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  1. I don't know if this has been discussed or if this is the right place to post it, but since most fan feedback here seems to be negative and the the Deadfire Stories forum is a place to "discuss your favorite stories about your playthroughs of [Deadfire]," so... Okay! Going for it! Thank you so much for making Aloth romance-able in Deadfire! <3 I know a lot of people had their hearts set Eder and were really disappointed, and I truly feel for them. It also seems like a lot of people prefer Tekehu, and that's totally cool too. I'm very endeared to him myself. But Aloth has been far and away my favorite character of this series since the first game, and my "canon" Wild Orlan Watcher has been heel-over-head in love with him since practically the moment they first met in my first playthru. It always seemed foolish to hope for, since the devs always seemed to take a dim view of video game romances (and even mocked a number of times in different places), and a large part of the fandom scorns and ridicules it. Plus... my vote tends to be the death kiss of any character. If I want them to be romance-able, they're sure not to be. If I want them to live, they're sure to die. If I want them to return for a sequel, they never do. So since I loved Aloth so much, it seemed like, "Well, now that I like him, of course he won't turn up for the sequel." And when he was announced I thought, "Well, of course he won't be romance-able." Then when I learned he was I thought, "Well, of course he won't be into my short, hairy wild orlan." And, I kid you not, I hyperventilated, squeed, and swooned when I found out I was wrong, I was so happy! I know it's such a silly thing, but I feel like it really does enhance the story. To me, video games are interact-able stories, not just stylized combat simulators. And I like stories that are more than just "kill kill kill!" More than just "crawl through a dungeon, kill everyone there, loot their trousers, sell their trousers, then buy slightly better weapons and armor to do it all over again." I like stories that also have a very "human" and emotional element. I like games that at least give players the option to explore other facets of the human condition than just "kill, loot, trade, repeat." (But obviously let them skip it if the player is not interested.) And, to me, companion relationships, friendships, and, yes, romance is another avenue to add to that emotional element. And the Aloth Romance feels that much more special to me because we're building off the relationship he and the Watcher developed in the first game. In the first game, I loved all the companions (except Durance ) and their stories and character development. Aloth was just something special. It warmed my heart and made me want to cry, learning about his past, why he was the way he was, and helping him slowly learn to trust the Watcher. I loved that when the Watcher first encounters him in Gilded Veil he's "scared, alone, and desperate for direction." And how he slowly, timidly opens up to the Watcher and asks for help with his Awakened soul. And how, in his personal quest, he slowly lets down his tightly held guard and reveals more about his past. How the Watcher can hold his hand and assure him he's okay when he's lost in one of the worst memories of his life, and help him make sense of Iselmyr because he trusts and respects your opinion. How he confides in you about his past with the Leaden Key, so obviously scared that you'll hate and reject him like everyone else in his life. And how the Watcher can assure him, "I forgive you, Aloth. But I want you beside me, not behind me. I won't have you trade one master for another." How the Watcher can help him become more assertive and confident, gain a sense of control and independence in his life, and help him find new purpose and direction. And I love how that character development carries over into this game. How Aloth's character growth from the last game (embrace or suppress Iselmyr, take over or take down the Leaden Key, etc) gets acknowledged and built on here. And, yes, how that ties into the romance. I'm sure most of you don't care about my endless squee-ing and gushing or how all these little moments warmed my heart. So, just from a writing perspective, I LOVE all the little touches to the romance that either call back or build from their relationship in the first game. I love how when she first flirts with him he thinks she's joking, due to being sassy in the first game? (Don't know if he says "I'd forgotten how much you like a good joke. Even one at my expense," even if your Watcher didn't have a Clever reputation, but it felt immersive for my sassy little orlan.) And when she says she's not kidding, our characteristically wary elf with low self-esteem thinks she can't POSSIBLY be serious, and is almost afraid to hope. And then he slowly warms up to her as she gains his approval and trust (as ya do, cuz it's Aloth <3) and for their first kiss he seems torn between wanting to push her away and draw her close, and finally settles on tentatively placing his hands on her back and the back of her head, muscles straining like he doesn't dare pull her close. And lets her know that he's spent so long hiding parts of himself from others that he doesn't feel comfortable committing to a full relationship. And... Spoilers... How their relationship can progress from that. How, once Aloth gets more comfortable with the Watcher, he often holds their hand or seems like he wants to hold their hand, which seems like a nice call-back to when the Watcher could hold his hand during his personal quest in the first game. I love how when he starts talking about their uncertain future, the Watcher can say, "I'm glad to have you here beside me, Aloth," which seems like a nice call-back from when the Watch told him they want him beside them, not behind them in the first game. For the final kiss before the end-game, this time he has no problem pulling you close, showing how much he's come to trust you and let you in. And that's just the tip of the iceberg for me! It's all just so well-written, and ties so well into his ongoing character development and strengthening friendship with the Watcher over two games. It wouldn't have been possible if we just met him this game (obviously), or if romance was barred at all. And I'm just so happy it was possible. Thank you very much, everyone at Obsidian. Thank you for this opportunity. It really enriched my Deadfire story roleplay experience. <3
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