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Feather Flechettes

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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.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Berserk: In the Chapter of the Birth Ceremony when Guts is fighting Mozgus' torturers who were transformed into pseudo-angels, the one called Bird sends a blizzard of sharp-tipped quills from his wings flying into Guts' face. They don't penetrate the skin very much, but their real purpose is to momentarily distract and blind Guts so that Bird can seize him with his catch pole. Mozgus himself, seeing as he's able to transform into a giant stone angel with Super Strength, can pull off a far more devastating version of this.
  • In JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Battle Tendency, Kars can shoot feathers once he gains the power of the stone mask and Red stone of Aja 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 is a Paper Master who often makes functional wings out of pieces of paper, breaking off individual "feathers" to launch as sharp or exploding projectiles.
  • Eve in Black Cat does this once when fighting two Ax-Crazy Numbers, made possibly by her wings themselves being a product of broader Voluntary Shapeshifting.
  • Mr. Chicken in Slayers. It caused a little damage, but enough to reliably disrupt spellcasting.
  • Ranma ˝:
    • Toristan, the masked (and chicken-faced) birdman from Ranma ½ 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 Mobile Fighter 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 Mobile Suit 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.
  • Digimon:
    • Digimon Adventure 02 has Hawkmon's signature Feather Strike attack, where he removes the extra feather on his head and flings it like a bladed boomerang.
    • One-off character Swanmon from Digimon Frontier uses an attack called Down Tornado in an attempt to fight off the Royal Knights. Crusadermon simply deflects the feathers with her ribbons. Villain of the Week Karatenmon has a similar attack called Feather Flare, which fires glowing feathers from his wings, but it isn't able to keep up with KendoGarurumon's speed.
    • Peckmon from Digimon does this with his Kunai Wing attack.
    • In Digimon Adventure: (2020), Velgrmon gets an unnamed attack that shoots razor-sharp feathers in every direction.
  • This and Flight are Hawks's superpowers in My Hero Academia. Hawks is so skilled with manipulating the individual feathers he projects from his wings that he can offhandedly save civilians with them while in the middle of a conversation.
  • Ayakashi Triangle: Ponosuke is a pigeon tengu that can spin to launch a gale-full of feathers, though they just obscure vision instead of doing damage.

    Comic Books 
  • 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.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 
  • Storks: Junior uses a couple feathers during his attempt at preventing Tulip from activating the Baby Making Machine to disable the security cameras.
  • Lord Shen from Kung Fu Panda 2 makes regular use of throwing knives shaped like his feathers.

  • Variation: the stormwings from the Tortall Universe (introduced in the The Immortals) 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.
  • An assassination in Revelation Space is done this way, using genetically-modified peacocks at a high-society wedding.

    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. In the video games, this is made even cooler by the fact that he can also whip up a howling gale as the feathers rise. Once this attack is completed, the opponent is usually left dead with thousands of feathers impaling them all over.

