Bald eagle

Wings of liberty: 16 video game birds that could kick the bald eagle’s ass

Toward a new national symbol.

By Anthony John Agnello, Matt Gerardi, Steve Heisler, Matt Kodner, John Teti, and Drew Toal • July 3, 2013

1. Cucco, The Legend Of Zelda: A Link To The Past (1991)

The bald eagle is a badass national symbol and all, but on the eve of Independence Day, we have to ask, is it badass enough? Video games have provided a vast menagerie of ferocious birds that might prove to be worthwhile alternatives for a rootin’, tootin’ 21st-century America. These birds can root and toot with the best of them, even when they’re adorable, like the Cucco, a mainstay of the Zelda series. The Cucco—don’t call it a chicken—is a bully magnet. It looks like a ball of fluff with a beak. When you slash it with your sword, it freaks out a little and runs away if it can, but it is otherwise unharmed. From there, you have a choice. You can accept the stalemate and move on with your life, no harm done. Or you can continue to whale on the little bird because you need to torment a helpless animal to make yourself feel big. The twist is that the Cucco isn’t so helpless. It has powerful friends—namely other Cuccos, who will descend on you in a death flurry of flapping and pecking if you persist in messing with one of your kind. The bald eagle is too showy and brash. The Cucco better embodies the somewhat paraphrased philosophy of Teddy Roosevelt: Speak softly, and carry a big chick.

2. Balbaroy and Amon, Shining Force (1993)
Shining Force: Balbaroy

In the seminal Sega Genesis role-playing game Shining Force, there are plenty of different ways to construct your party. You have countless combinations of warriors, mages, centaurs, archers, werewolves, ninjas, dragons, and other weirdos at your disposal. Air power, though, is underrepresented. Aside from an old man in a helicopter contraption, your main source of flying soldiers are the Sky Warriors, Balbaroy and Amon. These guys look just like bald eagles (Balbaroy is brown, and Amon is gray), but they are fitted in full armor and swords. The game offers a glimpse into humanity’s terrible future, when eagles have evolved into the dominant species on the planet, and they send around viral videos of humans snatching up eagle babies from picnics.

3. Giant chicken, The Witcher 2: Assassins Of Kings (2011)

Geralt the Witcher is no stranger to chemically induced states, being a master not only of combat, magic, and gentle lovemaking, but also of powerful potions. In The Witcher 2, though, the stoic Geralt gets blotto after he imbibes one crazed hermit’s concoction, and he hallucinates a land of giant mushroom dildos, populated by a single enormous chicken. This silent sentinel towers above even a forest of massive penises. There’s no doubt Geralt is getting the munchies and thinking pretty hard about the world’s biggest chicken tenders. But even the Witcher—the bald eagle of magical human warrior gigolos—would have his hands full taking down a fowl of this magnitude. Against such a monstrosity, a regular bald eagle would have about the same chances as Killer Kadoogan.

4. Crow, Dark Souls (2011)

Everybody and everything dies in Dark Souls, especially you—maybe hundreds of times. And you’re not able to take back any of your actions, either. If you accidentally swing your halberd and knock out a helpful merchant, he’s dead for the rest of the game. There is an unnamed crow, though, who is a key exception to the norm. It appears near the beginning, after your escape from the undead asylum. The crow carries you to a brave new world of death and remains on a perch overlooking the Firelink Shrine—the game’s lone safe zone. You can try to slay it, but the arrows from your bow do nothing. No matter how much damage this crow takes, it simply flies away to taunt you from the skies.

5. Songbird, BioShock Infinite (2013)

Unless the bald eagle could trick this massive part-bird, part-man, part-machine monstrosity into diving underwater, this fight would be a bloodbath. In BioShock Infinite, Songbird is a bulletproof leviathan of the air, capable of downing armed zeppelins with ease. He’s built from technology unknown to our earthbound world, borrowed from more advanced alternate universes. He hurtles through the sky with steampunk wings, but when it’s time to fight, Songbird breaks out the giant man-hands—an anatomical advantage that puts him way ahead of most other birds. Still, it’s what fuels the Songbird’s aggression that makes him so dangerous. He’s motivated by undying paternal love, and there’s no greater force in this universe than love. Well, maybe lasers. But the bald eagle doesn’t have those, so our avian mascot wouldn’t stand a chance.

