Birds of a Feather

It’s been so long since I last talked about TF2 cosmetics.

Archimedes is one of the most iconic Medic cosmetics out there, and it is so popular that it has four spin-off cosmetics. The closest competition it has in that regard is the Balloonicorn, which has three spin-offs: The Reindoonicorn, Balloonihoodie and the monstrosity that is the Combustible Cutie. Today, I’ll like to look at the four birds fighting for a spot on the Medic’s shoulder. Sorry Medimedes, maybe another time.

coo coo

Archimedes, to me, is a stellar example of Valve’s character visual design. In case you still didn’t know, Archimedes is a side character in Meet the Medic:

And the reason why I said it is a good character visual design is because it is a fantastic metaphor for the Medic’s character. Really, is there a better representation of a homicidal healer than a bloodstained dove? It’s a shame that the BLU version of Archimedes lacks the bloodstain. I mean, I get why, it’s to maintain consistency for the team colours, but it is such a nice part of its design! Sucks that it’s only available half the time.

It is also rigged to follow the Medic’s facial expression. Small detail that most people probably won’t notice while playing, but neat nonetheless. It’s also aabicus’ favourite bird.

*exhaust noise*

The Mecha-Medes is added during the Robotic Boogaloo update and is my preferred Medic bird cosmetic. Not that I dislike the others, I have all four of them, I just dig the mechanical appearance of Mecha-Medes more. A splash of motor oil covered its chest, similar to the the bloodstain on its feathery counterpart. Some of the paint on its body is chipped away, especially around the edges, and rivet heads protrude out from some of the plates, mimicking the appearance of the robots sent by Gray Mann, as does its eyes.

Mecha-Medes is fantastic, although I do have some questions. Archimedes got its bloodstains from burrowing into body cavities. Did Mecha-Medes got its oil stains from wallowing inside broken-up robots? Will it catch fire if a spark touches the oil patch?

*menacing, guttural coo*

Archimedes the Undying is a zombified version of our favourite dove. Chunks of its flesh around the neck was torn off, in reference to the time in Meet the Medic where it was hit by a chunk of Heavy’s exploding heart. A panel in the comic Shadow Boxers even shows Archimedes with what seems to be a dove-sized neck brace. This is similar to how the Voodoo-Cursed zombie mercs have injuries corresponding to where they are wounded in the various “Meet the” videos. For example, the Voodoo-Cursed Heavy Soul has his abdomen opened up in the same manner as in Meet the Medic.

Other than that, its zombified appearance resembles the Voodoo-Cursed Medic Soul, with the yellow glowing eyes and sickly green feathers. It also gave Medic new voicelines as well, where it actually speaks with a semi-growling voice to Medic.

coo coo coo

The last one on the list is Santarchimedes, its name a portmanteau of Santa and Archimedes.

Out of the four birds, this is perhaps the least inspired one. Archimedes is a great character design, Archimedes the Undying references what happened to Archimedes in the shorts and the comics, and Mecha-Medes at least had an interesting item description.blurb

However, I have to admit that Santarchimedes is absolutely adorable. Seeing it with its tiny black boots, red coat, fake beard and a sack on its back made me bought it the moment I saw it. Yes, I still stand by my previous point, but I can’t deny that it’s cute.

All four doves are great cosmetics to round up a cosmetic set that fits its theme. Archimedes the Undying is Halloween restricted, but since it’s a horror-themed cosmetic and most such cosmetics are Halloween restricted anyway, that isn’t exactly a big issue. Santarchimedes is quite obviously a Christmas-themed (or possibly a winter-themed) cosmetic, Mecha-Medes is great for futuristic, space-themed or maybe military loadouts, and Archimedes is good for most situations. All four of them are good birds, with the exception of Archimedes the Undying who keeps whispering horrible things to Medic. To be fair, Medic himself isn’t exactly a saint either.


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