Another year, another Valentine’s Day and while the GAW team thought deeply about the character booty’s they would spank, who they want to date in real life, and what character’s we want to see date each other, this year we’re taking it a step further and challenging each other to come up with a night out for a mystery date with a game character. Here’s where it gets fun – the person below each other didn’t know who they were going on a date with until they started writing their portion of this article. Here’s how it works. The team chose Travis Touchdown for Vanessa’s date. Vanessa then secretly chose someone for Robin and so on. Let’s see how this unfolds! CAUTION: This may be cheesy and a little like fanfic. OK HAVE FUN! HAPPY VALENTINES DAY! Blind Date for Vanessa: Travis TouchdownThe Date: I’m going to say this first – Travis Touchdown is not my kind of guy. But, he owns a cat and has some cool collectibles so I decide to give the guy a shot, I mean he is pretty handsome, dresses well, and knows how to wield a sword. I would invite Travis out to dinner, pizza, and drinks because frankly, that seems like the quickest date we can go on and considering his history of trying to get laid I want to get out of this situation as quickly as possible. We eat and chat and I am somehow find myself drawn to his fuckboy charm, damn it I said I wasn’t going to date another fuckboy! We end up hitting the town where we both drink too much and in true fashion, Travis wants to show off. He pulls out his beam katana, promising me a show and accidentally slices someone in half causing us to promptly be kicked out. I know going back to his place is a bad idea but I also know there is a cat there. I take my chances and we go, and what do you know – the suave douche bag is a sweet cat man after all. We cuddle on the couch and I leave soon after. It was not the worst date of my life but also I would not go out with him again. I prefer my dates not kill people, and also why did he not take off his glasses the entire time? It was dark! Blind Date for Robin: Amy RoseThe Date: I feel like I’m an open-minded, adventurous person when it comes to dating, or at least I think I am. Which is why I probably said yes to going on a date with Amy Rose. When I first got set-up with her I was a bit hesitant: not because of the whole her being an anthropomorphic pink hedgehog, but more so about the blue, really fast elephant in the room. I’m of course talking about her on and off again former lover(?), Sonic. You know what? I can’t worry about stuff like that so I figured I would take her on a date and have a good time. I think…God, I hate first dates. I decided to take Amy out to the local gastro-pub-arcade spot in the city; I figured you can’t go wrong with pub-fair and arcade games. Even with my pre-date skepticism, I was actually having a pretty good time! She’s a bit intense, really energetic and a bit too competitive, but pretty cool. It’s a light date, nothing too serious I mean, what’s the worst thing that could happen? Well it turns out, her ex, Sonic, was there and I’m pretty sure she knew and planned it too. Next thing you know Amy is confessing her love to Sonic, yelling into his face, while the poor guy is just sitting there trying to calm her down. I’m pretty sure I was there to make him jealous or take her back or something. I wanted to step in, help the guy out maybe try to calm things down but next thing you know they start making out vigorously on the Super Mario World machine while security tried to calm them down. Next thing you know the two are running out together faster than I could keep up. To be honest, I was pretty glad I couldn’t, I do not want to be in the middle of whatever the hell that was. This, people, is why you don’t let your friends set you up on dates! I’ll stick to Tinder thank you very much! Blind Date for John: BayonettaThe Date: Well, I need to start off by saying that I truly believe that this witch is completely out of my league. I mean, look at her! She’s tall, confident, badass, snarky, flirtatious, gorgeous, and she kills angels, which I really didn’t even think were real, to be honest. I mean I am 100% behind seeing women be smart, sassy, and strong as hell, but when her entire job involves shoe-guns…I might not ever ask her out on a date. However, being set up by Robin, our date proved to be more than I thought it would. Bayonetta is actually very sweet and loyal. We took to each other pretty quickly. We went out for a movie and sushi date, a Moshi (moo-shi), if you will. We sat there watching whatever actor/actress was on screen when she grabbed my hand and from such a confident woman it was still so gentle and she looked over at me and tilted her glasses down and said, “I’m bored with this, let’s go get dinner and make out.” I swear to God her dress started to get shorter and tighter when she said it. So we left for dinner. Who was I to deny her food and making out? Needless to say, dinner didn’t happen either. She was attacked by angels the minute we stepped into the restaurant. You never have seen such action. Bullet hell raining down. There must have been ten of them. I didn’t quite know what to do, this was her thing, She fought with grace and ease like she had been doing this for 200 years. Close to the end of