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Innocent Games With Terrifying Secrets

Most gamers know that games don't always have to be realistic or violent to be fun. Sometimes players need a break from shooting zombies and just want to play a game with bright, friendly graphics and happy-go-lucky protagonists who are the epitome of child-like innocence. With all the real-life horrors of today's world, it's nice to sit back and enjoy a chill, family-friendly gaming experience. Whether it's an old fashioned side scroller, mining for minerals, or collecting cute little fighting monsters, these games are meant to make us feel relaxed and at ease.

However, sometimes innocent-seeming games can be far from the easy-going fun time they appear to be. Like when a character has surprisingly dark origins, or when game designers like to mix things up with a creepy Easter egg. Everything has a dark side, and these games are no exception. Let's just say that the "E" for everyone rating can be a bit deceptive. 

Here are just a few of the terrifying secrets from games that hide behind a mask of virtue and good clean fun.  

Fall Guys frightening anatomy

While Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout has only been around since August, the massive multiplayer has become a huge hit. Players control amorphous characters who run through a giant obstacle course, sometimes up to 60 players at a time, all fighting to be the first to finish.

It's a fun and addictive no holds barred competition, although amidst the game's success the question arose of just what exactly those adorable little creatures are. According to Devolver Digital, the studio that published the game, they are some sort of sentient "jelly beans." Cute, right? Or it was anyway, until the Fall Guys official Twitter account decided to unveil the ugly truth of these little critters' anatomy.

The black and white image was sketched by senior concept artist Tudor Morris, and depicts the "jelly bean" creature as having a deformed skeleton with an obscenely long neck and eyes attached to long stems. Although the account posted another image one day later which claimed that principal concept artist Ash Kerins had a different, less disturbing anatomy in mind for the squishy little creature, the damage had been done and the original image will likely haunt fans forever.

Yoshi's Satanic origins

Yoshi has been a favorite of Super Mario fans since his original appearance in Super Mario World on the SNES in 1990. He was designed by Shigefumi Hino and Takashi Tezuka after franchise creator Shigeru Miyamoto stated that he wanted Mario to have a horse in the game. Yoshi has appeared in nearly every Mario game since his creation, either as a sidekick character or a playable option.

What fans of Yoshi might not know is that Tezuka took his original design for the character from another game he and Miyamoto also worked on together called Devil World. The game has a Christian-based origin, where the main character is a dragon called Tamagon who must battle the literal Devil. 

Tamagon is small, green, and has the ability to blow fireballs, just like another loveable character. The gameplay is similar to Pac-Man, as Tamagon winds his way through a maze picking up dots and using crosses and bibles to fight off evil minions, all while the Devil tries to thwart his process. The game was released in Japan and Europe, but was considered too controversial for U.S. release.

Mimikyu's horrifying appearance

Most Pokémon may be lovable and charming little creatures, but there are a few rare exceptions. In Pokémon Sun and Moon, the character of Mimikyu was introduced, a Disguise Pokemon who hides under a sack cloth made up to resemble Pikachu.

As if the crudely drawn face and crooked head wasn't creepy enough on the uncanny valley scale, it also appears that Mimikyu will become violent if anyone attempts to peer beneath its disguise. According to one Pokedex entry, Mimikyu will fight to keep its true form hidden "even at the cost of its own life." The Pokemon Database goes on to say that anyone who sees its true form will succumb to a mysterious illness — or even die of fear.

As strange and terrifying as Mimikyu seems, there is a sad and lonely creature hiding beneath. An entry from the Ultimate Sun Pokedex reads: "It stands in front of a mirror, trying to fix its broken neck as if its life depended on it. It has a hard time getting it right, so it's crying inside." Maybe the poor little guy just wants to be loved?

Spoink can't stop bouncing or he dies

Everyone knows that bouncing is fun, fun, fun (according to Tigger anyway), but what if it's not as fun as it looks? What if your very life, in fact, depended on it?

The psychic Pokémon Spoink not only has an adorable name, but a cute piggy nose and bright pink cheeks to match. Yet this third-generation Pokémon, introduced in the games Ruby and Sapphire, is actually fighting for its life with every hop of its springy tail. The Pokedex reveals that bouncing is what makes Spoink's heart beat, therefore "if it stops, its heart will stop." One entry says that Spoink even bounces in its sleep.

