Main Implied Love Interest Discussion

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04:12:09 AM Aug 7th 2017
  • Ninian for Eliwood in Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade, supported by the fact that Ninian is canonically in love with him. Nino and Jaffar also count, as do Hector and Lyndis, especially in Hector's own story.
  • Liara T'Soni in Mass Effect. In the first Mass Effect she was the only character who could be romanced by both genders, and by later games she gets upgraded to being "Shepard's closest companion" regardless of how you actually treated her in conversations. Most damning enough is that, before the extended cut of Mass Effect 3, she was always the player's final thoughts as Shepard dies unless they romanced Ashley or Kaidan. Regardless, it's a contentious subject amongst the Bioware fanbase.
  • Persona:
    • Persona 3:
      • The game is rather heavy with one of the potential love interests, Aigis. She's a full-blown Stalker with a Crush, justified that she sealed Death into the protagonist but doesn't remember it consciously for most of the game, so she feels a strong urge to stay by him without knowing why. Aside from the protagonist's suggested attraction upon first seeing Aigis and a few scenes in which they hold hands, the most notable implication is the ending of the game, in which he dies after falling asleep in her lap Since the game's Social Links officially give the player the final choice in the matter, this has caused a lot of debate in the fandom. Later installments in the series like Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth and even the movie adaptation also put more emphasis on their relationship.
      • Before Aigis's introduction, Yukari Takeba is given some ship tease with the Protagonist. Although their scenes are comparatively less explicit and more player-driven (the only physical interaction being an optional hug) and end once her Social Link opens, this intensified the debate. Given that early in development, Yukari was planned as the canon Love Interest, these scenes may be a holdover from the change.
      • In the PSP remake, the female protagonist has some Ship Tease between her and Shinjiro Aragaki, particularly in the later stages of his Social Link, whether or not he is romanced. The existing Ship Tease with Aigis remains, albeit with Aigis' Love Confession being worded somewhat more vaguely.
      • Ryoji Mochizuki is another one for the female protagonist. He’s the only character in her route whose social link (besides Pharos, who is technically his younger self) will advance through storyline progression and has extended snippets of voiced dialogue in each rank. His social link in general contains a lot of romantic imagery (which he even notes sometimes), and if you max out his social link, he will give her a ring to remember him by before he is assimilated to become Nyx.
    • Persona 4 manages to avert this for the most part. While one of the companions, Rise, has a blatant crush on the protagonist, and is seen calling out an anguished love confession during the ending movie as the protagonist rides the train out of Inaba, no one character is given more in-game moments than another. That was until the Updated Re-release, Persona 4 Golden, introduced Marie. She holds a connection to the protagonist that none of his other friends do, she's frequently placed into She's Not My Girlfriend moments, she's one of the few love interests to actually kiss the player character and the climax of her story carries a lot of romantic undertones regardless of whether or not the player actually pursues a romance with her. She also always shows up outside the Dojima house to give the player character chocolate, even if the PC didn't romance her or if he just got back from a date with someone else.
  • Star Ocean: Till the End of Time
    • According to the Official Guide, Fayt begins the game having the highest affection points toward Sophia; making her the easiest of the girls for him to end up with. Yet several of the game's cutscenes imply that they're only friends. Even if you do get the paired ending with Sophia, it still seems that's as far as it goes.
  • While Colette is the official Love Interest in Tales of Symphonia, it's easy to bungle Lloyd's relationship with her and any of the characters can be paired with Lloyd in the end due to Multiple Endings and Relationship Values, with Sheena, Zelos, and Genis getting the most Ship Tease throughout the game.
    • That said, while it's fairly easy to do so, the player does have to make a deliberate attempt, and if you intentionally avoid picking one at all, the game will go with her by default. The sequel skirts very close to declaring it by default, but also ultimately lets the player choose via Schrödinger's Question.

