Lately we’ve been inundated with good dogs in video games, protecting you on long quests, providing companionship, and just being god-awful cute. But we aren’t talking about those pups today; instead lets a take a look at some mutts in need of a muzzle. Who’s a good dog? Not these guys.
5. Zombie Dogs (Resident Evil Series)
Classic. Timeless. Missing parts of its skin and muscle. Resident Evil’s dog monsters are what immediately comes to mind when someone mentions “zombie dog”. Most often portrayed as doberman pinschers or other guard breeds, zombie dogs accidentally became infected with the t-virus during the outbreak in Raccoon City, turning the police department’s once loyal pooches into slathering beasts. The first time they jump through the hallway window in the original Resident Evil is a jump scare few forget.
4. Wolfhounds (Dishonored)
What’s a stealth game without guard dogs to hinder your progress? Dishonored has the strangely designed Wolfhounds; lean, long-faced attack dogs that accompany Overseers. According to an interview about the game’s art direction, the dogs were designed with a crocodile and giraffe in mind, which shows in their massive jaws and high shoulders. While they’re annoying to sneak by I loved how their inclusion humanized their owners, who by rights could have been one-note religious zealots. Instead we get to hear grown men cooing over their sick puppies and praising them for tearing out rioters throats.
3. The Royal Guard Dogs (Undertale)
Not just a single guard dog, but an entire unit! Snowdin’s incredibly pet-able dog unit is comprised of Doggo, Dogamy, Dogaressa, and the Lesser and Greater Dogs. Play the game like a typical RPG (or with malicious intent) and they’re a pretty easy fight, but taking the pacifist route has you petting and playing fetch with them until they calm down. They’re a lot less hostile than the other entries on the list, but I think that’s what makes them stand out as a memorable enemy. We’re used to defending ourselves against snarling attack dogs; these ones just want a good pat on the head.
2. Dog Monsters (Silent Hill series)
Dogs are a running theme in Silent Hill, and the foggy town’s kennels don’t lack for horrors. Often emaciated and mangy, these monsters are bloodthirsty and difficult to avoid, no matter what their incarnation. Of the 5 different dog monsters that appear in various games my favorite would be the Double Head of Silent Hill 3. The creature’s face is split in half, with either side able to move independently, which elicits a gruesome Cerberus-like design. The creatures themselves symbolize the main character’s dual identity, as well as the more obvious fear of dogs, which one might develop after dealing with beasts like these.
1. Great Grey Wolf Sif (Dark Souls)
Alrighty this might be cheating a bit, but the massive Sif is a canine, so lets let it slide, huh? The beloved companion of Sir Artorias and guardian of his grave is a boss of epic proportions; huge, fast, and equipped with a wicked sword. If you play through the Artorias of the Abyss DLC you find out Artorias had sacrificed himself to save the poor pup, and after teaming up with Sif yourself, the beast will regret that you two have to battle to the death later on. It doesn’t help that the poor thing starts limping when brought down to critical health either, and mixed with the mournful music that’s played during the battle, its one of the saddest fights in a game that prides itself on having no happy endings.
There’s an awful lot of great dog enemies out there. Is your favorite pooch not on the list? Leave them in the comments!