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Animal Crossing update leads to fake Leif crashing rumors, memes

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Leif is safe to talk to, don’t worry

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Leif in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via Polygon

Animal Crossing: New Horizons has a bevy of mechanics that are never explained to the player, which means that the game is ripe for all sorts of myths and rumors. With the latest update that introduces new vendors, the misinformation has spread further to incorporate the added content.

At the moment, there are a few different viral posts purporting to show grave errors hiding in the Earth Day-inspired update, often revolving around Leif the sloth.

A Twitter post with fake Animal Crossing misinformation. Image: Twitter via AsgoreDreemurrp

There are a few variations of the same idea. For instance, there’s an extremely deep-fried screenshot of a random Discord message where someone claims that talking to Leif while having three types of bushes in your inventory will screw your game up. However, neither appear to be true, as they include images that hail from Google Images, rather than screenshots from a corrupted Switch, according to known Animal Crossing data miners.

Then again, it’s possible that the posts circulating these rumors were never meant as serious PSAs, but rather riffs on a recent Team Fortress 2 scare that, while not true, raised widespread security concerns for a while.

There have also been legitimate game-crashing glitches found in first-party Nintendo games this year, which might explain why folks were willing to believe the latest Animal Crossing rumors — better safe than sorry.

Another popular bit of misinformation I’ve seen repeated on social media, though to a lesser degree, revolves around mystery islands and your inventory. Some folks noticed that when they flew to Photopia, Harvey’s island, Wilbur the dodo will apparently give you the option to clear your inventory space. Screenshots of this new ability led to confusion, as some folks thought it might apply to mystery islands — meaning, expanded options to farm without having to leave anything behind — but that’s not the case. Polygon tested it last night, and Wilbur does not give you the option anywhere other than on Harvey’s island, likely in preparation for the upcoming wedding event, where players will be rewarded with new items.

While some of the whispers floating around right now aren’t true, they have led to memes where people jokingly tell one another to not download the new update, lest a curse befall them and their entire family.


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