Bromantic Heroes

Wednesday 10 January 2018

Bromances in video games are like the bread and butter; no matter what the main story is, many games feature a bromance which sometimes is there for fan service purposes while other times it is an important element of the plot. Although there is no specific reason why there are so many bromances in the video games universe, I would guess that it is mainly due to the fact that the male characters, no matter whether they have a lead or a secondary role, are men of action focused on their mission, of good nature and with good intentions (although there are surely exceptions to this), therefore they can easily like people and become likeable themselves and be trustworthy friends and comrades.

A bromance is defined as "a close, emotionally intense, platonic bond between two men, [...] an exceptionally tight affectional, homosocial male bonding relationship exceeding that of usual friendship, [...] distinguished by a particularly high level of emotional intimacy."  This definition seems to describe perfectly all the bromances that are featured in this article, however quite a few of them are not as simple. Several times our heroes go even further than that, and quite often what is implied is much more prominent than what is actually shown.

Dating back in the '90ties, Jane Jensen's Gabriel Knight 2: The Beast Within was possibly the first game to feature a bromance; or at least the first to feature one in such an obvious and canon way. The protagonist is Gabriel Knight, a young writer and amateur detective with a good deal of metaphysical heritage on his back. While investigating a series of murders, his research leads him to the charming and mysterious baron Friedrich Von Glower. Although it is made clear in several ways that Gabriel is straight as an arrow and quite the womanizer, it becomes equally clear in the process that he is strangely attracted to Friedrich who, even from their first meeting, seems totally smitten with Gabriel.

Gabriel's life is about to take a dramatic turn

Gabriel, who is normally quite laid back and cool, feels that there is something different about the Baron. Friedrich on the other hand shows his infatuation with Gabriel, although the latter does not always seem to take notice of the hints in the baron's words. However, considering he is actually a writer and therefore an intelligent man, it is more likely that he understands everything in fact, but decides to not let Friedrich know that he does.

The mystery that surrounds the baron, as well as the fact that for a good part of the game he may be considered the main villain, are the basic elements that make Gabriel keep his distances at the start. Still, Friedrich never ceases to subtly flirt with him and make his point.

Friedrich's words take a different meaning once you realise his attraction to Gabriel

Although Friedrich is not the killer everyone is searching for, his secret is connected to Gabriel and his past, and this is bound to make things tough for both of them soon. At some point, Friedrich notices the medallion that Gabriel is wearing around his neck, and which is a valuable and powerful family heritage: Gabriel comes from a long line of 'Shadow Hunters', people able to find and defeat evil powers. As one of them, Gabriel has the ability to discover that Friedrich is actually a werewolf, something that does not pass unnoticed from the baron.

While examining sleeping Gabriel's medallion, Friedrich has the chance to get a bit more intimate

Forced by the tumultuous events that come the one after the other, Gabriel finds himself unable to control his fate. The only solution is to kill Friedrich so as to not become a werewolf himself. On another level of analysis, we could say that Gabriel killing the baron symbolizes the suppression of a side of his sexuality that was unbeknown to him until he met Friedrich. By killing Friedrich, he forced that side to remain hidden in an attempt to get back to his old life.

This is one of the most ill-fated and starcrossed bromances so far, with its undertones giving it a far more dramatic character.

Gabriel struggling to not turn into a werewolf symbolizes his inner fight to suppress his new emotions

Born from the inspiration of Jane Jensen again, Malachi Rector, the protagonist of the adventure puzzle game Moebius: Empire Rising (2014), is a man characterized by a striking contradiction: he has an extremely cold and snobbish attitude while his physical features are dangerously attractive and fiery. Malachi is a well-known antiquities expert who suffers from seizures (this is something that very few people know about) and prefers to be alone for most of the time.

Malachi is a handsome man and he seems to be aware of it

While working on a case of a mysterious murder where he his knowledge as an antiquer is needed, he comes across David Walker, a young man who used to be in the army. Their meeting takes place under mysterious circumstances, and although Malachi doesn't seem too keen on becoming buddies with David, he is soon forced to hire him as a bodyuard when he realizes that his life is in danger. David becomes attached to Malachi, although the latter is not always sure about trusting him, and things become even more complicated and intense when David is kidnapped together with Helene, a distinguished aristoctat and potential murder victim.

