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The Battle of Gaming’s Endearing Inanimate Objects with Short “Lifespans”

Teddy Bear from Earthbound


WCC from Portal

Of course, they would have continued “living” if they’d never met you.

There are plenty of characters in the gaming world that we fall in love with, with little more reason than the way they talk, or the number of games they’ve been in. Inanimate objects aren’t often included in this fanfest—they’re left to the scenery, or as simple accessories to someone greater. And maybe that’s a better existence for them. Portal’s Weighted Companion Cube and Earthbound’s Teddy Bear may be beloved and respected and have pages of fanart boasting their visages, but in their respective games they’re merely cannon fodder. The purpose of both is to protect and assist you on a portion of your journey, being drug along obediently for as long as they are needed, and then be disintegrated into ash (or a pile of fluff). Yet each manages to capture our hearts along the way, so that their demise is not taken lightly. When a Teddy Bear takes mortal damage, it receives the same final blow and screeching record sound that any other character does before his death. And then it no longer drags along behind you on the world map, keeping you company with its adorable little bear self. The “death” of the Weighted Companion Cube is a full-on production, which can be drawn out extensively by those who have grown quite attached to their hefty friend. The guilt of putting the WCC in its final resting place is strangely significant, considering the only differences between this cube and every other you’ve encountered are the hearts printed on its sides, and the affectionate name assigned to it. And yet, many of us refused to do so until we realized our despair was futile; the Cube must go. Pitted in an actual battle against one another, this would obviously be a draw: they’re inanimate objects, and no initial or final attack could ever be made. I guess over time, as they sat unmoving in their battle stances, the Teddy Bear would wither and disintegrate under environmental changes, while the WCC should remain unsoiled for the most part. Dragged into a firefight for player-assistance, the Teddy Bear’s 100 HP would not last long, while WCC’s seemingly infinite HP would protect you like a shield of true love. Impenetrable, stone love. Though it offers some feelings of nostalgia and a furry companion for travelers’ whose dog was too pansy to join them, the Teddy Bear just can’t compete with the Weighted Companion Cube. I don’t enjoy the Bear turning into a useless pile of fluff because of me, but I never mourn his passing. And besides, “carrying a bear and riding [a bike] is impossible for you.” The Teddy Bear is actually a nuisance at times. Obviously… Weighted Companion Cube, for the win.