Video Game Theories: Our Most Horrifying Ten

It’s always fun to entertain the scarier video game theories.

Something that never fails to catch us off guard is the ingenuity of the fans. The lengths they go to dream up elaborate video game theories about their favorite games is a little inspiring – inspiring enough for us to search out ten of our favorite and spookiest video game theories to compile them into a handy video game theories list for you to celebrate.

The following scary video game theories– whether they remain a mystery or we’re looking at them in hindsight – are entirely constructed by the fans. Their own little bit of chilling input into the gaming worlds they adore.


Video Game Theories: Our Most Horrifying Ten


10. Luigi Is Dead

When you think of Mario, what do you think of? Personally, we think of a care­free mustachio’d plumber joyfully bouncing Goombas. Nintendo sought to give us a more frightful take on one of the most whimsical settings in gaming.

It was still pretty nonsensical, though. The frights fairly measured and the comedy just as prevalent. Except for one scene… one scene in the attic. The lights flash on quickly and reveal a brief image of Luigi’s shadow. Out of place… seeming to hang from the ceiling.

This legitimate scare sent gamers’ over­active minds racing with new video game theories. Is this strangely gruesome, out of place scene telling us something? Was that truly Luigi hanging, limp and lifeless or just a trick? Is Luigi dead? These video game theories will likely never be answered, but we can tell you one thing for sure…we’re ready to go back to Goomba stomping, now.


9. The Morrowind Mod That Will Drive You Insane

Mods have always been a huge part of the Elder Scrolls community. There’s a lot to toy with in such expansive games and we’ve personally had great fun making them both a little more realistic or just outright absurd.

There’s one mod we’re glad we haven’t touched. Jvk1166z.esp. The Mod – in theory, at least – drives players insane. Just a quick read of this mod’s contents and its intricate storytelling make it seem to be a sadistic effort on behalf of Bethesda themselves to loosen their fans’ sanity. Cryptic messages. Unique NPCs. A mysterious Assassin that tracks you throughout.

We’ve never gathered the courage to even search for this mod – and we don’t think we want to – but if you have, we’d love to hear about your experiences. If it’s not too harrowing to recall, that is.


8. GLaDOS’ True Design

Fans of Portal are a keen minded bunch, you kind of have to be to complete the Portal games but this theory brings that mental acuity into worrying question. When players first met GLaDOS no doubt many questions entered their mind. Among the prominent of these was the unexpected, “Is that a lady bound and gagged hanging upside down?”

As strange as that last one may sound, and as quickly as we dismissed it, further inspection concludes that the game’s robotic reprobate actually kind of does resemble just that. A woman, bound, helpless, hung upside down from the ceiling.

To even out this disconcerting notion with an interesting though, Portal fans amassed further video game theories about the nature of the character. Was GLaDOS originally a Human before being unwillingly placed into her new, mechanical body? Could this design be representative of her unwillingness to assume her new form?

We don’t know, but one thing we do know? We’re never going to look at robots the same again.


7. Herobrine

Due to the ridiculous speeds with which Minecraft rocketed into popularity, you could expect a few bugs to have crept into the system along the way. A few ghosts to have gone undetected on the way there. One such ghost was Herobrine. Beginning as a mere joke among the players, this one spiraled out of control and enclosed a tight grip around a budding – if not a little naive – fan base.

Ideas and video game theories spewed forth about it being Notch’s long dead brother and the manner of ill fortunes that would fall upon you if you met this ghastly, blocky character. All the while players hunted high and low for Herobrine. Notch himself even interjected on a few occasions and he remains a running joke among the people who maintain the game today.

Though we haven’t personally had a frightful encounter with Minecraft‘s resident ghost, we’ve had equally frightful ones with many, many Creepers. That counts for something, right?


6. Evil Otto

Berserk was a very popular Atari classic with a very simple premise: kill robots, avoid robots, don’t run into walls. Oh, and don’t have a heart attack when Evil Otto kills you. This theory spawns from a few real life cases. The first of which being in 1981 when a 19 year old ‘Jeff Dailey’ racked up a monstrous 16,600 points on the game in his local arcade.

He then keeled over, dying from a heart attack. The blame for this and similar later incidents has been placed on ‘Evil Otto’. An ominous yellow smiley Face who appears in game to kill players who waste too much time in one of the game’s 64,000 levels. And so, thanks to the efforts of one antagonistic grinning yellow circle, one of gaming’s most infamous Urban Legends, and video game theories, was born.


5. Polybius

Unlike other items of this list that have had light shed on them, Polybius‘ existence remains a mystery to this day. The story goes that this game – introduced into an arcade in Portland, Oregon in 1981 – shot into sudden popularity and quickly amassed a fan­fare.