While it becomes somehow clear that David's feelings for Malachi go beyond a standard frienship, for Malachi things are more mazey. His biggest issue is that he is a misanthrope, so when he gets closer to David, above all he finds it hard to deal with the fact that he actually got to like someone for a change. When David disappears, Malachi realises how much he cares for him, and when an operation is set to find Helene and free her, he risks his own life to make sure that David remains safe and also gets freed in the process.

David helps Malachi during a seizure crisis, not missing to feel him up a bit

What makes the Moebius bromance stand out most is fact that it is not afraid to demonstrate itself directly. Moreover, from a point and on it becomes the focus of the story, as Malachi puts his research aside and his main concern becomes David's liberation. The fact that David was deliberately thrown in Malachi's path when they first met is an important revelation that makes Malachi change his perspective. The people who are responsible for the murders are in fact putting to practice a theory which claims that certain patterns of history are repeated from time to time, and they want to take advantage of this for their own benefit. Both David and Malachi are revealed to be part of such a pattern, and they were destined to come together, which makes their relationship more or less karmic.

Another detail that accentuates the deeper essence of this bromance is when at some point David's sexual preferences are not only hinted to but also pointed at, during a conversation between Malachi and Mr Carter, one of the villains. Mr Carter remarks that it should be easy for Malachi to keep David under his control, thanks to his stunning looks. This implies that David may have been a bait for Malachi for practical reasons - since their acquaintance served the bad guys - but also Malachi was, unbeknown to him, a bait for David who, we can safely assume, had soft spot for tall dark men. The conspirators knew about David's weakness and this gave them the certainty that David would not betray them since it would be impossible for him to quit his mission once he met Malachi.

The ending of the game leaves little to imagination as to what the development of this bromance will probably be.

The connotations of the bleeding nose are rather obvious in this scene

Adam Jensen in Deus Ex: Human Revolution (2011) and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided (2016), has several different bromances in his adventurous life. In Human Revolution, Adam was a regular police officer working as a Security chief, but saw his life turn upside down after he got nearly killed during a violent attack. His boss, David Sarif, head of an Industry that developed and produced evolved prosthetic limbs, literally saved his life by using those necessary to replace the ones that Adam lost or became disfunctional. When he returned back from the dead thanks to David, he was a wholly new man, only the half of him was mechanically augmented.

Adam's bromances could fill a small notebook

The fact that David was the one responsible for Adam's 'rebirth' established a peculiar 'father-son' relationship between them. Adam is, to David, a constant reminder of the perfection that can be achieved with the right use of augmentations, as well as a confirmation of his own successful work. For Adam, David is a saviour who brought him back to life, but on the other hand he is also the one responsible for Adam's isolation, since his too obvious impressive enhancements push him to the margins of the 'normal' human society.

It is subtly implied - although it can pass unnoticed because the main plot is so massive and overwhelming - that Adam has some sort of emotional dependence on David, due to the fact that his new self was literally created by his boss's hands. Adam's name is not random; and David's name begins with a 'd', like 'Deus' (God). Adam is David's 'son' but in reality he is not his son, of course; Adam owes David his life, but at the same time he cannot forgive him because David made the choice to give Adam all the mechanical enhancements on his behalf without asking him if he wanted it. David on the other hand loves Adam dearly as a son, but inevitably he feels - maybe subconsciously to a degree - that because it was him who created the new Adam, he totally owns him, therefore has total control over him and he doesn't hesitate to manipulate him if necessary

David cares for Adam but sometimes he becomes too bossy

On a totally different level is Adam's relationship with Frank Pritchard, David's tech guru. Frank is a down-to-earth, sarcastic and extremely intelligent man who thinks on his feet and initially feels contempt for the gloomy, mysterious and compelling Adam.

Adam and Frank want to pretend that they dislike each other deeply, but they never miss to bump onto each other with or without excuse. Initially Frank likes to pick on Adam with ironic comments, however as they have to work more and more together, they both get to know each other better. Frank starts changing his attitude gradually and even helps Adam dig out shocking details about his past, going as far as to risk David's trust in him by passing top security info over to Adam.

