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It’s not easy being a horse, especially a diabetic horse who loves sugar cubes and games. As a proud member of the Equidae family, I don’t give a damn about the new protagonist in Assassin’s Creed II or the stupid non-animal flying device he’ll pilot. I just want to know if Ezio will be riding a freaking horse through the Tuscan countryside. Will he get to mount a Salerno, or perhaps a San Fratello? Even though it wouldn’t be historically accurate, I’ve always been a big fan of the American Saddlebred; their chiseled bone structure and high-stepping gait makes them hard to resist. That would be nice. But I digress.
You see, I’ve been brought here to add some horse-cred to the mostly hoof-less (and quite frankly, boring) editorial content here at GamesRadar. So today, we’re here to admire the fine form of gaming’s greatest mounts, the tireless equines that carried helpless protagonists across rivers, through caves, and over mountains.
The games: Ocarina of Time, Majora’s Mask, The Minish Cap, Twilight Princess
The rider: Some human boy dressed in green
Epona was born and raised at the Lon Lon Ranch. The bashful filly was originally destined for a lifetime of servitude between the cold unloving thighs of Ganondorf. I hate seeing good girls lowering themselves before unworthy riders. Luckily for Epona, some kind kid with a sword freed her from a cruel future with this unsightly villain.
Can you hear the soft clip-clop of happy hooves prancing through the verdant plains of Hyrule? That’s Epona, giving a free ride to the luckiest boy in the world.
Above: Epona’s silver mane and golden haunches are pleasing to the eye. But it’s her gentle nature that will win over your heart
Above: Happiness is petting Epona
Know your horse: Epona was named after a Celtic goddess who protected horses, donkeys, and mules. She reappears in Majora’s Mask and rides through even more battles in Twilight Princess. Astute fans will remember Epona’s cameo in The Minish Cap, where she can be seen towing a cart of Lon Lon milk for Malon, her greedy capitalist oppressor.
Above: We change our mind. When it comes to riding, this human boy in green doesn’t know shit about crap
The game: World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King
The rider: Some Death Knight
Why do good stallions always fall so hard for evil mares? Maybe it’s a way for us to buck against the reigns of our conservative sires, to rebel against our agrarian roots. Or maybe mares just look incredibly hot when wrapped in a naughty coat of armor that has “I’m a bad girl,” written all over it. Either way, the Acherus Deathcharger isn’t the sort of gal you’d bring home to meet your parents. But that’s what makes riding her so exciting.
Above: Thanks to their undead background, Deathchargers get along great with boney non-ponies, like this skinny Blood Elf
Above: Deathchargers can always bear the weight of fully armored tanks
Know your horse: This is a very fast mount. It will increase your movement speed by no less than 100% and is exclusive to Death Knights. In order to earn this sweet ride, you’ll need to complete the quest called “Into the Realm of Shadows.” Just talk to Salanar the Horseman in the Scarlet Enclave.