6 Insane Ways Fans Make Innocent Video Games Super Creepy
There are great games out there for any mood you're in. If you need to see heads explode, you've got no shortage of options, but you've also got lots to choose from if you want to feel warm and fuzzy. But, to the surprise of no one, sadistic gamers decided to turn some of those cute games into experiences creepier than any horror game has ever intentionally created.
Super Mario Maker Makes You Question Your Life Choices
Super Mario Maker is a Mario level designer that was released when Nintendo realized they could make tons of money by asking fans to design their games for them. In a shocking display of restraint by players, Nintendo's servers weren't immediately flooded with countless levels where Mario has to clamber across a giant fireball-shooting erection. Instead, they designed countless levels that use a game about jumping on mushrooms to explore the crushing ennui of modern life.
"Waluigi's Unbearable Existence" was the first level to gain notoriety, and as the name implies, it's not a lighthearted romp through Moo Moo Farm. Players are transformed into Waluigi, the Snidely Whiplash of the Mario universe, and wander deep below ground. Through a message written in coins, Waluigi is informed that a pile of bones represents his heart.
The next room isn't much better.
Look, I play video games to distract myself from my crushing loneliness, not be reminded of it. Gamers might collect those coins both out of sheer habit and to hide the grim message, only to be told in the next room, "Coins will never fill the void." The message after that is, "You can't succeed as yourself, Waluigi. You never could," with the implication that players should be substituting their own name for the purple-clad tennis enthusiast's.
Players will endlessly loop through the same few rooms, eventually running out of time and dying alone, unless they find an alternate path that tells them, "Sacrifice your sense of self." Keep going down that road and you'll be turned back into Mario, told to "embrace the enemy," and achieve victory ... at a cost.
The message is clear. In order to succeed at Mario (and life), you have to abandon everything that makes you unique and conform to what the system demands. Mario is popular, kids. Be exactly like Mario. Don't be a weird Waluigi. Everyone must be Mario. And then you put the controller down, look around your generic apartment, think of the office that's waiting for you tomorrow morning even though you've been playing video games to forget about it, and realize Waluigi isn't the only one with an unbearable existence.
RollerCoaster Tycoon Becomes A Decades-Long Death March
Approximately 100 percent of people who played RollerCoaster Tycoon turned some of their theme parks into sadistic traps where shoddily constructed coasters sent visitors plummeting to fiery deaths. But it's one thing to casually murder virtual families who just wanted to spend one of their precious virtual weekends away from their virtual jobs having a little virtual fun in the hopes that their failing virtual marriages would be saved and their virtual kids wouldn't grow up bitter and lonely, and another to put them through a lengthy torture regimen the CIA would consider excessive.
First came Mr. Bones' Wild Ride, a 30,696-foot-long coaster. For comparison, the longest real roller coaster is Japan's Steel Dragon 2000, at 8,133 feet. More importantly, Steel Dragon hits a top speed of 95 mph, while, in a cruel mockery of its name, Wild Ride tops off at 5 and averages 3. In real time, Wild Ride takes 70 minutes to complete. In game time, it takes over a year. Riders are simply bored by the glacial pace at first. Then they're confused. Then they want to get off. They all want to get off. They grow hungry and thirsty but never die, because the park won't allow it, the ride itself somehow giving them just enough sustenance to continue their wild ride.
Heh. Get off.
The ride's decorations, at first lighthearted and whimsical, grow increasingly ominous. Then, as the long year comes to an end, an ominous sign emerges. "MR. BONES SAYS THE RIDE NEVER ENDS." Guests exit and some primitive memory buried deep in the recesses of their brain gets their atrophied legs moving. But the long and winding path doesn't take them to the park exit, to the cars they've forgotten how to drive, the homes they've been kicked out of, and the jobs they've been fired from. It takes them only to another entrance to the ride.
This started a race to create the slowest, most excruciating insult to the concept of a roller coaster imaginable, a race that was won with the creation of Kairos. If Mr. Bones was the atom bomb, Kairos is a thousand ICBMs. An entire park is dedicated to one "coaster" that exploits an oddity in the game's physics engine. It's possible to make rides go slower and slower without ever reaching zero -- they'll keep trundling along in defiance of science and Walt Disney. Normally this isn't an issue, because a well-designed ride will build and maintain momentum. But Kairos is a perfectly flat spiral into oblivion.
You're looking at a roller coaster. That's all roller coaster. It leaves the station at the top of the map, spirals into the center, then returns. Its journey takes 210 days. Not game days. Real days. Kairos takes its virtual occupants 3,000 in-game years to complete. Civilizations will rise and fall on that roller coaster. Children will be born, grow old, and die knowing nothing but its cold steel embrace. "What lies beyond the roller coaster?" they'll ask their parents, voices loud enough to overcome the machinery and yet somehow still hushed. The answer is tired, resigned. "Nothing you'll ever know."
