Anyone who listens to TalkRadar knows I’m something of an Animal Crossing fan. I've been playing since the first week it was released in the US some six years ago. Always found it a nice relaxing break from all the head-shotting, eff-bombing Mature games that dominate the market. Nothing wrong with ‘em, no sir, just need a goddam vacation once in a while.
Then, while starting a brand new Hylia in City Folk, I noticed all these suggestive undertones cleverly hidden amidst the sunny “golly gee” disposition. Consider how you would feel about the following turn of events, which we accept as commonplace for Animal Crossing games, if they happened to you.
You slowly open your eyes and see only a bipedal cat standing in a dimly lit room. One unseen lamp illuminates just enough of the cat and surrounding hardwood floor to let you know you’ve arrived here by some means other than your own. In other words, you got popped on the back of the head and carried into this warehouse. The cat says you two have to catch a bus. Like now.
So now you’re being smuggled into a town. At night. On a bus with no passengers. That’s creepy as hell. The wide-eyed, overly earnest “doesn’t this sound exciting?!” plea coming from Rover the Cat isn’t helping. Dear god, have you been kidnapped by some bizarre furry cult?
In the morning you finally meet the mayor, who only says he’s planning on watching you from afar. WATCHING, heh heh heh. And waiting for… something. Maybe to make ornaments out of your internal organs.
Then comes your first encounter with Tom Nook, the raccoon shopkeeper who clearly operates Nook’s Cranny as a front for a slave trade. You’re forcefully moved into this town with no home or assets, then told you suddenly owe an exorbitant amount of money to a talking raccoon who’s probably the one who orchestrated your kidnapping in the first place.
Hm, yes, you will be paying back this loan, kid. Even if it takes you 100 years. He’ll fend off the reaper just to make sure you never have a free cent to your name.
Oh no, don’t you dare pay him in cash! He wants his assets wired into separate accounts, each more fiendishly hidden than the last. As if he wasn’t shady enough, now he only wants electronic fund transfers? That’s bordering on supervillain territory.
And he’ll explain the details later? Later when? “Later when I’m dumping your body into the river?” later?
This is what your indoctrination has bought you – a concrete-floored, roach-infested junk pile, complete with busted radio that Nook admits barely works. This… is not looking good.