Frank later writes a screenplay where the main hero is a guy who seems like a combination of himself and Adam, proving that bromances can be a great source of creative inspiration.

In spite of his misleading sassy attitude, Frank trusts and respects Adam a lot

Things are a bit different for Adam in Mankind Divided; although the world around him is in turmoil and augmented people like him are totally marginalized and treated like lepers, he seems much more settled and conscious of his situation. He is less sentimental and more cautious towards others, which is why he never opens up to anyone.

His closest friend is Vaclav Koller, his personal doctor, a very young and very eccentric mad scientist, who seems to have developed some sort of crush towards Adam. Although his interest is clearly scientific mostly, because Adam's top-notch augmentations give him goosebumps and he wants to get his hands of them and study them, his whole attitude betrays something much more than admiration and caring for his patient. Adam, for his own part, seems rather distant when interacting with Koller, but this is his regular style anyway, and on the other hand, it surely feels very awkward for him to have someone gaze at him from head to toe like Koller does, moreso if it is for science's sake.

You don't actually realize how much Adam counts Koller's friendship unless you trigger an unfortunate development where Otar Botkoveli, a ruthless mafioso, decides to take his revenge on Adam for not keeping his word. Knowing how much Adam needs Koller for his medical assistance and cares for him as a friend, Botkoveli sends his men to kill the doctor, who was on his black list anyway, so the poor guy didn't stand a chance.

Koller likes to greet Adam with over-enthusiastic comments

Being the responsible and reliable agent that he is, Adam has managed to gain the respect of his new boss, Jim Miller; but not his entire trust. Miller appears to be a hard man, void of emotions, who is focused on his job and his duty and does not care for anything else. The reality of his life is much different, though. While making a research, Adam breaks into Miller's apartment and finds out the many secrets of his personal life, details that make Adam view him differently and realize that Miller actually uses all that tough facade as a cover for his deeply sentimental side and the troubles he's dealing with.

Miller wants to trust Adam, but he is sceptical towards him at the beginning; something that is bound to change as the story unfolds. At a crucial point, Adam offers Miller the ultimate proof of his integrity, by giving him an antidote to reverse the effects of a lethal poison that he had been forced to drink. Miller then confesses to Adam that he knows he is a good man and that he always wanted to trust him, like he does now.

Adam's relationship with Miller is much more balanced than the one he had with David, as there is no dependence between them. Another interesting element is the fact that Miller is in fact a homosexual, but prefers to keep this for himself; Adam however seems totally unaffected by this revelation (in fact it seems that somehow he likes Miller more after finding it out), teaching the seemingly progressed but in reality still very conservative society of 2029 a life lesson about social acceptance.

Adam and Jim have a budding bromance

Although the theme in Murdered: Soul Suspect (2014) is a crime story with a supernatural twist, thew game does have its fair share of bromancing, although the parties involved never interact in real time. The plot is centered around Ronan O' Connor, an ex-rogue who became a detective and got viciously murdered while chasing a serial killer. Finding out that he is trapped between this world and the other, he comes back as a ghost to take care of his unresolved business. While at it, he has a chance to look back at his life, recall events and contemplate his relationships with his loved ones; and it is through these memories that we get to know him better as well.

Ronan causes a stir of emotions even as a ghost

Ronan was a boy who was living a wild life in the streets, and the prison was his second home. When he met Julia, his good side prevailed and the two fell in love. Julia had a brother, Rex, who was a police chief. Rex liked Ronan so much that even Julia was taken by surprise, because she knew that her brother was always very sceptical and did not easily trust people. Rex was able to see the good in Ronan; he accepted him in the family as a brother, took him under his wing and helped him become a cop and then a detective, leaving his rogue days behind. Unfortunately the happy times ended when Julia was killed in a street clash, and some time later Ronan was murdered, leaving Rex totally devastated.

It becomes very clear, from the several notes and memories that we collect along the way, that Ronan and Rex were having a very intense bromance, to the extent that Julia mentioned at some point that they all were 'a family of three'. When Rex learns about Ronan's death, he rushes to the scene of the crime although it is not his case, and his reactions show openly how much despair he feels.

