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Things Only Adults Notice In Fall Guys

Thousands of PlayStation 4 and PC players have battled with (and dressed up) the adorable, little jellybean-like characters in the massive multiplayer battle royale game known as Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout since it debuted on Aug. 4.

In Fall Guys, up to 60 players frantically maneuver around, under, over, in, on, through, and off of various obstacles to reach the finish line over the course of numerous rounds. The chaotic nature of the title was so compelling it attracted 1.5 million players within 24 hours of launching. The all-out struggle even extended into the real world. Big name companies and streamers, including G2 Esports, Ninja, and MrBeast, duked it out for the chance to bring their own themed skins to the game as part of the "Battle of the Brands" bidding contest. The combined $1 million donation from the winners went to Special Effect, a physical disabilities charity.

Despite its bright color palette and cartoonish design, Fall Guys still contains double entendres and references geared towards an older audience. With 25 different rounds spanning five modes, more than 80 costumes, nearly 40 achievements or trophies to earn, and regular updates, there's a lot to take in. Here are a few details in Fall Guys only adult players would pick up on.

Playing to the death

Pretty much every aspect of Fall Guys alludes to death in some way. Each round takes place on a flying course that is quite high off the ground — so high, in fact, it's safe to assume any normal person who fell from such a height would die immediately upon impact ... if not before. But there's one specific example that really drives the final nail into the coffin.

At the end of each round, every character appears in their own square space on a vertical platform. The losers then suddenly fall from their spot, presumably to their deaths. This is eerily similar to an ancient sport popularized by Mesoamericans in 300-900 CE and given the highly deceptive name, Ball Game.

Given how it was played, a more accurate name for Ball Game would be "Sacrifice Game" since the captain of the losing team, and sometimes every player, were sacrificed to the gods. Luckily for the losers in Fall Guys, it is assumed that the characters only fall to their deaths. Ancient art depicts the losers of Ball Game being decapitated, used as balls, and rolled down flights of stairs.

Is that Quincunx?

At the end of each round, the losers in Fall Guys fall from a vertical platform. Near the bottom of the screen are pegs onto which the falling Fall Guys, well, fall. These pegs are positioned in a way that looks similar to Quincunx, a board arrangement where balls are dropped down on pegs and bounce their way down to the bottom of the board into various containers.

In Quincunx, the balls bounce either left or right, while the losers in Fall Guys can also bounce upwards (before falling back down). But that's neither here nor there. What is here (or there) is that when the Quincunx pegs are positioned in a way that will provide an equal chance for the balls to bounce left or right then the balls will always fall into bell-shaped curve formation. Even though Fall Guys doesn't show the bottom of this supposed Quincunx, it's interesting that it could very well be one.

Where are the Fall Gals?

The gaming industry (and, to be fair, every industry) needs to ensure women receive equal treatment and representation, so when there's a title like Fall Guys, red flags might go up. Of course, the name is catchy and apt, seeing as there is a lot of falling that goes on in the game. (You could also argue it's better than the original title, Fools' Gauntlet.) But there are so many words in the English language that could have been used to give the game a more neutral title.

Additionally, upon closer inspection of the original Fall Guys roster, you might notice the absence of actual female characters. Sure, you could argue the characters are androgynous, but Fall Guys features various male character costumes from other games, such as Gordon Freeman from Half-Life. There don't appear to be any female crossover costumes in Season 1.

That said, it looks like more feminine costumes will arrive with Season 2, including a green-haired witch with a cute skull embroidered on her pointy hat and a Viking warrior maiden, complete with a horned helmet. It's also important to note the game designers put a great amount of effort into how the characters would look from the get-go, a design that went through many changes until finally becoming the adorable little bean-like figures they are today.

The physics checks out

Characters in Fall Guys must traverse many types of stationary and moving obstacles, and the ways in which players can interact with and be affected by these obstacles are seemingly endless. In other words, there is a lot of physics involved. The host of The Action Lab channel on YouTube thought so, too, and wanted to check the accuracy of the physics personally and recorded himself testing certain stunts that happen in the game. Specifically, he was curious about what actually happens when you move with a walkway and jump off, move against a walkway and jump off, stand on a spinning obstacle and jump off, and, of course, fall.

When testing both walkway stunts, the host uses a treadmill marked with red tape for reference. Meanwhile, he tests the spinning walkway stunt on a "roundabout" at a playground (with a kid in the background looking confused) and the fall stunt at an indoor skydiving facility. And, yes, the physics check out for each stunt, though, it sounds like he only gave the fall mechanics a passing grade.

