Top 10 Video Game Sidekicks, Helpers, and Other Secondary Characters

Tags: #videogamesidekicks ,   #MassEffect ,   #Halo ,   #Cortana ,   #GodOfWar

Dan N. Scarborough

Dan N. Scarborough

Last updated:  2023-05-12 18:00:07

Sidekicks are the type of characters a very few people want to be. We mean, whoever wants to be Robin? Or C3PO? Or Samwise Gamgee? Totally not cool. Many heroes contribute to the goal, but not all deserve a spotlight. Instead, some stay in the background, doing their best to support the main characters. But it doesn't mean these guys, girls, and assorted animals aren't just as valuable as the protagonists. No matter how strong, tough, and able the main characters are, they still need backup to complete their missions. The better support they have, the bigger their chances to succeed. In this article, we'll mention the best people who wholeheartedly help protagonists and are happy for them grabbing the glory while doing their job from the sidelines. Here's to the sidekicks, people who make heroes being heroes. 

10. Ellie Williams (Last Of Us)

From a sidekick to a protagonist in the sequel

When the first Last of Us game arrived, Naughty Dog studio had a hard time putting Ellie on the cover art - and for a good reason as she is an irreplaceable part of the game. The Last of Us starts with a shocking moment of Joel losing his daughter. After years of trying to survive, he finally meets Ellie. 

Not only does Ellie bring back Joel's humanity and will to go on, but she also drives the game story forward. Although she's not a big part of the gameplay, her survival is a central plot point. Ellie doesn't partake in the combat, but she can explore the areas otherwise unavailable and help Joel in his journey to redemption.  

9. Atreus (God of War)

Kratos' tough love makes a boy into a god

Speaking about redemption, it's the central theme of the God of War (2018), as one of the best reboots. Apparently, PlayStation studio started a specific trend of games with "brooding, bearded dads" as protagonists. After three rounds of killing the entire ancient Greek pantheon, Kratos escapes and seeks exile in the far North. Then, the new story begins, introducing us to his son Atreus, also known as Boy

Atreus represents the remainder of Kratos' humanity and goodness. After his wife dies, the former godkiller learns to be a single parent. God of War is Atreus' story as much as Kratos'. They both come to terms with loss and learn to connect during their first adventure. As the game progresses, Atreus grows more useful and matures as he discovers his origin.  

8. Victor "Sully" Sullivan (Uncharted) 

Treasure hunter is a business that relies on trust

Sully has been a treasure hunter for all his life, but he's also a father figure to Nathan Drake. He is a less mechanical and more narrative sidekick in Uncharted games, but his support is still much appreciated. The connection between Nathan and Sully is irresistible, although they spend a lot of time shooting people. Thanks to excellent writing and acting, the two of them just work perfectly together. 

Dialogue exchanges between Drake and Sully are the thing that makes the Uncharted games move forward. More so, the scenes without Sully seem wasteful. Sully offers all kinds of help to Nathan, sometimes saving him from tight spots or helping him get rid of the competition. However, after the fourth Uncharted game, Sully announced retiring from the treasure hunter business. Still, he will remain Nathan's friend. 

7. Elizabeth Comstock (Bioshock Infinite)

A sweet girl that can tear into time-space

Elizabeth Comstock is criminally overlooked when we talk about great video game sidekicks. Not only is she valuable and compelling in this shocking game, but her story arc is also the backbone of Bioshock Infinite. Elizabeth has been held captive in sky-bound haven Columbia since she was a baby. Booker DeWitt, the protagonist of Bioshock Infinite, releases her from imprisonment before discovering why she has been kept outside of the world. 

Turns out Elizabeth has the unique powers of Tear, which is breaking through the fabric of time and space. That way, she can procure anything you need, be it weapons, ammunition, health, or anything else. While assisting you and guiding you through the world, Elizabeth matures and finds her place in the world. Without her help, Booker would find his demise much earlier in the game. 

6. Miles "Tails" Prower (Sonic)

Sonic's two-tailed companion is a fan favorite

The sequels of the Sonic games brought us many colorful sidekicks. There were Knuckles, Shadow, Amy Rose, and many forgotten helpers. However, the most favorite of the bunch is Miles Prower, a two-tailed fox. Miles was relentlessly bullied as a cub because of his double tail, thus the nickname. He appeared first in the first Sonic sequel, Sonic The Hedgehog 2. Yet, he's one of the staple characters in the franchise. 