Rex (right) silently mourns over Ronan's dead body (center) while Ronan's ghost (left) watches

From several aspects, the bromance between Ronan and Rex resembles the one of Gabriel and Friedrich from Gabriel Knight. Ronan and Rex fall victims of supernatural forces and metaphysical twists, which make them do things that they don't want to. The difference is that while Gabriel and Friedrich were conscious of both the events and their consequences, Ronan and Rex could not realize what was going on, because of an evil spirit that possessed both of them and led them to repulsive criminal acts, of which they had no conscience while committing. The tragic aspect however is pretty much similar, as it is revealed that it was actually Rex who murdered Ronan, albeit under the influence of the evil spirit.

Ronan's ghost tries to comfort Rex at Julia's grave

A game series like Life Is Strange, that explores the many layers and expressions of friendship, could not be without a bromance. Its most recent installement, Before The Storm (2017) features yet one more ill-fated bromance which, although it is not associated with the main characters, it partly affects the progression of events and is loaded with a decent amount of drama.

In this flashback story, among other characters from the first game, we also have the chance to see Frank Bauer, the drug dealer of Arcadia Bay, who, in spite of his ill reputation, does have a sincerely good side. Frank won't hesitate to pull a knife or be a tough negotiator with his clients, but he adores his puppy and will gladly get in the way to protect Chloe and Rachel.

Frank may look tough but deep down he is very sentimental

Frank has a strong, life-long bromance with Damon Merrick, who belongs to the underworld like Frank, but is way tougher than him and literally ruthless. Despite their different approach in life, Frank and Damon are connected with brotherly love and mutual respect, and they trust each other unconditionally. When at some point Chloe attempts to accuse Frank of being a stitch, Damon becomes enraged and replies that this is something he would never believe, adding that he would kill for Frank, whom he knows almost since they were born.

Frank (left) and Damon (right) are like brothers

Things won't end up well for them, though. During an eventful meet up in the junkyard, Damon gets furious after Rachel hits him and Frank with a plank of wood; he attacks her and hits her severely with a knife, and when Frank tries to keep him from going after her and Chloe, Damon slashes him too. Later on, Frank is forced to kill Damon when the latter attempts to inject Chloe with a drug overdose.

Frank has to face Damon as an enemy against his will

The fact that Frank did the right thing did not ease his guilt, however. By the end of the story, we see him sitting by a campfire and he is deeply emotional as he goes through a box with photographs of himself and Damon, as well as the knife that took his friend's life away. In the end he puts everything related to Damon in a shoe box which is like a shrine of sorts and even spills wine on the ground as a libation in his dead friend's honor.

Frank is overwhelmed by memories when going through the contents of his box

Chris Redfield from the Resident Evil series has always been in great terms with his friends and partners and with some of them he has been particularly close. His good heart and the bravery that he showed in the battlefield made him stand out from a very young age, and he easily came up through the ranks relying on his value, making more friends but also enemies on the way.

Chris is the friend that everyone would love to have

As a soldier, he used to be the best man of his captain, Albert Wesker, whom he respected and appreciated a lot. In the first Resident Evil, he teams up with Wesker after they get trapped, with two more members of the team (Barry and Jill), in the Spencer Mansion. Wesker has some evil plans which he will soon expose, until then however he needs to make sure that he has Chris's trust. For this reason, he regularly helps Chris out by leaving ammo and supplies for him, by fixing malfunctioning stuff in the estate, or even by backing him up when a monster attacks. However when the time comes, he reveals his ulterior motives and from that point and on, he officially becomes Chris's number one enemy.

Wesker manages to hide his true intentions from Chris for as long as he needs to

The case of Chris and Wesker is not that of a standard bromance, but Wesker still is, even after his death, a huge chapter in Chris's life. Wesker had a dark background and he was always on the evil side, seeing himself as an almighty god who would one day conquer a whole new world inhabited only by a select few (an allegory that couldn't be more timely, by the way). If you notice some details in the games where he and Chris appear together, you may catch certain undertones in his words which imply that he would have wanted Chris to join him in this new world that he imagined. Although he always despised Chris for his integrity and honesty, he couldn't help but appreciate his abilities, and he knew that if he had such a gifted and courageous soldier by his side, it would have been so much easier for him to realize his plan. Knowing that Chris would never agree to such a prospect, made Wesker even more furious and resulted in him hating Chris even more.

