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Top 10 Supporting Characters in Gaming
Heroes and villains are the main focus in gaming but people tend to forget the supporting cast. At time, these background characters can be cooler or more in-depth than the main character. They can increase the enjoyment of a game and create scenes you’ll never forget. It’s about time someone highlights the supporting cast. Here are my top 10.
Game: Super Mario series
Why: Luigi has a problem: Mario. Destined to always be overshadowed by his red brother. Thing is, Luigi is cooler than Mario. Luigi had the best game on Gamecube and he even has to rescure Mario back on the NES (no, I’m not saying that awful game was good). I was laughing when Luigi jumps on Mario’s head when you get to unlock him in Super Smash Bros. Whenever Nintendo allows Luigi to get the upper hand over Mario, it’s a huge win for supporting characters. The thing is, those are few and very far in between.
Game: Sonic The Hedgehog series
Why: After three Sonic games, the choices between Sonic or Tails was getting kind of boring. Tails could fly while Sonic had to brave the ground. With Knuckles’ debut, players saw a fast, blazing red character with the ability to glide, stick to walls, and use the spin dash. He was obviously the best choice to play as. Problem was you couldn’t play as him! Not until Sonic & Knuckles came out, that is. With Knuckles at our control, players felt invincible as he could also run into enemies and kill them. Talk about overpowered. The game was crazy easy with Knuckles as his only weakness was somethings exiting a glide or jump too close to the enemy. Even in the 3D Sonic games like Sonic Adventure, Knuckles’ stages were easy and the only way Sega could make them challenging was to put in time limits.
Game: Final Fantasy series
Why: Talk about the ultimate supporting character. Cid appears in nearly every Final Fantasy as a different character. His roles change per game with the original being a knight and many of them being airship captains. His involvement in the games can be as small as a mention to a party to an enemy. In Final Fantasy VII, Cid is a rough-house, smash mouth rocket man who has his dreams shot in the dark thanks to Shinra. He joins Cloud in the fight against them and Sephiroth. You even get to play Cid as the main character while Cloud is stuck in a coma. To a Final Fantasy fan, that was awesome.
Game: The Legend of Zelda series
Why: Zelda is normally the main focus in the series. She is either kidnapped or holds a piece of the Triforce that Ganon wants so desperately. Either way, Link meets up with her sooner or later and the quest begins. In the latest adventure for Link, Zelda and he are best friends and go on the quest together. Albeit, you’re still searching for her after she falls into danger, but the situation is a bit different. I still believe that Zelda’s best outing is still in Ocarina of Time. After her kingdom is shattered and conquered, Zelda goes into hiding and is trained to become Sheik, a badass and agile mysterious character. Sheik (Zelda) helps Link best all of the Temple with ocarina songs and hints. She then helps him in the fight against Ganon. You can’t ask for a better princess (I’m looking at you Princess “I can’t fight back” Peach).
Game: Portal 2
Why: Stephen Merchant delivered an amazing vocal performance as the innocent and likable Wheatley. As your partner against the revived GlaDOS, this little ball of humorous tech brings you from testing subject to conqueror as you topple the diabolical bitch once again! Only to… become a testing subject again. Wheatley opens up as a character during a pivotal part of the game and Merchant brings on the heat. It is because of this guy that two enemies come together towards a common goal and bond like never before. Portal 2 was enchanting, if only just a bit shorter than expecting. Every bit of it was great and mostly thanks to Wheatley. SPPAAAACCCEEE!!!
Game: Mortal Kombat series
Why: Although you may not see Scorpion as a supporting character due to his popularity, he is. Scorpion is also a good guy. He may be a ruthless assassin but he isn’t a part of Shao Kahn’s armies. His main reason for being at the tournaments are to seek revenge against Sub-Zero and Quan Chi. Scorpion’s family and clan were all murdered and was banished to hell by the evil sorcerer after being killed by Sub-Zero. Returning as a hellspawn, Scorpion never ends his vengeful missions against Quan Chi. Even after finally killing Sub-Zero, he didn’t let up. As one of the most popular fighting game characters ever, Scorpion is an iconic Mortal Kombat combatant and has the most in-depth story in the frnachise.