6. Mordecai’s Bloodwing, Borderlands (2009)

The bald eagle paints a majestic picture. Standing tall, it looks like a bird-thug, ready to spread its wings and scare away any animals who get in its way. But in schoolyard terms, the Bloodwing perched on sniper Mordecai’s shoulder is like the weird kid who keeps to himself and lights frogs on fire with magnifying glasses. No matter how big a bully you might be, that’s the one person you don’t want to mess with. Because he’s crazy. The Bloodwing is prone to similar bursts of mania. Mordecai can send it to attack enemies at will, after which it vanishes and remains safe from backlash. Also, it is on fire.

7. Coo, Kirby’s Dream Land 2 (1995)
Kirby's Dream Land 2

Kirby’s Dream Land 2 is full of badasses. Kirby can eat a sentient tire and then turn himself into a wild wheeled death machine. Kine the fish can shoot light bulbs out of his face. But Coo is the king of Dream Land 2. This giant purple owl isn’t content with just having the power of flight. He rocks a full-on David-Bowie-circa-Aladdin-Sane coif with matching eyeshadow. His perpetual smug grin says, “Come right at me, you giant tyrannical penguin in a bathrobe. I will mess you up.” Coo’s also got the skills to walk his talk. He can fly directly into heavy winds and throwing feathers so sharp that they make dancing mushroom people explode. Dream Land is a strange place, but this strigiform tough doesn’t let all the weirdness phase him. Just reading his name out loud lets you know what he’s all about.

8. Chocobo, Final Fantasy series (1987-2013)

Underneath every great adventurer in the Final Fantasy series, there is a proud chocobo. These giant flightless birds are like horses, providing transport for any hero in need. They also sport legs for days—and some serious claws at the end of them. A kick from a chocobo is nothing to scoff at, especially after it’s summoned to the battlefield alongside fire demons and water snakes. Even if a proud eagle could shrug off a feathery foot assault (it couldn’t) there’s always The Fat Chocobo, a titan of the race that, as you might imagine, is rather fat. Though he can’t fly, he can fall out of the sky and squash any enemies with his giant bird butt for massive damage. I’d like to see an eagle even try to do one thing useful with its butt.

9. One of those goddamn birds that swoop down out of nowhere, Ninja Gaiden (1988)
Ninja Gaiden

We’ve written about the Ninja Gaiden birds before in terms of their legendary unfairness. They zip into your path and knock your ninja ass into a bottomless pit at the worst possible moment. Yeah, that’s unfair. But on the Hobbesian stage of global geopolitics, there is no “unfair.” There is only power. And what better symbol than a Ninja Gaiden bird to project that power to the world? The Ninja Gaiden bird is always prepared, deceptively strong, and unforgiving to those who would dare to ignore it. Downside: If any other nation ever learns the Fire Wheel move, we’re toast.

10. Blathers, Animal Crossing series (2001-2013)
Animal Crossing

It can be hard to tell by his cartoonish in-game avatar, but Blathers is a member of the species Bubo watadorcus. These intelligent owls, easily identified by their distinctive argyle sweater-like chest feathers, tend to take up residence in places of cultural learning, such as museums. Despite his meek appearance, Blathers poses quite a threat to the gallant bald eagle. Like most other owls, he’s nocturnal and thus capable of striking when the eagle least expects it. What’s more, he has an extensive collection of insects and fish to use as diversionary tools—and fossils that can double as bludgeons. A most dangerous bird indeed.

11. Pipi & Copipis, Mega Man 2 (1988)

The bald eagle on the Seal Of The United States carries a ribbon in its mouth that reads “E pluribus unum.” The Pipi robot bird in the Mega Man series would carry a ribbon that reads “E unus pluribum.” Because when you encounter Pipi in a Mega Man stage, that one cute bird soon produces many cuter—and more deadly—baby birds. Pipi and her little Copipis are aided by the Mega Man level designers, who are noted for their sadism. In the clip above, a hapless player who’s going for a perfect run of the Crash Man stage discovers that there is no way to avoid the scourge of the Pipis—unless you use a special weapon (which you might not have) or exploit a glitch in the game’s code. It’s overwhelming force with no chance of escape. What better way to intimidate those who might cross you?

