Video game characters you never knew were related

Playing games should be all about bringing people together: friends and families enjoying a bit of competition. It's no surprise that game developers like to establish familial connections between their characters, adding instant emotion to a game's storyline. Watching two brothers spar over a single goal or a long estranged father-daughter pair reunite during a climactic scene helps to bring impactful stakes to the video games we play.

We all know about some of the most famous families of video games: everyone knows the Mario brothers, even if some of us are mistaken about what their actual names are. Today, however, we are looking at some of those lesser-known familial ties in our favorite video games. Many, but not all, of these characters come from fighting games or MOBAs, where the lore and character backstory definitely take a backseat to the gameplay systems. Let's take a look: these are some of the most interesting and relatively unknown family relations in video games.

Street Fighter's Yun and Yang are a pair of hilariously '90s twins

These two were originally the exact same character, appearing as palate swaps of one another: Yun was the default costume in Street Fighter 3, while Yang was an alternate costume players could select by choosing their character with a kick button. As the story moved forward, the two started to develop their own distinctive movesets and personalities, similar to how Ryu and Ken have gradually begun to differ as the Street Fighter series has progressed.

Yun and Yang are an adorably '90s duo: good-natured teenagers who love to skateboard and rollerblade. Yun is the one wearing the baseball hat; his brother has the seemingly impossible hair. They both have a crush on the same girl, who returns the affections of Yun. Unknown to the brothers, the girl's younger sister has a crush on Yang, the quieter of the two twins.

In addition to crushing on the same girl, the two brothers are trying to get a big break by impressing movie star Fei Long. They finally succeed in Street Fighter Alpha 3. There are actually fewer siblings than you would expect in Street Fighter, but Yun and Yang are a memorable powerhouse duo.

Tekken's femme fatale assassins are sisters (and Nina's son is in the game, too)

Fighting games regularly have bizarre plots, but Tekken may take the cake with some really strange choices for background storylines. A trained, fighting panda bear? Sure. Maybe a raptor wearing boxing gloves? Alex has entered the fight!

Even the "normal" characters have some bizarre backstory to fill out. Take Anna and Nina, for example. The Williams sisters are a pair of assassins who have quite the (sometimes friendly, sometimes not) rivalry. Their familial tie is a bit hidden, but it's not too hard to put together if you've played enough as either one. They're sisters.

However, did you know Nina has a son? Here's where it gets weird.

After the end of Tekken 2, both Williams sisters enter cryogenic sleep. While frozen, Nina's eggs are taken without her knowledge and artificially inseminated in order to create a perfect assassin. After six years, a sympathetic lab technician faked Nina's son's death and snuck the boy to an orphanage, where he grew up to become a world-famous boxer. Yep, Nina's son (and Anna's nephew) is Steve Fox, who was first introduced in Tekken 4.

Seemingly half the cast of Tekken comes from the same bloodline

Speaking of Tekken, let's get real crazy for a second here. It's time to talk about the members of the Mishima family — because there are a ton of them in these games.

They are the villains, heroes, and everything in between in the Tekken series. Heihachi Mishima has some seriously iconic hair, and Jin was the cover character and central protagonist for quite a few of the games.

There are way more of them than those two, however. How about this: Jinpachi, introduced in Tekken 5, is the oldest that has appeared in the games. His son is Heihachi, he of the wild hair (although Jinpachi gives him a run for his money). Heihachi had a child with Kazumi, who they named Kazuya. Heihachi threw Kazuya off a cliff when he was five years old.

We're just getting started.

Kazuya also has an adopted brother named Lee and a half-brother named Lars. Kazuya and Jun have a son, the aforementioned Jin, and Jin's cousin is Asuka.

All of those characters are playable in different Tekken games, and all of them are related. At this point, you'd be harder pressed to NOT pick someone related to the Mishimas than the other way around.

In Soul Calibur, an undead pirate has a daughter in the fight

Sure, Tekken has a weird story, but does it have a demonic sword that takes control of the mind of anyone who possesses it? Because that's the MO of the Soul Edge, the evil counterpart to the legendary Soul Calibur blade in the Soul Calibur series. And did you know that two of the series' most memorable characters, the whip-blade wielding Ivy Valentine and the ghost pirate Cervantes de Leon, are actually father and daughter?

Ivy was raised by the noble Valentine family, and she did not realize she was not their true daughter by birth until after both of her parents had passed away. They actually found her on the steps of their mansion when she was an infant.

While Cervantes was being controlled by the Soul Edge, it ordered him to have a child so that it would have another soul to feed on if his should fail. He found Ivy's mother, who eventually escaped from him, gave birth to their daughter, and left her at the Valentine estate. The two are brought back together by the pull of the demonic blade, eventually resulting in Cervantes' defeat at his daughter's hands.

Dota 2's Crystal Maiden and Lina are elemental opposites as well as sisters

Similar to many fighting games, it's easy to play a MOBA and never dive too far into the lore. Knowing how the characters work is often a difficult enough task in and of itself, so learning more about their backstories, rivalries, and relationships is a lot to ask. Dota 2 has a LOT of lore you can explore, and the game features a pair of sisters who share a classic distinction.

