8 Crazy Fan Theories That Make Games Even Better –
You have to love a good fan theory – some are so engaging that they actually improve films, and even the most ludicrous can actually have some basis in fact (when you really think about it) and the colourful world of video games has given birth to hundreds in the past.
Some are just plain idiotic, with no logic or reason behind them while others are the furious and obvious attempts of disgruntled fans seeking to fill in the gaps of an unsatisfactorily developed game. Bless them.
But sometimes, those theories actually improve the games they focus on, and these eight chosen theories from around the web are just a few examples. Hold tight for eye-opening and game-changing theories about Pokemon, Super Mario, Portal and Animal Crossing that put a whole new spin on some of your favourite games.
8. Pokemon: You’re The Bad Guy
The internet is awash with Pokemon theories, as you might imagine from a game with so many fans and so rich a universe, and probably the most intriguing is that Ash isn’t actually as squeaky clean as he might first seem.
When you first meet your rival in Lavender Town in the original Pokemon Red/Blue, he asks if you know what it’s like to have one of your Pokemon die, and one theory has it that you killed his Raticate in a prior battle, setting him on a quest for vengeance.
You destroyed his life, and gave him a morbid reason d’etre, compelling him to become a champion, which he does, only for you to defeat him to become Indigo League Champion and force his grandfather to chastise him for his failure. Way to go.
7. Super Mario: The Play
Like Pokemon, the Super Mario universe has more theories attached to it than I could possibly go into here, so I’ll stick with the highlights, starting with probably the most famous. We all know about the weirdness with Super Mario 2 how it was never really a Mario game, and how it was all brushed off as a dream, as if that could account for the acute differences, but it wasn’t the only game with a departure from the original Super Mario.
This theory goes that Mario 3 was never real it was just a play. Curtain rises at the start, characters enter stage left, and proceed to navigate a series of levels, which feature some odd artistic choices, like environmentals that seem to be bolted on to an invisible background (as if stage dressings). Platforms are also physically attached to things, unlike in the first game, and everything seems a lot more man-made than before.
Are you actually seeing Mario reliving his greatest adventure? He saved the princess once, and was then forced to go back to his hum-drum plumber life, explaining why he dreamed up a whole new adventure for Super Mario 2, and then engineered a remake in Mario 3.
6. Batman Kills Harley Quinn’s Baby
But… Batman’s not a killer, is he? IS HE?!
According to one great Reddit theory, Batman makes Harley Quinn miscarry in Arkham City. There are hints throughout the game that Harley is pregnant with Joker’s offspring, from the pregnancy test to the lullaby she sings creepily in the credits. Admittedly, the DLC says she wasn’t and that the tests she used could offer false positives, but that doesn’t mean anything. Evidence is no theory killer after all.
If you think back to her first appearance in the game, she tries to attack Batman only to be thrown into a beam, connecting in her midriff and promptly sitting in what looks like agony. At first, you’d be forgiven for thinking she’s exaggerating, since it can’t possibly have hurt that much, but then with the other evidence in place… Batman becomes a baby-killing murderer.
Boom, instantly more complexity to the character.
5. GlaDOS Is Suicidal
Portal is the perfect dystopian sci-fi, controlled by a megalomaniac, destabilised supercomputer who entices and punishes in equal measures, intent only on testing and testing and testing to the end of time, or until her playthings end up broken.
But did GlaDOS have a different end-game? Beyond her obvious insanity, GlaDOS’s black heart hides a darker, more tragic secret. She has been reliving her nightmare, stuck alone with no-one to test thanks to her own murderous activities, with the suggestion being that she keeps awakening new test subjects or victims for her own objectives. Is she really just testing? And if so, to what end?
And why does she equip her testees with the tools and skills to defeat her? Well, it’s all because GlaDOS has a death wish she’s sick of her captivity and she wants an end. It certainly puts a new spin on that Still Alive, and adds an oddly touching full-stop to GlaDOS’ story.
4. Mario’s Midlife Crisis
Mario is a no-hoper, in a job he hates (hence spending precisely zero time picking up actual jobs,) who invents a secret world where he is a hero, taking on incredibly stacked odds to destroy a lizard king and rescue a nubile blonde princess.
The game series is nothing more than an adrenaline-fuelled macho power dream: there’s no other way to account for the fact that a plumber is deemed the most appropriate and best equipped “hero” to take on the might of the Koopa clan and their various castles, dungeons and airships.
Added to that, the player sees Mario smashing up worlds via the power of his head, exerting his strength, and stomping on enemies who yield as if he is a demi-God, as he runs around accumulating vast wealth and rides off into the sunset as the princess’ knight in shining armour. They couldn’t have made it more obvious unless Mario had a pony tail and rode a Harley Davison.
3. Animal Crossing: Something Is Very Wrong Here
Animal Crossing is a cute, harmless game right? Wrong it’s actually a dark nightmare that traps the lead character in a colourful prison, like an awful Truman Show with man-sized animals and forced labour, all forced through the grinning smiles of creatures pretending to be friendly.
You can’t escape, your lodgings are as bare as a prison cell (with no toilet), and you’re basically forced into an endless cycle of mortgages and manual labour despite being barely ten years old.
This is not the holiday that gaming is supposed to be, and according to one incredibly imaginative theorist, it all gets an awful lot worse. Peel away the colourful edges of Animal Crossing and you have a tale of deception, misdirection and cannibalism.
Probably the silliest theory of all included here, but definitely fun enough for inclusion. This one suggests that the Pacman universe and the world of minimalist classic sport game Pong are linked together by a social dynamic that places them together on a complex class ladder. The theory says that Pong is the upper class world, where folks play tennis endlessly at their leisure on account of being terribly rich, burning through balls like there’s no financial restriction on how many can be used.
Because, frankly there isn’t, and infinite balls are the highest sign of status and wealth. So where do all the balls go? Well, Pacman is the lower rung of the social ladder, where the character is forced to endlessly collect the discarded balls of the Pong social climbers.
He sells them on to those who wish to appear more wealthy with their ball stocks, scratching a living, and evading guards hell-bent on stopping any thefts that will destabilise the accepted social order of things. Pacman didn’t really need an added dimension, but this makes Pong an awful lot more intriguing, even if it is total hocum.
1. Mario Is The Villain
For years, Nintendo have been ramming the idea of the jovial plumber who never seems to actually fix any pipe as the archetypal video game hero – he conquers evil lands, vanquishes a beastly foe and saves the girl (eventually.) But has Mario been hiding a deep dark secret from the earliest days? There is a theory that Mario never quite evolved from his days as the monkey-capturing, animal-controlling devil who tried to make Donkey Kong Jr an orphan, and the hints are all there for us to see.
Consider how peaceful the goombahs and koopa troopers are in the first Super Mario Bros game: what was initially perceived as comical ineptitude is in fact tactical naivety when faced with an invading force. They don’t know how to defend their homes, and are forced to offer themselves as cannon fodder as the little Italian mercilessly takes over every one of their lands, conquering every castle under the thinly veiled guise of rescuing the princess.
Mario is an anarchist, intent on deposing King Koopa, and flying the red starred flag of Communism in place of his flags of Peace, and we’re all enabling his evil empire. That sort of complexity is exactly what the little moustachioed weirdo needs.