12. Storm Eagle, Mega Man X (1993)

X, the hero of the Mega Man X series, has it tough compared to his ancestor Mega Man. Mega Man fought some fearsome foes in his day, but they were always pretty cute at the same time. Who’s really afraid of Toad Man? He shakes his little belly before making it rain! That’s not imposing, that’s adorable. Meanwhile, X has to fight robot masters like Storm Eagle. This bipedal robot eagle, commander of an airship fleet, towers over X, who merely shoots little yellow balls out of his arm cannon. Storm Eagle shoots entire tornadoes out of his. Did you think those little Copipis were intimidating? Well, Storm Eagle vomits giant eggs full of them. He’s an intimidating opponent by any measure, unless you’re equipped with Sting Chameleon’s special weapon, the aptly named Chameleon Sting. That’s a fine plan for the sons of Dr. Light—not so helpful for a bald eagle.

13. Falco Lombardi, Star Fox series (1993-2011)

Although he can give off a bothersome “’90s cool” vibe, at least Falco Lombardi brings some edge to the Star Fox team, an elite squad of spacefaring mercenaries. Its leader, Fox McCloud, is a milquetoast goody-goody. Peppy Hare is a crotchety old coot. And there’s the whiny, co-dependent Slippy Toady. Falco may be brash and overconfident, but he is still the corps’ best pilot. He’s also got fearsome street smarts, having been the leader of a galactic street gang. Plus, even if you take away Falco’s impressive arsenal of martial arts moves, laser guns, and spaceships, he could always talk a poor eagle to death.

14. Option C, Strider and Marvel Vs. Capcom series

Strider Hiryu, the scarf-wearing ninja who stars in Sega’s Strider, is hardcore. He’s got a sword that kills everything within six feet. He can climb walls and do sweet flips. An entire Russian parliament can’t put him down, even after they Voltron together into a giant robot dragon. One thing Strider can’t do is fly, but for that, he’s got Option C, the robotic hawk that helps him out whenever Strider has trouble escaping Eurasia alive. When you stumble on Option C in Capcom’s old arcade game, the cybernetic raptor will circle the air above Strider until he runs into an enemy. Then it’ll swoop down and rip that thug apart. Awesome one-liners such as, “I like to keep my options open!” are sadly left unspoken.

15. Blaziken, Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire (2003)
Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire

Bulls and wolves have it easy. Slap some man legs on them, make them stand upright, and you’ve got a terrifying werewolf or a menacing minotaur. But add legs to a bald eagle and all you get is Eagleman, the famously doofy car insurance sales-creature from the Chicagoland area. On the other hand, there’s Blaziken, a Pokémon that’s half chicken and half Bruce Lee. According to the game’s encyclopedia, it can leap over 30 stories in one bound and spew flames from its hefty wrists. A bald eagle has talons; Blaziken has fire punches. Roasted eagle, anyone?

16. Hawkmouth, Super Mario Bros. 2

Subcon, the setting for Super Mario Bros. 2, is a bird-rich land, unlike the Mushroom Kingdom where Mario and his pals usually rock it. There are giant ostriches that never stop running and bomb-tossing birds of prey. And then there’s Birdo, who’s a bird on the inside. But the birds of Subcon aren’t all that imposing. Except for Hawkmouth. Hawkmouth is terrifying. When boogeyman kids go to sleep, they worry that a Hawkmouth is hiding under their bed. At the end of most stages in Super Mario Bros. 2, Mario picks up a crystal ball that makes Hawkmouth, a gigantic red and blue hawk face attached to a wall, open his beak so the hero can crawl inside. The mouth somehow leads to a desert or a waterfall, or maybe a castle owned by a toad. Hawkmouth lulls you into a false sense of security over the course of the game. It’s just a door, not a horrible bird head waiting to eat you. Then, just before the game ends, you pick up one final crystal ball and Hawkmouth tries to murder you. Hawkmouth is patient.

