My Skyrim Puppy and Other Video Game Pets

I had a Giga Pet, too… but I think my mom might have drawn the line at the Nano Puppy.

Maybe it was those Tamagotchi pets I had when I was a kid, but I just love having a pet in a video game. There’s something so comforting about having a loyal companion by my side to take away some of the stress of battling all those in-game enemies. That’s why I wrote an article about my personal picks for the top 5 video game pets over on Population GO, which you can read here.

One of my personal favorite video game pets is Vigilance, from Skyrim. It’s a sad story, really. On my first Skyrim playthroughI purchased him just outside Markarth and went galavanting off to Mzulft with him, thinking those gorgeous Dwemer ruins would be a fun bonding battle for us.

Instead, the game got glitchy. My in-game hubby got stuck in a corner somewhere and wouldn’t move, so I had to reload. And after battling mechanical spiders and dwarven centurions for what felt like ages, we hit some tough chaurus and Falmer, and we died. I don’t know why that corner was so difficult for me to get through. It shouldn’t have been, but I kept dying and reloading and changing strategies and dying. Marcurio blasted our enemies with lightning and Viggo snarled away at my side, but we just couldn’t seem to take those guys down.

Finally, on the 4th or 5th go, I made it through with Marcs. But when I looked over at Viggo to celebrate our triumph, I found him slumped on the ground, dead.

Vigilance, my little hero with absolutely zero stealth skills.

Maybe I should have reloaded the game. I don’t think Vigilance respawns. But at that point, I was so fed up with reloading that I sadly left him a virtual flower — or maybe it was some wheat — took the Falmer sword that had slain him, and moved on.

Some might say he was a weak puppy to get killed on his first outing with me, but let’s face it: it was my lack of skills that got him killed. I prefer a stealthy attack, and Viggo just really didn’t. But he died valiantly. I hung the Falmer sword on the weapons rack in my Riften house to remember him. And with my new playthrough of Skyrim, I’m totally going to find him and give him a second chance at a long life.

I guess the moral of the story is don’t pay for a war dog. Or maybe, don’t get so attached to video game pets. But ever since, I’ve named every anonymous video game pet Viggo in his honor. (I’d probably name a Tamagotchi pet Viggo, too.)

So if you’re into video game pets, you can read my article on Pop GO. I wasn’t able to talk about Viggo over there — that’s just way too personal — but Epona from Zelda and D0g from Half-Life 2 make appearances. =)

— Ashley

12 thoughts on “My Skyrim Puppy and Other Video Game Pets”

  1. Knowing full well that it’s entirely artificial, that’s a sad story! Lol. I tend to reload over and over until my pet survives and then just tell it to stay at my place; it’s too stressful, for so,e weird reason…

    (on a side note, I’m pretty sure the dog respawns, which cheapens the bond…)

    1. I didn’t know the dogs would stay at a house indefinitely. I’m totally going to try that. Hearthfire lets you have pets, which I love… except you have to adopt a child first. That seems a little strange to me, but I’m all for adoption if it means I get a pet mudcrab!

  2. Also, I got really attached to one of my horses in Red Dead Redemption; there’s even an achievement for making it through 20 missions or so with the same horse. Really hard to get in some ways, and I was really proud to get it accidentally, and really bummed when it finally died.

  3. I remember the Nano pets and Tamagotchis! I had three of those I believe, and I remember when it was a huge thing back in the day. Reading your story about your Skyrim puppy made me sad. I hope your new puppy will survive your next playthrough. It’s funny how you can get attached to virtual animals. I must admit, I was happy to have the Mabari war hound from the Dragon Age games. It was cool how you get a canine companion and they help you out in battle too. You have a friend and a battle asset at the same time.

    1. Thanks Simpleek! I totally agree with you on the Mabari war hound. He was one of the fiercest dog companions in any game I’ve played. Like you said, loyal friend and fighter at the same time! I like that you get to type in his name, too… that was kind of a rare treat. =)

  4. I remember reloading to save Dogmeat in Fallout 3 a few times – it’s funny how you end up becoming attached to these pets, even though they tend to get in the way most of the time. Good call on nominating Agro as number one on the Population GO article by the way!

    1. Oh that’s a great choice, Dogmeat would be my top 10 list for sure. He was a special one as I always appreciate having enemy attention off of me! And you’re right, those pets often get in the way, but there’s just something comforting about having a pet. I think they say having a pet is a stress-reliever in real life, so I suppose that makes sense in-game too! I’m glad you like Agro as well. Taking that journey with him was a pretty emotional experience, and I think it’s great the video games can accomplish that.

  5. I get super attached to video game pets as well. I absolutely love games that give me a chance to get them. This is potentially why I like pokemon games so much. One of the most major acts of devotion that I have committed for my significant other is naming my first ever golden chocobo after him. After getting my first real pet of my own though, all my in-game pets tend to get named after him. As much fun as having in-game pets are (and you get none of the drawbacks of real pets), it’s just not the same once you have something fluffy (or scaly) to greet you at home.

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