Previously Published on 30plusgamer, a no longer active site
Humans get attached to our pets. We enjoy their love and enjoy having them around as companions. This concept transfers to video games. Give us a world with 10 human companions and one dog, and most gamers seem to gravitate towards the dog.
Yoshi from the Mario Series
As this series has grown and developed Yoshi has become less of an animal companion and more of his own unique character. However in the early days of the series Yoshi was this cute little dinosaur that was useful for solving certain platforming puzzles. Yoshi is adorable, helpful, and just a huge staple in the series.
Dogmeat and Rex from Fallout
Whether it’s Dogmeat bonding with you because his owner is dead or Rex being given to you, both dogs rock. They are both good fighters with unique personalities. Dogmeat bonds because he is left (by an assumed dead) master. He joins you and always wants to be close. Rex is owned by an Elvis want to be, and for some reason hates hats and all those that wear them. They are amusing, adorable, and helpful. They are must have companions for dog lovers.
Dog from Fable 2
The player gets a dog companion in both Fable 2 and Fable 3, but there is a huge difference to me. In Fable 3 it feels as though the creators knew they could not deny gamers a dog after the preceding game. It’s still a fun companion, but less developed. In Fable 2 however your dog is a major part of your journey. Your dog shows up at the best and worst times through the heroes journey and even bonds with the player in a very real way. It’s not simply a video game dog, it’s a truly loyal and attached friend that shows it’s devotion in major ways. Not only that, but the bond you build with this dog ultimately tests your in game morality at the end.
Bloodwing from Borderlands
Bloodwing is one of those characters that develops based on the classes you play and play with. I played through Borderlands with a hunter so considered Bloodwing a 3rd member of our party. Where as the person I played with considered her an actual extension of their character. Borderlands 2 goes on to develop the relationship of Bloodwing and Mordecai on a much deeper level, giving them both more rich personalities. Even if you didn’t play the character with Bloodwing if you were ever exposed to it you saw an extremely helpful ally. In Borderlands 2 you saw a man that didn’t really have a pet but an extension of his soul. Bloodwing is just awesome.
Agro from Shadow of the Colossus
Throughout the game Agro serves various uses. Sometimes he/she is simply transportation to get to the next Colossus you have to battle. Other times Agro is an important part of being able to get to the Colossus’s weak points and you are unable to solve problems without him/her. It’s hard not to get attached to this beautiful horse and feel like Agro is a central part of your journey.
Hewie from Haunting Ground
Part of what makes horror games so scary is the feeling of isolation. In Haunting Ground Hewie helps to ease that a great deal. He gives you just a little bit of company while you journey through the castle. In order to make the gamer not too dependent on Hewie there are challenges where he must leave your character, or you simple have to solve things without him. However from the moment he befriends your character to the end, his presence is always welcome and warming. It helps to make the intense experience more bearable.
Dog from Dragon Age
The Dog is a missable companion from Dragon Age. His back story also depends on your own back-story. Once recruited though he is an extremely devoted companion. He is a useful fighter as well, and as has his own unique dynamic with the group. There are funny and interesting conversations that happen between him and your other companions. He also responds to your affection or anger believably, like real dogs have a tendency to. You can’t help but fall for him and wish you could have your own real life war dog like this one.
Epona from The Legend of Zelda Series
Players are first introduced to Epona in Ocarina of Time, and since then Link has traveled through many different changes in the series. Epona makes at least a small appearance through all these different games, and is typically Link’s faith mount. It’s always wonderful to see Epona, and nice to have her as a connection in the various games.
Pokemon and the neighbors from Animal Crossing
Despite them being awesome characters and the in game bond you create with them I don’t find them companions per se. In the case of Pokemon they are actually the ones battling for you. In Animal Crossing they are more neighbors rather than companions that go with you through your quests. Also in the case of the Animal Crossing animals are so anthropomorphic they don’t really feel like animals.