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94 Responses to “Wings of liberty: 16 video game birds that could kick the bald eagle’s ass”

  1. zerocrates says:

    Waiting for @The_Helmaroc_King:disqus  …

    • The_Helmaroc_King says:

      Oh, hello, sorry I’m late, I was at a movie. What’d I miss?

      • Spacemonkey Mafia says:

        The Birds, I assume.

      • zerocrates says:

        Not much.

        But, if you could go ahead and just murder a couple of eagles to prove a point, that’d be great.

      • Aurora Boreanaz says:

        Ooh, what movie?  And was it good?

        • The_Helmaroc_King says:

          Man of Steel. I liked it more than I was expecting, given the comments I’ve read on The A.V. Club, but I’ll avoid going on at length (for now).

        • Aurora Boreanaz says:

          Hehe, yeah.  I’ve been one of the few vocal dissenters of the negative reviews on AVC for that one.  I liked it a lot despite its flaws.

  2. Merve says:



    Holy crap, that twist.

    (Then again, he’s an eagle…just a really frickin’ huge one.)

  3. RidleyFGJ says:

    I don’t think I was expecting that choice from the Kirby series. I would have figured that Dyna Blade was a shoe-in, for sure.

    • The_Helmaroc_King says:

      Are we forgetting Kirby’s diminutive lime-green friend, Pitch? He may be small, but charge him up with Spark and he made a mean bird. You could also use a Parasol to hit him like a golf ball!

  4. Cloks says:

    I keep hearing about this Shinning Farce game, is it any good?

    Seriously though, I don’t think Balbaroy and Amon would be kicking much eagle ass. They’re neat at first, what with the flying mechanic, but you get much better party members not too long after rescuing them.

    • caspiancomic says:

       Hahaha, yeah, the birdmen in the Shining Force series are mostly sucky. In Shining Force II Luke is useful for the Kraken battle that immediately follows his recruitment, but he should be one of the first people you bench once you’ve picked up the Caravan.

      Now Peter from Shining Force II, there’s a bird who can murder. A birderer.

      • djsubversive says:

        Peter is pretty badass. Plus, being a phoenix, he just resurrects himself if he goes down in battle.

        Does Volcanan (or however it’s spelled) count as a bird? He’s a bird-god-thing that speaks through a giant statue. He sort of helps you, by saying “Peter, go with these people. and take Luke with you. Nobody wants him hanging around here.” But as you said, Luke is pretty useless after the Kraken fight (and not much help during it).

      • The_Juggernaut_Bitch says:

        Balbaroy and Amon are useful for their terrain exploits.  They can fly over terrain that is impassable to your bi- and quadrupedal companions, which makes them perfect for getting behind the lines and wreaking havoc with enemy cannons and such that are both immobile and also able to attack in only one direction. They’re my fuckin’ SOGs.

    • Naked Man Holding A Fudgesicle says:

      “Boy, you read my thoughts! You’ve got the Shinning!”

    • LandoftheHotKnives says:

      For some reason I kept BOTH of them in my party all the way through my first playthrough. I guess I liked healing them every turn (if I was lucky and they didn’t get wiped out after a single attack)

  5. Spacemonkey Mafia says:

    Learn your goddamn history, Gameological.  Why is the eagle our national bird?  When British troops were advancing through the colonies in a side-scrolling left-to-right fashion, it was the eagle that would leap off of one of our young nation’s many gravestones, fly toward the infantry in a deceptively high flight path, only to swoop down at the last moment, damaging them, as well as knocking them backward.  And in doing so, it allowed this majestic bird to reset it’s location so that when the Queen’s army regrouped and marched forward again, the eagle would be there, resplendent on that gravestone, ready to swoop again.
       While our ragtag militias were constantly short on munitions, rations and shoes, it was our endlessly re-spawning eagles that won us the war.
       Incidentally, it was the frequency of roast turkeys hidden in the lath and plaster of colonial homes that our troops would unearth for vitality that led Benjamin Franklin to advocate the turkey for our national bird.   

