Theories are a way to make people think critically. Whether it be about movies, video games, books, or the real world, everyone loves a good theory. Video game theories are popular due to the fact that they might be true. Some may be subtle and be backed by facts while others may be so outlandish they’ll make you question what’s going on. Some theories may take a minute to explain while some have hour-long videos delving into every nook and cranny of the game to explain them.
Then there are some theories that are so plausible that they may as well be in the game as actual cannon. In fact, there are some theories that have been accepted as canon despite what the companies that made the game say. Even if you don’t agree with them, you can’t deny that some of the theories on this list add up to something.
Here are the Top 15 Video Game Theories that actually make sense.
15. Gary’s Raticate is Dead . . . and you killed it
Considered the game of a generation, the original Pokémon game introduced gamers to a world where they could capture, train, and battle interesting creatures. Obviously, trainers would battle against each other, and it’s no different when it comes to the player and his rival, Gary. The only thing, however, is that you may be responsible for one of his Raticates’ death.
In the beginning, we first fight Gary when Raticate is still Rattata. When the small purple rat turns into the giant Raticate, the player fights Gary again on the S.S. Anne. Much later down the road, Gary is encountered in the Lavender Town graveyard with all of his Pokémon, except Raticate. He’ll ask you if you know what it’s like to have one of your Pokémon die before the fight as well. Although some may claim this theory debunked, it’s still chilling to think that you may be responsible for the death of a Pokémon.
14. The Pokémon Games Take Place in a War-torn Society
The Pokémon games are full of theories and probably has more theories connected to the franchise in general. It makes sense seeing that most of the games take place in different locations and timelines.
One similarity that has to be pointed out, though, is this: there is a lack of male adults in the franchise, especially in the early games. A lot of the children are orphans, and even if they have a living parent, the mother is the only one to be seen. Not to mention, there are a lot of hospitals and gyms designed for Pokémon who’ve seen action. This theory suggests that the early games take place in a war-torn land where many of the men had died. This is also bolstered by the gym leader Lieutenant Surge, who boldly states that “electric Pokémon saved me during the war!” — showing that there was indeed a war in the past.
13. Squall Dies in Final Fantasy VIII
Final Fantasy VIII puts the character in the boots of Squall Leonhart, the gun-blade-toting hero who must save the world from evil. And he’s no slouch either, taking a massive scar across the face like it’s nothing and surviving an ice spike through the chest.
Or did he?
After awaking from his injury, Squall sees that his wound is gone, not to mention, no one seems the least bit concerned that he was impaled on ice. Everything seems to get weirder and weirder throughout the second half of the game. Toward the end, there’s a nightmare-inducing image of Squall with a hole where his face should be. According to this theory, the second half of the game is Squall’s dream as he dies, kind of like in the movie Grease except more stabbing and limit breaks and less dancing and singing.
12. The Indoctrination of Commander Shepard
Mass Effect is by far one of the most memorable Action RPGs of its time. It has a great cast of characters, choices that make each playthrough unique, heart-pounding action, and a great story. One negative thing that stands out, though, is the lackluster ending of the main trilogy (fans of the game will shudder just thinking about the pre-“Extended Cut” DLC endings).
However, The Indoctrination Theory suggests that Commander Shepard is, in fact, fighting off the Reaper’s hold on him and that most of the series takes place in his head. Firstly, he has had plenty of time around Reapers and Reaper Tech to cause Indoctrination (some characters became Indoctrinated in the presence of Reaper Tech alone). We also see some of the side-effects represented in the third game’s dream sequences. At the end of the third game, Shepard is presented with three choices. Two of them matter in this: Destroy is Shepard resisting Indoctrination, and Control is Shepard giving in. Although the release of Andromeda may blow this theory into dust, it still makes even the most hardcore fans wonder.
11. The Connection between Skyrim and Fallout
Both The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim and Fallout 4 are creations of Bethesda Studios that have the players exploring vast open worlds. In Skyrim, you play as the Dragonborn, hunting through dungeons and exploring the continent of Skyrim. In Fallout 4, the players take control of The Sole Survivor as they explore the post-apocalyptic city of Boston. Both games are far from related, right?
