Happy Thanksgiving! In light of millions of out feathered friends sadly leaving this mortal realm for the sake of filling our hungry bellies, I would like to praise those avians who have made us happy over the years in various video games. The gaming world is loaded with iconic birds, some are edible and others certainly aren’t, and these are just a few of my favorites.
If you know me, there is no question as to which bird comes out on top!
Okay, that header image is a little bit mean. I love Chocobos and everything they bring to the iconic Final Fantasy series. From the second game onward, Final Fantasy’s enormous, ridable birds have been there for us through thick and thing, helping us avoid unnecessary battles on the overworld map, charging into battle to turn the tide, racing under us for fun and games, and giving us a boost to get to those hard to reach areas.
When Final Fantasy XV announced that its car would be a central part of the experience, my heart dropped at the thought of Final Fantasy not having Chocobos. Luckily, my fears were put to rest with the introduction of the birds in a later update.
I’m not so sure if Final Fantasy has a history of eating Chocobos. I can’t recall any certain instance, but you can hunt them for their pelts in Final Fantasy Tactics if you’re a MONSTER!
Pidgeotto has always been one of the coolest Flying Pokémon around. While he’s not as common as the smaller Pidgey and not as powerful as a fully evolved Pidgeot, many forget that he’s actually one of the first Pokémon we in North America ever got to meet.
Back when Nintendo Power was hyping Pokémon in its mini-issues in 1998, we were treated to comics adapted from the anime, which hadn’t started airing yet. One of the first Pokémon the eternal loser Ash Ketchum was Pidgeotto, and since it was more evolved than the rest, it seemed like a superhero. Fast, agile, much cooler than Caterpie or even Pikachu!
Thankfully, Pidgeotto in the game eventually got a redesign to match this image because it was originally a porker! Just look at that gen 1 sprite and tell me it doesn’t look like it would be delicious with stuffing and gravy.
Duck Hunt Ducks
Here’s a video game bird that’s perfectly acceptable to eat, given that you can actually hit it and not be laughed at like a goon. For three decades now, the world has taken aim at the iconic ducks from the NES classic Duck Hunt, but we often forget that they are actually the antagonists of the game! We, the protagonist of a first-person shooter, have a goal of hunting some duck meat, and they oppose that goal, the very definition of an antagonist.
Instead, most players’ ire is aimed at our sidekick companion, the dog. Poor dog, sure he might laugh and antagonize you when you fail, but don’t forget that he is ultimately there to help you. There’s a difference between antagonizing and being an antagonist!
While I am generally opposed to franchises getting a “gritty reboot,” the Mega Man franchise was desperate for a new look after six repetitive games. Mega Man X came along, changed the way we look at the Blue Bomber and did a fantastic job giving the franchise a little bit more edge. Nowhere was this captured better than with Storm Eagle, who is easily the game’s coolest Reploid boss fight.
His diving attack is powerful enough to kill anyone fighting him without the dash boots, and the tornado ability he gives X is second to none when it comes to clearing out stages. Capcom also pulled out all the stops designing his airborne stage among the airships, and while Spark Mandrill takes the prize for the game’s best theme song, Storm Eagle’s theme takes an east second.
And because he’s made of metal, you wouldn’t exactly want to eat this guy either.
Here’s a bird you’ll never be able to eat! No matter how many sword slashes, exploding bombs, or ultimate magic attacks Link attempts, the immortal birds of Hyrule just simply can’t be killed! To make matters worse, the harder Link tries, the angrier the cuccos become, and a sudden flash mob will tear the legendary Hero of Time to death!
Only in one game can Link actually kill the birds, but that whole game turned out to be a dream! Sorry Link, that was just a fantasy. The tasty flesh of cucco meat is but a unicorn that he will never catch.
Nintendo’s king of attitude, you wouldn’t even be able to keep on Falco’s heels let alone shoot him down to eat him! The ace pilot is one of the most skilled flyers in the galaxy, and with Fox and friends by his side, he’s absolutely invincible. I’ll just go ahead and drop his best one-liners down here because they pretty much speak for themselves.
- Hey, Einstein! I’m on your side!
- Gee, I’ve been saved by Fox. How swell.
- I guess I should be thankful.
- Time for a little payback!
Oh, how much I love Star Fox 64 one-liners!
The Dark Souls crow
Here’s a nasty bird you wouldn’t even want to eat if possible. Dirty, foul, probably covered in the guts of countless undead warriors from days past, the Giant Crow from Dark Souls is one of the first beings you’ll meet in the games twisted, nightmarish world, and yet, it will take you nearly the whole game to find out exactly why it is sitting there.
Just… it’s best to ignore it for the time being. Thanksgiving already has enough turkeys to go around, and killing this beast is both time consuming and dangerous.
Metal Gear Solid 2‘s seagulls
So many hours of my life wasted, just aiming at these birds. So many hours of my life being scolded by Metal Gear Solid 2‘s judgmental and abrasive supporting cast. Man, I hate Rosemary!