Welcome to the video game pet shop
Real-life pets are great, sure. They lower your blood pressure (apparently... must be while you're not looking), are great companions and do countless YouTube-worthy things to keep us entertained. But what if video game characters could be pets instead? I don't know about you, but I'd opt for that any day.
So here's how that would happen. In each slide, you'll see the characters on sale in the pet shop, read a little bit of information about their suitability and hear what the shop keeper has to say about each specimen. Come on in!
Yoshi (from Super Mario World)
Everybody loves a Yoshi! Available in a selection of colours, Yoshis are cheerful, friendly and dedicated pets. They can use their long tongues to reach things for you, although they do have a habit of swallowing things and turning them into eggs. Needless to say, Yoshis should be kept away from infants and other small pets.
What the pet shop assistant told us: "I'm not being funny, mate, but honestly these things are strong enough to support the weight of a fully-grown man. When they're a bit bigger, of course. I had one once and it let me ride it around like a horse. Until I fell off and started crying, at which point he scooped me back on his back and we carried on. Awesome little things, Yoshis."
Daxter (from Jak & Daxter)
Ottsels are a cross between an otter and a weasel, and as the weasel family is already well-established as a household pet in the shape of ferrets, an ottsel isn't such a strange choice for a pet. Daxter here is unique, however, in that he can communicate by talking. More developed than merely repeating words parrot-fashion, you'll enjoy his wisecracks, especially at parties.
What the pet shop assistant told us: "Oh yeah, the ladies absolutely love a Daxter. I had one once, but I got fed up with him making jokes at my expense when he was supposed to be bigging me up. Oh, and they stink too. Between you and me, I wouldn't recommend them.
Loco Rocos (from Loco Roco)
Loco Rocos will bring a constant, joyous smile to your face. They're just so cute! Squishy, rolly, bouncy... there's no need to worry about your youngest children accidentally squashing one, as they just bounce right back into shape. Just make sure you supervise your children during play, however. They look edible and but certainly are not!
What the pet shop assistant told us: "I hate them. I absolutely cannot stand them. It's the flippin' singing! They see me nodding off while I'm doing the books and start singing at me. Always the same song too! Also, I woke up once and they had all sort of melded together into one great big one. F***ing scary, I can tell you. Ugh, I hate them. Hate them.
Chuzzles (from Chuzzle)
Chuzzles make for excellent pets. They're small, fluffy and great with children. They also don't eat very much (a few Skittles or Smarties and you're good for a week). And because supply is so plentiful, they're incredibly cheap.
What the pet shop assistant told us: "Yeah, they're good starter pets alright. Although we have had a few go missing overnight. Always groups of three. First night, we had three white Chuzzles in there. They didn't seem interested in each other at first, but then the next morning they were all gone. Just the three white ones. No evidence the others ate them or anything. It's fine though, every time some disappear, we just chuck more Chuzzles in from the top."
Chao (from Sonic Adventure)
Chao are perfect pets. They're endlessly entertaining to watch as they run, swim and sometimes flap about with tiny wings. They eat fruit and nuts (which are cheap to buy), plus you can alter their physical appearance by introducing them to other animals. As an added bonus, Chao can be bought while still in their eggs allowing you to be their parent from birth.
What the pet shop assistant told us: "Honestly, mate, they'll hump anything. I came in one day to find one of them had sprouted wings and flown into the Chuzzle hutch. The Chuzzles all looked even more shocked than normal, and the Chao was covered in multicoloured fur... that had sprouted from its own body. Kids love 'em though, especially when they get to hatch them by throwing the eggs against a wall."
Chopper (from Sonic The Hedgehog)
Chopper is a mechanical fish powered by an organic battery, meaning it doesn't need recharging very often at all. If one stops, just bring it back to the pet shop and use the 'Happy Bunny Chopper Recharging Service'.
What the pet shop assistant told us: "Weird ones, these. Although they're technically extremely aggressive, they can coexist alongside other marine pets, because they're so slow at swimming. The goldfish are always quick enough to swim away, but that doesn't mean it ain't funny to watch the Choppers chase 'em round the tank with their metallic jaws open and closing. It's like a free Jaws film. In your living room. Ten quid, mate. Oh, but keep a cover on the aquarium--they like to jump out.