    Myths & Religion 
  • 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.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The Breath Weapon of the dragons of C'iel in Anima: Beyond Fantasy is this (feathers of light), and instead of damage can cause the target(s) to stop fighting if desired so.
  • 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.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • Living statues are common low-level monsters in the Basic/Expert/etc. version of the game. 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.
    • Steelwings are giant birds native to the Infernal Battlefield of Acheron, and their metallic feathers can be fired by the creatures as a ranged attack, or collected and converted into arrows or crossbow bolts. Their name is misleading - steelwings' feathers are actually made from adamantine, one of the hardest metals in the multiverse.
  • In Magic: The Gathering, Wing Shards does this in the flavor. As for how it works mechanically...well, this is Magic.
  • 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 
  • Cuphead: During phase 2 of the fight with Wally Warbles, he attacks by flailing around angrily for several seconds at a time, generating a dense cloud of feathery bullets you have to dodge. Fittingly, when you beat this phase, he's become completely featherless.
  • 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.
  • Coryoon has a phoenix boss whose main attack is by launching her tail's feathers as projectiles. She lose both her tails in the process, only to regrow a new one within seconds until she's defeated.
  • Griffins in Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core have a skill called "feather shots." They don't look metal or anything, but they do hurt.
  • The Phoenix boss in Cloud Master blasts you with her feathers, non-stop, as her sole attack.
  • 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.
    • Pokémon Sun and Moon has the evolution line of the grass-type starter Rowlet, it and its direct evolution, Dartrix, use feathers made out of sharp leaves. Their final evoution, Decidueye, takes it up a notch by actually shooting its feathers like a bow and arrow.
  • Kirby
    • 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. In Kirby's Dream Land 3, Cutter Coo instead fires a single, large feather.
    • Wing Kirby, introduced in Kirby Super Star, can fire projectile feathers and cause damage when flapping the wings in his war bonnet. These abilities are also present in Birdon and Owgulf, enemies that grant the Wing ability when inhaled.
  • Harpies in the various Castlevania games.
  • The Crystal of Kings have a harpy boss who can send waves of feathery projectiles at your player.
  • One of the bosses in Bomberman Tournament could do this.
  • The Evil Eagle in The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening has an attack where it will fling a few at Link while pushing him back. These fortunately may be deflected with the Mirror Shield.
  • 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.
  • In Final Fantasy XIV, the Primal Garuda also uses these as some of her attacks when not using Blow You Away.
  • Tanuki Justice have eagle enemies who can shoot their feathers from a distance at you.
  • 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.
  • Temtem has two attacks that involve a blast of sharp feathers: the Wind-type Feather Gatling, and the Crystal-type Crystal Plume Gatling.
  • 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 Mega Man Battle Network 6: Cybeast Gregar and Cybeast Falzar, 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. Storm Eagle also gains an attack like this in Hard Mode of Mega Man: Maverick Hunter X.
  • In the first and third Mega Man Star Force games, Cygnus Wing has this as one of his attacks. Strangely, the feathers he shoots at you look nothing like the ones on his wings.
  • The Peepsta Hoo Dream Eater in Kingdom Hearts 3D [Dream Drop Distance] 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 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 Slayin, the Harpy does this attack.
  • 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.
  • From the Bayonetta series, the titular character can learn a magical technique called Umbran Spear, which can be used when she transforms into a Crow to surround herself in spinning feathers which can then be fired off like projectiles. Jeanne can do the same thing when she turns into an owl, and in the sequel, Rosa can use it while in her falcon form. Glamor, and angel introduced in 2, can attack with Feather Flechettes too.
  • In Donkey Kong 64, although Tiny Kong does not have wings, she uses a crossbow that has feathers as its Abnormal Ammo.
  • Skowl, one of he bosses from Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, uses these during several attacks.
  • In League of Legends Xayah uses sharp feathers as her weapons, pretty much like throwing knives. Each time she uses a skill her basic attacks, her Q skill ("Double Daggers") and ultimate ("Featherstorm") will leave some feathers on the ground, which she can recall into her with her E skill "Bladecaller", damaging and stunning anyone hit by three or more feathers. If her boyfriend Rakan is near her, he can also throw some feathers with his basic attacks everytime she uses her W skill, "Deadly Plumage".
  • Super Robot Wars Alpha: The Astranagant's "T-Link Feather" attack has it perform a Badass Arm-Fold, spread its wings of Pure Energy and use the Telekinesis-Link System to launch shards of them at enemies.
  • The Falcon uses these in Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order.

    Web Animation 
  • In RWBY, the Nevermore uses this. To get an idea of how large this bird is, its feathers are taller that the average human.

    Web Comics 
  • Haury the wind demon in Slightly Damned has a magical variation of this where he charges the feathers on his wings with wind energy and fires them off, said energy probably explains how they are fast and sharp enough to do any damage.

    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.

    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.
  • There is one bird that does use its feathers as a form of armor, though not as weapons—the honey buzzard. Since it preys on wasps and bees, the feathers on its face have hardened to form armor plating to protect it from their stings.
  • Cassowary and kiwi wing feathers are claw-like quills, though they don't seem to have any pratical purpose.


Video Example(s):


Fire Vellumental feathers

A barrage of spiked, fiery feathers that stick to the stage.

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Main / FeatherFlechettes

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