Sunday, 15 April 2012

Top Dogs Trilogy Part 1: Top Dogs of Video Games

Here at HYTIB, we think that DOGS ARE GREAT. DOGS DOGS DOGS. Dogs have stupid faces and they are fluffy and you can tell them to do things. To prove that we like dogs so much, we're going to explore some of pop culture's greatest dogs and why they are so great in ways that relate specifically to dogs. Starting with our top 10 favourite dogs from video games. And this is dogs only, no wolves and foxes allowed.

10. Dogz  (Dogz)

'BEST THING EVER.' - Allie aged 8

I remember PF Magic's original Dogz game blowing my mind as a child. THEY'RE LIKE REAL DOGS. ON YOUR COMPUTER. HOLY. FUCKING. SHIT. You can pet them, feed them, and dress them in humiliating outfits. They had the bizarrest graphical system, the dogs were all made up of circles, having different parts so that you could get all sorts of variations in breeding, and you could pet and paint different parts of them. This is why they’re such great dogs though, they put up with you and all of the weird stuff you want to do with them. Spray them with water, put santa hats and mittens on them... You’re a weirdo, but they don’t judge. Realism.

There’s nothing that will melt a man’s heart quite like cute animals in people clothes. Dogz exploited this weakness in humanity and turned it into a business. In a way it’s nuts how long this series has survived over the years and the unhealthy amount of spin-offs it has gotten. But in another, more realistic way, it makes perfect sense. Pet simulators will never go out of style as long as people are put off by poop and physical exercise. 

9. Dogmeat (Fallout Series)
Well, I assume its a dog.
Dogmeat was the first canine companion in the Fallout series. Dogmeat is a grody stupid dog that will follow you if you give him some food, and fight by your side. He’s earned his name, because he’s not really very good at surviving. But then again, neither am I. Dogmeat’s hobbies include scaring a guy named Phil, and being a dog. 

Dogmeat is supposed to be a reference to the Mad Max dog and I guess I can see that. If I were stranded in a wasteland, procuring a dog would be one of my top priorities too. Shame that Dogmeat doesn’t wear people clothes.

8. Exit Dogs (Exit 2)

Dogs away!

Exit 2, the sequel to the slightly obscure Exit (obviously), introduces dogs as an assistant type. These stylish pooches heroically work alongside the hero to rescue people from buildings on the midst of disaster. They can get to places that the hero can’t and fetch him items. Rescue dogs are cool dudes.

Rescue dogs are indeed cool, as well as dogs that are willing to fetch you your stuff, but I can’t help but be a little disappointed that they are the only class in that series that can’t actually use items or open doors. This little limitation always made me frown at them. I am disappoint.

7. Boney (Earthbound 2 / Mother 3) 

Boney is one of the two characters that makes an appearance in every single chapter of Mother 3, so you know he’s important. He starts showing his worth pretty early on in the adventure already. When a forest fire breaks out, Boney comes to the rescue to help find the missing people trapped within. Having a dog be a playable character in an Japanese RPG might sound odd and that’s because it is. He doesn’t really have weapons, can’t wield magic like the other characters and he’s got very little equipment. Luckily what little equipment he has at his disposal are hats. Yes, you heard me correctly. Animals with hats. Does it stop there? Heck no! Boney goes the extra mile and full-on Scooby Doos his way into a nightclub.

Bad to the Bone.
Boney is way better than the dog in the previous game, who chickens out pretty soon and stays at home with mum and dad. Boney sticks around, and he looks pretty dope in a baseball cap.

6. DOG (Half-Life 2)

Good thing there aren't any cats around.

DOG isn’t a real dog. Haha you’ve been ripped off. DOG is the dog-brained robot that guards Alyx Vance. When it’s not playing fetch with the furniture, it’s tearing the shit out some combine scum like a giant immortal chimpanzee. Why can’t you have DOG with you all the time? This game would have been over in minutes.

What’s not to love about DOG? He’s a giant scrap-metal gorilla that thinks like a dog. He’s seemingly invincible, tears shit up as if it’s nothing and can play fetch with toilet-bowls. Most dogs I’ve tried to do that with couldn’t keep up.

