6 Fan Theories That Make Your Favorite Games Horrifying

July 22, 2019

Video game fan theories are some of the most interesting things to read on the web. Sometimes they attempt to explain plot holes that ruin the narrative. Others look at the implications of the story on the wider in-game world. Whatever the case, video games often have all sorts of hidden messages and meanings to explore.

Fortunately, players have become especially good at finding them and coming up with their own theories about what they mean. So, it is no wonder there are so many bizarre theories available that actually make sense when you think about them. Many of them can even change the way you play the games or interpret the stories after you’ve read them.

If you’d rather live in ignorant bliss, turn back now. Here are six fan theories that make your favorite video games horrifying.

1. Andrew Ryan faked his death in BioShock

Towards the end of BioShock, the player approaches a defenseless Andrew Ryan. The founder of Rapture submits willingly to you as you obey Fontaine’s order to kill him. Ultimately, it turns out that Fontaine is actually the villain and has planned out the events of the game so that you would kill off his main foe. This would leave him free to take control of the underwater city.

Some popular fan theories on Reddit suggest that Ryan did not actually die when the player seemingly beat him to death. Instead, he just made it look like he had been defeated, allowing him to escape Rapture from under the nose of Fontaine. While he had been careful to turn off the Vita Chamber in his office to maintain the illusion, BioShock shows that the technology can revive people over great distances. In other words, a Vita Chamber in a hidden area could have revived him so that he could slip away.

Is this planet really a post-apocalypic Earth? | Gammicks
Look closely: Is this planet in Kirby 64 really post-apocalypic Earth?

2. Kirby 64 features a post-apocalyptic Earth

Nintendo games might seem like adorable and colorful adventures, but they can have sinister moments. Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards is one such example. The game sees the players traveling to different planets around the galaxy. One example is Shiver Star, an icy world that upon closer inspection looks very much like Earth. Despite the frost covering the surface, it is possible to make out the continents such as Africa and Europe. The planet even has a single orbiting moon much like our own.

Ordinarily, this might not be a major problem, but one long-held fan theory is that this is not just Earth, but a post-apocalyptic Earth that has gone through some sort of nuclear winter. Most notable among the evidence to support this argument are the empty factories and cities. Moreover, you cannot see a single living person on the entire planet.


3. The Guardians are The Darkness in Destiny

The main antagonist of Destiny has never been seen within the game. Known only as The Darkness, it is an apparently mystical alien force that is the enemy of the Traveler. After a Golden Age of humanity, The Darkness brought civilization to a standstill and almost wiped out all humans. Only those sheltered by the Traveler on Earth survived.

The fan theory contends that it is the Guardians, humans resurrected by the Traveler, that are actually The Darkness. This would explain why the focus of so many different alien forces is on fighting against you and why they occasionally even refer to you as The Darkness. According to the theory, the Traveler is some sort of weapon using humanity as its army. To sum up, this would effectively make you the villain of the story, making this one of the creepiest game fan theories.

Mass Effect 3 | Gammicks
Does the ending of Mass Effect 3 really take place in Commander Shepard’s mind?

4. The Reapers indoctrinated Commander Shepard very early in Mass Effect 3

While the ending of Mass Effect 3 disappointed a lot of players, some have argued that a fan theory can help make sense of the events. Indoctrination theory states that Commander Shepard had been under the influence of the Reapers for a long time before the end of the game. In fact, the final moments when he arrives on the Citadel are not even real. Rather, they are the battle in his mind between the Reapers and his self for control. The theory argues that his constant exposure to the enemies puts him at risk, and the child that only interacts with him is actually a hallucination. The final choice at the very end is the moment when Shepard either gives in or frees his mind.

5. Pokemon Red and Blue takes place after a huge war

Although it is easy to ignore at first, there is something very odd in the original Pokemon titles. There is a distinct lack of adults in the in-game world. The vast majority of people are either very young or very old. In fact, the only adult males around seem to be either gym leaders or involved in crime. Even you and your best friend are missing parents.

One fan theory attempts to explain this by arguing that a huge war must have taken place before the story begins. Most of the adults who are seemingly missing were killed in the war, leaving just children to roam around freely. A conflict like this would also help to justify why Pokemon are used in combat so much. Gym leader Lt. Surge even backs up the theory by saying that his Pokemon helped save him during a war.

Team Fortress 2 | Gammicks
Does this Team Fortress 2 tech look ’50s to you?

6. The Team Fortress 2 battle has lasted decades

The lore of Team Fortress 2 indicates that the event of the game take place at some point during the 1950s, at least originally. However, the mercenaries all have access to gadgets and tech that would suggest they are actually fighting in relatively modern times. Some fans have attempted to fix this quirk by proposing a theory that the in-game war has lasted for decades. The game makes it clear that the equipment can revive and regenerate fighters almost instantly. Using this technology, the mercenaries have continued to fight for more than 50 years in a never-ending battle. The fighters are trapped in an endless conflict that they cannot win or escape from.

Are you buying any of these game fan theories? Got any game fan theories of your own? Let us know in the comments!

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In this article

October 10, 2007
2K Boston, 2K Australia
2K Games
August 21, 2007
Game Freak
The Pokémon Company, Nintendo
November 15, 2019

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