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Man’s Best Friends – The Very Best PlayStation Dogs

Editor’s Note: Today marks National Dog Day, so we’re republishing a feature on the very best PlayStation dogs. Original article, as published on May 2, 2019, is below.

Unless you’re a monster (or allergic or something), chances are you’re pretty okay with dogs. Man’s best friend and all that. Now, we live in an era in which the world of video games is really beginning to understand the appeal of a big ol’ floofer showing up to hang out with players. While today’s big question is whether or not the player can pet the dogs, we figured it would be fun to look back through the pages of PlayStation history at all the dogs with a bit more substance to their presence. From trusty sidekick to full-on starring roles, here are our (the Royal “our,” meaning me, my, and mine) favorite canine characters on PlayStation platforms.

Sant’ Angelo di Roma (Final Fantasy VIII)

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Final Fantasy VIII has come to be one of the more controversial entries in the series lately, due in part to the apparent disappearance of its master source code. While we may never see a re-release on the level of its PlayStation peers, you can still get the PSOne Classics version. Anyway, Angelo belongs to Rinoa, the game’s leading lady. With the exception of a few plot moments, Angelo can be summoned as one of Rinoa’s Limit Break options, and reading pet magazines can expand her list of abilities. The most famous one, of course, is Angelo Cannon, which sees Rinoa fire the brave pupper off her arm like some fuzzy ordinance.

PaRappa the Rapper (Uh, PaRappa the Rapper)

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While there are only so many PlayStation exclusive dog characters, my boy PaRappa is a tremendous one. One of the defining games of the early PlayStation identityPaRappa the Rapper combined music rhythm mechanics with the strange, but wholesome vibe emanating from artist Rodney Alan Greenblat’s cartoon style. PaRappa is generally a Good Boy, learning life lessons through the power of hip hop such as saving money, exercise, cooking, and patiently waiting in line for the bathroom.

Jake (Dog’s Life)

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From Frontier Developments, best known today for Elite: Dangerous and Jurassic World EvolutionDog’s Life was a surprisingly cute PlayStation 2 game all about the inherent strangeness of being a dog. Jake, the protagonist, is on a journey to rescue a lady dog from the local dogcatchers (video games gonna video game) and along the way he barks, smells things, and farts a lot. It truly is a dog’s life.

Amaterasu (Okami)

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A long time ago, a studio called Clover existed under Capcom. This studio produced a number of incredible games that were underappreciated at their time, leading to Clover being shut down and the eventual creation of Platinum Games in its wake. One game that has survived beyond Clover is Okami, a Zelda-like game starring the sun goddess Amaterasu. Taking the form of a wolf, she uses paint-based powers to solve puzzles, defeat bosses, so on and so forth. She’s also one of the best characters in Marvel vs Capcom 3, which is a totally objective statement and not just based on my regular team.

Dogmeat (Fallout series)

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Dogmeat doesn’t exactly originate on PlayStation or hang out exclusively on PlayStation, but he’s great so he gets to be on the list anyway. Part of Fallout‘s whole deal is incorporating other post-apocalyptic media such as Mad Max and A Boy and His Dog, both of which feature awesome supporting dog characters. Dogmeat is a sort of tribute to those works, and totally helps the player out in various ways across games. In Fallout 4, you can even dress him up with unique equipment.

Koromaru (Persona 3)

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The Persona series involves a ton of character drama, especially when the series took its current form starting with Persona 3. These games explore internal conflict manifested as demons from literal Christian Hell (and other religions, because why not throw ’em all together), and exploring the “social links” between people is a huge part of progression. So naturally, Persona 3‘s playable cast includes a dog who just barks and stuff. Koromaru is great though, and plays into the game’s mechanics in fun and creative ways.

Annoying Dog (Undertale)

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