The Best Puppers in Games
In the August column of the BRD zine, I dropped a bit of insight into a certain amazing video game pupper. Now let's expand on that and just talk about a bunch more, because who doesn't want more doggo related content?
Repede - Tales of Vesperia
Figured it was fitting to give a tiny blurb about the canine featured in the zine. Repede is the textbook definition of loyalty, staying with morally problematic protagonist Yuri no matter what he does. If you'd like more on him then check out my column from the August zine. You won't regret it at all, unless you hate dogs and if you do hate dogs then I hate you.
Boney - Mother 3
Oh hey, another game I have already discussed in a column. Coincidence? No, not at all, every game is better if it has a dog. Much like Repede, Boney is a very loyal dog who stands by their owner no matter what. Only instead of standing by a criminal who murders problematic public figures, Boney stands by a boy whose mother died and brother went missing. This pup goes along with Lucas in each of his outrageous shenanigans, like dressing up as a person to sneak in to a club or helping him find gender ambiguous fairies that kiss Lucas to give him powers (this game is wild). Best part about Boney? whenever he attacks he barks, and sometimes you get the chance to hit the attack button again and again and attack up to 16 means, which means you can make him bark up to 16 times a turn if you don't suck. You get rewarded with borks if you git gud! 13/10 good boy, deserves all the pets.
Interceptor - Final Fantasy VI
And we're back to the loyal puppers with problematic owners. However, you cannot blame the dog for sins of the owner, much like how you can't blame the son for sins of the father. This also means you can't blame me for all the crap my illegitimate father Joshua does. Interceptor is one of the most loyal pups ever, to the point he only works by the side of his owner Shadow. Interceptor followed Shadow when he abandoned his relatively peaceful life because he is such a good boy, and now operates exclusively at his side and will be ruthless to anyone who dares cross him. In fact the only other party member that he shows any affection to is the absolutely precious child Relm that absolutely no one could ever dislike. Interceptor is a good friend and I would die for him, and depending on how you play FFVI, Shadow may die for him. Or maybe not.
K.K. Slider - Animal Crossing
Alright, the other folks here at BRD like Joshua and Gabe may know more about music than I do, so they may be more qualified to speak on music than I am. But that won't stop me because K.K. Slider is the greatest musician of his time. The voice of a generation, this pupper will serenade you with absolute bangers like K.K. Bossa or K.K. Bubblegum. For the more punk types out there reading this nonsense written by a dunce, there is K.K. Metal. K.K. Metal is a hype inducing track that slaps harder than any catholic schoolteacher, kinky dominatrix, or bad stepparent out there. K.K. Slider is the awesome musician you all wish you were (though some of you are actually pretty close to that and have my respect for it). The big difference between you two is that K.K. Slider is also a good boi that deserves all the pats and snacks he wants. He'll steal your gal or guy and make them weep as he shreds on his axe like a beast (People still call guitars axes right?).
Amaterasu - Okami
Alright sure we all love to play with dogs, but what about playing AS a dog? Enter the cult classic phenomenon Okami to answer your prayers and fulfill your dreams. Not only do you play as a sweet wolf, but you're the reincarnation of Japanese sun deity Amaterasu. What kind of amazing things can you do as a wolf deity? Well, you can bark on command, bite anyone, and make everyone, even the villains, pet you whenever you desire (You can also use your tail as a mystical paintbrush that allows you to summon bombs, control nature, and slice anything you desire). This wolf whose coat shines white as snow with sharp crimson accents like the blood of her fallen enemies saves all kinds of people from all kinds of troubles in her journey. She helps wayward people find courage, get new poles to hang their wet laundry on, and even goes fishing! Though she doesn't get to eat the fish, which is cruel. But Ammy's journey is one you'll be instantly sucked in to when you take that first enemy and let loose a victory howl, or when you get the ability to pee and poop enemies and get rewarded every time you do so.
Polterpup - Luigi's Mansion
Alright, we talked about some various puppers, so now let's get morbid and talk about a dead one. No, not the dead inside levels of nihilistic hopelessness I feel every day, but like actually dead, a G-G-G-G-G-Ghost dog! Don't you worry, Polterpup won't scare you, instead they'll just happily do their own thing while you explore a haunted mansion or haunted hotel. Luigi's Mansion Dark Moon may have made some mistakes, but giving society an adorable ghost dog that steals keys and rubs it's ghost butt on the floor while Luigi does his best Ghostbusters impersonation is not one of them! This little phantom pupper will cause all kinds of mischief for Luigi and help or hinder him whenever it suits them. But you can't stay mad at them, they revive Luigi whenever he dies if he has a golden bone on him (A bone which they absolutely deserve to snack on). Clearly the team behind the later Luigi's Mansion games knew they had created a winner in Polterpup, since at the end of both games they are seen falling asleep in Luigi's lap. 13/10 Good Ghost would pat.
Koromaru - Persona 3
It took me so long to decide on writing on Repede for the August column, and the only reason is because fucking Koromaru exists. This precious little Shiba Inu has all the same loyalty traits as repede, only trade the badass one-eyed-smoker look for an amazing little combat vest that just warms my cold and broken heart. Then trade the super fast combos for summoning Cerberus to nuke enemies with fire or dark magic. Hey, they both wield knives and save their respective parties at least once from imminent danger. The devs at Atlus clearly wanted you care about Koro-chan since they made him yet another homage to Hachiko (if you don't know who that is think Seymour from Futurama as he was also an homage to this legendary pupper). After his monk owner passed, Koromaru still guarded the shrine they often frequented like a good boy. Koromaru exists as the perfect reason to smile whenever you're playing Persona, which could just be renamed the depression game, as he is constantly doing fun things and being such a good boy to everyone in the party. It was so hard to choose Repede over Koromaru to write about, this little Shib just brings pure joy wherever he goes and is one of the best reasons to play Persona 3.
Whatever good boys or girls or ghosts are your favourite, I think we can all agree that dogs make everything better. Every game should have dogs, if they did I think us gamers would be a lot less miserable, okay maybe not, but at least we'd be smiling more!