Incidental world-building

The game’s creator probably didn’t make this a fact of their game’s world on purpose, but it just turned out that way through the mechanics.

Headcanon highly encouraged ITT

In Stardew Valley everybody is a lacto-ovo-pescatarian because the game does not have any beef, pork, poultry etc.

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My very fondest head canon: Every Zelda game is an in-universe telling of a saga.
The idea of a single overarching canonical timeline is as meaningful as an accurate, consistent timeline of the Gigantomachy.
There’s only one Link like there’s only one Artemis.
All we know about the “real” Hyrule (or wherever it is they tell stories about Hyrule) is what we can glean from its folklore.
This lore is impervious to retconning; any attempt would just be an editorial synthesis like Ovid’s or Mallory’s, no more or less “true” than its predecessors.

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I have a similar headcanon for Nier and Automata where the music is being sung by a civilisation far in the future telling the events of these games as oral myths around a fire. But due to misremembered history and linguistic corruption, the details are lost forever. In the original Nier, the Dark Colossus track’s chorus ends with a word that sounds a lot like ‘Nier’. To me it feels like an ironic retelling of the story where the song seems to be about the giant monster you are fighting but is really foreshadowing how the MC fucked up the world. The word is just emphasised with a lot of awe and fear and it doesn’t sound like a heroic legend.

Regarding incidental world-building. I absolutely love Wipeout’s world-building since the games only ever hint at the broader world. The track design alone implies a hypercapitalist future where this luxury sport literally allows for cities and residential colonies to have these huge fucking race tracks created around them. There are a few games where they’re a bit more explicit about the world being more dystopian (Fusion, Pure and Pulse?). 2048 has some really neat bits of world-building since all the ships are samey-looking ,early prototypes and some of the tracks still make use of sectioned off pieces of tarmac in major cities which links it to traditional motorsports. It works really well to imply the changes the world must be going through as a regular city road abruptly connects to a glowing chrome, high-tech vertical ramp just to provide a placated audience with another level of thrill.

There was a piece of marketing for Fusion that suggests this probably isn’t entirely incidental.

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those fusion ads are so deeply engrained in my brain

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Canonically in Sea of Thieves there are powerful undead beings called skeleton lords who tend to have powers and attributes linked to their obsessions in life. The Gold Hoarder’s been turning into the gold he loves so much, Captain Flameheart who felt the burning need for piracy in his very core is now literally on fire, etc.

I posit there’s a skeleton lord named Rowboat Ron, dead from drowning alone at sea, who now goes through deserted islands for all eternity, leaving rowbats behind to be found by player crews.

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Is there anything better than Wipeout? I posit no.

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There are motorcycles in Castlevania 64, but the game is set in 1852. Since even the first STEAM cycle was 1867 (and the first gas motorcycle was 1885, and I’m pretty sure these run on gas), this implies that Dracula’s castle is…what, a time machine? A spot outside of time where monsters and artifacts from all over the space-time continuum just sort of show up? Some sort of garbage drain of the universe where random shit can show up along with all the monsters? I don’t know but it’s fascinating.

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I’m down with the Netflix show’s thing where vampires are just super technologically advanced (which I’m pretty sure they cribbed from Vampire Hunter D anyway) so motorcycles are child’s play

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Oh, another one, so Lolo and Lala are in The Adventures of Lolo, then Lololo and Lalala show up in Kirby. Obviously this means it’s a shared universe, but there’s also two possibilities here as far as naming conventions:

  1. When you have a kid, you just add one syllable on, i.e. Lololo, Dedede, Kirbyby

  2. When you have a kid, you take one syllable OFF, meaning Kirby happens before Lolo. And when Lolo and Lala have kids, they’ll be Lo and/or La. And when they have kids…who knows?? Also just realizing now this options implies incest. Oops.

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I really like this because it implies Dedede’s monarchy has a history, and it makes sense for his character of a greedy (but ultimately very lazy and pretty harmless) king, he never took his position by force, he just always assumed he was always supposed to be king, and Dream Land sort of goes with it.

