Hey! Listen! Throughout video games history the art form has brought us some incredible protagonists and villains that still linger in the hearts of popular culture, and rightly so! The likes of Mario, Sonic the Hedgehog, Master Chief and Lara Croft are bonafide legends. But what of their beleaguered sidekicks?
From loyal steeds to literal boxes, every great character needs an even better sidekick to make them seem like the legends that they are. And I reckon these 10 upcoming companions are easily worthy of the most selfless buddies on the box.
Would you agree?
'Super Mario Bros.' (series)
Being constantly outdone by his super famous Super Bro must be a bitter mushroom for Luigi to swallow. But when given the rare moment to shine on his own, he does so with aplomb with great turn outs in the Luigi's Mansion series and New Super Luigi U. It just goes to show that there is so much more to this glorified sidekick and giver of epic shade.
So iconic a character that Microsoft named their own IRL digital assistant after her, Cortana is one badass piece of code with a dry sense of humor and a voice that could tame the most vicious of space beasts. She was pretty much Master Chief's only truly emotional bond in the entire Halo franchise, and rather thorough back seat tactician. Cortana, we salute you.
8. Hal Emmerich (Otacon)
'Metal Gear Solid 1, 2 & 4'
Oh, Otacon, you pant wetting, sultry haired genius you. Where would the MGS franchise be without his awkwardness and genius inventions? Dead after being squashed by Metal Gear REX obviously! Supplying some much needed comic relief in the MGS's he graced, this ultra cool super nerd is one character I'd dig to have on my team in the real world.
7. Garrus Vakarian
'Mass Effect' (series)
No list would be complete without this galactic badass, and what a badass he is. Totally deserving of his own game, this stoic and cynical Turian was one of the few squad members available to get it on/battle with across the entire trilogy of Mass Effect games. Seriously Garrus is so insanely cool he took a missile to the face and survived. Got some awesome scars to prove it too. Take a look at his 'best of' moments.
Just like that wonderful dog in Richard Matheson's seminal vampire novel I Am Legend, Dogmeat is a welcomed companion through the solitary hopelessness of Fallout's wasteland. Affectionate towards your lone wandering character, Dogmeat captured the hearts of all Fallout fans by constantly going after enemies irrespective of their size. And that, my furry friend, is why you'd get my last piece of Mirelurk meat.
'Sonic the Hedgehog' (Series)
I'm a bigger fan of Knuckles myself, but the influence of the little, multi-tailed fox simply cannot be balked at! Joining Sonic on his second foray into adventure on the Sega Mega Drive, not only did he save the speedy hedgehog's ass from certain death on multiple occasions, he also saved us from being barked at by parents for not including younger siblings in playtime. Thank you, Tails. Thank you, Sega.
4. Weighted Companion Cube
More than some inanimate box with pink hearts emblazoned on it, the companion cube was just like the most innocent and sweetest person who wears their heart on their sleeve. You just want to protect and nurture them. That's what makes the incinerator moment so much more heartbreaking. YOU'RE MORE THAN A BOX TO MEEE!
'The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time' & more
Coming across Hyrule Field for the first time in Ocarina of Time was a transcendental moment of sorts, a 3D space that big was a pretty impressive and daunting prospect to deal with. Like how friggin' long would it take to navigate the endless green? Will I have to do it all on foot? Thankfully not!
Epona, the truly dedicated steed and easily best companion on the journey through OoT (shove it, Navi), was a joy to explore with; always willing to run to your aid when her song was played, and was a glutton for carrots. How I love thee, noble steed.
'Super Mario World' & more
More than just a new mode of transportation for Mario, Yoshi is a dang institution and by far one of the coolest video game sidekicks in history.
Dude would eat enemies at will and use them as weapons, would sacrifice itself for your cause when leaping over pits, could hover a bit and when one Yoshi would eventually perish, not to worry because there was always another egg waiting to hatch and deliver another mindless scaly steed! Yoshi you legend!
On a serious note, if you've never daydreamed about riding a dinosaur into work or school, then you're doing life wrong.
'The Last of Us'
Head strong, industrious and way too cool for someone of her age, Ellie is my GOAT (Greatest of all Time, if you didn't know) due to the unshakeable emotional attachment she offers. The Last of Us is an emotional roller-coaster of a game and she is its veritable heartbeat.
Though plagued by some dodgy AI - heaven knows how she manages to stay unseen by enemies when blindly running around corners - her arc is possibly the most moving part of TLoU's narrative, and let's not forget her own DLC 'Left Behind'.