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Dogmeat

Dogs, dogs never change. Whenever man seeks supplies, he brings along his faithful canine for protection and companionship. Whether those supplies are wild berries or game hunted with the point of a spear (or at the modern grocery store), the hound has been man's faithful companion. Since the world was bathed in nuclear fire, the modern grocery store has become far more hazardous than in the times of our forebears. Still, the humble dog has not changed.

Dogmeat has been less of a character and more an easter egg in the Fallout series. In the first Fallout, this Aussie Cattle dog was part of the game's many references to Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior. In this case, the dog was easier to recruit if you happened to be dressed similarly to Mel Gibson's character from the film. In Fallout 2, he would once again follow people who reminded him of former owners, making him recruitable only if the player was wearing a Vault 13 jumpsuit. The second incarnation did come with a boost in combat ability, as Dogmeat possessed an incredible number of action points, allowing him to run great distances or make four or more attacks in a single round. In Fallout 3, Dogmeat returns as an in-joke. Tucked away in an unassuming scrapyard in the Capital Wasteland, this new Dogmeat can be befriended and join players in your wanderings. Dogmeat is a loyal companion throughout the series, and Dogmeat never changes. — Scott Wachter



Pariah

In a desolate landscape littered with fresh gore and shredded bodies, a lone dog stands alive amidst the carnage. Hideous, mangled, corpselike, and with a glass eye, Pariah has seen better days and you feel happy to have this poor creature now safe in your party. He lurks on the edges of your entourage. He flees combat. He's no Dogmeat. You forget about him.

Oddly, you start losing battles more. Your guns explode in your face, killing you. Critical hits go from routine to rare, and even enemies suffer from suicidal bad luck. Fallout 2 is a game of dice rolls, and it just happens they've worked against you lately. Eventually you notice that your Luck stat is lower than it should be. Scouring the menus for an explanation, you see that you also have the Jinxed trait, and understand all the game overs you've had lately. Furious, you click everything for an answer, check each item, read every line of every piece of equipment you own, finding nothing.

Closing the interface, your cursor rests on the repulsive dog you saved... and it says "it is that damn bad luck dog." You remember seeing the text before, but now the horrible truth slowly dawns on you: Pariah is the source of all your woes. He won't leave. You can't dismiss him. He runs when you shoot at him, and your precious, limited bullets miss when the gun doesn't jam. You grimly purchase three baseball bats, take your party to the smallest room you can find, and spend ten minutes pounding all your recent miseries into Pariah's skull until it cracks. It is one of the most satisfying moments in gaming. — Glenn Wilson



Rex

It isn't easy being a cyberhound Mk II law enforcement officer support model. Especially when you're attempting survive in the nuclear mess that is the Mojave Desert. Rex is the beloved dog of The King, and he is given to the Courier as a loving companion as she crosses the wastelands. We soon learn that Rex is afraid of rats and dislikes the word hat because it rhymes with rat.

Despite being a cybermutt, Rex is loveable and loyal. However, without a proper brain, this poor hound's survival rate is half of what it should be. It is up the Courier to find a replacement brain or suffer the consequences of having her sweet companion start to malfunction. The catch? You have to kill another dog and steal its brain, which is not easy to do when you're a dog lover. Still, unlike every other dog in the wasteland, you don't have to worry about Rex becoming polluted and rancid, so a new brain is the best option. Rex's quest is sad, difficult, but rewarding in the end. He'll never leave you, never die, and will always be wagging his tail when he feels he's done exceptional work. While this cute hound dog can be found waiting for the Courier at the Lucky 38, he's definitely one companion not worth leaving behind, as he makes traveling around the Mojave a lot less lonely. — Sam Marchello

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'Suikoden' Series »



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