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Level-Up at Intimacy 5
aka: Level Up At Intimacy Five

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"You fight (the aliens) with giant robots made of weaponized love."
Ben Lehman, author of Bliss Stage

There are a lot of games out there that want to encourage relationships, romance, and sex between the characters: a game where you Level-Up At Intimacy 5 actually makes your character stronger or gives them additional capabilities for doing so, usually by having increased Relationship Values correspond exactly to combat modifiers - say, Intimacy Dice in Bliss Stage or the powers of your various Personas.

Usually, the explanation for how hitting on people could possibly make you more powerful is that your Applied Phlebotinum weaponry is powered by intense emotions; sometimes this is coupled with the idea that you're fighting a Being of (Im)Pure Thought.

The purpose of this trope is to encourage a player to take romantic and sexual actions, making it a trope specific to games — a sort of literal interpretation of Friends with Benefits. Dating Sims love this trope, for obvious reasons.

Overlaps with Deus Sex Machina if sexual actions are a part of it. Can involve Power Perversion Potential. A weaponized version of The Power of Love, The Power of Friendship, and The Power of Lust. May or may not be Intimate Healing. The opposite of Virgin Power. Often used with You Lose at Zero Trust. When being The Casanova is more effective than being a Dogged Nice Guy, that's More Friends, More Benefits. Compare Optional Sexual Encounter.


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  • In Turgor, if you open Sister's hearts, they will allow you to go in their chambers and travel to other sisters. It is also implied that the chambers of a happy Sister give more Color. However, it is subverted when you find out that giving Color to a Sister heavily damages their realm due to the sheer amount of it you need to use, which will actually decrease the amount of Color you can get. This will eventually lead to the Scorpio appearing, which will completely destroy your gardens.

    Hack And Slash 
  • If you marry someone in Dynasty Warriors 6: Empires, you can "rest" with your spouse, which levels you up.

  • Firan MUX has recently inputted a system where you get a temporary buff to your stats if you sleep with a whore while stationed at the front during war season.
  • La Tale has a marriage system, where a fully intimate couple gets a 10% boost to their main stats, and with some special items give access to unique skills like summoning your partner, a full heal, and an experience boost.
  • In Ragnarok Online the Alchemist job can create an Homunculus, a fighting pet which has an "Intimacy" indicator. Once it gets past a certain level, the Homunculus can be evolved and gains access to a powerful skill.
    • Married characters gain unique abilities that work exclusively on their partner. Couples may also adopt a child character which unlocks similar abilities.

    Real Time Strategy 
  • In the Galaxy Angel game verse, your relationships with the Angels makes them stronger, and inversely, they like you more the better they do in battle. Insulting them makes their stats drop, and if you let them get blown up, they hate you.

  • Dwarf Fortress used to be an example. Before, dwarves gained skills by hanging out with friends and lovers, and skill boosts will arbitrarily make dwarves stronger (even though this makes no sense for social skills). Thus, that dwarf that slouches in your dining room all day partying and making friends with everyone could very well be more dangerous than your elite military. Now skills only raise related attributes, but you still get such gems as fishing, studying, medic skills, and bookkeeping improving a dwarf's accuracy with a crossbow and Intimidation and Comedy letting a dwarf run faster.
  • In Hades, gifting a character a nectar for the first time earns you their keepsake, granting you a variety of passive bonuses to choose from. At high levels, gifting Ambrosia to certain characters earns you a companion item that lets you summon them as an Assist Character a certain number of times.
  • NetHack players can receive substantial good or bad effects from sleeping with succubi or incubi, but with proper preparation they'll almost always be positive. This includes permanent stat gains and instant level ups, and if you have a method of generating many such demons can be used to vastly inflate your max hit points even after you reach level 30.

