again to actively care as best as he can. Jeff may not realize or return the affections, as his feelings are never addressed in that way, but he never doubts for a second that Tony has a heart of gold.

Alm and Celica

Consider this a sneak preview of what’s to come when Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia releases this May. Alm and Celica were raised together but end up pulled apart due to the conflict at the heart of the game. Their star crossed situation forms the heart of Fire Emblem Gaiden, and when they can battle together is one of the first instances of the series’ Support system existing in some way. In the Famicom release it wasn’t nearly as fleshed out a the system is today, but by being near each other when able their abilities would improve. Their mere presence brings out the best in each other, showing just how strong their bond is.

With Gaiden’s remake coming in just a few months, players will be able to see what makes their relationship special. I won’t be spoiling anything, but regardless of how things play out in your own game, these two embody a core tenet of what makes Fire Emblem games so endearing. With the upgraded presentation and the advances Fire Emblem games have seen, look forward to seeing the story of these two unfold on 3DS.

Groose and Groose

Admit it, you were expecting Anju and Kafei. While I absolutely adore those two and their quest line, I thought it more fitting to shine a light on a different kind of love. See, Groose starts the game hopelessly crushing on Zelda. While across games her relationship with Link varies, here in Skyward Sword it’s a lot more evident that the two are mutually attracted to one another. So what does Groose do about it? He bullies poor Link repeatedly to try and make himself feel better, of course. After all, who wouldn’t be interested in this Gaston-esque paragon of allure and style? Groose fancies himself the hottest thing on Skyloft and there aren’t exactly a host of people telling him otherwise. We’re meant to be displeased with his actions, and we should be, but there’s something inherently likable about this pompous jerk.

As the game goes on and Zelda is put in danger, Groose sinks into a depressed state rather than actively doing anything about it, letting both his hair and heart droop downward. It’s not ’til he ends up on the Surface himself that Groose starts to mature a bit. He develops his own talents, forges a relationship with an older, wholesome figure, and puts his one-sided affections aside in order to assist in saving the world. He becomes a braver and more actualized person by learning to focus on himself and the part only he can play in this story. While that may read as though he’s given up, it instead shows that he’s matured and realized that she’s not interested– and it’s more fulfilling to love himself. Well, love himself in a healthier way than he already does. Whether it’s the self-absorbed swagger or the sentimental self-assurance, there’s a lot to love about Groose and no one knows it more than himself.

Feel the love

That does it for my quick list spotlighting these, but feel free to share your own favorites below. From the minimalistic relationship of Qbby and Qucy in BOXBOY!, the lengths Shulk and Fiora go through for each other in Xenoblade Chronicles, the husband and wife super heroes Super and Mrs. Arrow of F-Zero, to the unquestionable love between Punch-Out!!’s Doc Louis and chocolate; there’s plenty to celebrate beyond the typical romantic angle.

Have yourself a Happy Valentine’s Day, from myself and all of us here at Nintendo Wire!

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Written by Ricky Berg

When he isn’t writing for Nintendo Wire, Ricky’s anticipating the next Kirby, Fire Emblem, or if the stars ever align, Mother 3 to be released. Till then he’ll have the warm comfort of Super Smash Bros. to keep him going.

Ricky Berg

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