It's not all just about Zelda and Mario, without their buddies to help them dodge giant mushrooms they'd be screwed...
Gaming has been for many people an everyday part of life for damn near 20 years now, and for others even longer. It has produced many characters that are now far more famous than characters cinema has created, and whether you are a gamer or not that is something to be respected. But to put protagonists to one side for a moment, throughout this journey it has also spawned some truly memorable buddy’s, partners, sidekicks or whatever you like to call them. Here my ten favourite. Who are yours?
Wheatley (Portal 2)
People who have watched Extras or heard one of the many recent Barclays adverts y’know the “is the squirrel relevant” one will know who Stephen Merchant is, the tall comedian that along with Ricky Gervais sends Karl Pilkington marching around the world against his orders.
Along with many other successes he also lends his voice to the fantastic puzzle frenzy that is Portal 2. He was a complete contrast to computer system GLaDOS, who is “slower speaking and deliberate”; Whereas Merchant’s delivery is often frantic and fast-talking. Throughout the game he helps Chell try to escape the Aperture Science facility.
If none of this sounds remotely familiar to you, I suggest you play Portal 2. Immediately.
Cortana (Halo series)
Remember when Cortana got sexy in Halo 3 and you noticed her more? Yeah, I remember that too. And we are lucky enough to be welcoming her back this fall when Halo 4 re-unites us with Master Chief and co. She is the totally sexy sidekick who is actually worth listening to as well, think Hunnigan from Resident Evil 4 but about five times better. Maximum PC included her in their list of “25 greatest gaming sidekicks.” We included her in our top 10 because apart from having un-explicable sex appeal she can get inside computer mainframe, plan missions and even divert spaceships out of harm’s way. An endless bag of tricks.
Navi (The Legend of Zelda)
When you offer endless advice & wisdom to the protagonist in arguably the best game of all time, The Ocarina of Time, it’s only fair you appear in this list. Without Navi, Link would have just been a man in a silly green hat. Navi knows everything, and as someone once said: “Knowledge is Power”, and now Navi has mysteriously vanished from the series, we kind of miss her. That said if she had have appeared in all of the Zelda refurbs that Nintendo annually shit out we’d probably be sick and tired of her by now.
Captain John Price (Call of Duty 4 & Modern Warfare 2)
Before the time where lots of people just bought Call of Duty because it was what people were used to, there was a time when people actually liked Call of Duty, and Activision tried and stuff. Captain Price is a hard, grumpy, SAS trained bastard. Many of his characteristics are based on namesake ‘Captain Price’ for the movie A Bridge Too Far. His attitude never changes, and in many respects he is a typically English grumpy old man with a serious overtone but not shy to make the occasional joke. Next to a fairly tasteless attitude he will also teach you how to blow off a man’s arm with a .50 Cal, bail you out of an abundance of heated situations and all the while sporting a fabulous beard and moustache combination. As a collection of people who have probably never been to war we like to imagine that if we did we would have someone like Capt. Price to watch our ass.
Tails (Sonic The Hedgehog)
Is Tails a Fox, Is Tails a boy or a girl? Questions you asked when you were younger, just to clarify; Tails is a Fox and He is a boy. Tails has two tails, which of course means he can fly, naturally. Tails is said to be eight years old which is quite impressive as he can fix planes and other stuff like that which most eight year olds can’t do. Tails has always been very useful for Sonic, like in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 when you could run away from Tails and he would catch you up seconds later, and other useful stuff like that… But on a serious note, the plane that Tails often fly’s (The Tornado) has helped the blue blur defeat Dr. Robotnik (we don’t call him Eggman) on numerous occasions.
Dominic Santiago (Gears of War)
Remember when Dom’s wife died? That was sad wasn’t it? If you just answered no to that question you are a cold, cold ruthless man and you are probably too busy opening cashew nuts with chainsaws to be reading this. Throughout the Gears trilogy Dom has kicked just as much ass as his Bandana wearing buddy Marcus. When Gear of War 3 arrived Dominic was so angry about his wife’s death he grew a beard, then he died too in truly heroic manner as his sacrifice and demise let Marcus and co escape from being overrun by Locust forces. In terms of Epic’s Gears trilogy, the character of Dom is just as vital as Fenix, period.
Pikachu (Pokemon Yellow)
Maybe not seen as a sidekick in the traditional sense of the word but you cannot defeat all the wild Pokemon and Pokemon trainers without having a pocket monster yourself, and here the little cute yellow mouse thing was the only starter Pokemon you were offered. This, in turn saved you searching fruitlessly through the tall grass for him like your previous escapades in the Red and Blue versions of the series. It was just like being Ash himself.
Clank (Ratchet & Clank)
A sidekick so awesome he is included in the title, and he can be worn as a backpack, yes a backpack. Clank at times is impossibly cute, very small, a strange laugh and a very dry sense of humour. In some ways he is not a million miles away from Star Wars very own C-3PO. Although you don’t often to get to play as him he is very useful, which is a must for all great sidekicks.
HK 47 (Star Wars: KOTOR)
Mentioning C3PO once more we have an image of all protocol droids from the Lucas universe being proper pansies, well not this murderous son of a bitch. HK47 is the ultimate in tactical diplomacy; if a situation is heated he will offer to whack some “meat bags.” To him everyone is a meat bag, except you, you are his “master.” When the only result is to kill everyone insight, like before he will offer to whack some meatbags. HK 47’s history is one that doesn’t fall short of sociopath so it’s quite fortunate he is on your side.
Luigi (Mario’s less cool friend)
Poor Luigi, ever since Nintendo first created him he’s been dealt a shit hand in life. Even when he bought his very own shitty old house and single handedly ridded it of ghouls and demons barely anyone batted an eye lid, and people were left disappointed they never got to play as Mario. Mario has conquered the world and got the girl whilst Luigi has learnt to jump over big spaces and put up with wearing green. It is his selflessness that puts him at the top of the list and his underdog attitude that is so easy to love, and while he is often overlooked a Mario game without Luigi does not feel like a Mario game.
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