Dogs make life better. They make virtual life better, too. Sometimes they’re friends, sometimes they’re foes, and sometimes they’re heroes. From loyal to lovable, creepy to courageous, here are some awesome pups from your favorite games:
1. The Duck Hunt Dog
How many humans do you know who would taunt someone with a gun aimed at them? The Duck Hunt Dog, in the 1984 title for the NES, ridiculed your terrible marksmanship with a point and laugh that haunted your nightmares, but he bullied you to greatness. He’s routinely named one of the most annoying video-game characters of all time. But if you miss his abuse, he’ll still kick your butt in the newest Super Smash Bros. game.
2. Rush from the Mega Man series
Your best friend can’t transform into a submarine or a hoverboard, but Mega Man’s pooch, Rush, sure can. Sometimes he can even fuse with Mega Man to make him Super Mega Man (and you thought “mega” was as good as it gets). With coils, jets, transformations, and healing abilities, Rush is one helpful hound. In fact, he’s still helping Mega Man in the new Super Smash Bros. game, too.
3. Cerberus from Resident Evil
What’s more terrifying than a mansion full of undead humans trying to murder you? Well, outside there is a zombified Doberman ready to pop his head through the window and make you throw your controller through your television in fear. Try to go out again and the game will tell you, “It’s too dangerous to go outside!” That’s right, a house full of zombie people isn’t as dangerous as these hounds from hell.
4. General Pepper from the StarFox series
No relation to the doctor of the same name, he’s the general of the Cornerian army and hires the StarFox team to fight Andross, the mad scientist. He’s the “Hound In Chief,” gives valuable intelligence, tells you to come back in one piece, and isn’t afraid to fly into battle himself from time to time.
5. Poppy from the Samurai Shodown series
A pooch who’s willing to fight when her human, Galford, can’t get the job done on his own, which seems to be all the time. In fact, in many of the game’s Galford’s attacks rely entirely on Poppy’s doggy shoulders. And in true loyal friend fashion, she sacrifices herself to save her best friend. You can’t buy that kind of companionship (unless you can afford a video game). And, no, the second word in the title isn’t misspelled — the “w” is deliberately omitted.
6. PaRappa from PaRappa the Rapper
PaRappa wasn’t caught up in the East Coast-West Coast rap feud. He just wanted to do what any young pup wants to do: impress a girl. His motto was simple. “I gotta believe!” And so he did: He kick-punch-chopped and rapped his way into our consoles and our hearts, and he showed us if you’re willing to take lessons from an anthropomorphic onion, a moose, a frog, and a chicken, you can rap, too (probably).