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Unresolved Sexual Tension / Video Games

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  • Art of Fighting enforces it between Robert Garcia and Yuri Sakazaki, by having her father and her brother constantly prevent Robert from ever being alone with her. Which frustrates Yuri, since they won't let her have a love life even though she's an adult. Yet, her dad has no problem with her brother dating King and actively encourages it.
  • Mario (and possibly Luigi) with Peach in the Super Mario Bros. games. Of course, the very nature of their relationship itself is very vague because of Nintendo's policies and Peach usually just rewards Mario with a kiss on the cheek. Surprisingly this issue is pretty much directly addressed in Super Paper Mario when Luvbi asks the characters if Mario and Peach are an item. If the player has Mario out he shakes his head in denial, or if Luigi is out instead he will say that it is "kinda hard to say" but that he wouldn't call her Mario's girlfriend. Luvbi concludes it as a one-sided crush.
  • Link and Zelda (as well as Marin, Midna and any number of his female companions throughout the years) in The Legend of Zelda series.
    • It seems that all Zelda games in the Adult Timeline (The Wind Waker, Phantom Hourglass, the latter half of Ocarina of Time and Spirit Tracks), all have a love interest between Link and Zelda, most notably Spirit Tracks, wherein it is clued several times: When Link and Zelda first meet, Link blushes, then at the end of the game immediately after Zelda reclaims her body, she gives Link a hug, causing Link to blush, which seems innocent enough, until after the final boss, Link and Zelda hold hands, which is much less innocent than it sounds. UST is restored at the game's conclusion, though, as Link returns to his engineering, becomes a warrior trainee, or just departs from Zelda's life depending on the choice the player makes near the end.
    • In Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, there's an implied kiss behind a curtain at the end.
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    • In the linked Oracle games, Zelda gives Link a Smooch of Victory and causes hearts to erupt around his head.
    • However, we've got "How about a kiss? For luck?" "You've got to be kidding me."
    • The end of Skyward Sword heavily implies that (at least for those incarnations of Link and Zelda) the tension will most likely be resolved soon enough, given that they stay on the surface together to found what would become Hyrule.
    • There's a fair bit of it in Hyrule Warriors, although this is non-canonical to the series; in particular, the first time Link and Zelda see one another, they share an extended Longing Look that can arguably be described as eye sex. It's also worth noting that the game's real villain is obsessed with Link, and hates Zelda because she's seen how devoted they've been to one another in their various incarnations.
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  • The player and either Carth or Bastila (depending on gender) for most of the first Knights of the Old Republic, and the player with Atton or the Handmaiden in the sequel.
  • Resident Evil makes copious usage of this trope, since each game features Ship Tease between the male and female protagonists while never actually seeing anyone hook up. In a franchise with loads of characters, Barry Burton and Ethan Winters are the only protagonists to have a romantic partner as part of their respective backstories.
    • Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine also seem to have plenty of this going on as well. Ever since REmake, the series has been filled with not so subtle signs of a deeper affection whenever the two are onscreen, even though it's never been taken further (Jill getting Put on a Bus not helping matters). Even Chris's new (working) partner Sheva in Resident Evil 5 makes the quick deduction that he and Jill were "close" after he recounts a brief description about her. Resident Evil: Revelations similarly sees Chris paired with another woman, Jessica, who shamelessly flirts with him and is consistently ignored.
    • Leon S. Kennedy and Ada Wong shared a Last Kiss and a love confession in their initial outing, but have since evolved into something official material simply describes as "complicated". Leon is the "Batman" to Ada's "Catwoman", their duties as a government agent and a mercenary consistently putting them at odds even when their connection is obvious. Resident Evil: Damnation confirms they’ve spent at least one night together, with Ada leaving straight after being a clear sore spot for Leon. In Resident Evil 6, Helena repeatedly presses Leon about his feelings for Ada, while Big Bad Simmons openly considers Leon his romantic rival.
    • As of late Leon and Claire Redfield (Chris’ sister), have displayed this. Being survivors of Raccoon City together and Sherry Birkin’s surrogate parents in RE2 they’re quite close and affectionate, with Leon wishing in Resident Evil: Degeneration he could meet Claire under “normal circumstances”. Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness confirms there’s buried feelings they aren’t admitting to each other, as when Leon desperately pulls Claire to safety in the climax, they have a Suggestive Collision and both take a moment’s pause in which Leon asks if she’s okay. In the Bittersweet Ending where Leon and Claire part ways note  Leon sadly says he’d hoped Claire would ask him out for dinner and Claire is noticeably upset at how their lives have taken different directions.
  • Fox McCloud and Krystal had this for a good majority of their appearances together in the Star Fox series even though they end up an Official Couple. In Command, due to some problems on Fox's part they have broken up and Krystal has become a Woman Scorned, resulting in much more of this (there are 9 different endings, in some of which, they actually do get together, in others they split up for good). However, Command seems to have become a case of Canon Discontinuity, casting further doubt on exactly how resolved their status is.
    • Fox and Fara shared that experience as well - but at least they never split up.
  • Metal Gear:
    • Solid Snake and Otacon have their moments, particularly in the first game (where Snake starts feeling Otacon up and Otacon gets flustered, and later when they start having long conversations about love) and the fourth (the scene where Otacon lights Snake's cigarette, the scene where Otacon puts his hand on Snake's knee as they're flying off in the chopper, Snake looking at Otacon with jealous longing after he starts getting seduced by Naomi...). Even creator Hideo Kojima is a fan of the unstated pairing. This was essentially confirmed in interviews with the voice cast, where David Hayter has admitted that he and Christopher Randolph played Snake and Otacon as a gay couple.
    • Before Metal Gear Solid 4 was released Hayter gave an interview in which he said "Otacon definitely loves Snake; you know, in a platonic way..."
