The subject of love bedevils us all.
Yet once you've found it, how do you propose to the woman with whom you want to spend your doddering dotage?
For one gamer, there was an absolute solution: create a game that she would have to play to the end to win his heart.
I am tearfully grateful to Kotaku for revealing the tale of EquinnoxX, a passionate gamer.
He decided to meddle with a Contra cartridge in order to create the perfect proposal for his one true love.
He documented the whole process in words and pictures, accompanied by the quite beautiful tagline: "I hacked Contra because she's worth it."
I know that the several anti-romantics among you will simply want to know how he did it technically.
I will therefore offer one of EquinnoxX's lines from his expose: "I bought Contra, dumped the ROM, hex edited the file, flashed it to a new ROM chip and soldered it all back together."
There are no boundaries for a man in love. Indeed, he posted to a long Reddit thread: "I had very little knowledge of how the innards of a Nintendo worked before this. I had done basic electronic fixing/modifying/hacking before but that's about it. It was trial and error all the way and I learned a lot. Of course the reference library that is the internet helped too!"
But what about the psychology of it all? The challenge for his lover -- called Amy -- was that she had to beat the game before getting her prize.
I can imagine a few musing that this seemed not merely cruel (and risky), but a touch egotistical. How could this man believe that he was such a catch?
I prefer to believe that he knows his Amy a lot better than we do. I prefer to think that Amy must be quite a handy gamer herself, as Contra is not reputed to be the simplest of games.
When Amy got to the end of the game, I imagine that she adored the effort that Quinn (her fiance's real name) had put in, sniffled a touch and melted into her reward.
A proposal has to be meaningful and memorable, not the cliche of going down on one knee in a crowded restaurant and getting breadcrumbs on your trousers.
I wish the future Mr. and Mrs. EquinnoxX every happiness in the difficult and often contradictory game of life.