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This film will end on a Downer Ending
Though not the same one from the short. Rather, Earth is saved, but the main cast (or atleast one of them) got killed in the final boss battle.
  • Jossed, considering that the main cast makes it through unscathed.

This film is All Just a Dream

Its not just arcade game characters that are attacking Earth.
The aliens have also gotten their hands(?) on old console games as well. The appearance of Duck Hunt in one of the commercials supports this theory.
  • Duck Hunt actually was released as an arcade game at some point, under the name Duck Hunt Vs. However, the presence of Tetris, which I don't know whether or not was ever released as an arcade game, might support your theory.
    • Actually, there IS a Tetris arcade machine, in fact, I've played it. The only truly non-arcade character was that dancing Smurf.
      • The aliens base their attacks off of footage taken from video games in 1982. Duck Hunt didn't come out in any form until 1984, and at that point it was console only. The arcade version came out later. The Tetris arcade cabinet also wasn't released until 1984. As for the Smurf, there were Smurf video games back in the early 80s, but considering how obscure they are, the only reason they appear here is probably to pile on the nostalgia.
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This film is (probably indirectly) an end to the curse of every video game movie sucking
Think about it, this is the first video game film of the year and it's already seen as one of, if not, the worst video game movie ever. Most of the game movies coming out soon actually sound good and while I'm not saying we're never gonna see a bad video game film again, it looks like the term might just be dying.

The handless Iwatani was an in-universe imposter
The actual Iwatani is some kind of Fourth-Wall Observer who knew this movie would bomb so he switched places with a repairman in order to prevent ruining his career. Either that, or the imposter was just a really good actor and the real Iwatani needed some quick cash or something.

This was a more benign misunderstanding on the part of the aliens.
The aliens saw our video games and understood that they were games, but not that they were simulations in a video game environment. Their attack was them trying to play with us.
  • Jossed by Q*bert, who explains that, rather, the aliens do not understand the concept of fun or video games.

Sam, Cooper, Violet, Ludlow, and Eddie eventually receive Presidential Medals of Freedom
Especially considering that saving the world from destruction is far more significant than what others have been awarded the medal for.

The trophies are spies.
Specifically, they were built to gather information about modern video games, to let the aliens build better weapons to destroy humanity.
  • As a corollary, the real purpose of Q*Bert turning into Lady Lisa was to acquire human DNA, to discover and exploit human biological weaknesses.

The aliens are made of strangelets.
First, watch the short film. Then, read the article about strangelets on The Other Wiki, especially the "Dangers" chapter. Sound familiar?

The peace treaty lets the aliens keep their homeworld, but once mankind becomes space-faring beings, it would become a human-allied territory.
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  • ...Assuming that between now and then, they don't change their mind and make a second invasion.

The cars were modified with reverse engineered pixel-tech.

The pixels are studied in the lab. Their properties are attempted to be replicated but cannot be fully duplicated. This attempt at replicating the pixel technology inspires the cars to be outfitted with technology that can interact with the effects of the pixels. The presence of the android indicates this research lab has access to more futuristic technology than the public is aware of. Even if studying the pixels yielded nothing, the already advanced technology, which is probably alien-derived anyway, can be integrated into the technology of the modified cars, which are intended to interact the rules of the pixel-driven game. Copying the rules of the program would copy the rules for the cheat codes, and those rules, when executed in real life, would allow the cars to successfully move faster.

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With the exception of the ghosts being controlled by the drivers, the cars are supposed to replicate the abilities of the ghosts, such as vulnerability when Pac-Man eats a power pellet and invulnerability normally. So in this reality, the cheat code is meant to make the game more challenging by speeding up one of the ghosts. The driver activates the equivalent of the joystick movements, or flips a bit that registers the cheat code as "on".

It's unlikely this would happen with the driver getting in the car and immediately activating the equivalent of this code with a car; it would have been nice to see some other controls that would have enabled fiddling with the settings. It would make more sense if there was some backstory like the arcade cabinet from the championships was hacked to enable cheat codes, and that specific machine was used as the basis for the rules the cars would follow, through some set of coincidences, instead of using any publicaly available machine, because as stated elsewhere, it wouldn't make sense to use a cheat code in a tournament if it were a regular feature on all Pac-Man cabinets.

But since there is no indication the cabinet was modified or hacked, it's possible in that reality the cheat code was undocumented and went undiscovered for over twenty years. But that's not possible because someone else recognized the cheat code on those glasses. So, the cheat code was public knowledge, but not in the 80's, and not to the tournament holders, and not to the publishers of the games. So, Eddie did not create the code, but was using a code no one knew about or cared much about in those days, or, they allowed the cheat code to be used in the tournament and using the cheat code was acceptable because it was increasing the challenge and so it was more of a show-off move instead of giving an advantage.

Still doesn't make any sense.

The ending we're seeing with the Q Bert babies is most likely that there were some aliens left behind and like a certain goddess from her own game, were probably adopted.
  • There is that plausible possibility as the picture only showed Ludlow and Lisa in the picture, but no baby Q*Berts, so they may have been found and taken care of like they were their own kids.
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