Wario and Waluigi’s elf-ish ears are a detail of their characters that I’ve always found fascinating. Like, there’s so many possible implications when you assume that Mario and Luigi are just italian plumbers who happened into the world of the Mushroom Kingdom by chance. Do they come from some bizarro mirror world, are they the Mario and Luigi from this twisted world? Or are they some sort of other creature that’s bent on stealing Mario and Luigi’s identities, and their identities of Wario and Waluigi are constructed and fake? Are they some sort of identity-snatcher gremlins? Is this their original form, or are they shapeshifters?? What magical powers and weird properties do they have, knowing they’re not human?? I genuinely love thinking about these ideas, I wish the Mario series would get a bit more fantasy and fairy-tale weird like that

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Wario and Waluigi as defective twin peaks doppelgangers

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Earthbound uses American Eagleland dollars $ as currency, which leads to ridiculous situations like a bag of fries costing $8, a single hard boiled egg going for a dollar more, cup noodles selling for $98 and large pizzas valued at over $200. this suggests absurd inflation and comically erratic food subsidies. Alongside other factors like the rise of color-obsessed exterminationist cults, corporatists extolling their own virtues via golden mind control statues, and whole precincts of cops assaulting children for trespassing, i can only envision that the inevitable collapse of capitalism was already in motion by the time Giygas showed up. and that’s how we got the world of MOTHER 3

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I was working on my very first AAA game and working on localization and I asked, hey, these objective marker trackers work in feet. Do we convert the distances for other regions when they’re marked in meters?

The answer: ha, that’s funny, we just change “ft” to “m”

Incidentally all developer tools and developers speak in meters and milliseconds, so I don’t even know which of those is wrong

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OH I HAVE A FFXIV ONE

okay so we have a selectbutton free company, BUTTS. and almost everyone who plays on faerie from sb is in it

EXCEPT CLOSED. his name is gilbert. hes named after gil.

but anyway in order to not get my feelings hurt every day by this BETRAYAL ive had to create a headcanon that gilbert is infiltrating the other guild he joined (a guild for naruto fans and DDLG enthusiasts) because they have a big house and we have a small one and i need eyes on the outside to snag BUTTS a big house


in street fighter 2, i believed the characters were PHYSICALLY TRAPPED inside those boxes like prisons until you selected them to fight so i would always try to pick every character so they got as equal ‘free time’ as possible

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A friend and I pitched a Waluigi standalone game where you took on heists, assembled a team (probably random Mario enemies) and stealthed through a level. It’s called Waluigi: Heist Meister. Bobombs are a key tool. The idea was a turn-based 2D game almost like Steamworld Heist. Waluigi could use his lanky body to fit into tight gaps or crawl along the ground like a creepy spider.

Each level you’d go to progressively more fancy locations to abscond with bigger hauls. The twist was going to be that the final level was a massive vault in a castle and just as you’re about to escape with the goods, the owner, Wario, appears and hires Waluigi as a partner. This is now my origin story for how they met.

I never got the impression they were brothers. Their names seem like they’re just trolling Mario and Luigi in a really OTT way.

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i love how well this fits with like, every single mainline Wario game

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there’s actually more than one mega man and every time he explodes he’s just replaced with a new model, even though you collect the heads that are used to store mega man’s memories to transfer them into a new body each individual mega man unit is blissfully unaware of his endless cycle of death and rebirth

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there are several Megaman games that call 1ups “Spare Bodies” or “Spares” so this absolutely checks out

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Oh they’re canonically not brothers. In one of the manuals it turns out that Waluigi is just some dude who shows up, and nobody knows who he is, including Wario.

Outside of the games I’m 90% sure that it’s because R&D2 (or whatever is left of them) is never going to make a game about Walugi because the Wario cannon is theirs and while EAD gets to borrow Wario, they’re never going to take EAD’s additions to the Wario cannon seriously.

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never convert anything! NEVER CONVERT ANYTHING

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