Character duos in video games are a long-standing tradition, offering two heroes for one charge. These pairs work together to take on different challenges in the story and rely on each other to get their back when things get tough and the odds pile up against them.
This arrangement will generally be in the form of a companion character, which players can control and direct in cooperative action. Sometimes they might even play half of that duo while the NPC meets the other half. This could lead to some of the famous pairings seen throughout the history of the video game.
No matter how the duo is represented, this trope of having more than one hero originated in the early ’90s and still exists.
1) Mario and Yoshi
While Mario and Luigi are the most famous duo in the Mario universe, during the ’90s, the pairing of Mario and his loyal dinosaur companion Yoshi saw a rise in popularity. This was thanks to the release of Super Mario World, which introduced the green dinosaur to Mario canon.
Yoshi was a rideable NPC in the title above and could eat enemies using his tongue and gain various abilities by taking Soopa projectiles. Since then, the teamwork of Mario and Yoshi has become legendary in the franchise and has appeared in several installments.
Aside from serving as a rideable stand, Yoshi has also made several appearances as a partner or fully playable character in the Mario series. The most recent was Super Mario Odyssey, which was released in 2017.
However, fans are always happier when they can get a back from this green dinosaur than just control it.
2) Questions and clatter
Ratchet and Clank is a series of platform games and third-person shooters from Insomniac before the days of Marvel’s Spider-Man. This series was first launched in 2002 and featured a pair of heroes known as Ratchet and Clank.
Together, they thwarted the plans of evil businessman, President Drake, and his evil henchmen.
Ratchet is a member of the Lumbax family and hails from his home world of Feldene, where he meets Clank, a robot. After their first adventure together, the two heroes appeared in several video games leading up to the last one, Ratchet, and Clank: Rift Apart, in 2021.
In its dynamics, Ratchet is generally the character that users control directly, and Clank offers additional support via dialogue and sometimes acts as a jetpack. When Ratchet is not available, they may control Clank, who can use “Gadgebots” to perform various actions.
3) Banjo and Kazue
Developed by Rare, Banjo-Kazooie is a video game series that features an anthropomorphic bear and a large red bird named Kazooie. The series was first launched with Banjo-Kazooie in 1998, in which the two heroes had to save Banjo’s sister Tooty from the evil witch Gruntilda.
The duo appeared for a second time in the sequel video game, Banjo-Tooie, and again in Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty’s Revenge. He reached the final title in 2008, with Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts.
Since then, this franchise has been dormant. However, the inseparable duo has made other appearances in Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
In the main series, players control Banjo and Kazooie as one unit, the latter resting on Banjo’s back as they travel through different levels of platforming.
There are no independent controls for either, although specific actions such as flying and rolling are performed with the assistance of the Kazooie, while Banjo does most of the rest on his own.
4) Master Chef and Cortana
One of the newest partnerships on the scene, since 2000, has been between Master Chief and his AI companion, Cortana, as featured in the Halo series. This was first seen in the video game Halo: Combat Evolved, where the two first paired up and went into the Halo episode.
This partnership went on for a long time, with Chief and Cortana working nearly concurrently like one being. While the two have parted ways on more occasions, they always find their way back to each other.
However, with Halo 5, things got worse between the two, which made Cortana let off a bit of a force. However, after some redemption in Halo Infinite and sacrificing herself to help the Master Chief, Cortana appears to be gone for good.
Except that AI, the new partner of the Chief, known simply as The Weapon at first turns out to be a complete version of Cortana before she meets Chief. So it looks like these two will save the galaxy again for the foreseeable future.
5) Agent 47 and Diana Burnwood
Hitman: Codename 47 from 2000 launched a series of stealth titles that would soon launch an entire franchise. It featured cold-blooded account killer Agent 47, along with his handler, Diana Burnwood.
The two work with ICA, one of the best and most accurate deathmatch tools ever in video game media.
Diana collects assassination contracts from various agents and hands them over to 47 to carry out. These two have been strong features of the Hitman titles since their inception.
As of the 2016 reboot, the overall story has also featured Mrs. Burnwood, giving her a more significant role.
Diana is the voice in 47’s ear in most of the games in the franchise, providing players with vital information. It is able to notify them of important events that occur in connection with the goal, and in some games it also highlights possible opportunities to eliminate it.
If Agent 47 is the sword that cuts without restraint, then Diana is the hand to use.