Chicken is a character unlocked by reaching the secret area in Frozen City(link later). When playing, her most notable power is her passive, allowing the player to come back from death which allows for her to come back from any sticky situation the game may provide. This gives extreme defensive capabilities and higher survivability across the board, but her active is also notable as it can add extra damage on if used right. This makes Chicken a very balanced character, and once her powers are understood she is well recommended for preloop to make the game a lot more forgiving.

Upon looping, Chicken's ultras allows her to lean heavily into either her active or passive. This makes her become a character that is highly versatile in looping; as she may mesh well with builds that are harder to pull off as other mutants. Her abilities hold up well in deeploop as well, as any major mistakes or tricky situations can almost always be recovered from. Because of this, Chicken is strongly recommended for all areas of play. Once her mechanics are understood, she stands as a great character, especially for those that are looking to push new scores with but are frustrated with unfair deaths or misplays.

Character Loadout
Unlock Reach 5-?
B-Skin Reach 2-1 on Hardmode as Chicken
Weapon Chicken Sword
Active Can Throw Weapons
Passive Hard to Kill


Abilities


Active
- Chicken can throw her held weapon in the direction of the cursor. It will do 24 damage at base, with 2 additional damage per. level, capping at 42 damage. Enemies killed by a thrown weapon will take substantial corpse knockback.
- Thrown weapons will bounce off walls upon contact, and also will give a slight bounce off of enemies. Otherwise they're functionally a projectile, being effected by mutations just like any normal weapon would be.
- As a projectile thrown weapons can also be deflected by shielders, which will change its team causing Chicken to drop Strong Spirit or go headless if hit.
- Upon being thrown, Chicken must manually pick the weapon back up without the proper ultra. This can leave Chicken completely defenseless if both weapons are thrown.
- A weapon being thrown will reset its cooldown entirely, meaning it can be shot again once it is picked back up.
- Cursed weapons cannot be thrown, making Chicken stuck with it unless if a method to uncurse is done. Two cursed weapons means that Chicken cannot use her active.
- Weapons can be thrown into portals allowing for extra weapons to be brought between levels. However, if aimed wrong they can end up behind the portal, sometimes in unreachable positions.
- As Throne 2's fight has no walls in its arena, weapons can be thrown out into the void and become unreachable for the rest of the fight. Once the exit portal opens, the player can stall entering it in order to give time for the thrown weapons to get sucked in.
- Since thrown weapons are counted as projectiles, when a portal opens and a weapon is in motion the game may 'erase' it, making the weapon disappear entirely. This bug is not present in beta versions of the game.

Throw Chart
Level: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 ULT
Damage: 24 26 28 30 32 34 36 38 40 42

Passive
-If Chicken reaches 0 HP, she will enter a headless state and 2 of her max HP will be lost. Strong Spirit always takes priority in being lost first to otherwise lethal hits. She will regain her head automatically if she heals in any way.
- Healing can include picking up a health pickup, getting a bloodlust proc, and walking over a health chest. While rarely possible, if a level is completed while headless it is also possible to regain Chicken's head through the Last Wish or Rhino Skin mutations. If the player is carrying Crown of Protection it is a valid way to heal up. Crown of Luck has rare usage too, as it will always set Chicken to 1 HP upon entering a new level.
- Chicken will remain headless for 5 seconds regardless of her max health. If health cannot be regained during these 5 seconds, Chicken will die. The timer will be reset upon entering a new level.
- When Chicken goes headless, feathers will spread in all direction as her head falls off. The camera will remain locked onto Chicken's head, but only her body can be controlled. The player can move off screen in this state but will be moving blindly while doing it, and their cursor will always be aimed towards the screen.
- While rare in occurrence, if Chicken's head is removed then the camera will focus on her body instead. This is only possible if a Necromancer revives her head into a Freak, or if a Popo Freak revives using her head. Being headless is normally a temporary state, so it is usually just experienced when running her ultra Harder To Kill.

