Crispy Gamer

Uncomfortable Pairings

In the greatest movie of modern times, "Lethal Weapon," Mel Gibson plays a crazy person who drinks alone while staring at photos of his ex-wife and Danny Glover plays his straitlaced family-man partner. Together, they have a man-chemistry -- manistry, if you will -- that was strong enough to merit the making of three additional Lethal Weapon movies, all of which were pretty miserable.

While gaming has its fair share of Murtaugh-Riggs-caliber pairings -- Mario and Luigi, Jak and Daxter, Ratchet and Clank, Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man -- it has just as many, if not more, oddball unions that never fail to make me feel like something is more than a little askew.

Here's CG's list of gaming's greatest uncomfortable pairings.

Uncomfortable Pairings

12. Professor Layton and Luke (Professor Layton series)

Saw this one coming, no? Whether it's the cloying way that young Luke is trying desperately to please his older mentor, or their visits to places like "St. Mystere," or the totally erect top hat that Professor Layton always wears, or their constant searches for a "hidden door," this union feels more than a little unholy.

Wrong-O-Meter: *****

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Uncomfortable Pairings

11. Elliot and Tyson (Army of Two series)

The game stars a pair of men with names so ridiculously overstuffed with machismo -- Tyson Rios and Elliot Salem -- it's obvious that their parents read the bestselling book "One Thousand Names for Your Child That Will Forever Make People Suspect That Your Child Has a Secret Life." Elliot and Tyson's high-fives and air-guitar riffs make me uncomfortable. But then the two men are surrounded by enemies and must go into Back-to-Back mode, literally fusing together to protect each other's unprotected backsides. And suddenly I have found a whole new level of discomfort that I never knew existed.

Wrong-O-Meter: ****

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Uncomfortable Pairings

10. Sonic and Tails (Sonic the Hedgehog series)

Over the years, only one person on Earth has seemed more confused about his gender than Tails. And that person would be Tyler Perry/Madea. Tails is an anthropomorphic fox with two tails who is totally nude, except for a pair of gloves and a pair of track shoes. He is supposedly an eight-year-old boy who admires Sonic, but whenever he talks, he sounds like a 10-year-old girl trying to buy tickets for the Jonas Brothers show tonight. Sonic: Start hanging out with anthropomorphic creatures your own age.

Wrong-O-Meter: ***

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Uncomfortable Pairings

9. Link and Midna (The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess)

Midna is a creepy, pot-bellied imp who busts Link out of prison, turns him into a wolf, and then proceeds to gleefully ride Link-wolf around. Later in the game, things get creepier still when Midna's true form turns out to be the body of a sexy blue lady with a midriff so taut it would draw applause poolside at the Chateau Marmont.

Wrong-O-Meter: **

Uncomfortable Pairings

8. Marcus and Dom (Gears of War series)

Marcus and Dom have a special man-bond because they have endured things "down in the Hollow" -- Roadie Runs, laying down suppressing fire for one another, enjoying tender moments during cut-scenes between levels -- that no vacation at even the mighty Hedonism Resort with their bikini-clad lady friends could ever top. I picture Dom late in life, alone in his little trailer, holding Marcus' old bandana to his face, inhaling his scent, and remembering their down-in-the-Hollow times together. Those sure were some times...

Wrong-O-Meter: ***

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Uncomfortable Pairings

7. Leon Kennedy and Ashley Graham (Resident Evil 4)

Perhaps it's those orgasmic squeals Ashley lets out whenever Leon catches her. Or maybe it's the way she follows Leon around, hiding in dumpsters whenever he tells her to hide in dumpsters. Or maybe it's her short, plaid skirt, or the awkward, poorly written flirtatious banter between the two. Whatever it is, something about this pairing makes me shout repeatedly at the television screen: He is too old for you, Ashley! But he is, however, good at killing zombies! So follow him around for now! Just keep your skirt down, OK? Ashley? OK?

Wrong-O-Meter: ***

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Uncomfortable Pairings

6. Leon Kennedy and Luis Sera (Resident Evil 4)

When Leon and Luis meet -- Symbolism alert! Sound the alarms! -- Leon literally lets Luis out of a closet. Over the course of the rest of the game, Luis continues to pop up during odd moments, ostensibly to assist Leon, or to elaborate on the game's terrible plot. But it always feels as if Luis has an ulterior motive for following Leon around. It always feels like he's one line of dialogue away from asking Leon to go cashmere-sweater shopping and get a Chai tea.

Wrong-O-Meter: ****

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Uncomfortable Pairings

5. Lakitu and his cloud (Super Mario series)

Only one person reportedly has ever seen Lakitu without his cloud. That person was paid an undisclosed amount of "hush coins," and then that person's corpse was discovered in a wheat field out behind Peach's Castle six months later. What exactly is going on inside that cloud? Whatever it is, it's not healthy for Lakitu or for the cloud. If that cloud ever gets free of Lakitu, it will need many years of therapy just to feel like a normal cloud again.

Wrong-O-Meter: **

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Uncomfortable Pairings

4. Big Daddy and Little Sister (BioShock)

Look what I found in today's personals! "ARE YOU MY MR. BUBBLES? Tiny little defenseless Capricorn seeks oversized, well-armored male outfitted with a large, destructive drill-arm. Must enjoy killing Splicers with drill-arm, long walks through Rapture, waiting around for me while I collect ADAM, and more long walks through Rapture."

Wrong-O-Meter: *****

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Uncomfortable Pairings

3. Master Chief and Cortana (Halo series)

Cortana is a tiny little hot lady who has a $300 haircut from Bumble and Bumble and appears to be naked, or perhaps she is wearing a form-fitting leotard. Master Chief is a seven-foot-tall super-soldier. And when these two meet, they flirt up a storm the likes of which we have not seen since Harry met Sally in their famous movie. Then Master Chief takes Cortana and inserts her DIRECTLY INTO HIS HEAD, where she lives for the rest of the game.

Wrong-O-Meter: **

Uncomfortable Pairings

2. Kurt Cobain and Guitar Hero 5 (Guitar Hero 5)

The scariest videogame of the year doesn't have the words "Silent" or "Hill" in it. It's this game from the classy people at Activision. This is the first time in the series' history that the game actually features an Unlockable Ghost. That ghost is Kurt Cobain, who can be used -- yes, that's the right word here -- to create all sorts of uncomfortable pairings like these. Why not just go a step further, Activision, and include some autopsy pics as unlockables, too?

Wrong-O-Meter: *****

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Uncomfortable Pairings

1. Doc Louis and Little Mac (Punch-Out!! series)


These two have been going strong together for 20 years, and they somehow, someway make it work, something that Kid Rock and Pamela Anderson couldn't figure out. The dynamic of their relationship is this: Doc Louis gives Mac sometimes helpful but often useless advice; Mac might or might not take said advice. Together they are gaming's all-time greatest uncomfortable union. It's not exactly a stretch to imagine Doc walking into the locker-room showers wearing nothing but his mustache and saying to Little Mac, "Don't worry, Mac. I'm just in here looking for my chocolate bar. Ha, ha!"

Wrong-O-Meter: ***

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Comments

I couldn't agree more. Indeed, there is so much to remember. I had a great time reading this review. - YOR Health

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