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The best (and worst) video-game sidekicks

This post has not been edited by the GamesBeat staff. Opinions by GamesBeat community writers do not necessarily reflect those of the staff.


Guys like Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston from AMC’s hit-show Breaking Bad deserve such initial praise for delivering unique “chemistry.” More so, they’ve both achieved Emmy awards; one for best TV actor; and more importantly, best supporting actor.

You see, to me, you can’t have the show without one another. Their work together towards distinctness goals and attitudes (while trying to tear each other apart) is what makes the drama so interesting. Glad they decided not to kill Jessie off in Season One because of the brilliant performances.

That brings me to videogames. Think of secondary characters as Aaron Paul – he/she still achieves that spotlight and fame – although more often than not they’re overlooked, shadowed by the leading character. I know what you’re thinking, Luigi is a perfect example. But some of these characters are given smaller roles that aren’t that appreciated; nor recognized.

For kicks and giggles, when you mention the best sidekicks, it’s an impossibility not to brainstorm the worst. You know, the one’s in which you anticipate their death in a game (or TV show). Sorry Skyler…Walter doesn’t need you anymore.

 

Ebisumaru (Dr. Yang)"I'm a girl, you know."

Debut: The Legend of the Mystical Ninja (SNES) 1991

I don’t know why, but I immediately related Mr. Yang to George Costanza of Seinfeld fame. Who wouldn’t want to play as this dude? Oh wait, it's a she, isn't it? This karate kicker carried a mean stick and knew how to use it. That suit and bizarre hat made his personality, honestly. He also referenced a pussy; scared when threat arrived. Weird… yet funny.

 

Tails

Debut: Sonic 2 (Genesis) 1992  "I have two tails, hence the name."

Sure, Sonic can run faster than DC's super-dash hero Flash, but Tails could to something better: Fly with his spinning tail. It was more like gliding, but it made superior and hard-to-reach items easily accessible. What Sonic couldn’t do, Tails can do better.

 

Rush

Debut: Mega Man 3 (NES) 1990 "Forget the time where I spoke in the Mega Man cartoon."

The Magnet Beam was very unique and made Mega Man’s adventure more forgiving when acquiring in the latter. But instead of continuing the weapon, it was eventually replaced by Rush; a robot-dog that the blue bomber could use to hop on the mutt for the coil spring, a submarine, and even a jet.

Rush gave Transformers a run for its money. Furthermore, in Marvel vs. Capcom 2, the hyper-combo gave Mega Man an oblivious attack that transformed him into a huge mech-warrior. Mega Buster? That’s a thing of the past.

 

Zero

Debut: Mega Man X (SNES) 1993 "I, originally, was X."

If I wrote this eighteen years ago, the obvious thing I would to state is that Zero deserved his own game. A dream came true with the Mega Man Zero series on Game Boy Advance and the Nintendo DS.  Slowly, he was teased as a playable character in Mega Man X3, but let’s face it – you can only use Zero once and if he took enough damage it was he would retreat. Mega Man X4 brought the pleasure of controlling the blonde-hair maverick hunter, and his sword/maneuvers dictated more damage to enemies than X’s arm cannon.

 

Falco

Debut: Star Fox (SNES) 1993 "Screw you Fox, I'm better."

Falco’s relation with Fox was interesting – it reigned jealously and competition. At first, I despised the blue bird, making remarks like “Oh, I was saved my Fox, how swell” or “Hey Einstein, I’m on your side!” But a good flyer always backs you up, even against Star Wolf. He was the other character I took seriously, and he thrived to win.  

 

Bowser

Debut: Super Mario Bros. (NES) 1985  "My army of turtles and goombas will stop Smithy." Wait, we actually need Mario.

Wait, huh?! Bowser is Mario’s main nemesis, is he not? Correct, but my favorite moment in the Mario saga was when the oversized-dragon turtle teamed up with the plumber in Super Mario RPG. Special magic attacks; including a giant Boo, were some of villain’s brilliant offensive tactics. Don’t ever take over Bowser’s castle, my friends. The irony truly was magical. That laugh gargle was hilarious too.

 

Click page two to continue.

Venom

Debut: Spider-Man Secret Wars (Marvel Comics) 1984 "We're poison to Spider Man. We are Venom!"

Here we have another ironic state: Venom was Spider-Man’s most fearful and deadly enemy. It wasn’t until the Maximum Carnage series (in both the comics and videogame) that saw the black symbiote team up with your friendly neighborhood hero to take down Carnage and his army of super villains. Will we ever get to see Eddie Brock star in his own game?

 

Solid Snake

Debut: Metal Gear (MSX2) 1987 "I'll hold you to that, doctor."