Thronebutt:
- Thrown weapons will now pierce enemies instead of stopping upon contact.
- After each enemy hit the thrown weapon will slow considerably, but each hit to enemy will retain the same amount of damage based on the level chart.
- As the weapon slows, for larger enemies it is possible for the weapon to hit multiple times as it slows within their hitbox, allowing for extra damage.

Ultra A: Harder To Kill
- While Chicken is headless, any enemy killed during that state adds 1 second to her headless timer.
- The timer caps at 5 seconds which is her initial headless time, so in some situations spacing out kills may be of benefit.

Ultra B: Determination
- After a thrown weapon comes to a complete stop for a moment, it will teleport back to the players secondary weapon slot.
- The weapon will not return to the player if it enters a portal or if Chicken picks up another weapon during the throw period, however the animation will still play. If another weapon is picked up and thrown during that time, the original weapon will still return if it has yet to stop moving.

Other Perks
- Chicken will start with the Chicken Sword, a simple ammoless melee that deals 6 damage. If the sword is left on 1-1 L0 (not dragged through the portal), then on 1-1 L1 the Black Sword will appear.
- The Black Sword functions the same as Chicken Sword but does twice as much damage, where it damages for 12 instead. The weapon also comes with a hidden attribute: while headless it will deal 80 damage and have greatly increased range, which can also stack with long arms. The sword returns to normal upon regaining Chicken's head.

Regaining Max HP
- Chicken can only regain her max HP in two different ways. Taking Last Wish will reset Chicken's health to full but usually isn't applicable to a full run. This leaves the other strategy, where Health Chests will grant 1 max HP back when walking over them. Even if Chicken is in a damaged state, the Health Chest will grant her both +4 normal HP and +1 max HP together.
- In order to regain max HP, Chicken only has two methods. Last Wish will reset Chicken's health to full but usually isn't applicable to a full run. Often the only possible strategy is to walk over Health Chests, which will regain 1 max HP upon walking over one.
- Health chests only have a 50% chance of spawning in if under half health. However, it is based on Chicken's ORIGINAL HP. The most optimal way is to exit a level at 3 HP without Rhino Skin, or 5 HP with Rhino Skin. If Chicken's current max health is at or below 3 or 5 max HP respectively, then no health has to be normally lost to see health chests spawn.
- In order to force health chests to spawn Chicken will often have to damage herself to get under the correct threshold. The most common way is to find a self-damaging weapon, and then get to the respective 3 or 5 current HP and throw said weapon into the next level, rinsing and repeating until full max HP is obtained.
- The weapons quickest for self damaging is Blood Hammer(most recommended), Toxic Bow and Toxic Launcher. Blood Launcher and Blood Cannon work too, but their ammo must be exhausted first which can be time consuming. Disc Gun is risky to use, but is another possible way. If at 11 or 12 HP, some explosive weapons can be used but can be a risky strat; If running Rhino Skin and Boiling Veins, any self-damaging explosive weapon can be utilized as Chicken will be at 4 / 12 HP. This will not work without Rhino Skin, as the threshold would be 3 current HP.
- If there are no self damaging weapons, Chicken can simply get damaged by the last enemy in the level if planned out properly, however depending on the enemy extreme caution should be used. This is NOT recommended, but if desperate while running Strong Spirit and Bloodlust, the player can simply tank an explosive hit to end up at 1 HP and enter the next level. This should only be considered to those who are Throne veterans in a situation where a health chest could make or break a run.


Preloop Guide


Chicken is one of the strongest characters in the game, though this fact is not immediately apparent when starting out as her. Harder to kill can sometimes come in clutch, but often times there will be no enemies on screen to recover HP from. Throwing weapons can be good for extra damage, but without knowing how to properly use it may often result in taking unnecessary damage. These are both great powers in preloop, just that they cannot be used haphazardly.

