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Match Maker Quest

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An NPC (or three) are down on their luck in the love department, and can't seem to get that special someone to notice them. They're so desperate and mopey and (a)pathetically resigned to their doomed loveless future that they will spill their guts about these troubles to the first heavily-armed stranger to cross their paths (That means you.) Rather than find a solution themselves, they will ask you to do something for them, usually involving a Fetch Quest for some engagement gift, Impossible Task, or plain old bling to impress their potential partner. Other times, it suffices for you to use your prodigious dialogue screen channeled charisma to convince their intended to love them back. Occasionally, the match is already made and the quest centers on solving some other difficulty, like getting the parents to let them marry, gathering wedding materials, a dowry, or helping them set up a life for themselves.

Depending on the game, you may find yourself in this situation so often you practically become The Matchmaker and end up fixing everyone's love life. If you're lucky, the game developers won't forget to give the Player Character his/her own Romance Sidequest. Of course, some developers like to play with this trope and include options for you to sabotage this burgeoning love or outright steal them from the quest giver.

The Match Maker Quest is usually a necessary middle link in a Chain of Deals, and almost always rewards you by dropping some unique love themed loot. Hey, who cares if the +5 Vorpal Sword is pink and fills the air with Heart Symbols? Headless bodies won't complain! Isn't it amazing how RPG's manage to make even love reward you with implements of violence?

See also the closely related, more generalized trope Sidequest Sidestory.


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    Action Adventure 
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask: The very long Kafei and Anju quest, where it appears that Kafei has gone missing just before his marriage with Anju. It's not as simple as it looks, and you can't even finish this quest until very deep into the main game. And you need to do it twice in order to get 100% Completion.
    • The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker: You have to help two painfully shy NPCs (who are too shy to even say hello to each other, even though they see each other every day) get together. This involves taking and showing them pictures of each other.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks has one that has become quite infamous due to what happens after said quest. Namely, a pretty depressed village that has been left without a chief since he eloped. The girl also already had a boyfriend, who was kidnapped by pirates at the time. You can rescue him in a later sidequest... and he's not happy when he gets home.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword: Played with a sidequest located in the Knight Academy in Skyloft. Firstly, you have two possible options: you can either give Cawlin's love letter to the object of his affection, or you can end up giving it to the hand in the toilet. Secondly, it turns out the NPC he likes actually has feelings for another NPC, and he returns them. Giving her the letter results in them getting together and Cawlin being left in tears. Both paths give you the same reward, so you don't need to worry about Permanently Missable Content.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has three of these:
      • Played straight with the Lover's Pond sidequest, and hilariously executed. Lover's Pond is the fabled area mentioned not only in Gerudo Town's Vai and Voe class, but also in the diary in Kakariko's armor shop. You can find it on Tuft Mountain, in the southeast area of the map, near Lurelin Village. The sidequest involves giving flowers.
      • There is a sidequest in Hateno Village, in which Link is able to help the stable hand, Manny, woo the village innkeeper. The trope is hilariously played with, as when you ask the innkeeper, Prima, what sort of gift she would like, she quickly lies and says she'd like 100 crickets. Talk to her again, and Link will find out that she actually has eyes for a different guy in the village, and that she is already aware—and put-off by—Manny's interest in her. The quest also appears to be a bit of a reference to the sidequest in Skyward Sword, in which Link attempts to help a Hopeless Suitor with his crush, even down to the character designs of the NPCs involved being similar.
      • The Zora girl Finley and the Hylian guy she had been writing love letters to. Link is able to follow Finley's letter down Zora River to its receiver, and encourage the guy to actually go and meet Finley in person.

    Adventure Game 
  • In Quest for Glory IV, one of the quests is to get a feuding married couple back together by making them realize how much they miss each other. However, neither of them will ask you to do so, there's no reward for doing so, and it's completely optional.
  • Heroine's Quest you can match up the innkeeper and the healer from two different towns. It takes a lot of effort to obtain, because you need magic flowers from another realm because he wants to give her flowers (but it's the middle of winter). Alternatively you can tell them Blatant Lies that the other doesn't want to see him / her anymore.

