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People who hurt animals in real life make me sick, but doing it in a video game is not only a necessity…it can even be fun.
The following 10 games are not afraid to annihilate rowdy, blood-thirsty critters for the sake of self-defense, sport, or boredom.
My NES did not come bundled with a Zapper, but I played the heck out of Duck Hunt at a friend's house. I added a bit of blood to the image above, but even without the red stuff this game is pretty brutal. I mean, those ducks are dead…period.
Super Mario World
Mario recently received some shit from the animal rights group PETA for supposedly promoting the use of tanooki fur, but small raccoons are not his only prey. The Italian brothers have been in the business of slaying cute creatures for over 25 years, and they keep getting better at it.
Nobody thinks twice about swatting a pesky bug, but shooting centipedes with a laser is totally hardcore. I've never known what you play as in this game, but it sure hates arthropods.
Fact: Seal cubs are some of the fiercest predators of Mother Nature. Actually, I just made that up to justify the ice climbers' need of smashing baby seals in the head with mallets.
Ghouls 'N Ghosts
I don't trust birds, and neither does Sir Arthur. The bearded caballero takes a break from slaying demons to impale some annoying vultures and bright-colored crows with his spear.
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
Saving princesses takes a toll on any hero, and Link likes to unwind by whacking cuccos with his sword. Anyone familiar with the Zelda series knows that chickens don't like to be poked with pointy blades. The Hero of Time is about to learn this lesson the hard way.
Eternal Champions: Challenge from the Dark Side
Crispy the chicken is a secret character from the Sega CD version of Eternal Champions. One of his special (and very unorthodox) moves summons a farmer who chops her head off with a hatchet, sending the headless hen into a blood-splattering frenzy.
It's hard to call out this game for animal abuse when Crispy decapitates herself, but she wouldn't need to do that if some asshole like Rax (pictured) wasn't beating the eggs out of her.
Knights of the Round
When Arthur (no relation to Ghouls 'N Ghosts' boxer shorts-wearing knight…I think) pulled the sacred Excalibur from a rock, he had no idea he would be using it to castrate wildlife.
Fighter's History Dynamite
Remember the ox from Karate Champ's bonus stage? He's a hidden boss in Data East's Fighter's History Dynamite. Sadly, the only thing Karnov likes more than eating cattle is kicking them.
Karnov's beef is never rare.
Cadillacs and Dinosaurs
Not even dinosaurs are safe from corporal punishment. At the end of the first stage, Hannah catches Vice Terhune beating a defenseless, chained rock hopper. Physical pain enrages the beast and forces the brunette heroine to engage it.
Hannah shows off her new attack: the Dino-sore Kick.
"The Butcher" sharpens his machetes using the bones from a Stegosaurus while Mustapha suffers a brain meltdown commonly associated with wearing yellow jeans.