Top 5 A.I. and Robotic Guides Before Destiny’s Ghost

Take a look back at some of the A. I. characters in games released before Bungie's Destiny
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Bungie’s Destiny has continued its popularity and is still a hot topic of discussion. Whether you have played the game or not, you’ve most likely heard of the character Ghost, voiced by Game of Thrones‘ Peter Dinklage, the player character’s artificial intelligence companion and guide. 

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The inclusion of artificial intelligence characters like Ghost in video games is nothing new. A.I. characters are often in science fiction and futuristic stories, acting as guides and companions, antagonists, and sometimes a combination of the two. The following list are some of the more memorable A.I. characters that have helped and hindered players in games. 

*Some of these descriptions might include spoilers, if you haven’ played the games, yet!*

5. Claptrap–Borderlands I & II and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel

Claptrap, or CL4P-TP General Purpose Robot, acts as an important source of information and guidance in the Borderlands games, almost from the very start. They introduce players to new people and guide them to new areas. Plus, if you help repair damaged ones they may even lead you to some hidden loot.

Claptrap is also often a source of humor, and can even beatbox sometimes. Claptraps are friendly robots, unlike some of the other artificial intelligence characters on this list, like SHODAN from System Shock.

4. SHODAN–System Shock 12

SHODAN, or Sentient Hyper-Optimized Data Access Network, is probably the most antagonistic character on this list. She is the main villain, and final boss of both System Shock games, and focused on controlling humans.

She communicates with the player character throughout the first game, and in the second game she acts as a guide under the guise of Dr. Polito, and is only revealed as SHODAN later in the game. Though she’s using you to destroy her enemies for her she still acts as your guide, and is one of the few characters you interact with in the games.

3. Legion–Mass Effect 2 and 3

 The Mass Effect series is full of A.I. characters, particularly E.D.I. who guides Commander Shepard, supplying useful information about missions and enemies. However, Legion also acts as a guide for Shepard, and is a very significant character in the series. Legion is a “Geth,” who are a robotic race that Commander Shepard spent a large part of the first Mass Effect, fighting. When Legion shows up offering to help in Mass Effect 2 Shepard and other characters are understandably reluctant to accept help from him. 

He proves himself by helping Shepard and guides her in a few quests in Mass Effect 2 and 3. Although the outcome of his storyline is ultimately determined by choices the player makes throughout the series. 

2. Cortana–Halo Series

Cortana is an A.I. in Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2, Halo 3, and Halo 4. Throughout these games Cortana helps the Master Chief with missions, providing information and guidance whenever she is needed. She protects the Master Chief, even going so far as to sacrifice herself to save his life in Halo 4. 

Cortana is a popular and well known character from the Halo series, so popular that Microsoft has developed phones with a personal assistant named after her.

1. GLaDOS–Portal 1 and 2

In Portal, GLaDOS is really the only other character that the player character, Chell, interacts with throughout the whole game. She “guides” Chell to the various tests that she has designed. At first, she only exists as a disembodied voice, but as the game continues more is revealed about her character as it becomes very clear she wants Chell to fail the tests, until finally Chell comes face-to-robotic face with her. 

She returns in the second game at first as an antagonist and then as a reluctant assistant as she once again guides Chell through different tests and challenges. She’s at the top of this list because her witty remarks and overall presence are what make Portal 1 and 2 such wonderful games.  

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Mary-Kate Wagamon
I love writing, videogames, books, and movies. I love stories, in any form.