Cleanup Time! These examples are "Can Be romanced if player choses to" rather than "It's not made clear if they're an item" this trope is supposed to be. In other words it's Not That Trope.
07:34:17 AM Aug 7th 2017
I can only attest to the Persona games and Tales of Symphonia, but here's my two cents:
  • Persona 3: Aigis is the deutragonist and gets more screen time of the members of SEES, but I don't think she's an Implied Love Interest. And everyone else is even less so.
  • Persona 4: Marie absolutely counts in that "the game gives players a nudge to her" way. Maxing out her Social Link is necessity in the game, and even if you don't, she automatically spends Valentine's Day with the protagonist. And the Golden Ending has her say that she loves the protagonist on TV. So she can be not romanced but the game definitely pushes the player that way and implies that it's the way to go.
  • TOS: Oh good lord Colette counts.
02:48:12 PM Aug 7th 2017
That's my point. This trope isn't "Can be romanced but it isn't nessecity". This isn't even stricktly VG trope. The way you discribed it it seems like she is clearly made part of romantic couple if you chose to, and clearly isn't should you chose otherwise. The fact that she's the option the creators prefer doesn't matter. "The Implied Love Interest is when one character fills the role of a Love Interest to another character in the narrative, or otherwise has a lot of tropes related to being a Love Interest surrounding them, but nothing explicit in the narrative or from the creators is ever stated on the matter." How does it fit this definition?
03:00:20 PM Aug 7th 2017
Ok, i've read the description more carefully and... i officially made an idiot out of myself. The description DOES say about more hinted romance option. Feel free to correct my mistakes.

That being said i'm not sure if this should be one and the same trope. Sure both of these feel like tropes but... it seems to me that "Romance option that is more preferd than others" and "is hinted to have romantic feelings but nothing is clearly stated" are two entriely different things and should be made into two different tropes.
11:01:03 PM Sep 2nd 2017
edited by Emu0
I honestly think it's okay if there's romantic subtext in the main story, independent of player choice, but if it's dependent on interactions within Social Links or specific dialogue options, it shouldn't count.

In the Persona example, I think that Aigis MIGHT count, but Shinjiro shouldn't (seriously, that's just the Shipping Goggles talking)

07:26:45 PM Dec 20th 2017
edited by joeshmo
With regards to Persona 3 - Aigis absolutely counts. The evidence for the pairing is fairly overwhelming. The love interest trope usage is heavy, and it is completely outside of player choices. Remember, the first two releases of the game and the films have him dying alone with her in her lap, regardless of player choices. There just hasn't been anything explicit saying whether they are or aren't together. If I had to guess, it's a case of gameplay-story conflict. The writers wanted Aigis to be the canon love interest but didn't want to explicitly discount player choices. So this was sort of meeting it halfway.
07:14:48 AM Dec 21st 2017
edited by Larkmarn
My issue with Aigis is more that while it's super clear that she's in love with the main character, evidence of reciprocation is limited due to the whole Silent Protagonist thing.

... though I suppose the lap pillow thing is pretty significant. I can change my vote to a weak support (or maybe an implied support) for Aigis.

... but seriously, cut Yukari and Shinji.
05:46:06 PM Dec 22nd 2017
I think cutting the other two is fine. There's no real implication that the MC likes Yukari, and same with Fe MC liking Shinji. With Aigis, you've got to pretty much just ignore a lot of significant scenes if you want to say it isn't at least implied.
05:22:34 AM Apr 23rd 2018
edited by Emu0
I thought I read somewhere that Yukari was originally going to be the love interest before Dating Sim elements were introduced?

If you absolutely absolutely had to pick one, I guess it'd be Aigis, but any subtext with ANYONE is going to be pretty damned faint on the MC's side; the ability to choose that sort of thing is a big part of the series.

In regards to Fe MC, I say both Ryoji and Aigis have claims to that title, Shinji doesn't.

(I mean, in P 3 P, you get to choose who to spend the end of the game with on a New Game Plus)