Chris, on the other hand, used to think highly of Wesker in the good days, but when he learned the truth about his captain, he became his Nemesis, until he finally killed him in Resident Evil 5. Still, the last word that Wesker said (rather, shouted) was Chris's name.

Chris is forced to fight and kill his power-hungry ex-captain

In Resident Evil 6, Chris is a highly respected chief of his team and he looks after all of his men. His right hand is Piers Nivans, a young but extremely efficient soldier, who seems to complement Chris in many ways. Chris is hot-blooded and impulsive, while Piers is rational, collected and calm. Many times Piers is like the conscience of Chris, offering him advice and guiding him towards the right direction, although Chris many not always be willing to listen to him.

It is shown from the start that the two of them have a strong bond between them, as it is shown that Piers never hesitates to protect his captain. Several times, Chris seems to lose focus and take everything to a personal level, and this is when Piers intervenes and tries to put him back on track. It is almost never easy though, as Chris finds it hard to accept that he is wrong.

Piers is always by Chris's side, in good and bad times

The bromance between Chris and Piers passes from many stages, and becomes more powerful as the plot unfolds, although the truth is that Chris is far too absorbed in tracking down Ada Wong (rather, her evil clone, Carla) to realize it. Piers is like a silent force, handling Chris's anger with patience and wisdom despite his young age. For Chris, Piers is his most trusted soldier, someone he can rely on at any given time. But for Piers, Chris is someone that he not only trusts but also admires tremendously and even adores.

His devotion is absolute, and he proves it by making the ultimate sacrifice, when Chris is just about to be killed by a most dangerous monster in an underwater facility. Having been viciously hit himself by the same monster moments before, something that cost him the loss of his right arm, Piers injects himself with a virus sample which grants him superhuman powers but also mutates him.

Piers loses himself in the mutation

After the mutation occurs, Piers is able to assist Chris in defeating the monster, but the effects of the virus in his body are irreversible. Knowing that he won't be able to get cured (a bit of tragic irony here, as Leon learns at the end of his version of the story that a cure has been found thanks to Jake's antibody), he tricks Chris into thinking that he is willing to escape with him, and at just the last minute he stays behind, locking himself in the facility, ignoring his captain's desperate cries. While Chris is seemingly safe in the escape pod, the monster appears again from a distance, ready to attack; but seconds later it is eliminated, obviously by Piers who remains Chris's guardian angel until the end.

Piers spells something that reads like 'I love you' as Chris floats away in the escape pod

Amidst madmen who float around in ghost form, sadistic mind games and mental journeys mixed with messed up memories, detectives Sebastian Castellanos and Joseph Oda in The Evil Within (2014) maintain their totally legit and canon true-detective-esque bromance against all odds and in the face of all the human and superhuman forces that want to plant seeds of faction between them.

Joseph (left) and Sebastian (right) are the best friends and partners

Sebastian and Joseph are as different as day and night; starting from something as simple as their ancestry (Sebastian has Latino heritage and Joseph has Japanese origins). Sebastian is passionate, moody and impulsive, with a vigorous and attractive physical appearance, while Joseph is cool, considerate and cautious, and looks more like a delicate college student and less like a police officer. Justifying the famous law of physics about the opposites that attract, the two guys are extremely close friends and get along perfectly, despite their many differences.

The zombies can wait, now we want to sit and chat in the grass

Unlike Sebastian and his crystal clear personality, Joseph is surrounded by an aura of mystery. He seems to be very easily corrupted, turning into a Haunted several times, attacking both Sebastian and Juli on different occasions and wandering around STEM like a ghost. All this comes to contrast with his low-profile nature; it is as if a well-hidden dark side of his finally found a way to prevail thanks to STEM and, as he confesses to Sebastian, he doesn't want to stop it.

This can have many interpretations; and considering how close he and Sebastian are, we could take it to an even deeper level: Joseph here is a bit like Gabriel Knight, who struggled to suppress the werewolf within him and, by extension, the strange new emotions that Friedrich stirred in him. Joseph seems to have developed certain feelings for Sebastian that are still new to him, and while he feels confused and frustrated by them, he doesn't want to suppress them. This is not very obvious in the main game (although it becomes so if you pay more attention to several details), but in the Assignment (Juli Kidman's mission) there is a scene where he turns into a Haunted right after he and Juli get separated from Sebastian in the sewers. He attacks Juli and although he is possessed, he seems rather conscious of his words and their meaning.