    Dating Sim 
  • In May of the 2nd year of Tokimeki Memorial 2, one of the protagonists' best friends, Junichiro Hokari, will phone him to confess he's in love with one of the girls of the cast. You, as the protagonist, can, with the help of your childhood friend Hikari, can then set up a double date between you, Hikari, Jun, and Jun's love interest, in order to help him get close to her. Of course, if the girl Jun targets is the same as yours, this is the clue for restarting your game, unless you feel really confident in your combat stats...

    Deckbuilding Game 

    First Person Shooter 
  • In Borderlands 2 you do two of these for Scooter. They both conclude hilariously with the women rather killing themselves than dating Scooter.

    Party Game 

    Role Playing Game 
  • Dragon Age: Origins:
    • The player has the option to complete the quest "Cammen's Lament" where they must help a young Dalish elf named Cammen woo his love, Gheyna, who refuses to marry him because he is yet to become a full-fledged hunter. The player also has the option of being an absolute shit and breaking them up forever, potentially by seducing one of them. Doing so has no benefit beyond a small approval bonus from a single companion (Zevran, who will find it all amusing) and sadistic pleasure.
    • In his Loyalty Mission, Oghren asks for the PC's help in getting an old flame of his interested in him again.
  • In Dragon Age II, Aveline's sidequest involves her attempting to court a fellow member of the city guards. Depending on whether you like plots like this, it's either absolutely hilarious or excruciatingly painful to observe. Or anything in-between.
  • In Neverwinter Nights: Hordes of the Underdark, you meet an angel who managed to learn where he would meet his one true love, without learning her name. You have the option of asking the Knower of Names for the name of the angel's one true love, it is randomly selected between Aribeth, Nathyrra, Sensei Dharvana and the player (if female).
  • In Fable, you can bring together a boy and a girl who previously met at a party, by bringing his love letter to her(or claim that the letter is yours, and get the girl.)
  • Fable II:
    • The player can find a date for a farmer's son. The farmer would like you to set him up with a nice girl, but he would prefer a nice boy.
    • Fable II also has another event that either inverts or subverts this depending on what you do. There is a ghost who was left by their fiancé at the altar and in revenge they enlist you to woo their (still living) ex and then crush their heart so they'll share the same pain they did. You can either choose to follow up with this or to derail the would-be revenge plot by actually falling in love with said ex. Either way, the ex had eventually realized either way what they did to their dead ex was wrong and apologized, but if you had dumped the living partner of the two, they'll commit suicide and realize too late not only did the ghost make a mistake, but the (new ghost) ex learns of the ruse and leaves both of you.
  • Fallout 3:
    • Angela Staley wants to catch the eye of Diego. However, he's an acolyte and doesn't really have the option of wooing her and staying in the church. There are three options here:
      • Threaten to tell the priest. Diego will confess to the priest and break the relationship off to stay in the church.
      • Lie to the priest that his acolyte slept with a woman. Diego will be excommunicated and gets the girl but no marriage since he's living in sin.
      • Force the issue by giving Angela ant queen pheromones to seduce him into quitting the church and marrying her. If you sit through the wedding, you get positive karma.
    • Ronald Laren would like The Nuka-Cola Challenge to be this, but it doesn't work out that way. As in, you have the option of giving him the dough after fetching it so that he can use it to take advantage of her naiveté but this nets you bad karma, even though he doesn't succeed because the target is too stupid to understand his advances. If you want to be evil and have a female character, you can tell him to fetch the dough himself by proposing a threesome; he rushes off eagerly, only to get killed.
  • Fallout: New Vegas has Jack and Janet. Jack lives inside the Boomer's air force base and is afraid to leave but looks out with binoculars, Janet lives outside the compound and often looks in with binoculars but cannot enter because the Boomers attack anyone who approaches with artillery out of paranoia. To finish the quest you need to convince the Boomer Elder to allow her to enter the base and join the Boomers, then talk to Janet's boss and get her out of her contract with the Crimson Caravan Company (preferably without giving up her pay). If you want, you can lie to Janet that she's clear to go without clearing things with the Boomers, upon which she'll be obliterated by artillery shelling.
