“It’s turkey time. Gobble, gobble.” It’s a phrase used by turkeys and Jennifer Lopez alike. Fortunately, only the former has been featured in video games over the past few decades. From tasty power-ups to crafty enemies, these are the poultry’s prime appearances.
South Park’s Enemy Turkey
The very first South Park video game was an N64/PSX/PC first-person shooter from Acclaim, simply titled South Park. Turkeys are the lowest enemy on the totem pole, and their annoying, looping gobble sound effect is even more obnoxious than their omnipresence. They charge straight at you, trying to peck you to death. You have to respond by throwing snowballs at their flat, polygonal faces until they plop over in defeat.
Much of the early seasons of South Park were loosely focused on holidays, with elaborate musical numbers at the end; biting satire wasn’t added into the mix until more recent years. These turkeys are from a Season 1 episode entitled “Starvin’ Marvin.”
Cooking Mama’s Unauthorized Turkey
In 2008, PETA released the browser game Cooking Mama Unauthorized PETA Edition: Mama Kills Animals. In this activist parody (or not?) of the Nintendo DS game, you play as Mama prepping Thanksgiving dinner with a healthy side of gore. In the first stage, you pluck feathers off a turkey to reveal its hanging carcass. If you are “too nice” with these tasks, you can’t progress to the next stage. There’s also a handy link to some vegan Thanksgiving recipes.
Production values here are surprisingly decent for a bloody edutainment game that’s trying to cram a vegan message down your throat. It’s a click-fest, but then again, so are the original Cooking Mama games. This is more message than game, but it does capture the spirit of the original, albeit from an ironic point of view.
Castlevania’s Wall Turkey
As Alucard ventures down the stairs into the first subterranean area of Count Dracula’s castle, a hidden turkey dinner awaits him, behind a breakable wall of stone. Its skin tastes of ripened cheese, while its flesh is rotted to the core. And a dollop of organic vampire bat guano gives it a toothsome finish.
I’ve always wondered how Alucard carries a fully cooked turkey around. Is there a turkey pouch in the back of his cape? Does he carve the turkey into tiny chunks and stuff them into the side of his mouth? Perhaps he gobbles it up while exclaiming, “Fangs for the memories!” The world may never know.
Pink Panther’s Turkey Cave
Depending or your age or your fondness for the works of Blake Edwards, the Pink Panther will represent either a cartoon character or a valuable diamond featured in a series of live-action films. But in the unfortunate SNES/Genesis video game Pink Goes to Hollywood, there’s a level called Refrigerator.
A few steps into this gigantic frozen wasteland, you have to guide the titular Pink Panther into the carcass of a turkey to advance to the Stuffing Battle stage. What better way to celebrate Thanksgiving than venturing up to its Stove Top heights? As the saying goes, two in the Pink Panther, one in the
Article by contributor Mat-Bradley Tschirgi.