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This is a "Wild Mass Guess" entry, where we pull out all the sanity stops on theorizing. The regular entry on this topic is elsewhere. Please see this programme note.
I Wanna Be the Guy
I Wanna Be the Guy

The programmer who made this game added a feature so that he can watch us fail repeatedly at his game.

And he laughs

The game is a Freudian coming-of-age tale.
This theory came up on the game's official forum, but the thread has been at least temporarily lost.

The idea is that the events of IWBTG take place entirely inside The Kid's imagination. In reality, he lives with his highly abusive father and copes with the pain by playing classic Nintendo games. Thus, these games form the backdrop of his imagined adventure in which he, equipped only with his very small gun (because he's just a kid and Freud Was Right), seeks to defeat his father and upgrade to a much larger gun, thus becoming The Guy (that is, a man) and leaving his tragic childhood behind.

Full theory here

  • <Kayin> IWBTG DEFINITELY has freudian themes though. I dunno about the rest though

The Kid, The Guy, And Grandfather The Guy are all the same person.
Upon defeating his "father", The Guy warped space and time to protect himself from anyone who might challenge his position. This also brought his past self into the battle; who made the same assumption that this was his father, and that his father killed "his" father. The Kid kills The Guy, who then becomes the Guy and is killed in retaliation by the Kid.
  • Alternatively, Grandfather The Guy killed The Guy's grandfather, and The Guy set about on his original quest to avenge his grandfather. Likewise, The Kid, after becoming The Guy, will see his kid try to kill him to become The Guy. In other words, it's an endless loop spread through countless generations of revenge and becoming The Guy.
    • Every time the game is played represents one such generation. The Guy even mentions he has more than one child. Everytime you die, that was a child who didn't make it. This family has a lot of kids.
      • This seems to be partially confirmed by the sequel "I Wanna Save The Kids", which is I Wanna Be The Guy plus Lemmings.
      • ...Now I really want to be The Guy. Think about it.

The game is actually a test.
Those who complete it will be drafted into the greatest army assembled to fight all sorts of monsters.
  • On impossible. That explains the tropers who've beat it not being abducted yet.
  • Anyone who can beat "I wanna be the guy" with sanity intact isn't gonna be phased by something as simple as Cthulu, after all.
    • Didn't some dude in the IWTBG forums said he beat it on impossible? What happened with him?
    • Or, it's all "Ender's Game" style, and every mistake we make, someone actually dies.
      • Hopefully the enemy. Because if our side was dumb enough to have troops die whenever someone loses IWBTG...
      • What bothers me is the idea that I've been fighting a war all this time...and I don't even know who either side is.
  • My...my God. That's just similar enough to the Ray Bradbury story "The Last Child Under the Mountain" (in which a video game is actually the government's missile launch system) to be plausible...
  • No no no, Camp Half-Blood created it to find demigods. Anyone who beats it on Impossible obviously has superhuman reflexes and is extremely obsessive.

The game is cursed.
Practically all of the Let's Players who tried to play this game either gave up partway through or stopped being a part of the Let's Play community shortly after completion. Obviously, there's something in the game's coding that saps away at the initiative and motivation of whoever plays it.
  • They're called giant cherries.
    • No, they're called Delicious Fruit.
  • Hey, who said you could post a plausible theory?
    • OBJECTION! There's at least one guy who LPed this game and made it through. It's not that hard to find on Youtube.
      • What he's specifically talking about are well-known LPers who, after completing the game, basically quit being well-known LPers. Two examples I can think of are Cloud8745 and UltraJMan, both of whom are on YouTube. Cloud8745 closed his YouTube account entirely, and UltraJMan, though still active on YouTube, lost a lot of his LPer clout. Long story short, both of them quit being classy not too long after playing this game.
      • UltraJMan also became very embittered with the LP community as a whole, essentially becoming a bane to both the YouTube and Something Awful LP communities. So, clearly, the game was created with a curse preventing anyone from trying to speedrun and/or LP it, lest their will be broken and they either vanish from the face of the internet or fall into Small Name, Big Ego madness.
    • Please Stop Let's Playing I Wanna Be - Thank you God! It stopped you! Look at that - the game doesn't even want you doing this!