Surprised? Yeah, well I was just as disappointed as all of you when Snake was kicked out of the spotlight by Raiden in Metal Gear Solid 2. More of a supporting role, you didn’t see much of Snake other than codec conversations. Without Snake, technically, Raiden wouldn’t have stopped George Sears (a.k.a  Solidus) in Solid’s sequel. Thank god for the Substance edition.

Princess Zelda

Debut: The Legend of Zelda (NES) 1986 You see, my name is always in the title of the series. It's time to give me a shot as the hero.

Though she always fell mostly in the hands of Ganon (or Ganondorf), Zelda downed a new espionage-attire and persona in Ocarina of Time as Sheik. A nice twist at the end, but many were demanding her to be a playable character within the adventure. That’s something I feel the series needs to deliver: more playable characters. After all this time, she sure as a Bombchu deserves it.

Princess Peach

Debut: Super Mario Bros. (NES) 1986 I believe I can fly.

She’s in another…no! She’s right here! Super Mario Bros. 2 wasn’t my favorite Mario game, but playing as the Toadstool’s prestigious girl brought new possibilities: She could glide with her skirt.

Easily named the best character, obstacles confronted by gamers in the levels were navigated with comfortable, flow-like flying capabilities. Super Princess Peach was a great platformer, but was overlooked and underrated in my eyes. I should add she was the best party member for healing in Super Mario RPG.

Yoshi

Debut: Super Mario World (SNES) 1990 Crouching tounge, hidden eggs.

Who needs a P-Wing when you have a flying dinosaur you could settle on? Featuring Kirby-like powers (to eat enemies), it was a superb trait to acquire distinct powers from each colored-turtle (a red-shelled could have Yoshi spit out fireballs). Though we were treated with Yoshi's Cookie and Yoshi’s Story, Super Mario World 2 gave the dino a praise of one of the greatest platforming games of all time – and baby Mario.  

Luigi

Debut: Super Mario Bros. (NES) 1985 "They stick me in a huanted house, armed with a goddamn vacuum."

It just didn’t feel right not to include Mario’s plumbing brother, since he’s constantly over-shadowed by the mustachio man. What’s worse was finding him in the manual of the Super Mario RPG, claiming  Mario didn’t need his help this time. You kidding me? Forget Luigi’s Mansion, if we can have Wario Land, we can have Super Luigi World.

 

 

Click page three for the sidekicks that pissed you off.

And the worst?

Alia

Debut: Mega Man X5 (PS1) 2002 "Press down to duck and X to fire."

If I can think of anything worse than the Mavericks' names in X5, it’s the ground-based blonde girl who constantly calls you during X’s adventure. “Be careful, there are spikes on the floor!” I see that, Alia…now please, surrender to Sigma.

Kazooie

Debut: Banjo Kazooie (N64) 1998 "They should've starred me in Duck Hunt."

I’m not taking away the great adventure of Rare’s golden days of N64 titles, but this bird that squeaks on my back just flat-out disgusted me. This was one of many rejected cereal-box characters I can think of that came on the 64-bit days on Nintendo’s system. Why do you have horn, and why are you blowing it on my back?

Funky Kong

Debut: Donkey Kong Country (SNES) 1994 "Dude....dude, that's radical."

If the name isn’t stupid enough, this ‘90s-sunglass guerrilla had music that gave me a headache. Thanks for the barrel, but as K. Rool is trying to take over the world, why are you still in your trunks? He never did give you a surfboard, either.

Slippy

Debut: Star Fox (SNES) 1993 Voice overs in the 64 edition were neat, but for once I wish this one was a mute.

“Fox! Get this guy off me!” I’d rather listen to Kermit the Frog sweet-talking Miss Piggy on their date. The tone of his voice, if anything, left players shooting down his R-Wing; leaving him fleaing for repairs. Hey, I did it. It was a joy fighting Star Wolf without the high-pitched frog.

Navi

Debut: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (N64) 1998 "Hey! Hey! Listen!"

I feel I really don’t have to say anything in this description. Someone already wrote about the negative aspects of Navi (which I love the closing note: “Take that, stupid fairy”). If Ganondorf is ruling Hyrule and destroying the land, I can think of much more efficient defense than a small-blue fairy. Link has his sword and shield, ‘nuff said.

 

Mallow

Debut: Super Mario RPG. (SNES) 1996 "I was a tadpole." What the hell you been smoking, kid?

His ability to manipulate the weather was pretty neat, but this cry-baby puff ball had me dismember him from my party. The best part? When he failed jumping like Mario – that and the fact that he wanted to be like the famous plumber. Good luck on that, kid! Hold on! So, he isn’t a frog?! Really?!

 


If you have any ideas as to cool sidekicks, or anymore annoying frog henchmen, feel free to comment below.