Sidekicks in video games get a bad rap. They are in the difficult position of having to assist the main character without necessarily outshining them. They go unnoticed unless they are terrible, and, as a result, they are vastly underappreciated.
Looking back on the history of sidekicks in video games, one can see they are essential to the gaming experience (especially for all those younger siblings who want to play with their older brother or sister). Now we’re going to take a look back at all the wonderful sidekicks who have helped us play our favorite games. And we’re going to give them, at the very least, a nod of recognition.
Taking on the monsters in “Monster Hunter: World” is a gargantuan task, as are the monsters themselves. Nobody in their right mind would tackle them alone. Enter the cutest sidekick to ever grace your presence. A Palico travels alongside your hunter, gathering crafting materials and fighting beasts right next to you. As an added plus, these Felyne companions just look so darn cute in their battle armor. They are a benefit in a fight, and they never get in your way.
“Borderlands” is a cooperative game, meaning you can play the game with up to four other people. These fellow Vault Hunters are not sidekicks so much as main players in their own right. The real sidekick is Claptrap, the Hyperion robot with a heart of gold. Claptrap will frequently point you in the right direction to go, and he’ll always do it with an enthusiastic fervor missing in most of your friends. Sure, Claptrap is programmed to always sound happy, but that just makes his moments of fear and existential crisis sound hilarious.
“Bioshock Infinite” could have been the worst escort mission in the history of escort missions because it would have comprised the whole game. Booker DeWitt, a gun-for-hire, has to take Elizabeth, a mysterious girl, away from the floating city of Columbia. However, instead of being a chore to look after, Elizabeth is a definite asset. She changes the environment using her temporal abilities, provides you with ammo and health, and points out objects of interest. Best escort mission ever.
Anybody who has played “The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time” knows who Navi is. If you close your eyes, you can even hear Navi’s high-pitched voice shrieking at you to listen. Despite Navi’s incessant pleas for attention, this little fairy shows Link the way to saving Hyrule. Whenever you needs assistance, Navi is always there to help you find your path. She is the perfect guide and navigator.
Wheatley ends up becoming the villain of “Portal 2” after he helps you unseat GLaDOS. However, the humor he gifted us with while traveling through Aperture’s broken-down facility made the whole journey worth it. Plus, Wheatley is such an ineffectual antagonist, he practically takes himself down. In a way, he’s still performing as your sidekick when he’s trying to kill you with poison gas.
In the original “Halo” games, Cortana was the pillar that Master Chief relied on. As a smart AI, she was a well of knowledge that the Chief could draw upon. She always knew where to go. If you as a player got a bit lost, Cortana would place a handy waypoint on your heads-up display. In more recent games, we’ve had to play “Halo” without her, and her presence is missed. “Halo 4” saw Cortana go crazy and then die. “Halo 5: Guardians” saw Cortana go evil. Who knows what “Halo Infinite” will bring?
Clank is more than a backpack on Ratchet’s back. Clank is responsible for half of the power at Ratchet’s disposal. “Ratchet & Clank” is a fun 3D platforming game about the adventures of a Lombax and a robot. Together, they save the universe from the forces of evil. None of that would be possible without Clank. Clank is so important as a sidekick, he even gets his own levels away from Ratchet.
4. Diddy Kong
Diddy Kong started out as Donkey Kong’s sidekick. He first appeared in “Donkey Kong Country.” This ambitious young ape joined up with Donkey Kong, and the two of them had a rip-roaring good time duking it out with King K. Rool. Diddy Kong’s popularity as a sidekick was so immense that he got his own game. “Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest” was Diddy’s time to shine.
Sonic is not the only critter that can go fast. His sidekick Tails can chug along pretty quickly too. Tails first appeared in “Sonic the Hedgehog 2.” However, it was only in “Sonic the Hedgehog 3” that players gained the ability to control Tails’ flight power. Tails is no ordinary fox. The two tails he sports allow him to hover in the air for a time. Any sidekick that can defy gravity is a good sidekick in our book.
2. Garrus Vakarian
A suave personality goes a long way in making a fantastic sidekick. Garrus Vakarian is the turian sharpshooter on Commander Shepard’s team. Garrus’ inclusion in the “Mass Effect” series made the team aboard the Normandy twice as enjoyable as it would have been without him. Always ready with a snarky remark, Garrus has Shepard’s back. While he might disagree with being a sidekick, perhaps considering himself the star of the show, there is no one else we would rather have by our side while saving the galaxy than Garrus Vakarian.
The most renowned sidekick in the world has got to be Mario’s green-shirted brother, Luigi. He is the eternal sidekick. How many younger siblings around the world have taken control of Luigi while playing two-player mode on “Super Mario Bros.” with their older sibling? Luigi has jumped alongside Mario on numerous adventures, and it looks like there is no sign of stopping him.