Everyone loves Nintendo. Over the decades they’ve created a very loyal fanbase. Even those who roll their eyes and say that they are too samey still enjoy their games. Yes, they’re predictable, but if last year proved anything it’s that they’re still meeting our expectations. While I’ll admit that it would be good to see some more original content come out of Nintendo, and while not every game they’ve made over the years has been a gem, I still appreciate the effort they put into their games. Along with how much joy they’ve brought us over the years.
But with this joy comes a lot of questions. Fans notice tiny things in their games that could lead to some secrets that the creators have been trying to hide from us... or maybe they’re just there for fun to let fans speculate. I love fan theories; they show how much something means to a fan and add a new layer of mystery to the franchise. Be warned; some of these get pretty dark! Like, you can’t believe someone’s mind would go there dark. But hey, considering the happy colorful nature of most Nintendo games, you can’t blame fans for wanting to make something creepier of it. Plus, this is the internet. Creepy ideas and overthinking things are what it’s best at.
Some of these make perfect sense. Others not so much. I’ll let you decide for yourself. Either way, these certainly make the world of Nintendo a little more interesting.
24 Peach Was Only Stolen Once
I’ve loved this theory since I first found it. One thing I’ve hated about Mario games is its repetitive “damsel in distress” formula. Plus, Bowser never gets punished and Peach's security doesn’t get increased ever.
This theory suggests that Peach was stolen by Bowser once in the first game and all other games are retellings of this rescue.
If you think about how fairy tales are retold over and over, leaving them almost unrecognizable from the original (see The Little Mermaid), then this really makes a lot of sense and I like it.
23 Super Mario Bros Is A Retelling Of The Legend Of Zelda
I don’t fully understand this one, but it’s certainly a nice idea. Or a very creepy idea. In this theory, The Legend of Zelda is an old legend and Mario is a distorted retelling of this story. The stories show some similarities, including the beloved hero who saved everyone and rescues the pretty blonde princess in a pink dress. Ganon is a giant pig-like creature and Bowser is just a giant turtle. Plus, there are eight temples that Link had to go through in the original game and eight worlds in the Mario game.
22 Mario Is M. Bison From Street Fighter
Fans, for some reason, always seem to be on the lookout for Mario in other games. I’ve heard the theory that Mario is Talon from Zelda... well, now here’s a theory where he is M. Bison from Street Fighter.
From what I can tell, this came about because they wear a similar sort of hat.
That, and that the M in M. Bison has never been canonically revealed. I do like the idea of Mario having some kind of nervous breakdown and training himself up to become this beefy guy. Plus, they both like to jump on stuff.
21 Donkey Kong Country Has A Different Meaning
I honestly love these kinds of creepy twisted theories. I just don’t want to know how seriously people take them. This theory suggests that the Donkey Kong Country game is based on propaganda. It’s been suggested that the game is about the Banana Wars in the late 19th and early 20th century, with the Caribbean countries being represented by Donkey Kong. The Kremlings are the military, stealing their bananas like the military helped to overthrow Caribbean businesses. I always thought Donkey Kong games were so silly.
20 Yoshi Doesn't Have A Gender
Birdo’s gender has been a subject of debate since she was first introduced. Originally described as a someone who “thinks he’s a girl,” Birdo is now thought to be a trans woman. But since both characters lay eggs, it’s thought that they are both females.
But what if, to the Yoshis, it literally doesn’t matter! What if they just don’t have a concept of gender.
Maybe others in the Mushroom Kingdom are confused by this but to them, it's perfectly simple: look how you want, and you do you.
19 Pokémon's Real Reason For Being Created
Pokémon as a franchise is literally about taking animals from the wild and making them fight each other. Sure, the Pokémon are loyal and seem to like it, but the stories of Pokémon are told from the perspective of their captors. Early on in the tv series, Ash literally says before trying to catch his first Pokémon: “Enjoy your last moments of freedom, Pidgey!” Often, the franchise tries to make taking animals out of the wild, where they are perfectly happy, seem normal.
18 The Mario Games Are Stage Plays
At this point, I’m going to assume that we’ve all heard the fan theory that Super Mario Bros 3 is a stage play. This was even confirmed by creator Shigeru Miyamoto in 2013. I guess after that, fans decided that this theory wasn’t interesting anymore and decided to take it up a little.
Again, this theory suggests that the Mario games are retellings of a story where a noble hero rescues a Princess.
Here, each game is a new adaptation of that story, retold in a new style and performed for an audience.
