Cheeky Charlatans: Daxter

It seems to be a common theme that a lot of these “foolish” characters tend to not make the best first impression.  Take Daxter, for example.  Sure, you might remember him now as a goofy and likable character in Jak 2 and Jak 3, but when I first encountered him in the very first game in the series, Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy, I found him to be incredibly annoying.

Oh, he was supposed to be funny.  He was supposed to be the loud-mouthed comic relief and foil to the quiet and stoic Jak.  But during his original appearance, rather than laugh at Daxter’s antics, I simply found him to be downright obnoxious, not to mention rather callous whenever Jak dies during their adventure.  No, you cannot have Jak’s bug collection, Daxter!  Your friend is dead!  Dead!  “Better you than me”, huh?  I mean, it’s not like the whole reason we’re on this silly quest to begin with is because someone fell into a vat of Dark Eco and turned into a furry, orange ottsel!  Show a little gratitude, you aggravating, little weasel!

Ahem, fortunately, Daxter more than redeemed himself as the series went on.  Starting in the bizarrely gritty sequel, the creatively named Jak 2, this wise-cracking and very confident little ottsel actually managed to become…pretty darn funny.  What a huge improvement that was, huh?  At first, I couldn’t stand him, and now he’s the funniest thing in the whole series!  From pestering the rather intimidating Torn to getting drunk at Krew’s bar or purposely startling the timid Vin, Daxter did an excellent job injecting some lighthearted fun into a series that was otherwise unrecognizable from where it had begun.

Plus, Daxter even gets a little bit of gameplay in Jak 2 and Jak 3, making him less of a useless lump than he was in the first game.  And perhaps most importantly of all, he proves his loyalty to his friend by spending two years attempting to free poor Jak from prison!  Not to mention sticking by Jak’s side even during his banishment to the Wasteland at the start of Jak 3.  All right, Daxter, I take it back, you’re a pretty good friend.

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