Unlike most nerds, I like football. Sure, if I actually played football, I’d get broken in half like a rejected toothpick, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t watch other people brain themselves for my pleasure and enjoy it. Also, being from near Baltimore (I’m a fake Baltimorean; Baltimore scares me and I’ve urinated my pants at least four times in the past while being there at night alone to buy crack cocaine), I’m a Ravens fan.
Unfortunately, as a Ravens’ fan, I’m now harnessed with the embarrassment that this annoying asshole brings to me and my purple-jersied ilk. Anderson Cooper has never been more of a shame to himself, or to humanity. I might give him a kiss on the lips, but not when he’s crying like a baby, because that shit is pedophilia.
So, in grand fashion, I’ve somehow bridged a thin and entirely forced connection between the ideas of annoying and birds and let my pea-sized dickbrain come up with a list just for you to commemorate the Ravens’ trip to the AFC Championship against the New England Patriots. Now introducing
…The Most Annoying Birds in Video Games, According to Me.
Seriously, it has nothing to do with football.
Cedric the Owl – King’s Quest V: Absence Makes The Heart Go Yonder!: I thought I was the shit when I got King’s Quest V for my PC back in 1967. The graphics were so rad, the EGA colors were absolutely mind-blowing, and the puzzles were so complex, so inventive, that I occasionally soiled myself just anticipating an upcoming mental challenge.
Actually, this game sucked assholes, and Roberta Flack or whatever her name is should have just stopped making games before she actually made the first one, her insane success at Sierra notwithstanding. King Graham of Daventry looked like some Robin Hood douchebag, and when I wasn’t masturbating to thoughts of him underneath my Bambi comforter, I couldn’t stop thinking about what a pencil-dick he was.
His friendly bird-owl-man-friend Cedric, though, was who really got under my skin. I don’t remember really anything about this game, other than the fact that this prick flew around, helped you with puzzles, wore a monocle like the Monopoly guy, and had a vest that fit his little owl body just right. Who thinks this shit up? I expect owls to do owl-like things, like vomit up bones, spin their heads in circles, and creep me out with their skull-faces in the dark shadows of a barn. Apparently, Cedric the Owl does something redeeming like save King Graham by taking a spell right in the face at the end of the story, but I never got that far. Nobody ever got that far. Playing King’s Quest V was like trying to cram a clotheshanger sideways into a caveman’s butthole while trying to teach him how to whistle Beethoven backwards.
Then, in 2007, J.K. Rowling did it right and taught us how to kill owls the right way. Take that, Roberta Flack.
Ravens – Battletoads: Like Keith Courage’s meme expresses, nobody really saw much of Battletoads without the help of a few warp-zones. Me, I never knew where the warp-zones were, and all of the friends that I could have played Battletoads with died early and tragic deaths, so it’s not like I could really get too much further past the Wookie Hole level on my own.
Battletoads was, after all, meant to be enjoyed with friends. So when you rappel into the Wookie Hole with your bestest pal, you don’t realize the little enemy ravens – whose beaks you can occasionally grab to use as weapons – would be such a threat…
…until you both say, “I’LL KILL HIM!” and do that sweet flying battering-ram move into each other, and kill each other multiple times while trying to slaughter the weakest enemy in the entire game.
The ravens in the Wookie Hole just laugh at you silently from a pixilated distance. Sure, the grown ones occasionally swoop in and break the semen-string you’re hanging on, but by that point, you’ve already killed your fellow Battletoad so many times, you can only turn to suicide or illicit drug-use to burn the sweet, sweet shame out of your soul. Unless you’re one hell of a planner (I am not), and unless you’re really good at playing a single player game of Battletoads (I am not), and unless you’re really good at having friends who don’t die premature deaths in horrible car accidents (I am not), you might actually get past the Wookie Hole and its dreaded ravens. Me, I never had a hope.
Guess I would have done better if I had friends that knew how to keep breathing.
Al the Boomerang Bird – Angry Birds: Like all other seven billion people in the world, excluding the Russians and those Brazilian tribal people who were trying to shoot arrows at a plane like it was some great winged god, I played Angry Birds. Who could resist blowing up pigs with bomb-birds, or dropping eggs on them, and destroying their safe little homes? It’s like punching your friends in the face while they’re playing Jenga. You can’t stop.