The Guy is God
I just needed to do a Rage Against the Heavens plot. Also, TARDIS.

The game was made to discover the second coming of Jesus.
The first person to beat it on impossible, on their first try...

Every time The Kid gets killed, someone on earth dies in real life
Self-explainatory
  • If that was the case, I'd have been arrested for wiping out the entire population of South America.
    • Dear God! It's the video game equivalent of a Death Note!
      • It'd only be worse if every time we lost, an entire universe got destroyed a la Bokurano.
      • How do we know that DOESN'T happen?
  • Guys, Quick! Stop playing!
  • You know, in real life, people die of famine every three seconds or so in Africa.
    • Oh God that's depressing.
    • Technically, this theory holds true, since 1.8 people die every second anyway.

I Wanna Be the Guy takes place in the Homestarrunner 'verse, and Stinkoman is The Kid's sucessor.
Where else could such stupid stuff happen but in the Homestar Runner univirse? Anyway, The Kid remains as "The Guy" untill sometime around the year 20X6, when Stinkoman beats him and becomes the new "The Guy". Three reasons for this theory:
  • 1-Up says Stinkoman is "The Guy"
  • The town in the opening video looks suspiciously like a suburban version of "The Field"
  • Apparently names with "The" in them, (like The Guy, or The Cheat) are acceptable in this world

Oh, and The Kid beat The Guy at most, 8 years ago, since the game takes place in "200X".
  • It's 20X6. It doesn't mean 2016 specifically. it could be 2026 (18 years) or all the way up to 2096 (88 years).
    • Actually, it could be anywhere from 96 years (2000 and 2096) to one year (2005 and 2006) to Stinkoman actually predating The Kid as The Guy (2009 and 2006). Now, recall that Strong Bad does have a history for being a giant floaty head that shoots things out of his eyes at you...
    • Or 20106... truly "twenty-xty-six."
  • Don't forget that Stinkoman calls 1-Up "just a kid". Hmm... 1-Up? The next The Guy? Hmmmm...
  • That must be his plan - the line quoted above runs in full "You're The Guy, Stinkoman. I Wanna Be the Guy too!" When 1-up makes his move, Stinkoman will have to kill him, or die.

The events of Bowser's Inside Story took place during Bowser's time as the Guy
All Guys are Badass, and let's face it, you've never seen him so Badass before or since this game (Well, also Super Mario Galaxy and Super Smash Bros., but that's a whole other story).

There will be a sequel made called I Wanna Be the Girl.
The game will be a parody of all the stereotypical girl-centered games made in gaming's history. And the ending will reveal that the "girl" in the title is actually The Kid from IWBTG as a crossdresser or Depraved Bisexual.

The game leads you to another planet.
There's no way this cannot be possible.

Stinkoman was The Kid.
Self Explanatory.

The Kid is Zombie!!!
Explains why he explodes into chunks.

This game was designed to convert people to Buddhism
Works partway with "the game is cursed" above. When people have been angered and enraged to the point of tears, they eventually stop feeling angry and enter a state of Zen, wherein they start doing very well.

  • OR it leads people to become really really angry, leading their minds to become full of chaos and destruction that they reach Reverse Nirvana, like Axel from Ansem Retort.

    • Yes Just, YES.
The Kid is made out of TNT and tomato sauce
How else do you explain the explosions of gore?

The Guy is Kira
Every time you die, he's actually just written your name in the Death Note. This explains how fruit can kill you: It's all just one big coincidence! The reason you explode upon death is because The Guy went for a more extreme heart attack.

The Guy is Epic Fail Guy

Look at how many times you die in this game. What does EFG do? Fail at things horribly, and occasionally harm himself. The position of Epic Fail Guy should need someone who can't take five steps without exploding, but also someone with rapid healing abilities.

IWBTG is The Game given form

Yes, the same game you just lost.

