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Top 20 Insane Video Game Fan Theories

Top 20 Insane Video Game Fan Theories
VOICE OVER: Ryan Wild WRITTEN BY: Alex Slade
Speculation and theorizing can take a game's story to an even deeper level! For this list, we'll be looking at game theories that really expand the story's narrative implications, and they don't even have to be impossible or untrue. Our countdown includes The Abducting Cult “Animal Crossing” Series (2001-), Haunted Majora's Mask “The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask” (2000), The Ghosts of Mario's Past “Super Mario World” (1990), The Indoctrination Theory “Mass Effect 3” (2010) and more!
Script written by Alex Slade & Nick Roffey

#20: Luigi is Evil

“Super Mario” series (1985-)

The Mario brothers have been with us for over a decade. That’s a long time. We’ve laughed at and enjoyed all the adventures they’ve gone on together - and solo, but what if there was more to this family under the surface? Besides being the chosen host for the evil artifact, the ‘Chaos Heart,’ Luigi’s always causing chaos whenever he’s left unchecked. They’re supposedly accidents, but what if they’re not? We know he’s extremely powerful, which may be why Mario is always babysitting him, so he doesn’t get out of line.

#19: The Abducting Cult

“Animal Crossing” Series (2001-)

We were kids when we started playing “Animal Crossing,” but as adults, we’re able to see just how twisted this community really is. We have no recollection of how we ended up traveling to the town, and everyone is just so welcoming and friendly to us, despite having no idea who we are. Forced to work to pay off debt, we’re told how valuable we are, and the debt piles on. With armed guards at the exit, we have to wonder what the real intentions are. Despite all the friendliness, something is awry, and our character is too inexperienced to see through it all.

#18: Guardians Are the Villains

“Destiny” (2014)

Let’s all just trust this mysterious sphere that hovers above us and do what it tells us because it says so. We have to stop and wonder when enemies we fight call us ‘the darkness.’ Bungie’s game “Pathways into Darkness” has you stopping a godlike being from destroying the world. What if the Traveler is that being, and we as Guardians are doing its bidding on a galactic scale? There is a suspiciously titled trailer “Pathways Out of Darkness” for “Destiny,” which may hint at their earlier title's role reversal.

#17: Pikmin Takes Place in an Empty Post-Apocalyptic Earth

“Pikmin” (2001)

There’s a common trend of seemingly innocent, kid-friendly games with much darker lore than on the surface. While the planet we’re on isn’t identified as our Earth, it sure does resemble it. Our Pikmin find objects reminiscent of human civilization, and one of those things is a Geiger counter. You know that thing used to measure radiation? Yeah. It goes wild in some areas, indicating that nuclear war was the cause of the world’s state. You also fight a bunch of creatures who look and act like mutated animals of our time.

#16: Star Fox Pilots Have to Amputate Their Legs

“Star Fox” (1993)

At first glance, Nintendo’s Star Fox franchise is a delightful shoot ‘em up adventure about gutsy space pilot Fox McCloud and his anthropomorphic animal friends. But for some gamers, this cute exterior hides a dark secret. Art for the game seems to show the pilots with metal legs, giving rise to speculation they’ve undergone amputation to better survive intense G-forces. If true, it must have really sucked when “G-diffusers” were introduced on Arwings in the sequel, “Star Fox 64”. Star Fox programmer Dylan Cuthbert has claimed the creators of the original puppets just couldn’t be bothered making feet; but those ankles are awfully slender.

#15: Bug Jars Lead the Way to the End of the World

“The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim” (2011)

We wouldn’t be surprised if more and more secrets in Skyrim were being exposed to this day, and that’s because the world is so huge and the lore so vast that people are still searching. One such mystery is the various bugs in jars scattered throughout the map with mysterious etchings on them. While Bethesda devs themselves hint at the ominous jars having no meaning and are just collectibles, an attempt to translate the runes can draw a pentagram on the map, with a shrine of Talos in the center of it all.

