Come sit with me…Let’s have a chat about video games… Let’s talk about Underrated Sidekicks. Everyone loves to play the heroes in video games. We have a sense of connection to most (if not all) of them. And why shouldn’t we? We spend hours in their world, helping them fight the bad guys, bringing them through every trudging level, and figuring out all kinds of puzzles, shortcuts, and secrets. However, sometimes us and our hero can’t do it alone. Everyone needs help once in a while. Enter in the sidekick (stage left.) The sidekick can be annoying to no end or as helpful as can be. Either way they are part of our world. This list is to celebrate the under rated sidekick. The sidekick that gets little to no recognition most of the time. For the sidekick that barely even gets that title! This is not a list for Miles “Tails” Prower, or Yoshi, or even Diddy Kong. No, those sidekicks get the recognition they deserve. This list is for the little (or big) adventurers that are in it for the long haul and get no game of their own, no play in the fan-fiction (although sometimes they are in horrific ways), and/or no real love…but shame on you for not loving them! Let’s being this, and remember this is in no particular order. 1. Dominic Santiago (Gears of War) Oh sure, we all pretend we love Dom, his quick witty retorts with Marcus makes him a quickly loved character. He is clearly a sidekick and yet he is the last character people love in this series. ColeTrain, Dizzy, and Hell even Carmine get more play than Dom. But (spoilers) Dom has a real character arc through the games. He is a hero, a friend, a husband, then a widow, then a martyr. How many sidekicks can say that? Did you shed a tear when you sacrificed Yoshi to jump off his back into a pit of death to grab that gold Yoshi coin? No, of course not, he was a tool to be used. But Dom, when he died, who didn’t cry? If you didn’t you have no heart. 2. Devil Familiar (Castlevania: Symphony of the Night) The Devil Familiar, although no character arc, is one of the better familiar cards in CSotN. It’s a strong little guy that floats above Alucard’s shoulder and will use different elemental attacks as it levels up. Its more real, “secret”, purpose, however, is pressing an otherwise impossible-to-reach button in the Abandoned Mine. The Devil Familiar has two basic attacks, with base attack ratings of 5 and 10, both dealing cut-type damage. It gains a Fire-based attack at level 20, an Ice-based attack at level 40, and a Thunder-based attack at level 60, all of which have a base attack of 30. At level 80, it gains another Thunder-based attack with an ATT of 45 making this little bugger more useful that all the other familiar cards and making him a great little sidekick for Alucard. 3. F.L.U.D.D. (Super Mario Sunshine) I know, I know, that annoying water gun strapped to your back that wouldn’t shut up? Yes, the very same. The Flash Liquidizer Ultra Dousing Device is a helpful device that assists you through the ENTIRE game of Super Mario Sunshine. He isn’t just an AI version of a mushroom that you have to find behind a question mark box. He has upgrades too, four different nozzles that help you jump higher, run faster, hover, and clean up the mess Bowser Jr. made. Not only that but FLUDD made it in to two Smash Brothers games. Tails isn’t even in one. 4. The Medic (Team Fortress 2) Ok so his sidekickyness (I swear that’s a word) depends on the player behind him but that doesn’t mean he isn’t vital to his team! The unnamed Doctor from Rottenburg, Germany is a key player. Have him covering the Heavy Gunner and it’s nonstop carnage. He has his own set of diabolical devices and an hold his own but he really just makes a great sidekick because he is there to buff up the other fighters and make sure they don’t die. 5. Frog (Chrono Trigger) Don’t think anyone would actually argue this one. After Frog joins your party with Chrono and the gang he easily becomes one of the best support of that cast. He is powerful, fast, a water magic user, and has some of the best specials and combo attacks. He also has a pretty great character story. A disgraced knight in need of redemption. Classic! He is suffering and yet he conquers his adversaries and inner struggle while adventuring with Chrono. Such a fantastic sidekick and they should put those two in Super Smash Brothers…just saying. With a quote like, “I am no pet, I am an accomplished