The Guy is Arthur Dent

And The Kid is Aggrajag.

Each new The Guy makes new levels to guard against folks who wanna be The Guy.
At the time this new The Guy is overthrown, Wuss level will be called Hard.

The title of "The Guy" actually has purpose.
Why do you think that the levels in IWBTG are so hard? Obviously the Guy is trying to stop you from killing him, but how could he possibly have built all that stuff? Simple. Being "The Guy" gives you the power to create levels. The next game "I Wanna Be The Guy forever" will be a level editor designed to kill other players in order to stop them from killing you as the final boss.

The Kid is an Anti Anti Christ, and The Guy is Satan
The Guy is The Kid's father, and the levels certainly put the player through Hell, to say nothing of how The Kid must feel running and jumping through them. That kind of hellish level design can only be from the mind of Satan. And because of their relationship, that would mean that The Kid is trying to conquer Hell from his father. In a twist, though, whoever becomes The Guy has his will bent to be Satan's (as the current Guy's will after beating his predecessor Grandfather The Guy), meaning that once The Kid wins, he becomes Satan. The truly happy ending comes when that last Delicious Fruit kills The New Guy, and therefore Satan is dead. Or trapped in a giant cherry and unable to do anything but sit there, either way.

The Kid has an Omega-13 implanted in his body somewhere.
It activates automatically if he is killed.

The Kid did kill his father and become The Guy while he was alive, but was corrupted by the power. When he died, killed by whoever wanted to be The Guy, he went to purgatory. The Kid is a representation of his younger, innocent self, fighting against the corruption and evil that had manifested within him. That's why the game's so hard- he was really damn evil by the end of his life. The bosses represent different aspects of his evil. Mike Tyson represents his brutal facet, Mecha Birdo represents his love of destroying things on a large scale (I mean, come on, it shoots warheads), Dracula represents the scheming mastermind facet, etc. The Delicious Fruit also has some significance- each one represents one of his sins. At the end of the game, The Kid fights The Guy and realizes that he had become just like his father while he was alive. Once he defeats the combination of his father/ himself, he gains his salvation in the form of a bigger gun. From that point, depending on what ending you get, the ending is either hopeful or sad. If you made it past the last Delicious Fruit, The Kid ascended to heaven. If you did not, it shows that even at the gates of salvation, he was brought down by his sin and will be forced to repeat the horrible quest over and over for eternity, always getting close to salvation but failing in the end.

The six secret items make some sort of weapon.
Because all six items are conveniently placed next to each other in the 'Room of Divine Teleportation' when collected, you can see that they all look very mechanical and similar. When the game is finally finished, you can assemble the pieces and make a weapon to kill The Guy easily.
  • But before you can use it, The Guy will steal it and become even more powerful. Because IWBTG including a way to make the final boss easy is too implausible even for WMG.

Bowser, Wart and Dr. Wily are in the same carpool

The Kid is a Child Soldier Proud Warrior Race Guy who died in battle and is in Warrior Heaven. The Guy is the most powerful of said race in said afterlife.
It makes sense. No matter how many times you die (which is a lot of times) you come back with only progress lost, because you're already dead. Every screen contains either death traps or massively powerful enemies, things a Proud Warrior Race Guy would love to get through. Defeating The Guy means you become The Guy, because you've proven you're better than he is.

I Wanna Be The Guy's creator is Hazama.
The first and most obvious piece of evidence is the heavy usage of Guilty Gear music. (Guilty Gear being BlazBlue's Spiritual Predecessor) The second piece of evidence is that you can die during the credits, sort of like how even if you defeat Hazama, you basically get a Downer Ending. The third piece of evidence is The Kid's use of a gun, and that the game itself is very much like Mind Rape. How do you think he really Mind Raped Noel? By making her play this game! After all that was done, he released the game to the public for shits and giggles.
  • So would he have made this in his spare time? Though it seems like he would have been too busy messing around with Relius and not having a body to make this.
    • It only took him 1/480000 of a second to invade Takamagahara so he could bring it down with a computer virus. I daresay putting a game like this together is within his capacity, especially if he and Relius found some way to transfer completion data from time loop to time loop whenever Hazama actually had a body.

