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Feather Flechettes

An attack popular among Winged Humanoids and a few other winged creatures: Using your own feathers as a form of weaponry.

This is usually accomplished by the attacker flapping their wings forward, releasing a storm of sharp feathers that fly off towards the intended target.

This makes no sense from a biological or physical perspective; feathers may look sharp, but in Real Life they're only good for cutting through the air; they are too delicate and lightweight to be used as a weapon. The same characteristics that make them useful for flight (lightweight, lots of wind resistance) would also make them poor projectiles: difficult to aim and losing much of their force in transit. But hey — anything's possible if it looks cool enough.

Alternatively, the character may opt to use their feathers as melee weapons (similar to knives or especially Wolverine Claws) to slice and dice the opponent at close range.

Can overlap with Razor Wings. Perpetual Molt is a similar visual effect without the combat overtones. A Spike Shooter typically uses more obviously deadly projectiles.

If any explanation is given, it's probably A Wizard Did It.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • In JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Cars can do this once he gain's the power of the stone mask and Red stone of Asia to enhance his already formidable abilities.
  • Used in The Law of Ueki: an interesting case because the actual superpower of the man using it was flying, so apparently, attacking with feather blades was considered somehow natural for winged creatures.
  • Mazinger Z: One of the attacks of Mechanical Beast Harpy π7 was hurling wave after wave of its metallic feathers at their enemies. Those feathers were hard and sharp enough to slice and cut through Japanium, and with they very nearly destroyed Mazinger-Z and destroyed Aphrodite-A for good.
  • Daimos: One of the weapons of Daimos, Five Shooter, consisted of throwing several golden, feather-like darts.
  • Suigintou from Rozen Maiden loves doing this. Then again, she's a talking doll.
  • Bleach. When in her released form, Privaron Espada #105, Cirucci Sanderwicci, can fire the feather-like blades (which vibrate at high speeds) in her wings at her opponents. The blades can return and re-attach to her wings at will, making them Precision Guided Boomerangs. There's also Avirama Redder, Fraccion of Baraggan Luisenbarn, who in his Winged Humanoid released form has "steel" feathers, which he launches by flapping them at his enemies, their heavy weight making them deadly projectiles. He can also instantly regenerate his lost feathers. Ironically, the very reason they are so deadly becomes his downfall, considering the weight-multiplying Zanpakutou power of his opponent, Vice-Captain Izuru Kira.
  • Claymore: in the anime, one of Priscilla's Awakened Forms allows her to do this.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!, with many Winged Beast-Type monsters.
  • Konan of Naruto can do this, due to the fact that her "feathers" are actually sheets of paper.
  • Eve in Black Cat did this once when fighting two Ax-Crazy Numbers.
    • In her case it actually makes sense seeing as she can change the mass and composition of any part of her body at will.
  • Mr. Chicken in Slayers. It caused a little damage, but enough to reliably disrupt spellcasting.
  • Toristan, the masked (and chicken-faced birdman from Ranma ˝ The Movie 2: Nihao My Concubine, wears a feather-lined coat that he employs precisely for this purpose.
    • Likewise, the Mt. Phoenix warrior Masala can shoot off razor feathers from his wings with enough force to drive them deep into concrete.
  • Phoenix Ikki from Saint Seiya is fond of appearing via a sharp, metal feather to the enemy's hand whenever said foe is threatening his little brother, Shun. Presumably, these blades come from the self-regenerating Phoenix Cloth's not-so-decorative tail feathers.
  • In G Gundam, Gundam Heaven's Swordnote  has the Heaven's Darts as its primary ranged weapon in its flight form.
  • From Amatsuki, the tengu Bonten can apparently use these. Don't ask how, since his wings were folded away at the time.
  • Black Butler: Ash/Angela during the final battle.
  • In Crossbone Gundam, the Divinidad's feather funnels are primarily Attack Drones, but they're large and durable enough that they can also destroy enemy mobile suits simply by ramming them. The Cornix from the sequel The Steel 7 has refined versions of the feather funnels which mount beam blades for stronger melee attacks.

    Comic Books 
  • Also used by Archangel from X-Men. Justified, like the Bleach example, by being metal projectiles. When he regains real wings instead of biomechanical ones, he loses this ability.

    Folklore and Mythology 
  • Greek Mythology
    • Birds of Ares from Apollonius Rhodius's Argonautica are the Ur Example, dating back to the 3rd century BCE.
    • Likewise the Stymphalian Birds from the Twelve Labors of Herakles. These man-eating birds terrorized the region not only by raining death with their razor feathers, but by tearing prey apart with their bronze beaks and talons. Herakles wore the Nemean Lion's pelt as armor to defend himself, and felled them with arrows dipped in the Hydra's venom.

    Literature 
  • Variation: the stormwings in the Immortals Quartet are covered with razor-edged metallic feathers, but they don't attack by throwing or shooting them. They do swipe at things with their wings, which is pretty likely to end in septic infection for the swipe-ee.
  • In the Left Behind book Assassins, the razor-sharp feathers from the winged ice sculpture of Pontifex Maximus Peter Mathews are used as murder weapons by the ten subpotentates at a Nasty Party that was held for the High Priest of Enigma Babylon.