    Role Playing Games 
  • Alpha Protocol gives you "perks" for getting into bed with various women which adds a couple of in-game benefits. It also gives you experience points, so it's always funny to see Mike level up just after doing the dirty. Oh and the game has six achievements based around sex - five for having a good night and one for abstaining. You get perks whatever you do.
  • In Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn, romancing Jaheira the "right" way gets her a Harper Pin, which grants several useful bonuses. While better replacements show up near the end of the game it's a good item for most of the mid-game. More importantly, however, successful navigation of this quest (which is not actually part of the romance, but gets powered up if you're in a romance with her and weaves in and out of it), nets you a few large buckets of experience points. The trope is inverted (though it's perhaps more of an oversight) in the expansion pack Throne of Bhaal, where if you're romancing Viconia you can convince her to perform a Heel–Face Turn; doing so prevents her from using a very good item that she's already wearing—and she doesn't get a replacement to reflect the change.
  • BoxxyQuest: The Gathering Storm has a couple of points where you’ll be asked to pick one of your partners to have a support conversation with. The first time is at the start of Chapter 7, and the second is halfway through the Sky Abyss. Whomever you pick will gain multiple experience levels, (three for the first time, two for the second), alongside some character development.
  • Conception 2: Children Of The Seven Stars from Atlus has this as a selling point, as the titular "children" are dolls imbued with life energy from the protagonist and a love interest (sometimes two), with the dolls' base and maximum stats depending entirely on how much affection the girl(s) have for you. From the Amazon listing, "The Power of Love: Combine your power with the powers of other Disciples to give life to Star Children, ethereal beings that can fight in battle. Manage your partnerships carefully!"
  • In Criminal Girls, you can use Punish Mode to teach party members new moves. (Battle moves, you pervs.)
  • While you don't actually level up from it in Dragon Age: Origins, you do gain influence - and can lose it, too, based on your actions. Sufficient influence with a member of your party grants them bonuses from the inspiration your character provides them. Negative influence, on the other hand...
    • Dragon Age II follows the suit by giving your Companions unique bonuses/passive powers upon reaching high levels of either Friendship or Rivalry, such as the shieldmaiden Aveline taking 10% damage for Hawke if her Friendship was maxed out.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • In Morrowind, male Player Characters can undertake the "A Special Friend" sidequest line from the Khajiit Ahnassi, who clearly has a crush on the PC. It evolves from simple tasks like bringing her flowers to heavier stuff like helping her skooma-addicted ex get clean. Completing it rewards your with the location of a key to the Great House Redoran vaults with plentiful valuable items to steal, an introduction to the Master Trainer of Acrobatics, and the free use of Ahnassi's house for resting.
    • In Skyrim getting married has a number of benefits.
      • Your spouse will open up a shop to keep themselves occupied while you're away, and you get a cut of the profits (approximately 100 gold per every 24 hours). You can also buy and sell items from your spouse as you would a regular merchant.
      • Once per day your spouse can prepare a homemade meal for you that increases the rate of health, magicka, and stamina regeneration.
      • Sleeping in the same house as your spouse gives you a temporary buff called "Lover's Comfort" that increases the rate of skill-learning by 15% for eight hours.
  • Ar tonelico:
    • This is a series of pseudo-dating-sim-esque RPGs practically built around this trope, as you gain most of the game's musical spells by "diving" into the female characters' inner mental worlds and helping them fix their issues, an act which the game specifically links to romance. Furthermore, the characters' power in battle is increased by "Harmonics", a set of two gauges which represent the feelings of the fighting party and the magical songstresses respectively, which add status boosts to the party when the bars meet in the middle; the bars increase when the fighting party defends your singer-mage, attacks on her behalf, or does something otherwise suitably impressive for her.
    • Incidentally, "diving" at level 5 and beyond is when things get (supposedly) dangerous. And any and all innuendo before this is blown out of the water as their "inner" selves quite literally jump the protagonist. In a bath towel, a Y-shirt or as a succubus.
  • In Fallout 4, maxing out a companion's Affinity and completing their personal quest will grant you a unique Perk that persists even if that companion is not in your party. If you choose to romance that companion, resting on a bed while they are nearby will grant you a "Lover's Embrace" perk, which increases the value of experience gains for a limited time.
  • Final Fantasy Brave Exvius features a Trust rating for almost every unit (with the exception of some plot-critical units). Increasing trust has two benefits - one, after every quest or exploration, there's a chance that each unit will find a bonus item, with that chance equal to their trust rating (with 100% trust guaranteeing said unit will find something). Two, a unit that achieves 100% trust gives an item or ability that can be equipped on other units, and many of these items and abilities are rather nice and only available in this manner.
  • In Fuga: Melodies of Steel, you can raise the affinity between two children by pairing them up in combat, have them talk to each other during intermissions, or have one child do another person's laundry in a chapter's third intermission spot. When a pair's affinity with each other reaches level 2, you can not only view link events that provides more insight into the children and their relationships, but also access powerful screen-nuking skills called Link Attacks, which deals damage to the entire enemy team and provides additional buffs in your favor, such as recovering HP or SP, boosting the attacking party's stats, or inflict debuffs onto enemies.