  • In Knights of the Old Republic, there is a Romeo and Juliet plot on Dantooine, that the player character can turn into a massacre, or a happy ending.
  • In Tales of Phantasia, if you do one of these quests near the beginning, you can meet the one of couple's descendants in the future.
  • Tales of the Abyss has a sidequest near the middle of the storyline where you can match up a pair of generals on the opposite sides of a war (naturally, the quest can't be completed until after you stop said war). Then one of them suffers a Plotline Death soon afterwards
  • A somewhat roundabout one in Dragon Quest VIII winds up a subversion. In order to be properly recognized as a man and marry Princess Medea, Prince Charmles needs to obtain an Argon Heart. He's finally talked into getting it when his father describes Medea's... charms, but needs your help. He spends the entire mission bumbling around, talking down to your party, making unreasonable demands, trying to ride the pretty horse that is actually Medea under a Forced Transformation Curse, and winds up buying a (presumably fake) Argon Heart from a merchant anyway. And because Medea saw all of this firsthand, she refuses to marry him later.
  • In Jade Empire, you come across an engaged couple having trouble because the man made a Childhood Marriage Promise to a local gang leader, who intends to hold him to it. If you can convince her to let him go, you get a follow-up quest to find a prospective mate for her.
  • Mass Effect:
    • Mass Effect 2 has an asari and a krogan in a relationship, but she's having doubts now that he's starting to take it seriously. You can convince her to continue the relationship or break it off. If you convince her to continue the relationship, you encounter the couple again on Tuchanka, the krogan homeworld. You overhear the krogan trying to explain to his asari girlfriend why living on a barren, barely habitable krogan wasteland is so much better than living on an ultra-modern asari-ruled planet... And then, in the third game, he dies on a mission for the krogans. But they have a kid together, apparently...
    • In Mass Effect 3 there's an option to encourage Joker and EDI to get together. Or, alternately, discourage it.
  • In Final Fantasy X-2, one side quest involves playing matchmaker for two dozen monkeys infesting a tourist trap the PCs want to shut down. Another involves telling basically every woman in the world that an uncharismatic but wealthy corporate heir is available.
  • The Elder Scrolls
    • Morrowind:
      • One side quest involves a woman who has fallen for the bandit who robbed her, and wants help tracking him down. Surprisingly, it turns out well.
      • A Tribunal side quest, actually called "The Match Maker," has you playing one of these for a young Dunmer woman who is too busy with work to find a husband. You can find 3 men to set her up on a date with. Whether the date is successful or not is up to a random chance; you can give each of the men advice which increases the odds of success, but never above 67%. If successful, one man gives you nothing as a reward, the second gives you an enchanted belt, and the third gives you the artifact weapon "the Bi-Polar Blade."
    • Skyrim:
      • The quest The Book of Love, where the player helps out 3 couples, including a pair of dead lovers, get together.
      • In the First Town, you can resolve a love triangle in Riverwood between a woman and two local males, whose plans of wooing the girl involves giving her a letter that makes the other look bad. Alternatively, you can get the tell the woman about this, causing her to get angry at the two and instead falling for you.
  • In Final Fantasy XII, you can help a viera in Rabanastre to meet her 'soul mate' - either a Seeq, or the hume in the plaza.
  • Many Neon Genesis Evangelion games allow the player to hook Shinji, as the player character, with a multitude of different characters from the series (and many original ones), mainly Asuka or Rei. Ayanami Raising Project however has the distinction of the player actually playing as a faceless "NERV Lieutenant" selected to be the new tutor of Rei or Asuka. One of the endings includes the player marrying either girl (despite them being underage and the Lieutenant clearly being an adult), or hooking them up with Shinji himself through a hidden relationship meter.
