Smelly the Dog/Dog

There is no doubt in my mind that the most loyal of all RPG pooches comes in the form of 'Smelly' (or Dog) from Harvest Moon. Often found alone and troubled on rainy days, it is the farmer who embraces the poor drenched mutt and provides him a warm house to stay in. Smelly is a dog that will love the player unconditionally, but will not take neglect very lightly. It's important to allow him the chance to frolic and act as a farming helper. Don't forget to play with him and brush him, or he'll feel as though you don't love him as much as he loves you! While it may sound like Smelly is a prima-donna, the important thing is that he'll always stick with you, even if your farmer fails at finding the bride of his dreams. — Sam Marchello


There is something timeless about a story featuring a boy on a journey accompanied by his dog. Earthbound is not such a story. Indeed, Ness's dog King, a self-proclaimed mutt, runs away before the boy's journey really begins. He follows Ness when spoken to in the beginning of the game and is quite willing to attack the snakes and other feral animals they encounter. Once things start to get a little hairy, though, the cowardly dog runs home and stays there for the rest of the game. He has been with Ness and his family since the lad was an infant, so that's saying something, at least. He is also aware of Giygas's evil power, though luckily does not succumb to it.

Interestingly, it seems that King could have had a larger role in the game. There are unused climbing sprites for the dog, even though the early area through which Ness travels with King does not require climbing. It can only be speculated on as to how long he might have stuck with Ness or why it was decided that his role would be cut short. Even so, perhaps the canine was not such a scaredy-cat originally. It wouldn't be until Mother 3's Boney when the series would get a truly permanent dog party member. — Cassandra Ramos


Ladies, gentlemen, I give you the most badass thing in Persona 3: Koromaru. Don't let the tiny stature or adorableness or the little wings fool you; this furry fellow is the deadliest thing in Port Island. This puppy spent months watching over a his dead owner's shrine, protecting it from the horrors of the dark hour without any support. After being recruited by S.E.E.S. he proves himself to be smarter than Junpei, cuter than Ken and pound for pound a better fighter than Akihiko. When the party gets into action there is never a moment when Koro is not dispensing death or, destruction. Whether it's calling up fire, raining down instant death or just getting up close and personal with knives, he doesn't have time to waste on boosts you don't want or status affecting magic that never works. Not only that, he also helps you get action.

Most of the people you hang out with have issues that you have to help them resolve by listening to their whining. Not Koro; he just wants to go for a walk, and if you happen to run into a lovely lady who appreciates you more now that she's seen you interact with something cute and fuzzy, so much the better. — Scott Wachter

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