Follow TV Tropes


Furry Confusion / Video Games

Go To

  • Sonic the Hedgehog has quite a bit of this. Some of it is What Measure Is a Non-Cute?; some of it is just weird.
    • In the original games, the main characters are anthropomorphic animals (albeit oddly colored) who save smaller, less anthropomorphic animals from the clutches of Dr. Ivo "Eggman" Robotnik. This is especially weird in the Sonic Adventure games, where the playable characters can actually collect the non-anthropomorphs and give them to the Virtual Pet-like Chao. In this game, the animal friends are treated as Nearly Normal Animals instead of Partially Civilized Animals like in previous titles.
    • Advertisement:
    • Some of the animals that can be rescued in Sonic Adventure include ordinary, non-anthropomorphic bats, rabbits, and swallows. Rouge, Cream, and Wave are respectively, an anthropomorphic bat, rabbit, and swallow. And while those characters hadn't been introduced until later games, the remake of Sonic Adventure has Cream make a few small cameos, with the animal list unchanged.
    • Sonic Adventure 2 takes the cake, as it has three different kinds of bats: the anthropomorphic Rouge (who is in fact more anthropomorphic than other characters), the cartoonish bats that are freed by killing Robotnik's robots, and actual real-life bats flying around in the level "Death Chamber".
    • In the games, the western animated cartoon series, and the comics based on them, Sonic's favorite food is chili dogs. One can only wonder where does the meat come from.
    • Advertisement:
    • In Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood, there are non anthropomorphic animals that are common enemies. They include wasps, armadillos, boars, hawks, and millipedes. Note that threenote  of these species are also the species of members of the cast.
    • In the Lost Jungle level of Sonic Heroes, you can encounter a giant non-anthropomorphic crocodile. If you play as Team Chaotix, one of your characters is Vector, an anthropomorphic crocodile. If you play Lost Jungle as Team Chaotix, you take an alternate route where you do not run into the giant crocodile. This may be a weak effort to avoid Furry Confusion.
    • In Sonic and the Black Knight, some of the items you can identify include bat's fangs and rabbit's tails. It makes one wonder where Rouge and Cream were during the adventures of the Small Critters of the Round Table...
    • Advertisement:
    • In Sonic Unleashed, non-anthro seagulls and pigeons can be seen. Non-anthro seagulls have also been seen in Sonic Adventure and Sonic Rush Adventure.
    • Parodied in a skit from the Sonic Shorts series of fan-made skits. Sonic and his friends, who are all staying at the Thorndyke residence, are fed different kinds of foods, all of which apply to the diets that their species have in real life. Knuckles is given non-anthro (but still talking) ants, and Tails is given a non-anthro, cooked rabbit. Cream, who is sitting next to Tails at the time, starts crying, and runs out of the room.
      • Parodied in yet another Sonic fan video, where a non-anthro hedgehog approaches Sonic with another non-anthro hedgehog who was run over by a car. The living non-anthro says to Sonic, "Avenge him, Sonic! Avenge your brethren's death!"
      • Also parodied in Brawl in the Family, here.
  • Super Smash Bros. feature anthropomorphic characters fighting animals that are cartoony at best. Granted, they're all from different video games, but it still feels kind of weird. Lampshaded by Wolf's Super Smash Bros. Ultimate character video where he, an anthropomorphic wolf, plays fetch with the Duck Hunt dog, a... dog.
  • Tauren (Minotaurs) in World of Warcraft are able to raise horses, pigs... and cattle.
    Male Blood Elf: We're allied with the Tauren? Fantastic, we'll be having steak twice a week!
    • While there are certainly non-anthropomorphic cattle livestock in the game, the Tauren don't keep any. Tauren do, however, raise Kodo, which are kind of like rhinoceri. Cows raising animals as mounts, meat and milk producers has to be even more bizarre than if they were just raising cows.
    • A Tauren Pirate (yes, he's as awesome as he sounds) has a price put on his head, and invokes the trope by sending a cow's head in place of his own. Seahorn suggests most Tauren are offended by people pointing out the similarity, while he finds it amusing.
