I hear a bark in the distance. Although I haven’t had food or water for days, I break into a dead sprint. My weak legs are dragging behind as I propel myself forward. The thought of life in this wasteland was once a faint dream. But this canâ€™t be a mirage. I may be going crazy as my rad counter drums away, but this feels too real to be another hopeless venture. Finally, after running around this land alone, I have met my companion!
A companion is the key to survival in this desolate barren-earth. Let’s face it, it isn’t called a wasteland for nothing. The sense of depression and hopelessness is overwhelming, but finding that one companion can shed an ounce of life amongst the dead.
Once you find that glimmer of hope in the otherwise desolate ruin of the world, things get a little less lonely, the sun start to peek through the dense stench of death that corrupts the sky. Companions not only can help fetch supplies, they can carry your burden literally and figuratively as well.
Whatever post-apocalyptic event which may have occurred; items, those useful and useless, have been scattered everywhere. In this expansive world, you certainly donâ€™t have the time or the ability to get all you need by yourself. Your companions often play the pivotal role of that beacon of hope.
As the world crumbles beneath your feet, things are left behind. In your past life, you werenâ€™t a hoarder; but since everything was taken from you during the apocalyptic event, everything you get your hands on must be kept. Since you (probably) aren’t a steroid-infused superhuman, you canâ€™t carry everything yourself. Instead of ditching your highly useful weapon, a beaten up AK-47 useful for its parts, you can ditch if off to your companion. They wonâ€™t even complain either.
Alas, we venture into why becoming attached is always a terrible, terrible idea. The most notable companion I ever had was from the game Fallout 3. And, god bless his soul, his name was Dog Meat. Little did I realize the irony in his name. We ventured for hours, fending off ghouls and any other (often radioactively infused) abominations. He saved my life plenty of times, but poor Dog Meat was too headstrong. At the sight of any enemy, he would sprint headlong into battle long before I could command him to come back. On that very day, a mere hour of game time since we met, Dog Meat, my only friend in this dead universe, was gone.
As I trudged through the world killing everything, I always had my long lost pal in my mind. Did he die fending off a supermutant? Or did the radiation find its way into his poor heart? I often draw up possible scenarios as to where my best friend could be, always coming up with a tragic ending. But I keep killing, like a machine, in hopes of finding him dead or alive. As the ending concludes, I face it and realize a rule I have since taken through gaming, never get attached to companions.