  • This happens a few times in Xenoblade Chronicles 1. One of the more memorable ones is also one of the earliest: there's a love triangle, and the protagonist has to decide which pairing to support by finding a love potion (or equivalent) and giving it to the right person. Problem is, the main character has the ability to see the future, and both options end badly. There's no way to Take a Third Option, either - unless you simply ignore the quest. Oh well, it's good XP...
  • Xenoblade Chronicles X has a few twists to the formula. One of the first is a compulsory quest to help the subordinate of a team member, that involves getting a favor from an alien craftsman that comes with a steep price; 10 pizzas. Doesn't seem like much until the shop owner charges you 10,000 credits for them. Another has gotten the girl with little issue already, but needs your help convincing her Proud Warrior Race father. But the third is the doozy; The questgiver is actually asking for help on behalf of a friend of hers. Like in it's predecessor, it ends in failure. But mostly because the client decides she'd rather get with the player instead... then the questgiver gets jealous and decides she likes you too!
  • Radiant Historia has an unconventional example involving a Beastkind woman and her human boyfriend. She keeps trying to push him away because she thinks their races are too different and it would end in tragedy. He's still hung up on her, and follows her after she leaves town... and ends up dead. You have to use Time Travel to reverse this, but even then it's possible to mess up the quest even more to the point where it starts a war! Doing it successfully unlocks a bonus Babies Ever After scene in the epilogue.
  • Subverted in Mother 3: While there are two NPCs who are secretly in love but too shy to talk to each other, you are never actually tasked to hook them up. They still get together After the End.
  • In Aion, a man has you collect an item to give the woman he loves, but once you have them, she says that she can't love a man that doesn't have the nerve to bring them himself.
  • A Very Long Rope to the Top of the Sky: You help Emil write a Love Letter to Genevieve and if you get it perfect, they together after the Time Skip.
  • The Outer Worlds:
    • Parvati's companion quest involves helping her get a date with Junlei Tenysson, the captain/mayor of the Groundbreaker.
    • The player can also help the CEO of MSI's secretary hook up with a vendor of animal parts she has a crush on.
  • Octopath Traveler:
    • The "Daughter of the Dark God" sidequest chain starts with a guard asking the player to duel him in order to get a woman's attention. Although this fails to woo the intended target, the next part involves a different woman falling for the guard, and the party helps hook them up.
    • There is also the "Love Unrequited" sidequest in Riverside, in which a girl named Mathilda is having issues with a lovestruck fool named Tony. You can either play this straight by having one of your duelists challenge and intentionally lose to/flee from Tony, which vastly improves Mathilda's opinion of him...or you can subvert it by either beating him up, or using one of your persuaders to bring Tony's mother over and have her scold him.

    Simulation Game 
  • Many a Harvest Moon fan have done this, due to the fact that the games have multiple romance rivals.
  • Your goal in Kitty Powers' Matchmaker and Kitty Powers' Speed Date is to help the client succeed at dating the selected candidate or pick the best one out of several after a speed date, respectively.

    Stealth Game 
  • Yandere Simulator has this as a non-lethal method of eliminating rivals for Senpai's affections: find someone with a crush on the rival and help him romance her. It's possible to eliminate all of your rivals in this way, thus carrying out a run where no one needs to die.

    Turn Based Strategy 
  • In Fae Tactics, by repeatedly bringing two of your party members (Orowantis and Pichon) on sidequests about one or the other, the player can unlock a special event in which they end up together.
  • A few quests in Final Fantasy Tactics A2 technically are of this sort. Technically, the game isn't designed to handle running around talking to NPCs, so it's usually just an excuse for killing things.

    Wide Open Sandbox 
  • There are hints of this in Bully, as some students ask Jimmy to put presents in other people's lockers, but they are only minor sidequests.

    Non-Game Examples 
  • Chapter 23 of Boarding School Juliet plays out like one of these, with the protagonist going around school talking to people so he can resolve the relationship problems of two heretofore-minor characters.