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The flut flut is a species of bird in The Precursor Legacy. Large and colorful, they were sometimes ridden as mounts by humans. An infant flut flut was rescued by Jak and Daxter, then nursed to health by the Birdwatcher and Samos Hagai in Sandover Village. It was then tacked up by Keira for Jak to travel farther and faster, and to reach otherwise inaccessible areas.

The adults of the species are rare and deadly predators, though they tend to avoid humans. Even in infancy, Jak's bird could charge forward with enough force to break metal containers, and was capable in combat against lurkers.

The flut flut is markedly similar and the spiritual predecessor to Jak 3's leaper lizard, with similar controls, attacks, and body shape.

History[edit | edit source]

By the time of The Precursor Legacy, flut fluts had not been seen for generations. Tales were told of them once being used as commonly as yakows, and of children playing with the young.[1]

The flut flut shortly after hatching.

When Jak and Daxter approached the Birdwatcher in search of power cells, she offered one in exchange for saving an orphaned flut flut egg on Sentinel Beach. She explained that the day earlier, she witnessed lurkers capture a mother flut flut, leaving her egg atop a cliff.[2]

The duo did so, and the chick was born. She adopted Daxter as her maternal imprint (to his annoyance), presumably because he was the first non-human animal she saw. The Birdwatcher then took the chick back to the village to care for her, with Samos' aid.[3]

Jak capturing the power cell at the end of "Ride the flut flut".

Later, while at Rock Village, the Birdwatcher allowed Keira to tack up the flut flut to assist the duo in their journey north.[4] Keira could then teleport the flut flut to surrounding locations from a trans-pad in the Blue Sage's hut. Jak first used the flut flut in Boggy Swamp to collect an out-of-reach power cell in the mission "Ride the flut flut". He lastly used her in Snowy Mountain, traversing vast chasms to open the Lurker fort.

Characteristics[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

Concept art of the flut flut.

The flut flut is an extremely large species of ratite bird, with adults reaching up to 4-meter heights and 15-meter wingspans.[1] Adults can presumably fly, given the large wingspan in proportion to their body, though this remains unconfirmed.[a] Only a young, flightless specimen was seen in the series, standing not much taller than the 1.75-meter Jak, with a proportionately small wingspan. Instead, it could only extend its jumps and slow its descents by rapidly flapping its wings. Its ascensions were seemingly powered by its large and powerful legs, launching off the ground with instantaneous power. Its large-feathered, aerodynamic tail also likely contributed to its wide range of non-flying traversal abilities.

The flut flut on the trans-pad at Snowy Mountain.

Flut fluts vary in coloration in a similar pattern to real-world parrots.[1] The individual seen in the series carried blue colors at the edges and frays, transitioning to primarily yellow on the surface of the body, with a pale underbelly. The flut flut beak is prominent and bright orange, reaching from ear to ear. At the top of the head and around their very large eyes is a thick, keratin-like crown, forming a distinctive helmet and brow shape. The crown is a phylogenetic feature used to break through objects and attack targets.[6]

The infant flut flut body shape lends well to their use as mounts: their back is long and balanced over their tall legs, with their long necks allowing slack for reins. Keira outfitted Jak's flut flut with such reins, as well as a saddle, instep guards, and cloth wrappings.

Behavior[edit | edit source]

Flut flut chicks have a friendly disposition, even known to play with human children and be ridden as mounts.[1] They are fairly intelligent and obedient, capable of understanding and performing a variety of commands within days of birth.

Adults, however, are regarded as fearsome predators, and are fiercely protective of their young. While generally being the most feared,[1] the Mayor once mentioned he would "rather wrestle an enraged flut flut" than venture out into the now lurker-infested Forbidden Jungle.[7]

Flut fluts are carnivores, though they tend to only prey on animals over a meter tall, avoiding humans unless agitated or starved.[1]

Control[edit | edit source]

Jak using the flut flut's forward charge to attack a group of swamp rats.

The flut flut is fast and responsive, capable of covering much more ground more quickly than Jak. It can jump high and far, and extend these jumps by flapping its wings. Although it can jump higher than Jak, it wasn't necessarily used to reach otherwise inaccessible heights; instead, it was long distances, such as gaps between platforms, that the flut flut helped Jak traverse.

The flut flut has two attacks. The first is a forward charge, wherein it lunges forward with high velocity. The force is enough to break strong boxes and locked boxes, a feat normally requiring yellow eco, aerial melee attacks, or other special mechanics.[b] The second is a pouncing dive attack,[8] wherein the flut flut will dive head-first at a high speed, before pushing its feet toward the ground at the very last second, leaving a purple dust cloud on impact.

Eco can be used while on the flut flut in a similar manner to normal gameplay. Blue eco causes it to run faster, and yellow eco will shoot forward after a charge attack.

Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]

Early concept art of the flut flut by Charles Zembillas.

Flut fluts were designed by concept artist Charles Zembillas as a cross between the ostrich and hummingbird, in keeping with other hybrid creatures in the series.[5] Unique to the flut flut, however, is that its name is not a portmanteau of its constituent parent species, in contrast to, for example, the ottsel or hip hog. The hard crown on the flut flut is the result of a design mandate that the creature was to smash through objects with its head.[6]

Flut fluts may have been planned to appear in Jak II: environment art for the Slums by art director Bob Rafei depicts Jak riding one in the streets,[9] and the flut flut's asset file is present on the retail disc in a Slums directory.[10] Furthermore, the leaper lizard from Jak 3, closely resembling flut fluts in both design and gameplay, was originally known as the "metal head flut flut".[11]

In explaining the flut flut, Naughty Dog founder Jason Rubin compared it to the tauntaun from Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope.[12] The flut flut has also been compared to the chocobo from the Final Fantasy series.[13]

Notes[edit | edit source]

Annotations
  1. It should also be noted that ratites, while not an official classification—apart from being designed as part ostrich[5]—are traditionally flightless.
  2. The boxes can also be broken simply by landing on them with the flut flut.
Citations

References[edit | edit source]

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