Behind the facade: Uncovering the secrets of Animal Crossing’s most enigmatic NPCs

Animal Crossing: New Leaf gives players the ability to act as mayor of an idealistic, self-created town full of adorable animals just waiting to be bossed around. If this sounds like your kind of game, then you should shell out the money for it and have all of your wildest dreams come true. It can't turn out anything like Westworld, right?
One thing players aren't expecting when picking up this particular simulation game is how very true it is to our own lives. This game explores dark concepts of modern society, such as exuberant debt, corrupt politics, and adorable animals that have a somewhat dark side to them. Take these cute-as-a-button characters as some prime examples of why this series has created some of the most enigmatic creatures in gaming history.
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1. Zipper T. Bunny
The magnificent Zipper T. Bunny only visits during Bunny Day, a spring event in the Animal Crossing world and what has become known as the series' equivalent to Easter. Zipper's identity has not yet been revealed, and he/she shows up dressed as a zippered bunny costume. It could very likely be one of Animal Crossing's own NPC characters. We know that Zipper truly hates his/her job because all of the character interactions start out cheerful and happy, but quickly change in tone, usually hitting a rather sour note (as revealed in the picture below).
Now, if we really think long and hard about the way Zipper interacts with the player character, we start to wonder who could possibly be in the costume. They're very apt about not revealing their true identity – because that would obviously ruin the magic of the holiday.
Nayla's Animal Crossing Journal on Youtube discusses an interesting fan theory indicating that Zipper T. Bunny has to be Phyllis, the incredibly rude night shift clerk from the post office. She hates her job, and she even gets special music that reveals her irritated mood. Look at those purple eyelids that both Zipper and Phyllis can pull off. They're the only NPC characters that can look magnificent while also being incredibly rude to the player.
2. Labelle and the Able Sisters
The Able Sisters have one of the most complex stories of the entire series, and in order to understand their background, you would have to play the entire Animal Crossing series. Their story is progressively developed throughout each game, and in Animal Crossing: New Leaf, it becomes an important element that all the sisters are finally together under the same roof.
Thanks to Nookipedia's biography of the Able Sisters, we can get an idea of what happened to Mabel and Sable's long-lost sister, Labelle, in Animal Crossing: City Folk. In order to hear of Labelle's past memories, the player must befriend her, and she'll begin to lose her "city accent" to reveal the country charm that she has been hiding.
The backstory here is that Labelle ran away to the city to chase bigger aspirations, leaving her sister Sable to act as guardian of their youngest sister Mabel. The sisters' parents died in an accident, which the sisters will reveal to the player character, leaving Sable to take care of both the tailor shop and her sister. Mabel and Sable only ever speak of their other sister when befriended by the player, revealing that there may be some family tension between them.
At last, Animal Crossing: New Leaf brings all three sisters to work together under the same roof. If you look closely enough in Labelle's section of the unified shop, there is evidence of her storied tale in the form of a ribbon and newspaper article hanging up in the store.
3. Pete, Pelly, and Phyllis’s love triangle
Oh, Pete, Pelly, and Phyllis's love triangle is a romantic tale of forbidden love. According to the Animal Crossing Wiki's summary of Pete, if you speak with Pete the Pelican between the hours of 9 and 9:30 a.m. or 5 and 5:30 p.m., he will reveal his secret crush, Phyllis. Now, I know we're all judging poor Pete for his romantic interest – but give the guy a break, because no one can withstand those enchanting purple eyelids.
Awkwardly enough, Pelly, Phyllis' friendlier sister, also reveals to the player that she has a crush on Pete. Pete acknowledges Pelly, but feels that she is too childish for him. We're all rooting for Pelly here, but the heart wants what the heart wants. Maybe one day, she'll instead fall for the entrancing tall tales spun by Gulliver the explorer.
4. Blanca’s blank face
Blanca is one of those strange visiting characters that we just love to hate. They've become the event character during April Fool's Day for New Leaf, and their favorite game is to trick players to see if they can tell the difference between real villagers and the gender-neutral cat, as Jeff's New Leaf Blog reveals. If you can guess all the villagers correctly in New Leaf, Blanca will gift you with a picture of him/her. More importantly, Blanca's main mission for you is to give them a new face – and in turn, you could share your spectacular artwork with the rest of the world.
Animal Crossing / Nintendo
Blanca is a "mysterious cat" throughout the series, and he or she doesn't have a backstory as far as the player knows – not only that, but there isn't even a gender identity for the character. The Animal Crossing Wiki cites that Blanca's gender is "variable."
I think as the series has progressed, Blanca has developed into what I like to call the "fool." They live in a caravan wagon, they love to play pranks, they don't have a face, and they're wearing what appears to be a circus costume – which leads me to believe that Blanca is actually a clown who needs help painting their face for an upcoming show.
They have no distinct identity, so the player can choose whether they want them to be portrayed as a happy, sad, angry, or scared clown. That said, player may control the cat's facial expression, but in the end, Blanca always has the upper hand when it comes to pulling pranks on the player.
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Do you know of any other mysterious NPCs in the Animal Crossing series? Make sure to let us know in the comments – and don't forget to share this article with your fellow gamers! Stick around on Nerd AF for more video game goodness.​
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