For starters, using Chicken's active is something that is tempting to spam at nearby enemies. But this can leave the player without a way to defend themselves, especially if the weapons miss and fly to the other side of the level. It is generally recommended to only throw one weapon at a time, with the weapon that has more ammo(or the player's melee) to safely recover the thrown weapon. Throwing is best saved for hitting higher HP enemies in order to quickly deal with them, as throwing deals more damage than most weapons, especially when playing in preloop. Throwing is also better reserved for single targets, not when there are large hordes of enemies that may make recovering the weapon difficult.

However, if there is another weapon nearby then Chicken can easily utilize this as a way to damage enemies without risking losing her own. The advice above is more geared towards just running two weapons, but juggling a third with the throwing ability allows Chicken to use this more liberally without risking being in a vulnerable position. Another perk of throwing is that Chicken can bring extra weapons between levels. So there can be situations where Chicken can strategically bring extra firepower for specific situations. One specific example is if the player finds a Nuke Launcher on 5-2 but doesn't want to use it because of the risk, they can throw it into the 5-2 portal and exclusively use it against Lil Hunter on 5-3, then go back to their normal weapons. Another specific example is if the player is going into an open area with lots of low hp enemies, they may bring a bullets weapon as backup, especially one that has wide AoE. The list goes on, but these are some examples on how throwing can be utilized outside of just damaging enemies alone, as throwing is something that is quick and easy.

As for being harder to kill, because of preloop enemy density the player should be especially weary of going headless. Some levels contains many enemies who either do not have health drops, or have very low rates of health drops. Being headless is something that needs to be avoided as much as possible anyways, but it's important to stress that in preloop specifically it can often struggle as a crutch. It's easy to panic when running out of health, but quickly recognizing which enemies should be targeted on the screen can save a run. More info on that here (link tech later)

For recovering, Rabbit Paw and Bloodlust are particularly good at making Chicken's passive more viable in preloop. The player should just be aware that when they regain head they are vulnerable to losing it again instantly, so there should be some caution applied when recovering health instead of grabbing it carelessly. Getting under half health to force health chests to spawn for regaining max HP can be tricky, so it is recommended to refer to the tech guide above on what weapons to watch out for.

While Scarier Face and Strong Spirit are great on every mutant, they particularly can be helpful for Chicken's throwing and passive respectively. Extra layers of offense/defense are great to lean into for maximum efficiency. Last Wish is much more useful to take on Chicken than other mutants, if she is under her max HP then it will recover her to full. It is particularly useful if taken before 5-1, as a mutation slot would not be wasted with a reroll. Rhino Skin is similarly useful as it allowed Chicken to go headless two more times before finally dying.

Thronebutt is a good mutation on Chicken, but if taken in preloop should generally only be used to throw additional weapons, never her primary/secondary. Piercing means that thrown weapons will almost always end up on the other side of the level in larger areas, meaning that recovering weapons can be very risky. This can be counterintuitive to the purpose of throwing weapons, Thronebutt should be reserved to only weapons Chicken isn't actually using.


Loop Guide


Chicken is fortunate to have two ultras that work very well in loop, so taking them for runs in L1-L2 specifically is up to the player. Determination is generally the best pick, but Harder to Kill shines in its own ways.

Harder to Kill (H2K) is the weaker of the two ultras but still holds strong. While each kill adding time to the headless counter sounds overpowered, the timer is capped at 5 seconds which hinders its maximum potential to be much lower than what it could have been otherwise. Because Chicken's head is locked to one position on the screen, one has to work with limited space and enemies to recover. With a 5 second timer, this is often enough to recover Chicken's head. This isn't a universal situation however, which is where H2K comes in handy. Some examples would include getting IDPD to spawn midway into a level, or losing head at the very end of the level and entering a new one, H2K may save a run where the normal headless timer would not. That aside, it's more of an extra buffer from an unfortunate and untimely death. It moreso should be taken if the player isn't planning on using Determination.

