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The Top 7... Things you can do with birds in games

Birds. Innocuous, feathered, beaky sods, with no greater purpose in the world than to keep at bay the ever-present worm scourge and tweet annoyingly to alert you to the fact that you've pulled another all-nighter on Fallout. In real life, their uses are limited. In games though, free of conventional physics, conventional anatomy and conventional avian-durability ratings, they're a whole lot more fun.

So much so, in fact, that we've managed to come up with a list of the best seven complete interaction-types with birds that games can provide. Or, as you may prefer to call it, a Top 7 things you can do with birds in games. Yeah. Yeah that's what we're going to call it.


7. Launch them

As seen in: Angry Birds, Yeti Sports, Tiny Wings, Fable II, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

If there’s one thing that gaming has done for the avian species it’s help them fly. Non-flying birds like penguins, chickens and whatever the fuck those ones in Angry Birds are supposed to be have all been given the power of flight. Via, erm, catapults, foot-to-ass power kicks, and baseball bats, like in Yeti Sports, .

OK, so apart from guiding the little fella to the clouds in Tiny Wings we're simply taking advantage of birds' misfortune for our own pleasure. Or even Achievements, as showcased in Fable II, where hoofing a chicken up it’s feathery backside grabs you the Chicken Kicker award.

Although we’d never dream of performing such cruelty in real life, there is something supremely satisfying about sending birds skywards in games. Whether it’s using them as ammunition in Angry Birds or simply sending them long, you have to admit it’s lovely cheap thrill.


6. Race them

As seen in: Fable III, Final Fantasy VII, Shenmue 2

The real world has racing pigeons. But where's the fun in racing pigeons? You can't ride racing pigeons. Chocobos, however – that's a totally different kettle of giant ostriches. Chocobos were always your first mode of transport in Final Fantasy games before you got the airship, but it wasn't until Final fantasy VII on PSone that you could race them. Preserving stamina, marvelling at the (sort of) impressive 3D graphics… it was awesome. Not to mention some much-needed light relief. Nothing takes your mind off the death of an innocent flower girl quite like a giant yellow bird race.

They even got their own game – Chocobo Racing. And then their own adventure game. In fact, who cares about RPGs? Let's just race big yellow birds and be done with it.

Speaking of which, you'd think that racing birds would be beneath big, important RPGs, wouldn't you? Yet even Shenmue 2 has a duck racing minigame. Hopefully it wasn't the straw that broke the camel's back and pushed the possibility of another Shenmue game just past the 'viable sequel' stage and into the 'yeah… never finishing this' stage.

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45 comments

  • D0CCON - June 21, 2011 5:52 a.m.

    Instead of reality for the FF pic, it should be finality since the first was fantasy. It doesn't make half as much sense, but it matches the game's title!
  • POPTARTGAMER15 - June 20, 2011 6:09 p.m.

    KICK THEM!!!!!(Fable 1-3)
  • Evil_AppleJuice - March 10, 2011 7:41 p.m.

    In enjoying their presence, you forgot the brown hawk that occasionally joins you in SotC! I would be just riding with Agro and OMFG a hawk is flying with me! Lemmy see if I can hit it with an arrow... And feeding the little ones in Okami!
  • GameManiac - March 9, 2011 11:42 p.m.

    I saw the Pokemon reference a mile away. I never really thought of a giant bird mutilating its rider...
  • SolarPoweredShitMachine - March 9, 2011 7:14 p.m.

    Oh, and Gold Chocobos in VII and IX. Sorry for double-posting.
  • SolarPoweredShitMachine - March 9, 2011 7:12 p.m.

    Black Chocobos could fly in Final Fantasy IV...
  • RedOutlive10 - March 9, 2011 4:03 p.m.

    You could kill some crows in Half-Life 2, they were rare but fun to shoot at.
  • flumpman - March 9, 2011 10:43 a.m.

    Er, to the guy who said "could we not just eat them all" - did you see number 4? Dumbass!!!!
  • rjjones - March 8, 2011 10:18 p.m.

    this was made me LOL, then I thought of an incident I had with an ostrich once...
  • Renegade32 - March 8, 2011 9:54 p.m.

    in wind waker, you could control birds after balancing a pear on your head. also, they could help you fly (kind of)in twilight princess
  • nebno6 - March 8, 2011 9:04 p.m.

    You completely forgot metal slug!
  • Deutero - March 8, 2011 8:38 p.m.

    Nazi Pidgey teapot was freakin hilarious
  • Clickshark - March 8, 2011 7:03 p.m.

    Mmmm Chocobo... tastes like chicken.
  • mothbanquet - March 8, 2011 6:25 p.m.

    The bird truly is the word. Nice feature, lads and lasses of GR!
  • Lionzest7 - March 8, 2011 3:18 p.m.

    WHAT?!!! NO MENTION OF HOW YOU CAN USE THEM AS A HAT? LIKE IN ZELDA: THE MINNISH CAP?
  • AuthorityFigure - March 8, 2011 8:47 a.m.

    Someone should cross a Chocobo with a Cuckoo. I would call it a Chuckoo.
  • Zeb364 - March 8, 2011 7:29 a.m.

    Another Top Seven that I would have never seen coming but am glad that it did.
  • quincytheodore - March 8, 2011 6:47 a.m.

    How about shooting The End's bird in MGS3. He was not pleased after I did that. And the first thing I thought of when looking at this was how chocobo taste, but that's because your misleading screenshot.
  • gopikmin - March 8, 2011 2:09 a.m.

    the pidgey had a Templar cross not a Nazi swastika. another you can do is turn into one as in LoZ: Twilight Princess
  • Cruddi - March 8, 2011 1:01 a.m.

    WTF! Duck racing in Shemmue 2... i though i played that game to death and back... Gess not :-( curse you dreamcast curse you

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