10 Deceptively Innocent Games With Incredibly Dark Lore

This is some of the most twisted stuff in gaming history.

Bugsnax parasite
Young Horses

Adding lore to a game can do a lot for your overall experience. Extra bits and pieces of story add more context to whatever you're doing, and help emphasize parts of the narrative that most people wouldn't pay attention to otherwise.

Most games try to make their lore synergize with the main storyline in some way, but there are also some exceptions to this rule.

...Very disturbing exceptions.

Some games that, at first glance, may appear to be quite innocent are actually full of references to a dark and gut-wrenching kind of expanded lore. Though they rarely mention it explicitly, their cutesy design and gameplay geared towards younger or wider audiences are merely a facade, concealing some kind of post-apocalyptic nightmare or Eldritch horror lurking in the shadows.

Let's take a deep dive into the strange and eerie lore of some of the most inconspicuous-looking games out there. You'll never be able to look at them the same way again.

10. War With The Gotoro Empire - Stardew Valley

Bugsnax parasite
Eric Barone

Although Stardew Valley is often described as a cozy, comfort game, there are a number of eerie things that exist in its lore. The game is filled with monsters, ghosts, and magical beasts, but truth be told, all of these mystical creatures are not nearly as disturbing as the full-scale global war taking place away from your friendly small town.

That's right, while you're having fun petting chickens and growing parsnips, the nation of which Stardew Valley is a part of is engulfed in a bloody conflict with the tyrannical government of the Gotoro Empire. You can find numerous references to the war throughout the game, but in the second year of your time in Stardew Valley, you actually get to meet a soldier who experienced the horrors of it firsthand.

Kent, Sam's father, returns to the town with a clear case of PTSD. The man struggles to fit back into Stardew Valley, and everything around him keeps reminding him of the war. Some of the items you can gift him can even cause him to have flashbacks to the time when he was tortured in one of Gotoro's prison camps.

And you thought working for Joja was bad.

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Just you average guy who loves to write, travel, and write while travelling.