  • The Sly Cooper series of games takes place in a universe populated almost entirely by anthropomorphic animals. However, the second game features "real" bears and elephants, and the third game contains a "real" wolf. In both cases, the protagonists have to take advantage of their normal animal behavior.
    • A boss in the first game was an anthropomorphic alligator named Mz. Ruby. In the third game, there's a task that involves a non-anthropomorphic alligator and the team never questions this.
    • In Sly 2, Murray needs a disguise to enter an RC Combat match, so he puts on a stuffed moose head . . . that looks just like all the moose people walking around the building.
      • Also in Sly 2, the guards in Episode 1 are anthro rats, but in one of the missions in Episode 2, non-anthro rats are mentioned as scurrying away and scaring the elephants when you crawl into an area.
  • Perfect World features the Untamed, whose men are Anthros and whose women are Humanoid Female Animals and capable of physically turning into a tiger and fox, respectively. The God of the Perfect World is also an Anthro Panda. Despite this, the Untamed raise pet cats, hens, and dogs. Even more strangely, there are (things that look like) pack animals that are apparently sapient and have their own complex language — and these pack animals can pick up English if they travel enough, and most do. It gets even more bizarre when anthro and communicative monsters drop valuable types of Meat.
  • Animal Crossing:
    • There are a few frogs and octopi among the various anthropomorphic animals who can move into your village, yet you can also catch non-anthro frogs and octopi while fishing. It gets more than a little unsettling when one of your neighbors asks you go catch a member of his or her own species... then keeps it in a tank in their home, or worse, eats it once you present it to them. Not to mention the caged-bird furniture item, that your bird friends will graciously accept and display in their house. There's also a hamster cage, which hamster friends are fine with having in their homes, and a doghouse for dog villagers.
    • Kate Tiedrich plays with this in Awkward Zombie.
    • As does Matthew Taranto in Brawl in the Family (again).note 
    • In Wild World and New Leaf, one of the hats you can wear is the "cow bone" - a bovine skull, complete with horns. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to visit my cow/bull neighbor.
    • In some games, it's actually possible for a cow villager to give you a cow skull as a present.
    • In New Leaf villagers will occasionally ask what kind of pet you think they'd like or what kind of animal you think they are most like. The species they actually are is a selectable option for both questions. The other options are species based on [NPC] characters.
  • In the Breath of Fire games, your entire party by and large consists of full anthros, yet no one complains or even seems to think about it when you happily mow down, hunt, or fish their mundane, quadrupedal or legless counterparts, or use and abuse pack animals and pets. (Well, there is one scene in Breath of Fire II where your dogman friend objects to a pig being cooked, but that's because he was being paid to retrieve it...)
    • Partially lampshaded in IV, at least per the artbook.note  It's still squicky in a totemic sense, though.
  • Pokémon:
    • Pretty much all of the animals are replaced with Pokémon. Fish and insects have appeared (despite there being an entire type devoted to bug Pokémon), and there are allusions to animals like dogs.
    • Really, the confusion isn't so much non-Pokemon dogs appearing with Pokemon ones, but more of "if all animals (and many non-animals) are Pokemon then where are the myriad insects integral to decomposition?" and similar questions since what with the smallest Pokemon still being about 4 inches, many important roles in an ecosystem must be carried out by something that isn't a Pokemon, despite there not being much reference if any to non-Pokemon animals. Another group of non-Pokémon animals that are referenced are non-Pokemon fish.
    • Animals do get referenced several times but they never appear within the games. References to real animals mostly occurred during Gen I, but as the series experienced Earth Drift, these references became almost non-existent. In the Alola games, markets clearly sell meat but they're never clarified as animal or Pokémon meat.
    • Thanks to Grass-type Pokémon, you can even run into Plant Confusion. Granted, some just resemble animals that have plant-like pieces — there are real-world animals like that (for mimicry purposes). But think about it when you harvest a berry tree and give one of those berries to an ambulatory coconut tree... Yeah, that's weird.
    • Another bit of confusion is the fact that a fair number of Pokémon are very human-like, as in they're clearly based on people. But at the same time, they're trained and behave much like other Pokémon. Lucario is probably the most notable example. In its debut appearance (in Pokémon: Lucario and the Mystery of Mew) it was depicted as an equal partner to a human, capable of speech, and extremely intelligent. In the games and the later anime seasons, however, it's treated basically like any other Pokemon.
