The release date of Animal Crossing: New Horizons is only four months away, and it still feels like we know almost nothing about the game. Sure, new features like farming, crafting, and autosaving have all been announced, but nothing like the radical departures from the norm that we’ve come to expect from the Animal Crossing series. When you think Animal Crossing, you think innovation, and so far New Horizons just doesn’t seem to cut the mustard.
However, a series of leaks rippling across the Animal Crossing dark web fan forums reveals an exciting addition to the standard gameplay loop: the ability to make each and every one of your cuddly animal villagers fight to the death. How’s that for innovative?
“We wanted to make Animal Crossing feel more like Pokemon, but like… the manga version of Pokemon, where they just fucking kill each other all the time. Look it up,” claimed the anonymous leaker and disgruntled junior developer Vick Michaels. “Most of the time, the fights are determined by the player, but every once in a while, you’ll be walking along and you’ll see Marshal just snap and rip Chief’s head off. Then he’ll ask you to bury the body for 200 bells. That’s all the money it takes to end a life.”
The leaked images (not shown here due to their disturbing content) seem to contain several animals engaging in a bloodsport referred to as MMA: Mutilating Murder Animals. In the most striking of these images, Lolly stands over a defeated and pleading Fauna—she looks up at Tom Nook, who sits far above, like a distant god, thumb turned downwards. The player stands by his side. Their eyes are cold and dead.
“I mean, you can still do all the regular AC things, so it doesn’t bother me much” commented forum user and K. K. Slider stan UGotBells. “I might delve into the bloodsport stuff after I finish paying off my house, or if one of the villagers pisses me off. Do you have any more details about the farming? I’m hyped for that.”
Overall, the reaction to the leaks seems to be largely positive; while fans are understandably surprised by the M rating, most agree that it’s a necessary sacrifice to keep things fresh. “Could you imagine if they just released the same game over and over again with minor tweaks and cosmetic updates? No franchise would be able to survive that level of repetition without blatantly exploiting the nostalgia of its fanbase,” remarked forum user NuzzlezUOWO. “That said, I wish they would let us make the animals fuck.”