Almost as long as there have been video game heroes, there have been side-kicks, tagging along, offering help and advice where necessary and generally making your life as a hero an awful lot easier. Or at least, that’s what they’re supposed to do on paper. Unfortunately the reality can often be in stark contrast to that, and side-kicks end up added to games for comedic value, or light relief – or God forbid – to provide the missing voice for a voiceless character. Quite why that requires the voice to be so grating in so many cases is yet to be justified.
This article will celebrate – or berate – the worst offenders of annoying side-kicks from otherwise excellent games, who were almost enough to make us turn off. And it’s all in-game characters, so unfortunately, your brother/sister/unhelpful smug friend don’t make the list, as much as I’m sure they deserve it.
Before you take to the comments to complain about the lack of Ashley from Resident Evil 4, she doesn’t qualify because the game hardly qualifies as a great game. Had it been a classic, and her general unlikability factor, and infuriating tendency to put herself in harm’s way had distracted from an excellent gameplay experience, then she would undoubtedly have made it – after all no-one likes an entitled, spoiled rich-girl with a personality disorder, and it isn’t all that surprising that some players wished her parasite wasn’t successfully removed.
So with Ashley confined to a different pile – which side-kick characters made the list?
Navi – The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
Undoubtedly annoying – thanks to that infamous and almost perpetual “Hey listen!” – but Navi has had way too much hate already, and the little blue fairy was only trying to help, albeit far too frequently, and in a manner that almost inspired violence towards your screens. I’ve decided to call an armistice on Navi hate for this article alone, and while recognising the tidal wave of hate for the little helper, she will find no further barbed criticism from me here. Plus, though after 20 “Hey listens” I was ready to commit murder, by 30 I’d switched off, and she never actually spoiled Ocarina of Time.
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This article was first posted on October 20, 2012