Shack Chat: What is the real Bugsnax story?

The truth is out there for this week's Shack Chat, we're out to guess the real story for Bugsnax.


Shack Chat has returned to solve a mystery and possibly rewrite history. Woo-oo! Okay, maybe we're not here to talk about ducks, but rather we're here to talk about bugs. We want the real story behind Bugsnax, so we're here with our best conspiracy theories educated guesses on what the real Bugsnax story is. Then we open the floor to you, the Chatty community, to give us your own takes.

Question: What is the real Bugsnax story?

It’s the story of the century - Asif Khan, Editor of the Century

Listen up, Bugsnax isn't what it seems. The first trailer during the PS5 reveal painted a happy-go-lucky picture with a wonderful theme song created by Kero Kero Bonito, but even then, I knew that there was something very insidious underneath the surface of Bugsnax. The catchy tune is a red herring, folks, and this all stinks to high heaven.

In the recent gameplay trailer shown during Sony's State of Play presentation, we were taken into the office of ace editor C. Clumby Clumbernut, who finally shed some light on what was really going on on Snaktooth Island. Corruption, lies, deceit, and a bait-and-switch not seen in many years.

It will be our task to get to the bottom of this caper, and break the story of the century. Are the Grumpuses part of a social experiment? Are Bugsnax the results of mutations due to radio waves? What is going on underneath that mountain? Is this really about aliens? All of these questions will be answered as players play through the game.

Don't buy into these cutesy Instagram filters, and catchy tunes. Bugsnax is a game about uncovering the horror of man, and holding corrupt leaders accountable once and for all. It might also be about helping people come to grips with the depression and sadness that lead them to Snaktooth Island in the first place.

This will be one of the most important video games to ever be created. From aliens, to conspiracy theories, to the corruption of the media, Bugsnax will cover issues that many game developers are afraid to come even close to touching. "You might think this sounds impossible, until you see a sandwich climb a wall." Indeed.

GET ME PICTURES OF SPIDERS, MAN! - Ozzie Mejia, Senior Editor

This is a Pokemon Snap-style game. You're trying to take pictures of as many of these weird creatures as possible. And no matter how many photos you bring back, your editor demands to see more pictures of BUGSNAX!

Jame Gumbsnax - Chris Jarrard, Almost a journalist

The player is young, promising investigative journalist who is pulled from their normal duty by one C. Clumby Clumbernut, the head boss in charge of the most prestigious news organization in the country. Clumbernut informs the player that they will be traveling to Snaketooth Island to follow up on the abduction of a female grumpus by the name of Elizabert Megafig. Upon arrival to the island, the player quickly learns that something insidious is afoot as the residents of the island are standoffish and unwilling to speak with them directly about the case.

The player learns that there have been multiple grumpuses that have been abducted, skinned, and dumped around the island. The string of crimes has befuddled local authorities, who have taken to calling the suspect Buffalo Bugsnax, but the player quickly builds a profile on the as-of-yet-unknown suspect thanks to experience going through the FBI behavioral science school before settling on a journalism career. As more grumpus bodies keep piling up, the player expresses frustrations about the lack of case progress to Clumbernut, who suggests taking a meeting with Filbo Fiddlepie, a former doctor and convicted serial murderer with a taste for grumpus flesh that is now the Mayor of Snaxburg, the central city on Snaketooth Island.

The meeting with Filbo is unsettling, to say the least, with Filbo using his incredible intellect to emotionally manipulate the player by playing on insecurities and past trauma. Still, Filbo has a small amount of respect for the player, offering small bits of information on Buffalo Bugsnax to help aid in the investigation. Filbo declares that he is a former patient of his with antisocial personality disorder and gender dysphoria.

In a cutscene, we see Elizabert Megafig in a dark, wet hole lined with hotdog buns. She has been crying for days. A bucket is lowered down to her containing a bottle of Kansas City-style barbeque sauce. “It puts the sauce upon its skin or else it gets the hose again.” The voice is from Buffalo Bugsnax, who is forcing her to enhance the flavor of her food appendages before he harvests them from her. He is seen prancing around his dank basement wearing a sheer cape and tucking his corndog between his legs. "Would you eat me? I’d eat me," he mutters.

The action shifts back to the player who continues to collect clues around the island and occasionally solicit guidance from the unsettling Mayor Filbo. The evidence convinces the player that Buffalo Bugsnax knew his first victim on the island, so they go interview the grumpus who lived next door. A balding male grumpus narrowly opens the door to the island cave and the player, unaware that this is Buffalo Bugsnax, asks if he knew anything about the first missing female. "Oh wait, was she a great big fat grumpus?" he inquired. "Yes," the player responds, "She was a big girl, sir. She used to work for Mrs. Fettucini, who lived as this house. Did you know her?" Buffalo Bugsnax replied, "Know I didn’t but I think her son might have known the girl. I think I have his number in the kitchen here if you’d like it."

The player agrees to enter the cave to get the number, unknowingly putting themselves in the crosshairs of danger. While Buffalo is stalling, the player notices clues in the dilapidated dwelling that align with those found on the victims. They draw their sidearm as Buffalo runs down into the dark basement and kills the electricity to the cave. A chilling game of cat and mouse plays out in the suffocating darkness. Our protagonist is unaware that Buffalo has night vision jello goggles. After a struggle, the player manages to kill Buffalo and discovers Elizabert Megafig in the hot dog torture hole. The rest of island law enforcement descends on the property as the day has been saved by the young investigator.

A formal function at the new office is held to celebrate the player's accomplishment. Coworkers accost the player and congratulate them on a job well done. One office assistant informs the player that a phone call is waiting for them in a side office. The player picks up the phone, "Hello?" The familiar voice of Mayor Filbo is on the other line, "Congratulations, gumshoe." The player responds, "There are no phones allowed on Snaketooth Island. Where are you, Filbo?"