Fish (from Animal Crossing)
Animal Crossing fish are very special. You can keep them in your house indefinitely without ever feeding them or cleaning the tank. They are also great gifts. In fact, give someone a goldfish and they might just give you a flatscreen TV in return. Cute, varied and totally collectible, Animal Crossing fish are literally the perfect pets.
What the pet shop assistant told us: "These fish are brilliant. Honestly, they are just totally happy to swim about without you ever having to do anything to maintain them. I've never seen a dead one, either... except the one that I ate. Delicious, it was. It's just a shame you can't tell which one you're going to pull out. Sometimes I pull out an old boot. Or a tyre. It's weird, you can see everything through the glass tank and it looks clean. But then, boom. Tin can."
Navi (from Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time)
Navi is a beautiful fairy that doubles as a lamp when the room is dark. She is a dedicated companion. Indeed, if a dog is man's best friend, Navi is an elf's. This pet's distinctive call can be irritating for the human ear, especially if heard several times in quick succession. Even so, a Navi is something any pet owner would be proud to own.
What the pet shop assistant told us: "That blimmin thing. Do you know how much it costs to sound proof an amphibian tank? A lot more than I can afford on these takings. But my word, it was necessary. HEY! LISTEN! HEY! WATCH OUT! HEY! LISTEN! Is that annoying you yet? Bloody thing. Hopefully someone will buy it soon then I'll be rid of it. Oh, er.. I mean... it suits some people really well. Ten quid do ya?"
Gecko (from Fallout)
Gecko are reptilian pets best kept in isolation from other animals in their own tank. Cold-blooded in both senses of the phrase, they are aggressive towards other creatures, including humans. But they've still got a certain appeal to some pet lovers.
What the pet shop assistant told us: "I tell you what, mate--these things are so robust, I bet they'd survive a nuclear blast. You know, like they say about cockroaches. They're a bit bitey, though. Oh, and we did have a fire start in one of their cages. The rest of the staff say I'm mad, but I'm sure one of them started it."
James Pond (from James Pond)
This pet just never stops being hilarious. It's a fish that plays on pop culture references of the 1980s and early 1990s to provide hours of entertaining play. And you know what they say: 'A Robocod will save your life, not just Christmas'.
What the pet shop assistant told us: "Hehe I love the little fella. We've only got the one in stock because Robocods don't sell very well these days. Can't seem to kick-start people's interests, you know? I put him in a smaller tank to save space and he started going all stretchy. Stretched out of the tank and swallowed things from the lost property shelf above. A feather, an umbrella, some cheese, a kaleidoscope, a yoghurt, an orange and another umbrella. Funny little chap, ain't he?"
Bubsy (from the Bubsy series)
Bubsy is quite a character. A Bobcat full of expression (and wearing a wonderfully endearing T-shirt with an exclamation mark on it), he's a totally lovable little scamp who does amazing things like jumping and gliding, and absolutely loves playing with balls of wool.
What the pet shop assistant told us: "Honestly, I can't even give this one away. We started off at 25, then dropped it to 10. Then we tried offering him as a free bonus if you bought anything in the shop. Seriously, we have fish tank ornaments that cost 20p and still no-one will take him. It would be madness to offer 20 store credit if you take the damn thing away but, to be honest, mate, that's where it's heading."
Mudcrab (from Skyrim)
Mudcrabs may be commonplace in some regions, but they're quite the exotic pet to keep in this country. They come in various sizes and can be aggressive towards humans if you disturb them. Some people like to fill their tanks with mud to emulate their natural environment, but doing so means you'll rarely get to see your mudcrab in the open. Oh, and accessories are available, such as a top hat and monacle combination.
What the pet shop assistant told us: "I ran into a couple of mudcrabs not long ago. Annoying creatures, but at least they're slow. And not too bright! Their pincers are sharp, though. Goodbye!"
Which one would you buy?
There's something to be said for all of these game characters in terms of their suitability for being a household pet. But which one would you choose? Or maybe there's another character you would rather have on a leash walking smartly by your heel? Let the world know in the comments.
And if you're looking for more, check out What if video games didn't exist and we all read books instead? and What if Sonic and mario's fortunes were reversed?