Determination is a very solid ultra in loop, while at face value it seems to just be useful in quickly damaging high HP enemies, it has a hidden second function. Because throwing weapons will reset its cooldown, Chicken can shoot a weapon with high reload time, throw it, and then have it return to her far quicker than waiting for the cooldown would have been. So even if playing without Trigger Fingers taking bulky weapons can still be viable albeit less. Chicken can constantly be throwing her secondary weapon in order to target enemies, while using her primary weapon to defend herself. This is especially useful in situations where elite IDPD units spawn, as in Loop 1 at level Ultra, throwing does just enough damage to one-shot Elite Grunts and Elite Inspectors alike, and includes Loop 2 if running Scarier Face. Determination allows for throwing to actually function as a panic button, because the weapons automatically returning to Chicken means she's constantly in a state where recovering is easier than other mutants.

In simpler terms, when Chicken is playing without defensive mutations(Spiritless), then H2K boosts Chicken's defensive abilities. When playing without offensive mutations(Trigger Fingers), then Determination can pick up the slack. So based on set a player can pick their ultra at this point in the game, Determination is still generally recommended more, either are viable at this point in the game.

When trying to recover max HP, it's recommended to be familiar with the mechanics in the tech guide above. Rhino Skin is basically a must, as if a major mistake is made then being stuck at 10 max HP is far better than being stuck at 6 max HP, but also the threshold to force health chests to spawn means starting the next level at 5 HP rather than 3 HP, and the difference should not be underestimated as a good bulk of enemies do 3 dmg a hit. That aside, because of the increased weapons seen dropping in loop, self damaging weapons are much more common. This is especially true when running Boiling Veins as most explosive weapons will come in handy for self damaging.

Chicken works very well in loop as she has great recovery and throwing weapons offers strong utility with the right ultras. Unfair situations where the player takes lethal damage can end runs on most characters, but for Chicken just ends up being a minor inconvenience. Where loop is so unforgiving, having a character that can offset otherwise run ending situations is why she finds her place as a top tier character.


Meta Guide


Chicken is one of the top tiers at the start of deeploop, though ultimately gets outshined in L12/L15+ by the other S tiers, for reasons that are described in her passive below. In normal meta, Determination is strongly recommended as the superior ultra. This is because SPC can be repeatedly thrown to recharge its cooldown, which works very well in boss fights where chances to proc Trigs becomes more infrequent. Chicken's utility goes from pretty helpful in loop to extremely useful in deeploop

At Ultra, Chicken's throw does 42 damage per throw. IDPD freaks can be one-shot by this throw up to L8 normally / L15 with Face. Throwing SPC at the first Popo Freak, and then quickly swinging Ultra Shovel at the rest is a good way to handle Freak waves while conserving slightly more rads. That being said, one should be weary of the glitch on Non-Beta; exit portals opening deletes both enemy and character projectiles. If clearing out the last enemies of the level it can be risky to use weapon throws on Popo Freaks, as the potential to lose one of Chicken's weapons is ever present. This bug is not present on beta versions of the game, meaning that there is no risk of a portal deleting her thrown weapons.

Chicken's passive holds up really well in early deeplooping. Many major errors can be easily remedied, such as being vanned or accidentally being too close to an IDPD explosive. This sort of 'idiot-proof' her gameplay, as runs with her will preform more well than other characters who may have died in similar situations. Once nearing double digit loops though, if Chicken goes headless multiple times it becomes increasingly difficult to recover max HP. Because of the volume of enemies and difficulty it is to avoid damage sometimes, she can be increasingly in more difficult situations which can lead to being headless more times. She's done well to retain a high tier position in the eyes of the community, however her passive becomes continually less useful than earlier loops. (Of course, still much more useful than other characters abilities/passives.)

