Two’s a party, three’s a crowd. And sometimes even two is too much.
Naturally, I’m talking about sidekicks, and more often than not, they are annoying and useless and just there to get in the way. I mean, how often did Batman really truly need Robin tagging along? Or Wolverine with Jubilee? Granted, those are comic book examples, and videogames handle sidekicks much differently. Often, they are used to help give a tutorial on gameplay mechanics, offer up possible sidequest missions (think about Ratchet’s Clank here), or are just there to chat and fill in story gaps with heavy-handed exposition.
So, as we close in on the time of thanks and giving, Grinding Down would like to spin the world the other way around and moan and groan about some of the worst videogame sidekicks out there with hope that they never come to our aid ever, ever again.
5. The Adoring Fan (Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion)
Meet the Adoring Fan. Amazingly, this guy is your “reward” for becoming the Grand Champion in the Arena. He’s nothing special. He just follows you around and lovingly praises you. He won’t fight by your side as even a single rat is enough to get him running away. His voice is the very reason there is terrorism, and one can find countless videos on YouTube of players pushing him off the land’s tallest mountain. Frustratingly, he does not ever “die.” If killed, he reappears at the Arena a few days later, ready to follow you again, whether it is to his death or not. How annoying!
4. Navi (a whole bunch of Zelda games)
I think many gamers would agree that a box of scrolling text would’ve been a much better choice as a companion for Link than a hyped-up fairy that never shuts its airpiece. I mean, they’d both accomplish the same thing, but one is less obtrusive than the other. I think I’ve mentioned here before that I’ve yet to actually play any N64 Zelda games (gasp!), but I got to partially know Navi through The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass, and the small time spent with it was more than enough to convince me that Navi is Satan’s child, all razzed up on speed and insanity and the power to cling and never uncling. How annoying!
3. Daxter (Jak and Daxter series)
My PlayStation 2 days were filled with platformers. A trilogy of trilogies, I guess you could say. They were the Sly Cooper series, the Ratchet and Clank series, and the Jak and Daxter series. Now, all of them had sidekicks–Sly had Bently feeding him advice, Ratchet had Clank and all his crazy gizmos, and Jak had Daxter who…did absolutely nothing. Except get himself turned into a chatty rodent through the power of Dark Eco. For the first game–and, well, probably the next two–Daxter did little but make small quips when Jak “died,” as well as start trouble during in-game cinematics.
Unfortunately, Jak is one of those silent lead characters, forcing much of the talk on Daxter. How annoying!
2. Stella (Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies)
Not to be outdone by Navi, here’s another annoying fairy, this one more of an actual fairy…if inspired heavily by the now out-of-date ganguro craze. She has a horrible flappin’ accent, only cares about herself, and is constantly berating our main hero, as well as her old boss fatguts. There is no good to her, and she’s there for the entire ride through Dragon Quest IX. Occasionally, she awards you Accolades, but that’s nothing to get excited about. If you tap her on the DS touchscreen, she does not explode into a thousand fairy pieces, only gets slightly miffed. How annoying!
1. Your Mother (Pokemon HeartGold)
She tries to do good. She really does. See, in Pokemon HeartGold, one can give your mother some extra money and, while you’re out combing through tall grass for every last ‘mon, she’ll buy you some items. And then call you to tell you that these items can be picked up at the local store. This might seem all cool and great at first, but it’s only after awhile do you realize that the items she is buying you are stupid and a waste of money, and that it would break her heart if you told her to stop, considering it’s all she can do for you, and so you let her waste your earnings. It’s hard to even ignore her phone calls because…well, it’s a call from your mother. You can’t ignore something like that. How annoying!
P.S. This top five article was inspired by this early morning tweet.
Not really a true sidekick, but in the Mass Effect series there’s Conrad Verner, galaxy’s greatest fan of Commander Shepard. He’s always getting himself into trouble and while pretty funny to the gamer, is extremely annoying to Commander Shepard. Mean Shepard can even shoot him in the kneecap in Mass Effect 2.
Ooooh, I remember him from my only playthrough of Mass Effect! I wasn’t a total meanie to him, but I do think I eventually said to get lost and give up idolizing me. At least, I think that’s what happened. He ran away or something, and I never found him again. Good to know he can take a kneecap blow in the sequel!
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