Smart Podcast, Trashy Books Podcast

468. Romance and Video Games with Amanda and Sarah

Amanda and I are chatting about our favorite romance-laden RPGs, and our favorite characters to romance in Stardew Valley, Dragons Ages (all of ‘em), Witcher 3, and more. We compare romance options, discuss favorite pairings, and yup, we really like Dragon Age. Moral of this episode: Don’t Bring Your Tits to a Gunfight.

This is the TikTok we chortle about.


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  1. 1
    The Other Kate says:

    I heart Garrus Vakarian forever. <3

  2. 2
    Mrs. Obed Marsh says:

    Solas, I love you!

    Show Spoiler

    I know everything bad that happens in DA:I is technically your fault…but baby, it’s not your fault!

  3. 3
    Mrs. Obed Marsh says:

    Aw crud, I meant for Paragraph 2 in my post to be spoilered, but the tags didn’t work. Sorry!

  4. 4
    Leslee Ann Friedman says:

    As someone who has never played DAI, but has written over 100k words of adoribull fanfic based purely on fandom osmosis, this was an amazing listen.

  5. 5
    Mrs. Obed Marsh says:

    Even if you’re not going to romance Shane in Stardew Valley, I recommend running up his Hearts ASAP. After you see his 8-heart (Maximum friendship) event, you can buy fancy blue chickens from his aunt Marnie. (When you try to buy a chicken from her, the game randomly picks a brown, white, or blue chicken to offer. Keep canceling the transaction until it offers a blue chicken.)

  6. 6

    @Mrs. Obed Marsh: I felt terrible about buying the blackout alcoholic’s affection with daily gifts of booze (I worked! in rehab medicine! for decades!), but I really, really, really coveted those curly blue chickens…

  7. 7
    Sue says:

    Hm. First you get me hooked on the Witcher games (I’m on my second playthrough of Witcher 3 because I messed up and Geralt didn’t get his HEA with my partner of choice), now I’m looking at the Dragon Age games. In doing so, I found there is a mod for Dragon Age Origins called Equal Love which allows you to romance all genders. Just thought someone might be interested. I always like it when the partner options are *all* available!

    Also, not as focused on relationships, but Divinity Original Sin 2 does have romanceable companions. You only get one snogging session and some flirting for the whole game though, so not ideal in that respect. And I don’t like any of the endings for the game as a whole, though there are some HEA endings with the companions.

  8. 8
    Emma says:

    It’s midnight and I’m too sleepy to start listening, but aww yeah, Dragon Age! Origins, specifically. Even Inquisition is kinda meh for me, apart from the dialogue. I also just bought the legendary edition of Mass Effect, so here comes my millionth Shepard-Garrus romance! Or maybe Thane, whom I’ve never romanced before.

    @Sue: totally agree with you on DOS:2. After sinking 200 hours into it and finally finishing a campaign, not only did I find out that the “good” ending (and the canon one) is the genocidey one that undercuts the hero’s entire narrative (unless you were already playing the crazed mass-murderer, I guess)… but I discovered the I must have missed some tiny nugget of Fane’s romance arc, because he STILL wandered off without me in the epilogue! Argh, absolutely no way I can play anymore DOS games.

  9. 9
    Malaraa says:

    Ren/Lena: You can buy Shane’s love in Stardew with pizza and peppers, so that you never have to give him alcohol!

    The new Baldur’s Gate has romanceable party members, but it’s only in Early Access so far. Like Amanda, and a lot of us out here, i would also really love a mechanically similar to DA/ME game, with a new story. They’re wonderful franchises, but i desperately want MORE! We need to pair up all the people who’ve been part of making those games plus some extra talent, with new small groups of people creating new worlds and stories for them to bring to life, so the experience is there, but the workload lightened, and the story-making spread out in more directions! What multi-billionaire do we need to rob to make this happen?

    Still waiting on Chorus, and watching for updates. It’s got 4 potential romances, is being developed by a team that includes folks formerly of Baldur’s Gate and Dragon Age fame. It won’t scratch the RPG itch, but it looks fun! Early glimpses feel a little bit like a Telltale game. It was originally scheduled for around the end of 2021/start of 2022, but like everything else, the schedule has been thrown off a bit over the past year, it’s still uncertain by how much.
    My predictions should either Sarah or Amanda try it: Sarah will go for Freddie the “supportive bff to lover” storyline, and Amanda will go for Persephone, who the writer describes as a “stone cold bitch” who flirt-argues your character against a wall “with nothing more than the sheer force of her presence”! (didn’t see a “torment and trauma” option in the 4 but this personality seems like next best option!)

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