Chickens: The most HATED animal in video games?

Cucco doodle doo doo

We've identified Street Fighter II as an early proponent of poultry persecution, but the finger of blame points squarely at Nintendo's Legend of Zelda franchise as the real perpetrator that popularised the culture of chicken cruelty evident in games today.

Above: An artist's impression of the moment that Link hangs from the legs of the Flying Rooster in the GameBoy game, Link's Awakening. A rooster is a male chicken

Ever since their first appearance in Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, the cucco - Hyrule's own version of the chicken - has had to endure almost 20 years of humiliation. Link can pick them up and throw them. He can grab on to their legs and exploit their limited power of flight. He can even attack them repeatedly to trigger a Hitchcockian show of unified avian aggression.

This last point may have been intended to empower the cucco or even deter players from battering them, but it merely succeeded in encouraging players to go at the little buggers with a boomerang until they went psycho. Whether deliberate or not, it inadvertently promoted the mistreatment of chickens in games and shone a green light to developers that this kind of bestial barbarity was acceptable. Amusing even.

Urge to kill rising

Fast forward to now and the situation is as out of control as a horny rooster in a hen house with a bucketful of Rohypnol seed at his disposal. The action of killing and being inhumanely unnecessary to chickens has become so embedded in the psyche of gamers that whenever one is spotted, it is murdered - or attempted to be murdered - at the first opportunity.

Who, for example, passed Resident Evil 4's farm or Resi 5's villages without succumbing to the overwhelming compulsion to pointlessly execute at least one of the free-roaming chickens? Shit, forget waiting around for a golden egg, we shot and/or stabbed any beady-eyed wingtard that happened to strut within killing range. It was quite the feathery massacre.

Further proof of our desensitization is apparent in spicy shooters Total Overdose and Chilli Con Carnage. Both games offer the bonus of extended combo time for killing chickens. Are we going to sacrifice a big-ass score, or sacrifice a few pee-brained peckers? It's a moral dilemma. But it's one that - in the dusty heat of a killing spree - isn't even considered. The chicken gets it. Always.

And, with the introduction of Trophies and Achievements, trying to resist the dark path of the compassionless chicken culler is becoming increasingly challenging. Rewards are given for kicking chickens (Fable II - The Chicken Kicker), blowing them up with dynamite (Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood - Arkansas Fried Rooster) and just plain old killing them dead as quick as we can (Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 - Colonel Sanderson).

Above: Modern Warfare 2 posed the question - why shoot terrorists when there are caged chickens that need to die?

Next: A cock joke...


  • seed814 - February 22, 2010 6:26 p.m.

    funny chickens but a warn ya the world will end 2012 because link had a spa at 1 XD
  • RogueRED - February 22, 2010 6:47 a.m.

    I actually got the "chicken kicker" achievment in fable ii
  • CountFenring - February 22, 2010 6:04 a.m.

    I remember kicking chickens in Fable for a hat. Good time, good times.
  • CommanderCrunch - February 22, 2010 3:31 a.m.

    You guys are forgetting about Mort the Chicken. That game was only about chickens and really should have been on this article. Even though I'm pretty much the only person who knows of that games existence.
  • hvymtl1 - February 22, 2010 12:04 a.m.

  • Gameover333 - February 21, 2010 9:35 p.m.

    What about chickens in Fable? lol a random guy with weapons running up and kicking them cant be too fun for them.
  • crimson_soulreaper305 - February 20, 2010 7:42 p.m.

    Achievement Unlocked:"Colonel Sanderson" damn,ive got a sudden urge to kill,eat, and choke a chicken. @ReCaptcha: confused unions, whose side are you on?
  • misplacedokie - February 20, 2010 6:59 p.m.

    How about Chocobos in early FF series. Next thing to a chicken. Pick them, breed them, feed them, race them. I learned to hate those oversized Chickens
  • soccerclownking - February 20, 2010 4:53 p.m.

    ch1k3nz r t3h un1v3r541 n00bz ov t3h v1d30 94m3 wur1d
  • TheBoz - February 20, 2010 1:38 p.m.

    One very famous 80s game has been left out...Chuckie Egg. It spawned a sequel and was a very well known game on the 8-bit computers. I have the original somwhere. Google it, you can play a remake for free online. Just had a blast, still fun after all these years.
  • AuthorityFigure - February 20, 2010 1:54 a.m.

    Chickens are cursed because they are virtually defenseless and have big, juicy tits that everyone likes to eat.
  • tjkjr1992 - February 19, 2010 11:20 p.m.

    Ha ha. "Choke the chicken"
  • soren7550 - February 19, 2010 4:40 p.m.

    *shudders* Still remember those chicken attacks from 'Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons'
  • philipshaw - February 19, 2010 11:17 a.m.

    Great Article and I have that MW2 trophy so I'm part of the problem
  • TheSugarRay - February 19, 2010 6:03 a.m.

    My favorite chicken kill is in counter strike on the Venice map.
  • Cwf2008 - February 19, 2010 4:13 a.m.

    Mmm chicken...i mean those assholes are plotting world domination! Why else would we continuously attack them
  • sirpsychosexy - February 19, 2010 3:48 a.m.

    what about the chicken chaser achievement in fable II?
  • KevintheDot - February 19, 2010 3:05 a.m.

    I doubt many people would know of it, but in the Age of Mythology games, the cheat "Bawk Bawk Boom" gave you the chicken meteor shower. Chickens rained from the sky, stood up for a minute and then exploded into a cloud of poison gas. I hope they got their 72 virgins.
  • Spybreak8 - February 19, 2010 2:11 a.m.

    Hahah it is very true Chickens are hated in many games. First thing I thought of was zelda and fable when I read that article. The Street Fighter II thing was pretty funny. A good chicken is a dead chicken I always say well that until they start killing humans in a few thousand years.^^
  • nik41507 - February 19, 2010 12:36 a.m.

    @robotechandnarutosucks go away no one wants you here and your criticism of GR

Showing 1-20 of 41 comments

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