Close the windows. Now lock the doors. Make sure the blinds are closed, and if you’re outdoors get inside as quick as you can. Trust nobody. See that old woman over there waiting for the bus? Punch her in the face and run, she’s probably a spy.
We’ve decided it’s time to take you on a journey through some of the strangest videogame conspiracy theories out there, and if any of them turn out to be true… well, your life might well be in danger. Probably. Probably not though. The gaming community is a strange and wonderful place that tends to over-analyse everything. We don’t mind though, it’s all part of the fun, and it’s led to these five ridiculous theories…
The Animal Crossing Cult
You know Animal Crossing. It’s the adorable Nintendo franchise in which you walk around, collect bugs, buy furniture, and generally live life at the pace of a stoned snail. It’s the gaming equivalent of a cuddle from mum. It’s bloody lovely. Or is it?
Most Animal Crossings begin with you being taken to the village by Kappn, a weird duck/turtle creature. He’s apparently based on the kappa, a mythological Japanese creature that kidnaps children, so there’s exhibit A right there. But one creature that resembles a child nabbing demon a solid argument does not make.
The theory goes on though. Once you reach the village, there’s a house already set up for you. You didn’t ask for this shit, but straight away a raccoon appears and expects you to pay off this naff little one room hut with a stone floor and no heating.
You can’t leave the village (you’re exit is always blocked by guards) and you’ve now accrued a massive debt you have no obvious way of paying off. The animals attempt to crush your spirit by forcing you to do the same shit every day. Deliver this item. Get this fish. Find fossils. Eventually you become one of them, and that’s your life. Forever.
Mario Is An Actor
This is actually pretty old, and has a fair bit of weight behind it. Many people assume that the events of Super Mario Bros. 3 is actually a stage play, which would explain the curtains that open at the start of the game, and most of the levels looking like they’re made from cardboard. However, some corners of the internet believe it goes further…
Some argue that because the characters relationships often change (Mario is stomping Bowser in to hell in some games, and in others they go golfing together) that they’re nothing more than actors who simply play a variety of parts, albeit similar ones every time.
There’s even a cameraman present in some games. Lakitu follows you around with his own equipment in Super Mario 64, filming your every move, and the levels in Super Mario Sunshine are referred to as “episodes”. It also makes sense of the fact that Mario has been everything from a plumber to a race-car driver.
This would explain why Peach has managed to get herself kidnapped about a million times, because surely nobody is that stupid.
Naked Tomb Raider
This (slightly pervy) theory insisted that the devs of the original Tomb Raider for PlayStation included a code that allowed us to ogle Lara Crafts massive polygonal boobies. It’s not entirely clear why anyone would want to have done this, since back in those days Lara looked like she was made out of blocks (because she was).
Of course, no such code ever existed, and it’s a bit of a discredit to an awesome female heroine that so many people were obsessed with discovering it. In fact, Tomb Raider developers have actually gone to court in attempts to eliminate patches that allowed gamers to see a nude Croft.
The Zelda Swastika (Or The Neintendo Conspiracy)
We did not Nazi this coming, but it turns out Link is a firm member of the Third Reich. Well, actually he probably really isn’t, but for a while there a few fans who figured Nintendo were purposefully showing solidarity with Hitler. Rumour has it they created a dungeon in the original Zelda that actually resembled a swastika when you viewed the map as a whole.
In fact, the “swastika” was actually the wrong way round, and was supposed to represent the Manji, a sacred symbol of religions. This was around long before Hitler and the Nazis were a thing. Even so, maybe Nintendo should have considered the repercussions of a map that resembled a swastika before they went ahead.
Pokémon Is Set In A Warzone
Obviously we had to save the weirdest till the end. It’s said in the original games Red and Blue, that because you take control of a ten year old child, and are allowed to wander freely in a world scarcely populated by adult men, that the region of Kanto is in fact just coming out of a big war.
Neither yourself nor your rival have a father to speak of, with the two of you being raised by your mothers. Where’s dad? We never know, because he’s never mentioned (because he’s dead. Probably).
It sounds pretty stupid at first, but it kind of makes sense when you squint your eyes to look at it. All of the medics and police staff are female, with the only grown men usually being too old to fight in a war, or part of the criminal gang Team Rocket.
The biggest chunk of evidence however, comes from the gym leader Lt. Surge. If you hadn’t guessed from the name, he was part of the army, but has now holed himself up in his gym, sealed away behind electric gates. Post traumatic stress disorder? If you want to look too far into things, yes.
He also refers to the war before you battle him, claiming that his own team of Pokémon saved him. Was this the war that claimed the lives of yours and Gary’s dads? Was this the war that took all the able bodied men from Kanto?
Draw your own conclusions, friends. Just remember that there are no right or wrong answer. Except with these five theories, in which there are mostly wrong answers.
Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.