Shack Chat: Who (or what) is your favorite video game companion?

The Shack Staff discusses who they enjoy spending all their digital hours with.

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Shack Chat is back once again, our weekly feature where each Friday where we’ll ask the Shacknews staff to give their opinion on a particular topic, then open the floor to our dedicated Chatty community to provide a diverse mixture of thoughts on the subject. It’s a great way for us to get to know one another better while inspiring healthy debates with all of you passionate gamers out there. 

Question: Who (or what) is your favorite video game companion?


ROB 64 - Asif Khan, Lola's Dad

Star Fox 64 is one of the best games ever made, and ROB64 makes the experience way more enjoyable. He isn’t a traditional video game companion like Yoshi, but ROB 64 is there when you need him most. The robot pilot of the Great Fox provides status updates and sends supplies when your location is confirmed. ROB 64’s name is even a nod to Nintendo’s iconic R.O.B that shipped with the NES Gyromite bundle. He’s a solid robot pal and his lines in Star Fox 64 have left an unforgettable mark on gamers young and old.


Otacon - Brittany Vincent, Senior Editor

I honestly couldn't choose a companion character, but Otacon definitely ranks up there as one of the highest on my list. Everything about him, from his awesome friendship with Snake, his comments on the photos I take, and his overall support just makes my heart fill with joy. He's also an anime fan, is named after 2001: A Space Odyssey's HAL 9000, and he's just an all-around awesome dude. He's one of the best buddies a guy could have in the Meal Gear universe, and Snake owes a lot of his success to our main man Otacon, in fact.


Donald and Goofy - Ozzie Mejia, Senior Editor

One of the longest running themes of the entire Kingdom Hearts series is that friendship is magic. Sora's friends are his power. And he has no greater friends than Donald and Goofy, his loyal companions from the very beginning of his adventure. Starting off as loyal squires in Sora's quest to combat the darkness, Donald and Goofy have grown to be treasured friends over the course of the series. But what really cements them here for me is their evolution in Kingdom Hearts III.

As much fun as their banter and dialogue was, the first two KH games often had Donald and Goofy in over their heads and dying more often than not. That's not the case in Kingdom Hearts III, where they're not only much more capable in battle, but also a lot more willing to lend an active hand with special tandem attacks. I've loved Donald and Goofy as companions for the full series, but Kingdom Hearts III took this partnership to another level and made them the ideal companions.


The Turret From Portal - Josh Hawkins, New To Shack Chat

While we’ve seen a multitude of companions in video games over the past several years, there’s one unlikely companion that always stands out to me, and that is the turret in the Portal series. While not really classified as a companion, I like to think of this enemy as a companion because of how helpful it can be throughout your time in the Portal series. Not only will it talk to you, even going so far as to ask “are you still there?”, but it can also help you take out other turrets, and even block your body from enemy fire if you’re careful enough with it. It’s also easily one of the cutest enemies you’ll come across in a video game, ever.

Sure, you might be thinking, but Josh… the turret is an enemy, not a companion, and yeah, well, you know that’s just, like, your opinion, man. For me, the turret is an unlikely companion that offers a fun bit of dialogue and adds some much-needed humor to your adventure. Yes, it isn’t the most likely of companions, but life is all about finding the good in the bad, and turrets need friends too. Let’s also not forget the turret’s part in Portal and Portal 2’s ending songs. Oh what a great companion the turret is, even in song and dance.


Doc Louis - Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! - Chris Jarrard, A student of the sweet science

Of all the companions I’ve had in my video game history, none have meant as much to me as Doc Louis, my boxing trainer from Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! I was just a young punk with no future and no one believed in me except Doc. After I got my ass beaten during an exhibition at the gym I trained in, Doc took me under his wing and with his help, I rose through the ranks of the World Video Boxing Association, eventually going toe to toe with “Iron” Mike Tyson.

Doc Louis was a former heavyweight boxing star in the 1950s and used his expertise to mold me into a championship boxer. He offered me support when things seemed bleak. He gave me tips on when to dodge and when to strike. He once told me, “Dancing like a fly, bite like a mosquito!” and “Watch his left.” Powerful words.

Doc would wake me up at 5AM every morning and force me to chase him while he rode his bike around New York City. Those rigorous training sessions hardened me into a lean, mean boxing machine. I shall ever be in Doc’s debt.


Palicoes - Blake Morse, Cat Fancier

The day I had to put my beloved pet Col. Spacecat down was one of the most heartbreaking moments of my entire life. It’s just never an easy thing and finding ways to cope with loss is very important to the healing process. When I got my hands on Monster Hunter World, of course, I turned my Palico companion into the likeness of my old buddy and it actually really helped me deal with stuff.

The Palicoes are a race of cat-like creatures who serve as partners for hunters in solo missions. They not only help you beat up your prey, but they also can provide support through healing or befriending other Palicoes who can help you trap giant beasts. They are both adorable and ferocious. And if all that wasn’t enough there’s a rather large selection of armor and outfits for you to dress them up in.