It is clear that Joseph is speaking for himself and is referring to Sebastian

The bromance between Sebastian and Joseph carries on to the Evil Within 2, although Joseph does not make an appearance there. Sebastian believes that Juli killed Joseph, and this is what we knew as well, but after Sebastian finds a secret slide, Juli confesses to him that all that he saw back then was an illusion and in fact Joseph is still alive. Sebastian is happy to hear this, but at the same time sounds somewhat angry because Juli kept him in the dark all this time. However the most interesting and intriguing detail is what Tatiana, the nurse in the Upgrades section, says to Sebastian prior to this, when he has just found the slide and wonders what it is about. Tatiana tells him that although he had come to terms with all his demons and traumatic experiences of the past, there is still one memory that he had refused to confront; and that memory is Joseph's death.

Sebastian is very moved when watching Joseph's slide

A famous zombie hunter with a heroic past and a bright future, Leon Kennedy from the Resident Evil series is one of the most popular heroes of the saga, and rightly so, since he is the epitomy of perfection: he is very handsome, highly intelligent, extremely efficient in the field of action and has a heart of gold. Someone as gifted, was doomed to star in a most tempestuous and adventurous bromance.

Leon is a feast for the eyes

Leon met Jack Krauser in the jungles of South America, just a couple of years after he became a government agent, in the Operation Javier story of The Darkside Chronicles. His orders were to locate a notorious drug dealer with suspicious connections, and because the mission was very demanding and dangerous, Jack Krauser, an intelligent and experienced mercenary, was sent along.

Although coming from different backgrounds, Leon and Jack had many things in common and they went along extremely well right from the start. Their first meeting in the jungle is legendary and not only marks the start of their bromance, but also leaves several interpretations open to imagination. Jack approaches Leon from behind without making a sound, and it is as if he had already been staring at him for a while from a distance before he made an impressive appearance, stabbing a snake that was just about to bite Leon. Further down in the same scene, Leon can be clearly seen checking Jack out as he walks in front of him.

Leon and Jack's first meeting in the jungle is nearly as epic as their bromance

During the course of their mission, they seem to cooperate perfectly and they are never seen arguing or disagreeing. They respect each other, they even exchange teasings, they back each other up, and in general are the ideal partners. What could bloom into a great lifelong friendship, however, goes to pieces abruptly from Jack's part, when he finds out that Leon is a highly ranked government agent, a revelation that makes the green-eyed monster wake inside Jack, whose still unfullfilled dream had always been such a career. From that point and on, Jack chooses to shift to the dark side and consider Leon an enemy for all the wrong reasons. All this time, Leon is happily killing monsters of all sizes and shapes, naively believing that his bromance with Jack is still going and hopefully will go on forever.

Jack then disappears for two whole years, only to appear again as Leon's hopeful murderer in Resident Evil 4 where Leon and Jack have an epic knife fight that is orchestrated and carried out in such a way as to remind of other things, and which leaves Leon with a mark on his right cheek as a souvenir.

All that Jack really wanted to do was to give Leon a kiss

Interestingly enough, Jack never bothers explaining to Leon what made him change his attitude towards his ex-partner. Instead, he entangles them both in a lethal game of a marginally S/M nature, where he enjoys attacking Leon with tricks that are particularly suggestive, while he gets himself equally excited every time that Leon succeeds in hitting him back.

Jack could attack Leon in many ways, but he prefers the hug approach

When eventually Leon dramatically reduces Jack's options of prevailing, Jack runs up to the top of a tower, straps the whole place with timed explosives and blocks the exit after Leon gets to him. Leon has only a few minutes to kill Jack before a fatal blast happens. Jack's soul is an abyss, and noone can tell for sure what exactly he had in mind, but it looks like he was planning a dramatic finale à la Romeo and Juliet for Leon and himself. Leon however does not seem to be angry with Jack, and contemplates what a good guy his ex-partner used to be, over Jack's dead body. 