    Live Action TV 
  • Kamen Rider OOO''s TaJaDor form, being based on birds, fires peacock-feather flechettes as one of its powers. And said projectiles are on fire.
  • Geronimon from Ultraman possesses this as one of his 3 main abilities.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Magic: The Gathering, Wing Shards does this in the flavor. As for how it works mechanically...well, this is Magic.
  • Champions adventure V.O.I.C.E. of Doom. The villain Goshawk wears a flying suit with artificial wings. He can fire the feathers in them like throwing knives, inflicting lethal damage on any target hit.
  • Living statues are common low-level monsters in the Basic/Expert/etc. version of Dungeons & Dragons. One variant of the crystal statue is a justified example of this trope, as it's equipped with metal wings that inflict slashing melee attacks.
  • Role Aids Monsters of Myth and Legend. This product's version of the Stymphalian Birds didn't just have them dropping their feathers on their opponents (as the original Greek Mythology version did), it had them firing their feathers at opponents as if they were arrows.

    Video Games 
  • Harpies in Warcraft are explicitly said to hurl pinfeathers at enemies.
    • In the Ji-Kun encounter in Mists of Pandaria the boss, a giant bird of prey, will periodically fill the air around her with a storm of razor-sharp quills.
  • Griffins in Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core have a skill called "feather shots." They don't look metal or anything, but they do hurt.
  • Literal in the case of Pokémon's Skarmory. Some of its Pokedex entries have stated that their metal 'feathers' are so sharp ancient peoples used them to make swords.
    • In HeartGold and SoulSilver, wing attack is depicted this way. Even featherless Pokemon use feathers for wing attack.
  • Kirby does this in Super Star. His Wing form and the Wing partner can fire projectile feathers, and cause damage when they flap their feathers.
    • Kirby's owl partner Coo obtains this ability when using the Cutter ability in Kirby's Dream Land 2, shooting three razor sharp feathers straight forward, diagonally up, and diagonally down.
  • Harpies in the various Castlevania games.
  • One of the bosses in Bomberman Tournament could do this.
  • Emperor Griffon in Dark Cloud 2 rains a shower of projectiles down from his wings. As he Turns Red, he drops to the ground and transforms his wings into actual swords.
  • Yagudo, the birdlike beastmen in Final Fantasy XI, have several attacks that fit this trope, but the most frequently seen is Feather Storm.
  • Colette in Tales of Symphonia gains an attack like this. Justified in that her wings seem to be made of solid energy anyway, so physics need not apply.
  • The Holy Dragons of the Disgaea series launch their feathers for some of their specials, which explode in a burst of light shortly after connecting.
  • Justified by the Murakumo Units in BlazBlue: their "wings" are rows of swords that float behind them. All of the ones seen so far have at least one attack that revolves around flogging the opponent with all of them at once, giving the functionality of a Whip Sword without the whip.
  • The Harpies in Terraria use this as their ranged attack. Defeating them allow you to pick up their feathers for crafting.
  • An angelic power in Nexus War.
  • In Mega Man 6, one of Tomahawk Man's two means of offense is to sling the feathers of his headdress at you (The other being his namesake).
    • In the sixth game of the Mega Man Battle Network series, Mega Man's Falzar Beast forms turn his Mega Buster into a rapid-fire feather shooter. The being he draws this power from likewise uses a rain of feathers as one of its more dangerous attacks in the final battle.
  • From the Mega Man X series, we have Storm Owl who fires out spreads of these. Cyber Peacock and Wind Crowrang fire feathers that are homing and explosive.
  • The Peepsta Hoo dream eater in Kingdom Hearts 3D uses these (Referred to as "feather shuriken" ingame). They're weak, but homing, make you stagger for a lengthy amount of time, are frequently launched in volleys, and can inflict Standard Status Effects if the user performed an Enemy Scan beforehand. Predictably, this makes the owls Goddamned Bats.
    • There's also the Eaglider dream eater, whose feathers are homing missiles, complete with explosions and exhaust trails.
  • In Zoda's Revenge: StarTropics II, Zoda-Y's true form, a giant owl-beast, shoots out its own feathers as projectiles, while its wings create gusts of wind which attempt to push you into the spikes behind.

    Web Original 
  • Swoop of the Whateley Universe has a bird spirit, which lets her fly and fling ectoplasm 'feathers' at opponents. The flung weapons are like stone until they dissipate.
  • Samael of The Descendants is a psychopath with Magitek wings that let him launch these with a flick of his wing.
  • In RWBY, the Nevermore uses this. To get an idea of how large this bird is, its feathers are taller that the average human.

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • At very high speeds, feathers can cut, as anyone will know who has shot arrows off the hand without a glove.
  • While it never claimed they were sharp, one (discredited) theory about the evolution of feathers depicted them as hunting weapons that extended the grasping ability of bird-ancestors' forelimbs, allowing them to trap insects in a cage of proto-feathers and sweep them into their mouths.

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