Unfortunately, Angry Birds really shit the bed when it introduced the Boomerang Bird. When you’ve been given black birds that blow up like bombs, or white birds that shit out eggs, or blue birds that break into smaller birds like the spreadshot from Contra, you think shit can only get better. Then, the game introduces the Boomerang Bird, who has the shittiest, most unpredictably unmanageable ability in the game: to stop flying forward, and instead curve and fly backwards.
Good luck getting it to work. Have you ever thrown a boomerang in real life? No, you haven’t, because if you did and it worked, you’re a fucking liar. Australians effectively created the largest lie to ever hit the toy industry. All I ever wanted to do with a boomerang was throw it straight forward, stun my friends, catch it when it came back, and then stab them like in The Legend of Zelda. I couldn’t do that. And sure as shit, you can’t do it in Angry Birds, either.
Al comes back toward you when you tap the screen, sure, but he always does it in the most lazy-ass wonky fashion. Most of the time, he’ll just take a header straight into a landmass, or go curving off the screen never to be seen again. Fuck him; what you can’t do with Al, you can surely do with one of the black bomb birds. Blowing shit up is better than liking Australian stuff anyway. Unfortunately, I learned this the hard way, and so did Timothy McVeigh.
Eagle/Hawk/Feathered Thing – Ninja Gaiden: If you’ve never punched yourself in the face, smashed your Nintendo controller on the side of a table, or smacked the top of your NES so hard that the light started blinking, then you’ve obviously never played Ninja Gaiden. It means you’ve never gotten what I affectionately refer to as 6-1’ed*; it means you’ve never screamed, “FUCK YOU, BIRD,” at the top of your lungs and had your Dad come in and beaten your stupid ninja ass with his Army belt.
You see, despite fighting Runner Charles, Gunner Steve, Bazooka Joe, Balrog, Bruce Lee, and Jason** over and over, it never fails that the moment you succeed in cutting swaths through the enemy lines, and you make that pivotal jump, some dickhead bird swoops down out of the sky and knocks you back into a pit.
And over again.
Sure, you can predict where they’ll show up and where they’ll be, but it doesn’t make it anymore of an easy thing to avoid. Never before in games has a single bird been able to rock my ass like a hurricane the way the ones in Ninja Gaiden do. If Hyabusa can’t dodge a bird, then he needs to get the fuck back with Liam Neeson at Ninj0b University and bone up on his elite skills, because how am I supposed to get past Malth Bloody Malth*** if I can’t even reliably apoxy myself to a wall with my ninja hands without some beaked dickwad swooping in for the kill?
Whenever one of them materializes on my screen, there’s this brief moment of tension that spreads through me. I see their fluttering wings, their pixilated heads, and I think, “I can totally get my sword out of the sheath in time to split this fucker four ways from Sunday,” so I hunker down, and at the right moment, I press B. Unfortunately, I miss, I get knocked back, and if I don’t go plummeting into a bottomless pit, the avian prick respawns. It’s like the world is an endless bird factory, and I’m just there to be a part of some grand bestial sex-game in which ninjas are getting consistently molested by innately evil birds.
If Ninja Gaiden ever got turned into a movie, Alfred Hitchcock better be all over that shit from the grave.
The problem is, birds aren’t anything more than enemies introduced to piss you off. Name any game with a bird — Karateka, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, the bats from Zelda (I know they’re not technically birds, alright?), Ironsword: Wizards & Warriors, and on, and on — and you can be damned sure they were added as an extra enemy meant to completely ruin your chances at feeling like a badass.
To hell with annoying birds. I’d boil’em, mash’em, stick’em in a stew and eat all the birds for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, if I didn’t have to suffer their white-shitting presence in every game I seem to play. If there’s a bird in a game, you can guarantee I’m going to take a frust-dump**** in my pants at some point during the course of my gameplay.
Birds are for the birds. Seahorses…forever.
* 6-1’ed refers to the act of getting all the way to the final boss, dying, and needing to start the entire level over again, instead of from convenient checkpoints littered throughout 6-2, 6-3, and so on. This feeling is comparable to getting ass-plugged by SpaceFunkyB.O.B.’s unlubed fingers.
** These names are names we’ve given to various enemies encountered through the world of Ninja Gaiden. If you can discover them all in the game, good job, because that means you’re just as retarded as we are.
*** Malth Bloody Malth is Keith Courage’s custom name for the lightning-bolt asshole at the end of Level 5. This will always be his name. You will start using this name.
**** frust-dump, a shortened form of “frustration dump,” more affectionately known as “ragepoop.”