Bromances are defined by an intense, loving relationship between men that is not sexual(much to the frustration of shippers). From Gilgamesh and Enkidu to Riggs and Murtaugh in Lethal Weapon, bromances in storytelling are used to reveal the heart and emotion of otherwise impenetrably macho characters. Video games are hardly an exception to this trope, possessing some of the most intense friendships in any medium. So without further delay, let’s try to keep our minds out of the gutter long enough to discuss, in this writer’s humble opinion, the top ten bromances in gaming! Some spoilers ahead.
Think I missed something? You’re probably right! Let us know in the comments!
10. Guy and Cody – Final Fight
While most people know Final Fight for the greatest Mayor/Pro Wrestler in gaming history, it also contains two other characters: Cody, martial arts master and boyfriend to damsel in distress Jessica, and Guy, Cody’s best bud and ninja who is helping Cody save Jessica. He conquers six stages of the dangerous, crime infested Metro City with Cody just because he’s a nice guy. Unlike Jimmy Lee from Double Dragon, Guy doesn’t have a thing going on the side with Cody’s girlfriend, and he won’t try to beat his brother unconscious over her. Their relationship is just one of friends who will do whatever it takes to help one another.
9. Sub-Zero and Scorpion – Mortal Kombat Series
Okay, hear me out on this one. Scorpion and Sub-Zero are defined by their hatred for one another(in fact they’re pretty high up on the Top Ten Rivalries). Scorpion is slain by the original Sub-Zero before the first Mortal Kombat begins. But, the reason behind Scorpion’s immortal vengeance is that his family is slaughtered by the sorcerer Quan Chi, who frames Sub-Zero for the atrocity in order to control the ninja. The hellspawned specter slew Sub-Zero in the Mortal Kombat Tournament, which led to Sub-Zero’s brother taking on the title and swearing revenge.
Ever since MK2, however, beating the game as either one of the ninjas would give an ending where they would realize the error of their ways and become best buds. None of these scenarios were canon, except for Mortal Kombat X, where the two are old grandmasters of their respective clans, and have a heart to heart about their differences in a surprisingly touching scene. Such a hard earned friendship is too special to leave off the list.
8. Sonic and Knuckles – Sonic the Hedgehog Series
Sonic and Knuckles began as misguided adversaries(not unlike Scorpion and Sub-Zero, come to think of it). Dr. Robotnik, after the Chaos Emerald of Angel Island, duped Knuckles, the Emerald’s protector, into believing Sonic was out to capture the Emerald when he was only trying to save it from Robotnik. It took two games and a lot of sabotage and hijinks to resolve, but ever since Knuckles finally got it through his thick, thick skull that Dr. Robotnik is evil, he and Sonic have been best buds.
It’s the best thing for Sonic, really. His relationship with Tails is more about fanboyish devotion than true friendship. Even Amy’s affections are almost tragically one-sided. Knuckles is the one friend Sonic has that he has to see as an equal.
7. Cloud and Barret – Final Fantasy VII
The friendship between Cloud and Barret is slow burning but plenty deep. From the beginning, their personalities rubbed each other the wrong way. Barret used anger to deal with issues while Cloud used pithy ambivalence. It was clear from the beginning, though, that Barret is genuinely concerned when it looks like Cloud is in danger. Cloud also takes pains to keep Barret’s daughter safe when the Sector 7 slums fall down and crush untold numbers of people. What really bonds them is their shared sense of loss. They both lost their homes and families, all maimed by the Shinra Corporation. These two men, who lost so much, go through even more together, and save each other a bit in the process.
Also, if you play your cards right, Cloud and Barret totally go on a date in the Gold Saucer. It’s pretty adorable.
6. Big Boss, Miller, and Ocelot – Metal Gear Series
If the Big Boss arc of the Metal Gear series has a theme, it’s about freedom and doing what feels right, often in defiance of the entire world. In MGS 5, Snake, Miller, and Ocelot defy the world by building a nation/army/business of mercenaries, bound by no ideology but the need to fight and an admiration of Big Boss. On a personal level, Kazuhira Miller and Snake are bound not just by their dream, but by years on the battlefield, and the intensity shows every time they’re in the same room. The relationship with Ocelot seems more reserved, unless you beat MGS 4, where you learn that not only is Big Boss the one person Ocelot was ever truly loyal to, but that every scheme and backstab he perpetrated through the entire series was just Ocelot living and, eventually, sacrificing his life for Snake.
Also, it’s hardly cannon, but this video is just the best thing ever.