  • How about Leafy Confusion? The WiiWare game Bonsai Barber has a cast made up of giant sentient fruits and vegetables (and a cactus), but while a number of the characters are fruit, they can also grow fruit (apples) on their branches as well. To make matters weirder, you also have in your shop, in a position of prominent display, an ordinary potted plant "named" Prunella.
  • Neatly averted in Beyond Good & Evil. There are goat-people, shark-people, rhinoceros-people, et cetera, but your camera explicitly states their species as "[genus] Sapiens"; the goat-people, for instance, are Capra Sapiens. Your uncle Pey'j (who's a Pig Man) even jokes about ending up on a silver platter with an apple in his mouth once he's saved by the player.
  • Despite not actually featuring any real animals, Spore has occasionally fallen into this. Owing to the randomly generated wildlife, it's entirely possible that a nearby nest of creatures may actually be members of your own species. And you can kill and eat them.
    • Made even worse due to an occasional glitch that will put a tribal creature as one of a planet's non-sentient creatures.
  • Something of an Elephant in the Living Room in the Quest for Glory series; most of the non-human races are "evolved" animals like Katta (anthropomorphic cats) and Liontaurs (like centaurs, but with lions). However, regular cats and lions still show up in the series. Of course, Word of God says that the fantastic races exist because of an explosion of magic in the backstory, so the situation with them may be akin to the one between humans and apes.
  • Averted on Video Game/{{Furcadia}. The only anthropomorphic animals are mammals and lizard-like wyrmmes. Mammals can interbreed and create either hybrids, offspring that resemble a parent, or offspring that resemble one parent, and non-anthropomorphic animals are all birds. There's also anthropomorphic insects, but they behave and reproduce like real-world bees. On the other hand, this is only in Furcadia canon — and anyone who's been there knows that hardly anyone plays by canon rules...
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • The games actually feature both anthopomorphic mushroom people and non-anthropormorphic mushrooms as power-ups. With the added confusion that the power-up mushrooms (and a whole bunch of other stuff) still have eyes.
    • This also applied to most of the species in the series based on real world animals. While all penguins and primates in the series are anthropomorphic, many others have both anthropomorphic and non-anthropomorphic members, sometimes even in the same game. Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door features both an anthropomorphic pig and characters who are cursed into normal pigs, for example; while Wario Ware features both an anthropomorphic dog (Dribble) and a non-anthropomorphic but magical dog (Shadow), alongside the anthropomorphic dogs from Paper Mario known as Doogans.
    • Super Mario Odyssey introduces a forest full of "wild Goomba". This is despite Goomba historically being treated as sentient people, not animals.
  • Ōkami: Sasa Sanctuary is staffed by anthropomorphic pseudo-Yakuza sparrows. You can find (and feed) non-anthropomorphic sparrows throughout the game, including just outside the Sanctuary.
  • The Jump Start series of edutainment games for children has several examples (and manages to never hang a lampshade on any one of them):
    • In both versions of JumpStart Kindergarten (1994 and 1998), the main character is an antropomorphic rabbit named Mr. Hopsalot, and non-antro rabbits also appear in the very same game.
    • JumpStart Around the World, a game which used to be included as a bonus disc with the Preschool - 2nd Grade titles (with a slightly different version for each grade) included at least two examples. In the 2nd Grade version, when you go to Brazil, there's a "photo" of your travels that depicts the anthropomorphic C.J. Frog and a lot of non-anthro tropical frogs clustered around his feet and even sitting on his head. In the Preschool version, taking a trip to Australia will yield a short video that includes Kisha Koala holding a non-anthro koala in her arms.
    • In JumpStart Animal Adventures (aka JumpStart Animal Field Trip), the main character is C.J. Frog, but the game also features a non-anthro (but talking) frog in the Rainforest section.
    • JumpStart Advanced Preschool featured the JumpStart anthro animals...taking care of pets that were sometimes the same species as themselves. Even the cover shows Frankie the dog holding a non-anthro dog in his hands (paws?).
