Content Warning: The following article contains spoilers for the video game Stray.
The recently released adventure game Stray has taken the Internet by storm, thanks to its adorable protagonist and surprisingly complex dystopian world. Set in a bleak future without any humans, players control a cat who falls and gets trapped in a Walled City along with its robotic inhabitants known as Companions.
These NPCs become the cat’s source of crucial information that eventually helps it escape. There are several of them with distinct enough personalities and backstories that make them memorable. Fans on Reddit have even shared some of their favorite Companions, with the best ones leaving a lasting impression on gamers for a variety of reasons.
In a future controlled by a greedy corporation, even the simplest joys become challenging to achieve, which include dancing. This is bad news for dancing Companions like Miko and his crew, who just want to keep their “groove levels” up.
The Redditor danimidsommar writes that their favorite Companion is Miko because he “hates the Sentinels and loves to dance.” The Sentinels and Peacemakers are no match for Miko’s impressive moves, as the enemies aren’t programmed to be as groovy as the Companion and his dance group.
The dystopian world of Stray often has disturbing clues about humanity’s fate, which is why it’s pleasantly surprising to experience heartwarming moments with Companions. One of these moments happens early on in the Slums when players encounter Grandma.
The user SailorPizza1107 shares how they “really like Grandma” and they don’t have to say more for other Redditors to agree. The sweet Companion spends most of her time knitting for no one in particular and gamers will see several of her creations on other robots. She even becomes instrumental in a quest, as the Poncho she makes helps the cat’s task for another Companion named Elliot.
Players who love to explore will likely encounter Morusque within a few minutes of being in the Slums. The musician has a functioning guitar, but is unable to play any songs without the cat’s help. He asks the protagonist to bring him sheet music from around the Slums, which he’ll then play for the cat who can nap in a spot right next to him.
This is why Morusque is Fun-Nefariousness254’s favorite Companion, as the user likes that he “just wanted to play songs and be a better musician” and will even give “a cute little badge” if players find the sheet music scattered around the area.
One of the Outsiders and arguably the most successful among the group of rebels, Clementine, manages to make it all the way to Midtown during her quest to go beyond the Walled City. She’s a brave and brilliant Companion who eventually sacrifices her chance at leaving to keep the cat safe, which is an action that makes her even more admirable.
There are other reasons to love her, too, with RyanJD87 that her “apartment” makes them “really want to be roomies with Clem.” The cozy space the robot manages to build for herself in Midtown feels like an escape from the daunting presence of the Sentinels and Peacemakers.
Elliot the programmer has been featured in some of the funniest memes about Stray, as he’s a quirky character with an unfortunate situation. When players first find him, he’s barely able to function, let alone type, as he’s shivering from how cold the room is.
Grandma’s Poncho fixes him right up, though, which is part of what amuses imnotu24, who found that they “really liked Elliot.” They recall how the Companion “was so willing to help” the cat fix the Broken Tracker and “asked for nothing in return.” It’s nice to be able to help the NPC, who’s hopefully still holding onto that cute Poncho.
After jumping from one roof to another in the Slums, players will meet the colorful and energetic Momo. The Companion is the first Outsider the cat encounters and he provides crucial information about the movement and how they should move forward.
When asked who their favorite Companion is, paragon-interrupt leaves a funny comment saying other Redditors can “take a guess.” It’s pretty obvious, as their user flair – “official momo stan” – gives it away. Momo overcomes his fears to guide the protagonist through Zurk-filled locations and even stays behind at one point so that the cat could safely get away. He’s a likable character who hopefully found his way outside in the end.
While everyone else in the Slums was running away from the cat, the Guardian bravely stepped up to face the stranger. The mysterious character seems to serve as both protector and leader in that area, although there isn’t a lot of information about his personal arc.
This doesn’t stop SculpX from considering him as their favorite Companion, although they admit the game didn’t do a good job with “his involvement in the cat’s adventure.” Other players would probably agree that a “DLC about him” would be something they’re interested in, as the underused NPC seems to have a world of his own and a potentially compelling backstory.
Near the very top of Antvillage, players will find the eccentric robot Companion called Zbaltazar, who is initially annoyed by the cat’s interruption of his transcendental meditation. He’s one of the weirdest looking NPCs, as he has connected himself to a bunch of monitors that all show his shocked and then pleased reactions.
The user standinginplainview describes how they really “vibed with Zbaltazar” because they “loved that when” the cat “cuddled up to them, all of the screens they were plugged into turned to hearts.” He may be operating on a whole other level, but he doesn’t hesitate to make time to cat snuggles.
There are several cat-like things players can do in Stray, which include cuddling up to some robots who are friendly with the protagonist. It’s worth trying with every NPC that allows for it, as they have varying reactions that can range from terrified (like with the Peacemakers) to heartwarming, which is the case for the cowboy.
The Redditor rainbowcanoe responds with “the cowboy” when asked who their favorite Companion is because the robot lets the cat “nap with” it. It’s entertaining to watch the protagonist leap onto the resting NPC, startle him a bit, and then sleep right on top of his chest.
Among the numerous references and Easter eggs in the game is a nod to Back to the Future, which is clearly the inspiration for the Companion named Doc (and his son Seamus). The robot even says a line taken directly from the movie when he explains that he needs “1.21 Gigowatts” to get his weapon to work. Doc Brown needed that, too, to send Marty McFly to the future.
This is more than enough for purgatorybob1986 to consider him his favorite character, saying they “just love the reference” to “one of” their “favorite movies.” There’s even a touching reunion scene between Doc and Seamus, who also looks a lot like Marty (but is named after Seamus McFly).