01:48:07 PM Jul 7th 2017
edited by Emu0
The entry for Persona 3 is getting kind of cluttered. It seems as though every instance of Ship Tease is getting counted as "proof" that the character in question is an Implied Love Interest, which doesn't really work in a game that's half Dating Sim. Should the criteria be a bit more strict in this case?
03:55:35 AM Aug 7th 2017
If a game gives a choice to make a love interest then i don't think it fits this trope at all. As far as i understand it's when whether or not the characters are in love or not is left in the air.
10:12:11 AM Sep 21st 2014
Kingdoms of Amalur: The Reckoning I always feel like the main character was/is a love interest of Alyn Shir. It was never explicitly stated, but it feels like she cares. It was never mentioned by other characters. Everything is only based on what Alyn Shir says throughout the game and the ending note "..., I remain, Yours, Alyn Shir." Would it be right to put it in as trope example? or would it be too obvious for it to be implied? New troper here.
03:02:51 AM Jun 7th 2016
Didn't you just describe this exact trope? Haven't seen game in question but from what i see it's clearly an example.
02:50:18 PM Sep 23rd 2013
edited by
I have removed the InuYasha example to here as it's turning into an Edit War and PMs, while completely calm and polite, aren't resolving it either because edits are being made as the PMs take place. This is the proper place to discuss the example.

The example that was changed was this:

This was originally considered a suitable fix for the monstrous Word Cruft that existed previously. A Wonk problem occurred recently and, as per Ask The Tropers, was reverted back to the above example. Unfortunately, over the past few days, the example keeps getting edited to bring Word Cruft creeping back in. I agreed in PMs that the Sesshoumaru sentence might be considered zero context, so suggested an edit of this (to keep it consistent with the Kagura sentence):

  • InuYasha: Sesshoumaru and Kagura. Rin's observations and Kagura's thoughts imply Kagura's in love with Sesshoumaru. Mouryoumaru and Toutousai's comments and Sesshoumaru's thoughts confirm Sesshoumaru had feelings for Kagura but Takahashi leaves their exact nature open to interpretation.

However, the example continues to be edited to keep pushing detail into the Sesshoumaru example. Since detailed examples are not being used for the Kagura side, I don't see the point of pushing detailed examples into the Sesshoumaru sentence. That's just starting the creep back to unwieldy and pointless Word Cruft.
08:12:08 PM Sep 23rd 2013
how's this then:

InuYasha: Sesshoumaru and Kagura. Rin's observations and Kagura's thoughts imply Kagura's in love with Sesshoumaru. Tenseiga being reforged into a fighting weapon because of his feeling for her confirm Sesshoumaru had feelings for Kagura but Takahashi leaves their exact nature open to interpretation.
12:04:27 PM Jul 14th 2013
Removed the following. The reason should be obvious:

  • Roy and Riza are pretty much considered to be the Beta Couple in Fullmetal Alchemist. It's very clear they care very deeply for each other but it was never confirmed if they were in a relationship.
    • It's been confirmed through supplementary material that if they weren't both in the army, they would be dating.
      • Not just dating. If it weren't for the anti-fraternization law in the military, they would be married.

02:21:26 PM Feb 5th 2012
edited by Wyldchyld
The original intent of the Inu Yasha entry was to make an entry that limited the subjectiveness as much as possible which is why not all incidents from the manga were put in. This was in the interest of posting something that would not trigger a ship war.

I had been hoping it could remain entirely in that spirit and an Edit War over the additions of entirely interpretational incidents that had been deliberately left out (on those grounds) is not something I would like to get involved in.

As a result, I will leave the example as it currently stands and will not be revisiting or editing this any further. Please can further edits be avoided if all it's for is to squash further examples or expand on examples already given? The entry is comprehensive enough as it stands. It doesn't matter if not everything in the manga has been included.
04:15:07 AM Sep 19th 2013
I don't want to leave it like this: * InuYasha: Sesshoumaru and Kagura. Rin's observations and Kagura's thoughts imply Kagura's in love with Sesshoumaru. Sesshoumaru's confirmed to have feelings for Kagura, but Takahashi leaves their exact nature open to interpretation.

Because that doesn't tell you about what actually happened in the manga between them. So can we please leave it like this: * InuYasha: Sesshoumaru and Kagura. Rin's observations and Kagura's thoughts imply Kagura's in love with Sesshoumaru. Sesshoumaru's confirmed to have feelings for Kagura, most notably with the breaking of Tokijin defending her and of Tenseiga transforming into a fighting weapon because of his feelings for Kagura and him vowing over the sword to avenge her but Takahashi leaves their exact nature open to interpretation.

So that it tells people about what actually happened between them, i.e. HOW Sesshomaru was confirmed to have feelings for Kagura?
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