#14: “Final Fantasy X-2” Is a Prequel To “Final Fantasy VII”

“Final Fantasy X-2” (2003) & “Final Fantasy VII” (1997)

In X-2, a character named Shinra wants to harness the Farplane’s energy. He mentions it may take generations, and Yuna says it would be great to use it to create a city full of lights that never sleeps. Well, that’s exactly what happens in VII, and his apparent descendant, President Shinra is behind it all. For years fans theorized that these two games are connected, and now the “Final Fantasy VII” remake has added more fuel to the fire, due to the fact that the Shinra Museum contains an old photograph with someone resembling X-2’s Shinra.

#13: The Elder Scrolls and Fallout Are in the Same Universe

“The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim” (2011) and “Fallout 4” (2015)

“Skyrim” is set in a fictional fantasy world, and “Fallout” in post-apocalyptic Earth. But what if Skyrim is just on a different planet from the world of Fallout? Or even in “Fallout’s” distant past? In “Fallout 4”, players can stumble across a bioluminescent plant with restorative properties that was first discovered at the mouth of a river. It has a remarkable resemblance to Nirnroot, a plant in “Skyrim” that also glows and grows near water. Is it just a fun Bethesda easter egg… or a clue to a larger universe where plants survive millions of years, or travel through space? Hmmm.

#12: Haunted Majora’s Mask

“The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask” (2000)

While as far-fetched as it sounds, there may be another cartridge out there that does have undesired effects when you name your profile BEN. Ben drowned, and he supposedly haunts Majora’s Mask. There are some creepy videos out there that show Ben - or the evil spirit posing as Ben - toying with the player and affecting the game around them. This is still being investigated to this day, and its alternate reality game has brought thousands of Zelda enthusiasts and theorists together in fright. It’s always easier when people are scared with you.

#11: You Kill Gary’s Raticate

“Pokémon Red and Blue” (1998)

Pokemon never die; they only faint, until you make your way to the Pokemon Tower in Lavender Town and realize they do, in fact, die. Yikes. Your rival Gary is seen in the tower, mourning, but we aren’t told which pokemon he’s there for, but the answer is out there if you look for it. Gary has a trusty Rattata early on, which evolves into his Raticate. He uses it to battle you on S.S. Anne, and you never see it again after that. We get it, you want to prove you're better than your cocky rival, but did you have to tackle his pokemon that hard?

#10: The Ghosts of Mario’s Past

“Super Mario World” (1990)

We can spend a whole lot of time trying to make sense of the stuff that goes on in the “Mario” series, but we don’t think anyone has time for that. However, something we can speculate to some degree of accuracy is the haunting of the Sunken Ghost Ship in “Super Mario World.” The ship is infested with Boos, or ghosts, and the game’s manual states that this is a flying airship from “Super Mario Bros. 3.” You know, the one you wreak havoc on? So, it’s safe to say all the Boo’s in the Sunken Ghost Ship are the spirits of the enemies you’ve killed.

#9: Companion Cubes Have People Inside

“Portal” (2007)

When you're cut off and alone, any friend will do. Trapped in the test chambers of Aperture Science, it's easy to become attached to your trusty Companion Cube... but in the end, it's just a crate painted with hearts... right? Well, some fans think there are actually people stuffed inside. The theory is inspired by a tie-in comic, in which the cube of Aperture employee Doug Rattmann appears to talk. In the game, GLaDOS warns Chell not to listen if her own cube pipes up. Rattmann's conversations probably have something to do with his antipsychotic medication running out... but we have to admit, GLaDOS is one pretty twisted A.I.

#8: The Abortion Ending

“EarthBound” (1994)

With the clash between cute and friendly-looking graphics and gameplay, and the horrific visuals and strangely mature themes the game has if you look hard enough, this theory has more legs to stand on than you might think. The battle with Giygas itself looks like you are fighting a fetus, and the walk leading up to the fight has you traversing along some fleshy tubes that lead to what looks like a reproductive system. While all of this could be an unfortunate coincidence, it still raises a few eyebrows.