Regaining max HP becomes a lot more strategic in deeploop. While not at full, Chicken may be carrying some weapons from half a loop to an entire loop depending on how badly rng affects her. Blood Hammer is always the go to weapon, however Toxic Bow/Launcher quickly gets the job done too. If the player is desperate then they could try to get the outside edge of an explosion to partially damage themselves to be low, but this is very risky and should only be done if seen as absolutely necessary.

This now goes into the main question, which healing mutation should Chicken take in a P9?

Rabbit Paw or Bloodlust?
Bloodlust:
- While the preferred healing mutation on most mutants, becomes iffy on Chicken.
- Being headless, bloodlust can proc suddenly at an unpredictable time while shooting SPC. This can lead Chicken to being damaged again quickly, losing head again. This can spiral into a domino effect.
- On the flip side, Chicken can throw weapons from spawn/be campy in order to regain HP upon entering a new level.
- Chicken can even tank Strong Spirit using a self-damaging weapon for a chance of a health chest the next level. Provided she has SPC ammo and a decent spawn it is very unlikely that hitting 0 HP will happen, because bloodlust allows the player to quickly get their health back to full. New players should be extremely cautionary when doing this the first few times.
Rabbit Paw:
- By virtue of just being more HP drops on the ground, it is reliable to predict when Chicken will regain her head against Bloodlust.
- However, starting levels may be more dangerous as she has to push to get HP pickups, this usually isn't a problem in most levels. Be careful in Caves & Palace.
- Rabbit Paw is safer for recovering Chicken's head in a predictable manner, while Bloodlust allows her to recover at spawn easier. As always, it is up to player preference.

As for bosses;
Big Bandit:
Chicken largely plays BB's the same. Throwing weapons is helpful for chip damage and reloading SPC inbetween freak respawns. Refer to normal meta strategy guides here otherwise.

Mom:
Mom plays fairly straightforward for Chicken similar to the Big Bandit fight. Throw damage on Mom is more useful here, as later loops Mom is often difficult to hit, so any extra damage is good damage. On top of this if there are any Mom viable weapons that drop in desert, Chicken can bring them with her to the sewers. This advice goes for every boss, but is especially useful here due to the randomness of weapon drops in the fight. Additionally, the player could always bring a back up self-damaging weapon such as Blood Hammer for a sort of life insurance to recover HP quicker if going headless does occur. The Throne:
Throne I gets an honorable mention here, Chicken with Determination can quickly reload SPC regardless of trigs where other mutants have to rely on guardian spawns. This means that after shooting SPC, Chicken can quickly throw it, and instantly be ready to shoot SPC again after it returns to her. This makes the chances of running low on rads/having a dumb death much lower than other mutants. If the player is low on rads going into the fight for any reason, they can also bait the Throne's beam attack multiple times while doing chip damage throwing SPC and ushov alike. Additionally, Throne's generators only have 50 HP on loop, meaning that Chicken can destroy them with 2 weapon throws or 1 throw / 1 ushov swing to conserve rads.

Throne II:
Finally T2, Chicken preforms very well here with Determination. Not having to hotswap her weapon means that Chicken does not need to awkwardly stand near the center of the level, but instead can stand wherever is the safest and continually be ready to fire SPC, provided she has the ammo. Waiting for weapons to return takes longer than hotswapping, so both can still be done as the situation call for it.

Going headless on any of these boss fights can be very dangerous as HP drops are usually few and far between. While Chicken mediates bad situations, she should still be played as risk adverse in situations where getting health is very annoying. Fortune favors the cautious.

While Chicken has relatively simple tech, the strategies given here are much more detailed in order to properly utilize it. Chicken falls short of being as great as Crystal, Eyes or YV but still maintains relevancy because of how much more forgiving she makes the game. This makes her an outstanding pick while learning deeploop, but also to those who are simply fed up with being handed unlucky deaths. Chicken's always a very viable option, as she can juggle bad sets, bad weapons and bad situations in general making it so any bad hand dealt can be overcome.