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The Heroes of Easter: Top 10 Most Heroic Video Game AnimalsCrash Bandicoot Klonoa Spyro Sly Cooper Ōkami Star Fox Banjo-Kazooie Donkey Kong Yoshi Sonic
You know what also tends to have animal characters stealing the spotlight from humans every now and again? Why, the world of gaming, of course! Plenty of games have starred some pretty heroic animals, with some more heroic than others. So to celebrate that Easter Bunny’s big day, let’s countdown what I think are the top 10 most heroic video game animals.
What? You don’t feel like it? Well that’s too bad, because I’m gonna do it anyway.
#10: Crash Bandicoot
- Crash Bandicoot Series -
Disregarding the fact that most people don’t know what the hell a bandicoot even is, Crash Bandicoot is the most heroic one there is (and also the only bandicoot featured in any game ever). Genetically altered by the mad Doctor Neo Cortex, this wily bandicoot never hesitates to oppose the evil scientist who once experimented on him and foil his plans for world domination. And while he hasn’t done a whole lot of world-saving lately, he’s still a heroic enough animal to make it on this list.
- Klonoa Series -
Next up on our animalistic countdown is this rabbit…cat…dog thing that goes by the name Klonoa. Actually, his place in the animal kingdom was never officially established, now that I think about it… Let’s just call him a "cabbit" for now.
Anyway, featured in the series that shares his name, Klonoa is a Dream Traveler, which is exactly what it sounds like – someone who travels to different dream worlds. As a Dream Traveler, this little cabbit is fated to traverse many different endangered dreams and save them. And even though he doesn’t really have a choice in the matter (thus is fate), the awesome role Klonoa is given makes him a pretty heroic animal in my book.
#8: Spyro the Dragon
- Spyro Series -
Without a doubt, dragons are the coolest animals of all time. Of course, they don’t actually exist unless you count posers like komodo dragons, but they most certainly exist in video games so we’re counting them in this list. One such dragon is the one and only Spyro, who you may know from such series as the one sharing his name and its spin-off known as Skylanders. And whether he’s on a quest to save the Dragon Realms or saving Skylands with his fellow Skylanders, this dragon’s heroic deeds land him a spot in this thing you’re reading.
#7: Sly Cooper
- Sly Cooper Series -
There’s no honor among thieves. Well, unless you’re Sly Cooper of course, in which case you’ve got plenty of the stuff. Enough to be given a spot on this list, anyway, which is really all you need in the end (it’s actually not, so take my word with a grain of salt). Whether he’s chasing down his father’s murderer while retrieving his family’s stolen legacy or thieving with his ancestors through time, this raccoon is as cool as he is heroic. And while his occupation might make you grimace at my calling him a hero, the fact that he only steals from enemy gangs, corrupt governments, and crime syndicates rather than the innocent makes Sly Cooper about as heroic as the infamous anthropomorphic thief known as Robin Hood.
- Ōkami Series -
While technically more of a sun goddess than an actual wolf, Amaterasu’s wolf form makes her more than eligible for this list. Making her debut in the incredibly artsy Ōkami, this lovely canine is probably Capcom’s most recognizable animal hero. Amaterasu even features alongside other Capcom favs in Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds. Whether scrubbing a curse from the world or facing off against comic book characters, one thing’s for certain – Amaterasu is one of gaming’s coolest animal heroes, even if she’s actually a goddess in disguise.
#5: Fox McCloud
- Star Fox Series -
Doin’ barrel rolls since before it was cool, Fox McCloud is one of gaming’s most famous animals. Of course, being one of Nintendo’s big IPs pretty much guarantees him such fame, but he has a pretty good amount of heroism to back himself up. Not only does he tend to save worlds, but he has been responsible for saving the whole Lylat System time and time again from such threats as the well-known evil scientist Andross, whether he takes the form of a big polygonal face, a giant head-with-hands, or a friggin’ brain. It takes a special kind of hero to take on a giant brain.
#4: Banjo & Kazooie
- Banjo-Kazooie Series -
What’s this? Two characters sharing one spot on this countdown? The nerve! But because this bear and bird are always sharing the same adventures and are rarely seen apart from each other (aw, how sweet…if a bit weird), I’d say it’s fair. And also shut up, it’s my list and I can do what I want. Anyway, as far as heroes go, Banjo and Kazooie are a pretty goofy pair, but a fantastic one nonetheless. At least, their games are pretty awesome. And no matter how hard the witch/skeleton/robot Gruntilda tries to wreak havoc, this bear and bird pair will always be there to stop her.
#3: Donkey Kong
- Donkey Kong Series -
Nintendo’s flagship character, Mario, owes a lot to the mighty ape known as Donkey Kong, as he wouldn’t have really been anything if he weren’t saving his girlfriend from the beast back in the day. However, the girlfriend-stealin’ gorilla we knew back then isn’t the DK we’re throwing on our countdown. No, that one has since grown up to be known as Cranky Kong, while Donkey Kong Jr. has grown up to become the Donkey Kong we know today. Making his debut in Donkey Kong Jr., where he saved his dad from the suddenly-evil-for-some-reason Mario, Donkey Kong went on to star in a freaking awesome series of croc-bashing, tiki-torching platformers that prove just how much he deserves to be in a list like this.
- Super Mario Bros. Series -
Going back even further in Mario’s lifetime, if it weren’t for the courageous dinosaur we all know and love named Yoshi, Mushroom Kingdom’s savior wouldn’t have even gotten past infancy. This heroic dino was introduced in Super Mario World, but didn’t get the chance to truly play hero until its sequel, Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island; although technically he got a chance to play hero long before Mario did. Yoshi has starred in several other games since then, such as Yoshi’s Story and the upcoming Wii U title Yarn Yoshi, and with all those adventures under his belt (or saddle; whatever that shell-thing is), Yoshi is one of gaming’s most iconic animal heroes.
#1: Sonic the Hedgehog
- Sonic the Hedgehog Series -
But gaming’s most iconic animal hero is probably our speedy pal Sonic the Hedgehog. Entering the gaming world (at the speed of sound) as Sega’s answer to Nintendo’s mascot Mario, Sonic has been one of the most famous video game heroes to come out of the animal kingdom. Sure, he’s had a few missteps, but that never stopped his momentum in the race to be #1 on our countdown (the race none of these characters knew about). With so many fantastic titles on his résumé, and hopefully some more to come in the future, Sonic earns the title of the most heroic video game animal. If you were real, Sonic, I’d give you an award of some kind.
Do you agree with these choices? What heroic video game animals would you have placed on the list?
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