This article originally appeared in Nintendo Gamer magazine.
From pirate leader to princess
Rivalling Skyward Sword's fearless heroine as our favourite Zelda, Tetra gets the nod for her feisty spirit, her sense of adventure, and the fact that we've had three games to get to know her. Sure, she may not have had a great deal of screentime in Phantom Hourglass, but in Four Swords Adventures's Japan-only Navi Trackers mode she's a wonderfully exuberant host, babbling cheerfully away over one of the best multiplayer games we've played.
02. ADMIRAL BOBBERY
A sad-eyed sea dog with a tragic tale to tell
Quite aside from being an explosive ally in GameCube favourite The Thousand-Year Door (his Bob-ombast move can blow up several enemies at once), Bobbery makes our list for his heartbreaking backstory. Having abandoned his seafaring ways following the death of his beloved Scarlette, he agrees to join Paper Mario's quest for the fifth Crystal Star only after the discovery of a letter from his late wife, imploring him not to "lose both your life's loves". Do excuse us - we've got a bit of nitrocellulose powder in our eyes.
03. LUIS SERA
Resi 4's cocksure sidekick can certainly wield a pistol
The laid-back Spaniard provides some much-needed light relief from the near-constant threat of death by farmyard tools in Shinji Mikami's GameCube masterpiece. He doesn't appear to be entirely focused on the job, mind, preferring to offer saucy observations on the assets of president's daughter Ashley. He's packing a few baleestics of his own, mind, shooting up a storm in the incredible barn siege set-piece before his cameo is tragically ended, with bad guy Osmund Saddler turning his innards into Ganado tapas. Adios, amigo.
Hootie hoo! Let's hear it for Crosso's charming curator
Animal Crossing's museum owner may speak in gibberish, but if he didn't we reckon he'd have a clipped upper-class English accent. There's certainly something about his idiosyncratic yet eloquent speech patterns that suggests a classic British eccentric in the mould of Terry Thomas or Leslie Phillips. You can't help but admire his dedication, too: making himself available 24/7 - even if he regularly falls asleep on the job - is tricky for a nocturnal creature. But whether offering thoughtful facts on fish, or horror-stricken observations on the bugs he so despises, this hard-working owl is an absolute hoot.
Zack's simian sidekick is a perma-happy helper
Capcom's unfairly ignored adventure Zack and Wiki - which still offers some of the Wii's most inventive motion controls - stars cheeky monkey Wiki as the perkiest of assistants to pirate hero Zack. He offers regular advice and encouragement on the quest for Barbaros' treasure, and even sacrifices himself near the end for the sake of his chum [Spoilers! - Ed] but don't worry! He turns up very much alive and well [Spoilers!!!! - Ed]. But really, his official description captures his unique appeal best: "Wiki is a golden helicopter monkey that can turn into a bell". Need we say more?