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Animal Crossing’s Zipper is scaring fans, despite his efforts

He’s getting cyberbullied :(

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Zipper T. Bunny cheerily talks to an Animal Crossing character Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo
Cass Marshall is a news writer focusing on gaming and culture coverage, taking a particular interest in the human stories of the wild world of online games.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons currently features an Easter-themed event called Bunny Day. There are colorful eggs to find, new recipes, cherry blossoms, and other festivities. There’s also a mascot to help manage all of the above, and most of the Animal Crossing fan base seems to hate him with a passion. Unfortunately, poor Zipper is the subject of much vitriol from players, even though he’s just trying his best to do his job.

At first glance, Zipper looks like any other villager. He’s a big-headed, bright-eyed animal. Or is he? When you talk to him, he’s strangely defensive of his body, repeatedly asking the player to NOT ask what’s under the surface or investigate in any way. There’s also something just slightly off-putting about his appearance.

Some observant fans have noticed that Zipper’s wide-open eyes and floppy ears bring another video game icon to mind. It’s not another Nintendo character — they’re thinking of Silent Hill 3’s blood-soaked bunny mascot.

It’s enough to draw a little concern. Some fans, inspired by Zipper’s uncanny cheerfulness, have started to question what’s really under that suit. Is he telling the truth? Is that physical zipper on his back really just a decorative touch he put on his flesh, under his real animal fur? I have questions, and Zipper refuses to give me answers. The more I question his nature, the more sinister he seems.

I’m not the only Animal Crossing fan who feels a little nervous at the guy showing up on the corners of my screen. For some players, he hovers ceaselessly. For others, he almost seems responsible for certain crimes.

While he’s struck fear deep into the hearts of many fans, other people treat Zipper with a casual contempt. To these players, the idea that Zipper causes an emotion like “fear” instead of “pity” or “anger” is absurd. Zipper is bad, and he should be shamed for his terrible, island-disrupting ways. Many of these players are familiar with Zipper from previous games, so they’re already onto his bullshit and carrying grudges from years past. Even other villagers will occasionally talk about Zipper behind his back! Nobody seems to like this guy.

But particularly observant villagers may notice that if you leave his line of sight, Zipper stops his cheerful hopping and animated movements. He sighs in relief and drops the act, with just a weary hint to his shuffle.

This animation, which is easy to miss, changes Zipper’s energy — especially for anyone who’s familiar with working highly social jobs. With this animation, Zipper goes from a bit terrifying to extremely relatable. It’s a living, am I right?

Of course, this revelation raises a few more mysteries in its wake. Who hired Zipper? Was it Tom Nook? Is this a bread and circuses situation, where Zipper is meant to distract us from some darker truth? Or did Timmy and Tommy just swipe a credit card in order to liven things up for their favorite holiday?

No matter what, I have concerns.

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