Pets provide constant support to their owners. Even when times are tough or when the owner is feeling alone, these lovable furry companions continue to stand by their owners and try to help in any way they can.
With the significant role animals play in many people’s lives, it is no surprise that there are plenty of games that give players a virtual pet of their own. Even within the simulated world of a video game, players can develop strong bonds with these wonderful pets.
10 The Last Guardian – The Trico
In the 2016 action-adventure game The Last Guardian, the player befriends a Trico, which is an in-game species. The creature is a mixture of a bird, a dog, and a cat. Since the beginning of the game, the main character, a young boy, teams up with the Trico and slowly develops a bond with them as they solve puzzles, navigate through obstacles, and defeat enemies.
Unlike most games where the animal sidekick is already the best friend of the main character at the start, players will have to gain Trico’s trust as if it were a real animal. As the boy feeds the Trico and heals their wounds, the Trico will become more affectionate until the creature is willing to possibly sacrifice themselves to protect the player.
9 Daffodil – Spiritfarer
Released in 2020, the indie game Spiritfarer is a cozy management sim where the protagonist, Stella, meets the Greek mythological character, Charon, and takes over his job as “Spiritfarer.” This means she must use her customizable boat to send spirits to the afterlife, which leads to both her and the player developing bittersweet connections with the departing spirits.
But, even in this spiritual space between the living and the dead, Stella is not alone. While traveling across the world, Stella has her cat, Daffodil, for company. In co-op mode, player two controls Daffodil as they both move forward in this journey together.
8 Hades – Cerberus
Developed by the beloved indie company Supergiant Games, Hades is a roguelike action dungeon crawler with visual novel and dating sim elements. The player controls the son of Hades, Zagreus, as he attempts to traverse the different realms of the underworld in order to reach the surface and meet his mother, Persephone. While doing this, Zagreus can also talk to various characters and give them gifts to progress their stories, see special scenes, and get extra items that can help Zagreus on his journey.
One of these characters that Zagreus can interact with is the three-headed dog, Cerberus. While not one of the most prominent relationships in Hades, the mythological creature’s love for Zagreus is shown from the very beginning, when Cerberus gets so upset he wrecks the house after Zagreus tries to leave for the first time. Over the course of the game, the player can pet Cerberus and give him gifts. Eventually, Cerberus will give Zagreus an Old Spiked Collar, which increases his health when used.
7 Brown – Rule Of Rose
Rule of Rose is a 2006 PS2 Japanese survival horror game that takes place in 1930s England and is inspired by other games, like Silent Hill. This psychological horror focuses on a 19-year-old named Jennifer, who travels to an old building and gets trapped there. While exploring the place, she gets tangled up in the horrific actions of the Red Crayon Aristocrats, which is a hierarchal group of young girls.
Despite being treated terribly by the other inhabitants, the player is not alone because she has a loving dog companion named Brown for most of the game. Brown can look for items and distract enemies, and he follows Jennifer’s commands. Even though Brown meets a sad fate towards the end, there is no doubt that he was a very good dog.
6 Dogmeat – Fallout
Even the well-known post-apocalyptic action RPG series, Fallout, has an animal companion that has been a staple of this 1950s post-war aesthetic franchise. Except for Fallout: New Vegas and Fallout 76, a dog known as Dogmeat has been in each game in some capacity. While sometimes he is just referenced or has a cameo, there are several games where he is a possible companion.
In the multiple games where he is a companion, Dogmeat is one of the best dogs to have in all of video game history. He finds items, fights enemies, and will love the player no matter what. Though Dogmeat’s dog actor inspiration has sadly passed away, her memory continues to live on virtually through this character.
5 Epona – Legend Of Zelda
Ever since the 1998 action-adventure The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time for the Nintendo 64, Epona has been an iconic horse of The Legend of Zelda franchise. Link meets her as a wild foal who does not trust him and runs away when he tries to approach her. But, after learning Epona’s Song, Epona bonds with Link and she soon becomes the main animal companion in many games.
Appearing in multiple mainline titles, along with several side games and crossover cameos, Epona has become a significant character in the series. While riding her, Link can travel quickly across long distances and fight enemies.
4 Red’s Pikachu – Pokémon Yellow
Unlike other games in the Pokémon franchise, Pokémon Yellow only has one starter Pokémon: Pikachu. Since Pokémon Yellow is based on the anime and Ash’s main Pokémon is Pikachu, the game follows that and has the main character of the Generation I games, Red, start with one as well.
Red’s Pikachu is unique to other in-game Pokémon in several different ways. Instead of staying in the Pokéball, Red’s Pikachu follows the player outside and can be talked to. Depending on the player’s actions, the Pikachu will have different levels of affection and friendship with the player. Because of all of this, Red’s Pikachu feels the most like a real animal with emotions out of all Pokémon.
3 Pascal – Shin Megami Tensei
Developed by Atlus in 1992 for the Super Famicom, Shin Megami Tensei is a Japanese post-apocalyptic RPG and the third main entry in the Megami Tensei/Shin Megami Tensei franchise. The game follows an unnamed protagonist who gets transported years into the future after the United States ordered a nuclear attack on Tokyo and started a demon invasion. Over the course of the game, the player makes moral choices that decide the fate of humanity.
In this game, the protagonist also has a family dog named Pascal, which is a reference to the Pascal programming language. After the protagonist’s mother gets killed, Pascal joins the player’s team and can become the powerful Cerberus. Even after becoming a strong demonic beast, this loyal dog still loves the protagonist and will do anything for him.
2 Hewie – Haunting Ground
Developed by Capcom for the PS2 in 2005 and a spiritual successor to the Clock Tower series, Haunting Ground is a survival horror game that follows a young woman named Fiona Belli who gets trapped in a large castle. As she solves puzzles and runs from enemies, Fiona must find a way out while uncovering the secrets of the location and the various inhabitants.
Throughout the game, Fiona has a dog as a companion, who is a White Shepherd named Hewie. In order to get the best ending, Fiona must properly train Hewie by praising him, scolding him, and playing ball with him. To make the dog as realistic as possible, Hewie was animated using the motion capture of a real dog.
1 Repede – Tales Of Vesperia
Originally released in 2008 for the Xbox 360and the tenth mainline entry in the Tales franchise, Tales of Vesperia is an action RPG that centers around a young man named Yuri Lowell who creates a guild called Brave Vesperia in response to the injustice of the current empire. As he travels across the world and gains new allies, he uncovers secrets that change everything.
The first party member Yuri has is his loyal dog Repede, who joined him several years ago after the events of the prequel movie led to Repede’s dad’s death. While Repede cannot speak except by barking, he can understand the other characters and fights using daggers.
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