It's easy to appreciate gaming's greatest heroes, to give recognition to those brave men, women, and anthropomorphic animals that risk it all to save entire planets from certain destruction. But it's also easy to forget about the little guys, the tertiary or unknown characters that work from the sidelines to ensure our journey always goes as smoothly as possible. But no more. At long last, we'd like to take a moment to give thanks to those with thankless jobs.
WE REQUIRE MORE MINERALS. Poor resource gatherers always get the short end of the stick. They spend their short, fleeting lives picking up chunks of rocks and dropping them into a giant bucket--and when a base invasion inevitably occurs, the poor, defenseless units are often the first to get murdered. Thanks, resource gatherers, for all your hard work and dedication!
After a long day of fighting zombies / killing dragons / robbing people blind, it's likely you've got more loot lining your pockets than you can handle. You certainly won't use every shotgun, rare sword, or platinum-plated dining set you picked up--thankfully, there's always someone with a bit of cash willing to take that stuff off your hands. If not for merchants, looting stuff wouldn't be nearly as worthwhile.
Imagine being a character whose sole purpose is to get ridden. How demoralizing - especially if you were once a fierce, fire-breathing dragon now reduced to some gnome's flying butt saddle.
If you thought mounts had it bad, then Yoshi has it downright awful. The little guy not only gets ridden everywhere, but he's often sacrificed whenever Mario gets greedy. How often has Yoshi been tossed into a bottomless pit just so Mario could get an extra boost in his jump? How many times has Yoshi been hit with fireballs, flying hammers, or Bullet Bills just because doing so would protect Mario from harm? TOO MANY times.
Phoenix Wright judges
OBJECTION! Judges in the Phoenix Wright universe have to put up with an excessive amount of shouting. Sure, sometimes they seem inept, but being forced to decide the fate of wrongdoers within the span of three days is an awful lot of pressure. Thanks, judges!
Whoever roasts chickens and places them inside of trash cans and candles
Metro City, the Streets of Rage, Dracula's castle - they're all pretty dangerous. But they'd be a lot more dangerous if it weren't for all those delicious roasted chickens residing within trash cans and elaborate candle stands. Magical chef, we know you're out there somewhere - we appreciate you making our dangerous missions a bit tastier.
Rumi Aikawa (Metal Slug)
Most side-scrolling soldiers dont even know her name, but if youve ever attempted to complete a Metal Slug game its likely that Rumi has lent you a hand. Constantly getting herself lost in the same dangerous territory as you, Rumis always on the move even when shes burdened by a massive backpack filled with helpful power-ups and point boosters. She even stands at attention and salutes you on sight!
Imagine playing the same section of the same game over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over...
Animal couriers (Dota 2)
These cute little critters have it tough. As the literal definition of an item mule, they live only to ferry items back and forth between home base and impatient heroes in lane. Its time-saving efficiency also makes it a high-priority target for enemies, who will mercilessly slaughter it without a second thought. And still yet, it tirelessly makes item deliveries for the entirety of the game.
Sometimes Lakitu is a jerk. But more often than not he plays supporting roles that are easy to overlook. He's a baseball umpire, a tennis referee, and that floating guy who fishes you out of the water when you accidentally drive your kart off a bridge. He's made countless judgement calls and saved thousands of lives over the years. What a guy!
Big Daddy (BioShock)
Purely in the context of pre-collapsed Rapture, Big Daddies were easy to take for granted. In their pre-diving suit days, they were mostly criminals and political dissidents forced into a life of protective custody over Little Sisters. Admittance into the Protector Program meant your skin was grafted to the interior of a bulky dive suit and your voice box was mutilated. Hurray! Welcome to a life of servitude (but thanks for being so good at your job)!
This is perhaps one of the saddest jobs on this list. Minions walk single file toward weaponized towers that they have no chance of toppling, knowing full well that if the towers don't kill them, champions will. There's no hope in this line of work, no chance for individuality or promotion. To become a minion is to accept death. Someone's gotta do it.
Doomed intro characters
"Okay, let's check your HUD," the nameless soldier says. You look up, down, left right. "Good. Now firing systems." You shoot a few rounds into a target. "Great! Alright, it looks like everything checks ou--" Then a sharp, alien arm rips through the soldiers torso before a horrific xenomorph slowly tears the poor sod into shreds. You, of course, survive and go on to save the world, but that poor guy...
The guy who kicks down doors in military shooters
Sometimes it's you, but usually it's not. You're usually the guy who whips through the door in slow motion after it's been blown to pieces. But you should be thankful - you only get to do that because some random NPC did all the boring work for you.
Rat tail collectors
"Hello, MMO player. I need 400 rat tails, please!" Mr. Rat Tail Collector, we owe you our thanks. Without your incessant desire to collect decaying body parts freshly cut from the corpses of animals, we'd have no economically viable way to reach level three.