When I first played Twinsen's Odyssey 2 I was around 7 years old. It was one of the very first games I played when my mother bought a computer. If I remember correctly, I got the game from one of those PC games magazines. Good old times.
Anyway, I'm saying that because I was too young to have any relationship model established in my head. My dad and mom divorced when I was 2 years old, so I don't have any episodic memory of how their relationship was.
If any, I had my grandpa and grandma's marriage as reference, which wasn't the bests if we can call it that way. But we won't go into details here.
So this game came into my life very early and right in the very first 10 minutes of gameplay it establishes how undeniably strong is Twinsen's appreciation and bond with Zoé. I mean it's the very first thing he presents in the game introduction right after presenting himself.
Twinsen starts by presenting all his meaningful relationships: Zoé, Dino-Fly, and Sendell.
Even when talking about his past adventure, he emphasizes he did it mainly to save Zoé, and secondarily to save the world. Zoé first. The rest of the world later.
After presenting his past conflict with Funfrock, he immediately tells the player he and Zoé are expecting good news as Zoé is pregnant and how important it is to hurry up and get everything ready.
While introducing the current state of their world, which is peaceful where everyone has their place in the sun, the intro cinematic shows Twinsen and Zoé in a romantic moment looking the sun in the horizon and kissing each other.
Then, when Dino-fly hurts himself flying through stormy clouds, the game transits to actual gameplay. Even the transition is all about Zoé and Twinsen. Here they are dancing together happily.
The first thing that happens after that is one of the coolest things about all that relationship. Zoé gives Twinsen his first mission: to find a cure for Dino-fly.
What's so cool about that? Well, there's a specific type of human bond that psychoanalysis suggests which is the neurotic-compulsive bond, or attachment.
It basically states that, among many other things, many couples strengthen their bonds, or even create and maintain them, when one person is someone that's constantly coming up with problems to solve and the other one has an ultimate urge to solve every problem.
Ultimately, one seeks security by eliminating uncertainty and removing noise from their future and the other seeks recognition by proving their worth solving problems. This makes the later feel as someone that is "necessary" in the relationship since they can provide such security.
But this isn't an in depth analysis of the whole game, or relationships, or psychanalysis. The neurotic-compulsive attachment is just traditional stuff and can be found across many other marriage models on every medium out there. So let's move on to what actually established my marriage model.
The fact that Zoé is able to communicate problems and trust Twinsen to solve them while also being vulnerable and independent is amusing, charming even.
But she also helps Twinsen in his missions as well. Zoé isn't just some neurotic person bringing problems all out of the box all the time. She is a proactive woman that does what is in her reach to also solve problems.
For instance, in this first mission she proactively goes to their backyard to take care of Dino-fly while Twinsen looks for a cure.
Zoé is such an independent woman, that when Twinsen tries to ride their car, he mentions that there's a necessary part missing which Zoé already ordered so she can fix the car herself. Zoé will fix the car. That's madness. 🤯
I mean, if this happens to me, I'd probably be the one going after fixing the car as I already did. But, the fact that Zoé can do that herself and proactively will do, it's...really charming and cute even.
Throughout the whole game Twinsen and Zoé always bump into one another. So we know that Zoé trusts Twinsen enough to not feel threaten by him joining a galactic adventure. She literally just live her life and every time they meet she presents a mundane issue that Twinsen needs to fix before moving forward on his adventure.
This means that Zoé has a life apart from Twinsen. She is independent and manages to fix most issues that she runs into. All of that while being pregnant. Tho, she is aware that she can count on Twinsen and, every time she needs, she communicates the issue and trusts Twinsen with a mission. So she knows her limits and manages to communicate them. Twinsen is always ready to help her, putting her as a priority. Even when the whole planet is in danger.
All of that created this fantasy on my head that marriage should be a relationship with at least three people involved. The husband, the wife, and the couple.
They have their own lives and things to do which goes beyond each other's concern. At the same time, they know there are things that are matter of both and they can count on each other when this happens.
Which makes me think that marriage is exactly that, a healthy relationship where each person knows they have, and will always have, someone they can count with and that will be by their side whenever they need to. Even if they can fulfill their needs by their own.
This makes me think about how I've been living my life with all that hyper-independency. It's common for my significant others to complain that:
So...maybe I have a lot to learn from Zoé. And even from Twinsen as well. I always feel like the other person in the relationship is the one who needs help and I'm always ready to give my best to help them, in the hope that they will tell me the issue and communicate with me like Zoé does with Twinsen.
But life isn't a Little Big Adventure right? Or is it? 🤔
I mean, I'm not a divine chosen man blessed with magic powers who can go into galactic adventures savings suns, planets, moons...
Maybe I should be more vulnerable. Ask for help, and be proactive to ask when I feel my partner needs something. And also, I must know that they may not be as independent as a Zoé and there is more in their lives than fixing a car or taking care of a hurt flying dinosaur. And I should respect and definitely care about these minor issues as well.
Nonetheless, it's really beautiful the relationship model that Twinsen's Odyssey saga team presented. It definitely shows a good direction I want to take moving on, but I should take care not to expect anything absolutely like it. It isn't real after all and Zoé is just an NPC that plays a specific role of guiding and helping the player throughout their adventure.
Just like I always criticized my friends about them taking Disney's relationship models, and other Hollywood romances, as ideal models to seek...I bit my tongue and realized I was making the same mistake all along.
Well, that's it.
Thank you so much for reading!
Can you find where in your life you established your relationship goals? Let us know in the comments. Share your thoughts!
Until the next one!~