5 'Animal Crossing' Mysteries That Keep Me Up At Night
Like most of you, I've been spending most of my days either blaring "Fuck The Police" nonstop or escaping reality onto a tiny island on my Nintendo Switch where the only cop is Tom Nook, and he doesn't get to leave his office. Animal Crossing is a peaceful, almost perfect world except for when it's also a nightmare zone. Many people have theorized that Animal Crossing is post-apocalyptic, or it takes place in purgatory, or it's a Truman Show scenario, or a child labor farm. These weird fan theories surround this game because there are a hundred little baffling mysteries that people are trying to explain, stuff like ...
Why Does The Anatomy Skeleton In The Game Look Nothing Like The Humans Players?
Animal Crossing: New Horizons has both an anatomy model item and a skeleton item that you can display in your home, but neither of them looks anything like the human players in the game. They are both taller with smaller heads, and most importantly, they have fingers. Human players in Animal Crossing just have little balls at the end of their hands which is fine, that's how humans look in this game, I get it. Except then, you give me the skeleton of clearly another species and ask me as a player to decorate my house with it.
This feels like a threat to me for some reason. A skeleton that looks not like a fun video game skeleton (but like me, a human person playing the game) is for sale, and it's honestly not that expensive, which means somewhere they have a lot of them lying around.
You can collect fossils in the game, and there's a display in the museum that holds the skull of Australopithecus, an ancient ape from which humans are thought to have evolved. It's implied in the museum exhibit that the human players in Animal Crossing also descended from Australopithecus so like, what the hell happened to our fingers? The ball-hand apocalypse is coming, 2020 isn't over yet.
Why Is It Ok To Have A Pet Hamster In My Bedroom When A Hamster Is Also My Sentient Neighbor?
While most of Animal Crossing: New Horizons is about making your island fun enough to attract multiple animal islanders to come live on it, the treatment of animals as conscious beings is pretty willy-nilly. There's a recipe for a birdcage that you can make using just wood, but once you've built it, there's a live moving, tweeting, bird inside. As someone who creates life from wood, does that make you a tiny fingerless God?
The most disturbing example of how loose the rules of personhood are in Animal Crossing is the hamster cage. When I got one, I was immediately upset because there was a hamster who lived on my island. His name is Hamlet, his catchphrase is Hammy, pretty much his whole deal is that he's a hamster, and yet one of his rodent brethren is in a cage in my house?
This didn't feel right to me, so I gave the hamster cage to Hamlet, and he freaking loved it. He said, "Wow, you really nailed it with this gift," and then he proceeded to display it in his home. I guess if we consider the caged hamster an unevolved version of Hamlet, it's maybe comparable to someone giving me a pet monkey? I guess if that happened I wouldn't be like, "Wow this is kind of messed up!" I'd just put a lil hat on him and call it a day. Still, it seems weird to have a hamster man with a pet hamster. Anyway, I don't go to Hamlet's house anymore.
What Do The Aliens Want?
Okay, so if I haven't convinced you so far that something is rotten on Magnum P. Island (that's the name of my island), let me tell you about the aliens. If you can scrape together enough bells to buy a television set, you can watch 24 hours of programming in the game. There are fantasy movies, cartoons, nature shows, news, and weather programs, and at exactly 3:33 in the morning on Saturday, there is a broadcast from aliens.
Is it meant to be a fun sci-fi program? Is it the Animal Crossing version of War Of The Worlds? I don't think so. Aliens are a weird part of Animal Crossing canon. In Animal Crossing: Wild World, Gulliver, who also appears in New Horizons, flies a spaceship over the player's town and can be shot down with a slingshot, which is I have to say some pretty shoddy craftsmanship for a UFO.
Clearly, space travel exists in the Animal Crossing universe. They have rockets, a lunar rover, and an astronaut outfit available to make or purchase. A few players have tried slowing down and reversing the audio on the alien clip and have claimed to hear messages like "resistance is futile." Does Animal Crossing take place in the middle of an intergalactic war zone? Or are aliens just peaceful friends like any other villager? I'll let you know if anything bursts out of my chest during the next fruit harvest.
Where Is All Of This Food Coming From?
There are no restaurants on my island. The only food my character gets to eat day in and day out is fruit and bamboo shoots. You can't eat the animals you catch in the game (because that would be weird), but somehow everyone but me on my island is constantly eating food that is not available in the game.
They have donuts, they have popsicles, they have cans of soda. Is there a special food section of Nook's that the human characters are not allowed into?
There are kitchens in Animal Crossing, so the villagers may be making some of the food themselves, but the cans of soda? Those were on my island before I ever had a soda machine. So, obviously, residents of the island, have some kind of supply line that I, as a human resident, and might I add a very important resident representative, am not privy too.
By far and away, the most messed up thing about food in Animal Crossing is that some of the villagers are ... made of it. I have nightmares about Zucker, a villager who looks like an octopus, but his head is actually modeled after Takoyaki balls, a fried ball of dough that is filled with minced octopus.
So he is an octopus, but also he's a snack made of an octopus? There's also a mouse named Chadder who is made of cheese, and Tangy, a cat with the skin of a citrus. Animal Crossing has an uncomfortable amount of common ground with The Island Of Dr Moreau.
What Are The Rules Surrounding Nudity Here?
Your character is always wearing big-ass underwear. You can't take them off. They're just a part of your body, but the animal islanders are constantly Donald Ducking it. They'll wear pants, dresses, and the little jumpsuits you give them, but come workout time it's always a sleeveless T-shirt and no pants. They're in the middle of town doing toe touches with their entire buttholes flapping in the breeze, but if you take off your jumpsuit, it's a full modesty garment underneath or nothing.
The town is only idyllic because you can't smell the acres of sweat-soaked taint wool.
Then there's K.K. Slider, the most famous singer in the Animal Crossing universe. Once you unlock him, he visits the island once a week, and he is always fully nude. We see K.K. Slider wear clothing on his album covers. He'll wear a full suit, he'll wear a kilt, he'll wear a little hat for Christ's sake, but when he comes to your island once a week, no shirt, no pants, just a guitar covering the smooth area where his junk would be if this weren't a game for children.
So, is your island clothing optional, or is K.K just an exhibitionist? Also, no animal ever goes around topless, just bottomless. Is this because the animators were uncomfortable designing tiny little hamster nipples? Yeah, it's probably that. (Yet they took the time to design a nail polish kit for a game in which we have no fingers.)
Top image: Nintendo