    • Pretty much any time when a JumpStart game featuring animal characters also teaches zoology, this is bound to happen. For example, JumpStart Advanced 1st Grade taught just a little zoology, featuring a game in which you sometimes had to guide blimps labeled with pictures of animals to the classes to which they belong. Again, just like in JumpStart Kindergarten, the game is hosted by Hopsalot, but sometimes the blimps depict non-anthro rabbits - and other creatures that also appear as anthros in the game.
    • The trend continues. In the MMOG, the user can adopt pets (styled as "petz") of all sorts of species, such as dogs, rabbits, and elephants...despite the presence of such characters as Frankie, Hopsalot (aka Hops), and Eleanor.
    • The 2009 Wii game JumpStart Pet Rescue is another example.
  • In Stage 4 of PaRappa the Rapper, PaRappa is taught by Cheap Cheap Chicken how to make a seafood cake. The first step is to "Crack-crack-crack the egg into the bowl!" (sure, it's an unfertilized egg and chickens can easily be taught to find eggs delicious, but still).
    • In Um Jammer Lammy, Katy Kat sings 'walk the dog' in "Keep Your Head Up". Her friend Parappa is a dog.
    • In Parappa The Rapper 2, Parappa's household contains a non-anthropomorphic domestic cat, even though his friend Katy is a cat.
    • The Amazing Frog? features regular sized pigs and regular sized frogs, except the frogs can walk upright and drive cars while the pigs do regular pig things.
  • In Splatoon, Moe is a regular-looking fish in a world of anthropomorphic sea creatures.
  • In Dust: An Elysian Tail, you can often find little rabbits hopping about in some of the early levels. Then you encounter civilization... and there are quite a few rabbit NPCs wandering around.
  • Hatoful Boyfriend has various species of birds as fully realized members of society, from pigeons to quails to partridges and more. One of the school activities is "birdwatching" and chicken is on the menu completely unquestioned. Later in the game you learn that the bird characters are Uplifted Animals. The virus responsible, Carneades, uplifted pigeons first and other species are affected more slowly, so some are still animals and some species are acclimating to being civilized. Summer swallows being small and fed by their parents for much longer than usual is taken as grounds to speculate that they're changing and maybe all birds will change. Since Carneades was developed by humans to annihilate all bird life, but Went Horribly Wrong they may have designed it to not affect livestock.
  • Aviary Attorney takes place in a World of Funny Animals, but there are non-anthropomorphic animals around as well (though we don't directly see them). A kingfisher with a rod and line catches fish, riding horses is a thing (one character carries around a riding crop, and another character has statues of horses — not horse people, but actual horses — in his garden) although there's a donkey librarian around, and there are apparently edible and people versions of chickens and pigs.
  • Mae from Night in the Woods is a talking, humanoid cat, yet one of her neighbors has a normal pet cat. One of her (also humanoid feline) grandfather's stories features a talking cat as a magical, fantastical element. Likewise, the bird-based characters in the game walk right beside normal pigeons.
  • In Undertale:
    • A NPC in Snowdin is a rabbit woman who is seen with a non-anthropomorphic rabbit on a leash. A nearby NPC remarks on how odd the situation is. Turns out the smaller rabbit is actually the rabbit woman's little brother.
    • Muffet is a Cute Monster Girl spider who lives in a nest full of Nearly Normal Animal spiders and...whatever her pet is. This does not stop her from making cider, donuts, and croissants out of her crushed-up kin.
    • The Playable Epilogue also reveals that Catty (a feline Funny Animal) wants to have a pet cat.
    • The dogs from the game. Dogamy and Dogaressa, as well as Doggo, are all anthropomorphic, although they show dog-like behavior occasionally, and speak English. The Greater Dog and Lesser Dog are much less anthropomorphic, and do not speak. The Annoying Dog has little if any humanoid traits aside from a mischievous sense of humor, and speaks only in a joke ending.
  • Parodied in Barkley, Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden, where Barkley and his companions during their trip through the sewers of Neo New York come across a settlement of people who have underwent a plastic surgery that made them into anthropomorphic animals. They also come across a normal-looking dog, but another person says it's just a "furry" being in character.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: