Some questions burn longer than others.
Information about video games comes to us in droves. With practically every new video game release, there’s at least going to be a teaser, a trailer, and eventually a wiki. Devoted fans scour every source of information, from the internet to the games’ files, to try to definitively prove one thing or another, adding to a plethora of constantly expanding compendiums accessible at a moment’s notice.
Even if you’re not actively looking for said information, it’s probably going to get to you one way or another. Beyond marketing, word of mouth is an excellent way for information to take on a life of its own, creating the lore, speculation, and myths that create each game’s unique culture. Some games even become dependent on this phenomenon to foment a subculture based in wild theories that self-perpetuate. As time goes on, this can even expand into creative outputs, ranging from novels to creepypasta.
But there are also those specific questions that outmatch their source material for their sheer mystique. For whatever reason, they inspire gamers of all kinds to take interest, whether it’s a heated debate or merely grasping at straws. Here, we’ve collected 15 of the most interesting, talked about, or simply confusing video game questions that remain unresolved. Some are more fleshed out than others, but every one has at least something to make you scratch your head.
If you prefer the impossible to win over the impossible to answer, check out our list of 21 Classic Games That Are IMPOSSIBLE To Beat.
15 Pokémon: The Most Mythical Truck Ever
Over the years, as Pokémon gained popularity, myths spread throughout the fandom. One particularly well-known, and seemingly debunked, myth claims that in the original Red and Blue, a truck near a dock by the SS Anne does...something. Variations include catching a Mew or the hypothesized “Pikablu,” or even that it leads to a secret Team Rocket lair.
Supposedly, if you exploit a glitch in the game that allows you to travel back to the SS Anne, then use “surf” to get to a nearby locale, and finally use “strength” on the truck, it will push it away and reveal your prize. It is factual that Mew exists in the game’s code and the truck weirdly also exists, so could Mew really be hiding there? The results were mixed: Kotaku calls it “complete nonsense” but a recent GDQ glitch showcase purportedly proved the myth true...only for the player in question to explain how they altered the game to achieve this. But even so, we’re still left to wonder: why is the truck in an inaccessible area at all?
14 Conker’s Bad Fur Day: Suicidal Villager
Conker’s Bad Fur Day isn’t afraid to get controversial—in fact, it’s one of the best controversial games out there—so the fact that there’s a suicidal NPC shouldn’t be too weird. That’s especially true once you put it in the context of what you’re doing. In the same level of this occurrence, you’re tasked with grabbing villagers and sending them off to their doom in a grinder to feed your vampire ancestor.
But it’s still the weirdly purposeful suicide that stands out as the creepiest part of the level. The villager, who is being accosted by zombies, jumps into a bottomless pit the moment Conker diverts the zombies’ attention. This isn’t a fall; it’s a swan dive. Why would a villager kill him/herself right after being saved from sure death?
13 Alien: Isolation: The Missing Queen
The meticulous nature of Alien: Isolation impressed many upon release. The fact that the Xenomorph wasn’t merely a blip on a radar, but a constantly moving, incredibly intelligent enemy put Isolation among the best Alien games ever released. But the detailed construction also revealed an interesting point: your main antagonist is a drone, not the queen—who you never see.
There are a few ways to take this. It could just be an oversight of the developer, but considering that the Alien is the main draw of the game, and so well-crafted, that’s hard to swallow for some. Certainly, that the Queen is associated with the much more action-oriented sequel Aliens, whereas the game appears to take more from the classic horror original, must not have been lost on the developers, who may then have purposefully left her out. So does that mean this follows the original Alien canon, but not the sequels? Questions abound.
12 Undertale: Who Is Gaster?
Gaster isn’t actually in the main game of Undertale and yet the character has managed to arouse a great degree of attention. His ghostly visage can be seen throughout the fandom, with RPers scattered across the internet and the most devoted fans scouring the game’s code for clues. If it weren’t for the latter group, we likely wouldn’t even know all that we do about the character. But what exactly do we know?
Gaster was the royal scientist prior to Alphys taking the post, but what he looked like and how he died are still a mystery. A few sprites associated with the Waterfall level are promising contenders for the true Gaster, but it remains to be seen which, if any, are really him. Moreover, the fate of this “man who speaks in hands” is still anyone’s guess, but most accounts say that it was his line of work that did him in.