  • The various tourists of Heroland have a relationship meter with the tour guide protagonist, separate from their experience meter or general enjoyment of the quest. Increasing this value raises the power of that character's unique skills, as well as unlocks various sidequests.
  • In Inuyasha: The Secret of the Cursed Mask, picking romance options with a specific character will help unlock new Co-op techniques you can perform with them.
  • In Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, you can train certain characters as Jedi if you get your Influence score with them high enough. Even characters who can't become Jedi still offer other bonuses, such as experience points and stat boosts.
  • Inverted in The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel. Growing the bond between party members increases or enhances the various link abilities they can use, and maxing out the bond between Rean and another character allows an optional romantic encounter between them.
  • In Lufia: Curse of the Sinistrals, Maxim and Selan both gain a Last Chance Hit Point Title after their marriage and the birth of their child. Albert, the NPC who grants Titles, wonders what childbirth has to do with their newfound ability.
  • Lunarosse will grant Noel and Gloria a new party buff move if you max out your relationship with each of them.
  • In Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis, Roxis won't be able to learn some of his spells unless you follow his character quest up to a point, and he won't be able to participate in Co-op Synthesis unless you follow it further. No other characters' abilities are affected by their character quests, but your Variable Strike gets stronger as your Relationship Values with the participants increase.
    • Also, if your relationship isn't high enough with any of your teammates (if you haven't finished all of their character quests and talked with them in the final chapter) then you'll end up with the bad ending, as the only reason Vayne doesn't go through with his original despair-driven suicide is that the character you have the highest Relationship Values with snaps him out of it.
  • Earning the loyalties of your squadmates in Mass Effect 2 increases their effectiveness in the Suicide Mission and unlocks an additional power for them. Shepard also benefits, as they can choose one ally's loyalty power for their own use. However, doing the actual romances does not bring any gameplay benefits to Shepard or their partner.
    • Building a healthy rapport with Yeoman Chambers gives you the option to have her feed your fish, so they don't die if you forget to do so after every mission.
      • Which plays into Mass Effect 3. Getting Chambers to feed your fish in 2 and then ensuring she survives the Ceberus attack on the Citadel is the only way to get one of the Intel stat bonuses.
  • A core mechanic in Miitopia, where your Miis have Relationships that can be leveled up to grant powerful team abilities, such as team attacks, self-reviviving through Heroic Resolve when an ally falls, and taking extra attacks out of turn order to avenge fallen teammates.
  • In Mitsumete Knight R: Daibouken Hen, you gain access to powerful magic spells if one of the two female partners of your party has very high Relationship Values with MacLeod. If both of them are in love with him, you get even stronger magic spells, one of which being a rainbow-colored Kamehame Hadoken.
  • In Monster Rancher 2, your monster's relationship values have a major game mechanic effect. Monster with low Loyalty are much more likely to fool around during fights, disobeying your commands and leaving themselves open to attacks. If a monster gets too spoiled, it will often refuse to do its training exercises, while a monster that fears you too much gets stressed out (shortening its lifespan) and is likely to run away. How you treat your monster can also affect its Good-to-Evil axis, which both affects its behavior and its access to certain techniques.
  • Neverwinter Nights 2 Mask of The Betrayer goes and makes the only romance in a BioWare/Obsidian title that would be unforced give you a feat for finishing it (The male PC romance plot also gives a feat, but it still has the other issues).
    • The non-romantic relationships also give bonuses. For example, maxing out the bear Okku's respect for you causes the Hunger Gauge to deplete much more slowly.
  • Planescape: Torment is a strange case. You can get useful items or stat increases from, or confer stat increases to, almost all your party members by talking to them. The only real exception is Fall-From-Grace, who in a more conventional game would have been a potential romantic interest, but she can help you understand your party members better, cluing you in on which dialogue options to take—and also doing so earlier than the game would normally allow. Annah, meanwhile, is deeply attracted to you; you have the option to kiss her at one point, and it boosts her morale—until she gains her next level, where it returns to normal, possibly due to a bug. (For context reasons, let's now reveal that Grace is a chaste succubus and Annah is descended from fiends.)
    • Not a romance, but Dakkon's karach ("chaos-matter") blade becomes more powerful as he levels up. However, how it becomes more powerful depends on how he feels. If you help him overcome his inner turmoil, his blade becomes an excellent defensive weapon that boosts his spellcasting. If you intentionally aggravate him, this is reflected in his blade becoming vicious and serrated and better at melee combat. While in a neutral morale situation, it's a balance of the two.
  • Not a romantic example, but there are a fair number of Pokémon who will only evolve if the trainer keeps them happy and builds a strong relationship with them.
    • Also, the move Return gets stronger the more the Pokémon likes the trainer. The reverse is true with the move Frustration.
    • A handful of NPCs will teach moves to a Pokémon only if it loves its trainer enough, or give the Pokémon a ribbon, or will give you an item if the first Pokémon in your party loves you enough.
    • There's now a sub-feature in Generation VI called Pokemon-Amie where you can play with your Pokemon, feed them cakes and pet them. Increasing their affection this way improves critical-hit ratios, exp gain and recovery from status conditions, among others. Similar sub-features were implemented in future games, such as Pokemon Camp in Sword / Shield.
  • Rakenzarn Tales grants you stat boosts and even new moves when you reach a new relationship level with one of your love interests. These are mostly for Kyuu, but his date - if she's a party member - will sometimes gain these as well.