These fans were rewarded with various side effects such as stress, insomnia and worst of all, swearing off of video games for life. Alongside this, “Men in Black” apparently visited the machine to record test results from its play sessions. Thus spawning video game theories that this unassuming little Arcade game was actually a government approved test upon the populace.

Through rumors of the machine being found in 2011, and an unexpected cameo in “The Simpsons”, Polybius‘ true nature remains a mystery to this day. And we’re fine with that, we’ll stick to Pacman, at least Pacman‘s not a government tool that induces amnesia and headaches. Well, not many headaches.


4. Earthbound’s Final Mission Represents An Abortion

Earthbound is a JRPG that’s home to some really strange stuff. Weird enemies, odd NPCs and dialogue, a final boss who may be a fetus…wait, what was that last one?

Yes, thanks to the boss’s twisted appearance, fans have asserted that he may, in fact, be a fetus. Meaning your character will have traveled back in time in order to do battle with him in a more vulnerable form, literally opting to abort the guy. We don’t usually find ourselves sympathizing with the big bad villains, but that’s a little harsh.

This disturbing collection of video game theories has various (albeit shaky) supports. Supports such as the childish dialogue, the inspiration for which was apparently drawn from a rape and murder scene that the game’s writer, Shigesato Itoi, accidentally witnessed as a child. Because this theory wasn’t creepy enough already.

Our opinion on this? We’re not too sure, but if it’s okay with you, we’d like to remove fetuses from our minds as much as possible whilst we kill video game enemies. It’s for the best.


3. Fallout 3 Can Predict the Future

In Fallout 3, if you killed Three Dog – and we have no idea why you’d do that – he gets replaced by Margaret. However, if you not only kill him but complete some other mundane requirements and then travel to certain locations you will hear the now dead Three Dog in a depressed, humdrum voice read off a string of numbers.

The internet was set ablaze when these numbers, which had been transposed into messages and also gave times and dates which seemingly coincided with real world events leading to some unsettling and dark predictions of the future, such as the Queen’s death and, worst of all, Britney Spears winning an Oscar.

These predictions seem to have been debunked as the time and date on some of them have already passed. Or, who knows? Maybe the intrepid forumites just got them wrong. We won’t know until it’s too late.


2. Squall Is Dead

As we finished up disc one of Final Fantasy VIII with a climactic boss battle, a large shard of ice was sent hurtling at our protagonist, Squall Leonhart. It embedded itself into his chest and sent him helplessly stumbling backwards, gasping for breath as he fell off the platform he was battling on.

And when we slotted in disc two? Nothing. No wounds, no reference to how this fatal injury may have healed. Squall simply busts out of a prison and seemingly forgets about the hunk of ice that lodged itself firmly in his torso; leaving us very confused if not kind of impressed with how quickly he healed up.

This and other tidbits of dialogue scooped from the masses of text in a Final Fantasy game gave rise to the theory that Squall was, in fact, dead. That he had met his maker in Edea in disc one and from then on the game took place over the course of split seconds, his dying visions of a possible future.

We’re not sure if we buy into this one. But it’s admittedly pretty awesome and would fall in line with the sometimes dark storytelling of Final Fantasy.


1. Lavender Town Syndrome

No doubt the most morbid of all of our video game theories on this video game theories list; the Lavender Town Theory supposes that a worrying surge of suicides following the release of the massively popular Pokémon Red and Pokémon Blue games was due to the particular effect the music in Lavender Town had on kids.

A place already notable for its spookiness in the usual friendly atmosphere of a Pokémon game – you know, being home to a Pokémon graveyard and all – this theory certainly didn’t help us out every time we passed through. Our usual calm, happy­-go-­lucky Pokémon journeys shifted to frantic dashes through the place that makes you kill yourself with it’s background music.

It is a subject of much discussion even to this day. This is the story that gave some twisted minds ample fuel to start writing out all manner of horrifying tales that bastardize one of the most innocent franchises in gaming. We’re not sure how appreciative we are of that, but we can say one thing for certain: mission accomplished. We’re spooked and we refuse to budge the volume controls on our old Gameboy Color anymore.

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Considering that these video game theories were all interjected by the fans, we imagine that all of you – the fans – have a lot to say about them. Or maybe you have some of your own home grown video game theories about a game you’ve spent maybe a little too much time in? We know our minds have been sent racing more than a few times upon hearing or seeing a certain piece of information.

Why not take the time to discuss these video game theories with other avid fans of the games or discuss the video game theories in this article in the comments section just below the video? You could even form a few new video game theories!