Ask people to identify the moment at which the internet reached it's zenith and you'll likely receive a range of diverse responses. Some may even suggest that the internet hasn't peaked, and that the best is yet to come. But for me, the medium's finest achievement must surely be the inception of What-dog.net a website which allows the user to upload a photograph of their chosen hound and receive a summary of the subject's breed and associated attributes.
Granted, the site is technically designed to work only with dogs but, possibly through the intervention of some trickster canine god, it also works with photographs of people. Granted, this functionality is intermittent at best, but that's no reason to to exploit the glitch for my own devious ends, employing the site's hound recognition systems to assess the canine qualities of various games characters. So without further ado, let the puppy parade begin!
#10 - Aeris (Final Fantasy 7)
This highly scientific analysis of Aeris' doggy demeanour seems to be reasonably accurate. Describing her as a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, What-dog.net describes her as gentle, an affectionate companion and sweet tempered, attributes which certain match her in-game incarnation. Energetic might be a bit of a stretch, though - she's been playing dead for a while, and doesn't seem to know when to call it a day. Perhaps she's just waiting for a Materia treat.
#9 - Booker DeWitt (Bioshock Infinite)
Energetic does, on the other hand, does seem like an accurate description of Bioshock Infinite's Booker DeWitt who is apparently a Brussels Griffon. Adorable does seem like something of a stretch, although his canine status would certainly explain why he spent so much of his time eating things he found in bins. This also seems to be a direct contradiction of What-dog's assertion that he has the face of a werewolf. Let's just hope the werewolf in question isn't Jacob from the Twilight series.
#8 - Ellie (The Last of Us)
Aww.. isn't she cute! Look at her tiny legs and her little nose... see the way she runs around, so playfully, right before she.. puts an arrow straight through that guy's eyeball. Okay, perhaps wilful is indeed a more appropriate assessment of Ellie's personality. Be warned, though, her last visit to the vets didn't end well. For anyone. Furthermore, she's still banned from the zoo after that incident with the giraffe.
#7 - Ethan Mars (Heavy Rain)
What-dog's dogputers classify Ethan as a golden retriever, advising that he gets along with just about everyone, is strong and active and eager to please. All of which might make him sound like the ideal dog, but be warned - he is easily distracted, which can prove problematic. Two of his puppies have so far to be rescued from the road, having wandered off while Ethan was staring at a bee.
#6 - Garrus (Mass Effect Trilogy)
Squat-legged big-eared Garrus certainly has the tenacity of a bulldog, and can be fiercely loyal. He does warm to strangers, in the sense that he warms up his laser rife when he sees someone he doesn't recognise, just in case he needs to divorce their head from their shoulders. He's pretty resilient, even though he's looking a little worse for wear these days. It's probably best to keep him away your budgie's cage, though, as he has an unexplained phobia of cuttlefish bones. Ideally suited for work as a shepherd's dog.
#5 - Dick Gumshoe (Phoenix Wright)
Bossy and energetic are fair assessments of Dick Gumshoe's canine qualities, though woe betide anyone who tries to separate him from his manky green blanket. He's very loyal to his current keeper almost ridiculously so, having been mistreated by a previous owner who whipped him whenever he chewed up her newspaper.
#4 Agent 47 (Hitman)
Agent 47 is certainly quick witted and adept at keeping out of the way of strangers. It's worth noting that his toys can be something of a tripping hazard. One former owner having had to go to hospital when they slipped on one of his rubber squeaky toys and fell downstairs. He is also especially fond of costumes, the local postman having been distinctly unamused when he found 47 running around with his hat on his head.
#3 Kenny (The Walking Dead)
While What-dog isn't entirely sure as to whether Kenny is a Staffordshire Bull Terrier or not, his description seems reasonably accurate. He can be affectionate if treated correctly, and is certainly strong, able to lift a breeze block several times his own weight. He's currently homeless as his previous two owners have expired, his circumstances having lead to some associated behavioural problems.
#2 Rainbow Mika (Street Fighter 5)
R. Mika's flamboyant style matches up with her alleged poodle-like qualities, though I'd question whether punch someone repeatedly in the face, before leaping on them from a great height, qualifies as 'getting along'. Warning - may require regular worming, as she has a habit of dragging her bottom across the carpet.
#1 Trico (The Last Guardian)
What better way to end this first Dogloadable Content than by seeing what What-dog makes of this... thing? It classifies this oddity as a Dutch Shepherd Dog which seems like a disservice to that particular breed. The trailer for the oft-delayed The Last Guardian markets Trico as a rather more agile version of The Neverending Story's Falcor, which would certainly warrant describing him as athletic. Then again, I never once got the sense than Falcor was one meal away from savagely biting Bastion in twain, a vibe I definitely get from Trico.
That, then, brings this Dogloadable Content to an end. Thanks go, again, to What-dog.net for their in-depth and entirely scientific analysis of our fictional participants. Which games characters would you like to see subjected to What-dog's scrutiny? Comment below.