her battle, two immediately ganged up on her and I don’t think she saw the one behind her. Watching this spectacle of this beautiful, ballet type of fighting, I finally snapped out of my stupor, I stepped up and grabbed an angel’s fallen spear and shoved it into the back of one that snuck up behind her. As it died, and I sort of cried, her eyes turned to fire and she finished off the rest. She sauntered up to me, leaned in, and spoke ever so gently, “I saw what you did. That was sexy.” Then she kissed me on the lips and started to walk away. She turned her head around and with a smile said “I had fun tonight John, I’ll call you.” I walked to my car as fire burned around me, dead angels started to melt on the floor, and destroyed storefronts blew dust everywhere. I smiled and had a completely new outlook on dating. Blind Date for Allen: Chun LiThe Date: So John called me up and said he had a friend he wanted to set me up with. I originally wanted to decline but I figured, “Why not? It’s been a while.” He didn’t give me much to go off of other than her name Chun Li. John had told her I would meet her at this local coffee shop a few hours after he reached out to me. I threw on a flannel and a slouchie-beanie along with my favorite pants, might as well be comfortable when facing possible rejection right? I get to the shop pretty much on time and scan the room. No one around me seemed to be waiting on anyone. I assumed she didn’t show. “Might as well get coffee,” I mutter to myself. A firm hand lightly grasps my shoulder, I jumped as whoever grabbed my shoulder spoke. “Are you Allen?” I hear her say. As I turn around I am momentarily stunned by how gorgeous the woman speaking is. Her muscles are toned, her shoulders confident and squared, she somehow manages to look authoritative and completely approachable at once. I try to fight the panicked thoughts of “this is the meanest set up ever, she’s gonna dip out at any moment.” After I regained my composure I greeted her and asked her how she was doing. As the line slowly began to creep forward to the counter I gradually felt myself easing in to not feeling quite as on guard with her. We grabbed our drinks and decided to take a walk towards a local carnival. What happened next made me think something had been slipped into my coffee at the shop. This jacked-as-shit, angry looking, human/Chia Pet hybrid jumped out from behind a dumpster and charged at Chun. As it got closer, I tackled it and threw a punch. Despite the fact that my punch connected on the things jaw I knew this was a huge mistake on my part. He tossed me up the street like he was throwing away paper, which is impressive given my general chubbiness. As I slowly got to my feet, doing my best to make sure nothing was broken, I saw the greatest display of badassery I have ever seen. Chun-Li moved as a woman possessed. She unleashed a flurry of kicks, I could barely follow and I swear to all things unholy some of her punches looked like they were followed by smoke! The final moment of her opening this can of whoop-ass on the fikus-looking gremlin was accompanied by what looked like a solid ball of smoke slamming into the strange beast. It was so amazing I swear I heard a disembodied voice yell K.O. She looked at me as if she expected me to think she was a freak, I actually couldn’t contain my excitement. I burnt through a flurry of questions and statements everything from “Are you okay?”, to “What was that?” and even a “Did that thing look like a troll doll to you?” was thrown around. That’s when I noticed her knuckles were bleeding, she originally turned down any help cleaning herself up. She hesitantly agreed when I told her my parents had taught me a little first aid when I was younger. I took her to a nearby pharmacy and got what I needed. We talked while I was cleaning her knuckles and I even got her to laugh a few times with some smart ass remarks. After that, I walked her back to her apartment and told her good night. As I turned to walk away she caught my attention with a quick “HEY WAIT!” as I turned back she embraced me which kind of hurt given my ass being tossed around by a troll doll a few hours prior. I hugged her back then she smiled and went back to her apartment. She must have had some fun because the next day I woke up to a text saying “Next time we go out, let’s try a movie instead of a street fight.” Blind Date for Christopher: Claire RedfieldThe Date: Allen sent me a text, informing me, that he had set up a date for me. I jumped at the opportunity as Allen’s setup track-record was spot on. As dusk was setting in, I heard a knock on my door. I answered the knock, lo and behold, it was my date for the night. The woman introduced herself as Claire Redfield and was decked out in a red leather jacket, blue jeans, and biker boots. Draped over her back was a grenade launcher, while also sporting a six-shooter side-arm and combat knife. She told me to finish getting dressed and grab some heavy firepower for the night out. I finished getting ready and resembled a stereotypical Italian gangster while donning a twelve gauge shotgun, thirty-eight special revolver, and a forty-five caliber handgun but she was into it, which was all that mattered. We rode into town on her motorcycle and decided to hit the movie theater as our first destination. We both agreed to see, what we expected to be, a crappy 3D horror movie. As we sat back with popcorn and soda, the lights dimmed and the opening previews started. After several minutes a loud series of bangs occurred, the screen rips and several undead figures started walking towards Claire and myself; situated in the near the back row. While all this was going on, my first thought was “Wow! These effects are really awesome!”