Game: Mass Effect series
Why: Tali is one of the only squad members to be featured in all three games. As a Quarian, she is confined to a protective suit thanks to her immune system being worthless. The Quarians were forced off their world by a robotic race they created called the Geth. Once off the planet, they lost their natural immunity. As a nomadic race, the Quarians send out their young on pilgrimages in order to study the other races and important places in the galaxy. That is how Tali meets Commander Shepard. As a young Quarian, unsure of herself and the galaxy, she lends her tech expertise to the Normandy and its crew. Shepard helps Tali understand a lot of topics and brings her closer and closer to the end of her pilgrimage. In the sequel, we meet up with Tali once again as a squad leader researching important tech. As a Quarian, she has grown up and become a capable leader and woman. Shepard helps her again and brings pride to her and her father. At this time, we could see something sparking between the two aboard the Normandy. You can choose to romance Tali, as difficult as that sounds. Thanks to the events in Mass Effect 3, things work out if that is what you choose. Tali, to me, is the perfect option for romance in Mass Effect. We see her grow up and become a woman and a lot of it is thanks to us – Shepard.
Game: Mega Man X series
Why: This kind of feels like Knuckles when you see a character so much more powerful than you and you just want to play as him but you can’t. Except it took 3 1/2 games for us to be able to. I say 3 1/2 because we got the intro level to X3 but not a full game until X4. Zero is one hell of a badass character. He is a top class Hunter and proficient in use with his Z-Saber. His buster is more powerful than X’s and he doesn’t need armor in order to be good. His special moves aren’t just buster weapons, either, they are actually moves that you perform. The rising flame uppercut, dashing slash, and crescent spin attack are among my favorites. Zero’s story begins the same as X’s, divulges, and eventually comes back full circle. He is trying to destroy Sigma along with X but finds out his creator, Dr. Wily, programmed him as a Maverick. Nasty flashbacks and hints from Sigma make Zero think twice about his future. His story is very dark and personal for a Mega Man game and brings a new element to it. Plus, his GameBoy Advance series is awesome and difficult.
Game: Mass Effect series
Why: This guy is a badass. We first meet Garrus as a rogue officer on the Citadel. Him and Commander Shepard become great friends and Garrus is one of the rare few that is a squad member in all three games. It would be hard to put Garrus up this high if it wasn’t for the events of Mass Effect 3. The friendship that he shared with Shepard is so strong and with everything they go through it means so much to Shepard that Garrus stuck by him through it all. The scenes on the Citadel and on Earth all led up to a kind of emotional attachment you get to Garrus. He is a hell of a shooter, slick, funny, and smash mouth character who doesn’t give a crap what you think about his mission. He has his own rules and follows them to a T. If you disagree, he won’t make fun of you or put you down, he’ll just nod his head and go on his way. Garrus is a true friend and someone you can always rely on. I just wish he wouldn’t stand in the faces of Banshees and get himself knocked out all the damn time. I only have 6 Medi-Gels here, dude!
Game: Metal Gear Solid series
Why: Solid Snake meets Otacon during the Shadow Moses incident. As a weak and shy shell of a man, this genius helps Snake shut down Metal Gear Rex. However, it isn’t just Snake that finds love on the battlefield. Otacon has a massive crush on Sniper Wolf, one of the game’s bosses. When she is killed by Snake, Otacon comes to grips with how war works and the responsibilities he has. The two complete their mission and eventually become great friends. As part of the group Philanthropy, Otacon and Snake sneak around the world disabling and publicizing Metal Gear projects. Gamers grow closer to Otacon as he loses his sister on the Big Shell to Vamp. Another emotional loss for a previously weak man. Pulling it together once again, Otacon helps Snake stop Arsenal Gear and Solidus. This man isn’t going to let his love and his sister’s deaths stop him. Years later, we find him still helping Snake stop Metal Gear projects and this time he is betrayed by a woman. After him and Naomi grow intimate, Naomi goes against them and runs back to Revolver Ocelot. For the third time, Otacon picks up his baggage and luggs on. At the end of the series, we see Otacon mourning for Snake who is technically at the end of his life. After everything Otacon has been through (remember, he isn’t a solider) he still weaps for his friend. Someone who shouldn’t have any tears left. He also delivers one of the most heart warming quotes in the series, “Snake… he had a hard life.” A line so simple yet for a fan of the series is ground breaking and sad. It is incredible this man was able to stick with Snake, a trained genetically-enhanced soldier, and cope with so much.
Wow, that is three #1’s for Metal Gear Solid. Not that I deliberitely made it that way, however, that does go to show you how well Kojima made the MGS games. Although I meant for this to be my last Top 10 for right, I may continue them for the remainder of the week so check back tomorrow for possibily another venture through my favorites lists.