I found playing through the game with my Col. Spacecat Palico to be rather therapeutic overall. It was sort of like getting one last adventure with an old friend. I think even without the personal emotional attachment these cat-like co-pilots would’ve gotten my nod for best companion just because cats are awesome. But., the fact that they actually do a really good job of offering in-game support definitely drives it home for me.


Shack Chat

D-Dog - Charles Singletary Jr, Dog Dad

Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain has a couple of the best AI companions ever, but what dog person can deny that D-Dog is the greatest. The time between finding him and him being trained for use in the game, but excruciating for me. Once I got the call that he was ready for deployment, I booked it back to the command platform like a giddy school child.

Quiet was a strange, albeit incredibly useful companion in my playthrough, although she was limited early in because I tried to do a no-kill run. Nevertheless, I was always happy to go back to having D-Dog out in the open world with me. Hopefully Kojima finds a way to pay homage to him in Death Stranding.


Piper - Bill Lavoy, His Jokes Aren't Funny

I think my favorite companion in a game would be Piper from Fallout 4. I’ve heard that some people didn’t like Piper, but I found the unique dialogue that character provided to be the major selling point. Truthfully, though, I enjoyed the unique dialogue from most of Fallout 4’s characters, so you could swap Piper out for Nick Valentine, Deacon, MacCready, Danse, or even Cait. Each character had a unique personality and their own take on in-game events that helped to keep replay value high. If I’m picking a favorite, though, it’s definitely Piper. I think Courtney Ford’s performance was spot on, and that helped solidify my pick. Runner up would be my entire AI squad from Ghost Recon: Wildlands. They didn’t say much, but they were crack shots!


Cortana - Sam Chandler, The Man from the Future

Cortana has always been there for the Master Chief, which means she’s always been there for me. Out of all the companions I’ve had in various games, she’s always the one who’s only concern was my survival. She was there when I thawed out on the Pillar of Autumn and she was there when our wishes about the future of humanity were at odds.

Cortana’s story arc also resonates with me. After spending so much time with her fighting the Covenant, having to leave her on High Charity with the Flood infestation was heartbreaking. Halo 3 was a difficult journey as I reeled with not having her with me - it was the first time in the series I felt alone, despite having so many marines fighting with me. It was like I’d left a loved one behind to face the end of the world.

Outside of the Halo games, I loved reading about Cortana in the novels. This was especially true of Eric Nylund’s Fall of Reach, where Cortana and Master Chief are first introduced to one another and discovered how powerful they were together. Since then, it’s been great seeing their relationship grow.

She’s the perfect video game companion, she stays out of the way, doesn’t require an escort mission, doesn’t walk faster than you’re walk speed and slower than your run, and she provides valuable insight into what’s going on. And even though Halo 4 and 5 weren’t up to scratch, Cortana’s arc and descent into rampancy was gripping.

I purport that not only would Halo not be the same without Master Chief, it wouldn’t really be Halo without Cortana.


Rush - Greg Burke, Misses Disney Villains in Movies

Rush is not only a man’s best friend but also a robot's best friend. It’s a twofer! He really is the perfect companion. He can give you a ride to work, help you hang holiday lights, and supply you with power, in case your phone needs a charge. That’s a good boy.


Lydia - Donovan Erskine, Intern

The Dragonborn has a lot of weight on his/her shoulders. You’re tasked with saving the world and slaying an endless number of treacherous foes. Add on top of that the fact that almost everyone you meet either wants kill, capture, or take advantage of you. Life can be hard in the cold land of Skyrim. That’s where Lydia comes in. Getting into a scuffle? Lydia is always the first one to draw her sword. Overencumbered? Lydia has no problem holding the 42 cheese wheels weighing you down. Just need somebody to talk to when you’ve been running around the same dungeon for 2 hours and can feel your sanity slipping away? Lydia’s always down to chat.

The best part of all is that she can’t die, meaning you don’t have to constantly worry about managing her health and keeping her safe. This also means that she can be a damage sponge in tough fights, absorbing some of the biggest blows while you heal up and reposition yourself. Of course, Lydia isn’t the only companion in Skyrim, but she’s typically the first one, and for that, she’s the best.


Ashley Graham - David Craddock, Long Reads Editor

The first thought straight off the top of my head was Portal’s companion cube. It’s inanimate, doesn’t talk, can be carried rather than dragged along by laughable pathfinding, and as soon as you’re done with it, you toss it into an incinerator, something I wish I could do with most video game companions.

My serious answer is Resident Evil 4’s Ashley Graham. Ashley stands out in an era when escort missions were all the rage, and most of the characters you were escorting were frustratingly stupid. She tags along behind Leon, never out of your sight for more than a few seconds, so unless you leave her on her own, you can be sure she’s not getting into trouble or dying when you’re trying to survive a tough combat scenario or solve a puzzle. She immediately drops into a crouch when you need to fire at enemies or objects behind her. The fact that Ashley sticks so close means the few times you have to send her off on her own are tense for the right reasons, not because she can’t be trusted to stay alive for more than three consecutive seconds.