IWBTG is the game version of Captain N: The Game Master.
Kid Hero with a gun who hangs out with video game characters? Check. Stretching video game logic to extremes? Check. Said Kid Hero has fought the likes of Dracula, Dr. Wily and Mother Brain? Check. Disliked by Link? Check!

The Kid is in love with Ramona Flowers
  • The reason he has to kill The Guy as well as every former The Guy is because The Guy and his predecessors are all Ramona's Evil Exes. The Kid needs to kill all of these The Guys in order to date Ramona.
    • Also, the title of The Guy is given to whoever last dated Ramona Flowers.
    • Wow, Ramona is into some weird shit.
      • Does that mean that The Kid will have to kill Scott Pilgrim eventually?

The Kid will be in the next Dissidia.
  • Because, after becoming The Guy, beating up Sephiroth and Chaos should be easy (also amusing).

In-universe, all the fangames are the product of Lord of Games' bidding

The story didn't end after The Kid defeated The Guy. Then came I Wanna Be The Fangame and the threat of Sticky Keys loomed near. The Kid, now the new The Guy, finds himself responsible to keep his new domain safe. And then came another fangame, and another, and another and another, each one forcing the kid through hell once again, even in games he didn't belong. The Lord of Games, clearly saw The Kid's ventures were popular and wasn't planning on giving him a break any time soon and kept inventing new , inventive ways to deliver a challenge to the gamers at the cost of The Kid's welfare.

It makes sense that L.O.G. created I Wanna Be The Guy when bored and as a kind of deranged joke to piss people off. He wanted it done quickly so he threw content from his other creations into the mix along with few original content. He didn't expect it to be popular , but after he found out people liked it, he went off to create more sequels to the game, not caring wether the kid wanted to keep going or not.

Put yourself in the Kid's shoes now, after conquering the worst obstacles , defeating The Guy and accomplishing your life's dream you'd expect it much easier from now on. Guess again, trouble keeps coming your way, and no matter how many times you succeed, more painful obstacles will always await you. And the worst thing is, you have infinite lives. If I was The Kid, I'd be pissed at whoever is putting me through this crap, and who is doing that now in the world of videogames? Lord Of Games!

Eventually The Kid will snap and go on a Rage Against the Heavens. Lord of games will then throw the worst he has at him and their final confrontation will shake the foundations of the vidogame universe.

The Kid is Sir Isaac Newton
There was a myth that Sir Isaac Newton discovered gravity by watching an apple fall from a tree. This would explain why cherries fall up and kill The Kid.
Every single room is the same room rearranged.
Each time you get to another room, you're teleported to where you would be when you et into the "new" room.
  • What's the whole point of this WMG? It's not as uncommon as you'd think.

The entire game is an allegory for the hardships and social consequences of undergoing a sex-change operation.

    Let's take an unnecessarily analytical look at this game. 

You see, the game is called I Wanna Be The Guy, in which The Kid is engaging on a long quest to become The Guy. Nonsense excuse plot? No, an overarching laconic description of the plot. From the very beginning, we have The Kid. Maybe something of a boyish young girl, sorta fancies herself as a superhero a little judging from the cape. She has a thought, something that's been running through her head a little one morning in her room. Maybe she wasn't meant to be a female, where the world objectifies what she should be. The way she acts, the hobbies she has, she always felt more manly than anything...and maybe she could embrace it more, maybe from today on go out there and really make a man of herself...

BLAM. The walls fly out and slam her in the face, as if to say that even her room doesn't approve of this. She's a woman and she better damn well act like one now! But The Kid has more determination than this. She knows she believes so strongly in her wish that one little bedroom won't stop her. She will show to the world that she indeed carries the power of supreme manliness.