5. Chain Chomp (Mario Series / Link's Awakening)

With teeth like that, bite probably worse than bark.

You might be thinking ‘Hey, chain chomps aren’t dogs!’ Well tough, they are used as dogs throughout the Mario series and even in Link’s Awakening. If you don’t like it, go make your own list.

While the people of the Mushroom Kingdom don’t really care too much for them, they were heavily used in in the Koopa Empire. According to Paper Mario, the use of Chain Chomps as dogs goes back for centuries and entire temples were erected in their honour. I don’t know about you guys, but I’m crossing my fingers for a Chain Chomp partner in Paper Mario 3.

I feel bad for chain chomps. They’re always being chained to things and then left there. Perhaps it’s because they have too much energy for their own good, they’ll quickly try to knock you down if you come near! Still, you should really set them free. Or attach them to the front of your kart for a most excellent advantage. 

4. KK Slider (Animal Crossing Series)

Inspirations include Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Blues Clues.

KK slider is a dog with soul. He’s a talented musician who writes and performs his own songs in a little cafe by the museum on saturday nights. If you’re a fan of his music, he’ll give you a bootleg of his tunes because he’s not even in it for the money.

I’ve always wondered what he did during the week, but considering how laid back he is and how he plays an acoustic guitar, we can safely assume he spends his spare time doing pot. 

3. Sam (Sam & Max Series)

Are you sure all dogs go to heaven?

You know that awkward feeling when you are certain a character is supposed to be outrageous in some form, but instead you end up finding him totally reasonable? Well, Sam is that character for me. He’s judgemental, but doesn’t care enough about anything to get actively involved himself. Sam knows a wealth of really useless trivia and nerdy observations. So yeah. Seems like a cool dude. I don’t get what the joke is supposed to be, aside from the contrast he provides with Max. Plus, you know, animal in people clothes.

The thing I love about Sam is that... while Max is the uncontrollable malicious psychopath, Sam is the enabler. He may be the devil himself, in an oversized suit, just making suggestions and letting Max go nuts on things. He rarely holds him back, he has no morals himself as a ‘freelance police officer’ (see: fraud) and just sort of lets things happen with an aloof pleasure. Some dogs just want to watch the world burn.

2. Missile (Ghost Trick / Ace Attourney Series)

Smart missile.

Missile is actually two dogs from two different games. Missile, a shiba inu from the Ace Attorney series is a police dog with a weakness for weenies. In Ghost Trick, Missile is a perky pomeranian who never gives up and is much smarter than he looks. They’re both named after one of the developer’s pet dogs though, so in a weird way I like to think they are kind of the same dog. Missile from ghost trick is especially a top dog though, because he’s so essential to the plot he’s really one of the main characters.

I didn’t really care too much for the Ace Attorney Missile, but damn it if I didn’t love the Ghost Trick version. They really went out of their way to give him ‘dog logic’, which may come across as stupid and stubborn, but only in the most endearing ways. Missile is very faithful, brave and easily excited. It’s hard not to love him when you see what he goes through.

1. Hayabusa (Okami)

Bitches be trippin'

Hayabusa is the SECOND greatest turnip digger in all of Nippon. While he is depicted as a lazy, boring dog at first, you later discover that there is more to him than what was initially let on. Hayabusa is actually an imposter! When he witnessed the death of another dog who resembled him, he took over the dying dog’s identity to save the owner of any grief. It also gave him the ideal excuse to park his butt and wait until he can make good on his promise to the real Hayabusa. Also he wears a bandana.

I teared up a lot in Okami, it was top notch in its story, art style and music. But this part probably made me the weepiest! Finding out Hayabusa was filling the doggieboots for another dog that gave it’s life to save a small boy. Hayabusa is also a part of the Legendary Canine Warriors, where he is known as Chu, the warrior of loyalty. He also saved Mushi’s life, when Orochi attacks the village. TOP. DOG.

So there's all the best dogs videogames have to offer. Stay tuned for some more Top Dogs sometime later. We might do some different things in between, we dont want to make you dog tired of dogs. Dawg.

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