The Coin-Op: Top 5 Best Friends

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In many RPG’s the first or second character in your party will be your best bud. They tend to be a foil to your character’s style, whether it’s talkative to your silent protagonist, whether it’s being cautious to your bold style, or anything else, they always represent some kind of counterbalance to your fatal flaw, and you to theirs. It’s a staple of JRPG’s and fast becoming a part of Western RPG’s as well, so when you need a good best friend, take a look at some of the best.

5) Garet, Golden Sun
The Official Story: From the start of the game you work with Garet. Aside from one stint in the game, Garet, from child to adult, always fights with you. He plays the role of a tank, with high health and low speed. He asks all the questions about what’s going on so you can retain the role of a silent protagonist. Garet has the same motivations you do, and you feel a connection with him closer than even Isaac, your avatar. He’s naive and quick to anger, but he simply wants to do what’s right by his code of morals and save his family. It’s very easy to become attached to Garet, both in battle and out.

The Real Story: Garet is made of steel, he takes hits better than anybody else, and making him a healer may was well break the game. He loses points, however, by having a horrible character design.

4) Alistair, Dragon Age: Origins
The Official Story:
The fourth spot was a tie for just about every best friend in a BioWare game. Carth Onasi from Knights of the Old Republic, Kaiden Alenko from Mass Effect, Varric Tethras from Dragon Age 2, Dawn Star from Jade Empire: the list is endless. But Dragon Age’s Alistair was the perfect complement. While you rose to become a powerful gray Warden, traveling with an exiled prince makes for quite the fantasy adventure. Not to mention his are some of my favorite lines in all of gaming. He’s funny, he works well with any party build and he is someone that you’d want in your group, even if he didn’t fit, just to hear all his lines.

The Real Story: If you do anything bad to Alistair in your file of Dragon Age: Origins, I will find a way to attack your player character.

3) Atton Rand, Knights of the Old Republic 2
The Official Story:
In Obsidian’s sequel to BioWare’s Knights of the Old Republic, the second member on your party is a miner who is unusually skilled at avoiding Jedi mind tricks and a handy-ranged companion. He stays with you for the whole game, the final moments excluded, and plays a broad skill set so that you can place him in anywhere you’d prefer in your party. He’s sarcastic, witty, and a constant companion. It’s easy to get attached to Atton. I was so attached that he never left my party, even when it didn’t make sense to keep him.

The Real Story: Atton is your player character\\\’s version of Han Solo, and if you don\\\’t love that then maybe Star Wars games just aren\\\’t for you.

2) Lucca, Chrono Trigger
The Official Story: The second party member that joins you, after Marle, is Lucca, an inventor and, later, fire mage. It’s not exactly a secret that Chrono Trigger is one of my favorite games, and far-and-away, one of the best I’ve ever played. The seven party members including Crono are all incredibly memorable. But Lucca plays the part of the protagonist’s best friend, who inadvertently sends him to medieval times — 600 A.D. to be precise — and sets off a chain of events that leads to the world being saved. Like each character, she has an irreplaceable skill set for the party, but she’s really the best friend because it’s so easy to believe how close she and Crono are through the dialogue. Her teasing is spot-on, and the way she talks to him instead of through him, like so many NPC’s do, makes their bond feel stronger, even without Crono speaking.

The Real Story: Lucca has one of the best backstories in all of gaming, and it\\\’s one you\\\’d never expect. She\\\’s one of the best written characters in all of gaming.

 

1) Yosuke Hanamura, Persona 4
The Official Story:
All cards on the table, I might have a man-crush on Yosuke. He’s the first party member that joins you, second character to gain a Persona and the fastest party member you have. He has a low damage output and health, but with a good specialization on part of Yu or the other party member, you can keep him alive and take out weak enemies. He plays the opposite of the protagonist’s rather quiet style by being a loud and rather observant partner. Though it doesn\\\’t help gameplay, it should be said that he has the coolest looking moves.
The Real Story: Tied for first with Yosuke is Daichi Shijima from Devil Survivor 2, a similarly fun and enjoyable personality, with my personal favorite demon in the whole game: Seiten Taisen. Daichi only lost out because it’s possible to call Yosuke Brosuke.

 

Honorable mentions go to Genis Sage from Tales of Symphonia and Hammer from Fable 2.