In this universe, are video game developers aware that they're creating actual living beings, with human emotions and needs, every time they finish making a game? It seems like something the developers would discover immediately. It's the same issue this troper has with Toy Story. Do the toy factories know that they are essentially creating life?
I would assume not, if you use Toy Story's logic to explain this. The toys make sure they are not seen doing things; I guess video game characters more or less do the same thing in this universe. As to why this has not been explained in either work, it might be for the best.
This would also explain why the King is so surprised about Ralph game-jumping. It's most likely a written rule for any video game character.
This is also the point where he realizes he's not alone and Ralph may actually pose a threat to him.
Video game characters can be seen doing things by themselves during the time when the Arcade is open. It is called Attract Mode.
Its unlikely that it's a written rule. They call game-jumping going Turbo. Surely Turbo wasn't the first character to do it but he's the first to get his game and another game unplugged. They certainly don't seem to be concerned at all about Q-Bert and the gang deciding to take up residence in Wreck it Ralph at the end of the film. I suspect that in the Wreck it Ralph universe cross overs like Capcom vs whatever and Battletoads and Double Dragon started off as a couple of guys who simply forgot to get home before the arcade opened.
Or there's (at least) two copies of every character in a fighting game that allows Mirror Matches, one for each possible appearance. There has to be a sprite/model for every appearance (even if it's just a palette swap), so maybe the "alternate" look(s) are considered clones of the "main" look.
To explain it better, picture a Donkey Kong and a Mario Brothers arcade game. While Donkey Kong is a two-player game, it's an alternating one. Which means there only needs to be one "Jumpman" and one "Donkey Kong" in the game. In the case of Mario Brothers, there can be two players at the same time, so there has to be two separate sprites (even though, in this particular case, Luigi, or Player 2, is just a palette swap of Mario, or Player 1). Different sprites equals different characters.
It may also be that there's an actual mirror that gets set up.
Do we know who the publisher(s) of Sugar Rush and Hero's Duty are?
Sugar Rush's developer is Tobikomi, the same as Fix-It Felix Jr. The developer for Hero's Duty is unknown.
Why doesn't anybody know of a place where bad guys can win medals? Lets assume that this Bowser has never go-karted, played tennis, gone golfing or been to the Olympics. Zangief is a bad guy who comes from a game where the bad guy can win. So does Kano.
There are games where you play as the villains; Ralph even has his own game for various Nintendo systems post-movie.
These characters are from the ARCADE.
If Q*bert and his enemies/friends want food, why didn't they just go into Sugar Rush?
Would you want to eat something you just walked on?
Presumably the Surge Protector doesn't allow them to visit any other games, cruel bureaucrat he is.
Think about what Sugar Rush would look like, if just anybody could walk in and start eating the landscape.
Lack of nutritional value?
What happened to all the racers from Road Blasters or the other drivers from Turbo Time? Wouldn't they have evacuated and thus been homeless in the Grand Central Station?
The unplugging of those games and their subsequent carting out of the arcade might be why getting unplugged is treated like Doomsday. Before then being unplugged due to crashing might not have ever happened in the characters' experience so they saw no reason to evacuate.
The opening montage of Litwak's arcade shows that TurboTime was one of the first games to get unplugged. Since it and RoadBlasters were unplugged simultaneously, that means they were the first unpluggings the game characters ever witnessed and might not have known the people inside the games would get annihilated along with them. Or that they knew they'd be gone but thought they'd come back, as the out-of-order notice says to check back later.
Alternatively: they are there, but we just don't see them. Keep in mind that we have no idea how big the GCS is. There may be several locations within it that we never got to see. And that's not even including places in other games that players never see, like Tappers backstage area, Fix-It Felix Jr.'s junkyard, Sugar Rush's Diet Cola volcano, etc. There could be dozens of homeless characters out there, just off screen.
