Living in the PAL region, I can say from experience that Pandora’s Tower was definitely a fun game. Far and away the most enjoyable part of it for me was the dynamic between its two main characters, which has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that I’m a hopeless romantic. So when one of the creators of our Building Character series asked the staff if anyone who had finished the game would like to pen an entry for Aeron and Elena, I was more than happy to volunteer.
The premise of Pandora’s Tower lies in a young woman, Elena, who has been struck down by a horrific curse that will slowly turn her into a monster. It falls to her life partner and former member of the Athonian army, Aeron, to slay the twelve monsters lurking atop twelve towers hanging above the great chasm that is The Scar. He must rip out their still-beating hearts and then feed them to Elena, that her curse may be lifted. Oh, and her religion forbids the consumption of meat, adding to her disgust when it comes time to dine on beast flesh.
Aeron is a warrior of the country of Athos. He served in their army in the war against the kingdom of Elyria. During the war, injured, he stumbled his way through a forest and then passed out. When he awoke, he found himself in the care of a beautiful Elyrian lady who had taken him back to her home to nurse him back to health, much to the protest of her parents. After he recovered, he stayed, and this is how Aeron and Elena met and began living together.
Aeron himself is a proficient fighter and extremely loyal to Elena. It’s his tenderness towards Elena and the extreme lengths to which he is willing – and does – go to in order to rescue her from her curse that make him exceptional. It’s cute the way he dotes on her, scrambling together as many leots as he can to buy Elena new clothes and furniture, trying to make her stay in their new home that much easier for her to cope with. It’s easy to see how much he cares for her.
Ganbarion made many minor changes to Pandora’s Tower in its development; specifically, they kept altering facial expressions and did multiple voice recordings to make sure every interaction with Elena left a positive impression on the player. The end result was an adorable character that you can’t help but want to save, and this feeling grows every time you talk to her. Not only that, but she actually helps Aeron in his quest by giving him health items, expanding the amount of space in his bag, and more. She’ll even decorate the house and wear any pieces of clothing he buys for her from Mavda.
Aeron and Elena have a fully-developed relationship by the time the game starts, and the two are clearly in love; Elena states as much, often and quite happily. Elena has a refreshing English accent and a gentle voice, which makes everything she says seem so delightful. I mentioned previously that she often presents Aeron with items, sometimes even using the ones he gives to her. Well, not only does she make a gift of countless pieces of equipment, she will even go out of her way to prepare him some food for his long road, using items he brings back from the Towers; a delicious homemade cake baked from dryad berries is a favourite. The simple fact that Aeron stays with Elena throughout all of this and actively works to prevent her transformation, when he could have chosen to leave her to mutate, is a true sign that his feelings for her run deep.
In spite of everything that happens and the tension between their two countries, Aeron stands by his love and pulls her through without ever balking at the tasks laid before him, while Elena does everything within her power to show her appreciation and keep her knight free from harm. The bond between these two characters is a beautiful one to help facilitate, and a shining example of what a loving relationship should be.