. Claire then yelled at me to start firing, we both pulled out our side-arms and fought our way out of the theater past undead ushers and patrons. Since the movie turned out to be a bust, Claire and I decided to go to an old English diner located 2 miles down from the theater. We picked a table in the corner by the window so we could keep an eye outside. As our server walked up to check on us Claire immediately noticed he was undead. She proceeded to pop a couple of caps in his ass when we heard a large thumping noise. The wall behind the front counter exploded in dust and debris when a large greyish figure appeared. Claire pulled out her grenade launcher and shouted at me to use my shotgun. We unloaded almost all of our heavy ammunition into the bulking bruit until it fell to its knee. She walked up to it and stabbed it in the neck putting it out of its misery. Apparently, the figure was Claire’s ex and when he got drunk he would dress up and annoy Claire during her nightly outings. She confided in me “What better way to end a relationship than pumping your ex full of explosives and lead!” As we left the diner, we had to dispense several more walking corpses before reaching her motorcycle. As she drove me back to my place I contemplated whether or not I had made a good first impression. When we finally drove up to my driveway, I got off her motorcycle, we talked for a few minutes and then she gave me her number. She told me she would be happy to go on another date in Racoon City on another adventure. Blind Date for Christine: Handsome JackThe Date: Christopher had DM’d me after he saw my late night posts about being alone on Valentine’s Day. He knew that this wasn’t just the usual brand of nihilistic humor, but that I was actually slightly upset about the lack of affection I received on this certain holiday. He said that the president of the robotics division he was working for had actually been asking lowerlevel staff if any of their sisters were available and that he’d put in a good word for me. While I was disgusted, I figured if the date wasn’t good at least the alcohol would be and warily accepted the offer. I had been texted a few nights before Valentine’s Day by an email from the Hyperion Corporation with a time and a location. Just a few hours before the date a small robot appeared at my door with a box, 12 dozen roses, and a message that a driver would be there to pick me up at 7 pm. After changing into the 2 million dollar dress that been in the box, I looked in the mirror to see it was a lot more revealing than anything I would have chosen myself. Especially for a first date! A black limo pulled up to the driveway and the door raised open. I took a breath before ducking inside, expecting my date to be sitting on the opposite seat. But there was no one there, not even a driver. Just rose petals scattered throughout the vehicle and several bottles of my favorite wine sitting in a bucket with glasses already sitting on the ledge. I got comfortable, and the self-driving car pulled away. I half expected my date to not even be there, and would probably show up to a seat of a dozen more roses made in their image or something. When I arrived at the restaurant it too was almost completely empty, only one person stood behind a pulled out chair across the table. He was tall, with slicked-back hair; perfectly normal looking until you got to the mask locked onto his face with metal pieces. “You must be Christine, I’m sure I don’t need an introduction, but I am Handsome Jack.” I rolled my eyes visibly “So what do I call you, Handsome?” Jack smirked, “You said it, not me.” That was enough to make me chuckle as he pulled out the seat and motioned me to sit. We talked while an already prepared course was brought out to us. He did most of the talking, already suggesting that he had done some background research on me with all the resources at his disposal. He talked about his ‘glorious company’ and how everyone who worked for him was an utter moron, but they could get their work done like the busy bees they were. “Every hive needs a queen, and in this case…that queen is me.” We finish dinner and at this point, I have had more than my fill of “Handsome” Jack. I figure we would part ways as the limo that had taken me here alone would hopefully take me home alone. But Jack said he had another surprise for me and the limo took us to a beautiful three-story mansion sitting right on the beach. After some more wine, and somewhat more bearable conversation than the dinner had been, he took me out to the balcony. The view was surprisingly beautiful, the moon full, the waves at high tide. Though everything was ruined as two men dragged a young woman onto the beach. He hair red and her eyes wild, something around her neck. “Jack…what is this-” not quite believing what I was seeing. “You see Christine” he