25 best video game sidekicks ever
Videogames can be a lonely pursuit, but having the likes of this little lot around makes them less so, whether they're pulling your "ass" out of the fire, telling you where to go to avoid a Covenant ambush or retrieving the ducks you've just blown to kingdom come with a lighten.
Tails (Sonic the Hedgehog 2, 1992)
Miles “Tails” Prower first accompanied Sonic on his second ever Mega Drive outing, either controllable by a second player or simply under the guidance of the game’s AI. The young fox’s twin tails allow him to fly helicopter style, carrying Sonic out of danger, and while he’s hardly the most nuanced or interesting of characters, his long-time association with Sonic puts him above the likes of Knuckles.
Luigi (Mario Bros, 1983)
Almost always in his more famous brother’s shadow, Luigi is one of the gaming world’s great nearly men – usually available only to player two as an alternative version of Mario. However, there are times when he comes to the fore – such as the Luigi’s Mansion titles – and steps up to rescue his sibling, making him an increasingly interesting character in his own right.
Diddy Kong (Donkey Kong Country, 1994)
Nintendo bad guy Donkey Kong didn’t get a real sidekick until 1994 (Donkey Kong Jr. doesn’t count…), when he became the good guy and the star of Donkey Kong Country, the British-developed Super Nintendo platformer. A monkey rather than an ape, Diddy Kong is faster and more agile than his friend; in single player, you could switch between the two at will, taking advantage of their respective skills, while in multiplayer you could guide both through a level simultaneously.
Cortana (Halo: Combat Evolved, 2001)
The AI whose smooth feminine tones are constantly keeping Master Chief up to date throughout the Halo series, Cortana doesn’t have a physical body, instead appearing sporadically as a hologram – by chance, a sexy-looking woman hologram. Hmm. While AIs can lack character, Cortana has a dry sense of humour and towards the end of the first Halo trilogy tells the Chief that she’ll miss him, suggesting her attachment to humanity’s best warrior is more than mere programming.
Companion Cube (Portal, 2007)
The Weighted Companion Cube is an integral part of the testing process at Aperture Science, often being necessary to the completion of a level. Yes, it’s an inanimate object, but if you didn’t feel some measure of guilt as you tossed it into the incinerator, we suspect your heart is cold, glassy and dry.