While Hyper Demon is a game of immense and almost incomprehensible violence, the surprise sequel to Devil Daggers opens in such a lovely way. Before beginning your descent into deicide, you must claim your unholy knife and oh, there it is, surrounded by hopping little crystalline birds! What pretty birds they are! Oh, and they're cheeping little tinging cheeps! And they hop back if I step towards them! And they flutter into the skies if I charge! And form a big flock if I chase long enough! Ah. Yeah, I think I see how our character earned a place in superhell.
I like this moment. An air of reverence, holyness, calm, and peace with gentle wildlife before you pick up the knife and suddenly you're swarmed by undead skeletal horrors. A nice contrast. And an opportunity to be a prick, I guess.
While I am far too good, moral, respectable, and admirable a person to chase real birds, I cannot resist doing it in video games. From pigeons in Deus Ex to doves in dog sim Chasing Birds, I've bothered 'em all. Flocks and swarms of AI-controlled critters like birds and fish are such a joy to watch, a little touch of magic to me. If video games are power fantasies, as some claim, then I can think of worse puerile fantasies than chasing after wildlife like an unsupervised toddler delighting as they flutter and flap.
That said, I am am wary of the the seagulls in Duke Smoochem, that astonishing upcoming Duke Nukem 3D level which I genuinely consider the greatest chronicle of contemporary English culture. There not only will you find seagulls stealing crisps and eating dead pigeons (how beautiful, the English circle of life!) but coming after you too. Living by the seaside, I have developed a very healthy fear of these flying bins.
seagull steals crisps from Sainsbury's, in Duke Nukem 3D pic.twitter.com/HuPIbRnG72— Dan Douglas (@dandouglas) March 19, 2022
Hyper Demon is a good'un, by the way. The score attack FPS is even faster and unfriendlier than Devil Daggers, then turns into such a glorious slow-motion kaleidoscope of ultraviolence once you start to understand. See my Hyper Demon review for more on that. The game's on Steam for £11/€12/$15.