3Pikmin Takes Place in an Empty Post-Apocalyptic Earth
Pikmin is an impossibly cute series about a tiny alien who uses a bunch of even tinier plant-like creatures (the titular Pikmins) to collect things and solve challenges. As you play these games, you never really pay much attention to your surroundings, since 1) everything happens on an incredibly small scale, 2) you always have like 12 Pikmins going around doing stuff, and 3) seriously, those things are just too goddamn cute, to the point of being distracting.
What were we talking about? Oh, yeah: Uncharted 3.
If you do look around, you might notice that even though the planet the alien protagonist is visiting looks a lot like ours, it's suspiciously quiet and empty-looking -- and that's because Pikmin takes place on a post-apocalyptic Earth where everyone is dead. It never comes right out and tells you this, but the series is full of clues to bring players to this idea. For starters, a lot of the "treasures" that you collect are things used by humans and brands that we recognize, despite the fact that there are no people to be found carelessly chucking batteries into a lake.
If you dig long enough in the desert stage, you come across 20,000 ET Atari cartridges.
Things such as cans, bottle caps, and flip phones are collected and brought back to your ship to scrap for parts. And if you're thinking, "Well, maybe the humans are just hiding" -- no, they're not. In Pikmin 3, the geography of the planet that has been the setting of each game is finally revealed to us through an overworld map. The game never treats it like a big deal or specifically points it out in any way. It's simply known as PNF-404, and it looks like this:
"But our continents don't look like that!" No, you're right. They don't right now, but PNF-404 is almost an exact match for Pangea Ultima, the approximation that scientists of today use to determine what Earth's continents will look like in 250 million years. Here's a handy comparison:
So, not only are they saying that Pikmin takes place in a humanless future, but, considering that the relics you find 250 million years in the future are on par with our current technology (there are no holo-phones or Mr. Fusions laying around), it's implied that whatever caused the human extinction occurred around our current time. Happy Pikmin-ing!
2Final Fantasy X-2 Secretly Makes You the Bad Guy of Final Fantasy VII
Remember when you could pick up any Final Fantasy game and experience the magic of getting stuck on the first dungeon without having to play any of the previous entries in the franchise? They all had completely unrelated characters and plotlines, but now it's not that simple -- not only are they making confusingly numbered sequels, but some small clues left in Final Fantasy X-2 (pronounced "ten two," which isn't the same as "twelve") revealed that two of the most popular games in the series are actually connected. Basically, if you played X-2, then you're responsible for everything bad that happens in Final Fantasy VII.
THIS IS ON YOU.
How does that work? Well, in FFX there's a guy called Rin who owns a shop. In FFX-2, a precocious kid called Shinra talks to Rin about his idea of harvesting the "life force that flows through our planet" and turning it into energy. This isn't a major plot point, and it's only in a small footnote that you discover that Rin eventually says "Aw, what the heck" and bankrolls the kid's project. All of the money you've been giving Rin to buy potions and whatnot has helped him fund this venture for Shinra. But what's the harm? You've helped develop a possible new source of clean energy and made a little boy happy in the process.
Oh, and you're also responsible for the horrors of a tyrannical regime. Remember this logo from Final Fantasy VII?
Because even in the magical sci-fi future-past, you have to work to keep the power bill paid, apparently.
That belongs to the Shinra Electric Company, aka the bastards who ruin everything for everyone in Final Fantasy VII. They're ruled by President Shinra, a global autocrat with a private army who essentially owns the metropolis Midgar and controls every aspect of the citizens' lives. The Shinra Electric Company is also behind some pretty horrific genetic engineering that causes trouble for everyone involved. And how do they get their energy? Why, by harvesting the life force of the planet -- the same process little Shinra from FFX-2 invented, although he probably didn't foresee that it would turn the mined areas into desolate wastelands.
That, or that kid was a total dick.
So, yes, President Shinra is little Shinra's descendant. In other words, by giving a nice man some money in a game set 1,000 years earlier, you helped fund an evil, world-destroying corporation. Nice one, jackass.