Other than some subtle Easter Eggs and references, there’s actually one major connection between the two games that make them related: The Nirnroot. In Skyrim, the Nirnroot is a glowing fern that emits a soft chiming noise and is usually found near water. In Fallout 4, you can find plants suspiciously similar to Nirnroot in both physical features and description in the Brotherhood database. Even the plant is labeled as “NRT,” which could be short for Nirnroot. This raises the question: which game takes place first? Is the world of Fallout really the prequel to the mystical land of Tamriel?
10. The Fate of Solaire in Dark Souls III
Even those who hate the Dark Souls series can’t deny that they’ve heard of Solaire of Astora or have at least seen a picture of him. This goofy-yet-powerful Knight of Sunlight is an undead who wants to find his own sun. Throughout the course of the game, however, he becomes disheartened. In the stage of Lost Izalith, you’ll find several of these bug-like creatures. If you don’t know all of them and take the Sunlight Maggot headpiece, Solaire will find it and wear it. This will cause him to go mad and make him hostile toward you.
But what if the Chosen Undead from Dark Souls didn’t kill Solaire? What if the creator of the phrase “Praise the Sun” is actually in the final installment of the series? Sure, you can obtain his armor and shield, but his fate isn’t clearly told. Well, in the Smouldering Lake level, you encounter a giant worm shooting through the muck. It attacks with lightning, which is a power usually granted to those of high faith, and when killed, it drops the “Lightning Stake” Miracle and an Undead Bone Shard. Because it drops the “Lightning Stake” spell, has a bone shard, uses lightning, and maggots grow into larger insects, this theory suggests that the Sunlight Maggot turned Solaire into the worm you fight in the third game. The best thing about the Souls series by Hidetaka Miyazaki is that the game encourages you to make your own theories, and this one is a great example.
9. The Source of the Blood in Bloodborne
Another game by Hidetaka Miyazaki is Bloodborne. Bloodborne is a more like an action-oriented Dark Souls, complete with its own lore and disturbing content. One thing that stands out in this series — if it wasn’t already obvious by the title — is that the characters in the game are kind of obsessed with blood. Seriously, you use blood vials to heal yourself.
But where do you get all of this blood? This theory, brought about by Reddit user Lucatiel Knight, states that your character is actually using menstrual blood. Why is this? First off, you only receive special blood transfusions from women: Iosefka, Adella, and Arianna. When Arianna is pregnant, she’s no longer able to give you blood. Bloodborne also likes to talk about the phases of the moon, which has been used to talk about the menstrual period. Even the name of the stage “Nightmare of Mensis” is similar to the Latin word for menstruation.
8. Kidnapping in Animal Crossing
Animal Crossing is a carefree game where the player builds and expands their home, helping out their animal neighbors and working for the shopkeeper, Tom Nook the Racoon. There are plenty of things to do in the game, including play with some hidden classic Nintendo Games! Who wouldn’t love this game?
Well, Animal Crossing might have a dark side to it. According to this theory, the player is kidnapped and forced to work in the town. First off, the player is brought to town by a character named Kapp’n in some of the games, who is based on a Kappa (a creature in Japanese folklore who would kidnap children and possibly eat them). Upon being brought to the town, they are placed under a half-ton of debt, and the player is forced to pay Tom Nook in order to get out. Once out of debt, they’re thrown right back into it! This makes it so there is always something binding the player to the town. And there are guards posted at the entrance of the town who won’t let the player leave, further emphasizing that the players might not be of their own free will.
7. The Companion Cubes Are People
In Portal, you’re more or less alone, albeit with the presence of the evil GlaDos mocking you. So it is kind of nice to find something that won’t try to kill you: The Companion Cube. Despite looking like the other cubes in the game, except for a pink heart painted on each of its sides, there really isn’t anything spectacular about the cube. Even so, players seem to latch on to it ever-so-closely.
Isn’t it strange, however, that GlaDos describes the cubes with as much disdain as she does you? Isn’t it also weird that she tells you to ignore it if it talks to you? Also, what’s different is the way in which you dispose of the cube. Instead of walking through the field that disintegrates all inorganic material, you drop it in a fire? This theory suggests that if one were to peek into a Companion Cube, they would find a cold and rigid corpse of a person inside. Well, on the bright side, at least you have another human along for the ride, right?
