Some elements hidden near the end of the Wii's Mushroom Men game might make you think the developers are trying to say something about marriage.
Kris Taylor, co-founder of Texas game development studio Red Fly, admits that there are little innuendos in his team's 2008 Wii game about mushroom-sized, mushroom-shaped warriors.
That could include the name of the most powerful "thrusting" weapon (Red Fly's classification, not ours): The Engagement Zinger.
And that might include – SPOILER WARNING – the location of the game's final boss battle: the body and face of a creepy man's robot wife.
"The whole game was meant to be presented as kind of a dark tongue in cheek humor, with a little bit of grit layered on top." Taylor told Kotaku during a phone interview this week. It's like an old Bugs Bunny cartoon with some hidden stuff for an older audience. But not everything in the game was put there consciously, he added.
Taylor is happily married. His wife even asked him about being in the game. No, she's not the inspiration for the robot wife and she's not the motivation for making that deadliest of weapons an engagement ring held by a pair of tweezers.
These things just happen.
The Robot Wife idea came from the Red Fly team's discussion of a concept painting. They knew the final level of their game would be set in the relatively large confines of an Airstream trailer in the backwoods of Alabama or Arkansas. Taylor recalled the brainstorming session: "This guy needs to be one of those crazy people off the grid, full of UFO stuff and conspiracies. He's completely crazy and a drunk and he's always passed out there with a shotgun." That led to, as far as Taylor can recall, one of the developers on the team blurting out: "What if there's a robot wife he's built in there?" Removed from civilization, this man would have made his wife out of vacuum cleaner parts.
She'd have a TV for a head.
And, no, the game isn't trying to say anything about marriage.
"We'll let people form their own conclusions," Taylor said. "I think that's more interesting in art than giving people a specific message."
Taylor said that the Mushroom Men team at Red Fly Studio is hard at work creating concepts for a possible sequel, but have no further plans to announce.