    • Building relationships with your party members and friends in Rakenzarn Frontier Story can gain you new moves and combat options, such as switching out characters mid-combat. This is especially important for party members, as improving their levels is primarily how you gain new Limit Breaks.
  • In Septerra Core you may lead lead Grubb and Led to start a romantic relationship witch each other, which rewards both of them with unique special attack.
  • Shin Megami Tensei:
    • Persona 3 - the various Persona you can use grow stronger as you strengthen your relationship with the character who is associated with the same Tarot Motifs. In the case of female characters (including your female teammates), that relationship tends to be romantic in nature. In order to create the Ultimate Incarnation of each Tarot, you need to max out your relationship with that person – of course, that also means that if you want a good lineup, your character is going to turn into a real Casanova, since he'll have to win the hearts of five different girls in the same school… (Plus the affections of two girls who you can't actually have a relationship with; a preteen girl who promises to marry you when she's older and your female homeroom teacher who you meet anonymously through an online game.)
    • Persona 3 FES adds another romantic Social Link with Aigis, and allows you to date (and sleep with) Elizabeth, who isn't a Social Link, but will grant you various key items to summon several specific Personas as you progress your relationship. Talk about the living incarnation of studliness…
    • Persona 3 Portable adds in a female protagonist, whose route goes Persona 4's way by having nine of her teammates be Social Links (whereas only the female teammates can form Social Links for the guy), who can choose out of five options (Akihiko, Shinjiro, Ken, Ryoji and Theodore) along with crushes from Bebe and Hidetoshi. She can choose at specific points if she wants to date someone, à la Persona 4. And for the guy, there's no consequence for dating multiple girls, à la (again) Persona 4.
    • Persona 4 continues the trend, but also applies it to your battle allies. Odd-numbered Social Link ranks add additional in-battle effects ranging from using follow-up attacks to taking lethal attacks for the MC, while the Personas of your allies will only mutate to their final forms once you have fully maximized that person's Social Link. Also, 4 doesn't require you to be romantically involved with a female in order to max her Social Link (thus you can remain faithful to one girl), though choosing the romantic route will show different scenes.
    • Persona 5 has the "Confidant" mechanic, which is functionally similar to Social Links including the improvements to your Personas and your party members gaining new abilities, but all of them, even NPC Confidants, also give you additional benefits ranging from additional crafting recipes, to shopping discounts, to improved proficiency at negotiating with demons.
    • Devil Survivor 2 features the Fate System, which works similarly to the aforementioned Social Links: reaching ranks 1, 2 and 4 bestows additional benefits to the character in battle, while ranks 3 and 5 unlock new demons for fusion. In addition, there's a point in the game at which all but a few of your allies leave you—which ones stay depend on your route. While there's no route that allows you to recruit everyone (the Anguished One is only available on his own route, where neither Yamato nor Ronaldo can be recruited, and you can't recruit either Ronaldo or Yamato on the other one's route), you can re-recruit anyone else who you have rank 4 or above with.
    • In Raidou Kuzunoha vs. King Abaddon, your Mons will gain a new skill when their loyalty is maxed out. This is the primary method of gaining passive abilities, which are sorted differently from attacks.
      • And the more Loyalty you gain, the higher Raidou's Rank becomes (some ranks are just awesome: Morning Star, or Taisho Examplar), but also: at certain levels, Raidou is gifted with more tubes, allowing him to hold more demons.
  • In Star Ocean (really, any of them), various bonuses you can pick up from having good relationships include (in the second one alone): special techniques, random items, improved item creation, and if in battle, doubled attack power.
    • Having a good rapport between your party members is essential to teamwork. For example, in The Second Story, if you choose to have your B team fight, it's likely the AI-controlled members will just do their own thing, even if they are assigned to healing duty. If Noel doesn't particularly care for Dias, he'll probably take his sweet time casting Dispel to cure Dias' paralysis.
  • Thousand Arms combines RPG gameplay with Dating Sim aspects. The more the girls like you, the stronger you get!
  • Valkyria Chronicles, while not elaborating much on romance between the various secondary members of Squad 7, has the abilities 'Fancies Men' and 'Fancies Women', which increase a character's effectiveness when around males or females, respectively, because they want to 'show off'. Yes, there are female characters with 'Fancies Women' and males with 'Fancies Men', and even one who has both of them. Also, one (female) character gets an extra boost around the female lead.
  • Subverted in Wizardry 8, where it's Level Down At Intimacy 5. You gain the trust of the Rapax Templar by making one of your party members an initiate. As the final task of this ceremony, the character must make a "sacrifice" to their demon queen, which basically means that the initiate (male, although she will take a female if the party is entirely composed of women) has to sleep with her. The bad part is that the lucky guy ends up permanently hexed and suffers massive stat loss if he ever leaves the Rapax Ravine until the demon queen is killed. As if that weren't enough, if you actually go through with this, it makes the already tough fight with the Rapax prince harder as—in addition to his entourage—he'll also be accompanied by the daughter of the demon queen and the character that slept with her. While this all sounds like a raw deal, being a Rapax Templar does have its advantages, and can lead to a really awesome quest down the line.
  • In Xenoblade Chronicles 1, raising the affinity between your party members allows them to equip each other's skills, increases the effectiveness of chain attacks in combat, and makes it easier to craft high-quality gems.