6. Assassin’s Creed and Watch Dogs Share the Same Universe
Both of the Ubisoft franchises, Assassin’s Creed and Watch Dogs, have had their highs and lows. But ultimately, both are great game series. Both have similar play-styles and both share the same game universe.
Although there aren’t any references to Watch Dogs in Assassin’s Creed (besides the fact that the former takes place in Chicago and Assassin’s Creed 4’s Oliver takes a business trip in Chicago), there are plenty of references to Assassin’s Creed in Watch Dogs. The before-mentioned Oliver is a target in a Watch Dogs mission, and scanning him reveals that he’s targeted by the Assassin’s Brotherhood. You can also meet employees of Abstergo, which is a company that uses the Animus to unlock memories of the Assassins and Templars.
5. Earth in Kirby 64
Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards was the only game to be released for the series on the Nintendo 64. In the game, Kirby must travel to different stages to receive pieces of a great Crystal — more or less cut and dry and a fun game for children and adults alike.
One of the locations in the game is called “Shiver Star.” The area seems to be a gray planet with one moon orbiting it. Looking closer at the planet, one may see that it looks very similar to Earth. An abandoned shopping mall and factory overrun with robots can also be found on this ice-covered wasteland, suggesting that Kirby is trudging through the ruins of planet Earth.
4. The Location of Mary’s Body in Silent Hill 2
Silent Hill 2 was one of the games that will be forever engraved into the minds of fans for being a great game and a bone-chilling game at the same time. In the second Silent Hill installment, you play as James while he travels through a world created by his inner demons as he comes to terms with the murder of his own wife, Mary.
Although most people would assume that Mary’s real body would be nowhere nearby, some suggest that it’s actually closer than we’d like. During one of the endings, James drives into the water while saying, “Now we can be together.” This obviously kills him, but why would he drive into the lake to commit suicide? This theory suggests that he did it because Mary was in the trunk of his car and that by driving into the lake, they would both rest in peace together.
3. Super Mario Bros. 3 Is Just an Act – or Acts
The Mario franchise is beloved by all, and Super Mario Bros. 3 is no exception. In the third Super Mario Bros., players must don the red cap of Mario or the green of Luigi in order to save Princess Toadstool from Bowser and his gang by using stomps, fire flowers, and many more.
But if players take a good look at the game, they might notice that there are some odd things about it. One: all the platforms seem bolted down and cast shadows onto the backdrop. Two: the stages begin with a set of curtains opening. Three: the characters seem to “exit stage right” when they finish a level. With these three facts in mind, some may conclude that the third game is actually a stage play! Even though that doesn’t change the fact that it’s a good game, it also changes the way you look at the Mario world.
2. Donkey Kong Hates America
Donkey Kong is another icon of Nintendo’s gaming industry, beginning with Mario as the villain of their first game together. Later on, Donkey Kong would star in his own series of platform games. Although some were sketchy (one game was mapped to a set of drums), they were each good in their own way.
However, Donkey Kong Country was not only fun but also political. According to this theory, the game was an anti-America piece of propaganda pertaining to the Banana War. Donkey Kong is fighting off crocodile soldiers (who look like soldiers of the United States Army) to receive bananas that were stolen from him. The antagonist, King K. Rool, is supposed to be a jab at Teddy R. Roosevelt, the United States president who was compared to a king. You also fight him aboard a ship, which is supposed to represent the Navy protecting the Caribbean Islands gained during the Banana war.
1. Metal Gear Solid 3 Is Actually a VR Mission
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater is considered to be one the best in the Metal Gear Solid series. The players step into the boots of Naked Snake (or Big Boss as he is later called) and sneak through communist base camps and hide in boxes in order to disarm nuclear weapons and eliminate the threat to the world.
As with any of the MGS games, Snake Eater’s story gets a bit weird. For example, when fighting The End, you can set your Playstation’s internal clock a week ahead in order to have him die of old age. The theory for this game, however, suggests that this entire game is just one big Virtual Mission. At the beginning, Snake confuses “Virtuous Mission” with Virtual Mission. Also, if you kill Ocelot in this game, you’ll be scolded by Roy Campbell, not Major Zero, who is your handler, for creating a time paradox. Roy Campbell, for those who don’t know, is the handler of Solid Snake — the main protagonist of the games that take place in the future, way after Snake Eater.
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