Krauser left an unfading mark in Leon's life, something that even has a tangible proof. In Resident Evil 6, Leon still has the scar from Jack's knife on his cheek, both as a badge of bravery, because he is is a fearless hero, and as a reminder of his epic bromance with Krauser, because even fearless heroes have a heart.

The scar is still very noticeable on Leon's right cheek

Leon has one more bromance in Resident Evil 4, which develops very quickly but ends too fast in a tragic way. Soon after he arrives in Spain, he meets Luis Sera, ex-cop and specialized scientist, who was helping Osmund Saddler develop the Plaga virus but ended up being chased by him. Leon finds Luis locked in a closet in an abandoned farm house and frees him, but minutes later one of Saddler's allies shows up and knocks them both unconscious.

When they are back to their senses, they realize that they are in an empty storage room, tied back to back. Nonetheless, they both keep their coolness and take the chance to introduce themselves and chat a bit before they get separated after another violent attack.

Every time Leon and Luis meet, they get in big trouble

When they meet again, it is in an isolated cabin in the woods, where Leon seeks shelter with Ashley as they are being chased by angry villagers. While Ashley is safely hidden in a cupboard on the upper floor, Leon and Luis get involved in a crazy battle with the mutated residents, who are able to break all barriers and get inside the cabin.

Leon and Luis are an excellent fighting duo

Although the two guys know each other very little by that time, the intense experience in the cabin apparently has a powerful effect on them and they form a strong bond. When later Luis is sadistically killed by Lord Saddler before being able to hand Leon over the antidote for the infection that he and Ashley are carrying, Leon looks and sounds so desperate, that it is as if he just lost a life-long friend, and swears to make Sadder pay for what he did to Luis.

Leon is devastated when Luis dies

In the CGI movie Damnation, while on a mission in a war-torn eastern european country, Leon meets Alexander "Buddy" Kozachenko, a teacher who belongs to a rebel group. Although Buddy doesn't trust Leon at frist because he is American, the two guys soon become friends and develop a very strong emotional bond and, eventually, a bromance in the process.

Buddy likes to play rough, but he soon becomes Leon's buddy

Buddy is infected from the Plaga virus but he can still manage the effects of his infection thanks to which he is able to control an army of Lickers, something that he regularly takes advantage of to save his own life. He also does it to save Leon's life, even before they become friends: early on, he orders the Lickers to halt their attack against Leon, and later he sends them off to deal with a group of lethal enemies.

Leon and Buddy unite to face the common enemy

While being chased by two Tyrants, Leon saves Buddy's life by offering him a hand as he is about to fall. This event makes Buddy realize that Leon is a man he can rely on and trust fully. When at some point Buddy considers committing suicide because his infection is spreading and he will eventually get mutated, Leon stops him and shoots him in the spine. This paralyzes his legs, but also stops the infection from expanding to the rest of his body, thus saving his life.

Buddy and Leon contemplate their lives

After Leon returns to America, Buddy goes back to teaching; while he is out in the sun on his wheelchair, we see that he still has the small bottle of whiskey that Leon had given him, and he is obviously cherishing it as a treasured reminder of his great friendship with Leon.


  • Wikipedia source:
  • Thanks to afterdarkmysweet for providing essential info and material about Gabriel Knight

2 comments: said...

Great post! Although my level of English is beginner, I can read reasonably well, I loved this post. Because of that, I found the game "Moebius: Empire Rising" and I'm enjoying it, even though I know the public reception was not so positive. I have to disagree with most, the game has a story that captivated me, very good characters and I found it here through this text. I've also been reading about author Jane Jensen, creator of this game, she seems to be very good at creating stories that have a style similar to fanfictions!Good characters, good dialogues, good encounters and situations ... a delight, what a pity that the game did not get more famous!

I still have many other games to discover. I'm a fan of bromances, if you want to write more about it I'll love it!

P.S.:Another thing I like very much is to interpret the plots/stories of the games, and in this site I found a very good source. Congratulations to those involved.

hisbrokenbutterfly said...

Thanks again! I love Moebius too, although I prefer Action games in general. But it has such a great story. You should also try the Gabriel Knight series by Jane Jensen.