#7: GLaDOS is Your Mother

“Portal 2” (2011)

While a puzzle game on the surface, “Portal” 1 and 2 have won fans over with its in-depth lore and the grander mystery behind Aperture Science. We open the series not knowing who we are or what GLaDOS even is, but eventually learn that we play as Chell. We also learn of CEO Cave Johnson and his assistant Caroline, in which a romance is hinted at. The theory states that you are the child of both Cave Johnson and Caroline, and Caroline was uploaded to GLaDOS, which would indicate that you’ve just been the subject of tough motherly love the entire time.

#6: Civilization Is Set in the Afterlife

“Civilization” Series (1991-)

This excellent strategy game has you choosing from many of history’s conquerors and world leaders to establish a civilization and enhance it through the ages, in competition with other famous individuals of similar statures. Genghis Khan warring with Gandhi is a bizarre concept to explore, but if it can happen in the game series, it makes us wonder. To do battle with one another even though they have lived in entirely different eras may signify that they now live on in an afterlife specifically made for them.

#5: Link is Dead

“The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask” (2000)

At the beginning of “Majora’s Mask”, Link is searching for a “beloved and invaluable friend” - Navi, his fairy companion in “Ocarina of Time”. According to one popular theory, he’s so distraught at her departure that he passes through the five stages of grief, with Clock Town representing denial, and the other locations anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. But a more radical theory postulates that Link is dead, and he’s in purgatory; his grief is actually over his own death at the start of the game.

#4: “Uncharted” is a Prequel to “The Last of Us”

“Uncharted” Series (2007-17)

There are so many signs with this one; they’re hard to be dismissed as simple easter eggs. Both series are highly acclaimed Naughty Dog creations. You can draw immediate comparisons with presentation and gameplay between the two IP’s, and now you can draw comparisons between the story. In “Uncharted 3”, you can find a newspaper that headlines a deadly fungus, and in “Uncharted 4” you can find a Firefly pendant, as well as some prescription meds from Weston’s Pharmacy, which is a pharmacy in “The Last of Us.” Let’s just forget that “Uncharted 4’s” ending takes place in the 2020s and go along with this one.

#3: The Indoctrination Theory

“Mass Effect 3” (2010)

The ending of “Mass Effect 3” left many gamers in an uproar. In a series all about choices, the game’s finale offered players some difficult and, for many, dissatisfying options: destroy synthetic life, bringing down the Reapers; merge with them and take control; or somehow fuse organic and synthetic life with a weird green light thing. And so a theory was born. The Reapers’ have an energy field that can brainwash organic beings, a process known as “indoctrination”. What if Shepard had been indoctrinated, and the ending only happened in his head? Or the Reapers influenced his final choices? Hey, a fan can dream.

#2: Mary’s Body is in James Car

“Silent Hill 2” (2001)

Konami’s classic survival horror game takes the player a convoluted psychological journey to investigate the death of the protagonist’s wife. But it turns out - spoiler alert - the killer was him all along. In the “Water” ending, James drives his car over a cliff, saying now “they can be together”. While this could mean “together in death”, in the “Rebirth” ending, James plans to revive her corpse, which some gamers interpret to mean it’s close at hand. For example - in the trunk of his own car.

#1: Squall is Dead

“Final Fantasy VIII” (1999)

We’re used to game characters surviving things that would kill a person in real life. But what about getting impaled by an ice javelin as thick as your arm? During an assassination attempt gone wrong, Squall is easily defeated by the sorceress Edea. But he later wakes up and seems pretty much fine - with his wound completely gone. One fan explanation is that Squall dies, and the rest of the game is all a dream in his dying mind. This theory is further fueled by the ending, which shows Rinoa supposedly fading from Squall’s dying memory, as well as one of the most disturbing freeze frame you'll ever see.