Now. The difficulty level is most obviously shown on Medium, where The Kid seems to maybe hide it a little, wears a bow and thus has more friends in the form of save points, who don't really take her that seriously, just play along. But with increase in manly hopes and desires, the harder the world is on The Kid, until as she acts as male as she can, and nobody seems to be on her side, it truly is an Impossible act, and only with the utmost dedication to her goal will she even earn a single friend at the end of the long, harsh road.

But anyway. The Kid heads out to start her day, but...it seems the world is truly actively against her. With every step, someone else is out to mock her, to set her back. The cherries on the trees defy gravity for the sole purpose of slapping her in the face to tell her that she's meant to be a fruitful woman, that in the transition to manhood she'll lose that which gives her fertility. But still she presses on. Still she believes in her goal.

But then, solely to set her back...comes Mike Tyson. The bosses here represent major events and obstacles to The Kid's quest, just as they do in video games. Overcome them, and the next part of her goal is in sight. Mike Tyson is emblematic of what a Manly Man is supposed to be, big and tough and burly, while The Kid is just a little shrimpy girl. She can't be a man, she's too light and delicate, clearly. And this indeed poses something of a classically difficult problem, something widely seen as something unsolvable (i.e. Mike Tyson widely seen as a legendarily impossible boss in Punch-Out)- can she really be shaped into a man? YES SHE CAN. She believes in herself, she knows she carries the manly spirit in her heart. So what if she's not huge and burly? She knows what she is inside, she doesn't need to superficially be some manly macho man to become one at heart. She triumphs over this obstacle easily, showing that, while it looks imposing at first, all it takes is a simple change of mindset, and it then becomes far easier (similarly, Mike Tyson may intimidate those from his status, but he's really an incredibly easy boss in the game).

But despite this, it only gets more difficult for our heroine. She finds herself taking more leaps of faith, people offering to help her only to stab her in the back, and the world growing more and more hostile. Yet still she hangs on, still she trudges forward in her path. Yet soon she finds herself against something that tries to turn her very thoughts on her head...Mecha Birdo. This is clearly something shoved in her face telling her how sex changes work out for the opposite gender. Birdo is an unnerving sight to many, a man in bows and speaking ladylike and trying desperately to convince others of his femininity. And Mecha Birdo is him following through, speaking to the kid that she won't be alive anymore, that the meaning of her life is to make more living beings in the world, to protect and make use of her fertility. And even if she tries to go along with what she becomes, something will always be off (relevant to how Mecha Birdo is an edited Birdo sprite instead of using Robirdo from the same game), and her even pretending to still inspire life into the world will just be harmful to all (the eggs are like missiles you know). Can she really be worthwhile when now deprived of an essential meaning to existence? YES SHE CAN. She has goals beyond having children and all that hooplah. She is worth more than her gender. She has the heart of a manly warrior, and she knows that her decision is what's right, for both her and the rest of the world. She triumphs once more, showing that these ideas of something being "wrong" with defying gender are meaningless, that it's a matter of the heart and not of birth.

The world seems fit to tell her once more that she is an anomaly that must be corrected, as it goes from night to day then back to night in the span of minutes, the world growing light where it should be dark, safe where it should be dangerous, and all the opposites. She looks for a path, searches with all the wits she has...and comes across an imposing figure, a legend of beasts even in our world: Dracula himself. He imposes, commands, wields great power...and poses the most important question of all: What is a man? Or more significantly in that context, what is so great about being a man? They cheat, they steal, they violate, they destroy, they enslave, they judge, they harm, they decieve, they ignore, they neglect, they fight, they make all the problems in the world. They demand that they are the superior gender, they unfairly seize power and refuse it to women, and proceed to abuse that power, serve it only to their own ends to wage war and grasp land, not make peace and spread love. They commit all the atrocities, yet still insist they have more right, still declare it is their world even if they are only half of its humanity. Why should The Kid join those legions of wrongdoers and bigots, the ones who are the reason she feels inferior as a woman, the ones who say that how she acts isn't correct, the ones who pound into her head the idea that she needs to act certain ways? If she becomes a man, can she truly resist all the oppression they carry? YES SHE CAN. She knows all these wrongs, but is quick to point out that women are not exempt either, that to judge peoples potential for sin based on their gender is a fallacy. Neither gender inherently has a greater potential for good or evil...and even if Dracula was right, wouldn't that mean The Kid can change that? She knows what it's like to be a woman, and she'll soon know what it's like to be a man, and she would strive to fix what imbalance of gender there exists in the world. She counters Dracula's cool, intelligent banter with logical, righteous statements of her own, cutting him down to size until he's just a pathetic little blob, something that can no longer attack her anymore.

