Up until now, the worst you could expect after an ill-advised purchase from Redd the art dealer in Animal Crossing was a dubious fake that Blathers' museum would refuse to take off your hands. New Horizons is seriously upping the stakes, however, with art work that's not just fake but haunted in some cases - morphing unsettlingly as the sun goes down, and possessed by the blinking, grinning, and shifting spectres of the damned.
Well, okay, that's probably a little overdramatic, but there's definitely something up with the paintings in New Horizons, as some unsuspecting Animal Crossing players are starting to report. And although the cataloguing of this haunted art is only just getting underway, the general theme appears to be that all afflicted items are forgeries, and that all undergo some form of transformation as the day goes on, reverting back to normal in the morning.
Certain fake versions of Johannes Vermeer's Girl with a Pearl Earring, for example, will suddenly snap their eyes shut at dusk, and Tōshūsai Sharaku's The actor Otani Oniji III as Yakko Edobei adopts an unsettling grin. The haunted version of Hishikawa Moronobu's Beauty Looking Back, meanwhile, will turn to face in the opposite direction as night falls - and worse, examining the painting rear reveals a woozy stain of the figure seeping through.
And it's not just the paintings either; video has emerged of a fake ancient Dogū statue levitating after sundown when a player interacts with it, and at least one person has documented their fake Rosetta Stone glowing eerily when darkness falls.
i?m not sure if the real informative statue does this but my fake one glows at night ? pic.twitter.com/jBlEjDSLJF— ? (@_mapano_) April 29, 2020
It's another wonderful, if wholly unexpected, bit of attention to detail in New Horizons, and, judging by the response on the internet, has transformed Redd's familiar parade of forgeries from minor annoyances to the must-have collector's item of the season - albeit ones that might suddenly decide to spring off the wall and murder their owners in the middle of night.