5. Lee and Kenny – The Walking Dead
Bound by terrible circumstance and a need to protect their respective children, Lee and Kenny can have either the smoothest or rockiest of friendships depending on your choices. While Lee is devoted to Clementine, his personality varies a bit depending on how you play. Kenny is only slightly more predictable. He’s devoted to his family as well, and is capable of the best acts of courage and heroism in the game. He’s also a very emotional and impulsive person, given to murderous rage and paralyzing despair. No matter how you play as Lee, these guys endure so much horror and pain together, and it costs Kenny, his family, and Lee their lives. They never lose respect for each other though, so they’re in.
Kenny will remember this bromance, and so will we.
4. Cecil and Kain – Final Fantasy IV
Cecil and Kain are two slow burning stories of redemption. Cecil is commander of the Red Wings airship fleet who mastered the dark arts to become a Black Knight. However, he is fed up with doing evil deeds, even for his king. Kain is commander of the Dragoons, and is punished for standing up for his good friend Cecil. That’s when their stories split up. While Cecil’s redemption is more or less a straight line (as much as anything is in Final Fantasy), Kain falls sway under evil powers and swears to kill Cecil over the love they share for the same woman. Though it is revealed Kain is under mind control, and he snaps out it eventually to fight at Cecil’s side, that mind control turns on and off like a light switch. He’s redeemed at the end and swears to atone. For an epic bromance that survives mind control AND liking the same girl, these two definitely earn a place on the list.
3. Marcus Fenix and Dominic Santiago- Gears of War series
If this was a “Top Ten Manliest Bros in Gaming,” the top four spots could just be a video of Marcus Fenix and his Delta Team scowling and snarling at each other like they always do. Seriously though, the sense of loyalty and camaraderie between these guys is really great, especially between Marcus and Dom. The series begins with Dom breaking Marcus out of prison and saving him from certain death. What happens next is three epic games of these two going through hell together; fighting through the subterranean bowels of the monstrous Locusts, the literal bowels of a giant, city destroying worm, the discovery and euthanasia of Dom’s wife and, finally, Dom sacrificing his life to save Marcus and their friends(and the world in the process). In the finale, when Marcus coldly shivs the Locust Queen with Dom’s knife, it feels as earned as Delta Team’s brotherhood.
2. Solaire and the Chosen Undead – Dark Souls
In a game defined by tragedy and danger, Solaire is, literally and figuratively, a shining beacon of hope and friendship. Solaire is cheerful, positive, and just eccentric enough to be fun. His main ambition is to have his own sun(?), but he is mostly interested in helping you. And he is a huge help. Some of the toughest boss fights in the game are mitigated by his help. Best of all, if you help other people enough, he’ll invite you to join his Covenant, the Warriors of the Sun (aka the Sunbros) that makes you even better at jolly cooperation.
Though you may want to prepare to cry if you plan on becoming attached to one so grossly incandescent, for even in a game as bleak as Dark Souls, Solaire’s demise is especially cruel. He is taken by sunlight maggots, parasites of the brain, which warp his mind into a nasty mockery of himself. Of course, you have to be the one to put him down.
For absolutely wrecking our feelings, this bromance trumps all others… but one.