Some might think our year-long quest to find the Greatest Animal in the History of Video Games is for the birds.
You know what? We think so, too.
From actual birds (Kazooie) to humanoid races of birds (think any MMO) to people birds (Larry) to licensed birds (think any penguin movie), we here at Multiplayer pulled together and named every bird we could think of to put in our nominees list.
At the end of the month, our brilliant panel of judges will decide which bird should represent the whole lot of avians at the end of the year against other species.
In the meantime, take a look at our list, pick your favorites and make suggestions. Here goes...
Avis Praeda (the 5th Colossus) in "Shadow of the Colossus"
This giant bird of prey goes after hero Wander by swooping down to attack him. The only way to kill the beast is for Wander to climb atop him and avoid getting thrown off (bird'll do barrel rolls -- fun).
Falco Lombardi of the "Star Fox" Series
The "wingman" of the "Star Fox" games (sorry), Falco is an expert pilot who helps his pal Fox in times of need. He's also a playable character in the last two "Smash Bros." games.
Franklin in "Animal Crossing"
Franklin is a nervous turkey who appears in the late afternoon on Thanksgiving. He hides whenever he can and will give you a reward if you steal the knife and fork from the dinner table by the wishing well.
Gulliver in "Animal Crossing"
A sailor suit-donning seagull who gives the player rare items, Gulliver can be found washed up on the beach, telling stories about a shipwreck. In "Wild World," Gulliver is an astronaut and flies through town in a space ship.
The ex-superhero turned incompetent attorney made his way from the popular Adult Swim cartoon into his own "Phoenix Wright"-style video game. His sidekick and legal secretary is a purple eagle named Avenger.
Kazooie in the "Banjo-Kazooie" Series
Starting off in her pal Banjo's backpack, Kazooie is a Red Crested Breegull with egg-throwing abilities. In "Banjo-Tooie" she can transform into a fire-breathing dragon. Oh, and she can play the Kazoo.
Kuzo in "Mark of Kri"
Protagonist Rau with his spirit guide Kuzo must stop evildoers from obtaining the mark of Kri. Kuzo comes in handy because Rau can see through his bird companion's eyes and use him to scout an area before heading into it.
The basketball legend of the Boston Celtics, Bird starred in 1983's "Dr. J and Larry Bird Go One on One" and later "Jordan vs. Bird: One on One," where you can play as the sharp-shootin' b-baller to score three-pointers like nobody's business.
Raphael Raven in the "Mario" Universe
The leader of the Ravens first appeared as the boss in "Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island." An ordinary bird turned the hulk of ravens through magical enhancement, a defeated Raphael became a constellation in the sky.
Aracoix in "Shadowbane"
Despite being fierce warriors and hunters, these birdfolk were driven into hiding and have a great distrust for other races. They eschew all religion and magic and totally hate the "tastes like chicken" joke.
Aviansie in "RuneScape"
An extinct race of avian humanoids, the Aviansie were favored by the god Amadyl. A few were frozen in the God Wars Dungeon but later thawed and resumed battle with their various foes.
Bird Laguz in "Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance"
"Path of Radiance" had laguz changelings -- humanoid creatures that could change into powerful animals. The avian species of laguz are divided into ravens, hawks and herons, with wind and bows as their weakness.
Chocobos in the "Final Fantasy" Series
These large and typically yellow and flightless birds have been a staple of "Final Fantasy" games since "Final Fantasy II." They're so loved that they've gotten their own spin-off series, a pretty spectacular feat for animals without their own CGI movie.
The Lucky Birds in "Gumshoe"
In this NES title, you're a detective named Mr. Stevenson searching for your kidnapped daughter. Along the way are these "lucky birds" which will kill Stevenson upon touch, but if he catches them first, he'll be able to get special abilities (makes perfect sense).
Rito in "The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker"
These bird-like humanoids can be found on Dragon Roost Island. Capable of flying at high speeds once they've acquired wings, Rito are the mail carriers of Hyrule (and are much more reliable than the USPS).
Yagudo in the "Final Fantasy" Series
These bird-like bipeds inhabit the continent of Mindartia. Religious zealots who are often violent, the Yagudo's main issue with outsiders is a dispute over land which they think is rightfully theirs by birthright and tradition.
The Bird Man in "Jade Cocoon"
When Levant, a young Cocoon Master, sets off to save his village, he meets a half-man, half-bird creature named Kikinak in the Dragonfly Forest who he must defeat to move on in his quest.
The Bird in "Karateka"
Straight from Totilo: "He flew from his master's arm, ready to strike terror in players' hearts. He could be defeated with a well-placed round-house kick. Yes, that's right: this game asked you to kick a flying bird."
Chicken-Clyde in "Cloning Clyde"
In the 3D side-scroller for XBLA, Clyde could mutate himself into a different animal with unique abilities. When in chicken form, Clyde can fly. There are also other chickens in the game which Clyde can toss indiscriminately.
The Sand Bird in "Super Mario Sunshine"
Not much is known about the Sand Bird except that it is made of sand and has no eyes (creepy). After Mario helps hatch this legendary best, he rides it around a tower to collect red coins.
The Birds in "John Woo Presents Stranglehold"
As Inspector Tequila, when you go into "Tequila Time," white doves fly out in typical John Woo movie fashion. There are also little origami birds that you collect throughout the game -- 250 to be exact.
The Mystery Bird in "Too Human"
When we asked about his favorite animals, Denis Dyack said the bird in "Too Human" would win, even though he didn't tell us anything about it. C'mon Denis! At least Peter Molyneux threw us a bone.
The Ducks in "Duck Hunt"
Like that damned dog, the ducks in the classic NES game provided fond memories for many a gamer. Wide-eyed and frantically flapping their wings, they sadly could not escape a gamer's quick Zapper finger.
The Penguin from "Amazing Penguin"
In this 1990 Game Boy title, when a princess gets kidnapped it's not up to Mario or Link to save her -- it's up to Amazing Penguin. Take control of AP as he travels through a series of puzzles to get to the girl. So amazing.
The Penguins in "Penguin Swing"
This fun Flash-based game probably cost companies tons of money as office workers wasted time playing a bat-wielding Yeti who aimed to hit a penguin as far as he could.
The Penguins in "Surf's Up"
The game based on the CGI movie features penguins that surf.
The Penguins in "Madagascar: Operation Penguin"
The game based on the CGI movie features penguins that use gadgets.
The Penguins in "March of the Penguins"
The game based on the documentary film features penguins that march.
The Chickens in "Chicken Run"
The game based on the stop-motion animated film features
penguins chickens that run.
Chicken Little in "Chicken Little"
The game based on the CGI movie features a chicken that's known for being crazy because he thinks the sky is falling.
Hedwig in the "Harry Potter" Universe
Harry Potter's loyal and intelligent owl was a present from Hagrid in his first year. She delivered messages for Harry and often seemed to understand what he was saying.
Kaepora Gaebora in "The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time"
A wise old owl, Kaepora Gaeboara was thought to be the reincarnation of an ancient Sage. He watches over Link and guides him throughout his journey.
We know we forgot some. Let us know your favorites as well as which ones the judges should consider for the top prize. And check back at the end of the month for the results.