11 Tyranny: Who Actually Is Kyros?
From the moment you begin Tyranny, you’re confronted with the awesome power of the authoritarian overlord Kyros. The details are hazy about how and when Kyros came to power, but one thing’s for certain: conquest is the tool of choice and it’s been a long, bloody road. Archons the player meets in the game are usually quiet about the subject and few others have gazed on Kyros at all.
Still, for all the tight-lipped superstition surrounding what Kyros has done, one would expect at least to have a general idea of who Kyros is by end-game. No such luck for Tyranny fans. Obsidian purposefully kept the gender and appearance of Kyros a secret, hinting even that it could be a group or a mythical creature. This is no doubt a great storytelling technique, but it leaves the more curious among us wanting.
10 Grand Theft Auto V: The Mt. Chiliad Mystery
This possibly Illuminati-themed mystery revolves around Mt. Chiliad, the largest mountain in Grand Theft Auto V. If you reach the summit, you’ll find a map that appears to point out various things in the map; three to be specific, including a sunken UFO. This is only the start of your journey, though, and the UFO becomes more relevant next; you'll have to find UFO parts, 100% the game, and then finally return to Mt. Chiliad to reap the fruit of this mystery.
Even then though, it’s only an Easter Egg of a functioning UFO, leading many to speculate that there’s much more to unravel. The ominous “All Seeing Eye”—referring back to the Illuminati—still lingers unanswered, prompting many players to try again and again to solve the last piece...to no avail.
9 Halo Series: Multiplayer Ghosts
The lore of the Halo series is massive, spanning a stunning 13 games without even including the many books, comics, video series, and scrapped films. Working together, there’s an intricate web of questions and ambiguities that leaves die-hard fans stringing together the pieces like a crazed detective. But one of the most pervasive myths out there is the question of the so-called Halo ghosts.
As only a few players have encountered them, and all of them in multiplayer, Halo ghosts are lacking many definitive features. Usually, though, they move erratically, appear to come from nowhere and have no identifying markers expected in a multiplayer game besides the ominous name ascribed to “The Guardians.” Kotaku contends that it’s a networking error, which would make sense considering that it only occurs in multiplayer games, but also notes the ambiguity of the cause: either “overloading” the map or “severe” lag can cause it, making the core issue of why this experience is unique to the Halo series still in question.
8 Banjo-Kazooie: What’s In The Locked Chest?
Banjo-Kazooie is no stranger to head-scratchers; the “Stop ‘n’ Swop” mystery became an obsession for many fans, leading to various half-truths or outright tall tales about how to solve it. In the end, however, enterprising fans were able to figure out the convoluted logic behind it all.
But there’s another mystery out there that continues to bother longtime fans, involving a locked chest in Mad Monster Mansion. Much like the “Stop ‘n’ Swop,” it seems as though certain mysterious eggs are at the center of unlocking the chest, but even if the two eggs in the wine cellar and bathroom are found, it simply won’t open. Is there a third egg, some other method of opening it, or did Rare simply want to drive its fans mad? We may never know.
7 Portal: Did Everyone Really Die?
By the time you get to the end of Portal 2, where Chell is finally released by the sometimes-malevolent AI GLaDOS into a world teeming with life, it seems as though the game has been tied up with a nice little bow; the world’s fine, all is well, game over! But there are a few things that should make people suspect this interpretation.
First, there were no people in the field that Chell was released into, despite clear signs of life. That’s an immediate red flag. Then, if you consider just how much the narrative is controlled by GLaDOS’ input, things become even hazier. Why did some people survive the initial gassing for so long, leading to such great memes as The Cake Is a Lie? Aperture Science is a testing facility after all...did GLaDOS leave something out? Could it all have been a big experiment?
6 Dark Souls III: What’s The Deal With The Lords Of Cinder?
The Lords of Cinder are a central to the plot of Dark Souls III, tied together each by having “Linked the Flame.” When the player’s journey has finally reached its end, they may even choose to become a Lord of Cinder, after having battled four of the last five Lords (the odd man out being the legless, exiled Ludleth). But other than that, what do we know about them?
