Sidekicks come in all shapes and sizes, from the comic relief such as Gaston’s buddy, Lefou to Logan’s murderous little friend X-23. At times they can be extremely helpful and crucial to the plot by way of needing to be saved, or more as a partner to the lead characters. Alternatively, some sidekicks are just plain worthless and it baffles the audience as to why or how they have survived this long when they’re really is no need for it.
This happens in video games on a regular basis, leaving the player with a sense of confusion as to why this so-called sidekick is even necessary. The worst of them really have no reason for living, and you find yourself taking them out just to see what would happen, only to be chastised by the game itself for letting the idiot die. So you soldier through until the end where you finally see that this companion had no effect on the outcome whatsoever.
I’m sure it isn’t hard for you to name a few of your least favorite burdens in gaming, but who are the worst of the worst? Which ones have helped ruin games to a point where you almost didn’t complete them? Some sidekicks look like they may be of some use one day, while others give off an obvious aura of failure. When it all comes down to it, all of these sidekicks are utterly worthless and only dampen an otherwise great game.
15 Familiars (Castlevania: Symphony of the Night)
After his first appearance in Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse, Dracula’s son, Alucard made his solo video game debut in Castlevania: Symphony of the Night where it was up to him to kill his father once and for all. Hailed as one of the best Castlevania titles of all time, it suffered thanks to a variety of sidekicks called “Familiars.”
Familiars are beings (usually animals) that obey a witch or vampire, but in Symphony of the Night, the familiars consist of a fairy, a ghost, and even a floating sword. It is possible for them to be of use, but only after spending a grotesque amount of hours making them stronger. However, in their infant stage, they generally worthless and provide little more than a strange animation that follows you around; thanks, but no thanks.
14 Mr. Resetti (Animal Crossing)
Animal Crossing is a community simulator game released for the N64. In the game, you meet Sonny Resetti who ignores the fourth wall and address you, the player. He is a mole with a bad temper and is extremely retentive about you saving your game.
Anytime you quit (without saving) Mr. Resetti gets pissed, but if you rest the game and say, “I hate moles” he goes through the roof. At other times, he will appear and pretend to have reset the game himself, which causes a brief moment of panic until you realize this is impossible. If anything, he is the biggest reason to do a speedrun of this game just so you never have to interact with him. Aside from telling you what you already know (if you’ve ever played any video game), he is pretty much just a pain in the butt.
13 Penelo (Final Fantasy XII)
The first major Final Fantasy since Square-Enix's foray into the world of MMORPGs, Final Fantasy XII took medieval elements from it predecessor and added in a compelling story, MMO-like battle system, and brought back the well-loved espers. This installment had some great characters, such as a pair of sky pirates and traitorous captain, and some not so great characters like a snotty princess and a juvenile delinquent. But no character, playable or not, was as bad as the meaningless pig-tailed Penelo.
Penelo is constantly telling her friend Vaan to grow up, which is odd since she is the one daydreaming about becoming a dance. And while she is available to control for the entire game, she consistently remains the least interesting character in your party. Aside from the occasional flirting with sky pirate Balthier, there really is no point to her existence other than her being a temporary sidekick to Vaan in the very beginning.
12 Roman Bellic (Grand Theft Auto IV)
Everybody’s got an annoying family member, whether it’s a parent, sibling, or someone you never have to be subjected to like a cousin. Roman Bellic is that family member for Grand Theft Auto IV’s protagonist, Niko. Without Roman, there would be no story because Roman's lies are the reason Niko finds himself in Liberty City. It’s only after walking into Roman’s rat-nest of an apartment that you realize he lives in squalor and was fibbing about the “American dream.”
Roman gets the game going by showing you how he truly needs your help because of his money troubles with the Armenians and his rundown taxi service. However, once the game gets into a steady pace he really doesn’t provide much use. He could have easily been replaced by a few lesser characters or a tutorial.
11 Anthony Carmine (Gears of War)
Released in 2006 and spawning five sequels thus far, Gears of War centers around soldiers called “Gears” fighting invading “locusts.” The story centers around Marcus Fenix and his crew of roughnecks whose goal is to kill every last one of these monsters. One man on his crew is a “green” newbie named Anthony Carmine.
Anthony Carmine is one of three generic soldiers that accompanies you on your missions and is probably the most generic of the three. There are points when he does the typical rookie thing and just runs out into enemy fire, thinking he is invincible. Eventually, this catches up with him, but if you like the only redeeming quality (the voice acting), then you're in for a treat because the same actor does the entire family.
10 Mia (Need for Speed: Most Wanted)
Need for Speed started out as your typical run of the mill racer where you pick a car, race against other drivers, and collect trophies. However, the next generation of Need for Speed games called “Underground” completely changed the genre offering upgrades, nitrous, and even graphics to decorate your vehicle with. Like all racing games, it’s about the racing and characters really have no place in them.
In Need for Speed: Most Wanted, you are introduced to a sexy chick that likes hanging out with racers and for some reason takes a shine to you even after losing your ride. Aside from eye candy, she is also a bit of a tutor (in case this is the first racing game you’ve ever played). That wouldn’t so bad if she didn’t constantly throw in puns and clever digs. As far as game progression goes, Mia is utterly worthless and pointless as a character. The game would have been better off just having on screen prompts.
9 Lakitu (Super Mario 64)
Lakitu has been in the Super Mario universe nearly as long as the iconic plumber himself, ever since he floated in on his cloud and began dropping Spinies in world 4-1. He was made multiple appearances in several Mario games over the years with little change to his appearance or personality. His oddest appearance came in Super Mario 64 when he was no longer an enemy of Mario.
