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Being a video game hero (or heroine) can be tough. Sure, they may do the heavy lifting, but almost every good hero has a good companion to help him out. Sometimes they may take a direct role in the action, sometimes they may be nothing more than comic relief, but they all serve a purpose. Sometimes, though, it seems like their only purpose is to vex you at every turn. Here are the Top 10 Annoying Companions in video games.
10. Guilty Spark (Halo): Halo isn't exactly known for its riveting characters, but it does feature a few personalities who can trigger an emotional response. Master Chief inspires a palpable fear in his Covenant foes. Cortana, despite being an fictitious artificial intelligence, has more people care about her fate than most real humans. And then there is Guilty Spark. Tasked with some rather large-scale operations, Guilty Spark is first encountered by Master Chief during the events of the original Halo. He then proceeds to make life a living hell for our Spartan friend. While he originally appears to be a ally of Master Chief, he actually has a far more complicated story going on. While his actual task may be somewhat noble, stopping a galactic scourge, his methods make him more than a tiny annoyance for our hero. Sure, he wants to destroy all organic life, but the real offender is his grating voice and personality. That is unforgivable.
9. Pawn (Dragon's Dogma): If you've played Dragons Dogma, you know as well as I do how useful pawns are. They tote your stuff around, they hold their own in combat and they occasionally reveal an enemy weak spot or hidden loot. If this was about least useful characters, they wouldn't be here. Unfortunately, their usefulness does not make them any more tolerable as people. The first time my pawn told me that "their kind is weak to both fire and ice!", I thought it was fine. Useful, even. By the thirty-third time I has heard it, I was straight up ready to murder her. Eventually, I picked up a couple other pawns, and they freely chipped in their own nonstop vomiting of inane tidbits. I don't have any kids, but I gained a new appreciation for parents who have to take their kids into a grocery store. It was all I could do to buy a couple potions without having my pawns embarrass the crap out of me in town with their nonstop chatter. "Master, are we equipped for our next journey? Master, the view is beautiful from here. Master..." "SHUT UP! I swear I can't take you anywhere."
8. Roman (Grand Theft Auto IV): I understand that family is important. Heck, for some of us, it's all we got. Being new in town, I'm sure that Niko knows it more than most. But I'll never understand for the life of me why he kept hanging out with that loser Roman. Not only did he make me want to punch him with every word out of his stupid mouth, he insisted on calling me every other hour wanting to hang out. It didn't seem to matter to him if I was in the middle of a high-profile drug deal, on a police officer rampage, dutifully driving a cab to earn a few bucks or hanging out with a, um, lady friend, Roman was constantly nagging me to hang out. Even when I did finally acquiesce, he gave me about twenty seconds to make it all the way across town before he would call me up all huffy, "Niko, why are you ignoring me? Fine, I didn't want to hang out with you anyway!" I would have just enough time to get in a little private fist pump, before he was calling me again, ruining my day.
7. Tails (Sonic the Hedgehog): I'll start this out with a mild disclaimer: I am kind of fond of Tails. When I learned that you could actually play as him in Sonic 2, I never used that freaking hedgehog again. But this list is about companions, and if you were forced to journey through that game as Sonic with Tails following you, you know exactly why he is on this list. I can only assume he is on some combination of hallucinogens, marijuana and cough syrup, because he spends his time staring at walls, slowly tail-a-chuting down cliffs and generally being an ineffective ***. At best, his constant struggle to stay onscreen could be seen as endearing, like watching a midget try to post up LeBron James. At worst, he is prematurely activating every crumbling platform in the game, and part of me thinks he does it on purpose. Go home Tails, you're drunk.
6. Hope (Final Fantasy XIII): Ah Hope, another quasi-useful character done in by his own detestable smelly armpit of a personality. Hope has the highest magic stat in the game, which means he should be one of your more valuable party members. Instead, it's tough to even have him near, considering what a whiny little brat he is. If he isn't busy emo-sulking in a corner somewhere, he is exhibiting classic little man syndrome by constantly yelling at people much larger than him. In a world where people have gunswords and magic ice motorcycles made out of women, he carries around a boomerang. That's right, a boomerang. He's basically a less cool Link, which is a sentence I never thought I would write, but hey, desperate times call for desperate measures. And Hope ever being cool is about as desperate a situation as you could ever hope for.
