Ever dislike a main character in a game just to have a supporting one be so damned awesome that he/she becomes the reason why you keep playing? Or perhaps you did like the main character but find one of the non-playable characters to be the best experience? Sure, you have. It happens a lot, actually. Sometimes devs just get so stuck on a character that no matter how bland or cliché they are, they stay the main character. Alternatively, sometimes devs just come up with a supporting character that is just too damn good that the main character cannot be the focus no matter how hard he or she tries. Luckily, the examples below show off some of the best uses of supportive characters that salvaged their respective games.
Without the awesomeness of the follow support characters, these games wouldn’t have been the same. Maybe even tanked.
Auron (Final Fantasy X)
Seriously, Auron is the best character in Final Fantasy X and without him the game would have been a complete bust. It is because of Auron that the party stays together and Tidus even knows what to do.
Auron’s story is pretty complex but it is extremely honorable and interesting. Basically, Auron was a disgraced monk warrior who partied up with Tidus’ father and the High Summoner Braska to try and destroy the game’s enemy, Sin. Auron was the only survivor and he promised Jecht that he would find Tidus and look after him.
Since Tidus joined Yuna’s pilgrimage, Auron joined as well so he could fulfill his promise to Jecht.
The name literally came back from the brink of death just to honor his fallen comrade’s last wish. That, my friends, is a badass. It’s all thanks to Auron that Final Fantasy X was worthy of a full playthrough.
Well, I guess I could throw some credit on Blitzball.
Morrigan (Dragon Age: Origins)
I loved Dragon Age: Origins but I have to admit, without Morrigan in the game it wouldn’t have had that much impact for me. If you let her, Morrigan will be a vital part of Origins and influence the game in many ways. Sure, you have the choice of not letting her do that but honestly, you’d be doing yourself a disservice.
Morrigan is devilishly deceitful, clever, self-preserving, and vindictive. She has a plan and she sticks to it but she does have a soft spot for you that gets softer and softer if you go down her path.
I really can’t think of Origins without Morrigan. Without her the game would have felt less personal and less epic. Her story was the sole reason why I couldn’t wait for more Dragon Age.
Jackie Ma (Sleeping Dogs)
However, without the main supporting character of Jackie Ma, I really wouldn’t have gotten the personal vibe that the story throws at you. Jackie starts off as the smug punk who you just want to slap in the face but as the game progresses and you do what you have to do for the job, Jackie becomes your living conscience.
He is the other half of you that doesn’t want this kind of life after going through the tragedies and horrors. Jackie Ma is the truth you are burying deep within you just to get the job done. Without him in this game, Sleeping Dogs just wouldn’t work. It would feel like a senseless and unimaginative shooter.
The Illusive Man (Mass Effect 2)
The Illusive Man is the driving force behind Mass Effect 2’s story. It isn’t the Collective’s harvesting of humans. It isn’t the ongoing Reaper threat. It’s every fricken time you enter that hologram and see Martin Sheen’s face and listen to his incisive ass kicking and subtle disrespect.
He wants…nay… needs Shepard and he will say or do anything to keep him on this mission. However, he also has his own complex agenda and depending on what you do and if you come to trust or hate the Illusive Man decides on how fast he can succeed.
Shepard is the Illusive Man’s tool in Mass Effect 2 and when you finally come to realize that when the entire crew turns on him and looks at you as their leader, you begin to hate the Illusive Man.
While in-game, I did hate him, I thought he was one of the best written and thought up characters in gaming history. Without the Illusive Man, Mass Effect 2 wouldn’t have been the same. It wouldn’t have that main villain feeling. You really couldn’t put a face to the Collectors. Sure, you had Harbinger but that was just a Collector being controller by another mostly faceless enemy in the Reapers.
The Illusive Man was the one distinct face you could pin as an enemy in the Mass Effect series. No, not Saren. I felt bad for that guy by the end of ME1. Throughout ME2 and ME3, I hated the Illusive Man.
Cortana (Halo series)
She may be just an AI but Cortana completes Master Chief. Without her Chief would just be a super-soldier. He would just go around shooting, jumping, fragging, and be all around lifeless. Sure, he’d probably still have the short sayings that just make him badass, “To give the Covenant back their bomb,” but honestly, Cortana is the complete opposite to Master and they work like bread and butter.
Chief is the soldier. He gets the job done and he does it with physical means. His extremely efficient physical means.
Cortana is the brains. It is the sole reason for her existence to help Chief get the job done and get it done correctly. Without Cortana, Chief just wouldn’t be Chief. He’d be an above average marine with tough armor and no clue in the world other than offensive. Wheneve he does something that Cortana doesn’t already suggest, it almost always deals with doing something up close and personal. Cortana digs keep, finds the answers, and keeps Chief alive.
They are two peas in a pod and without Cortana Halo would just feel like a normal shooter bursting at the brim with clichés. You can thank an AI for providing you with a wonderfully crafted story. I’m sure Chief does.