    • HobbesMkii says:

      Now, to be fair, the British did attempt to launch a songbird counteroffensive, but were done in by their famous inability to differentiate between the nightingale and the lark in their inventory, a disability dating back to the early 1620s at least. The Lark, of course, would have provided the necessary speed boost to dodge eagle attacks, but the Nightingale makes you go to sleep, making it arguably the worst bird in the game.

      • Spacemonkey Mafia says:

        Hobbes, I love nothing more than a comment complete with annotations and footnotes.

    • duwease says:

      I’d like to add that this is also where we got the term “Redcoats”, so-named for the red longjohns that were exposed after the first bird attack dismantled the Brits’ armor.

  6. fieldafar says:

    As long as these birds don’t kick the bald eagle’s ass too much, saying how it’s endangered and all.

    • zerocrates says:

      The bald eagle’s actually one of the major endangered species success stories; it’s been off the list since the mid-90’s. It’s still illegal for people to take or kill them, but they’ve recovered very well.

      So: kill away, fictional birds.

  7. LoveWaffle says:

    The Lambent Chicken from Gears of War 3 is one, but no chicken-based enemy is worse than the BAWK BAWK BOOM, the cheat god power in Age of Mythology that makes chickens to hail from the sky and explode, drenching an army in its acidic blood.

  8. Tim Kraemer says:

    I would like to submit a pair of obese, Mario-related birds: Raphael the Raven from Yoshi’s Island and Dodo from Super Mario RPG.

    • Marozeph says:

      I think Paper Mario also had a Nativ-American-themed bird as a Boss. Not sure if he was obese though.

      • The_Juggernaut_Bitch says:

         No, but, in keeping with the Nat-Am theme, it *was* an alcoholic casino operator.

  9. PaganPoet says:

    Malphas from the Castlevania series! Particularly the female witch version from Lords of Shadow. Creepy abandoned castle, tragic backstory, and an epic boss fight. What’s not to love?

  10. Kevin Irmiter says:

    Just to further cement the birds from Ninja Gaiden’s place as dangerous fucking animals, I think it’s worth pointing out that they do more damage than BAZOOKA SHOTS on the same level.

    • Marozeph says:

      Sounds like the pretext for a really weird episode of Mythbusters:
      “Today, we have prepared two dummys, a bazooka and a trained eagle to finally answer the question: what does more damage to the human body – animals or ammo?”

    • Fixda Fernback says:

      Really, “One of those goddamn birds that swoop down out of nowhere” is the only thing they could be referred to as. I enjoy my current-gen consoles and PC games, but I’ll always have the biggest soft spot for oldschool, especially oldschool Nintendo, games… which equates to having spent WAY too much time being pissed off at those devil birds. And the various bastards of Ghosts ‘n’ Goblins. 

    • Goon Diapers says:

      Those essing birds were the worst. Ditto to the birds in The Battle of Olympus and Wizards & Warriors II. They might be the same birds.

  11. Mistah Chrysoprase says:

    No love for Terra Cresta? The completely unwinnable top-down Xevious ripoff that rewarded the careful accumulation of upgrades by briefly turning your heavily-armed-yet-extremely-vulnerable spaceship into an unkillable phoenix?
    Well fine then.

    • Aurora Boreanaz says:

      HOLY CRAP!  I played that game at the arcade and thought it was awesome…I drew a bunch of pictures of the different ships combining…next time I went to the arcade it was gone, and I never saw it again and didn’t remember the name.

      Either that game or the Voltron cartoon started my obsession with vehicles/ships that combine into larger ones.

      • Mistah Chrysoprase says:

        Ditto, that was a sweet-ass gimmick. It was a bitter day indeed when we hooked it up to the Game Genie and discovered all was for naught.

  12. DrFlimFlam says:

    Appolo, the eagle with the red and white stripe shirt, is celebrating his birthday in Pawnee tomorrow. I won’t have you slander his brother and sister eagles, Gameological! He is a proud bird, pah!

  13. PugsMalone says:

    No love for Olcadan from Soul Calibur 3? He’s a fucking owl-man!

