The Paper Mario franchise remains one of Nintendo's most charming series, even in a company that built its empire on whimsy. Set in a papercraft world, flat Mario characters are set against diorama-like backdrops, aided by cute characters and witty dialogue. Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door in particular is sweeter than the gummy bear-flavored Oreos that Nabisco is undoubtedly cooking up now.
Which is why it was so weird to wander into a random storage house and see the chalk outline of a dead Toad, complete with bloodstains.
There's no question: This is a crime scene. Someone stabbed or shot a Toad -- probably in the head if we're talking probability by surface area -- and the victim proceeded to bleed out all over the floor before expiring. Mario's playful trotting is actually contaminating the evidence for a murder.
If you don't remember this part from the game, that's probably because it wasn't there in your version.
Though the crime scene was featured in the Japanese edition of the game, when it came West, it was gone. Nintendo broke out the bleach and chemical spray and had a full cleanup team erase any hints of a homicide in their E-rated video game. We can only assume the American version of the Toad Serial Killer took a cue from Dexter and stocked up on plastic sheeting.
Despite the self-censorship, the company still has a knack for hiding dark secrets in its games, even as recently as this year.
Splatoon is about as goofy and kid-friendly as third-person shooters can get. The goal isn't even to wipe out enemy teammates, but instead use your special squid-kid abilities to paint as much of the map as possible. Though primarily a multiplayer game, there are several single-player missions to complete, many of which contain easter eggs known as the Sunken Scrolls.
These scrolls are more than just piddly concept art or a sound test -- they actually supply much-needed background info on the wacky world of paint-slinging squid-kid hybrids. A background that just happens to include a horrific apocalypse that ended mankind.
According to the above scroll, all "creatures of the surface" were wiped out due to rising sea levels. Me, you and everyone you care about died, making way for terrifying sea creatures to take over the world. On the bright side, that means that dude who thought his bag of Taco Bell sauces and utensils deserved a seat on a crowded subway train also met with a watery grave.
You should start saying your goodbyes to your loved ones now, because we don't have much time. Judging by the scrolls, the waterlogged apocalypse will kick off pretty soon.
Yep, that scroll actually depicts the skeleton of a deceased human, who in their last moments were huddled next to a Wii U. What's weirder is that you can clearly see a Wii U Pro Controller tied to a Wii Remote, a control method devised to play Splatoon. In the world of Splatoon, the video game Splatoon already existed and then CAME TRUE. The implication being that, since Splatoon the video game exists in our world, things are about to get a lot squiddier in the very near future.
If you delve deeper into the Sunken Scrolls, you can discover the twisted origin of the only land mammal in the game: Judd, the fat cat who judges the winner of the turf war at the end of each match.
How did this morbidly obese feline survive the flood that killed the world? Well, it just so happens that Judd the Cat is an immortal deity. It's all explained, you guessed it, in the scrolls:
That's right. Judd the cat is over 10,000 years old, brought to the game's point in time by a cryogenic chamber, Futurama style. And apparently, upon his arrival, Judd was greeted as a furry, sharply-dressed god.
According to the scrolls, Judd was alive for 2,000 years after being frozen, his life somehow extended by the freezing process. He's more or less worshipped by the citizens of the Splatoon universe -- which, again, is our universe. So if you see a cute cat with a natural bow-tie, you might want to pay your respects. It's his world, we're just living in the prequel.