The two sisters are Crystal Maiden (whose actual name is Rylai) and Lina, and their sibling rivalry stems from their distinct powers and personalities. According to the game's lore, Lina and Rylai constantly fought as young siblings, regularly destroying their parents' homes with their magical fire and ice abilities.

Their parents grew so exasperated with the two that they eventually sent them far away from one another. Rylai was sent to the frozen north where she learned how to master her ice abilities from a powerful wizard. Lina was sent to a desert to live with her aunt, where she practiced her fire abilities to keep any potential suitors away from her. The two occasionally mention the other in their banter during games of Dota 2.

A Devil May Cry villain was Dante's twin brother

Although it's relatively common knowledge at this point, there was a time when Devil May Cry series protagonist Dante's backstory was relatively unknown. In the very first game, which came out way back in 2001, Dante frequently clashes wits (and blades) with a demonic creature named Nelo Angelo. Nelo fights in a very similar style to Dante, and hesitates in killing him due to something he notices in the amulet Dante wears.

We later learn that it is the photo of Dante's mother that stays Nelo's blade, because it is his mother as well. Nelo later reveals himself to be Vergil, Dante's twin brother. They are both half-demons, the "Sons of Sparda," and joining their amulets together later in the game transforms Dante's weapon into the Sparda Sword, a demonic blade of immense power.

Vergil's personal relationship to Dante is detailed in Devil May Cry 3, which actually took place before the original game. Dante and Vergil's relationship was no secret in later entries of the series, but it was one of Devil May Cry's better story beats.

League of Legends' sibling duo Garen and Lux defend the kingdom together

Finally, we come to League of Legends. Riot's esports juggernaut has a ton of backstory for its over 130 playable characters, and several of their champions come from the same families. The first pairing we want to look at are Garen and Lux, two heroic fighters of Demacia.

Garen and Lux were both born as Crownguards, people who are born and trained to protect the king of Demacia. Garen is the elder brother of the two, and plays as a powerful, straightforward soldier. He is extremely suspicious of magic; his uncle died at the hands of a spellcaster. That means trouble for Lux, as she is an extremely powerful magic-user who has to hide her abilities whenever she is around her family.

Garen is suspicious that his sister possesses magical ability, but he has never been able to actually catch her in the act. Unlike many of the siblings on this list, Garen and Lux do care for one another deeply and they both are pursuing the same goal, albeit in their own, unique ways.

The Du Couteau family in League of Legends has three siblings in the battle

Like Garen and Lux, Katarina and Cassiopeia have extremely different personalities and abilities. In the lore of League of Legends, the two sisters (Katarina being the older of the two) were born into the Du Couteau family of Noxus. As a child, Katarina took after her father, a powerful general: she was emotional, athletic, and outwardly driven. Cassiopeia took a more measured approach, learning guile and cunning from her mother.

Katarina become one of the most feared assassins in Noxus. Cassiopeia ventured into a tomb seeking powerful magic, was bitten by a monster, and transformed into a hideous creature herself. Whoops.

There is a third playable sibling of the Du Couteau family as well: Talon. He is not related by blood to Cassiopeia and Katarina, but instead was adopted by the general after a failed assassination attempt. We just need to get Mom and Dad to join the League of Legends ranks and you could field an entire team from the Du Couteau family.

League of Legends features two immortal brothers duking it out

Not all the sibling pairs in League of Legends get along. Nasus and Renekton, two Ascended of Shurima, used to be quite the pair. Before obtaining immortality, Nasus, the older brother, was heralded as the greatest general and military strategist of his time. He led the Shuriman military with great cunning, and always sought to preserve the cultures and cities they conquered so he could learn from them.

Renekton, his younger brother, was Shurima's best soldier, an unstoppable force on the battlefield of unmatched savagery. Unfortunately, their sibling bond did not last.

When battling an extraordinarily powerful foe, Renekton pinned him inside a magical tomb and begged Nasus to seal it shut. He reluctantly did so, and Renekton was trapped inside for centuries. He slowly went insane and, when he eventually broke free, he blamed his brother for his imprisonment. Now, Renekton seeks revenge on Nasus, and Nasus looks for a way to restore his brother's sanity and reforge their sibling bond.

League of Legends' newest sibling pair are two mismatched sisters

Although the sibling connection between Jinx and Vi has long been hinted at in League of Legends, it was only officially confirmed in 2017. Players have speculated about it since Jinx's release in 2013, but it was officially confirmed in an interview by Greg Street, the Riot Games design director. Let's go to the tape for confirmation.

In the story of League of Legends, Vi is a reformed gang member who now works as an enforcer to clean up the streets of Piltover. Jinx is a crazed criminal who is seemingly obsessed with her. There are several hints sprinkled throughout League of Legends about the connection between the two.

Jinx's loading screen is a broken up version of Vi's. Sometimes, Jinx will say the line "You think I'm crazy? You should see my sister!" during play. And the shopkeeper of the Howling Abyss will occasionally say the following to Vi: "You look like your sister! Oh, wait, I'm not supposed to talk about that."

All these hints peppered through the game got fans talking, but it wasn't until that 2017 interview that it was confirmed. Yet another pair of siblings duking it out in League of Legends.