    • Effigy_Power says:

      I liked that one, much more so than the weird Lizard man who sort of seems like the Mesoamerican replacement.

  14. Mike P says:

    Nothing beats the bald eagle.
    Except for development of man. 

  15. neodocT says:

    I’d just like to point out that Falco is a damn pheasant. You know you suck when the pheasant is the coolest member of your team of space mercenaries.

  16. aklab says:

    Huh, so the bird-mouth-door thingie from SMB2 is actually just called a “Hawkmouth.” Good to know! 

  17. Swadian Knight says:

    I submit the Godbird Empyrea, from Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King. After following her shadow into the Dark World, you face her down in one of the most annoyingly difficult bosses in the whole goddamn game, moving twice per turn, debuffing your characters relentlessly and often blinding your entire party in one move.

    Once you prove your mettle, though, she’s invaluable. Not only does she give you flying transportation and the means to defeat the game’s antagonist, you actually fight the game’s climactic last battle while standing on her back as she soars through the skies.

    Empyrea is like a moving, talking prog rock album cover. It’s fantastic.

  18. Great, now the Storm Eagle level music will be stuck in my head all day.

    • colonyofbirchmen says:

      I saw Powerglove at MAGfest earlier this year and they got the whole crowd chanting “FUCK THAT BIRD!” during Storm Eagle’s song. Sums up all of my Mega Man-related rage:

  19. boardgameguy says:

    I was also thinking about Mamahaha, Nakoruru’s hawk from the Samurai Showdown series. On second thought, it probably couldn’t take an eagle though.

  20. GaryX says:

    Whatever that name of the Owl was in OoT. He wasn’t very badass, but anyone who can challenge Navi as most annoying thing about that game (accidentally hitting “repeat” was the worst) is a force to be reckoned with.

    • Carlton_Hungus says:

      And the default choice was that you didn’t understand his  explanation, forcing him to re-launch into his long-winded explanation that Saria is in the god damn lost woods waiting for you.

      • GaryX says:

        Yeah, I think that was the one case too where the default was on repeat because I remember making that mistake multiple times as a kid.

        It was terrifying.

    • neodocT says:

      Kaepora Gaebora! Who may or may not have actually been the Sage Rauru in bird disguise!

      I always felt that bird was part of a plotline that was cut, or something. It mostly disappears after you go to Future Hyrule, except for a short cameo in the Spirit Temple as a kid.

      • GaryX says:

        Yeah, he does sort of just disappear for no reason. I always figured something happened to him when Ganon took over (if he wasn’t Rauru, anyways).

      • CountBulletsula says:

        Owls dispensing advice were pretty common in Zelda games for a while.  There was also an owl in Link’s Awakening that told you where to go (wasn’t it also Kaepora Gaebora?), and in the Oracles games when you hit owl statues with Mystery Seeds you would get helpful hints about puzzles and stuff.

      • Carlton_Hungus says:

        He’s in Majora’s Mask two (or at least his non-union mexican equivalent).  Although he seems more like a god in Clocktown/Termina as his statues are everywhere granting warp power.

    • Marozeph says:

      At least he wasn’t as annoying as Cedric from Kings Quest V. Hell, that guy pretty much ruined Owls for me forever.

  21. stepped_pyramids says:

    How could you forget Cutrus the Falcon????

    • Spacemonkey Mafia says:

         My memory isn’t good enough to remember if 8-Eyes was a bad game or if I was just bad at it, but I think I’d actually like to see a reboot.
         Something about post-apocalypse societies reverting to cultural stereotypes, evil dukes and magical nuclear gems just tickles my fancy.

  22. Roswulf says:

    I’m shocked, SHOCKED not to see Blackbird from Freedom Force in this list!

    Sure, she’s 1) not actually a bird, but rather a women in a strikingly generic bird costume and 2) not a particularly memorable character in the first place but…I forget the point I was trying to make.

    I liked Freedom Force.


    — sorry, for a second my inner Kotaku was coming forth.

    But I do think it’s weird that ya’ll missed the premiere bird of the last 20 years. AND it’s a chick.

