Cucco. The small chicken-like birds from The Legend Of Zelda and the source of so very many humorous fan artworks. As we celebrate Thanksgiving, I’ve written this article in honor of the fowl no one tries to make into a holiday feast, and lives to tell the tale.
The cucco first appeared in A Link to the Past in 1992, the game that established their habit of swarming Link if he attacks them too many times. Since then, they have appeared in virtually every Zelda game since. In addition to the angry flock, cuccos have been utilized to glide over large gaps and wake sleeping characters. The most notable instance is the Pocket Cucco, used to startle Talon out of his inconvenient slumber at Hyrule Castle in Ocarina of Time.
Most cuccos are white, but a few other colors have been shown. Cojiro, again from Ocarina of Time, is blue. Maybe its color comes from the fact that it will only crow for good people. Perhaps it shares its owner’s depression at the wicked state Hyrule, and its people have fallen to since Ganondorf’s reign of terror began.
Another notable cucco is the golden cucco from Twilight Princess. This wonder of a bird is a better flyer than regular cuccos. Link uses its aerial ability to help him reach the Master Sword. Twilight Princess also features brown colored cuccos, who behave no differently than white ones. Link can speak to any cucco in wolf form, as they, like Epona, recognize Link for who he is. Attacking a cucco in this game will result in the bird being playable for about ten seconds. This is purely for humor’s sake and has absolutely no practical application beyond looking utterly ridiculous if the player chooses to make it run circles around another nearby cucco, like my best friend once spent 15 minutes doing.
Finally, we come to the big daddy of cuccos: the giant cucco! The giant cucco is a fearsome warrior that can plow down hordes of enemies as effortlessly as any legendary hero. If you thought a swarm of angry death birds was horrifying (or hilarious, since people seem to love suffering cuccos’ wrath so much), pause and think about how you’d fare against one the size of your house. Where can this god-like creature be found, you ask? It’s a playable character in Hyrule Warriors!
Yes, a cucco can be your best friend or your worst nightmare, depending on how you treat them. They are a lesson to all of us to always put our best foot forward and to remember that we reap what we sow. The cucco, in this way, is more than a mere bird. It is the very personification of the reward that comes from kindness and the pain caused by cruelty. So have a happy Thanksgiving and always be kind to your pets!
Matt Eschbach is a PC, Mac and Android indie game developer and fiction writer. His works have won multiple monetary awards from various contests. Graduating college in 2012 with a major in Game Design, Matt spends his time making stuff up and then building it. His favorite hobby… is sleeping.