Tails isn't bigger, faster, or stronger than Sonic, yet he's his most helpful sidekick. Why, you ask? Well, Tails has one unique ability - flying. That way, he can reach level areas otherwise inaccessible to Sonic. Also, his naïve, good-hearted nature makes him willing to help his blue hedgehog buddy.

5. Agro (Shadow of the Colossus)

Faithful equine helps you defeat the giants

Few names come up when people talk about the most famous gaming horses. While there's Geralt's Roach, Link's Epona, Shadowmere, most people would agree that the best among them is Agro from Shadow of the Colossus, especially in the remake

Wander's adventure takes him across huge distances, and it would be much more challenging for him if there hadn't been Agro. The faithful steed even helped Wander in slaying the Colossi. Often, you would rely on its speed and climbing ability to avoid their attacks and flank their vital points. Did Epona ever do that for Link? Didn't think so.

4. Garrus Vakarian (Mass Effect)

The irreplaceable crew member of Normandy

This Turrian with a sharp tongue and sharper combat skills is one of the favorite characters in the entire Mass Effect franchise. He is usually the agent of reason in the group, ruthless toward criminals, even willing to break the rules to serve justice. Garrus would undoubtedly make for an excellent protagonist if there weren't for Commander Shepard

His skills also make him one of the most sought-after members of any squad. With his skills as a sniper, tech prowess, and ability to Concussion Shot, he's practically secured a slot on any team the Commander positions out. Also, he literally tanked a mech-powered missile to the mug. You can bet that both the Commander and the Normandy would have it much worse if Garrus weren't around with his calibrations. 

3. Hal "Otacon" Emmerich (Metal Gear Solid)

Tech support workers have representation in games

Imagine the guy whose code name is the abbreviation for the otaku convention. Now, that's some unprecedented level of nerdy! Despite that, Hal Emmerich, or Otacon, is the guy you'd like the most to talk to over the earpiece while stealthing through the military bases. With someone named like that, you'd expect a wimpy and useless nerd, but, given the circumstances, Otacon is one of the mentally strongest characters in the series.   

When we first see him, he definitely doesn't seem like that, given the fact he soiled himself the first time he met Solid Snake. But, once he got his shit together (in every possible meaning), he became more than a helper and support. Otacon guided him through missions and procured him the always valuable equipment. Snake wouldn't have managed half as long as he did without the assistance of his tech support.

2. Cortana (Halo)

Faithful AI keeps Master Chief's last part of humanity

Cortana is an AI program made to assist the protagonist of Halo games, Master Chief. She does her job flawlessly, going way above and beyond her mission briefing, all to protect humanity. Being an AI, she gathers all the crucial tactical information about the enemy sent by Master Chief. Without those, Earth would be doomed and glassed by the Covenant or zombified by the Flood.  

Cortana was even captured and tortured by Gravemind to spill information. Still, she didn't give absolutely anything, proving she's as tough as Spartans are. To top it all, Cortana is the only person in the entire series that made Chief show any emotional bond. That's especially obvious in Halo 4 when Cortana vanishes. The Halo series just isn't the same without this AI lady, and hopefully, Chief will find the way to restore her. 

1. Luigi (Mario Bros)

The most famous brother in video games history has some fine adventures

And now for the quintessential sidekick in the gaming industry. Luigi is something like the perpetual number 2, a more iconic sidekick than Bruce Lee's. He constantly exists as Player 2, sometimes even robbed of his own name, and called Green Mario. The only game in which Luigi's in the spotlight is having him scared to death by ghosts.

Situations like that would have most sidekicks go rogue, turning to the dark side, but not Luigi. Even 30 years later, he never fails to back Mario up during their extraordinary feats. He plays almost the same as his older brother, so one couldn't ask for a better partner. And when he gets his own chance to let loose, he's often not as good as Mario, but better. We all remember Luigi's Death Stare meme from Mario Kart or him destroying opponents in Super Smash Bros. Who knows, maybe Nintendo keeps Luigi in the shadows, so he doesn't outshine his poster boy of a brother.

Sidekicks are necessary for video games because they often help and support the main characters who couldn't manage their tasks without them. Be it younger brothers, AI entities, tech support, fellow combatants, or even amount, these characters are essential and precious, despite being overlooked. We'll be forever grateful for all supporting characters because there wouldn't be heroes without them.

What's your favorite video game sidekick? Which one would you add to the list?



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