You can "score" after successful bouts of chasing tail

Many of the rounds in Fall Guys are incredibly fun and creative, but a select few are a bit, well, steamy. Take, for example, "Tail Tag." The name sounds harmless enough, but the point is to go after players who have what look like raccoon tails and grab them. The players who still have a tail when the timer goes off win. So, in other words, you are literally chasing tail. Those who are familiar with the idiom "chasing tail" will make this connection immediately.

For those innocent enough to have never heard this euphemism before, the most kid-friendly translation involves "a man pursuing women." It's pretty clear what "pursuing" means in this context. The fact that players must not only chase other players with tails but physically grab these tails makes this image even more intense. Speaking of intense, there's a team version of this round that involves groups chasing tail together. Wow.

Congrats, you're a bully!

As if being crowned champion (and having bragging rights) weren't enough, Fall Guys further incentivizes players to compete for the championship by rewarding them with trophies and achievements upon the completion of particular tasks.

One such achievement is unlocked when a player knocks another over. On its own, this does not seem extreme at all, especially in the gaming world where there are far worse things that characters can do to each other. But the actual achievement is called "Big Bully." In other words, you can unlock an achievement for not only exhibiting bullish behavior, but for actually being what the game refers to as a bully — and not just any bully, but a big bully.

This might seem harmless to most. But adults understand that bullying is a particularly troubling form of aggressive behavior that can lead to some horrific outcomes, including mental health disorders, substance abuse and suicide. The fact that Fall Guys rewards players for this behavior raises some questions.

Fall Ball resembles a real-life game that used giant balls

The whimsical nature of rounds like "Fall Ball," which involves teams working together to score on the opposing goal with giant soccer balls, might seem like yet another example of an over-the-top competition that never took place in the real world, but that's not true. Incredibly, a man by the name of Moses G Crane thought games like football were "to the average person without a college education ... incomprehensible, dull, cruel", and came up with a game called pushball in the second half of the 19th century that is, arguably, much similar. Basically, pushball used a ball that had to be so massive that "a player on one side could not see who was on the other."

The first public game of pushball took place in 1902 and featured a ball constructed from so many horse hides that the sheer size of it took nearly three hours to fully inflate using a pump with special modifications. For anyone who wants to make a similarly sized ball using the same materials, you will need nine horse hides. Though, maybe you should stick to Fall Guys instead.

The theme song from the Fall Guys Launch Trailer may sound familiar

The official Fall Guys Launch Trailer tells the inspiring story of an underdog who begins his career stumbling and falling more so than winning while a more experienced (and better dressed) character taunts him relentlessly. During all of this, an old-timey song with lyrics such as "hot diggity" and "dog ziggity boom" plays in the background. Adults will know immediately that the soundtrack comes from the hit 1940s song "Hot Diggity" by Perry Como, an individual Bing Crosby reportedly dubbed "the man who invented casual."

The song choice might not make sense at first, seeing as it's obviously a love song. But as the trailer continues playing, it becomes apparent that the character in the movie is in love with the need to compete ... and to win.

From Donkey Kong to cannons

In this case, Donkey Kong does not refer to the Donkey Kong Country series that thrust the titular character into the limelight, but the 1981 arcade game where the giant gorilla actually made his debut as a villain. If that isn't strange enough, his arch nemesis is a character called Jumpman who would later have a name that you might have heard of before: Mario. The problem? Donkey Kong has captured Jumpman's girlfriend. To get her back, Jumpman must ascend various construction sites to the top where the then-evil gorilla waits. But in this case, "waiting" means throwing various objects, such as fireballs and barrels.

What does this have to do with Fall Guys? A round called "Fall Mountain" is quite similar to the entire premise of Donkey Kong. And, no, there isn't an evil gorilla who will later have a change of heart but is now throwing random objects down a construction site to prevent a soon-to-be-famous character from reaching the top. In "Fall Mountain," there are a bunch of characters who are racing up a mountain while cannons fire random objects from above. And rather than saving a girlfriend, the characters are competing for a crown.

The Blob continues to influence pop culture

As the creators of Fall Guys revealed, Fall Guys was based on ridiculous game shows such as Takeshi's Castle and Total Wipeout. Like all ludicrous game shows, there is usually some sort of slime involved, whether it falls on you, you fall in it, or a combination of the two. Fall Guys is no exception. But one of the many rounds that incorporates slime adds another ingredient to this already slimy image.

"Slime Climb," which involves outrunning rising slime to the finish line, plays upon a popular theme in film where people run away from slime-like creatures. Probably the best example of this is the 1950s movie, The Blob, which revolves around an alien entity that looks like, well, a blob that devours and dissolves its prey. 

Even though there's nothing to suggest that the slime in Fall Guys possesses any form of intelligent life, it's hard for anyone familiar with The Blob to not think of the rising slime as an angry alien.