The Horizon Zero Dawn character doesn’t have a romance because she’s not fucking interested, okay?
So little time, so much crying. Since Horizon Zero Dawn has been launched, there have been endless forum discussions and calls for protagonist Aloy, to get a romance interest. The belief is that no character is complete until they’re partnered with someone. It’s acephobic and arophobic trash.
Throughout the game, people throw themselves at Aloy, in awe of her pure epic character. This is a woman who can take on what are essentially dinosaur robots. Who wouldn’t swoon? Yet, Aloy never once shows any interest. You get a few dialogue options but there’s never anything more than that. There’s never any intention from Aloy to pursue anything more than her mission. She’s so recognisably acearo that idiot men crying they can’t get her to hook up with anyone is actually painful.
Gaming is glorious but this is also a community that brought #GamerGate and saw Overwatch fans threaten to boycott the game because Tracer was revealed as gay. Although it is quaint how potential partners are always described as “romance interests” and never sexual interests, and let’s be honest, a huge amount of fans just want to see game sex and nudity. Players often channel their own desires into characters but the characters may be playable, but that does not make them us. Fans just can’t get their heads around someone who does not want to get with anyone else – especially with it is a woman.
Aloy subverted a lot of gaming expectations anyway. She’s the hero of the game and a woman. That’s incredibly rare. Aloy kicks arse, doesn’t rely on anyone and doesn’t need anyone. Men just cannot acceopt that. They can’t accept a woman could be the hero and not have a man near her, or not desire a man in any way. Aroace characters are never accepted (looking at you Riverdale) but we cannot ignore that Aloy ois also a woman. In the context of an actually strong and complex woman (not just the cliche thrown out), men can’t bear that she doesn’t need a man. Aloy meets the intersection of aphobia and misogyny.
“Aloy meets the intersection of aphobia and misogyny”
Games don’t need romance or sex, and nor do all characters. There should be variety. If romance is what you’re after than go for Mass Effect – the second game is the best ever and the main protagonist is canonically bisexual and biromantic. Stop forcing allosexuality and alloromanticism on Aloy though. It’s okay for people not to want sexual or romantic relationships and Aloy is rare positive representation that ace and aro folx get to see.
It wasn’t an accident. Guerrilla Games made the decision and fans should accept it. In most other games, there are romances and sexual relationships. That representation is everywhere. Celebrate Aloy for who she is. Celebrate ace and aro characters. Stories aren’t diminished for not having sex or romance. They’re just as valid, and just as valued. So stop whining and get playing.