Next Tuesday is International Friendship Day. It’s a time for celebrating the positive effect your friends have had on your life and showing your appreciation, as well as participating in activities which bring people from different backgrounds together.
Good pals are just as important in video games as they are in real life. When you consider all the situations that could be thrown at a protagonist – armed enemies, deadly curses, scary monsters and more – it makes sense they’d want someone along for the ride who’s got be their back. So in honour of the event, I’ve put together a list of some my favourite friendly people. These guys are always there for each other through whatever digital dangers thrown at them.
Ben and Dan from the Ben There, Dan That series
You know there’s always that one friend who’s completely on the same level as you? One who knows what you’re thinking, can finish your sentences and snorts at your crude jokes? Well that’s Ben and Dan. Whether they’re attempting to fix a broken television antenna so they can watch Magnum, P.I. or interrupting their time-travelling future selves in achieving world domination, you can guarantee they’re having a laugh while doing it. You get the feeling that they’re still going to be the best of friends and causing mayhem well into old age.
Ico and Yorda from ICO
There may not be anything romantic about this couple but it’s definitely a friendship built on trust – a theme throughout Team Ico’s releases (a subject for a future blog post perhaps). Although the game may start with Ico saving Yorda from a cage and leading her by the hand through a huge castle overrun with shadowy spirits, by the end it’s clear he needs her just as much. That moment after defeating the evil queen when the princess says goodbye to her friend is almost heartbreaking, and it makes their reunion scene after the credits even more uplifting. What does the future hold for them?
Commander Shepard and Garrus from the Mass Effect series
Friends should be there for you no matter what and this is proven by the undying loyalty between Commander Shepard and Garrus. From saving the world from an evil alien invasion to uncovering the secrets behind the fabric of our existence, whatever is thrown at them brings these two even closer. They tend us that true friendship doesn’t look at sex, race, species or any other differences – all that matters is that you’ve got someone you trust completely. As the Commander says: ‘There’s no Shepard without Vakarian.’
The stranger and Atrus from the Myst series
This pairing may be the most unlikely on today’s list considering they’re literally worlds apart, but the friendship between them has lasted through the years. Atrus calls on his pal’s assistance regularly, telling them things he’d confide in nobody else, and the stranger has answered every call. In return Atrus has given them the opportunity to expand their horizons and experience amazing adventures through beautiful worlds. They may have had to deal with some wicked family members along the way but not even time can break this bond.
Sam and Max from the Sam & Max series
In some ways these two couldn’t be more different. Sam is a verbose anthropomorphic dog who stays calm in most situations and rarely loses his temper. Max on the other hand is a ‘hyperkinetic rabbity thing’ who’s impulsive and indulgent, and loves nothing more to solve any problem in front of him with violence. They may be like chalk and cheese in terms of their personalities, but when they come together they form one of the best crime-fighting teams either – along with one of the strongest friendships we’ve ever seen in video games.
Mae and the rest of the gang from Night in the Woods
Mae, Bea, Gregg and Angus may have had their falling-outs over the years but regardless of what happens, they’re always there for each other. Whether it’s rescuing their town from some creepy cult dudes who sacrifice people to a god-like entity or helping someone who’s going through some mental health issues, they always support their friends. I particularly love the relationship between Mae and Gregg: they remind us how good it feels to get up to some mischief with your best mate and just be silly for a while.
That’s not all you’re getting for International Friendship Day because there’s another post coming next week! While you’re waiting, share the love by telling everybody about your own favourite video game duos in the comments below.
Video game lover, Later Levels blogger and SpecialEffect volunteer. Big fan of wannabe pirates and fine leather jackets.