How did we go from Moppet Girl's second game of the day to the arcade closing all of a sudden? We can assume that Litwak's Arcade opens for more than a few minutes at a time, yes? So what happened during all those business hours we skipped over in a single scene transition, before Felix entered Hero's Duty? It may be believed that Felix decided to wait all day to see if Ralph would return on his own before leaving to search for him, and just maybe it took hours for Ralph to scale the Infected Tower... But shouldn't someone have realized that the real Markowski was still back at Tapper's before very long? That should have tipped off the Space Marines as to what Ralph had done long before Felix arrived and informed the unsuspecting Sergeant. About the only way this seems to make any sense is if Markowski slept the whole day straight or didn't make enough commotion to get the attention of an off-duty character in Tapper to let him out, and if either nobody in Hero's Duty cared that there was a team member missing from their formation the rest of the day (or does it have a rotating roster like Sugar Rush?), or Ralph continued to act out Markowski's part in all subsequent games despite the great risk to himself.
Markowski seems to be the local idiot - since him not being there obviously didn't affect the game play the way Ralph's absence does, Calhoun and the Marines probably treated it as, "Markowski's gone, but they can still play the game, we'll finish the day and deal with finding him later."
If a game appears to glitch out, as happened to RoadBlasters and appeared to happen to Fix-It Felix Jr.... wouldn't the first move be to reboot the machine and see if a fresh start fixes things? Especially with an older machine like Felix's? Why leave it on, only to unplug it in morning, without even trying to reboot?
Well, we never really see the exact procedure that Litwak/the repairmen he brings in go through to try and fix the games. Presumably that would help if there was a simpler/more natural problem, but it might not do much considering the problems that would cause those games to go out of order would be a missing object that is vital to the game's normal execution (Fix-It Felix Jr./Turbotime) or the presence of foreign, malicious code (RoadBlasters). Because of the way things seem to work in the movie's universe, rebooting the machine probably wouldn't create a fresh "copy" of Ralph/Turbo unless they had returned to the game by then.
How many Urban Legends of Zelda were spawned by the events of the movie, anyway? The glitchy crossover between Roadblasters and Turbo Time, Hero's Duty's secret fourth-wall breaking cutscene, King Candy and Vanellope's teleport glitch in Sugar Rush, and Fix-It Felix Jr.'s secret crossover bonus level are all things that wouldn't exist in any other arcade in the world, so when people told their friends about it, it'd make for some interesting rumors.
It's probably a well-known phenomenon in the movie's universe that multiple arcade machines running long enough in close proximity start to display unusual behavior after a while. I bet it has its own Wikipedia page with a list of examples and everything. Probably also why it's apparently standard practice to wait a day and see if the problem fixes itself instead of restarting it.
TvTropes' WMG pages are much more busy in that universe.
They may not be Urban Legends. They may very well be normal parts of life in that universe. We know between Turbo and his behavior being seen as bad mostly because it got two games shut down, not because he was someplace he didn't belong and the ending with Q*bert's game that it wouldn't surprise me in the least to find out games like Capcom Vs. started out with an arcade that had the cross over, it becoming popular, the designers intentionally making a Capcom Vs. game.
Ralph tries to make all the Mentos fall into Diet Cola Mountain to set up a beacon. He says one more slam should do it. Then Cybug!Turbo shows up and keeps him from doing it. Ok, but Cybug!Turbo is slamming them pretty hard. Shouldn't that have made them fall in?
Here's one: After Ralph breaks free from Cybug!Turbo's grip and launches himself into his Heroic Sacrifice, why didn't Cybug!Turbo stop him? Was he not aware of what Ralph was trying to do?
Probably not. He's a crazed, murderous (with sadistic tendencies thanks to Turbo's personality) cy-bug now. He probably just thought, "Well, he made that easy."
Turbo had been a Cy-Bug for, what, ten minutes at that point? Even if he understood that Ralph wanted to collapse the Mentos, he wouldn't have known why. He didn't know about what happens when Cy-Bugs see a beacon — when the inevitable occurs, he even shouts, "You fools! Why are you going into the light — "
Ralph is trying to cause specific damage, Turbo isn't. Ralph probably means that one more of his own slams into the Mentos will do the trick, not just any slam.
Moppet Girl seems to be familiar with the arcade— she calls Mr. Litwak over by name, remarks that Fix-It Felix Jr. is a game she enjoys and even appears in the Imagine Spot when King Candy is telling Ralph that it's unsafe for Vanellope to race. So why does she react to the fifteen-year-old Sugar Rush as though she's never seen it before?
