Feature

Gaming's Loyal Animal Companions

by Annette Gonzalez on Nov 17, 2010 at 01:10 PM

There’s nothing like a good animal sidekick to aid you on your journey. Whether it’s a wisecracking bird, a dog with a huge bite, or an adorable green dino with an adhesive tongue, these loyal animals stick by your side to make your quest that much easier. Take a look at some of our favorite animal companions.

Kazooie
The wisecracking she-bird performs feats of contortion as she travels the world of Spiral Mountain tightly nestled inside Banjo’s tiny blue backpack. This versatile creature can shoot a variety of eggs from either end, use her wings to make the duo invincible, peck at airborne enemies, prop the bear onto her back and break into a sprint, and eventually fly. Kazooie clearly carries the weight in this relationship, which makes it surprising she didn’t get her own spin-off. She should’ve at least fought harder to get her name listed first in the games.

Daxter
Daxter is the definition of a partner in crime. The orange haired, buck-toothed loser-turned-ottsel helped spark the adventures of Jak and Daxter. Daxter keeps things light-hearted with a slew of bad pickup lines and corny jokes, but can quickly turn the tides as Dark Daxter. He never fails to get the duo into trouble, but on the flipside, Daxter always comes to the rescue when Jak needs a hand. Only your true friends will break you out of jail.

Yoshi
This adorable green dinosaur is one of Nintendo’s most iconic characters for a reason. He captured our hearts after his debut in Super Mario World and later broke out on his own. Yoshi has a crazy sticky tongue that can gobble up enemies, he spews spotted eggs, and he can out-jump the mustachioed Mario brothers with his amazing flutter. Most importantly, however, nothing is cuter than hearing him speak in third-dino. “Yoshiiiiiii!”

“Frocobo” (FFXIII)
Sazh wields dual pistols, is fantastic at striking enemies from a distance, and also houses a baby chocobo in his afro. The birdie is utterly useless, but incredibly cute so it gets a mention. Don’t judge.

Donkey Kong Animal Buddies
Kremlings are dangerous foes, so DK and his bud Diddy need all the help they can get. That’s why coming across a barrel or crate labeled with the face of one of these animals is always welcome. Rambi the rhino, Winky the frog, Enguarde the swordfish, Expresso the ostrich, and Squawks the parrot – these guys each serve a unique purpose across various levels, lending DK a hand. The animal buddies help DK charge through Kremlings, hop to higher areas, navigate water levels, speed toward secret areas, and navigate through dark caverns.

What other animals made the list? Find out on to page 2!

Shadow (Dead to Rights: Retribution)
There are plenty of dog companions in video games, but Shadow is an exceptional case. It’s not every day the canine companion is more *** than the main character. Shadow can rip out enemies’ throats, dig through their ribcages, chew on their junk, and run them out of cover. The doggie can even fetch new weapons while his master safely hides. Man's best friend.

Bloodwing (Borderlands)
There are plenty of reasons to love Borderlands, one of which is Mordecai’s pal Bloodwing. This bird’s lethal talons can do some serious work on a bandit’s face. With upgrades, the bird can attack up to 10 enemies and is useful for nailing foes behind cover. He also gets bandits to drop extra loot, and converts damage done to an enemy into health for your character. “Give ‘em hell, Bloodwing!”

Every Pokémon Ever
Collect a bunch of animals by confining them in a small ball only to release them when you need them to fight other people’s animals for money and notoriety. Shouldn’t that be illegal? Trainers would be nothing without the creatures they capture.

Red XIII (FFVII)
Red XIII is one of the coolest looking animals in video game history. The fire-red, lion-like character fights alongside Cloud and the gang to fulfill his duty to the planet. He’s the most articulate of the bunch and provides a much-needed dose of intelligence to the group. Unlike his human counterparts, Red XIII packs sharp claws and fangs, which make him great at close-range attacks.

All Of Your Neighbors In Animal Crossing
You would be a very lonely inhabitant of [Whatever You Named Your City] if it weren’t for your neighbors. Keep your town in top condition and you’ll find yourself with more animals in your neighborhood than you’ll know what to do with. They’ll send you letters with presents (I still don’t know how they fit that Persian rug in my tiny mailbox) and give you a bunch of random tasks to do. Without them, the game would just be called “Crossing.”

Alright which animal companions did we miss? Also, if you're wondering about the lack of horses on this list, we already covered that.