"I have no plans to dine on you. The world is a more interesting place with you in it — so you take care now to extend me the same courtesy." The player counters, "You know I can’t make that promise."

"I do wish we could chat for longer," Filbo explains while taking a drag of an asparagus cigarette on a payphone next to a South American airstrip bar. He sees a load of passengers walking off a twin-prop commuter plane, the last of which is C. Clumby Clumbernut. "I am having an old friend for dinner," Filbo says as he hangs up the phone. The player's face goes white in fear.

Bugsnaxed Away - Sam Chandler, Frisky Dingo

A town is willfully becoming infected, slowly turning into hybrid breeds of Bugsnax. Unbeknownst to you, the bugsnax everyone is eating were once normal people like the tonwsfolk. As you report on the incidents, you too must transform into a Bugsnack. Will you lose your humanity in the process of uncovering the story? Only time will tell.

Something deeply disturbing - Donovan Erskine, Real Boy

It's pretty clear from the trailers that the goings on in Bugsnax is a bit darker than the game leads on. Underneath the sunshine and rainbows exterior, there is some sort of dark conspiracy stuff going down here. I'm not exactly sure what it is, but something isn’t right. I look forward to finding out!

Cannibal Cult - Brittany Vincent, Senior Editor

Snaktooth Island is home to a tribe of creatures called Bugsnax that have been eking out a modest existence for some time. However, they're lead by callous Bugsnax leaders who have little regard for their safety or well-being. These leaders know how delicious their species is and how hilarious it is to turn people into Bugsnax through eating some of the adorable creatures, and such have been sending their brethren to their death at the hands of Grumpuses coming to the island. You have to make sure you stop these evil Bugsnax so that you can keep them from killing off their race one by one, because eating them does kill them or something, right...? I'm not really sure if eating a Bugsnax means you kill it. If so, why are we happily singing about how "we are whatever we eat?" I don't want the Bugsnax to die. Please don't make me eat them.

A Hitman Strawberry Farmer - Bill Lavoy, Virtual Face Puncher

It's taken some in-depth investigations on my part, but I've come to the conclusion that Bugsnax is actually just a game about Agent 47 from the Hitman franchise retiring from a life of assassination to become a strawberry farmer. You’ll see when Hitman 3 comes out. Agent 47 will be no more, replaced by that kid from Hitman: Absolution.

I honestly have no clue what Bugsnax is about, and I don't care. I just know that I want to play it and ignore all other games while I do.

Something lurks in the shadows - Josh Hawkins, Guides Guy

The developers are still keeping things pretty close to the chest with Bugsnax, but I think they have given us a pretty good glimpse of what we can expect from the story. For one, we know that the main community on Snaktooth island has kind of fallen apart and all the residents have gone missing or found themselves lost somewhere on the island. It’s your job to bring them together again, while also investigating the mystery of the Bugsnax that roam around.

It's clear that something sinister is going on behind the scenes, as the residents of Snaktooth Island slowly find themselves turning into snacks themselves as they feast upon the plethora of Bugsnax that reside around the island. If I had to take a guess – which is exactly what we have to do here – I'd wager that Bugsnax will focus heavily on the mystery of the Bugsnax. Where did they come from? Why are they here? Why are we slowly turning into food people as we feast upon their delicious little bodies?

There's a lot of questions left for us to answer, but ultimately I think we’ll find ourselves staring down some big bad mumbo jumbo that we have to defeat using the power of the snacks we’ve ingested along the way. But also who the heck cares if the game has a good story because that thing looks really freaking fun.

Too many questions, have a bugsnax - TJ "The Journalist" Denzer

Hey, hey, hey, look at you over here with your "journalistic integrity." That's a lot of questions you're asking. So what if the inherent nature of Bugsnax is that you eat a bugsnax and a piece of you becomes the bugsnax? So what if there appears to be some kind of clambored together monster entirely made of bugsnax lurking about Snaktooth Island? So what if, regardless of said lumbering and aggressive creature, Elizabeth Megafig is assuring you that everything is perfectly fine, safe, and normal?

Never you mind all of that business. You're here on Snaktooth Island to explore kinda-bugs and kinda-snacks, try to catch them in your trap, and feed somebody so you’ll see we are whatever we eat. Do not look at or listen to the Frasier Kramer-sounding conspiracy Grumpus. Just hope you have a job when you’ve had your fun and get back C. Clumby Clumbernut with your scoop.

BugMunchies- David L. Craddock, Long Reads Editor

You play as a bug who must go on a snack run. Along the way, you encounter bugs you don’t care about your case of the munchies and want to impede your progress. You must snack on them and their snacks to get your snacks. Ideally, you get to the store while the "Buy 1 Bugsnax, Get a 2nd Bugsnax free" promotion is still running so you have snacks after you run out of snacks and want more snacks.

Bug-appetit - Steve Tyminski, Contributing Editor

What's the real Bugsnax story? The trailer makes it look like you're gathering Bugsnax on some island but there has to be more to it than that. I think you're gathering Bugsnax for a large feast for some monster but you don’t know it yet. By the time you realize it, it’s too late and your character is on the menu.

So you've waded through our... ahem... "active" imaginations. What's your guess on what the Bugsnax story is? Entertain us. Join the conversation and let us know. And if you're not part of the Chatty community, hit the button at the top of the page and register your account today.

Shack Staff stories are a collective effort with multiple staff members contributing. Many of our lists often involve entires from several editors, and our weekly Shack Chat is something we all contribute to as a group. 

From The Chatty
Hello, Meet Lola