Every hero needs a sidekick. Holmes had Watson, Frodo had Sam, and Will Smith had Carlton in the Fresh Prince. Videogame characters are no different, so here’s a list of the finest allies to ever stand beside, behind, or float above.
10. Urdnot Wrex (Mass Effect)
The Krogan mercenary, Urdnot Wrex, was a terrific character and ally in Mass Effect. Somewhere between a lizard, the Hunchback of Notre dam, and Sly Stallone, Wrex always eschewed diplomacy to settle matters with his plasma rifle.
He would ultimately force the player to choose between himself and the Krogans, or the galaxy and its survival. Bastard.
9. Kazooie (Banjo & Kazooie)
For some reason, Banjo the bear befriended what I can only assume is a deformed, ginger flamingo, and instead of eating it, he decided to keep it in his rucksack.
Kazooie’s opinion on this remains a mystery, as she speaks only in tongues like an inebriated Sim, but whatever the nature of her and Banjo’s relationship may be, she proved a worthy sidekick, with her pneumatic pecking and ability to fly.
8. Tails (Sonic)
If the cartoon and subsequent video-games hadn’t cursed him with a prepubescent’s voice and mannerisms, Tails, Sonic’s loyal squirrel pal, may have reached a loftier spot in this list.
Regardless, I fondly remember the Tails from the original Sonic games, who glided around like some rodent helicopter.
7. Dog (Fable 2)
In Fable 2, players are presented with three choices. Reap the rewards of your success and claim countless piles of gold; resurrect the innocents and families lost in the struggle; or return your loyal pooch from the ether and teach him how to urinate on hapless bystanders.
Care to hazard a guess which choice I made?
6. Atlas (Bioshock)
He’d ultimately betray you, but Frank Fontaine, once in his Atlas guise as the mourning Irish widower guiding you through the bowels of Rapture, kept Jack alive, safeguarding him for ulterior, nefarious motives.
In future Bioshock games, I intend to distrust any character who chooses to communicate with a radio. If you can build a city beneath the sea, you can design a camera phone with 3G capabilities.
5. Otacon (Metal Gear Solid)
The ultimate nerd, Hal Otacon is like Solid Snake’s Q. He provides Snake with experimental weapons, such as the miniature Metal Gear, and constantly frets for Snake’s wellbeing. So almost like Q.
He has a tendency to whine, especially about Snake’s smoking habits, but overall is a loyal and dependable ally.
4. HK-47 (Star Wars)
Ah HK-47, the lovable assassin droid, programmed to despise and destroy all organic life forms, who it affectionately referred to as “meat bags”.
HK-47, despite his obvious bias towards killing, rather than aiding, the player, was a reliable ally, and prone to philosophical musings on the nature of his existence and role in the universe.
3. Navi (Legend of Zelda)
Hey! What? Hey! What! So follows my initial conversations with the fairy-sprite Navi, guide and guardian of Link. I’d be forgiven, I hope, for prepping my slingshot in an attempt to cause brain-damage and subsequently render her mute.
Alas, I couldn’t, and I soon grew fond of her – or him, or it, or whatever – although I still cringe whenever anyone says Hey!
2. Cortana (Halo)
It seems while trapped aboard High Charity by the Flood, Cortana found herself so bored she decided to alter her holographic image, as once Master Chief recovered a distressed transmission from her in Halo 3, her virtual breasts bounced around like some character from the Dead or Alive series.
Not exactly a complaint. More of an... observation. Not a bad ally, either.
1. Yoshi (Mario)
Considering he’s relatively reclusive in Mario games, Yoshi’s inclusion, not just as a sidekick, but as the best sidekick, may be cause for debate.
However, for me, Yoshi is incomparable, a dinosaur who defied extinction, befriended plumbers and gorillas alike, gobbling away with his prehensile tongue.
An article such as this is sure to incite anger in some fans, whose favourite sidekicks have been omitted from the list. This is, however, a Top 10, and cannot contain every sidekick or ally to grace the virtual world. If you see anyone missing from the list, comment below on who they are and why they deserved to be included!