    Simulation Game 
  • Dead In Vinland has this, and it's all over the place because your party is a Love Dodecahedron. Numerous pairs of characters can get the "In Love" buff, which has several stat benefits (though also a penalty to Concentration-related skill XP). There are also a few other one-sided buffs like "Love Confession" and "First Kiss." Some characters can even get debuffs if they're rejected.
  • In Die Fugger II, a simulation game based on medieval European commerce, you were expected to take a spouse and sire a child. At certain points in the game, your character would die, and if you had an heir, the game would continue; otherwise, it would end.
  • In I Was a Teenage Exocolonist, Friendship Moments often reward Sol with powerful cards, and successfully dating someone also gives them the Smitten status, which increases all Social Skill gains by 1 for three months. Additionally, going out on dates reduces Sol's stress.
  • Rune Factory:
    • If you don't marry in Rune Factory 2, then you can't play as your child and finish the game. Luckily, three of the prospective bachelorettes will never marry anyone but you and you have a few years to choose from all of them. However, the game does have a preferred marriage and none-too-subtly assaults you with images of First Girl Wins from the opening sequence onwards.
    • In Rune Factory 3, the higher your friendship/love points with a villager, the longer they'll stay with you when in the dungeons (at the lowest level, they'll bail out after 5PM, then 8, then Midnight). Your wife will stick with you no matter how long you stay in a dungeon — very helpful when slogging through the last couple of Bonus Dungeons.
  • Sailing Era: When a player has contributed enough to a port they can get access to the local specialty trade good, do land expeditions if available and even set up a merchant guild that can invest in the city for more benefits.
  • In newer versions of The Sims, Romance oriented Sims have as their main life goal to have as many love relationships as possible. This gives them happiness and points with which they can buy game-enhancing items. And, all jobs in the Sims require maintaining a lot of friendships to reach their higher levels.
    • In The Sims 3, Sims gain Charisma skill when they WooHoo with other Sims. If it is enough of a gain to move them up to the next skill point, it's more than a little funny to get the announcement while your Sims sit on their bed in post-coital bliss.
    • The Sims 4 has the Great Kisser reward trait that functions differently from the perk of the same name in The Sims 3, as it increases a Sim's Charisma every time they kiss someone.
  • Story of Seasons:
    • In older games, being married raises your overall farm rating and unlock various items and events, including the ability to have a child. (You would get a failing evaluation without a wife.) Even in newer games without an evaluation that allow endless gameplay, you're strongly encouraged to move towards marrying, and doing so often gets some bonus assistance from the spouse.
    • Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life (and Another Wonderful Life and Special Edition) requires you to betroth a girl (or guy) and have a baby in order to advance the story. If you haven't proposed by the end of the first year, the game has the bachelorette with the highest affection towards you come and propose to you, with a Non-Standard Game Over if you say "no". (If you haven't gone after one girl specifically, you'll mostly likely get Celia to propose.)
    • Story of Seasons: A Wonderful Life also requires you to marry to avoid a Non-Standard Game Over, though it can be any of the eight eligible bachelors and bachelorettes.
  • In Stardew Valley, befriending the local NPCs can net nice goodies, like new crafting recipes or goods. Once you marry someone, they'll give you gifts much more frequently and occasionally do chores such as fixing broken fences or watering crops for you. Kissing your spouse removes the negative effects of your energy reaching zero. You also can't reach perfection without marrying someone and reaching the full 14 hearts with them.

