- Stardew Valley breaks away from relying on tropes to develop its characters, instead offering complex personalities that make them more relatable and real.
- The game recognizes the importance of romance and ensures that the marriage options feel like choosing between genuine individuals rather than just a beauty contest.
- Characters like Haley, Maru, and Abigail in Stardew Valley defy their initial tropes, revealing layers and ambitions that make them more than just stock characters or stereotypes.
Far too often does a game rely on tropes to make its characters likable — but not Stardew Valley. Instead, the game spins these tropes and expands upon them to gives its characters complex personalities. When players are looking for representation, especially for women in games like Stardew Valley that feature romance, it’s important that the choices between marriage options feels like picking between real people and not just a beauty contest.
When it comes to games like Stardew Valley, it can be too easy to boil down the dateable characters to the trope they’re based on. Romance may not be at the center of Stardew Valley, but it’s still an important aspect of the game. It’s a role-playing game that has romance. Most players won’t just ignore that feature. It’s important that every aspect of a game is done right, and Stardew Valley‘s romance is some of the best.
What to Expect From Stardew Valley in 2024
As 2024 approaches, Stardew Valley fans get ever closer to the long-awaited 1.6 update, but this isn’t the only thing coming in the new year.
Stardew Valley Does Tropes the Right Way
Stardew Valley: The Tropes – Haley
To see where Stardew Valley gets it right and doesn’t reduce its characters down to just tropes, it’s important to first see where the tropes are. With some of the characters, it’s a lot more obvious than others–but that isn’t a bad thing. It might be clear before romancing Stardew Valley‘s Haley that she is meant to be the mean girl trope, but through her arc, players discover she isn’t just a mean girl; she’s got a lot of layers, like her family dynamics.
Stardew Valley: The Tropes – Maru
Similarly, Maru is clearly intended to be the nerdy one. Though on the surface level, it can feel like that’s all she is, that would be undermining her character. She has a real passion for robotics and is a person who values honesty. Her heart is in her work, and she’s a dedicated and ambitious woman. She isn’t just a nerd; Stardew Valley‘s Maru is a hardworking girl with unbeatable ambition.
Stardew Valley: The Tropes – Abigail
A fan favorite among Stardew Valley‘s many marriage candidates is Abigail. From the fact that she’s a gamer girl to her dyed hair to her interest in the occult, she feels like a typical blend of gamer girl and goth. She isn’t just a stock character, however. Stardew Valley‘s Abigail is an adventurous and rebellious spirit who wants to see the world and its dangers for herself. She even wants to pick up a sword and adventure through Stardew Valley‘s mines and fight real monsters.
Why It Matters
When consuming media that simulates dating, like a romantic visual novel, it’s important that there are real characters to choose from. Making a character or numerous characters just a trope and nothing more is lazy writing. No one benefits from getting used to seeing poorly developed characters. It only brings down the potential playerbase and lets them know to avoid other works by that creator.
Female characters especially get watered down to being romantic interests all the time. So, when it comes to content that is purposely featuring women as romantic interests, the creator has to ensure they do it right. It’s never good to feel like a character is only a stereotype or trope in media. The character deserves more than that. It’s important that players can bond with the character in a wide variety of ways to truly feel immersed.
- February 26, 2016
- RPG , Simulation
- Local Multiplayer , Online Multiplayer
- E for Everyone (Fantasy Violence, Mild Blood, Mild Language, Simulated Gambling, Use of Alcohol and Tobacco)
- How Long To Beat
- 53 Hours
- X|S Enhanced
- File Size Xbox Series
- 1 GB (November 2023)
- Split Screen Orientation
- Vertical or Horizontal
- Number of Players
- Steam Deck Compatibility
- Local Co-Op Support
- 1-4 Players