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Lets Play / The Terrible Secret of Animal Crossing

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Fan art by Demon Allie
"I've never heard of this particular summer camp, but it was cheap and we were broke."
Billy, The Terrible Secret of Animal Crossing

A Let's Play of Animal Crossing: Wild World by Chewbot, a Darker and Edgier version of the cute little game you know and love.

This is the story of eight-year-old Billy and his wondrous adventures at "Camp". Arriving at what seems to be an innocuous summer camp with nothing but the clothes on his back (the driver took off with his things in the trunk), Billy quickly finds himself in an empty house with a dead land line and no way of escape. He's quickly informed that he's in debt for a house he didn't buy and then swindled into working for Tom Nook, a Mafia-like raccoon he suddenly owes money to.

...But there's more. Something is off about the camp; there are no other kids around except him, and the only company he has are that of animated talking animals. Everyone in the camp seems to be in on some secret, and Billy can't trust any of them. Some of them even disappear suddenly during the night, leaving without a trace. With his world spiraling out of control, Billy takes matters into his own eight-year-old hands and attempts to find out what dark, dirty secret this cute little place is keeping...

And it all goes downhill from there.

Can be found here. Happy reading and sweet dreams.

Other Let's Play style stories he's written include Plague and Treachery on the Oregon Trail, which is much Lighter and Softer than this story, for those who might have trouble sleeping tonight.

This provides examples of:

