Your beloved is the character designated as your romantic interest in Dragon's Dogma. They are the character you last gained the highest affinity with.
Once the quest Deny Salvation is accepted, a character will be taken by The Dragon to The Tainted Mountain. This character marked as your "beloved", essentially taking on the role of your romantic interest in the story. The character marked as your beloved is the character you last gained maximum affinity with, and if they haven't already left Gransys then they will disappear until The Final Battle is completed.
Knowing exactly who your beloved is can be difficult. Even after they are taken by the Dragon, sometimes the only clue that this has actually happened is a short comment by the Dragonforged, or if an NPC has clearly vanished from the world where they used to always be. Eventually your beloved is revealed during your final encounter with The Dragon, at which point you are given the choice to sacrifice them or fight The Dragon to save their life. Once you kill The Dragon, they will then live in your house in Post-Game. It is possible to gain high affinity with multiple characters in one playthrough, some of which will leave Gransys as part of their storyline, so pinpointing exactly who it will be is sometimes hard - the History page accessed from the Start Menu will tell you how many Males or Females you've gained Maximum Affinity with, but not who exactly.
Beloved determination is not based your gender and is possible for your beloved to be the same gender as the Arisen.
The Arisen's Bond is an item designed to give Maximum Affinity, and essentially mark whoever you give it to as your beloved. If your beloved was given an Arisen's Bond, an extra cutscene will be shown after Deny Salvation showing that same ring drop from the sky. Despite the significance of this cutscene, the Arisen's Bond will not decide your beloved - once given to a character, it only takes reaching maximum affinity with a different character and then they will be marked to fulfill the role as your beloved. Reaching maximum affinity is also relatively easy to achieve with some characters, either by completing their quest lines, giving them gifts or simply talking to them enough times. This means your beloved can essentially change multiple times in one playthrough until up to Deny Salvation, where the most recent character you gained maximum affinity with is then selected.
Possible Romance OptionsEdit
Almost every character (besides the Duke, the Dragonforged, and any pawns) can be made your beloved, even children and the elderly. This makes sense given the wide age range of which you can make your own character. There are designated NPCs designed with this function in mind, such as Quina and Valmiro, with unique dialogue for this role, making them the most popular choices. It is recommended in the case of certain vendors that they do not become your beloved, or post-game can become difficult - of course, making some characters your beloved can actually be of a great help (for example, Mathias would move to Cassardis, making his items easier to access).
In the case of players wanting to get specific characters as their love interest, this is sometimes done by maximizing the affinity of one character by giving them large amounts of gifts, and then actively making sure nobody else likes you. Lowering the affinity of characters to make sure they're not your beloved can be done through various means: killing them or attacking them will work well, but leaves you at the risk of getting arrested - a safer method is to run into them, or simply scare them by constantly drawing and sheathing your weapon in front of them or annoy them by constantly bumping into them or carrying them. This method can still be ineffective if the characters you want to increase or reduce affinity with have left Gransys, but it is the best way of managing who your beloved turns out to be. Finally, the best method (easiest, safest and convenient) is using an item added with the release of Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen; Liquid Effluvium. Upon presenting Liquid Effluvium to any NPC as a gift, their affinity is lowered to 0.
If you have more than one character with maxed out affinity, your love interest is the last one you spoke to. This can be changed at any time, even after you bested The Dragon. You can save your beloved, talk to a different character whom you have max affinity with, and he or she will be your beloved during the epilogue.
For example you can rescue Aelinore from the Blighted Manse after what is clearly a romantic scene, or receive a confession of love from Madeleine; only to find out later The Dragon chose Asalam or Caxton as your beloved, because they're vendors you're almost guaranteed to be talking to many times. Especially in the case of vendors being your beloved this can be extremely inconvenient, as you no longer have their services until and possibly after you kill The dragon - if Asalam is taken, you have absolutely no way of changing your vocation until post-game, at which point he won't even be living in Gran Soren anymore, which can be even worse. With Dark Arisen, it is now possible to change your vocation through Olra.
As long as the Player hasn't reached the Greatwall Encampment, the Love Interest can be changed. Here is a List of what to do, to Increase the Chance, of a NPC becoming the desired Love interest:
- Accepting the Quest Deny Salvation as usual by completing the Quest Reward and Responsibility, But NOT going to the Greatwall Encampment!!
- If the Desired NPC already has the Max Affinity, hitting the Character will lower the Affinity.
- Reenter The Area
- Max the Affinity with the desired NPC. (Preferably with the Arisen's Bond)
- Go directly to the Greatwall Encampment, Without speaking with other NPC's, except the Soldiers rescued there.
- After the Quest is finished, everything can normally be done, the desired NPC should be the Love Interest.
- Visiting the NPC's usual Location where he/she can be found, but not finding that NPC anywhere is a Sign the Method worked.
Even with the above mentioned Method the desired NPC is not to be guaranteed as beloved. This may be due to several factors:
- Affinity rises unintentionally, the more Playthroughs the Player has, the more likely it may not work.
- using the Liquid Effluvium will become a must after too many Playthroughs.
- Some Quests can easily guarantee a NPC as Love interest, even having zero Affinity before completing the Quest. Those should be avoided if possible. Known Quests are: