Seemingly Innocent Games That Are Actually Messed Up

No one can convincingly label the Grand Theft Auto or Resident Evil series as innocent. These games, however, do not represent themselves as such. On the other hand, some video games seem innocent on their face, but buried deep within there is a subtle, or not-so-subtle, layer of dysfunction. Here are a few games that are secretly messed up at their core ...

Super Mario Sunshine

Before pop culture aficionados filled the internet with speculation about Jon Snow's parentage, there was a similar mystery brought to us in Super Mario Sunshine. The game introduces us to Bowser Jr., a hitherto unknown member of the Koopa family. Bowser Jr. kidnaps Princess Peach during the course of the game, and after confronting him, Mario discovers that Bowser Jr. thinks Princess Peach is his mother. There are two disturbing possibilities here. One, Bowser Jr.'s claim is true and, at some point, Bowser and Princess Peach produced a half-human, half-dragon hybrid. If not, then Bowser Jr. has some deep-seated psychological issues — possibly evil facial blindness. So what do you think? Does B + P = BJr?


The Pokemon games are full of brightly-colored, cute characters. However, beneath this facade lies a dark, ugly truth. Pokemon battles are essentially a blood sport akin to dog fighting and cockfighting. These games encourage each trainer to enslave Pokemon by capturing them inside a small red-and-white ball. These creatures are then forced to fight to bolster their masters' glory. Think about that the next time your Charizard roasts a Pikachu. The Humane Society? What's that?

Sonic the Hedgehog (2006)

Many fans consider the 2006, Xbox 360-exclusive, Sonic the Hedgehog, to be one of the worst entries in the franchise. Its terrible controls and numerous bugs make it almost unplayable. These flaws often overshadow that it also contains one of the oddest romance subplots in any video game. The aforementioned romance is between our hero, Sonic, and the very-human Princess Elise. Yes, an anthropomorphic hedgehog and a human woman have a loving, presumably physical relationship. We understand if you need to take a shower after reading that last sentence. Who at Sega decided to hire a furry fan-fic writer to pen the game's story?

The Legend of Zelda series

The chronology of the Zelda series was a confusing mess until the early-2000s. Fans now recognize that Link — the series' hero — is not a single individual, but the name of several different people who lived across the ages. In essence, every so often, a hero is born named Link who is destined to become a warrior. In other words, this boy's fate is ripped from his hands, and he's forced to fight ultimate evil by slaying hellish monsters. What if the new Link wanted to be a farmer? Nope! Too bad, because destiny has something else in store for you, farm boy. Here's your Master Sword. Now go kill, and say goodbye to your innocence!

Metroid II: Return of Samus

In Metroid II: Return of Samus, everyone's favorite intergalactic space heroine, Samus Aran, travels to the Metroids' home planet, SR388, to wipe out the whole species so they cannot be used as weapons by the Space Pirates. Sounds like a noble mission, right? Sure, if causing the near-extinction of an entire species is noble. She succeeds in her mission, but spares one infant Metroid. Cease your bloodlust, Samus! It's not the Metroids' fault that mercenary races want to exploit them. Plus, now the one infant Metroid is alone in the universe. Now if you were going to wipe out those head crabs from Half-Life, that we'd understand.


DuckTales is a classic video game for the NES. It's so iconic that develop Capcom produced a remake in 2013, entitled DuckTales: Remastered. In the game, your task is to lead Scrooge McDuck on a quest to increase his already-gargantuan fortune through finding extremely valuable, hidden treasures. Remember kids, money is everything. Don't let anyone stop you from gaining more wealth. Sure, you can't take it with you, but at least they won't have it. The game even rewards you with better endings for the more money you collect. If Gordon Gekko from the movie Wall Street was somehow crossed with a waterfowl, Scrooge McDuck would be the result. He is truly among the top 1%. Now, where's his bailout?


Most role-playing video games allow you to enter random villagers' homes, open various chests, and steal their possessions contained inside. Even the noble Link from Legend of Zelda and Crono from Chrono Trigger are guilty of petty theft. Living in a medieval fantasy world is hard enough with how, at any time, a dragon or evil overlord may burn down your village. To add insult to injury, you also have to worry about entitled protagonists trespassing and stealing the health potion you managed to buy after months of saving gold. Now what are you going to do after a goblin bites your daughter while she's tending the crops?