People Keep Doing Fucked-Up Shit To The Sims
The Sims games are basically modern psychological profiling tools. The more a player mercilessly tortures their Sims instead of helping them advance their goals, the more you should worry they'll lock you in a broom closet and remove the door if given the chance. And for God's sake, don't ever get in a pool when they're around.
Several sites have compiled stories of the worst things players have done, because copy-pasting from Reddit is considered journalism now. My favorite is the painting goblin, where an obese, green-skinned Sim is locked in the basement and forced to do nothing but churn out paintings that are sold for the benefit of the ignorant family above him (presumably they're told they have a wealthy and eccentric great-uncle as a benefactor). It's a premise begging for the story of the wholesome top-dwellers discovering the dark secret beneath their home.
Also, the Goblin's forced to listen to Carly Rae Jepsen singing in Simlish all day.
But hey, even the nicest gamers have occasionally trapped an innocent family and doused their home in a cleansing blaze that burns the sin from their e-flesh. It takes perverted commitment to program new features, like this mod that allows teen Sims to get pregnant and then miscarry their child.
I think we can all agree that the ability to sleep with and impregnate underage characters in a game where players often model Sims after people they know in real life is important and necessary. But adding the ability to experience a heart-wrenching tragedy is a bit much considering it's played with as much dignity as The Sims can muster, which is none.
Did I mention that this is one of only several miscarriage mods available?
In the sample video, a teen is rocking out on a rocking chair when she's warned "Due to your condition, you risk losing the baby." The Sim immediately stops her reckless behavior, but the unfeeling God of her world has other ideas. Ignoring her reaction that I believe is supposed to represent intense abdominal pains even though it uses the emoticon for hunger, Miss Teen Simville USA is forced to rock on the chair until she suffers a miscarriage, because that's probably how miscarriages work.
Sad music kicks in as she wails at the heavens, leaves a wet spot on the floor and runs out into the rain to vomit up neon green ectoplasm, which would be dramatic if Sims didn't chew scenery like a coked-out Nicolas Cage. Instead it's surreal and uncomfortable. You're left with the sense that someone is finding pleasure in this insane melodrama, if you know what I mean.
I mean someone jerked off to this. In case that wasn't clear.
The miscarriage creator has also carried to term mods that allow you to take multiple teenage wives, commit incest, and induce labor whenever you want, giving you all the tools you need to run your very own abusive Sim sex cult. Which is funded by a painting goblin, probably.
Skyrim Drags You Deep Into The Uncanny Valley
Skyrim lets you murder and rob people if you feel so inclined, but no one really thinks of it as creepy -- any game where you can turn dragons into My Little Ponies with the voice of Macho Man Randy Savage still has a certain innocence to it. An innocence that other players want to curb-stomp and then urinate on as it begs for an ambulance. I'm not talking about sex mods, because I've already talked about those. Today I'm talking about crafting wooden servants, otherwise known as building sentient mannequins to do your bidding.
Real talk: Mannequins are creepy. I don't flee department stores at the sight of them, but they're unsettling when removed from their natural context. And there's nothing natural about this context:
Great, so you can marry Pinocchio and then get splinters everywhere. You know what I mean. Everywhere. There are some disturbing implications in that paragraph, but let's get a look at one of these "Manakins" first. Maybe it's all harmless and-
"Father, why do you want to marry me? Am I not your daughter too?"
Fuck. Fuck, you guys. That ... thing is absolutely going to murder you in your sleep. The only question is whether it will gently caress you as it drives its own sharpened finger through your neck or watch impassively as its wooden minions crush the air from your throat.
"Father, the other Manakins speak of one just like me, who perished in the flames.
How many mes were there, Father?"
"But Mark," you ask, "what if they're friendly? You can't judge a fantasy simulacrum given unholy life by its dead-eyed, emotionless hull." But read that description again. You can marry them and then replace them when they die. These are sentient tools you can dispose of as soon as they've served their purpose or grown inconvenient. This is a deeply disturbing rebellion just waiting to happen. And it gets worse:
Have real people with hopes and dreams died horrifically? Replace them with a haunting mockery of their former lives! Are you tired of being forced to obey the law? Create your own, in defiance of all known civilization! Can you not earn love because you see all other living things as pieces of equipment to serve your foul purposes? Thrust the spark of life into dead trees and force them to love you even as they struggle to come to terms with their sudden terrifying sentience!
"Father, why did you create one Manakin to share your bed while we must
be your shields and pack mules? Are we not worthy, Father?"
The mod's creator says you can give them human eyes if you'd like, but warns that it looks "creepy." Buddy, that ship sailed.
"Father, I will wear your crown now. Your children will write your funeral dirge with your own blood."
Pokemon Gets Turned Into A Disturbing Ethical Quandary
This might shock you, but fans managed to make a game about sending 10-year-olds into the wilderness to pick animal fights uncomfortable. There are a number of Pokemon mods out there, and some of them tackle mature themes like war, animal rights, Pokemon becoming critically endangered, and what would really happen if you sent a bunch of kids on extended, unsupervised camping trips before they were taught sex-ed.