    • In Metal Gear Solid 3, there's an awkward version of this between Snake and EVA. Hideo Kojima used Enforced Method Acting to make sure that Snake always looked awkward around her and instinctively freezes when she comes on to him, but at the same time he's unable to take his eyes off her rack. (Although once he begins to fall in love with her, the 'Snake Cam' is always pointed at her face.) Kojima has said his idea was to deal with the beginnings of the sexual revolution, with EVA being very (unhealthily) sexually liberated to the point where she doesn't understand relationships that don't involve a sexual component, while Snake's conservative older attitudes about sex keep him from getting close to people (or understanding the very sexual internal politics of Groznyj Grad, which EVA can understand immediately).
    • Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain:
      • Big Boss and Kaz have one shot where they're looking directly into each other's faces with their lips inches from each other. Members of Kojima's staff actually complained to Kojima about the level of sexual tension in the shot and asked for the scene to be toned down. Kojima said no.
      • Ocelot and Snake have a shot that is a direct callback to Otacon lighting Snake's cigarette in 4, with the intention of implying a prior sexual relationship.
    • Metal Gear Solid 4 has oodles between Snake and Naomi in his medical examination scene, which is all played in a humorous kind of way (Snake accidentally catching a glance up Naomi's skirt while collecting a dropped cigarette, Naomi ordering him to 'strip' and him getting embarrassed, the odd part where Snake catches her wrist while she's holding a rose and they end up in a sort of clinch like tango dancers) until Naomi actually does see him naked, at which point she bursts into tears. Not great for Snake's self-esteem.
  • Mass Effect 2 has this develop between Shepard and Samara if a relationship with her is pursued. Considering Samara is a Celibate Hero, it remains in the "Unresolved" stage... unless you get "The Citadel" DLC for Mass Effect 3.
    • Conversations between Shepard and Liara, and (male) Shepard and Miranda have shades of this in Mass Effect 3, if they were left unromanced through the course of the trilogy.
    • An accidental version was the sexual tension between male Shepard and Kaidan in the first two games, largely caused by a combination of the option to resolve it being removed from the final versionnote  and setting very little different dialogue aside for romanced FemShepsnote . Large numbers of fans noticed and the combination became very popular for a then hypothetical Gay Option. Bioware took notice of how popular the pairing was and made it a legitimate option in the third game.
  • Persona 3 is chock full of this, especially when it comes to a (Male) Protagonist and Yukari. The game blatantly puts the two together in would-be romantic situations outside of her Social Link, but when you max out her Social Link, she admits her love and tells him not to make plans that evening...and ends with a rather ambiguous sentence about what came after (something that carries over into Persona 4). And given the ending, the amount of UST could be irksome.
    • It even carries into Persona 3 FES's Playable Epilogue, The Answer... the protagonist's death clearly affected Yukari very deeply.
  • Sora and Kairi from Kingdom Hearts. It's especially obvious in Kingdom Hearts II, where Sora just Cannot Spit It Out to even Donald and Goofy, let alone to Kairi.
  • People believe Lara Croft and Larson in Tomb Raider Anniversary behave this way. Larson doesn't try to kill Lara over the first Scion piece until he is losing the fight and Lara never makes an attempt to shoot Larson at all, but uses fancy acrobatics to knock him down. In another scene, Lara attempts to escape from Natla's goons and Larson had a clear shot at Lara, but purposely misses his shot. In the two characters' final meeting, Larson gloats that Lara doesn't have what it takes to kill him and he just stands there believing it until Lara actually starts shooting him in a Quick Time Event. Should you fail the QTE here, Lara gets killed and Larson regrets that he had to kill her.
  • In Dragon Age II, if Hawke sleeps with Isabela but later romances someone else, subsequent conversations indicate that despite her claims that it was simply a fling, Isabela actually cares for Hawke far more than she lets on.
    • Hawke and Varric can make jokes about there being such tension between them. However, Varric is not a romance option, and he and Hawke are the best of friends.
    • In Dragon Age: Inquisition, it is possible to flirt with Scout Harding. Eventually she'll say she does feel something for the Inquisitor and that they can discuss it once the Elder One is dealt with...unfortunately, there's no option to do so after the last mission. (However, the Trespasser DLC - which takes place after the end - allows the Inquisitor to at least discuss it briefly with another character. The conversation indicates that the Inquisitor and Harding did at least date for a time during the three years between the main game and the DLC.)
  • Saints Row 2: The British Male voice-set for the Boss seems to believe there's some of this going on between Pierce and Shaundi, sometimes randomly remarking "I wish Pierce would quit bitchin' about Shaundi and just fuck 'er already."
  • In League of Legends, there are various possible examples of UST between various champion pairings:
    • Garen and Katarina are the poster-pairing for UST on Runeterra. Easily fits into Belligerent Sexual Tension as well, what with belonging to polar opposite factions and attempting to kill each other whenever they meet. And in the Twist of Fate cinematic, it is clear that despite their mutual 'appreciation', they will NOT hold back when fighting on the Rift.
    • There are many hints of LeBlanc and Swain having known each other for quite a while and that their alliance isn't purely platonic. Notably, on LeBlanc's end, her League Judgement shows her being very tender towards Swain, and 'hung from his arm' as his date at a ball that was being held in his honor. The latest 'Reborn' promotion has her quipping that she hasn't "had the pleasure of (his) company for some time". Swain has flip-flopped from being fairly social in her League Judgement, to sounding fairly cold in the latest Reborn promo (although Reborn is only strictly dialogue lines with no exposition describing how things are said).
  • In Runefall, Caius and Winifred are much too bashful to admit that they care for one another, despite several chances to do so.
    Narrator: You could cut the romantic tension with a butter knife.