  • The Alcatraz: Much of the story is about Billy's attempts to escape the camp. Towards the end, it is revealed that he isn't the first one to try to do so.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: In-Universe, about the games themselves.
    • Most of the characters are living in fear of Penny, and Tom Nook seems to be interpreted as a bastard that won't let Billy leave, but his ulterior motive was that he was trying to help Billy escape.
    • Even the Gyroids get looked at from a different point of view. In the games, they're innocent if weird statues of unknown origin that move and make funny noises. Here, they're not-so-innocent weird statues of unknown origin that mutate those exposed for them for too long (as well as driving them temporarily insane)... that move and make funny noises.
  • And Then John Was a Zombie: In the anti-box ending, Billy gives in to the gyroids and turns into a resident.
  • Apocalyptic Log: Nook's diary, which records his and K.K.'s arrival on the island as normal humans, their discovery of the gyroids, and their slow descent into madness as they transformed.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: The description of Billy's "new" "cabin":
    No toilet, no sink, not even a goddamn chair. I get a cardboard box, a candle with no matches and a boom box that only plays one song. And it fucking skips.
  • Artifact of Doom: Those gyroids aren't all that they seem...
  • Art Shift: The LP slowly goes from screenshots to drawn artwork. Goes into full effect in the pro-box ending.
  • Ascended Extra: Penny is only one of hundreds of villagers, but here? She's the main antagonist.
  • Audio Adaptation: Only Chapters 1 and 12 were done. However, all 12 chapters have an audio adaptation in Spanish, including both the box and anti-box endings. the playlist can be found here.
  • Ax-Crazy:
    • Penny, who rips off a boy's arm and digs through a different boy's chest for organs. Why? Because she thought one of them had stolen from her.
    • Billy in the anti-box ending. After the gyroids cause a Sanity Slippage, he tries to kill Tom Nook and is restrained by the other animals.
  • Big Bad: Tom Nook, or so he appears to be at first. In reality: Penny, and arguably gyroids as the Statues Behind the Mouse.
  • Body Horror: If you consider the slow transformation into an animal along with the loss of your sanity body horror, then yeah. It's revealed that you get better from your loss of sanity, but for real horror, look at Penny's slowly decaying face.
  • Book Ends: The anti-box ending end with Kapp'n ferrying another child to the island as the transformed Billy looks forward to meeting them.
  • Crazy Survivalist: Billy. Did we mention he's only eight years old?
  • Crapsaccharine World: The epitome of this trope. Everything's all cute animals on the outside, hard-to-top horror on the inside. And this was preferable to what they did at first. Tom says that they used to torture the new kids, and he's the one who came up with the idea to at least keep them distracted and happy until, and sometimes even after they cross.
  • Creepy Child: Billy, of a sort, in the anti-box ending. Notice how the tone becomes a lot more childlike after the Resetti segment.
  • Cute and Psycho: Billy crosses into a cute little bunny in the anti-box end, but becomes mentally insane.
  • Darker and Edgier: Animal Crossing is a lighthearted series, but this story is anything but light.
  • Dark Fic: It's darker than the average Animal Crossing story; featuring things like mutilation, manipulative lies, and horrifying transformations.
  • Dark Lord on Life Support: Penny has terminal cancer and steals the other residents' body parts as a stopgap measure.
  • Deconstruction: More or less showing just how disturbing finding oneself in a world full of Anthropomophic Animals and not being able to leave would be. To say nothing about how most of us would react to being confronted by such creatures in Real Life.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Tom Nook crosses this towards the end. It's eventually what drives him to suicide.
  • Downer Ending: The anti-box ending. And then Billy was a rabbit.
  • Driven to Suicide: Tom Nook kills himself after reaching his Despair Event Horizon. In the anti-box ending, Billy also makes an attempt on his life, but is saved.
  • Ear Ache: Tom Nook gets his ears cut off in the anti-box ending, presumably as punishment for sending a SOS signal to the mainland. Some of the island children are also noted to have their ears missing.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: In some ways, the pro-box ending. It's definitely more bittersweet than happy, but it comes about by Billy acting rather than turning away and refusing to open the box.
  • Eye Patch Of Power: Well, it's more of a band aid, but it doesn't make little Billy any less badass.
  • Eye Scream: The residents rip Billy's eye out and give it to Penny. Oh, but don't worry. He gets it back.
  • Face-Revealing Turn: Penny does it here (spoiler warning).
  • Fate Worse than Death: In hindsight, slowly turning into an animal is bad, but having to work with every single demand of Penny's or otherwise being slowly ripped apart is even worse.
  • Fisher Kingdom: Human characters turn into animals on the islands.
  • Forced Transformation: The gyroids are capable of turning humans in the half human half animal forms seen in the story.
  • Foreshadowing: Provided by the fanmade cover art on this very page. Notice how all the other animals depicted have Glowing Eyes of Doom, but not Tom Nook? That's because he's actually Billy's only ally.
  • Fridge Logic: In-universe; Billy wonders how Penny could send a balloon message every day without being noticed, how she stole Nook's notebook, and how she escaped from Nook. He ignores all of this in favor of allowing himself to believe that he's finally found someone he can trust, but then you find out that Nook was the one behind the balloon messages all along...
  • Fridge Horror: An in-universe example. What do the gyroids turn animals into?
  • Gamebooks: There's two endings to the story, diverging at part 9. It works out about as well, too.
  • Genre Savvy: Billy, most of the time. For example, in the pro-box ending, while Penny monologues about the ways she could dismember Billy, he attacks her while she's still talking.
