It’s the most wonderful time of the year, if you’re into chintzy crap repackaged in pink and red to buy for your sweetheart. Or sweethearts, we’re not judging. In fact, we grudgingly admire your abundance of Game. Though if you need to brush up on your poetry skills, let the master school you.

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, my fellow Control Freaks and I would like to share with you our tributes to our video game paramours. If you find this pathetic and sad, you’re probably new around here. And remember, people in glass house should STFU, or something to that effect.

Without further ado… me first, me first! I’ll ease you into something fairly palatable, before Tyler gets into some weird Japanese shit.

Brian – Derkeethus, ‘Skyrim’

Derkeethus

“Need me to carry something?”
Yes… my heart.

It can be a lonely thing, to wander the harsh lands of “Skyrim” by yourself. Companionship is as precious as gold here, and a worthy companion can be rarer than a daedric artifact. In all travels, no companion has measured up to Derkeethus.

My character, an elderly Dark Elf mage by the name of Samis Aren, was wandering the southeast of Skyrim one day. He stumbled upon a small mining village named Darkwater Crossing. Despite the ominous name, there was nothing particularly sinister about the place. A small Stormcloak patrol loitered while miners returned from their shift.

One of the miners instantly stood out among the humanoids: a tall, muscular Argonian man with regal green scales, glistening like jade in the sunlight. He wore a simple tunic and boots, yet he carried a sense of dignity and warmth that immediately drew me to him.

After chatting with the other miners, huddled around their camp on the shores of a small pond, I made my way to Derkeethus. He was preparing a meal over the campfire spit when he looked up at me, the same fire burning in his golden eyes. Oh, those eyes!

His voice was as humble and strong as the roots of an oak, yet light and warm as an afternoon summer wind. We talked about his humble mining work, for a time, but inevitably the subject turned to adventure. This strong, beautiful man-lizard wanted to go on adventures with me! A swarthy Dark Elf mage, a stranger to Skyrim with a penchant for delving into deep, forbidden depths, be they material or magical.

I was no stranger to the hardships of the road, and my heart was gladdened by the thought of a companion to share my burdens with. While I was no dainty city-dweller, my years of study of the arcane arts had not hardened my body the way the mines had Derkeethus. That his exuberance and lust for life were undiminished by years of work underground told me that this was a steadfast man I could depend on.

Indeed, Derkeethus’ determination and skill with a blade saved me from more bandits, draugr, and wild beasts than I could count. He gladly accepted my extra gear and basked gladly in the glow of my healing and alteration magics. Never did he complain about the hardships or question my actions. Over tundra and through caves and long buried tombs, our friendship was tempered into something more than adventure-bound companionship. We were partners.

I remember the day I had finally scrounged together enough malachite and moonstone to complete a set of glass armor for Derkeethus. As he flexed in his new armor, I was awestruck by his beauty and ferocity. Our enemies would see us coming a mile away, clad in shimmering glass and magical aura. And they would run in fear, or stand their ground futilely and await slaughter!

One day, with a glint in his eye, Derkeethus commented on the Amulet of Mara I had draped over my armor. How could a fine man such as myself not be married, he wondered. He knew full well I wasn’t married, but bless his sweet flattery anyway. Actions, they say, speak louder than words, so in response I traveled to the Temple of Mara in Riften and arranged our marriage.

And so, my wily mage’s soul was trapped by a dashing Argonian man from a humble mining village. Did I mention that my character, Samis is man? Oh, yes, a reversal of the old “Metroid” gender twist. That’s right, I gay-married a lizard man, and there’s not a gods-damned thing anyone can do about it!