Game Animals I Wish Were Pets
Have you ever seen an animal in a video game that you wish you could reach into the TV screen and pet? Maybe you even had an immersive daydream where that animal becomes your best friend. You guide that pet from puppyhood until its final days. Then, as the vet puts them to sleep, you hold your video game pet’s hand as they cross that rainbow bridge with dignity. Oh – just me? That’s awkward.
Several video game characters would make fantastic pets. But this is a very biased special list where I, Chris Sanfilippo, share with you the video game pets I’ve always wanted. So, yes, this will get a little personal, a tad silly, and pretty damn weird.
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It’s a scientific fact: I am a millennial. Therefore, I want a pet Pikachu. That’s right. I’m basic like that. But any 90s baby reading this list is just as basic. Let’s face it: whenever we hear a high-pitched “pee-kah,” our inner pokemon trainer emerges like the Nintendo sleeper cells we are. We were programmed to raise Pokemon, especially Pikachu.
So, where did our collective Pikachu fascination begin? It must have been the Pokemon anime. Ash and Pikachu’s bond taught us the power of friendship. (Don’t act like you haven’t teared up listening to “Together Forever.”) Did their fellowship ever cross the line? Well, there was that weird talking Pikachu moment that was super cringe. But I’ll forgive it. Listen, sometimes you love someone so much that you manipulate your animal-like vocal cords to profess that love to them in human English.
Anyway, does the prospect of raising an electrical rodent intimidate me? Absolutely. But will I risk deadly electrocution for a furry Pika-hug? Yes. Yes, I Pika-will.
There are several animals in fighting games. For instance, who can overlook Kuma and Panda from the Tekken series? Or Roger the kangaroo, for that matter. And, of course, I can’t leave out Alex the raptor! Okay, what is it with Tekken and animal combatants? I don’t think the ASPCA approves.
Anyway, you can’t give Namco all the credit. For instance, SNK’s Samurai Shodown features animal fighters as well. One of the series’s most recognizable characters, Nakoruru, has enough animal friends to get herself a Disney animated feature film. Still, my favorite animal companion in Samurai Shodown is Poppy, Galford’s devoted husky companion.
Poppy is the definition of a “good dog.” Moreover, she is a great dog, a queen among canines, if you will. At first, I figured she was this badass dog that you could sick on opponents. But she’s so much more than that. For instance, I learned that she sacrificed herself to save Galford, who almost died saving one of her pups. In turn, he named that puppy after her mother. That is some “A Dog’s Purpose” sob-worthy stuff right there.
Do I want a dog to sacrifice itself for me? Of course, not! But the love Poppy shows Galford is so pure. Who wouldn’t want that kind of love in their life?
Stray is one of the first games I played on the PS5, and I’m glad it was. I wish I could say I finished it, but I rage quit during the stealth mission at the Neco Factory. I’m sure I’ll return someday, though. Honestly, I feel obligated to return to this game. That cat and I are bonded at this point.
So, why do I care so much about a nameless dystopian cat? Haptic feedback. I’m not kidding. Stray’s use of the Dualsense’s haptic feedback is one of the few stellar examples the PS5 has to offer. I felt everything that cat was feeling. When zurks devoured the cat, I felt their bubbly bacterial bites. As the cat rested in a ball on a rooftop, my hands tingled with its soft purrs. And when there was a carpet to scratch, I took those L2 and R2 triggers to town!
I am the cat now. The cat is me. And I still feel its pain as it waits in the Neco Factory to continue our journey. Damn. I’m a shite cat dad.
Chocobo’s Dungeon Series
So, let me get the weird stuff about myself out of the way before we continue. I have an odd phobia of birds. There I said it. I genuinely don’t know how it originated. But it’s there. I get antsy when I think about their little beady eyes, those worm-like tongues, the sharp beaks.
Thankfully, I’ve warmed up to birds a little more (petting a baby duckling for the first time was a significant breakthrough for me). And there are several birds I find rather cute. I’ve smiled at the occasional pitter-pattering parakeet video. Still, other birds give me the straight-up willies, chicken specifically. Seriously, what the hell is that neck waddle about?
Although I have some significant avian issues, I adore chocobos. My favorite chocobo is the Chibi-Chocobo from the Chocobo’s Dungeon series. Just look at that giant Choco-smile and those big baby blues. He seems like the happiest little dude on this side of Lostime.
Not to mention, chocobos can understand human language. So my feathery yellow friend and I can have full-blown conversations. Okay, he can only say “kweh,” so what? Didn’t I tell you I can understand Choco-speak? (Don’t test me on that.)
Marvel’s Midnight Suns
There are several reasons to enjoy Marvel’s Midnight Suns. The game has engrossing tactical strategy mechanics, a cast of memorable Marvel heroes, plenty of hidden Easter eggs, and a compelling story. Still, my favorite part of Firaxis’s Marvel title is Charlie, the best little hellhound in the abbey!
I’ll be candid; I love Charlie because she reminds me of my dog-niece. What’s a dog-niece, you ask? Allow me to explain. My brother and sister-in-law parent a rescue dog from Aruba named Lucy. Since they are Lucy’s parents, Lucy is my niece, my dog-niece. Okay. Moving on.
Lucy is a complex dog. On the one hand, she is shy around strangers. When new humans approach, Lucy wraps herself around my sister-in-law’s leg like her security blanket. Yet, once she gets to know a human, she sticks to them like glue. She panics if her designated human goes out of sight for a few minutes.
But wait! We haven’t even discussed Lucy’s interactions with other dogs. Lucy is an all-bark, no-bite type. She will yell at a new dog in a way I can only caption as “don’t fuck around, or you will find out.” But, of course, once she becomes friends with a dog, she will be up their ass. My family has a Great Pyrenes that’s over twice her size, and Lucy will nag the crap out of him until he plays with her.
We’ve jokingly called Lucy a “hellhound” before. But the truth is that she’s a toasty marshmallow. She can be crispy on the outside, but that interior is all gooey fluff. So, in short, I indeed projected my sister-in-law’s dog onto a Marvel character and proclaimed my truth to the internet. I’ll see how embarrassed I feel when this list gets published in a few days.
Next: Video Games I Wish I Could Play With My Dog