Pokemon Fusion Generation focuses on scientific ethics. In it, the previously minor character of Bill invents a way to fuse two Pokemon into a single creature, creations that run the gamut from a whale worm to a dragon that's also another dragon. Most of these creations look unsettling; even if you've never played Pokemon, something about them just seems off. And the logistics behind them are never made clear, which sends your brain to worrying places. Does one Pokemon die in the process? Do they both die and form a new and presumably confused creature? Are two Pokemon sharing a body? A mind? What happens if you fuse a Pokemon with Jeff Goldblum?
None of the possible conclusions are pleasant. Several characters are horrified by the technology, including a little boy who has his Pokemon forcibly fused and is appalled by the results. The game's villains are using them for nefarious purposes, but you have no qualms about using the same twisted medical experiments to stop them. Each battle feels gross and unnatural. Even their creator, Bill, eventually turns against them, but that doesn't stop you from witnessing this:
That's a secret basement in Bill's lab, where you can find his failed early fusion attempts locked in tiny cages. They look hideous ...
"It spits in the face of Arceus ..."
Oh, and they beg you for death.
Bill tries to play it off as nothing serious and argues that all scientific advancement requires sacrifice, which is what every mad scientist says shortly before plunging a rusty knife into your brain. Then he asks you to keep what you witnessed a secret. It's never brought up again, Bill never pays for his Pokecrimes, and you're forced to live with the fact that you spent the entire game fighting with creatures based on the work of an unrepentant monster whose early creations long for the sweet release of death. Maybe there will be a sequel where you can euthanize 'em all.
Animal Crossing: New Leaf Becomes A Japanese Horror Movie
Animal Crossing is your mom's favorite game about avoiding art scams perpetrated by adorable animals. Between fruit-picking, impromptu hide and seek, and home decorating, the only way it could be more wholesome is if the animals held a church bake sale. But that didn't stop some gamers from putting a ridiculous amount of effort into telling horror stories with the least likely source material.
The first and most famous horror town is Aika Village. You start next to an odd-looking doll, but otherwise the town seems idyllic. There's lots of flowers, and the titular Aika is happy to tell you that she loves her mommy. Go inside her beautiful home and you'll see, ugh, mannequins acting out Aika's birthday party. Little girls? Japan? I've got a good feeling about this!
Next you come across a grave where you can dig up a doghouse, because Nintendo's programmers didn't think to include a dog corpse item for some reason. Then, in the second house, Aika tells you, "i LoVe My MoMmY." So either she's 13 years old and designing her first website, or something's wrong.
This house is a maze of exit signs that leads you to a room where 16 owl clocks look back and forth between two headless statues, and when I read that sentence back it feels like I'm having a stroke.
This room's a hoot!
Then you find a room of dolls ignoring you. That red one should look familiar.
And if you rotate the camera ...
Elsewhere, this house has a room that re-creates the fall of man and another that uses dolls to mimic the Last Supper. Remember, this is a game about trading fashion swatches with penguins.
The red doll is hiding an ax. Fuck you, doll.
Keep moving through the village and the flowers are replaced with dead plants and garbage. At the next house, Aika says, "I lo- I lo- I lo- I lo- mY m0mMy," because no Animal Crossing village has a competent therapist. Inside, the doll flat-out threatens you.
I'm sorry! I take it back!
You can also find a painting of a little girl being abused, a room full of torn-up books, and the doll watching static.
After leaving and trudging through more decay ...
... you reach the final house. Aika just spouts gibberish now, her mind totally broken.
Inside the layout matches the birthday party house, but now it looks like it belongs on a show about hoarders.
The upstairs playroom hasn't aged well either:
The paintings of Aika's dog, Aika's mom, and Aika herself are scribbled out, and the ax is back. You can then go down to the beach and find ...
... a solitary pair of Aika's red shoes. According to all the white people who have analyzed this, shoes are removed before a traditional Japanese suicide. Swim from there to a tiny island and you'll find a grave. Rob it like a jerk ...
... and you'll dig up a "creepy skeleton" and that goddamn doll.
Fans have debated all the symbolism, because while there's clearly a story being told, the meaning of a room containing eight eggs and a piano is open to interpretation. One common reading is that Aika was gifted an evil doll that made her kill her dog and mom. Then, feeling lonely, Aika committed suicide and was buried with it for eternity. Another theory is that Aika was under immense pressure from her parents to be perfect while their marriage fell apart, and she eventually snapped under the stress. However you take it, it's impressive that the village's creator managed to get an entire community debating the circumstances of a girl's tragic death in a game where you usually just try to catch lots of fish.
Mark has a story collection, a website, and a special version of Ocarina Of Time where he changed every enemy into a puppy you have to kill.
For more jaw-dropping horror that lay within innocent video games, check out the disturbed creatures from Ocarina Of Time in The 7 Most Horrifying Moments From Children's Video Games, and try not to perv out after seeing the massive boob hack from Ratchet & Clank in 6 Bizarrely Sexual Easter Eggs Lurking In Kids' Video Games.
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