Photo: The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask / Nintendo

14 Nintendo Fan Theories That Actually Make A Lot Of Sense

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Vote up the fan theories you believe in.

Nintendo has been entertaining millions of fans for generations, and it's not slowing down. Earlier this year, the Nintendo Switch officially overtook Super Nintendo with more than 52 million consoles sold - and it's still only their third best-selling console. Characters like Super Mario, Donkey Kong, and a multitude of Pokemon have become household names and appeared in dozens of games over the years. This has led diehard fans to concoct elaborate Nintendo fan theories about how all the games fit together. 

Sure, most of these fan "theories" are really just ways to rationalize how the video games and the game industry have evolved over decades, but some of them actually make a lot of sense. A rare few have even been confirmed by the games' creators themselves.

Here's a selection of Nintendo fan theories that might make you look at the game differently.

Photo: The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask / Nintendo

  • 1
    1,471 VOTES

    'Pokémon Red And Blue' Take Place After A Major War

    'Pokémon Red And Blue' Take Place After A Major War
    Photo: Nintendo

    If you've played 1998's Pokemon Red and Blue or its 2004 remake Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen, you might have noticed something about Kanto, the game's setting: there are many children and older characters, but almost no adult males. On top of that, the character Red's father disappeared, and the character Blue is an orphan. 

    According to this theory from the Fan Theories Wiki - and many other places - the world is so depopulated because it's still recovering from a massive war. In this conflict, humans would have fought both with conventional weapons and using Pokemon themselves. In both FireRed and LeafGreen, one gym leader even mentions how electrified Pokemon saved his life during the war. 

    Other versions of this theory suggest that nuclear devices used in the conflict actually created the Pokemon. Either way, Pokemon could be a lot darker than it seems.

    1,471 votes
  • 2
    905 VOTES

    Luigi Is Much More Powerful Than He Lets On, And Mario Keeps Him In Check

    Luigi Is Much More Powerful Than He Lets On, And Mario Keeps Him In Check
    Photo: Nintendo

    In most adaptations, Luigi is depicted as Mario's timid and cowardly counterpart. But as one Redditor noticed, several of the more modern games have given Luigi surprisingly strong abilities.

    In Super Paper Mario, Luigi is revealed to be the reincarnation of Count Bleck's great-grandfather, and thus the only living person capable of hosting the Chaos Heart, which can destroy the world. In Dream Team, Luigi is the only character capable of opening a portal into the dream world. In Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door, Luigi is shown to be fully capable of going off on his own action-packed adventures without Mario. And in Mario and Luigi: Partners in Time, Luigi's compassion for others is so strong that the Aurora Block grows large enough to crush him. 

    Added together, those game moments suggest Luigi could be a very powerful being. So why does he always play second fiddle to Mario? Because Luigi also cares about people, and if he were to let his powers get out of control, Mario is the only person who could stop him.

    905 votes
  • 3
    545 VOTES

    'Majora's Mask' Is About The Five Stages Of Grief

    'Majora's Mask' Is About The Five Stages Of Grief
    Photo: Nintendo

    Many fans noticed the main locations in 2000's The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask match up neatly with Elisabeth Kübler-Ross and David Kessler's Five Stages of Grief.

    According to the theory (presented by Redditor u/yay855), when the residents of Clock Town learn that the moon is falling and argue over whether to cancel the Carnival of Time, it represents Denial. In the Southern Swamp, when the Deku Princess is abducted, the furious Deku King punishes her friends the monkeys, representing Anger. In Snowhead, the ghost in the snow temple tries to negotiate to be allowed to return to the living, representing Bargaining. At the Zora Temple, the singer Lulu is depressed after her eggs are stolen, representing Depression. Finally, Stone Tower Temple, the final temple, is where Link's journey wraps up, which represents Acceptance. 

    However, when Game Informer asked game manager Eiji Aonuma if this was intentional, he said it's a bit more complicated. According to Aonuma, every moment in the game is designed to evoke multiple emotions, many more than just those five.

    545 votes
  • 4
    677 VOTES

    Master Hand In 'Smash Bros.' Is Game Director Masahiro Sakurai

    Master Hand In 'Smash Bros.' Is Game Director Masahiro Sakurai
    Photo: Nintendo

    To understand this theory, first you have to understand the Super Smash Bros. audience. For years, there have been two types of Super Smash players: the competitive players who train obsessively and compete for prizes, and the casual gamers who just want to see their favorite characters beat each other up.