pulled a remote control from his jacket, “this night wasn’t just about a romantic date. I am looking for someone to be a partner, in love and in ruin, to help me find the greatest treasure of all. All you have to do is…is hold onto the key.” He took my hand and gently placed the control in my hand, my mind was spinning now. I had to think of something fast. “Jack,” I pulled him close to me “with everything you learned about me…you didn’t think I would go along with this did you.” I pulled the gun I had sneaked from his holster on him and took several quick steps back, holding the key. I hit the button and the lock on the collar around the girl’s neck fell onto the sand. Without missing a beat she disappeared, the two men pulling guns on what looked like each other now. “YOU BITCH!” Jack screamed as he backhanded me, causing me to lose my footing and fall backward hitting my head on the concrete below my feet. “Looks like, not all of us are idiots” I mumbled, trying to get what might be my last words out, wondering what had happened to the gun. As my vision blurred a figure appeared behind Jack and shot him in the leg, walking over to me and bending down with a look of concern in her eyes as my vision faded into black. I woke up in the same limo I had started the night in. I jolted awake to the face of the young woman sitting opposite me. “Welcome back.” I had a million questions, but the young woman just put up a hand before I could say a word, and continued “I’ve hacked the limo and it’s taking us to a safe house. Jack won’t be able to hurt you anymore.” With a sigh of relief, the young woman handed me a glass of wine. “Thank you for saving me, by the way. I hope my father didn’t give you too much trouble.” I nearly spat out my wine as she handed me a cloth so that the liquid wouldn’t spill on my now even more torn dress. “My name is Angel, Happy Valentine’s Day.” Blind Date for Robert: TharjaThe Date: A knot formed in my stomach as soon as I got the message about my blind date. That Tharja. I couldn’t deny that she’s every bit as beautiful as you’d expect, that slight scowl and all. However, I couldn’t shake off the rumors: has a bit of a one-track mind for a certain tactician, a total nut for hexes, and possibly a little insane. Would I wind up as a weird guinea pig for her latest hexes? Would she even take the time of the day for me, when she’s very clearly only got eyes for Robin? I shuddered to find out. The day of the date arrived. It had been 5 minutes past meeting time, when a dark gloomy presence quietly came up to me. “… Make it snappy,” Tharja mumbled– at least, that’s what I think she said. The plan was to take her to a beer hall that served roast game and meat pies, something that felt like somewhere the Shepherds would feast. Though as soon as we sat down, she glanced at her surroundings and sighed. “What are you, Vaike?” I roll up my sleeves, flex, and show a toothy grin. “The one and only Teach.” She groans (and to clarify, it’s not a “groan of increasing discomfort.”) We both fall silent and there it is, the Tharja side glance. I gave up and whipped out my phone. Perhaps mobile games could help me sit through the date, so I decided to grind out Arena in Fire Emblem Heroes. “You,” Tharja called out curtly. “What is the meaning of… that.” She pointed to one of the character sprites: an event costumed Robin. So, I ran through the basics: you earn currency in the game, you spend it to earn new characters. When you don’t have enough, you spend real-world currency to get more in-game currency and try for the rare characters once more. Intrigued, we pull together. All fodder, and at least 3 copies of Bartre. Tharja is noticeably excited and huddling over the screen. “Interesting. Could you do it again?” I look at my credit card and look at it apologetically. It took about $100 of micro-transactions to bring Robin home. Tharja looked enamored with her prize, and I couldn’t help but mourn over my money and my terrible RNG. Persevering on, I show her how to play, and create a new team centered around Robin. It might have been my imagination, but I think she was genuinely having fun. “By the way, you shouldn’t think so hard. It took a bit of lambswort and wyvern spit, but I cast a hex on you that should help you relax,” she pointed out. It was certainly surprisingly more thoughtful than I expected. Could it be that she wasn’t really such a scary person? A loud wooden thud interrupted my thoughts. Apparently, a man at the neighboring table collapsed. His friend cried out, “What happened to Dorcas?!” Tharja pulled me close and whispered that she put poison in that lad’s mutton. For some reason or other, I couldn’t help but laugh. I guess Tharja can’t help but be the way she is. All went well through dinner. We parted ways, and she unexpectedly asked to meet again. Next time, we’d be collecting herbs and tracking down bat wings. “She’s not bad,” I thought. A brief jingle rang. Apparently, we had attained support level C. That’s the end of the GAW team’s blind dates. Hope you enjoyed their stories! We also hope, whether you are in a relationship or not, you have a Happy Valentines Day. Somewhere, Someone loves you! May your heart always be growing! Also, tomorrow, don’t forget to get some discount candy (that’s our favorite part)!