The Lords of Cinder seem to have purposefully been kept vague in their relevance, leading to widespread speculation about the role they play in the Dark Souls universe. One of the bigger questions is the importance of fate itself; there are five thrones in the main hub, and five lords of cinder, but the flame must be linked in perpetuity if mankind is to survive. Why only five thrones then? Was it destined for the player character to choose the fate of humanity? This is only one of many unanswered questions, as the lore is so ambiguous.
5 Super Mario Sunshine: Book In The Bottle
When players arrive in Noki Bay in Super Mario Sunshine, they may encounter the Noki Elder who will cause the third episode, Red Coins in a Bottle, to activate. The premise is fairly simple; Mario is shrunken down and placed inside the titular bottle, where they collect red coins. The level is mostly considered an introduction to the mechanics that will be used later on, but there is one elusive element: a mysterious book at the bottom.
Finding this book requires the player to dive to the bottom of the bottle and explore a sandcastle, where they will find a half-opened door that is impossible to move through or interact with. If the camera is moved just right, you’ll be able to see a book within. What does the book contain? Whatever the contents are, they will remain unknown.
4 Alan Wake: What Does The Ending Mean?
There’s something bizarre about Alan Wake that makes it so appealing. For something that begins so simply along the well-worn path of “is this person crazy, or is crazy stuff really going on?,” it descends very quickly into a bold, confusing, but expertly-crafted enigma. While eventually the game would introduce DLC to expand on the premise, eventually leading to the very hopeful tone of our titular writer penning a story titled “Return,” the ending of the original game is poetic enough that there’s a good degree of ambiguity.
The last lines have particularly inspired tremendous confusion: “It’s not a lake—it’s an ocean” followed by “Alan wake up.” It’s clear by this point that there has been a sacrifice: Alan remains trapped in his dark, dingy world, while his wife makes it out of the water. But how that specifically corresponds with the cryptic lines, beyond the previous allusion to striking a “balance,” is anyone’s guess.
3 Super Mario Galaxy: The Shadow People
Like many other Nintendo titles, Mario games have a surprising amount of dark speculation associated with them. That’s also perfectly reasonable, considering the high degree of questionable things Mario has done over his gaming life span. But what is the most chilling, mysterious moment in Mario history?
If it’s not the people of Shiverburn, they’re certainly a contender. In this Super Mario Galaxy level, a portion of the sky texture suddenly fills with ominous, weirdly-misshapen creatures. In the game’s files, the name given for the texture is “HellValleySkyTree” leading to the horrifying colloquial name, “The People of Hell Valley.” Who are these people? Is this simply an Easter Egg slipped in at the last moment or hinting at something far more sinister in the Mario universe?
2 Five Nights at Freddy’s: Locked Box With All The Answers...Or None?
If there’s any game that owns the title of “Largest Amounts of Mysteries” that title would probably go to Five Nights at Freddy’s, or at least the series as a whole. The games’ often vague allusions and tantalizing endings drew so much attention that it maintained an extremely active fan base and even helped bring The Game Theorists to YouTube stardom. So what could they possibly do to top all that?
FNAF developer Scott Cawthon claimed that a box, found at the end of FNAF4, would be nothing short of the story's “pieces put together.” This was particularly exciting as the lore behind FNAF by this point had evolved into many diverging theories. However, if the box was able to be interacted with, no one was able to figure out how, nor did they discover whatever plot point would wrap up the series as Scott intended. This led him to conclude that it was better left unknown. So was this truly a revelation he had or was it planned from the start? You decide!
1 Fallout: Who Really Started The Great War?
We know a lot about the Great War of the Fallout universe. We know it lasted only two hours, which parts of the US were most devastated, and even that the blasts caused an EMP burst. But for all that knowledge, the seminal question of who started it all remains surprisingly elusive.
There is an “official” answer to who started the Great War; President Richardson says that China was the first to launch a nuclear strike, resulting in retaliatory devastation, but there are reasons to question this. Considering the over-reactive nature of the US—coming on the heels of a defensive war against China—it’s certainly possible that this was merely propaganda disseminated even centuries later. Supercomputer ACE of the series’ second iteration even hints that it may not have been humans who started to war at all.