Christmas has come and gone, January has come and gone, and now we have Valentine’s Day looming in the distance. Called the “month of love” for some, and “singles awareness day” by others, relationships of all kinds are on people’s minds in February. Before we start talking about anything related to true love however, I want to show appreciation for all the homies in video games. The true friends that always have your back, the ones you can always trust to stick around even when the going gets tough. This is a list of my top 5 homies in video games.
5. Clank (Ratchet & Clank series)
I just have to start this entry with an honorable mention to everyone’s favourite murderbot: Mr. Zurkon. May his one-liners forever be in our memories. The real homie in the Ratchet and Clank series is, as the name suggests, Clank. The protagonist Ratchet’s best friend and companion is a small little robot who quite literally has Ratchet’s back the entire time. The two characters together actually offset one another quite nicely as foils. Ratchet is headstrong, big mouthed, and a little hot headed, while Clank mostly keeps it cool, calm, and collected as the intellectual of the duo. Throughout the franchise the two become like brothers, with both willing to risk their lives for the other. Clank gets his share of time in the spotlight as well, with lots of different gameplay segments that involve him solving puzzles, plus the spinoff title Secret Agent Clank where he takes on a more aggressive role to bail Ratchet out of jail. Whenever things seem to be at their worst, Ratchet can always count on Clank to be there to fight alongside him.
4. Solaire of Astora (Dark Souls)
Praise the sun! Solaire of Astora is everyone’s homie out of all of From Software’s games. He is the man that gives you the means to engage in JOLLY COOPERATION, aka co-op multiplayer. On top of that you can find him along your journey throughout Lordran and enlist his help for some bosses, and he is incredibly strong. It’s also a bonus that he’s one of the friendliest people you’ll ever meet in Dark Souls (isn’t saying much but still…) and that he’s full of energy and positivity, something that’s extremely rare and refreshing to see in the normally bleak and oppressive environments of Lordran. Not really much else to say about Solaire. He’s a super nice guy and only wants you to succeed in a place where nearly everything else wants to either eat you or mount your head on a pike.
3. Miles “Tails” Prower (Sonic the Hedgehog series)
The original homie. Miles “Tails” Prower is Sonic the Hedgehog’s best friend, first showing up in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 on the Sega Genesis. This fox just up and followed Sonic into grave danger against Dr. Robotnik so that he could watch his back. If that’s not the mark of a real homie, I don’t know what is. The introduction of Tails the homie also brought about the option to play Sonic 2 co-op with your own homies. Homies enabling homies to be better homies, I love it. In later games Tails will go as far as to bust Sonic out of jail, run down the president of the United States in his car, and eventually help lead a resistance army in Sonic’s name. Wait, what?
2. Your Very First Starter Pokemon (Pokemon series)
I might be cheating a little bit here, but I’m certain that most people that have played Pokemon have strong memories of the very first starter Pokemon they picked. For me, it was the Cyndaquil I picked when I booted up Pokemon Crystal for the first time. There’s just something about that first starter, and sometimes just your favourite Pokemon in general, that makes you care for that little creature like nobody else in your party. You teach that starter all the best moves, you feed it all of the permanent upgrades you find, you most likely give it the Leftovers item. By the end of my Crystal playthrough nobody could stop me and my fully-evolved Typholsion, and it felt damn good walking up Mt. Silver and facing down the infamous Red with my beast of a starter by my side when I was a small child, and I doubt anything will replicate that feeling.
1. Garrus Vakarian (Mass Effect series)
It took some mental calibrations to put Garrus Vakarian at the top of my list. I’m actually just kidding, I honestly just made this list as an excuse to gush about Garrus. The former security officer of the Turian race, the bromance between Commander Shepard and Garrus is one of the best written friendships I’ve ever seen in video games. You meet him as a disgruntled security guard and eventually convince him to ditch his job and join your crew to help you take out a rogue agent and his malicious AI force. At first he’s intrigued by Shepard’s abilities and methods, but eventually (depending on your actions) grows to trust Shepard more than anyone else as a result of completing his Loyalty Mission in Mass Effect 2. This pays off in Mass Effect 3 where Garrus starts worrying over Shepard’s physical and mental health while at war with the Reapers, and eventually invites Shepard to hang out in a secluded spot in the city and shoot drink cans while shooting the breeze about the past. It’s the most “dude” thing I’ve seen in a video game, but it’s such a realistic and well written scene that I couldn’t help but smile the entire time.