5. Any Survivor (Deadrising): Have you ever had a friend that was just down in the dumps? It seemed like, no matter how much you tried to help them or cheer them up, they just wouldn't come out of their funk? "Help me help you" is the adage that comes to mind when I think of these people, and I realized that every survivor in Deadrising is that one friend. Despite Frank literally coming to the rescue and trying to save their lives, it's almost like those fools wanted to die. The lucky received a sword or baseball bat from me, and despite their best efforts to the contrary, some of them even made it back safely. The unlucky got nothing, and accordingly acted like bratty five-year-olds who didn't get what they wanted at Christmas. They would often stand in one spot, presumably with their arms crossed and lips in full pout mode, refuse my frantic calls to "hurry up" and "over here" and "hurry up again". Eventually, I just got to where I would leave them be. All that time in the mall, and not a one of them wants to help me out? Screw you too, buddy.
4. Ashley (Resident Evil 4): Ugh...Ashley. I think that everybody on this this, yes, everybody, could potentially have at least one supporter out there. Not Ashley. No, Ashley just bumbles her way around a zombie (or Las Plagas, whatever) infested island, constantly shrieking for Leon to help, while she sits there and lets herself get eaten. Do you really need me to tell you to hide while that chainsaw maniac is traipsing around? Now that I think about it, Ashley is basically a puppy. She comes and stays when you call her (which is even via whistle at points) she is incapable of using her opposable thumbs for anything, and she is wearing some ridiculous clothing that someone else assuredly put her in. Leon even point-blank refuses her offer of thank God we're alive sex. When that merchant kept asking me "What are you sellin'?", she is very lucky I couldn't turn this into some Taken scenario, except in this case Liam Neeson would have been the one doing the selling.
3. Baby Mario (Yoshi's Island): OK, maybe I lied about the whole everyone having a supporter thing, but at least we know Mario will grow into a productive human being. That might be the only thing standing between him and that number one spot. For those of you who didn't grow up amid the Super Nintendo era, or have never played the excellent Yoshi's Island, you may imagine baby Mario to be some sort of cute...thing. Some adorable little baby Mario. Wrong. Wrong. Baby Mario is nails on a chalkboard. Baby Mario is that one person who just won't stop talking, even as your answering your ringing phone and saying hello right in front of them. He isn't so bad as long as you keep him safely on Yoshi's back. Once you get hit and he falls off, however, the game is on. And by game, I mean a badly tuned guitar strumming loudly during your favorite song. Seriously, just listen to it. You know what, now that I think about it, maybe he should be higher on the list. In fact now that I think about it even more, he doesn't even turn out to be a decent person.
2. Navi (The Legend of Zelda): Come on, you knew she was going to be here. Don't act like you didn't. While her annoying high-pitched voice is bad, and her repetitiveness is obviously grating, I think the worst thing is her persistence. Her dedication...nay...obsession, with letting you know that hey! That's it. No context usually, just hey! Hey! Watch out! I'm sorry, but that is what nightmares are made of. Sure, she is occasionally helpful, in the way that a lottery ticket that constantly sings Barbie Girl by Aqua is helpful to a homeless man. There is no in-between. She is either explicitly solving your problem, very rarely, or just being a ridiculous annoyance. If you are lucky, she will tell you to listen. For what, I've never been quite sure, but it is usually followed by hey! The sad thing is that Link needs a Navi in his life, dude has some serious issues. She juts never gets past the nagging stage to actually do or offer anything resembling productive. But as bad as she is, she doesn't hold a candle to number one...
1. Dog (Duck Hunt): You. I should disclaim this paragraph by noting it will be better if you read it while this plays in the background. Got it? Good. Pretty much everybody knows this guy, and while he ostensibly your companion, I think we can all agree that nemesis is a better name for him. While he technically grabs the ducks you are shooting, he doesn't bring them to you. He just drops them, which is pretty much exactly not what you want your duck dog to do. Then, then, as if his ineptitude at the one thing he should be able to do wasn't enough, he has the audacity to laugh at you when you miss. Guess what, buddy? That duck was going to be your dinner today? I mean, you are a dog that can laugh, and you are stuck out hunting ducks somewhere. What does that say about you? Ahem, I digress. While the other occupants of this list may be simply annoying, he actively invites your loathing, feeds on it even perhaps, and on top of all that he doesn't even bark well. Yes, I know it's an NES game, but I don't care. I've been hating this dog for over two decades. He gets a pass from nothing, and he is the undisputed king of annoying companions.