17 Tomodachi Life Had Other Reasons For Being Made
When it was released in 2013, Tomodachi Life was criticised prior to being released in the West, for being a life-simulator game that did not allow gay relationships. Upon playing it, players realized that the relationship system was so simple, it would have likely been less work for the creators to just allow any character to date any other character than to restrict the dating system to male/female. Nintendo did not help matters by stating that the game did not include gay relationships because they “never intended to make any form of social commentary with the launch of the game.”
16 Wario Isn't Really As Bad As We Think
While Bowser is known as the typical Mario Bros villain, Wario the bizarre counterpart of Mario has caused trouble on occasion.
But some fans have theorized that, despite his occasional villainous actions, he really isn’t a “bad guy.”
The reasons for this comes at the end of Super Wario Land. After Mario confiscates Wario’s Princess Peach statue, Wario is given a wish by a genie. He doesn’t ask for world domination or for great piles of money. He just asks for somewhere to live! Maybe he’s just jealous of what Mario has, rather than being his enemy.
15 The Real Fate Of Navi
This is one of the saddest theories out there, but let’s face it, it’s probably true. Navi is Link’s companion during Ocarina of Time. Although she can be very annoying, always telling you to “listen” and not always targeting what you want to target. But I guess she meant something to Link.
At the end of Ocarina of Time, she flies off and vanishes without a real goodbye. In Majora’s Mask, Link is said to be wandering the land, looking for his friend. But what if she’s gone forever?
14 Zebes (Metroid) Is The Mushroom Kingdom In The Future
Why can’t there ever be a fan theory about the future of a Nintendo world where everyone is happy and are jumping around in joy with total peace everywhere?
The planet Zebes is the main setting of the Metroid games, but some fans have noticed it looks a little familiar.
There are green pipes everywhere, Mario’s favorite. Along with Lava pits and giant flowers with teeth! Those aren’t common traits for a planet. I don’t know what happened to get the Mushroom Kingdom to this point. Maybe Nintendo is saving it for the final Mario game.
13 Super Mario Sunshine’s Levels Were Created By Children
I’ve heard people say as an insult many times that Super Mario Sunshine looks like it was designed by children. Some other people have decided that this is because it actually was designed by children. It’s certainly a cute idea, though you do wonder how this actually came about.
Even diehard fans of Nintendo have commented on how the game feels unfinished and that not enough time was spent on the game. I’m not sure how this came about. Maybe Nintendo was making some budget cuts and had to combine daycare and design.
12 The Great Pokémon Battle
There are many versions of this theory floating around the internet, but the basics of it are this: sometime before the events of the Pokémon games, there was some kind of great war, possibly between the Pokémon and the humans.
Characters in the TV series don’t have many memories of childhood (assuming that they repressed them) and many are missing a parent. It also feels like there is a gap in the generations, with characters either being very young or middle-aged, assuming that most people in the middle generation fought in the war.
11 Mario Is Actually A Last Name
I love this theory since it gives Luigi some of the credit he deserves.
Do you ever wonder why it’s “Mario Bros” when the brother duo consists of Luigi and Mario?
Why is Mario so important? Since the duo's surname has never been confirmed by creators, it’s speculated that Mario is, in fact, a surname. Luigi’s full name is Luigi Mario, and Mario goes by his surname. In the Super Mario Bros film, the surname of the brothers is given as Mario. Now the question is, what kind of bad, embarrassing first name was Mario given?
Animal Crossing Actually Has A Different Purpose
You know how Animal Crossing is that happy game about the cute animals who live in that happy community, fishing and giving each other presents “just because?” Well, what if it’s actually about stealing people?
When you first arrive at the village, you’re taken there by “Kapp’n,” who looks like the cross between a turtle and a duck. Creepily, in Japanese Mythology, there is a demon named "The Kappa," a turtle-duck who takes children! So perhaps the human residents of the world aren’t there because they want to be, but because Kapp’n took them there.
10 Yoshi Is A Pokémon
Pokémon are loyal and obedient to whoever captures them (mostly) and reproduce by laying spotted eggs. Now, let’s talk about Yoshi, who is always loyal to Mario for some unexplained reason, fighting for him and letting Mario ride him. Yoshi riders also control their fighting powers, such as spitting fireballs.
Yoshi eggs also look a lot like Pokémon eggs.
This does, however, make Mario the worst Pokémon trainer in the world, since he’s only caught one Pokémon over the course of thirty years.
