So this article isn't about the first game I truly loved, no, It's about the first video game character I "fell" for and became the object of my desires for a period of time. Yes that may seem a bit sad and may sound like the overtures of a lonely person but come on, I'm betting the vast majority of you have had a video game character you have formed some sort of romantic admiration for. Now don't worry reader my feelings towards said character are under control and I realise they are not real. That being said the very mention of their name brings a smile to my face and warms my very soul, I love you Malon.
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time was arguably the first game that truly immersed me into it's world, an experience so absorbing that I felt I was Link exploring the land of Hyrule, fighting off numerous dark forces and smashing numerous pots. It's probably no surprise that this is why I came almost infatuated with a character from OOT.
Malon, a simple, charming ranch assistant at her father's ranch, Lon Lon Ranch, can be found relatively early in the game; she politely asks you to find her father (Talon) who, after finding at Hyrule Castle, you must wake up. Malon is not much older than our young Link and after winning a hide-and-seek chicken mini game back at the ranch, her father offers her hand in marriage. Initially I rejected the opportunity, I am a young boy and girls are the devil! How foolish I was!
After uprooting the Master Sword, causing the land of Hyrule to dramatically change and time to pass several years, Lon Lon Ranch has changed and is now under the ownership of the mean spirited Ingo. Malon all now grown up, well mid-teens probably, is a "slave" under Ingo however after challenging Ingo to a horse race you free her from "slavery" and the ranch returns to normal, if only things were that simple in real life!
It's here in her "older" form that I started to have a crush on Malon, the red flowing hair (ok it looks blocky now but back then this was the peak of visual quality), her charming, grateful personality, oh and not forget her soothing rendition of Epona's song, well I was smitten. I would visit the ranch often, even after all quests related to the ranch were long finished, just to see her and hear her sing, hoping new conversation options may suddenly appear even though I knew they would not.
This activity may sound like the actions of a psychopathic, clingy, obsessed fool and well you would be right I guess but I digress as myself an 11 year old boy there was something I found fascinating about Malon. Not being exactly enthralled with the opposite sex at that age in my life, Malon sort of opened my eyes somewhat, her homely personality and apparent optimism made me wish there was the opportunity to marry her. Alas travelling back in time and agreeing to Talon's offer of marrying his daughter yielded no luck, as the friendly, plump ranch owner gleefully laughed at my acceptance, claiming I was too young for marriage, "god dammit I know what I want man!"
Knowing I could never marry her was a bitter pill to swallow but I took comfort in knowing that she liked me, at least I think she did, I mean come on I saved the ranch and everything.
The subject of falling for a video game character is arguably a geeky one, it's one of those gaming taboo's, one which the majority of us have probably experienced but probably don't want to talk about it due to expected embarrassment and much lamenting from peers. Well folks don't be ashamed, embrace the feelings you feel towards to video game characters. Video games are at their best when they immerse us into the experience and by relating to characters in game, it only helps to emphasise that feeling of immersion.
Naturally we should not get too carried away with our feelings towards these virtual characters but we should not be ashamed in showing our affinity to those who have struck a chord with our heart, soul and/or mind. I will never forget Malon and though others may have tried to steal my heart, I feel no one can quite recreate that feeling I had getting to know Malon... although her "twin" in Majora's Mask wasn't bad.
Thanks for reading over to you fine readers, who have you developed a virtual crush for and why? Let me know in the comments section. Until next time have fun and play games (I also have my own site TheGamingBear - feel free to visit)