1) Snuggly Crow
Just an extra-cute birb with powerful dialogue perfectly sorted to activate my ecolalia (we’re only just now hitting the sunset period of Graziella’s 5-Year Ban on My Snuggly imitations) who perfectly represents the shy struggle of an anthropomorphic crow who just wants to snuggle up in some filthy, fluffy rubbish, which I think we can all relate to. The need to save/reload for every trade is a bit of a burden, but who are we to complain? There’s beauty in simplicity, and Snuggly knows it! She’s the best of the best because she keeps it simple and clean.
(well, less with the last part, seeing as how she lives in filth)
Besides which, Snuggly boasts the best exchange rate of all the Bartering Birbs. Two Twinkling Titanite for a Bloodred Moss Clump, is this crow for real?? Are we back in the economy boom of the 1980s with these prices?? I feel like I’m walking on clouds here, and the clouds are made of Silver Knight Shield +5s (76 stability on a medium shield?? if this is a dream, may I never, ever wake!)
2) Pickle-Pee and Pump-a-Rum
Hewing exquisitely close to the Dark Souls 1 model, as basically everything in Dark Souls 3 does (with the modern-day convenience of instant trades–no quitting to the menu here!), Pickle-Pee and Pump-a-Rum would be a shoe-in for that alone. Though their absurd and dangerous and possibly pseudo-sexual names are a little Rated M for Mature to fit in with a family-friendly series like Dark Souls, we can’t possibly hold that against them. Who could ever discern anything inappropriate, much less lustful, in the sheer, unmitigated child-like bliss of their shrill screeches?
Besides which, in a game recognized for its significantly gross, overindulgent level of fan-service, these birbs really take the cake. I mean: Gough carvings? Sunlight armor? These crows got trades for days, and they’re cute as a pair of mismatched ankle boots to match!
3) That One Pacifist Crow in Hemwick Charnel Lane Who Never Attacks You No Matter What You Do
Has it realized the futility of life in the post/on-going apocalypse and simply resigned itself to its fate, deciding that no human, whether by threaded cane or hunter’s axe, can strip away its dignity? Or is this some kind of crow pacifist or martyr, burning itself on the pyre of a noble cause, whether that be its own, or yours? Even in the assured face of oncoming death, Crow Jesus does not fight, preferring to offer up its pittance of blood echoes to your bloodthirsty cause rather than sacrifice its ethics in fighting back.
That’s one ultra-polite birb!
4) Sparkly The Crow
Sparkly gets points for being the original, and therefore something like the geneseed that spawned the true elder god who holds dominion over our meager spirits (Snuggly, referenced above). Props to the progenitor, no doubt, no doubt.
But Sparkly’s got no pizzaz, and her trades remarkably fuckin’ blow like no other. Like come on, Crescent Moon Grass, White Arrows x4000, and Sticky White Stuff?? I’m gonna give up my Large Sword of Moonlight, which I fought ten thousand ultra-gross sluggoids in a poison swamp for, and all you’re going to give me is a damn Ring of Devout Prayer. What, for extra miracle slots? So I can equip another copy of Second Chance? Get with the program! What kinda shop you running here kid? No wonder you’re stuck in that shitstorm 4-1; those spinny blade skeletons are the only assholes who will tolerate your bullshit trades.
53) Those weird birb dogs that creep everyone out in Nightmare of Mensis
WTF DIRECTLY WHO EVER ASKED FOR THAT SHIT.
99) Dyna & Tilo
Dyna & Tilo rank the lowest, surprising no one but the jerks, for their shit voices & their damn shit trades. gtfo w/ ur Petrified WHATEVER. Isn’t it just dumb as hell that they only accept like four items and they’re all labeled “smooth” or “shiny”? Hey, back in my day, we had things thing called “mystery” and it meant that you spent an hour dropping whatever old crap you had in your inventory in the hopes that some loverly, invisible crow would shine even the faintest glimmer of its affection on you. Now you just roll up with something called a “Smooth & Silky Stone” and clank it on the ground while they say “HEY MAYBE WANNA GIVE US SOMETHING ALL SMOOTH AND SILKY LIKE?” Get the hell outta here with that. I don’t give a shit that I can reroll characters until I get lucky with my initial drop so I can run through the entire game with the Channeler’s Trident dance and I love the Channeler’s Trident dance. Which just goes to show you how much I hate those birbs.
Putting that aside, if you don’t mind, I’m going to turn my chair around and sit down backwards in it so I can talk real to you for a moment:
Listen to those voices! Not a single glottal gulp or struggling ca-caw in sight! From Software! You, of all people, I never expected to kow-tow to traditional norms of beauty and grace. What’s lovely of Souls birbs is their struggle. What makes them beautiful is their style and poise that flaunts social expectations, not conforms to them. Cripes, is there any greater indication that Dark Souls 2 is NOT canon and was NOT informed by the unimpeachable genius of art, storytelling, and gameplay design that is Hidetaka Miyazaki than these assy crows and their assy, Heidi Klum-level of plain-ass whitebread beauty completely devoid of even a single, simpering facet of personality? Forget about it. I’m done. I need a nap.