Spoink has the ability to evolve into Grumpig, which thankfully does not need to keep constantly moving in order to live. One can only imagine the desperation a Spoink must feel to one day evolve just so it can finally get some rest, instead of literally bouncing for its very survival.

Sonic commits suicide

One of the charms of the speedy blue hedgehog created by Sega Genesis is his cool guy attitude. We can see it in his self-assured smile and mischievous eyes, and the way he jumps into action without any fear of danger. It seems, however, that Sonic's lack of patience and need for speed has a tendency to awaken suicidal tendencies.

In Sonic the Hedgehog 1 and 2, if the player is inactive for too long, Sonic will glare into the camera and tap his foot impatiently, as if to say, "Come on, let's go!" It's an amusing little animation, however, the humor quickly turns to horror in Sonic the Hedghog CD. If the player takes too long to get things moving, Sonic apparently loses the will to live and jumps off the cliff to his death, resulting in "game over."

Being an adrenaline junkie is one thing, but willingly plummeting to his death just because he's forced to stand still for 60 seconds? Maybe Sonic should take a cue from Spoink and learn to adapt to his needs in a healthier manner.

PNF 404 is really Earth, destroyed by nuclear war

The Pikmin games are a fun adventure series featuring helpful little critters on an unknown alien planet. When protagonist Captain Olimar crash lands on the mysterious planet (later dubbed PNF 404), he finds that it is virtually void of intelligent life. However, as the player explores PNK 404 throughout the series, they find clues that suggest a truly horrific possibility.

In Pikmin 2, Olimar and his Pikmin pals find treasures on the planet that are very familiar: for example, a 7Up bottle cap and a Duracell battery. Nothing scary about that, but it certainly adds to the theory that PNF 404 could have once been our very own Earth. So what happened to all the humans? In the first Pikmin game, Olimar finds a Geiger counter, and although it seems that he doesn't know what the tool is used for, it states in the Ship Log that "this noisy gauge is always letting off spontaneous clicks and buzzes."

Could it be that PNF 404 is actually the remains of Earth left nearly decimated by nuclear war? Although this theory has not been confirmed by the game's creators, it seems a likely possibility.

Sonic's mythical Genocide City Zone

Here's another unsettling Sonic the Hedgehog secret. A level with the title Genocide City Zone was originally in Sonic 2, but was pulled by the artist and eventually replaced with Metropolis Zone. However a prototype was discovered online which allowed players to check out the level — unfortunately, selecting Genocide City Zone from the prototype version's main menu will bring Sonic and his buddy Tails to an empty level, resulting in the heroes falling to their deaths.

Though the name may be fitting for a level that results in an untimely end, it seems that the true reason for the title was simply a mistake in translation. According to an interview with Tom Payne, the level's creator, the Japanese members of the team wanted to give the level a dangerous-sounding name, however, they did not realize just how dark the association was. Payne had the name changed to Cyber City before the level was scrapped, although aspects of the original design can be seen in Metropolis Zone.

Discs 11 and 13 in Minecraft will give you nightmares

What could be frightening about a pixelated world that allows players to explore, build, and craft all kinds of goodies? A lot of things, apparently.

While Minecraft is generally a relaxed game where players can show their creative side by building all kinds of unique structures, there is a dark mystery within the block world if one knows where to look. While exploring, players can collect a variety of audio discs which can be played in a jukebox — most of the discs contain standard music tracks that are pleasant enough, but if one is lucky enough (or unlucky) they can find the cryptic discs 11 and 13, which playback some truly eerie audio tracks. 

In Disc 11, we can hear running footsteps, heavy breathing, and some other-worldly sound effects that will set your teeth on edge. The audio in Disc 13 is even more disturbing, with loud chimes and strange dripping sounds as if from the inside of a cave. The track cuts off suddenly about halfway through, and then returns with eerily blowing winds and more strange music. While there are a number of theories surrounding these discs, nothing as of yet has been confirmed.