The Kid's journey continues, slowly descending into a night...a night brought on by her own thoughts and dreams...her fears as well. These soon manifest right before her, with the hulking form of Kraidgief. Despite her ambition, she still harbors doubts, and there they stand looming above her. This is the epitome of all that can go wrong, the male spirit at its most primal and feral...and she worries that if she goes through with her dream, that deep inside this is what she will be, this gigantic, beast-like creature that never once seems natural in activity. But...she knows she's stronger than that. She knows society exists to keep this in check, she knows what woman remains in her could help balance this out, she knows she's better than this. With that, Kraidgief falls, but her mind's hold on events continue...

Deep in the distance, there, something wrong-looking, yet so familiar...it is herself. Her own mind. Mother Brain, in short. She can't see it clearly enough. It rejects her from coming, as though it wants her to stay away...as though it doesn't want her thinking about her own mind. Yet she valiantly approaches, and wonders...is there something wrong with the way she thinks? Is she pursuing this goal because she is indeed an anomaly? No. She's not normal, for sure. But that only means she is a leader, that she carves her own path and makes the world for herself. She refuses to accept this vision of herself, no, she actively fights it, and continues trudging ownward...

Yet one more hurdle for her to cross...Bowser, a being that worries The Kid as to its presence. It's in the wrong place in the world, a sudden jarring sight for the area (after all, the prior area was Mega Man themed). And it grows even more distorted, Wart doesn't belong in the Clown Car, and neither of them belong in that stage. Will The Kid belong if she pursues her dream? Or will she be seen as an outcast, and even among those she would find solace in, will there still be strife? ...But she has stronger will than that. While she will still be an oddity in the world...a part of her can still belong. Hence Wily's appearance, and even if in the wrong vehicle, it still feels right to an extent (because it totally is the little thing Wily rides around in).

The Kid knows her way. She knows what she must do. So she heads off to accomplish her goal with all those senseless fears out of the way. No arbitrary barriers block her path. The end is in sight. Her goal is right there. The world still throws things at her, gives her legendary figures, saying that only these can be Guys...only these can be men...but by now The Kid doesn't care. She will not duel with these people. They are just hurdles, just minor roadblocks on the path to the end. And at the very end, the only way to become The Guy she always dreamed of...is through her father. A truly, truly climactic battle for our Kid, her family being the last obstacle to her road. Her father refuses to let her do what she intends, he will stop at nothing until she ceases her futile dream. Oh sure, The Kid can keep going...but in her process, ostracize her family, make them enemies to her. But you know what? If the people she's supposed to love and trust won't agree with her hopes, then they're dead to her as well. She knows she's never been a girl, she knows her blood boils with manly spirit...and with her father blown aside...she finally reaches her dream.

The Kid is a Time Lord.
Because he keeps dying and reviving. The Guy has his son's TARDIS, and The Kid is going to get it.
  • Does this mean that Mario, Link, and everyone else who appears in a video game where you get multiple lives are timelords as well?

A new fashion of Hair Decs for men appeared within weeks of The Kid's triumph.
He was now The Guy, so imitators became common.

The game is a metaphor for puberty.
Your main character is named "the kid", and the goal of the game is to stop being "the kid" and become "the guy". In order to do so, you gotta go through a lot of challenges. Explain this, and the WMG just writes itself.

The Kid is Kenny.
How else would he keep coming back from all those gruesome deaths?
Irisu SyndromeWMG/Video GamesJade Empire

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