Super Mario 64 broke down the fourth wall by having Lakitu as our cameraman for the entire game. It was great that we could alter the camera to our liking, but why is the formerly murderous sky Koopa our friend all of a sudden? It was extremely off-putting and made Lakitu worthless because we would have like to see him as a villain in one of the harder levels.
8 Minnie Mouse (Mickey Mousecapade)
Some heroes don’t need sidekicks or companions, just their significant other. In Mickey Mousecapade you control both Mickey and Minnie Mouse at the same time which is like trying to control all the legs of a caterpillar at once; there’s a huge learning curve involved. At first, being forced to control the pair in unison is extremely annoying, and after a while, that feeling doesn’t diminish.
In this game, you travel from room to room jumping over obstacles and enemies. You’ll clear the jump with Mickey, but Minnie drags behind, and that injures her man for some inexplicable reason. Playing as both character (which is not optional) makes you wonder why she just didn’t stay home and let the mouse of the house handle the bad guys.
7 Ashley Graham (Resident Evil 4)
The first major 'reboot' for the series, Resident Evil 4 instead focused on an infected cult that has kidnapped the president's daughter and plans to send her home with the virus inside of her. Our hero, Leon Kennedy, is apprised to this after saving her but this where the game truly gets difficult.
Ashley Graham is more of a burden than a sidekick in this game because she’s slow (despite having nothing to carry) and at times, seems to run right into the clutches of the cloaked villains. At one point, the two of you are separated, and that just makes you gleeful of the break you get from her until you are reunited and the chores can continue. Ashley really is worthless as a partner, and you’re constantly having her “Wait!” while you clear her path.
6 Natalya (GoldenEye)
GoldenEye on Nintendo 64 is no doubt on everyone’s list of “best multiplayer games of the 90s.” The story is based on the movie starring Pierce Brosnan, and it truly shines in multiplayer mode. However, in “story mode” you find yourself occasional doing mediocre and tedious missions in order to progress through the game to unlock more goodies for multiplayer.
Natalya Simonova is a Russian hacker that you find yourself saving and assisting during numerous mission during the campaign. Think of her as princess Peach, if Peach was constantly getting in the way and offered no help whatsoever. Aside from the story driven relationship between her and James Bond, she is relatively worthless despite carrying a magnum.
5 Claptrap (Borderlands)
Borderlands is a role-playing first-person shooter with a gritty comic book feel. You pick one of four characters to play as while you shoot your way around the beautiful animation and build your characters as you see fit. Early in the game, you are introduced to a robot with huge personality named Claptrap - an ironic name for sure.
Claptrap really should have had a small role, but the developers felt that it could be of much more use. Claptrap is cowardly and suffers from severe loneliness, yet brags almost constantly. Later he becomes an assassin, which makes ridiculously little sense given what he looks like. Claptrap is worthless, and all his traits should have been put to use in a real character.
4 Poppy (Samurai Shodown)
In the 90s, when it came to fighting games, the arcade was king, and this is where you would find the Neo Geo because of its insanely high price tag for home use. The Neo Geo had multiple successful fighting games like Art of Fighting, Fatal Fury, and the sword-swinging hit Samurai Shodown. This game was filled with interesting characters, but none as odd as Galford and his trusty husky, Poppy.
It’s not so far-fetched to think that a dog could be a great companion because it’s been done hundreds of times over, but a husky is an odd choice. You would think that in a tournament of battles, you wouldn’t be allowed to just bring your dog into the fight - seems a little one-sided. The dog truly is worthless in the sense that his moves take the longest to act and do the least amount of damage. You’re better off just using that samurai sword like every other character in the game.
3 Fi (Skyward Sword)
The green-tunic wearing hero of time, Link has a vast array of companions that include a dark princess and a couple of fairies. But none of them are as worthless and unneeded as Fi, a spirit who lives inside of your sword and constantly offers “wisdom” and points out the obvious.
In the beginning, she isn’t necessarily needed but is nice to have when you’re not sure how to kill something. However, after a dungeon or two, her little percentages and thoughts just become plain annoying. And just when you thought she couldn’t get any worse, she starts dancing and singing later on in the game.
2 Slippy Toad (Star Fox 64)
Star Fox was introduced to gamers in 1993 and there wasn’t a gamer alive that didn’t play it. It was the game that made pixels cool again in a big way and introduced us to Fox McCloud and his fellow pilots: Falco, Peppy, and Slippy. While playing the game, these pilots have pros and cons, but none of the other characters are as egregiously annoying as Slippy who finds himself flying right into the path of where you’re shooting, and it only got worse in the next installment.
In Star Fox 64, Slippy Toad is not only a doofus but is also an extreme liability, since he is constantly getting into trouble. Slippy prides himself on being a top-notch mechanic and a good friend, so maybe he should just repair ships and stop stuttering into Fox’s headset.
1 Baby Mario (Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island)
When he broke out onto the scene as a living vehicle in Super Mario World, Yoshi was an instant success and loveable character. It was an obvious choice to give the long-tongued dino his own adventure, but why they made an infant version of everyone’s favorite plumber his sidekick, I’ll never know.
In Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island, you play as Yoshi with a pacifier-sucking Mario riding you like a merry-go-round. It baffles the mind as to why Mario is even present. It would make perfect sense to leave Mario at home while setting out on a quest; an adventure is no place for a baby. Any baby would be worthless, but what makes Mario the worst is the ear-piercing cries he lets out when knocked off Yoshi. When it comes to sidekicks, Mario makes a better hero than he does a companion - as long as he grows up first.