As a Brit who is, frankly, far too lazy to research things, I have caught wind of an event happening over in the United States this weekend called the “Superbowl”. From what I can gather, it’s something of a major cultural event. Families gather, friends party, food is eaten and advertisements are shown, and it’s a good time for all.
While I’m not sure why the Superbowl is a thing, I for one can fully support any celebration of our fine friends the owls. And so, let’s reflect on some of the most superb owls gaming has given us, and honour their majestic presence in our lives.
Far Cry Primal – The Owl
Far Cry Primal is a game all about nature. Set long before we polluted and urbanised, hero Takkar creeps through the wilderness and uses his supernatural ability to tame animals to help protect his people.
One of those animal friends is, of course, the owl. One of the very first allies tamed, the owl is Takkar’s eyes and ears in the sky. With a simple call it can fly over enemy encampments, marking out all those who might wish to do Takkar harm, proving both the loyalty and intelligence of this wonderful friend. What’s more, this owl isn’t afraid to use its talons, and with a simple command can swoop down at enemies and rip the life from their throat.
Bravery, loyalty, intelligence, Takkar’s owl is a superb owl indeed.
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time – Kaepora Gaebora
Kaepora is an absolute mountain of an owl. Much bigger than Link and eyebrows that could bridge the Pacific Ocean, Mr. Gaebora is a true specimen of all an owl could be. Heck, he borders on being an unrealistic representation that is impossible to achieve for everyday owls. He’s the supermodel of the owl world. He’s so… just so handsome. Gosh.
He’s helpful, too, in his own cryptic way. Guiding, helping and teaching Link on his journey through time, Kaepora pulls off the mysterious affect astonishingly well. He never comes off as a dickish owl, just one that has seen more than he’d ever let on.
Did I mention this is one handsome owl? Because he’s hecking pretty.
Soul Calibur 3 – Olcadan
Two of the best things in this world are owls and hunks. Both are superb, with their rippling muscles, hollow bones, strong and loving embrace, and ability to eat mice in one fell swoop. But unfortunately the two were never to meet, kept apart by the boundaries of species and legality. Until Olcadan, that is.
Olcadan is a living legend, said to be a master of every fighting style on the planet. Diligently training with every new weapon he comes across, Olcadan can make use of everything from a tonfa to a scythe. This training’s honed his body into a well-oiled machine at the pinnacle of athleticism. For some reason he’s also an owl.
But that’s fine, owls are great, and Olcadan is no exception. Pure, snow-white feathers, a piercing yellow gaze and strong talons, while he doesn’t have wings, I don’t believe the power of flight is what defines our avian friend. Olcadan is 50% owl, 50% man, 100% superb.
The Psygnosis Logo
As perfect as they are, owls are only mortal. Much like us, the day comes where they go to the great barn in the sky, spending their eternities hunting and hooting and freaking out half-asleep drivers at night. None better personifies this unfortunate fact than the owl in the Psygnosis logo.
Psygnosis was a publisher based in the UK for a whopping 28 years, until eventually it died in 2012 when it was shut down by owner Sony. Famous for series like Lemmings and Wipeout, for me personally it was the Sega Saturn port of Discworld I remember them for. But the studio wasn’t the only casualty, as its mascot was a radical-looking owl that has left this mortal coil.
On the surface, the Psygnosis owl looks a lot like Olcadan – same whiteness, same yellow eyes, same dark beak. But every owl is unique and every owl is special, and Psygnosis is no different. Imbued with glowing blue markings and an altogether spherical shape, this was the gaming owl to define all future gaming owls.
Psygnosis Owl, you may be gone, but we will never forget you. You truly were a superb owl.
America, times may be rough, but I salute you. Celebrating owls by watching adverts and eating nachos is a bit bizarre, but I understand. Owls touch our lives in different ways, and so people must celebrate this most solemn of events the best they can.
Owls are superb, but owls also make us superb. God bless you, owls. You superb owls.