    • DrFlimFlam says:

      What I wouldn’t give for Banjo-Kazooie to be in Smash bros. And also Mumbo Jumbo.

  24. Chalkdust says:

    Any love for the Parodius series?  Those games are a lousy with penguins.

  25. Aurora Boreanaz says:

    My first evil video game bird: The eagle from Karateka.

    Stupid little bastard!

    • social_bobcat says:

      Agreed 1000%,  if only I could relocate my redundant post below up here.    That’s what I get for knocking out a knee-jerk post before reading the comments what came before mine.

    • doyourealize says:

      But it’s nothing compared to the damsel in distress, who one-hits you unless you run into her arms.

      Different kind of bird, though…

      • Aurora Boreanaz says:

        That was so confusing the first time it happened.

        “Hooray, I wo…WHAT THE HECK?? NOOOOOOOO!”

  26. evanwaters says:

    Disappointed in the lack of Castlevania Birds.


  27. Citric says:

    The Chocobo also has the best theme song, no matter how ridiculous the arrangement gets.

    • DrFlimFlam says:

      Favorite Chocobo arrangement now!

      I really do like Chocobo Jam and Fiddle de Chocobo, but I have to go with Ukelele de Chocobo, which is not only charming but has the very call of the chocobo within it. Winner winner chocobo dinner.

      • Citric says:

        I’ve been partial to Mambo de Chocobo for a while, it feels somewhat incomplete without the “Huh!” of that version.

      • PaganPoet says:

        Techno de Chocobo!

        • PugsMalone says:

          Fun fact: There’s a computerized voice saying “chocobo” at the beginning of that version.

      • neodocT says:

         I really liked the FFIX Chocobo treasure hunting song! I don’t know what it’s called, but I’ll guess Hot & Cold de Chocobo.

        • Chalkdust says:

           It’s actually called Vamo’ Alla Flamenco.

          And here’s a version by The Black Mages, a prog FF cover band made up of Nobuo Uematsu himself and a few other Square-Enix sound staff.

        • DrFlimFlam says:

          FFIX has a great soundtrack that didn’t reveal itself right away for me but has become my favorite FF score.

        • neodocT says:

           @Chalkdust_TMAI:disqus Awesome! That’s exactly the one I meant, and it’s nice to know that I still like the song despite not having heard in a decade!

          And @drflimflam:disqus, FFVI and IX are tied as best soundtracks for me, though X is up there too.

  28. stakkalee says:

    So do cliff racers not count as birds, or were they more annoyance than threat?

    • Aurora Boreanaz says:

       I thought they were more like pterodactyls?

      • stakkalee says:

        Birds are just modern day dinosaurs anyway – if the Pokemon counts so should cliff racers.  Although thinking back they weren’t very tough – I bet an eagle could take one.

    • Effigy_Power says:

      I died more than once in Morrowind being crowded by Cliff Racers when traversing the Ashland heights. So they are at least potentially a threat. But yeah, I would rate those under “Weird Fantasy Dinosaurs” rather than birds, even given the evolutionary resemblance. The same way I wouldn’t enter a crocodile to a list of “Gaming’s Dumbest Dinosaurs”.

  29. PaganPoet says:

    What about the giant mechanical twin owls of Okami, Lechku and Nechku? They’re so evil, they’re trying to cause an ice age to eradicate the not-at-all-metaphor-for-the-Ainu-people-of-Japan tribe of Oina!

    • Marozeph says:

      Yeah, excellent choice (music’s nice too).
      And while we’re at big evil birds: Shadows of the Damned also has one (not sure if he’s got a name) as a boss – more exactly, a guy who communicates only in expletives until he eats his own heart and turns into the giant bird. Because videogames.

  30. Halloween_Jack says:

    Not exactly a bird, but when City of Heroes was still a thing, I had a winged archer named Prairie Eagle. Also, one of the regulars for our early-Sunday-afternoon games rolled up a tank named Angry Bird.

  31. social_bobcat says:

    What, no eagle from Karateka?    That thing was the original bird from hell in my book. 

    Can’t count how many times my young self fought through all the karate warriors in my way, only to be swiftly killed near the end of the game by that stupid thing.

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