    Game director Masahiro Sakurai has long said the more casual Super Smash player is the game's core audience. When Sakurai made 2008's Super Smash Bros. Brawl easier to play, many saw it as an attempt to cater to the casual players. And the competitive gamers criticized the game. 

    If you know that context, the main conflict in Super Smash Bros. Brawl can be seen as a symbolic battle between competitive gamers and casual gamers, with Sakurai himself stuck in between. In the game, Master Hand, the series antagonist to this point, is now being controlled by the powerful galactic supernatural entity, Tabuu. The player must free Master Hand from his shackles and then defeat Tabuu for good. But according to Redditor u/20_percent_cooler, Master Hand can be seen as Sakurai himself, the series creator who's hemmed in by an increasingly demanding competitive gaming crowd.

    The powerful Tabuu represents the competitive gamer faction, who wanted the series all to themselves, and the player character represents the casual gamers, who by defeating Tabuu are taking back their game series from the diehards.

    677 votes
  • 5
    445 VOTES

    Donkey Kong Bumped Off Mario And Luigi's Father

    Donkey Kong Bumped Off Mario And Luigi's Father
    Photo: Nintendo

    This theory involves a bit of genealogy. The first appearance of both Super Mario and Donkey Kong is thought to be the1981 arcade game Donkey Kong. But as Redditor u/JustEmbarrassing points out, that's not exactly true. In Donkey Kong Country on Super Nintendo, it's revealed that the original "Donkey Kong" is actually Cranky Kong. The "Donkey Kong Jr." from the 1980s arcade games is now all grown up, and he's the ape most people call "Donkey Kong" today. 

    Then there's Super Mario, or as he's known in the original Donkey Kong and subsequent arcade games, Jumpman. But according to u/Justembarrassing and others, Jumpman and Mario aren't the same person. The games establish Jumpman as a carpenter from New York City who loves a woman named Pauline. Meanwhile, Super Mario is a plumber from the Mushroom Kingdom who loves Princess Peach. Unless Super Mario made drastic life changes (or, unless Nintendo just redesigned the character), they're not likely to be the same person.

    Furthermore, the chronology established in Yoshi's Island DS makes that impossible. In that game, Peach, Wario, Bowser, Mario, and Donkey Kong Jr. are all shown to be babies, making them the same age. In the original game, Cranky Kong (AKA Donkey Kong Jr.'s father) squares off with an adult Jumpman. That makes it impossible for Jumpman to also be Mario.

    So, who is Mario's father? Yoshi's Island establishes the fact that Mario and Luigi have parents, but their faces are never shown. Jumpman is the only known character from the Mario universe who could fill the role. 

    From there, it's a short jump to "Donkey Kong terminated Mario and Luigi's father." The arcade game Donkey Kong Jr. features an antagonistic Jumpman abducting Cranky Kong, and Donkey Kong Jr. saving him. And at the end of the game, Donkey Kong Jr. slays Jumpman.

    If any of this is true, it would make the Super Mario Bros. games an intergenerational family drama on par with The Sopranos.

    445 votes
  • 6
    407 VOTES

    Many Nintendo Games Take Place In The Same Universe

    Many Nintendo Games Take Place In The Same Universe
    Photo: Nintendo

    Many Nintendo characters have crossover appearances in different video games (and we're not talking about the Super Smash Bros. series; those are officially toy versions of Nintendo characters and not the characters themselves). This fan theory depends on whether you're willing to believe that these appearances are canonical proof that characters exist in the same universe, and are not just fun cameos.

    For example, in Kirby's Dreamland 3, Kirby bumps into Samus from the Metroid series, which could mean they exist in the same universe. This fan theory also depends on whether you're willing to believe that the "Planet Earth" depicted in many of these games exists in the same timeline or dimension. If you're willing to go along with all that, the dots are there to connect.

    According to Redditor u/mswanco, it all goes back to Earthbound (AKA Mother 2). In that game, the evil Giygas grants sentience to Earth's plants, animals, and fungi, which drive humans insane. These smart plants and animals are the ancestors of the creatures from the Pikimin game, which also takes place on Earth. The Pikimin creatures then give way to creatures like Bowser from Super Mario, King Dedede from the Kirby series, and the animals from Animal Crossing.

    Technology progressed, and at some point, Earth froze over, becoming the frozen Shiver Star from Kirby 64 (which is implied to be an abandoned Earth). The events of the Kirby series take place in space, around where the planet formerly known as Earth is. Since Kirby and Samus exist in the same universe, we can surmise that humans abandoned Earth and took to the stars. And wherever they ended up is the setting for the Metroid series.

    407 votes