The Top 7… Canine companions

We throw gaming’s most helpful sidekicks a bone

Above: In Secret of Evermore, your dog looks like a poodle in one zone and a walking toaster in another

The game: Mega Man 3
The master: Mega Man
How he served: If it wasn’t for Rush, you’d still be stuck behind a wall that was just a little too tall for you to jump over. Thanks to this useful ally, Mega Man reaped in the benefits of the Rush Coil, Rush Marine, and Rush Jet, allowing him to overcome Dr. Wily’s otherwise insurmountable obstacles.

Worthless cat: Mega Man V for the Game Boy introduced Tango, an inferior feline version of Rush.

The game: Half-Life 2
The master: Alyx Vance
How he served: What’s better than a dog? A giant robot dog! Alyx Vance’s pet Dog helped Gordon Freeman escape a ton of tough situations in the Half-Life 2 series. Designed as a way to teach you how to use the Gravity Gun, your first encounter with Dog was spent playing catch with a huge hunk of heavy metal.

Dog broke down walls, pulled you out of rubble, and followed you around during many scenes in the Half-Life 2 series. But he did one thing that the other dogs on this list didn’t. He sacrificed his life for you by throwing himself at a giant Combine Synth, making him the Jesus Christ of in-game dogs.

Above: The award for the best canine companion goes to Dog for his valiant sacrifice. Rest in peace digital dog

Tangent: In 2005, Boston Dynamics created a robot dog for the US military, which they named BigDog. It was designed to carry equipment across rough terrain and was able to carry 340 pounds. You can see some video of this impressive – yet creepy – invention in the video below.

Above: BigDog can climb steep hills and will keep on walking even if some jerk is kicking him. But can it play catch?

Hear more about this article inTalkRadar.

Sept 1, 2008

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