Via joystickdivision.com — written by James Hawkins

The Supporting Cast

The heroes are the ones that always get the glory. But, as we all know, many of them wouldn’t be nearly as successful if they didn’t have loyal friends to follow them as they traverse worlds and defeat evil. These sidekicks, the often used and rarely decorated characters, are the ones that our heroes rely on to get the job done. At Joystick Division, we want to honor those unique and powerful characters that help our protagonists on their long and treacherous journeys. Have fun!

CapnPrice (570 x 428).jpg
Our cover’s blown!

10. Captain John Price Call of Duty Modern Warfare / Modern Warfare 2

Supports: S.A.S / Task Force 141 (particularly ‘Soap’ MacTavish)
Captain John Price is not a sidekick in the truest sense of the word. That is because most sidekicks don’t teach their partners how to silently infiltrate a terrorist cell in the dead of winter or blow off some asshole’s arm with a .50 cal. What he does do, though, is make soldiers out of men and helps the protagonists out of potentially lethal situations. Price, known for his boonie hat and M4A1, is as seasoned and salty as they come. In game, he leads ‘Soap’ MacTavish and a small task force on many different missions that require skills that range from stealth to assassination to all-out war. In a world full of back-stabbers, air raids, and headshots, Price is the perfect team leader — he is strong, has a proclivity for justice, and knows how to use bullets very, very efficiently.
Defining Sidekick Quality: Leadership. Captain Price leads by example — he moves quickly on the battlefield, never misses a shot, and will stop at nothing to make sure his men survive the fallout of war. 

companion_cube1 (570 x 456).jpg
This is your best friend.

9. Weighted Companion Cube Portal

Supports: Chell
The Weighted Companion Cube in Valve’s Portal is also a sidekick like no other. What sets it apart is…well, it’s not exactly a sentient being. The inscribed heart is very endearing, though. In the Aperture Laboratories, where an evil AI called GLaDOS is trying to destroy the game’s heroine and the tasks at hand are impossible to complete single-handedly, the Weighted Companion Cube is about as useful a sidekick as one could ask for. Used mainly to hold down buttons in a strategic manner, the Weighted Companion Cube always comes through when Chell needs it most. And always without question.
Defining Sidekick Quality: Silence. Portal is a game of puzzles and physics. Can you imagine how annoying it would be to try and negotiate time and space with another voice whining in your ear, besides GLaDOS? Weighted Companion Cube just shuts up and stays put

CORTANATHISONE (600 x 337).jpg
One-half of a weird interstellar romance

8. Cortana Halo Series
Supports: Master Chief

Cortana is proof that a good brain can prove both helpful and sexy. She was created as a computerized replica of the famed Dr. Catherine Halsey’s brain, and ended up being the only one of twenty clone attempts to actually survive. Since then, she has been aide to John-117, AKA Master Chief, on his various missions throughout the Halo worlds. Cortana is witty and lighthearted, but when it comes down to the seriousness of the missions, she is all business. She is talented when it comes to planning the missions for Master Chief and organizing many of the objectives in his campaigns, and always ready to offer advice. Sometimes she will even help guide spaceships out of harm’s way. Cortana is the rare example of a sympathetic artificial intelligence and we will always be interested in the tensions and nuances that occur between her and Master Chief.
Defining Sidekick Quality: Competence. Cortana was designed to get inside of computer mainframes and enemy Artificial Intelligence. In the Halo series, she’s the brains (and the hot), while Master Chief is the brawn. 

Max (570 x 428).jpg
I’m the batshit crazy one.

7. Max Sam & Max
Supports: Sam

Max is a lagomorph. Or, in dummies terms, he is in the same genetic family as rabbits. But really the only commonality he has with rabbits are is the looks department. He comes off as a lunatic, doesn’t jump hither and thither, and loves to destroy some kneecaps. Max is a violent, destruction-loving creature whose personality is the perfect complement to laid-back protagonist and dear friend Sam. He carries a Luger around and, considering his complete lack of clothes, does a damn good job of hiding it. Often used as a bludgeon or tool by his canine counterpart, Max does exactly what a good partner needs to: offer himself up for whatever task is at hand.
Defining Sidekick Quality: Personality. The Yin always needs the Yang, right? Sam is chill, not particularly eager, and docile. Sam is the opposite of those three things. And hilariously so. 

Daxter (570 x 428).jpg
Let’s do this!

6. Daxter Jak and Daxter
Supports: Jak

What would you do if your best friend fell into a puddle of goo and became a small, furry, pantless creature? Hopefully exactly what Jak does: keep them around and continue on the mission. Daxter is Jak’s best friend, and in sidekick terms, it doesn’t get much realer than that. Sure, he is a bit of a coward and is willing to run in the face of danger, but there’s nothing wrong with that. A headstrong, passionate protagonist is done right by a hesitant, even keeled sidekick — sometimes, you gotta consider the situations at hand and listen to your partner. Will Jak do that? No. But you can’t fault Daxter for trying. As backbone-less as Daxter is, he will always be there for the fight. And that is a damn good quality.
Defining Sidekick Quality: Loyalty. Though Daxter is often concerned with his missing pants and the dangers of the missions, but he will always be there for Jak. And, psychologically speaking, having a good support mechanism is such a good thing for a hero. 

