Birds are probably the most hated creature in all of video games. Think about it: as a gamer, whenever you see one flying through the air, or crossing a road, you just want to shoot it. A record of violence between the human gamer and poultry has developed up over the decades, but the aggressors come from both sides. No one knows exactly why the conflict began, or why the violence still continues today. I just know it's fun as hell to watch an explosion of feathers after a shotgun blast. Come on, we've all done it.
I've gathered together some of the most heinous crimes against and by chickens, turkeys and other fowl, to bring to light this continuing trend of abuse in the gaming industry. This Thanksgiving (or, if you're not located in the USA, this "Thursday"), remember these gratuitous acts of violence that have surrounded the digital poultry community over the years, so that one day the aggression might end. Those who have weak constitutions, avert your eyes. Feathers are going to be flying everywhere.
Chickens caught in the crossfire (Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2)
Digital poultry are downright downtrodden. Not only are most subjected to suffering a life of endless wandering in our game worlds, some are not even that lucky. The others spend their entire lives in cages, helpless against the whims of the passing gamer with a gun. This was the case with an incident in a Favela town that left dozens of chickens literally caught in the crossfire of a human conflict.
In the small, shanty town British SAS forces attempted to extract an enemy informant, but were met with heavy resistance. As the battle moved to a marketplace located in the town, many of the caged chickens were shot and killed by stray (and not so stray) bullets from the firefight. What was most disturbing about the entire event, a single soldier thought it would be a great achievement to shoot seven caged chickens in under 10 seconds, saying he "was just like Colonel Sanderson."
Chicken crushed by Golem (Dragon Age: Origins)
The poultry hate doesn't begin and end with the humans and chickens. Other races have also participated in fowl hate crimes. After being frozen by a magical control rod, a Golem named Shale, spent over three decades stuck in the center of the village of Honnleath. Naturally, the local birds, thinking the rock-skinned Golem was merely a statue, perched on Shale over the years, pecking, scratching, leaving their feces on the Golem's shoulders.
Then, the fateful day came when the Grey Warden Commander would release Shale from its prison. But the stone warrior's rage for everything feathered had built up to murderous levels over the years. As the group of adventurers left the village to continue their journey, Shale hung back for one senseless, random act of violence against a passing chicken. With a quick stomp, all that was left of the animal was a blood smear on the road.
Cuccos attack rambunctious youngster (The Legend of Zelda series)
Turkeys, chickens, and other birds have shown up in plenty of games before A Link to the Past, taking the abuse from heroes and villains alike for years, but this is when the birds rallied together and said, "Enough!" Nintendo's The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (and future games) gave gamers the freedom to explore the fields of Hyrule. As a carefree, young boy you can chop grass, throw rocks, and, oh yes, abuse cuccos.
But a bird can only take so much. When a cucco suffered continued abuse from the blade-wielding child, the cuccos retaliated in one of the most graphic attacks on a human by a chicken. After taking several blows from the boy's sword, getting stuck with arrows, and being pelted with a boomerang, the cucco victim let out a loud "cockadoodle doo" and called a horde of like-minded friends to assault the child. Luckily, the boy had caught a fairy in a bottle just a few minutes before the attack, who was able to nurse the young hero back to health.
A revolution is prematurely snuffed (Fable 3)
The world of Albion keeps feathered creatures in the lowest regard. It's not uncommon to see residents of the towns openly mocking chickens in public. It's always a crapshoot, when a chicken takes to the streets. They don't know if they will get farted on by a man wearing a chicken suit or be outright kicked by locals trying to that the earn the nickname "Chicken Chaser."
It all came to a head in Albion's industrial age. A single chicken took it upon itself to stage a revolution. Escaping from its captivity on a quest to be free from its bonds, the chicken hit the streets, dodging foot traffic, avoiding the hazards of industrial factories, and evading the prying eyes of the public. It was all ended when the chicken was caught by the royal chef, who then put down the rabble rouser with a musket. Watch the event unfold here.
Operation: Turkey Butt (South Park, Nintendo 64)
In the small, humble town of South Park, Colorado, the poultry took to the offensive. But these odd events weren't entirely fueled by the bird's quest for retribution--it was spurred on by supernatural powers. Before the attack, a mysterious meteor landed near the rural mountain town, transforming dozens and dozens of turkeys into rabid, mutant death machines that would immediately peck the faces off of any nearby human. In other words, it's the plot of Earthbound, but we won't hold that against it.
Coming to the aid of their fellow man, four young boys bravely fought off the turkey attack. Armed only with what they could find, which included snowballs, toilet plunger launchers, and even the turkey's own bird brethren (chicken eggs fired from a feather-plucked chicken) the boys were able to overcome their aggressors. It was poultry-on-poultry violence at it's worst.
Giant lambent chicken runs amuck (Gears of War 3)
The violence surrounding the poultry in gaming isn't limited to incidents on earth. There have also been events of aggression on other planets, including that of the conflict between the human Gears and Locust, the planet Sera. This particular occurrence involved the curious Delta Squad leader and a lambent (mutated) chicken.
The Gears squad leader, Marcus Fenix, decided it would be amusing to yell into three large ventilation pipes while on a mission. Little did he know that the pipes were the home of (what he thought was) a normal chicken. When Fenix decided to begin abusing the bird by attacking and shooting it, the chicken quickly morphed into a fire-breathing, golden monstrosity. What proceeded was a battle of man vs. poultry that ended in a glittery explosion of golden chicken guts, or, as we like to call them, "boneless chicken wings."
The mob avenges murdered chicken (Skyrim)
Not all humans are aggressive toward the poultry population. There have also been instances when human sympathizers stood up to the needless violence. In the country of Skyrim, the locals of Riverwood took up arms in the defense of a helpless village chicken.
An outsider (probably an escaped criminal) entered the village soon after the destruction of Riverwood's neighboring village of Helgen. The assailant seemed tame at first, talking to the shop keepers, and working with the blacksmith, but as soon as the stranger crossed paths with the village chicken, the warrior broke out into a frenzy and killed the bird. The villagers and guards sprung into action, picking up pitchforks, swords, and any other weapon they could find to fight off the chicken killer. There was no buying off the guards or jail time for this criminal. The punishment fit the crime, and death was the only recompense.
Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy the tasty, tasty murder...
There you have it. Those are our picks for the most violent and gruesome poultry-related events in video games' dark history. Now you can go and enjoy your delicious turkey dinner, knowing the noble sacrifice of gaming's digital birds. But that's definitely not all of the horrifying events. Which ones did we miss? What gruesome poultry moments were your favorites? Be sure to let us know in the comments below.