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Games That Would Be Impossible Without Sidekicks

What's a hero without a good sidekick? A lot of video games have you going it alone, but every now and then there's a title that you just can't seem to beat without the help of an in-game friend or two. In order to get on this list, a sidekick had to offer more than just witty banter; they had to have been indispensable during the hero's adventure. After all, we all get by with a little help from our friends.

Prince of Persia (2008)

The cel-shaded eye candy known as 2008's Prince of Persia boasted gorgeous artwork, incredible character designs, and fluid gameplay. But if you happened to suck at that whole being "fluid" thing when it came to platforming and solving environmental puzzles, you were lucky to have Elika by your side. She helped you with the platforming bit, giving you boosts when you needed them, and also assisted with activating mechanisms and the like. Most importantly, she would magically save you if you ever missed a landing or grab, preventing you from falling to your untimely end. We like Elika.

BioShock Infinite

Oh, Elizabeth. What can we say about our princess in the tower that hasn't already been said? She's part of the longest, most grueling escort quest we've ever undertaken, but we can't be too mad at her because she's also the most useful escort we've ever had. If it weren't for her ability to open up Tears in the fabric of space and time, we don't think Booker DeWitt would have ever stopped Comstock and his plans to rain fire on the world below. Not only is she a reality-warping dynamo, but she's also useful in a pinch, tossing health tonics, salts, and ammo to Booker when he needs them. Oh, and she can pick locks, which is also a skill you'd want in a companion.

Ico

The tale of Ico and Yorda is told without words. While Ico himself is the main character of the story, we can kind of see him as Yorda's sidekick as well, helping her get around and defending her from the shadowy monsters that threaten to take her life. Even though Yorda isn't able to do much except for jump a little and be led around, she also provides the impetus for Ico to go through with the adventure and save her from her mother, the Queen. The two characters have a sort of symbiotic relationship during the adventure, where one cannot be without the other. All you have to do is look up at that screenshot of them holding hands to know what they're all about.

The Legend of Zelda - Twilight Princess

Midna from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess started out as an annoying tag-along, but quickly became one of the most iconic Zelda companions in the franchise. She acts like a more useful version of a certain fairy who likes to chime all of the time—sorry, Navi—and is able to help Wolf Link in battle, get him across long distances, and can even let him teleport. Twilight Princess just wouldn't be the same without Midna, in or out of her impish form.

Banjo-Kazooie

You can't have Banjo without Kazooie. It's just not done. In their Nintendo 64 adventure, the two friends teamed up to help rescue Banjo's sister from the green-fingered clutches of the witch Gruntilda. We actually don't think Kazooie had too much of a choice, given that she lives inside Banjo's backpack. Either way, Banjo never would have been able to make it through all of the lands and collect all of the Jiggies in order to advance through Gruntilda's tower without Kazooie and her abilities. Because of her, he was able to fly, shoot eggs, jump higher, and even walk up steep slopes. Banjo and Kazooie are one of the coolest duos around, boasting abilities almost perfectly in sync. We'd love to see them step to the Mario Bros.

Mass Effect 2

Mass Effect 2 is one of the best examples of that old trope where a hero gathers a party to go and fight an ultimate evil. We usually see this in a spells-and-swords adventure, but it's given a space opera twist with Shepard's bid to find the Collectors and destroy them. The final battle requires all of your teammates at their most loyal in order to be completed without casualties, so good luck keeping anyone alive if you weren't friendly with your subordinates. It's their combined effort and skills that allow the team to overcome the many dangers of the Collector Base; Shepard would have never been able to go lone wolf on that mission. We're Looper, and the crew of the Normandy SR2 is our favorite crew on the Citadel.

Portal

We don't care how clever or logical Chell was: she never could have gotten through all of GlaDOS's rooms without the assistance of the Weighted Companion Cube. Though it was nothing more than a cube, it was Chell's way to activate pressure plates, block lasers, and it served as her only "friend" during the experiments. Being forced to drop it into an incinerator in Test Chamber 17 was brutal for anyone who grew attached to it in that short period of time. But thanks to the Weighted Companion Cube's death, you learned how to defeat GlaDOS.