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25 most perfect Nintendo partners

Celebrating the sidekicks, assistants and allies who've brightened our digital journeys

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11. FONDUE AND MARIE

If Rhythm Thief stole your heart, it's thanks to these two
One is a lovely, enormously likeable Brit who can play a mean violin solo. The other is a dog who rhythmically rips meat to bits. Together they're two charming allies for art thief Raphael in Sega's Parisian musical. In a Layton-like plot, the willowy Marie makes for a more appealing foil than the Prof's Cockney pal Luke, while Fondue proves an endearingly brave and loyal canine chum. We can't pick a favourite so - cop-out time! - we'll let both of them on to our list.

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12. DICK GUMSHOE

Phoenix's pal has the Wright stuff
Gumshoe is a clumsy idiot whose inability to do his own job properly makes him a laughing stock among his peers. No idea why we empathise so much with him, but there you go. Even when he's actually proving a hindrance to the investigations of his spiky legal buddy, his wonky non sequiturs and love of food make him a charming, if obstructive, companion. Bonus points for building the Blue Badger too, obviously.

13. SEBASTIAN TUTE

Wii Music's maestro
Ol' Tutey is a hard taskmaster, admonishing you for not doing better even as he praises your interpretations of famous tunes. But here's something about his words that makes learning how to parp out Twinkle Twinkle Little Star that much more fun.

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14. MISSILE

Because every dead dog has his day. And bones are no problem
Ghost Trick's spectral protagonist may be the wiry Sissel, but its true hero is the courageous, ebullient Missile, a Pomeranian pooch unwilling to let a pesky inconvenience such as his own death get in the way of a desire to help others. Missile carks it twice during Shu Takumi's barking [Dearie me - Ed] adventure, both times coming back with an additional ability. But it's his indomitable spirit and heroic selflessness that resonate most of all.

15. LAKITU

We're hooked on this cloudy charmer
Pay no heed to his gittish pals who pick the most perfectly frustrating times to lob Spinies at Mario - we're talking about Mario Kart's kindly race-starter, who's ever-ready to help out any karter in trouble. Not only will he handily tell you when you're going the wrong way, he'll fish you out of water, lava or even seemingly bottomless voids - for a small fee, natch. If that wasn't enough, Miyamoto loves him, too. "He seems to be very free, floating in the air, going anywhere," the great man once pondered.

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