Waypoint Weeklies: Good Boys! (Favorite Animal Companions, Pets, and Mons)

Having an animal friend is one of my favorite things in real life, and it’s no different in video games. Whether they join you for battles or are just waiting for you at your player home, having a pet or perhaps 905 of them is a delight.

This week, let’s discuss our favorite animals in video games! Do you like fierce fighters, or cute and cuddly companions? Have you named any of your real life pets (and yes, you may share pics) after a video game character? And most importantly: can you pet them?

I honestly don’t think I’ve ever forgiven Peter Molyneux for Fable 2.

Beyond discussing Pokemon endlessly (Snorlax my beautiful child I would like to take a nap leaning up against you under an apple tree and then get cartoonishly flattened when you roll over), I really have to give it up for the Can You Pet The Dog Twitter account, who has single-handedly inspired developers the world over to make sure that every game with adorable animals in it has a “pet” button.

Also, while I’m thinking of it, going from The Last Of Us Part II directly into Hades in 2020 was a delight because Supergiant understands that the best kind of boss fight against a Very Good Boy involves simply making sure he has his favorite treats.

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I like Pokémon that don’t make any sense. Dunsparce: Mystifying design, no evolution, normal typing with no extraordinary traits. The only place Dunsparce can be caught, in the first game I played, is a tiny, far-flung seaside cliff where no other Pokémon reside. It’s probably based on a Japanese snake-cryptid that likes to get drunk, but there are also design elements from, like, 10 other creatures. It rocks!

Honorable mention to Dusty the space cat from Gravity Rush and Chu-Chu from Xenogears, who was crucified for our sins.

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Missile was absolutely the first one to spring to mind. What a good buddy.

For second place, I offer the blob from A Boy and His Blob. Love this little guy. And yes you can hug them.

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Shout outs to Sherry the talking mouse from Ultima.

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Assassin’s Creed Odyssey has some very good animal friends in it. Icarus, your bird friend who you use to spot enemies and objectives:

and also Phobos the horse (who isn’t very good at going up or down steep hills but he tries his best), shown here as a unicorn because I equipped that skin immediately as soon as I found it:

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For some non-pocket monster respect, I’m a big fan of the first Ni no Kuni, and Puss in Boats was my favourite familiar. He’s stellar in a fight, yes, but also look at this guy!

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He’s a cat pirate! Hello!!!

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Sulfur from Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis ranks extremely highly. He’s just a very exasperated old cat, who also transforms into a sword-gauntlet and does his best to guide his young charge.

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(proceeds to flashback to THAT scene in RDR2 and has an emotional breakdown all over again)

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For me it’s going to be hard to top Torchlight’s implementation of pets as a game mechanic (and by the same argument FATE).

What is the worst part about dungeon crawlers like Diablo? Leaving the dungeon! Need to sell that extra loot, get more potions, or scrolls of identification? You gotta go back to town.

Torchlight solves this, not only do you get a cool pet that gets their own gear and magic spells to use but you can give them your junk and a shopping list so you can keep playing while they run errands for you!

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Shout-outs to my boy, Goomy.

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Well, this is the first I knew that Missile existed in a game that wasn’t Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney…

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Ghost Trick is a truly incredible game, and I strongly recommend you check it out if you get the chance. Missile really earns his title of Top Pomeranian!