    Turn Based Strategy 
  • In Fate/Grand Order, leveling a Servant's Bond Level to 10 will unlock a unique Craft Essence item that conveys special benefits when equipped on that character. In the final chapter of the first storyline, Servants with their Bond at higher than 5 will gain a passive attack bonus up to a full 100% at 10. Even before then, however, getting them to a certain Bond Level will give them an Interlude that will often upgrade a skill or their Noble Phantasm.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War uses this with a twist: it's limited to romantic relationships, and in the second half you play as the characters' children. Their abilities depend on who supported with whom in the first half. The second generation characters can be paired up as well, but this only gives the usual stat bonuses since the game ends before a third generation can show up. Additionally, sometimes the partners in a relationship can give each other stat point increases or great items. Later games are similar, but that falls under Relationship Values.
    • Fire Emblem: Awakening takes it back to this trope by again allowing for child-bearing romantic relationships, although the non-romantic supports are still present (and the main character can support with any character of either gender, with romance being available with any character of the opposite gender up until getting a husband/wife. Including the child characters (Time-Travel Romance is involved), which means that most of them have different conversations for whether or not the child is the main character's child (and Morgan, who is always the main character's opposite-gendered child, has at least three different sets of conversations with some characters—one as their younger sister (or younger brother in Lucina's case), one as their son/daughter, and one as a romantic interest—and in some cases, a same-gendered, unrelated Morgan could also have an A-level conversation available)). The "Future Past" DLC really hammers it home.
    • Fire Emblem Fates uses the Awakening system with child-bearing romantic relationships, child characters (involving pocket dimensions and Year Inside, Hour Outside rather than Time-Travel Romance), etc. As a bonus, romantic couples and same-sex friends can swap classes when they get enough support levels.
  • In Record of Agarest War, you have to raise the affection level of a potential Love Interest before you can even choose her to be the mother of your child for the next generation, and the higher her affection, the more of her stats gets passed on to said child.
  • In Sakura Wars, the more one of the girls likes the hero, the higher her stat bonuses. In addition, a high enough trust rating will unlock special attacks. These include giant mecha that transforms from a theater, and a hot springs bath that makes mecha explode.
  • Sengoku Rance, as well as the other games in the series, love this trope. As the relationship goes up, characters get stronger, to put it in a simple way.
  • In Sunrider 4: The Captain’s Return, improving Kayto's relationships with the members of his crew will unlock various perks. Some of these perks are just for flavor, but most of them benefit the player in some way, such as reducing resource costsnote , enhancing existing abilitiesnote , and granting entirely new ones.
  • The Bonds system in Trapper Knight, Sharpshooter Princess functions similarly to Supports in the earlier-mentioned Fire Emblem series, granting passive stat boosts if paired units remain close to each other. But it is also the only way to unlock some items that can increase a character's abilities, such as new traps for the titular knight or a powerful slingshot for the child thief.
  • XCOM 2 gets into this with the War of the Chosen expansion's Bond mechanics. Soldiers who deploy together also earn cohesion points when they do things like heal or cover each other, and once a pair meets a certain threshold they came become Bonded. In its most basic form this lets one soldier give up their turn to give their bondmate another action, while at higher levels it lets the bonded pair finish covert operations faster, shake off panic or mind control by rushing to the other's side, grant a bonus to aim against an enemy, or unleash a Combination Attack against a foe.