swordsman, green as I may appear.” makes him a man (or frog) not to be trifled with. 6. Barret Wallace (Final Fantasy VII) Keeping with JRPGs for a second lets bring up Barrett Wallace. Barrett is the Samuel L. Jackson of the Final Fantasy world. He’s one bad Mother F@%#er! All kidding aside, Barrett is the team leader of the rebel (eco-terrorist) group AVALANCHE and with a, sometimes, brash attitude he fights for a “good cause”. An amazing fighter with an arm cannon, but he is more than that. This is where his character is difficult and makes him a great sidekick with a great arc: His seemingly benevolent cause of fighting for the Planet is a cover for his personal vendetta and animosity toward Shinra Electric Power Company. Despite his sometimes violent attitude, Barret has a loving heart, and is torn between violence and fighting (the man) and caring for his daughter, Marlene, and being scared no one will be around to raise her. This makes Barret a fantastic part of the story and his power and determination make him a great sidekick for Cloud. 7. Kamek (Super Mario Brothers Series) VILLAINS CAN HAVE SIDEKICKS TOO! That being said (or yelled), Kamek is the Magikoopa that I’m naming him a sidekick because he mostly works for the Koopa family. He made the scene in 1995 and under the rule of Bowser, and even Bowser Jr., he has been employed by the King in several of the Mario games. He is a formidable bad guy and a great and powerful sidekick. His magic is unmatched in the Mushroom Kingdom and yet Kamek gets no play of his own. Sure, has been the main villain to Yoshi in Yoshi’s Island 2 but a sidekick trying to take out a sidekick is natural and not mainstream. It’s like Harley Quinn trying to take out Robin. They haven’t even put Kamek in a Super Smash Brothers game (other than a board mechanic). Totally not fair and Kamek completely under appreciated. AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST… 8. Rush, Dog, Dogmeat (MegaMan, Fable II, Fallout 3) I’m grouping all the animals together because separated this article would get the internet approval of “TL;DR” Rush, the super fighting canine that helps our blue robot hero is usually forgotten until someone brings him up. Although making he debut with MegaMan in the new Super Smash Brothers, Rush always seemed like an after thought, “Hey I cant reach this, dang it, forget it…WAIT RUSH!” In later games, Rush became a HUGE asset, turning into a submarine, a jet, and even modded armor for MegaMan. Better sidekick than Tails ever was. Dog from the Fable games was just an all around pal that helped you throughout the extensive world. He could sniff out treasure, learn tricks that could amuse the townsfolk and even open up secrets, fight with you, and made an ultimate sacrifice in the story line. Dog would also align his good/evil scale to yours making him a bad ass attack dog or a saintly hound. Dog’s (or whatever you named him, mine was always Steven) sidekickyness was essential and yet one of the last things talked about if you bring up Fable in conversation. LONG LIVE DOG! Dogmeat, from Fallout 3, is one of the best animal sidekicks to grace the video game world and yet he, or someone like him, has never known an equal. The Vault Wanderer runs into Dogmeat fighting off and murdering some raiders! Why? Because they murdered his original master! he Hunted them down and killed them. So loyal! I hope if I’m brutally murdered one day my dog hunts down my killers and eats them alive. So cool. Anyway, Dogmeat joins you in your adventure and follow you to the bitter end. He will hunt items for you, carry items for you, Attack raiders and monsters of the waste alike, and even die for you if necessary. If you have the “Puppies!” perk and the latter happens you will have a brand new Dogmeat waiting for you by the Vault. Ever loving and ever lasting. Best sidekick ever! Please feel free to comment about this list. I’m sure there are ones I missed, thought of and didn’t mention because the list was running long, or you just downright disagree. Comment below and always come back for more right here on Gamer Assault Weekly. Related Wavebird I’ll suggest a trio of sidekicks from The Legend of Zelda: King of Red Lions from Wind Waker, Linebeck from Phantom Hourglass & Spirit Tracks, and Ezlo from Minish Cap. But for me personally ( and I know I’m alone here) but Slippy Toad gets no respect whatsoever. And it just ain’t right.