People love animals. Animals tend to bring the best out in people because they serve as a faithful and loyal best friend through thick and thin. Whether it is a dog, cat, or any other type of creature, there seems to be a natural inclination for humans to take care of their animal friends, and vice versa.
Gaming is no stranger to this connection. Throughout gaming history, there have been many animal sidekicks that have helped players (or amused them) throughout their adventures. This is a list of some of the top animal companions we have come to love over the years.
What list would be complete without Yoshi? A cute, loveable dinosaur with a color that fits the occasion is sure to brighten any plumber’s day. Yoshi has been adventuring with Mario since Super Mario World. Since that fateful encounter, where Mario and Yoshi set out on an epic journey to free a myriad of multicolored Yoshi’s from Bowser’s children, the two have been inseperable. Yoshi has been featured in nearly every Mario installment since, and has even starred in his own games such as Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island. Yoshi’s trademark is his extra long tongue, with which he can gulp down enemies and spit them up as fire, or….poop them out as eggs to attack with. Regardless, no gamer can forget the loveable dinosaur, for better or worse.
Miles “Tails” Prower
Tails, the loveable fox with two tails (and Sonic the Hedgehog‘s best buddy) had to make the list. Tails has been with Sonic since Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Since his first outing, Tails has been in almost every Sonic game, and is wildly popular among fans. His powers range from being ridiculously adorable to using both tails to hover in the air for a brief time. Oh yea, and he can also beat you in a race.
Rush is probably the coolest canine companion a player can find in a video game. Rush has been assisting Mega Man since Mega Man 3, where he was able to turn into different platforming devices. Since that incarnation, Rush has always been a faithful companion to Mega Man, and has been able to do many cool things through the use of his adapters. After defeating an area boss, Rush gains new adapters to transform into more useful items.
Mog is definitely the coolest moogle in the Final Fantasy universe. Mog was a main character in Final Fantasy VI and was obtainable in the mining town of Narshe. He served as a sort of mixup between a geomancer and dancer, boasting high magic stats as well as defense. Mog was also the first playable moogle in the Final Fantasy series, as well as the first moogle who could speak.
Of course, any list of animal sidekicks would not be complete without Daxter. Daxter appears in the Jak and Daxter series and was first introduced in Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy. Daxter is Jak’s best friend, who was turned into an ottsel (half otter, half weasel). Although his abilities may be somewhat limited compared to other top animal sidekicks, Daxter is a very funny sidekick and the series wouldn’t have the same level of charm without him. Daxter even spurred his own eponymous adventure for the PSP.
Rambi the Rhinocerous is a very useful animal sidekick that helps Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong in their adventures. Rambi first appeared in the original Donkey Kong Country and has been in many entries of the series since. Rambi’s brute strength is legendary, and as such he can defeat nearly any enemy with ease, include Zingers. He is also able to bash through rocks, walls, and blocks in order to find secrets for his ape companions.
Max is a rabbit like creature that serves as a sidekick for Sam in the investigative series Sam and Max. A literal bundle of energy, Max is described as a “hyperkinetic, three-foot rabbity thing” who prefers to be called a lagomorph. A nearly psychotic and maniacal vigilante, Max excels in clever and violent ways to solve problems. Complete with a short attention span and unpredictable personality, Max is the perfect lovably insane rabbit.
Sparx the Dragonfly
Sparx is one of the main protagonists of Spyro the Dragon, and he is also Spyro’s best friend. Sparx has been with Spyro since his first outing, Spyro the Dragon. Sparx mostly communicated with Spyro through buzzing instead of speaking. Sparx serves a vital role for Spyro in that he literally takes the hits for him when attacked by enemies. Whenever Spyro takes a hit, Sparx’ color changes from gold, to blue, to green, to dissapearing completely. In addition, Sparx can collect nearby gems and treasure for Spyro. Oh yes, and his favorite snack is a butterfly.
There you have it, an ode to some of the greatest animal companions a main character can have in a video game. What do you think of the list? Who would you include in your list?