    Visual Novel 
  • The warrior Iris from Princess Waltz is formed from the combination of the Prince and a Princess, with her powers determined by the level of intimacy between the pair. Being one of "those" sort of games, the Mentor notes that sex can be very helpful in making the pair comfortable with each other's bodies.
  • In XOXO Droplets, making a clique member your boyfriend gives you a perk such as instantly unlocking all date locations, having your energy refilled at the start of every week, and never losing Reputation points. There are also two "side boyfriend" options, Kam and Adrian, who will let you get items at the store they work at for free if you romance them. Ironically, the only romance options in the game that don't give you an in-game perk are the six main love interests because they're considered to be unfriendable jerks by everyone else.

    Wide Open Sandbox 
  • Grand Theft Auto:
    • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas has this. Six girls CJ can date, in exchange for perks, like weapons, clothes, their cars, the possibility for dying/getting busted without losing all weapons, and, in one of the girls' case, a plot advancing MacGuffin for a mission.
    • Grand Theft Auto IV likewise provides three potential girlfriends for Niko (outside of the plot-mandated ones). Respectively, they can be called up for a health boost, wanted level removal, or discount on clothing once their relationship level is high enough.

Non-video game examples:

    Anime and Manga 
  • Digimon Adventure 02 provides a G-rated, non-romantic example: jogress evolution triggers for the first time when the mons' human partners bond in such a way that "their hearts beat as one" and they gain a deeper mutual understanding: Daisuke gets through Ken's Ineffectual Loner attitude by telling him You Are Not Alone, Miyako delivers a Get A Hold Of Yourself Man to Hikari, and Iori begins to understand why the forces of evil are a very personal issue for Takeru's.
  • In Lucky Star, Konata says that to her, building up "trust points" in the days before Valentine's Day is more important than the day proper.
  • Persona 4: The Animation, following the video game source.
  • As the Valkyries in Val × Love are supported by the Power of Love, they level up through "Val Love" events, like holding hands to go to the store, studying together, eating a bento the Valkyrie made, feeling up the Valkyrie's chest for half a minute...
  • Tales of Wedding Rings:
    • The point of the rings is to bind the Ring King to his wives so that he can receive power from them and fight the Abyssal beasts; the closer their bonds, the more powerful he becomes. A quick kiss before a battle gives him an energy boost, and sex supposedly gives a permanent boost to his power. The problem is that Sato is in love with his first wife Krystal above all others, and refuses to touch any of the other girls first—despite the fact that his relations with Krystal keep getting interrupted in various ways.
    • Deconstructed with the first Ring King. He did have sex with his wives for power, which slowly resulted in him becoming a power-hungry, lust-obsessed maniac who saw his wives as little more than tools for his own power. After he sealed away the Abyssal Lord, his wives killed him before he could turn around and conquer the world himself. They then buried all knowledge of his treachery and insanity, until finally the last surviving wife (an immortal elf) saw fit to explain this to the new Ring King and his wives a thousand years later.
    • It doesn't take long for Sato to discover that merely becoming better friends with his wives increases his power, albeit at a much slower rate than sex would. Furthermore, the wives have their own power increased in a similar fashion, so they begin learning magic to take advantage of this as a Battle Harem. The elven Elder is also surprised that both Sato's and the wives' power increases when the wives become more friendly with each other, without Sato entering into it.
  • The World God Only Knows is an interesting case. Runaway spirits are beings from Hell that feed on negative emotions. Therefore, the best way to chase them out is to use positive emotions—specifically, love. However, beings from Heaven are the opposite, and are directly strengthened by love. In both cases, it is noted that a kiss is generally an important milestone. It's enough to force out a runaway spirit, and enough to give a goddess wings. At the same time, it is noted that this is only an approximation. Several times, Keima has been in situations where a kiss wasn't enough, simply because he played the card too early or there were other complications.

    Comic Books 

    Comic Strips 
  • What's New? with Phil and Dixie: There was a long-running gag where Phil and Dixie would get interrupted just before they could get to discussing "Sex in D&D" (presumably with illustrations). So when they finally got around to it, it showed a game session where the GM skips over the part between the player's character following a tavern wench upstairs and the next morning, awarding him 5 XP. The last panel has the infuriated audience's Big "WHAT?!" visible from the Moon, which is where Phil and Dixie are hiding.

    Fan Works 
  • In Conversations with a Cryptid, Izuku sasses All for One with this, telling him that he hasn't ground enough reputation to unlock the answer a personal question, and that if he gets enough, Izuku will tell him his tragic backstory. In the last chapter, after saving Izuku's life, All for One asks Izuku for that tragic backstory.