But the best part about escorting Ashley is you don’t spend the bulk of RE4 doing much escorting. Most of your time as Leon is spent flying solo, enabling you to devote your resources to your avatar’s welfare. When you are saddled with her, she’s perfectly content to hide in a dumpster while you clear out enemies. If only all companions were so agreeable.


Disagree with our picks? Think we're a bunch of clowns? Let us know in the Chatty below.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    February 8, 2019 2:00 PM

    Shack Staff posted a new article, Shack Chat: Who (or what) is your favorite video game companion?

    • reply
      February 8, 2019 2:09 PM

      Oh man that is a hard pick, but I'm going to go with Elizabeth from Bioshock: Infinite. The way the game handled that character just had me really emotionally attached.

      If I get a second choice (Yes I do), It is going to be the little firefly thing in Child of Light.

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        February 8, 2019 2:15 PM

        Elizabeth is my pick, 2nd would be Catherine Chun from SOMA

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          February 8, 2019 2:32 PM

          Oh that is a great 2nd pick. That relationship was so..Rocky though. But yeah my top three now would be

          Elizabeth, Firefly thing, and then you know who from SOMA

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            February 8, 2019 2:40 PM

            Once I finish it my answer may change to Daniel from LiS2, hafta wait and see

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      February 8, 2019 2:13 PM

      Lucatiel Of Mirrah, and I shall brook no nay-sayers on this point. The duelling ground is just there, if you choose.

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      February 8, 2019 3:01 PM

      First thing that popped into my head was Floyd the Robot from Planetfall. I'm old.

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      February 8, 2019 3:19 PM

      Not really my companion but GladOS. Or any game that has a doggie to fight and fetch for you.

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      February 8, 2019 3:27 PM

      Lydia for sure. She accepts me even though I eat people in front of her in my human form, then I transform into a werewolf and brutally maul and eat people still right in front of her and then hand her their weapons and armor and she is still by my side. That is loyalty.

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      February 8, 2019 3:28 PM

      Morte from Planescape Torment...

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        February 8, 2019 4:30 PM

        Morte was great, but I'd kinda vote for pretty much any of the planescape companions. Annah and Fall From Grace were both excellent, and their interactions were pretty impressive compared to most RPG companions.

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      February 8, 2019 4:01 PM

      BT-7274 from Titanfall 2 was pretty cool.

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      February 8, 2019 4:12 PM

      Sailor Jerry and Coke, with ice.

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      February 8, 2019 4:22 PM

      Dogmeat, except when he goes aggro on a horde of Deathclaws. Then, I leave him to his own devices.

    • rms legacy 10 years mercury mega
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      February 8, 2019 4:56 PM

      Veronica Santangelo from FONV, she was pretty chatty and fun. Also the companion bot from Descent 2!

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      February 8, 2019 5:00 PM

      HK-47 always comes along.

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      February 8, 2019 5:20 PM

      gamefaqs

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      February 8, 2019 5:22 PM

      Sidejack: would Ellie (The Last Of Us), Atreus (God Of War) and characters like them be considered companions? Or are they co-protagonists?

      HK-47 (KOTOR) was the first traditional “companion” that came to mind because of his snark and skills and how unforgettable he is to this day. He’s the first “new” character in a Star Wars anything that I thought should be in the movies. I guess they sort of tried a character like him with that robot in Rogue One.

      Shout-out to Jedi Bastilla Shan (so hot and so powerful) from the same game.

      At the time I really liked the dynamic between the Prince Of Persia: (Sands Of Time, 2003) and the Maharaja’s daughter Farah, and how it felt like you were playing co-op with someone, solving puzzles.

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      February 8, 2019 5:25 PM

      Probably my buddy, Superfly. I can't leave without him.

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      February 8, 2019 5:27 PM

      Hey! Listen!

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      February 8, 2019 5:30 PM

      Cortana

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        February 8, 2019 5:32 PM

        A plethora of Bioware companions follow closely behind.

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      February 8, 2019 5:31 PM

      Garry's and Tails.

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      February 8, 2019 5:34 PM

      Andrew Ryan

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      February 8, 2019 5:35 PM

      wrex

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      February 8, 2019 6:54 PM

      Companion Cube

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      February 8, 2019 10:16 PM

      Noober of course.

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      February 8, 2019 10:18 PM

      No love for dog from HL2?

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      February 8, 2019 10:32 PM

      glottis

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      February 9, 2019 1:36 AM

      Either Aida from Unreal 2 or Carrie from Chrome.

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      February 9, 2019 6:30 AM

      No love for miniature giant space hamsters? Boo!

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      February 9, 2019 6:31 AM

      Garrus and Liara. I can't pick one

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      February 9, 2019 6:59 AM

      potatOS. (Glados as a potato)

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      February 9, 2019 8:29 AM

      Blob from a boy and his blob

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