For some reason video games really don't like birds too much. There are exceptions, of course, such as the plucky (as it were), invicible and psychopathic Cuccos of Legend of Zelda, but there are far more sequences in games (or just entire games) that seem to revel in the suffering of our feathered friends. Mutually hostile feathered friends for the most part, but all the same it's almost as if this medium has a grudge against avians. I wonder if Tippi Hedren went into game development?

RSPB/ABA members should look away now...

List items

  • As we premium types all recently saw, Gryphon met an untimely and merciless end on the most recent Bradley May Cry/Devil May Criday after being bested by Brad. Surely the humiliation is punishment enough?

  • Dyna Blade gets her own early chapter in which a misunderstanding pits her against the universe's deadliest entity. Though Kirby is kind enough to look after her chicks while she recuperates, she assists his battle against Meta-Knight's floating battleship only to be grievously injured again when she's batted out of the sky by the Halberd's cannons. Why can't a giant rainbow bird catch a break around here?

  • So many dead birds. What have they done to deserve ending up as emaciated skeletons lying around Condemned's world? And why is Ethan collecting them? The sequel clarifies how they're dying, but it doesn't stop the death toll from increasing even further.

  • While there are plenty of bird enemies, most notably the irascible Raphael the Raven, it's the treatment that the poor stork receives that is most troubling. When he's not getting hit-and-runned by Kamek, he's spending the entire game hung upside down. Just for trying to do his job.

  • The crows are almost entirely harmless, yet each one seems to be packed with valuables and ammo. What's a guy to do when resources are so scarce and he has a president's daughter to save? They WANT you to murder helpless birds.

  • The Helmaroc King is Ganondorf's right-hand henchbird so he's admittedly sort of a jerk already. Still, whacking on his head with a massive hammer is kind of cruel all the same. I always got the impression he was being coerced through that iron helmet it wears, but maybe I'm reading too much into why a giant bird has a big metal hat. It's Zelda, that's why.

  • The one case on this list in which killing birds is entirely justified.

  • Clockwerk deserves all the punishment he receives in the first Sly Cooper game, what with being the creature that murdered your parents. I thought metal owls were supposed to be friendly? Or did Clash of the Titans lie to me? Anyway, while I'm content to excuse his demise as a necessity, the various foes hunting down pieces of his corpse for their own ends in the sequel seems a bit crass.

  • How the hell did we sleep at night after playing Duck Hunt? I guess that dog didn't have any trouble. That thing's evil to the core.

  • Many Prinnies exploded for our entertainment. Sure, they're the yet-to-be-reincarnated souls of the dishonored dead, but no penguin should ever have to go out like that.