The world of gaming is full of protagonists with great achievements who have accomplished the impossible. But no hero could’ve ever done it alone. Enter the sidekick. When you’re in a pinch you know who’s got your back. In a tough spot? It’s probably the sidekick who’s going to come up with a plan for you to go forward. So this article is our little tribute to some of the best sidekicks we’ve encountered in the world of gaming.
Of course, there’s a lot of great sidekicks out there – so many that we couldn’t possibly mention them all. If we’ve missed out on a favourite of yours we didn’t forget them intentionally.
Let’s get to them!
It’s a me! …Luigi?
The first character that comes to mind when you think sidekick is normally Luigi. Mario’s little brother is as capable as Mario and will be by his brother’s side in a heartbeat. He has no problems keeping up with Mario (in fact some would argue he’s better) and has no qualms with letting Mario hog the spotlight, though we honestly believe the green-clad plumber is much deserving of some love.
Miles “Tails” Prower (Miles per hour, get it?)
Tails is an iconic character – the textbook sidekick who goes out of his way to assist Sonic. And he can fly by rotating his tails like a helicopter (What? In a game where hedgehogs run at the speed of sound, it’s plausible). While the current state of the Sonic games is not in a great place, there’s no denying the significance of Tails in the Sonic games and the gaming industry in general. You can thank Tails for the plethora of games that followed up with animal-like sidekicks.
Navi – Hey! Listen!
Yes! We’re listening! Make it stop! Navi has helped Link save Hyrule more times than we can count. Sure Navi can be annoying at times, (VERY annoying at times) but where would Link be without Navi? Probably chasing chickens or breaking pots in a corner somewhere. Also, you couldn’t aim straight without Navi, so yea, loudest aim-assist in gaming history.
HK-47 – I suggest you run.. Meatbag
Forget R2-D2, C-3PO, and BB-8, HK-47 is the best droid in the galaxy. We don’t care if it’s not canon anymore. This assassin droid with an attitude is THE companion to have in Star Wars KotOR (Knights of the Old Republic. If you haven’t played it, you should). We’ll never get tired of HK-47 pointing out that we have a lot of water sloshing around inside us and that it makes him uncomfortable.
Banjo and Kazooie are one of the oldest dynamic duos in gaming and you can bet your ass that Banjo wouldn’t be able to do a thing without the multi-talented bird residing in his backpack. Be it flying his arse around, shooting eggs at enemies, or pecking them mercilessly, this bird is definitely “carrying” this team. Get it? Carrying? Because he’s carryi- yea you get it.
Lydia – I’m sworn to carry your burdens
There’s several companions who say the exact same line, but you can only picture one person saying it. That’s right, Lydia. There’s thousands of companions to choose from in Skyrim (okay maybe not thousands but with mods anything is possible), but none are quite as memorable as Lydia. Even though she may be quite simple compared to the rest and doesn’t have any special backstory or quests associated with her, we still think of her fondly. Why? She is the first companion for many in Skyrim and unsurprisingly, also the first companion players end up marrying in the game.
Dog is man’s best friend. War never changes and neither does that fact. Fallout proves this because even when the world as you know it has ended, the dog is still man’s best friend. You will find Dogmeat in every Fallout game, and it doesn’t matter if the enemy is twice his size or 100x his size, you tell Dogmeat to sic’ em, he will sic’ em. Now that’s loyalty!
P.S: There’s a lot of great dog sidekicks in gaming tbh, the Dog from Fable II, or even the Dog from Duck Hunt! we just liked Dogmeat best, that’s all.
Elizabeth – The flame that shall ignite the world
Everyone fell in love with Elizabeth the moment Bioshock Infinite was out. What’s not to love? She never gets in your way, always ready to support, assisting you with ammo or health or whatever you need at the time. She herself was very likeable and the player developed a bond with her as they played through the game.
CL4P-TP – Protect me squire!
Interplanetary Ninja Assassin CL4P-TP is easily the best character from the Borderlands roster. Even when he was trying to assassinate all of humanity. At least in our opinion. We wouldn’t have bothered playing the entire game if it weren’t for him. In the literal sense too, since we can’t get past the first barrier without him. The dude’s got the keys to everything. We really don’t mind being his minions.
Cortana – Don’t make a girl a promise you know you can’t keep
You don’t normally expect that kind of sass from an AI, but Master Chief’s partner-in-crime Cortana, is an exception. But sass is not all you get from Cortana, she goes above and beyond to assist you, the Master Chief, in the halo series, even enduring torture. Sure it’s a little sad that Master Chief’s bestie is an AI but if it were an AI like this one, we guess it’s not all bad.
Garrus Vakarian – I’m in the middle of some Calibrations
You probably knew who we were the talking about the moment you read that. Garrus Vakarian. The most badass companion to join you in the entirety of the Mass Effect series. He’s also with you the longest, from the start of the first Mass Effect, till the end of the third. The guy’s a true bro, from shrugging off a rocket to the face, and diving headfirst into suicide missions, you know Garrus got yo back.
Alyx Vance – Um… no, my dad’s Odessa Cubbage
We didn’t need a reminder that Half-Life 3 wasn’t coming out anymore, but not including Alyx Vance in this list would be a crime. She made up for Gordon’s lack of speech and brought some much-needed character to the game. And she could take care of herself, no babysitting required. As a romantic interest for Gordon, she also instilled hope in nerds around the world that they still had a chance.
Augustus Cole – Can’t stop the Cole Train!
Augustus “Cole Train” Cole brought the extreme to Gears of War. In addition to comic relief, you could rely on Cole to have your back when blowing aliens up. You want this COG Delta Squad ace on your team when it’s time to bring the pain to the aliens.
Wheatley – A very minor case of serious brain damage
In Portal 2, you wake up to the glorious British accent of Wheatley, and he helps you get through much of the first half of the game. While events certainly take a unique turn as you progress through the story, there’s no denying that Wheatley is one of gaming’s most endearing characters. [Yes, it’s been ages but we’d loathe ruining the plot for anyone who still hasn’t played the game]. Even if you hate his guts. Or love his guts. Or are as confused about his guts as we are.
Leonardo Da Vinci – I’m not content to merely to capture the world. I want to change it.
Leonardo Da Vinci is considered to be one of the greatest minds of his time. Or anytime really. He was an anatomist, sculptor, cartographer, painter, botanist, engineer, architect, and mathematician. You might be familiar with some of his works, like the Mona Lisa for example.
But did you know he was also a great asset to the Assassin’s Creed? He was pivotal in their war against the Templars and even reinvented the hidden blade so you didn’t have to cut your finger off to use it! Every contraption in the game which gave the assassin’s an edge was designed by Leo. He truly was the brains of the Creed.
Dandelion – I caught an arrow with my own hand! I swear!
Dandelion is one of Geralt’s closest friends and is with him since the first game. Annoyingly clingy yes, but endearing nonetheless. Every great deed that Geralt does, you can be sure that Dandelion will be the one to immortalise it in song. While he may not be too great at combat, moral support is important too… Where would the Witcher be without him, right?
Manish "Trigger-Happy" Rajesh
If he's not gaming, he's... no wait he's always gaming.