AlyxNumber1 (570 x 456).jpg
The Supporting Cast

The heroes are the ones that always get the glory. But, as we all know, many of them wouldn’t be nearly as successful if they didn’t have loyal friends to follow them as they traverse worlds and defeat evil. These sidekicks, the often used and rarely decorated characters, are the ones that our heroes rely on to get the job done. At Joystick Division, we want to honor those unique and powerful characters that help our protagonists on their long and treacherous journeys. Have fun!

CapnPrice (570 x 428).jpg
Our cover’s blown!

10. Captain John Price Call of Duty Modern Warfare / Modern Warfare 2

Supports: S.A.S / Task Force 141 (particularly ‘Soap’ MacTavish)
Captain John Price is not a sidekick in the truest sense of the word. That is because most sidekicks don’t teach their partners how to silently infiltrate a terrorist cell in the dead of winter or blow off some asshole’s arm with a .50 cal. What he does do, though, is make soldiers out of men and helps the protagonists out of potentially lethal situations. Price, known for his boonie hat and M4A1, is as seasoned and salty as they come. In game, he leads ‘Soap’ MacTavish and a small task force on many different missions that require skills that range from stealth to assassination to all-out war. In a world full of back-stabbers, air raids, and headshots, Price is the perfect team leader — he is strong, has a proclivity for justice, and knows how to use bullets very, very efficiently.
Defining Sidekick Quality: Leadership. Captain Price leads by example — he moves quickly on the battlefield, never misses a shot, and will stop at nothing to make sure his men survive the fallout of war. 

companion_cube1 (570 x 456).jpg
This is your best friend.

9. Weighted Companion Cube Portal

Supports: Chell
The Weighted Companion Cube in Valve’s Portal is also a sidekick like no other. What sets it apart is…well, it’s not exactly a sentient being. The inscribed heart is very endearing, though. In the Aperture Laboratories, where an evil AI called GLaDOS is trying to destroy the game’s heroine and the tasks at hand are impossible to complete single-handedly, the Weighted Companion Cube is about as useful a sidekick as one could ask for. Used mainly to hold down buttons in a strategic manner, the Weighted Companion Cube always comes through when Chell needs it most. And always without question.
Defining Sidekick Quality: Silence. Portal is a game of puzzles and physics. Can you imagine how annoying it would be to try and negotiate time and space with another voice whining in your ear, besides GLaDOS? Weighted Companion Cube just shuts up and stays put

CORTANATHISONE (600 x 337).jpg
One-half of a weird interstellar romance

8. Cortana Halo Series
Supports: Master Chief

Cortana is proof that a good brain can prove both helpful and sexy. She was created as a computerized replica of the famed Dr. Catherine Halsey’s brain, and ended up being the only one of twenty clone attempts to actually survive. Since then, she has been aide to John-117, AKA Master Chief, on his various missions throughout the Halo worlds. Cortana is witty and lighthearted, but when it comes down to the seriousness of the missions, she is all business. She is talented when it comes to planning the missions for Master Chief and organizing many of the objectives in his campaigns, and always ready to offer advice. Sometimes she will even help guide spaceships out of harm’s way. Cortana is the rare example of a sympathetic artificial intelligence and we will always be interested in the tensions and nuances that occur between her and Master Chief.
Defining Sidekick Quality: Competence. Cortana was designed to get inside of computer mainframes and enemy Artificial Intelligence. In the Halo series, she’s the brains (and the hot), while Master Chief is the brawn. 

Max (570 x 428).jpg
I’m the batshit crazy one.

7. Max Sam & Max
Supports: Sam

Max is a lagomorph. Or, in dummies terms, he is in the same genetic family as rabbits. But really the only commonality he has with rabbits are is the looks department. He comes off as a lunatic, doesn’t jump hither and thither, and loves to destroy some kneecaps. Max is a violent, destruction-loving creature whose personality is the perfect complement to laid-back protagonist and dear friend Sam. He carries a Luger around and, considering his complete lack of clothes, does a damn good job of hiding it. Often used as a bludgeon or tool by his canine counterpart, Max does exactly what a good partner needs to: offer himself up for whatever task is at hand.
Defining Sidekick Quality: Personality. The Yin always needs the Yang, right? Sam is chill, not particularly eager, and docile. Sam is the opposite of those three things. And hilariously so. 

Daxter (570 x 428).jpg
Let’s do this!

6. Daxter Jak and Daxter
Supports: Jak

What would you do if your best friend fell into a puddle of goo and became a small, furry, pantless creature? Hopefully exactly what Jak does: keep them around and continue on the mission. Daxter is Jak’s best friend, and in sidekick terms, it doesn’t get much realer than that. Sure, he is a bit of a coward and is willing to run in the face of danger, but there’s nothing wrong with that. A headstrong, passionate protagonist is done right by a hesitant, even keeled sidekick — sometimes, you gotta consider the situations at hand and listen to your partner. Will Jak do that? No. But you can’t fault Daxter for trying. As backbone-less as Daxter is, he will always be there for the fight. And that is a damn good quality.
Defining Sidekick Quality: Loyalty. Though Daxter is often concerned with his missing pants and the dangers of the missions, but he will always be there for Jak. And, psychologically speaking, having a good support mechanism is such a good thing for a hero.
HK47 (570 x 406).jpg
Shut up, you meatbag.


