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What is Emio actually about? A ratings board revealed the answer

Emio from Nintendo

Nintendo dropped possibly the creepiest teaser trailers in company history and fans are trying to figure out who, and what, is Emio?

Throughout its 134-year old history, Nintendo has published hundreds of video games from a long list of iconic franchises. From its humble beginnings in Donkey Kong to AAA masterpieces like Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, there’s no genre Nintendo hasn’t tried out. To the surprise of some, that includes horror games.

Nintendo has dabbled in horror games. This includes adding horror elements to its iconic franchises like with Luigi’s Mansion and The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, and also to standalone games like Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem Even so, the modern era has most gamers perceiving Nintendo as a family-friendly company with games that cater to the widest possible audience. Family-friendly is the farthest thing that anybody could use to describe Emio, though.

What is Nintendo’s new Emio game?

Emio is a mysterious horror game with themes of suicide, domestic abuse, and violence.

Multiple official Nintendo accounts shared the teaser trailer, but the most enlightening came from Nintendo Australia. The country has a notorious reputation for censoring and outright banning video games with dark themes or elements. As such, the Australian government required Emio to include a warning and rating information for the game’s trailer. 

The rating of “Mature Audiences 15+” comes due to themes involving “violence, cruelty, domestic abuse, and suicide.” The grainy filter brings to mind urban legends of VHS tapes containing disturbing footage. The Japanese text at the end of the trailer roughly translates to “smiling man,” likely referring to the man with a smiling paper bag over his head.

Nintendo has not revealed any other details so far.

As expected, many fans have begun speculating on what Emio might ultimately be. Most hope it’s a first-party Nintendo game developed in-house by the company. There was also an interview with the CEO of Bloober Team, the studio behind the Silent Hill 2 Remake, that alluded to working with veteran developers for Nintendo platforms. This project also included Drawdistance, the team behind the visual novel games based on the Vampire: The Masquerade tabletop RPG.

It’s also worth noting that some members of Team Silent, the original team behind the first four Silent Hill games, currently work with Nintendo. Notably, Takayoshi Sato, the CGI director for Silent Hill and Silent Hill 2, is a visual producer for the company.

Regardless of what Emio actually is, there’s no denying it’s sparked the imaginations (and nightmares) of many Nintendo fans. 

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Written by Gab Hernandez

Gab Hernandez has a particular love for video games that give players control over the narrative direction, such as Divinity: Original Sin 2 and Disco Elysium. Gab spends just as much time playing games as they do gushing about them online to anyone who will listen. Their work has also been seen on TheGamer, Gfinity, and Wargamer, and you can follow them on Twitter / X at @HardlyWorkinGab.

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