  • Hope Spot: The early balloon arc. Billy gets messages in balloons from a girl named Penny, someone who might be an ally; from this he starts piecing things together about the camp, and he eventually figures out that there are other kids and they might even be able to escape all together... then wham, Penny apparently gets captured and it turns out it was actually Nook sending the messages. Penny is the one running the whole freakshow, and Nook is the only friend he's got.
  • Human Resources: Penny, who suffers from terminal cancer, uses the other residents' organs to restore her failing body.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Upon reading Tom Nook's diary, Billy concludes that he eats his fellow animals. He is wrong.
  • I Am Spartacus: Played with. Penny demands Billy to tell her who took her papers, or else someone from a crowd of kids gets it each time he lies. A boy in the crowd named Phillip claims it was himself. Penny takes him to the back of the house, and he gives her a gut wound with his sharpened crutch before she kills him.
  • Kick Them While They Are Down: After beating the crap out of Penny, she falls off the balcony, taking Billy with her. This is followed by Billy twisting his body around and executing a twelve-story body slam, then gets up and rips her eye out. The eye he rips out was his in the first place.
    Billy: This. Is mine.
  • Macguffin: Subverted with the Gyroids. Collect enough and they'll turn you into an animal
  • Metamorphosis: The gyroids are responsible for turning humans into animals
  • Multiple Endings: A rare non-video game example - Pro-Box or Anti-Box. Take your pick.
    • Pro-Box Ending: Billy opens Penny's final present, and finds out the truth about Penny, Tom, and the island. Not only that, but he manages to escape. The Golden Ending, essentially.
    • Anti-Box Ending: Billy runs away from Penny's final present, attempts to kill himself, tries to kill Tom, and crosses. If Pro-Box is the Golden Ending, then Anti-Box is the Bad Ending. Anti-Box is sort of a "what if" concerning Billy getting lucky with his victory, Billy taking a while to cross, and doesn't really make sense unless you know that plot twist from Pro-Box.
  • Necessarily Evil: Tom Nook undoubtedly acts like a Jerkass to Billy, but that's because if he did not, the other animals and Penny would do much worse than just that.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: What Billy does to Penny at the end. Chewbot states that he chose this because of how brutally raw beating someone with your fists is.
  • Not Afraid of You Anymore: Billy mentally gives one before he kills Penny.
    "But Penny had made a mistake. She was used to ruling with fear and it had served her well for a long time. Penny never knew fear, herself. She didn't know it the way I did. She didn't understand that she was a virus and that every shot she injected me with built up my tolerance. This was her last shot and it was a big one, but it couldn't kill me. I was the vaccine.
  • Only Sane Man: Billy is the only one in the series who isn't a deranged lunatic. Tom Nook was one at one point before his wife went insane.
  • Precision F-Strike: Invoked many times, despite the fact that the narrator is only eight years old. Though he's thirty years old when he's writing all this down.
  • Quote Mine: There's an instance of this to make Tom Nook seem more evil. Of course, most of the screenshots and dialogue is taken out of context (for example, in one of the endings, Mr. Resetti appears to chew Billy out for trying to drown himself when he's really yelling at him for resetting the game), and some of it is just Chewbot and other players sending messages that are clearly not what the game intended the system to be used for.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Tom Nook, a few times. Subverted in that he's a pretty decent guy, trying to help others avoid his and the rest of the island's fate.
  • Sanity Slippage: You get better, but the guilt of what you did stays with you forever.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Billy kills Penny while she's going into detail about how she'll kill him.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: Billy, who happens to be 8 years old.
  • Smug Snake: Tom Nook, or at least how Billy sees him. Of course it's subverted.
  • Sugar Apocalypse: The islands where the story takes place: It seems like a nice island where you spend your days living with cute animals. Until the gyroids mess with you psychologically as you turn into a fucked up mutant creature.
  • Talking Is a Free Action: Subverted in the final chapter. See Shut Up, Hannibal! above.
  • The End... Or Is It?: In the epilogue, Billy wonders... If the Gyroids turn humans into animals, what do they turn animals into?
  • Title Drop: Of the original game. Animal Crossing describes the transformation from human into animal.
  • Town with a Dark Secret: All the human residents? Yeah, they all turn into animals.
  • Two-Faced: Penny. The contrast between the "normal" side of her face and the rotted side of it where Billy's eye has replaced her own is used to emphasize the contrast between her saner and completely insane moments.
  • Was Once a Man: Why do you think they call it Animal Crossing?
  • Wham Episode: Chapter 8 as well, because this is when Billy finds out, among other things, that Tom Nook Was Once a Man.
  • Wham Line:
    Tom Nook: "I sent you those letters, Billy.".
    • And then later in the same conversation:
      Billy: "Then... there's no Penny? She was never real?
      Tom: "Oh, she's real alright. She's the one running this freakshow.
    • Also, in the form of the picture of that Billy pieces together:
    Billy: "A FUCKING ISLAND!??"
    • "Nook called it Animal Crossing."
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: The very last coda reveals that the story is actually an official transcript to the US government that Billy wrote. He is now almost thirty, has had intense psychiatric treatment, and has never returned home.
  • Worf Had the Flu: It's revealed in the epilogue when Penny used Billy's eye to replace hers, her body actively rejected it because of Billy having a natural resistance to the gyroids effect, leaving her weakened and half-rotten by the time we finally see her. Billy wonders if he would had been able to defeat her had she been in her prime.