@Jasyla_Mademe realize that we need more crushable dudes in games. I can think of one from TV or book in a heartbeat -- harder for games!
— Jessica Cook (@Liores) August 20, 2014
Some people might think it strange to have a crush on a video game character, but at the same time these characters represent people. When you look at the romance novel genre, many, many people will crush on the main characters, because a lot of those novels are written effectively as wish fulfillment; the other party is the ideal person--with a couple flaws. So people want to meet someone like that, to have someone like that in their lives. It's not really any different from crushing on someone in a television show.
In a complete 180 from my normal super serious game design-type stuff, I present to you, my personal list of crushable male video games characters (not in any particular order), written just for Liores!
1. Sabin from Final Fantasy VI
Pretty sure he was my earliest crush. Serious when compared to his twin, and buff and blonde. And really, who could resist someone who can suplex a train?
2. Barret from Final Fantasy VII
Sure, he made some questionable decisions about how to protect the planet (blowing up power plants isn't precisely a good career move), but he was fiercely devoted to his daughter and cuddly behind that bad-ass persona he fronted.
3. Flay Gunnar from Mana Khemia
Flay's an odd one. He's not ultra-bright, but he's definitely got his heart in the right place, and he's totally goofy. Running around pretending to be a hero, and actually pulling it off. Playful frat boy personality, but not a dick about it.
4. Darril from Front Mission 4
Total mercenary, joining a revolution for money despite not wanting to get involved with a war, and yet still does because he can't ignore the injustice in front of him. And he's adorable and bearded.
5. Zell from Final Fantasy VIII
Adorable puppy-like demeanor, with a dose of ADHD. I bet he'd be a great cuddler. Might be a tad immature at first, but over the game he definitely does some growing up.
6. Dycedarg from Final Fantasy Tactics
(Spoilers for a game that's 17 years old...) So he's a villain, sure--and they foreshadow it pretty heavily--but look at that beard, and hair! And the beard. I'll admit, this one is on the list purely because I think he's pretty.
7. Balthier from Final Fantasy XII
Physically, totally not my type. But man, Balthier has class and swagger. The leading man (his own description of himself) that stole every scene he was in, a rogue with a heart of silver (not quite gold because he's still not THAT altruistic), and a tongue that's equally as slick.
8. Jacob from Mass Effect 2
Calm, cool, collected, confident. He's had a difficult life, but he's taken it and made it his own, and knows what he wants to do with it. I was unhappy I couldn't romance him in Mass Effect 2, but hey, we had quite the bromance.
9. Steve Cortez from Mass Effect 3
(Spoiler Alert) Your shuttle pilot whose husband died previously, and he's not quite over it. Sweet, honest, capable, sensitive, adorable. The man really had it all, despite his anxieties (because honestly, who wouldn't when it comes to relationships in war). And bonus, I could actually romance him. Absolutely wonderful character, and the end of Mass Effect 3 with respect to him just makes me really, really sad for him.
10. Malik from Tales of Graces
Captain Malik is an interesting character from a combat perspective as he combines magic with physical ranged prowess, but really he's got a past he's not proud of but eventually owns up to, and beard. Do I have a type? I think I might have a type. He does need to cut his hair though, the hippie.
11. Alistair from Dragon Age
Charmingly hilarious, yet unsure of himself. Always the joker, defusing situations with humour. Alistair was another character I wished I could romance, but alas, was not to be.
12. Default Male Hawke from Dragon Age 2
This is really just about him being pretty. Also, beard. I admit there's nothing more to this one!
And that's it for now. These are just from games I've played, and isn't a complete list, clearly. And it's all just my choices. Other people clearly have their own ideas. It also doesn't include characters from games I haven't played, but think are pretty (like Nathan Drake from Uncharted or Chris Redfield from Resident Evil 5).
But there are definitely plenty of crushable male characters out there. I don't think that's an issue for me at least!