  • Anita Blake books are a literature example. In Anitaverse, a triumvirate of a vampire, a lycanthrope, and a necromancer gathers a big power boost over the sum of their individual powers. The catch is, to gain the boost, all three have to be very fond of each other. A triumvirate doesn't have to be menage a trois (although, it implied, it often is), theoretically the triumvirs could just be very close friends.
  • Endo and Kobayashi Live! The Latest on Tsundere Villainess Lieselotte: the second half of the Fictional Romance Game Love Me Magically! partly runs that way; while Fiene's stats can be improved by Level Grinding, the stats of her chosen partner(s) are solely determined by Fiene's Relationship Values. Their actual battle stats aren't even visible to the player.
  • Literary example in Tanith Lee's novel Lycanthia. The feudal lord of a certain lineage, when having two werewolf companions, gains the magic powers of an ancient wolf goddess - but only if all three are in a state of true love (not necessarily sexual). The powers are implied to be immense. The protagonist doesn't feel true love to his werewolves, just a kind of needy affection - but even that is enough to summon a hailstorm at a critical moment.
  • Near the end of Illuminatus!, this has to be used repeatedly by one character to become an avatar of a goddess.
  • In The Dresden Files, the ritual by which a Faerie Queen confers the mantle of Knight to a chosen mortal is quite intimate. But we're assured that regardless of how it looks, it isn't sex - "you can't have sex with a thunderstorm, an earthquake, a furious winter gale. You can't make love to a mountain, a lake of ice, a freezing wind." What Harry doesn't find out until later is that the entire Faerie Court also watched the proceedings.
  • In the Apprentice Adept series, werewolves only achieve adult status within the pack (conveyed by a fourth syllable in their name) after a ritual First Mating. When a female wolf comes into her first heat, she chooses a male for her first partner (usually an oath friend, as it's taboo for them to become permanent mates later). There's no chance of pregnancy at that time and it's considered good experience for both. Traditionally, each wolf takes the first syllable of their partner's name as their last. The reader is shown, via flashback, one female wolf who is locked into juvenile status because of her refusal to mate... With a male. note 
  • In Sword Art Online, people who are in a close relationship can share each other's inventory. If they are married, their inventories merge.
  • Major part of Magika Swordsman and Summoner as the higher the hero Kazuki raises his relationship level with the members of his Battle Harem the more of their powers he can access for himself.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The tabletop RPG Bliss Stage is the Trope Namer: In that game, your primary weapon against nightmarish aliens is the Alien Numina Inversion Machine, or ANIMa - it uses Psychic Powers to create a Humongous Mecha for the player characters out of their relationships. 5, the very highest score you can have in a relationship, is reserved for sexual relationships. There is a drawback: Unless you also improve the relationship's Trust stat, the relationship could easily be broken off. And breaking a high Intimacy relationship is a Very Bad Idea.
  • HeroQuest (the fantasy tabletop rpg set in Glorantha, not the MB boardgame) stats everything up, including relationships. Also, any stat can be used to augment any roll provided you can make a case for it to the GM, so your "love for kidnapped princess" score gives you a bonus to fight the dragon, and your "hatred of nuns" score makes it easier for you to kick one in the face.
  • Weapons Of The Gods has you improve your kung fu by consummating your love. However, it only works in heterosexual interactions - for homosexual interactions, you need a special kind of kung fu to improve your kung fu. It doesn't sound this offensive once you read the book, and it's based on Taoism. Heterosexual intercourse allows for the unity of yin and yang, male and female, which is a major theme in Taoism.
  • Legends of the Wulin, Spiritual Successor and sequel to Weapons Of The Gods, likewise has mechanics for strengthening your partner's chi through sex. As above, it normally only works with heterosexual actions; homosexual male sex is damaging to both partners, female-female sex is simply not sex for kung-fu-related purposes. This can be gotten around by developing the proper Daoist Sexual Technique.
  • Monsters and Other Childish Things places a heavy emphasis on relationships. Kids can draw upon their relationships to give them an extra boost when needed, like punching someone who insulted their brother extra hard, or doing better on a test if their mother encourages them. Monsters can also draw upon a child's relationship for an extra boost in combat, but if a relationship boosted roll fails...
  • Any Tabletop RPG in which the DM is in the habit of giving players extra XP for roleplaying can have examples of this.
  • Maid RPG has seduction built into the rules, and both sides benefit: The seducer loses Stress, and the seducee gains Favor.
  • In Apocalypse World, when your Hx with another character hits either top or bottom, it resets to almost neutral and you get experience.
  • In the board game Kingdom Death: Monster, the "Intimacy" story event is used to make babies and also has a chance of permanently strengthening the two parents. It is risky, though - there is a high chance that one or both parents will die.
  • Ars Magica: The Power of Love grants a bonus on dice rolls for a character to withstand emotional hardship and to act on behalf of their true love. Non-romantic relationships, including true friendship, also qualify.

  • PvP plays on this trope in this comic, where Francis and Marcy level up upon losing their virginity to one another. Their physical appearances noticeably change, making it harder to hide the fact that something happened.

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • In Real Life, marriage (but not anything else) unlocks lots of special rights and financial bonuses that make it easier to get a high score and a better game experience, but also some rules and restrictions. For female characters, it also makes pregnancy and being over a certain age much more acceptable depending on the server. Won't prevent death but makes you less pitiful during it. You should check your stats and server rules to determine whether you'll pay more taxes, or whether you'll risk losing half your stuff if the marriage breaks down. Some servers have implemented a Gay Option patch.
    • To put it another way: marriage doesn't require Intimacy to be at level 5 in order to initiate, but having it at a high level makes divorce and other relationship dysfunctions less likely.
  • Studies show that being regularly sexually active (no marriage required) has numerous minor health benefits, though there are also health risks like STDs (which can be screened for). Anecdotal evidence also regularly cites tremendous psychological benefits.
  • People who are socially active or have had several romantic relationships tend to be better and more experienced at them, less likely to say dumb things to their partner and start arguments. Those who are inexperienced in these matters have a harder time.

Alternative Title(s): Level Up At Intimacy Five