By now I’m sure you’ve heard of this thing called Animal Crossing: New Leaf, which may or may not be some Illuminati conspiracy to get us all addicted to the same game before “they” pull the switch and turns us all into The Last Of Us-esque zombies. You may have also read my review, which paints the game in a very positive and innocuous light.
Two weeks later, I see I was wrong. Not because New Leaf is a bad game—oh how wrong you are, friend—it’s amazing. The thing is, much like Australia, everything in this game wants to kill you.
For the first few iterations of Animal Crossing, everything seemed pleasant. And perhaps it was too pleasant. Perhaps selling fruit and trading furniture with your neighbor Cookie—the nicest, coolest anthropomorphic dog ever, the Jennifer Lawrence of anthropomorphic dogs really—was all just to lure us into a false sense of security. Maybe on occasion you would shake loose a bee-hive from a tree and get stung. But you were stupid for doing so and this was nature’s way of telling you such.
The reality is that your village is not safe. And do you know why that is? One word:
Now, there are three irrational fears that haunt me in this life. 1. Being abducted by aliens. 2. One day I will start hiccuping and then it will never stop. And the third? The third is tarantulas. I say irrational because I grew up in Connecticut and live in New York. The only states that have tarantulas are the ones that deserve the punishment of tarantulas, like Arizona (what, like anybody from Arizona reads this blog anyway).
Why do I hate tarantulas? They are hairy, for one. And the way they move is just….eldritch. The very fact that I share a planet with these things makes me question the existence of harmonic universe.
So hey guess what? You know what else now has tarantulas? Animal Crossing has tarantulas. Oh but not just tarantulas! That would be too tame. Because like I said right there at the top: EVERYTHING is out to kill you.
I have provided a list to categorize your newest fears:
Bees – Not the bees! The bees are back but that’s the least of your worries. Sure they can sting you and cause your villager’s face to swell. Sure, your animal neighbors will point out how much of a monster you are because, as we all know, your animal neighbors all HUGE JERKS (except Cookie). But the bees are fairly easy to catch—and hence, to sell—and you can also sell their hives too. The bees, old chum, are the least of your worries. Though fun fact, Japan has a thing called a Giant Hornet that is responsible for multiple deaths each year.
Jellyfish – These are like bees but are squishy and live in the ocean. And of course, in this game you can swim–and get real close to these evil cretins. I’m sure the creators of AC hoped the swimming addition would please many fans. But the creators are also sadists, so they wanted to make sure the fans would feel pain too.
And so on the third day, the Japanese created jellyfish. The best part? Jellyfish cannot be caught. Their sole existence is to make your character flail around in anguish while you’re trying to dive for scallops. Did you know there are places in the world where jellyfish can paralyze you? They live in Australia. And also your Animal Crossing town.
Tarantulas – On occasion while you are walking around at night you will see this ungodly abomination just chilling, waiting for you to walk up to it and lose your Animal Crossing innocence. You were probably out collecting cherries, but now welcome to hell. Villagers in the vicinity will freeze and point, trying to want you before it’s too late. Because even they know. You can try to sneak up behind a tarantula to catch it with a net, but you are also probably a fool. If a tarantula sees you it will HISS AND THEN CHASE YOU. IT CHASES YOU. DO YOU UNDERSTAND? IT SPRINTS. If it bites you, you will experience the closest thing in the world to game over. You will “die” and wake up back at your house.
And if you DO happen to catch a tarantula and take it to the museum—and I have not done this because, unlike others, I value my sanity—it will watch you in the gallery and follow your movements. It probably wants to know if you still hear the lambs screaming at night.
ALSO THERE ARE SCORPIONS – Yes, because tarantulas weren’t enough, the creators of Animal Crossing actually want to cause you mortal harm. Scorpions have the same schtick as tarantulas, only they are faster and ARE SCORPIONS. Scorpions kill people, if you didn’t know this.
I am not sure why—in a game where your existence is vital to the well-being of an entire village—the creators would have created so many ways for your character to be harmed. I only look forward to the next installment Animal Crossing: Welcome to Hell, with cobras that hide in trees, brown recluses that bite you when you try to move furniture, and those giant poisonous centipedes from The Temple of Doom, just because.
You are not safe in New Leaf.