9 The Real Story Behind Majora's Mask
Early on in the game, Link talks to some townsfolk who are in complete denial that the moon will fall. Then we meet the Deku King who is in uncontrollable anger over the disappearance of his daughter. When Link meets Darmani, the Goron leader, he bargains with Link, begging him to use his magic to resurrect him. Later, we encounter Zora Lulu who is depressed about her missing eggs. Finally, in the stone temple, after he climbs to the top of the tower, Link finds the light arrows and accepts his grief.
8 What Actually Happened During Luigi's Mansion
As much as I love these kinds of theories, this one is a little puzzling. But that doesn’t mean people haven’t made some convincing arguments for it. At the beginning of the game, Luigi arrives at a haunted mansion, attempting to save his brother. His aim is to clear the mansion completely of ghosts.
Players have noticed that when Luigi is startled by ghosts he no longer has a shadow.
Also, if you head to the Telephone Room and wait for lighting to strike, you can see what appears to be Luigi’s shadow hanging from the ceiling…
7 Link Marries Malon
I’ve said before that outside of the Wind Waker canon, Link and Zelda do not end up together. If they had done, then the heroes or Links would all be of Royal descent and related to their Princess Zeldas. But clearly, Links do have families, since they are all descendants of each other.
It’s been suggested that Ocarina of Time Link, rather than ending up with Zelda marries farm girl Malon.
This does make sense, as Twilight Princess Link is a farmer and Wind Waker Link is a small town island boy. Twilight Princess Link also knows Epona’s Song, a song taught by Malon.
6 Navi Becomes Queen Of The Fairies
This fan theory doesn’t make as much sense as the previous Navi theory, but it’s a lot sweeter. This theory suggests that Ocarina of Time’s Navi became the fairy queen we see in Wind Waker. After helping the Hero of Time with his quest, Navi was rewarded and earned her position of Fairy Queen. This is why she is so friendly with Link in Wind Waker, as he reminds her of the Link she once adventured with. The Queen also appears as a child, just like the Kokiri in Ocarina of Time who have fairy companions.
5 Mario Is Actually The Villain Of The Series
Do you ever stop to wonder what good Mario is really doing? He runs around, making Yoshi’s carry him and “rescuing” a Princess.
How do we know Bowser isn’t trying to save her?
We never see Bowser doing any bad, but we see Mario jump on other creatures, destroy buildings, and steal coins. Mario also gains abilities by eating mushrooms, while the Mushroom People serve him! They’re clearly his workers! Sure, Mario is all colorful while Bowser lives in a dark castle, but appearances are often deceiving.
4 The Truth Behind The Animal Crossing World
You think those animals are just there because they want to lead an idyllic life of taking walks, planting flowers, and picking fruit off trees? Of course not! They’re clearly cult followers! Probably following the bizarre raccoon man.
Perhaps the best argument for this is in New Leaf when you arrive at the new town and everyone assumes that you are the new major and all the paperwork confirming this says so. It’s just a little creepy. That and Kapp’n not charging you for your cab journey... his job is just to recruit new people.
3 What Happened To Link During Majora's Mask
This goes hand in hand with the “Five Stages of Grief” theory. Firstly, Link begins the game by falling down a dark hole. Usually in Zelda games a long fall means your end. But afterward, he seems fine.
We then meet the Happy Mask Salesman (The Grim Reaper) who says: “You’ve met with a terrible fate, haven’t you?”
The same words that appear if you fail and the moon crashes into Clock Town. This world is a purgatory and Link is on a journey to accept his terrible fate, by taking himself through the stages of grief.
2 Bowser Jr.'s Actual Mom
In Super Mario Sunshine, where Junior is introduced, Bowser does tell his son that Princess Peach is his mother, and although he later claimed this was a lie, what if he was just trying to spare some feelings?
After all, no other character is given as the turtle’s mother.
Peach also never denies that she is Bowser Jr’s mother, which is flimsy but still notable. It’s true that the biology of this doesn’t really make sense, but it makes enough sense for the Mushroom Kingdom.
1 All Nintendo Games Are In A Shared Universe
This theory suggests that all Nintendo games are in the same universe. With games occurring both in the far future of this world and the distant past.
All the Nintendo games take place within the timeline, each game being an era in this world’s history.
If this is true, it’s fair to say that this world goes through an awful lot and a lot of lessons fail to get learned. Most importantly, don’t steal people. But given how much worlds can change over time, I’m sure it’s possible.