It’s tough being second banana. You work just as hard as the hero or heroine, sometimes even harder, but you usually don’t get as much recognition. It’s not hard to argue that Tails or Knuckles will never get recognized by the random street-walker as much as they’d know Sonic or “that blue hedgehog”.
Recently, Michonne from The Walking Dead got a video game adaptation of her own. And while she isn’t the standard sidekick in that she kicks a lot of ass even without Rick and that she’s pretty well-developed in terms of characterization, a luxury not enjoyed by quite a few sidekicks even with exceptions, it’s undeniable that she still plays second fiddle to the series’ protagonist. At least, in terms of exposure and overall attention. Still, her game might be a ray of hope for other ‘sidekicks’ as the latest in a link of side-kick-starring games like Secret Agent Clank or Luigi’s Mansion.
Which side characters are worthy of getting their own game? There’s a fair amount of spoilers below, so tread with caution!
Meta Knight – Kirby
Meta Knight is undoubtedly cool for a spherical character clad in armor! He’s got that are-you-a-friend-or-a-foe appeal, the quintessential sword and wings, and his willingness to stick to his code of chivalry, befitting his Knight title, is nothing short of endearing. Bearing a striking similarity to Kirby (It’s the roundness, mainly), the enigmatic captain of the Battleship Halberd has a past shrouded in mystery that could be explored in a game of his own. Maybe then we can find out why he’s so adamant about keeping his mask on?
Frog – Chrono Trigger
Big things can come in small, decidedly green packages. Frog is a valiant knight who, due to a curse, becomes trapped in the body of…well, a frog. But he doesn’t let his new slimy form stop him from carrying out his ideals and upholding his values. And despite the limitations that come with his new body, he is still a strong and efficient warrior with great contributions to the party thanks to his versatility. Overall, he is a likable character with a flexible playstyle, both of which are elements that could let him easily take on a protagonist role.
Vergil – Devil May Cry
Dante’s chiller brother and fellow half-demon half-human swordsman Vergil definitely deserves his own game. He plays differently enough from his brother Dante that gameplay will feel fresh, but tweaks might still be needed to expound on that differentiation. With him surviving the end of the latest game and the ensuing Vergil’s Downfall DLC, getting his own title might not be too far-fetched plot-wise, even with his implied status as an antagonist for the possible next game. Maybe it could even be a way to segue in Nero?
Cirilla Fiona Elen Riannon aka Ciri– The Witcher
The Princess/Lion Cub of Cintra has everything she needs to take on the role of protagonist in her own game. Combat-wise, she’s got more than enough to dish out and hold her own with. And not only is she capable, Geralt’s adopted daughter is an interesting character overall, and seeing her develop even more in her own game with some minor gameplay changes could be a treat for fans. CD Projekt Red has made it clear that The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will be the last Geralt game but not necessarily the last game set in the Witcher universe, with CEO Adam Kicinski even stating that the “franchise will be continued”. It might be possible for this to become a reality!
Zelda – The Legend of Zelda
Now this is something fans have been clamoring for for a while now. Zelda has shown many times that she is capable of doing some truly awesome things. Remember that time she took on the role of Sheik? That’s just one out of many times she’s demonstrated that she’s more than competent and ready to take on bigger things herself. Zelda is almost, if not just as, popular as her frequent rescuer Link, so Nintendo should have no problems making a game with new gameplay elements unique to her if they tried. Hopefully, we’ll get to see a Zelda/Sheik game before a Linkle one, even if the latter is undeniably cute.
The entire squad – Mass Effect
Wouldn’t it be cool to have a game where you get to play as all squad-mates to have ever graced the Normandy and join Shepard’s team? They don’t even need to have one game each. Imagine a single title where you get to pick a squad-mate, or unlock them/missions in a timeline-style fashion, and play things from their perspective. Most of the races are already playable in multiplayer, so Bioware should have few problems making changes in that department to suit the game. And it shouldn’t end up being all over the place if Bioware is careful with pacing and time distribution. Take down prominent assassination targets with Thane, scour Omega for mercenary scum using Garrus during his stint as Archangel, or experience Samara’s first assignment as an asari justicar.