Remember when I said Shovel Knight and Shield Knight were the ultimate pinnacle of romance? Well…
…I may have been somewhat mistaken.
Don’t get me wrong: Shovel and Shield still rule the epic romance, but Plague Knight and Mona demonstrate an equally important love story – the one where two people actually like each other.
Do you know what relationship cliché I hate nearly as much as the over-sexualized romance? The relationship where the couple suffers from “sexual tension”. They fight like dogs, they continually express their hatred for everything the other person stands for, yet for some ludicrous reason they have the hots for each other something fierce.
(The only couple who’s excused from this cliché is Beatrice and Benedict from Much Ado About Nothing, because that play is amazing, so shut up okay.)
This love trope uses heightened emotions to create the illusion that sparks are flying. And I mean, it does work. The trope wouldn’t be so widespread if it didn’t. But I sometimes feel like in this instance, maybe fantasy should reflect reality a little more accurately. We need more lovers who would logically have an attraction – and who know how to keep it interesting (because let’s be honest: the reason we love sexual tension is because there’s always some excitement going on).
(…That last bit was not meant to be dirty. Get your head out of the gutter.)
This Valentine’s week, let’s study the love between Plague Knight and Mona. They’re a couple of alchemists with a diabolical bent, so already they have a foundation of common interests. This means that from the start you won’t see them mocking each other for their profession and hobbies; in fact, they’ve learned to collaborate and use a combined intellect.
When they converse, it’s friendly and casual (unless Plague Knight’s getting all shy with his affections). They share jokes, they show concern for the other’s well-being. And say whaaaaaaat? They actually compliment each other?
Not to say they don’t have their misunderstandings – I mean, the whole plot is centered around Plague Knight’s misguided belief that Mona won’t fall for him – but their relationship isn’t built on misunderstandings like it is for many a tension couple. In fact, Plague Knight even tries to rectify an error in communication at one crucial moment, but is foiled by a clichéd plot turn.
This camaraderie sets the foundation for Plague Knight and Mona’s romantic feelings, since we can already see that they get along and hold respect for each other. There’s nothing I ship more than plausibility in a couple.
You see, it isn’t the overused plot turns of the story that sell me on their relationship – not the whole “stuck lever” scene or the climactic misunderstanding that leads to Plague Knight finally admitting his goal to win Mona…
It’s the fact that we see their positive communication the whole way through the game. They genuinely enjoy each other’s company. This makes the more clichéd points of the story sweeter than they’d otherwise be.
And let me just tell you: the dance subplot makes the sparks fly waaaaaaaaay hotter than any ol’ sexually-charged argument would. In fact, to end this post, I’m just going to give you the game’s closing scene. Go on. Let it fill you with the Valentine’s spirit.
Shovel Knight: Plague of Shadows is the property of Yacht Club Games. There are many ways to play this game.