5.
HK 47 Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
Supports: Revan
Sometimes, all a hero needs is a badass to help him out. In KOTOR, assassin droid HK 47 fulfills that role absolutely. Created as an intergalactic hitman, the embattled HK 47 robot has gone through a total memory erasure, bounced around the galaxy, and has ended the lives of many worthy opponents in his tenure as Revan’s driod. As lethal as he is loyal, HK 47 is a fearsome sight in the eyes of his opponents. His impressive weaponry skills, coupled with a sociopathic disposition, make HK 47 the obvious favorite in many a skirmish. In a universe at war, sometimes you need a friend who will drop everything and kick some tail right beside you. HK 47 is that sweet ass friend.
Defining Sidekick Quality: Jadedness. HK 47 has seen death and destruction. As a matter of fact, his computer instincts tell him to adore chaos. For large scale battles of good and evil, its is really helpful to have someone so accustomed to the realer things in life.

Clank (570 x 445).jpg
The name is Clank. Clank-Clank.

4. Clank Ratchet and Clank
Supports: Ratchet

A common theme in video game duos is friendship. It sounds like a no-brainer, but the fact is, sometimes it takes a couple of homies to rid the world of evil. Clank is the perfect partner for Ratchet. This is because he will counter Ratchet’s headstrong personality with a bit of reasoning, and that quality is invaluable when it comes to world-saving, because an even-keel can go a long way. Diminutive stature and dorky intellect be damned, Clank is the perfect supplemental character, through and through.
Defining Sidekick Quality: Balance. Clank will analyze and think things through. Ratchet, on the other hand, will not. There a kind of strange checks and balances system that comes between the two, and it ends up being very successful

Luigi (570 x 428).jpg
Wah, wa, wa, wa, wa, wa

3. Luigi Super Mario
Supports: Mario

Luigi holds the trophy for most recognizable sidekick in all of video game history. That’s because he’s Mario’s brother. Anything linked with the protagonist of the Super Mario franchise is destined to be one of the greats down the line. But it is in Luigi’s nature to be secondary to Mario. He has always been in the shadow of his older brother, yet never let out a word of protest. It may be Mario that gets the girl, yes, but Luigi is more than happy to sit back and let the fame come to him — without the hard work and physical calamity that his brother deals with every day. But Mario can take comfort in the fact that, no matter what the mission, he will have a taller, more lithe brother in the wings to get him where he needs to be. And that quality is invaluable.
Defining Sidekick Quality: Selflessness. Luigi is taller, thinner, and more mature. But does he flaunt those naturally occurring gifts? Hell no. Luigi knows that his brother is the true hero, so he will wait until called upon, giving up his health and good fortune at the drop of a hat if his brother needs it. 

NaviTheFairy.jpg (570 x 428).jpg
Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey!

2. Navi Legend of Zelda
Supports: Link

If you are the constant adviser and companion to the main character of arguably the greatest game in video game history, Ocarina of Time, then you deserve a spot on this list. Navi is that character, and she has become as iconic as any in the industry. Throughout the game, Link is faced with new foes, intricate story lines, and various puzzles. In each of these, the fairy Navi is able to help out with insightful knowledge, basic facts, and important hints that will guide Link on his quests. Though it is unknown why Navi departed from the series, she will always remain as one of the finest sidekicks in history.
Defining Sidekick Quality: Knowledge. Navi seems to be an encyclopedia when it comes to the Ocarina of Time world. Be it a new enemy, a new quest, or a new item, Navi will help you figure out what it is that you need to know. A true friend, indeed. 

AlyxVance1 (570 x 356).jpg
I think I love you, but what am I so afraid of?

1. Alyx Vance Half-Life Series
Supports: Gordon Freeman

Alyx Vance knows her way around a gun, a computer, various gadgets, and cars. If you want versatile, you look toward Alyx. The daughter of legendary Black Mesa researcher Eli Vance, she has grown into a beautiful, thoughtful woman. She can hold her own as much as the invariable badass Dr. Gordon Freeman can, and in many instances, she even saves his life. To have a person like this at your side will prove invaluable, and the obvious attraction that Alyx has for Gordon definitely helps in the relationship. Look for Alyx to become more and more important in the Half-Life series, as she is just as vital to the story as the protagonist is, and keep watching her help him in even the stickiest of situations.
Defining Sidekick Qualities: Love. It is apparent that Alyx feels a deep connection to the hero, but she has yet to let her feelings come through fully. In the meantime, though, she will be a solid foundation for him, and her compassion will permeate their interactions as they move forth and tackle the greater evils at hand. 

Honorable Mention: Dogmeat (Fallout), Agro (Shadow of the Colossus), Yoshi (Super Mario), Epona (Legend of Zelda), Pikachu (Pokemon)

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