PICKS: The Top 10 Video Game Dogs

Friday, September 12th, 2014

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#7 – Poochy (Yoshi’s Island)

Video Game Dogs | Poochy

Credit to MKDrawings

Let’s be honest. Poochy is not the most adorable dog to grace interactive media. He has gigantic lips, no ears, stubby little legs and a strange red ball on his rigid tail. It’s hard to even tell where his head ends and his body begins. He looks more like some freakish cow with a giant tongue than a proper dog. So, no, he may not be the cutest pooch around, but what he is is loyal. Poochy will go to great lengths to assist Yoshi, his ersatz owner after Yoshi’s Island. Given Poochy’s seemingly indestructible nature, this allows him to ferry Yoshi across all kinds of dangerous terrain. Traps that would normally dispatch Yoshi instantly, like lava and spikes, are no problem for Poochy, who will trot across them like the trooper he is. Not only that, but Poochy is no slouch against Baby Bowser’s forces, either. While Yoshi may need to jump on enemies or employ his eggs, Poochy can just mow over them with no effort at all. And what does he want in return for all his help? Just something to play with. Yoshi need only toss Poochy an egg, and he’ll be satisfied. It may not seem like much, but Poochy is a dog of simple tastes.

#6 – King (EarthBound)

Video Game Dogs | King

I’m sure we’ve all wondered what our pets were thinking at one time or another. They always show us so much affection, faithfully wait at the door for our return after a long day’s work and selflessly defend our homes from intruders. Yet, they seem to want nothing but our attention in return. However, that idea, like most of the themes in EarthBound, is flipped on its head with Ness’s dog, King. Through the benefit of his PK powers, Ness is able to hear the thoughts of the game’s many animals, his own dog’s included. Unfortunately, reading King’s thoughts do not yield the kind of response that a dog owner might want. King turns out to be a lazy, self-centered and, above all, cowardly dog, which obviously clashes with Ness’s adventurous personality. After the meteor hits near Ness’s house, King can be persuaded to venture out for a short time, but at the first sign of trouble, the dog turns tail and heads for the safety of home, leaving his master to deal with the extraterrestrial horrors on his own. “Man’s best friend,” indeed…

#5 – Sant’ Angelo di Roma (Final Fantasy VIII)

Video Game Dogs | Angelo

Gaming has no shortage of dogs that will come to the aid of their owners in the midst of battle. However, how many of them actually become a weapon for their master to use against their enemies? While, under normal circumstances, Rinoa’s dog, Angelo, basically acts as a free counterattack from time to time, Rinoa actually has a way to make her canine companion so much more. Throughout Squall and Co.’s adventures in Final Fantasy VIII, it is possible for the team to find various ”Pet Pals” magazines to teach her more new abilities. My favorite, though, is an early attack known as Angelo Cannon in which she jumps onto Rinoa’s Blaster Edge and is shot at enemies as a high-speed projectile. Lots of pets will join a battle to help their masters, but it isn’t often you’ll see one act as a giant furry bullet for an arm-mounted cannon. And let’s not forget the upper body strength Rinoa must have to be able to hold up a dog with one arm.

Entering the home stretch with 4 through 2…

About Tyler Lubben

Tyler is a lifelong gamer, getting his start on the Intellivision when he was three years old. After receiving his English degree, he discovered all those jokes about getting a job in his field were true. As Head Editor with oprainfall, Tyler is able to bridge his two passions; playing and talking about video games at any given opportunity, and being a total grammar nazi the rest of the time.

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