Being a digital media guru, my expertise and love for computers and digital electronics all stemmed from one thing as a child: Video Games! In 1985, Nintendo Entertainment System was released. I was 1 year old, and my parents bought a NES for my sister for Christmas. I wasn’t allowed to touch it until I was older, but when I started playing video games, it helped shape who I am. 30 years later, I am obsessed with digital photography. I always think back on my route to where I am at now. It all started with the NES. I played console video games, then moved onto computer video games, as well. When I was 18, I built my first computer from scratch. Then, I got into digital photography.
Throughout my 25+ years of gaming, I was thinking, “How can video games be related to pets and pet owners?” Well, it turns out there are quite a lot of sidekicks, companions, and main characters in Video games that are dogs! I decided to compile a list of the top 5 canines in videogames I have played. (Some may argue that there are others that should be in this list, but this list is strictly based on games I have played.)
Dogmeat – Fallout 3
Dogmeat is a canine companion in the Fallout series of videogames, appearing in Fallout 1, 2, and 3. Fallout 3 takes place in a post-apocalyptic Washington, D.C. In Fallout 3, you can recruit him as a companion. He can fight alongside you and do other things, such as fetching supplies like ammunition and food, critical items needed to make it through the Capitol Wasteland. He is an Australian Cattle Dog. If you came across this guy in Post-Apocalyptic Washington D.C., you would probably think he was the cutest thing ever, too!
Interceptor – Final Fantasy VI
Interceptor is a canine companion to the character Shadow in Final Fantasy 6. Shadow is a ninja and one of the characters that join your party throughout the game. Interceptor is a vicious canine, and Shadow often warns people to stay away from Interceptor, because, “He will eat strangers.” Interceptor does become friendly and playful when he is around the character, Relm, a young girl who is part of your party. Randomly in battles, he will appear and attack enemies, and he is quite strong. A very good canine companion, indeed. He is a Doberman Pinscher. Even in the classic pixelated 16 bitness of Super Nintendo, he looks like a Dobie!
Laughing Dog – Duck Hunt
What is better than having a canine companion that will retrieve the ducks you shoot out of the air? When you miss the ducks, he LAUGHS AT YOU! The laughing dog from Duck Hunt is a classic video game canine companion that just about everyone knows about. He has even made appearances in Super Smash Brothers games. There is no specific dog species that he is modeled after.
Wolf Link – The Legend of Zelda, The Twilight Princess
Another popular Nintendo title, the Legend of Zelda, the Twilight Princess, was one of the first games released on Nintendo Wii. The main character of the game, Link, is granted the ability to change into a wolf in the world of darkness. This takes away his sword swinging abilities, but changes him into the ultimate playable dog character. This allows him to attack like a dog would and get into places that only a dog would be able to get into. This was a unique twist compared to the standard gameplay of most Legend of Zelda Games. He is a Wolf. A teenager, in wolf form, but not Teen Wolf.
Angelo – Final Fantasy VIII
What is the best friend for a woman? A diamond? Nope. A Cat? Nope, you are wrong. A Dog! Rinoa Heartilly from Final Fantasy VIII has a canine companion named Angelo. Sant’ Angelo di Roma, by full her name, is Rinoa’s best friend and quite a great aide in battles. Most of Rinoa’s limit breaks feature Angelo attacking enemies, such as the limit break “Angelo Rush.” Angelo will also appear randomly in battle if the party is in trouble. Rinoa can teach Angelo new tricks after she reads a Pet Pals magazine. It is always good to have a companion that will help in the time of need. Angelo is an Australian Shepherd. Nothing goes better with a pretty girl than a pretty dog.
PaRappa – PaRappa the Rappa
Who’s got the funky flow? Rapping canine PaRappa does. PaRappa is a dog that sings rap music. In the game, you control how he raps by pressing the correct controller buttons while flowing to the rhythm to keep him rapping. This game actually led to the later onslaught of music games, such as Guitar Hero. So yeah, although PaRappa had only 2 videogames to his name, he started the whole music gaming trend. PaRappa is not based off of any real life dog species. Not only can this dog talk, he can spit some rap lyrics.
Dog – Half Life 2
Here we have another dog companion to a woman in a video game. Dog is Alyx Vance’s “pet” robot built by her dad, Eli Vance, to protect his daughter when she was a child. The main character in the Half Life series, Gordon Freeman, meets Alyx and Dog in the Black Mesa Scrapyard. Alyx has Gordon play a game of fetch with Dog to teach you the controls of the game. Throughout the game, and the latter episodes, Dog comes to assist you. Okay, so, I get it, he’s a robot. He doesn’t look anything like a dog, but he is a great companion, and his name is Dog! A robot named Dog that does not resemble a dog in appearance, but does in the way he acts.
No one can ever have a direct top 5, there’s always 1 or 2 that you’re on the fence about being in the top 5 list. So, you get two bonus dogs. If I did a top 10 list, there would be either 11 or 12 in total. It’s just like the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament of 64 teams, which actually has 68 teams. It is actually quite amazing how many video games feature dogs in them. In a lot of the games, the dog is portrayed as someone’s pet, as well.
I hope you enjoyed reading my article. Although it’s not directly related to products we sell at PetSolutions, I always think it is great to remember that dogs and pets are more than just something you own, they are your companions. They rely on you, but also give you a lot in return. They know when you feel down and try to make you feel better. They love interacting with their owners, and will even try to protect them if there is a need. And, if there ever is a Global Thermal Nuclear war, if you and your canine survive, he will be there to help you scavenge for supplies in the Post-Apocalyptic wilderness. Or, better yet, get your companion something today from PetSolutions!