Saturday, 25 September 2010

Bird Week - NES

A day in the life of a bird? No. A year perhaps? No. A nesting season maybe? No. OK, lets settle on a week?! Without doubt the most meaningful unit of time in the hectic life of a bird. What are you're plans for this week? Oh you know, feeding the chicks (Pinky, Panky and Ponky), dumping mushrooms on passing crows, avoiding rodents that can and will leap the hight of a tree in pursuit of your life etc. You will endure over 900 levels comprising a seemingly endless succession of seasons and weather fronts: all curiously crammed into the space of one legendary week. If this isn't making sense yet here is a dubious translation of the manual taken from Wikipedia:

Under the sparkling light of the sun, there was a breezy fresh kingdom of birds. There was a live bird living peacefully with the flowers that faced against a very tall tree. Mommy was the name of the mother bird who moved out from her mother's den to start her own family. Mommy will grow and eventually plant a series of eggs in her nest. Then the eggs hatched. Mommy started to notice the world to be a dangerous place when she first laid eyes on her offspring. With their big mouths, they were always hungry for their favourite food items. Mommy jumped out from of her nest with a shazam to make sure her children never died of starvation. There are animals that are out to get Mommy. While Mommy was content to feed her chicks around the flight, she found that the mushroom could disable many of the predators.

Hounded by a diabolical crow, Mummy Bird floats past the fungus that could have saved her life.
Oh...season of mists and mellow fruitfulness. Approximately one 700th
of the way through her busy week, the once green leaves have turned to brown?

This little known classic only ever appeared on the Famicom in the year 1986 and is one of the perishingly rare species of avian life simulators. It has inspired countless works of art including the above track by Vermont based band Healthy Option Dane. Completing all 999 levels would be a form of torture beyond the ken of most gods of the underworld: yet played sparingly it's an enjoyable experience and may serve to highlight the sheer reflexes and wrought-iron-stomach for tedium required of most bird life. Just 51 more to go . . . 


  1. Hey this is Dan, the real-life bassist for Healthy Option Dane. Thanks for the plug/embedding of our video. Glad to see some other people out there love Bird Week as much as we do: it is pretty much the best video game in all of history! Great blog by the way, keep it up.

  2. Hi Dan, I was shocked to discover other fans of Bird Week let alone ones fanatical enough to compose music in its honour (I have your track ensconced on my MP3 player). It seems there is still hope for both the computer game and music industry!

  3. Zoid,
    Glad to hear the track ended up on your mp3 player.....

    Hah! We were also surprised to find anyone else who even knew about Bird Week let alone "fanatical enough to [write a hilarious review of the game]."

    The genesis of our interest in the game comes from a certain (very) late night which ended with us playing and laughing through a randomly selected succession of old NES games on the Homebrew channel on the Wii.

    Bird Week, of course, was our favorite.... It certainly is one hell of a "week."