Just because the game is 15 years old, doesn't mean Litwak's has had it for 15 years.
Why was the final fight between Ralph and Cybug!King Candy so short? And why did Cybug!King Candy just want to pick Ralph up off the volcano? (He has no idea about the bonus level, btw.)
The fight was short because it was a Curb-Stomp Battle. As for why Candy just picked up Ralph rather than killing him, it's so they could both watch Vanellope die. He even says so: "Let's watch her die together, shall we?"
It was short 'cause Ralph wasn't even fighting back. He was trying to bring the Mentos down before the Cy-bugs ate everybody, so he didn't have the time to trade blows with Candy, even if he wanted to. If you look closely, every punch Ralph throws is aimed at the battlefield, not Candy. Maybe Candy realized he was punching the ground for a reason (even if he didn't know what reason) and pulled him up so he wasn't able to, then noticed Van about to die, which is where "let's watch her die" came in.
Maybe it would end this way. But the first levels of an arcade are usually the easiest ones, so by the time the villain won, they would have lost several times.
And the bigger deal isn't that the villain never wins, it's that the villain (specifically, Ralph) is treated like slime and gets no respect for the work he does despite being the second most vital (if not THE most vital) aspect of the game. As is proven when Ralph "goes Turbo," no Ralph means no gameplay.
How would laserdisc games with live actors (like Mad Dog Mc Cree) exist in this universe? Do they inhabit GCS with the other characters?
What happens to the audience in sports and fighting games when the arcade closes? Do they "go home"?
Here's one that's been bugging me. I get the whole thing about dying outside your game killing you, but why is this an issue for Ralph? Ralph shouldn't be able to die, he is never killed in his game! He's thrown off the roof into a mud puddle. Felix doesn't kill him. In fact this shouldn't be an issue for a lot of characters. Protagonists, sure. Mario, Sonic, Felix, but quite a few of these characters wouldn't have a death animation in their code. Nobody dies in kart racers, nobody dies in Street Fighter (Mortal Kombat is a different story), the ghosts in Pac-Man are already dead.
It has nothing to do with whether or not you can die in your own game.
My point is they shouldn't (wouldn't even) actually physically be able to die, like Jack Harkness in Doctor Who. They weren't given the ability to die in their code or creation. No death sprites, no death animations, none of that. They were created without the ability to die at all. Not Ralph, or the racers, or anyone from the Street Fighter guys...any character who doesn't die in his native game shouldn't be able to die at all. And before someone points out this means Turbo shouldn't die, we don't know if death was possible in Turbo Time or not. Some racing/car games do have that ability.
And my point is your theory just plain does not fit with the stated rules of the setting. Whether or not you think he should be able to die is irrelevant—according to the setting, he can. The movie is just plain not using the same logic you're coming from.
Actually the rules are wildly inconsistent. Double-stripe tree branches seem to vanish whenever it's convenient for them, Turbo somehow doesn't die (outside of his game so it would be permanent no less) when he car is T-Boned in Road Blasters, Sonic is hit and loses his rings in the surge protector and doesn't die (even though there's no reason that should work outside of his game), Felix dies from falling ceiling tiles in one scene, yet survives being right next to a frag blowing him up (and into the marines) in Hero's Duty and being kicked a good 20 feet away by Calhoun (which would have hit him harder than the ceiling tiles). The rules of the setting are actually not very consistent at all. It would actually make more sense if the characters mentioned above were immortal; if you're not programmed to die, you can't die.
The rules are plenty consistent—a car accident is not automatically fatal. Sonic doesn't die if he has rings. Felix dies because debris falling on him is, in that game, an instantly fatal injury, while in Hero's Duty, apparently grenades are not automatic kills. By your interpretation, Ralph also shouldn't have been able to ride on Vanellope's kart (there's no kart riding sprites of Ralph), while Felix would have been incapable of riding Calhoun's hoverboard. In fact, going by the 'character can't do anything they're not programmed and sprited for in their home game' interpretation, nothing in the entire plot would have ever happened.