It is an interesting psychological problem why people tend to believe unusual explanations and seemingly crazy theories (going as far as to wear tinfoil hats on their heads) and even though the gaming world seems to be full of rational and reasonable people (right?), gaming conspiracy theories are more common than you might think. Pokemon Red making kids commit suicide? Some of Zelda developers are Nazi-supporters? The finale of Mass Effect is actually a reaper induced hallucination that Shepard is experiencing?

Read on to find out The Gamer Headlines Top 10 most creepy, terrifying and interesting in-game and real world conspiracies connected to gaming.

Number 10: The Zelda Swastika

Most of the dungeon maps in The Legend of Zelda bring resemblance to different things. One of them looks like a bird, another like the moon and a third one is a swastika. Bringing a lot of controversy to the franchise, gaming conspiracy theorists took a hold of this piece of evidence and went as far as saying that the game designers are actually racist and supporters of the Nazi movements. Others say that this is simply a “manji” – symbol in Buddhism of good fortune. Is this a manji or is it a swastika? You decide which side you want to choose.

Number 9: KillSwitch

Supposedly developed and released by The Karvina Corporation the obscure game Killswitch is said to be a mix of Myst and Silent Hill and one of the first survival-horror games in existence. Published back in 1990 the game had only 5,000 copies and is said to deliver a unique playing experience, unrepeatable, irretrievable and illogical. As the game deletes itself upon completion, no original copies can be found of the game to date. In 2005, a mint-condition copy was sold at an auction for $733,000 to a Japanese man named Yamamoto Ryuichi. As it was believed that this may be the last copy, he decided to tape his gaming experience and broadcast it over YouTube. However, the only thing he posted was a six second video of him, crying. Did the game KillSwitch ever exist? We may never know.

Number 8: Lavender Town

Although quite a few Pokemon gaming theories exist, the Lavender Town Syndrome made its way to our list as a standalone urban legend, because of it’s creepiness and how many people actually believe this theory to be real.

Supposedly Lavender Town in Pokemon Red & Greed had a background midi track that was later changed, because it made children commit suicide. Although the theory is pretty logical, no actual proof can be found.

Number 7: Animal Crossing New Leaf

Animal Crossing is a fun game about a kid that moves to a village full of talking animals and does different chores for them. The game has no overall goal or objective and the player seems to merely exist in the village. Why?

As the theory goes, you are playing as a child that is actually abducted and indoctrinated into a cult. As you enter the game, your character is actually forced to live in the village of talking animals by a turtle resembling creature called Kapp’n. It is said that Kapp’n is based on a Japanese mythological beast that kidnaps children called Kappa. Forced to pay off your ever growing debt, the player’s character is stuck in the village from which there is no escape.

Are you playing a fun loving children’s game of talking animals or a child abduction simulator? Think about that the next time you decide to go catch some bees.

Number 6: Super Mario Bros.

One of the most common gaming theories is that everything happening in the Super Mario Bros. games is actually an act. This is most noticeable in Super Mario Bros. 3, where the whole theme of the game design represents some kind of a stage show. As the game begins with a curtain opening, the blocks seem bolted to the background and the exit stage being on the right, just as if it was the end of a set, this conspiracy theory seems pretty convincing.

The ‘everything is an act’ theory fans also note that we can see flying camera crew in Mario 64 and almost every Mario Kart game and the levels in both Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Sunshine being called ‘episodes’ (and designed crazy enough to resemble a wild japanese tv show). Conspiracy theories about the original game series being a stage show with you being merely the audience will never die, much like the ones about aliens visiting Area 51 – we may never know and Nintendo neither confirms nor denies that.

Some fans even suggest that the game is actually part of Mario’s imagination, who wants to escape his mundane life of a plumber. However, this theory goes into the right-down-obscure category and is based mostly on imaginations of fans.

Number 5: Squall’s Dead

Many people who’ve played Final Fantasy VIII notice that after Squall gets impaled by the giant shard the game changes in a weird way. A gaming conspiracy theory supported by fans is that Squall is actually dies by the shard and everything happening after this point is just a part of a trippy hallucination he has just before his death. There is even a site solely dedicated to the theory, which you can check out for more information and evidence supporting the theory – Squall’s Dead.

Number 4: Fallout 3 Predicting the Future

Even though no one has ever found any proof for this gaming conspiracy theory, the urban legend that a secret numbers station in FallOut 3 exists that predicts real life future events still lives on. The theory revolves around the fact that after the death of Three Dog, some players were able to hear a radio transmission of a strange mixture of numbers spoken by the infamous DJ. For example, one of the messages was “one-two-five-five-two-eight-two-zero-one-zero. What you talking about? You’ll be missed”

The message is a pretty accurate prediction about the death of Garry Coleman. Another message is said to correctly predict the explosion at the Deepwater Horizon oil rig. Unfortunately most people that were able to hear these radio transmissions did not manage to record them. The only two other recorded messages predict the Queen’s death on March, 19 2014 and Britney winning an oscar by 2023.

We may be just a month away of actual proof of this urban legend. Yet there is no prediction on when Fallout 4 will arrive.

Number 3: Pokemon

Pokemon has a huge fan base. Crazy theories and gaming myths have been spreading around the web for ages and new ones are born every day. One of the most interesting concepts is a fan concept telling us that there are no ‘fathers’ in the game and children are supporting their mothers, because there is an actual war going on in the world of Pokemon. The creativity and insight of Pokemon fans put every in-game or real world Pokemon mystery on the third place in our list of most crazy, terrifying and interesting gaming conspiracy theories.

Number 2: Polybius

One of the most famous gaming conspiracy theories is the urban legend for the arcade game Polybius. Supposedly a part of the CIA MK-Ultra experiment, the game supposedly caused nausea, suicidal tendencies and psychological trauma to everyone who played it for more than ten minutes. Even though the existence of Polybius was never proven, an article in Skeptoid regarding the topic gives a pretty logical explanation on why it may exist in the first place.

January 29th, 2011 @ 19:11:28
Number 1: Mass Effect 3 Ending 

Fans of the Mass Effect franchise were deeply disappointed with the ending of the trilogy. This lead to many crazy theories, but as the end of the game feels out of place and ‘otherworldly’ a gaming conspiracy theory started focusing around the fact that Shepard is actually experiencing a hallucination. Fans have went as far as creating an almost two hour long video documentary explaining why this theory is correct. There is even a response to this video trying to debunk the theory. Is everything a hallucination?

What is your favorite gaming or real world conspiracy theory?

If you want to read more of TGH’s Top choices you can check out 10 of the most iconic weapons in video gaming history or Top 5 Best Villans in RPG history.