Warning: Contains SPOILERS for Rick and Morty season 6, episode 3!
Rick and Morty season 6, episode 3, “Bethic Twinstinct” features a B-story that involves Morty getting a new game system, with the episode referencing many real-world games and game genres throughout. Rick and Morty is no stranger to pop culture references, with parodies of real-world movies, celebrities, and more being one of the most prevalent forms of humor throughout the show. However, the B-story in Rick and Morty‘s “Bethic Twinstict” is dedicated almost entirely to spoofing popular games, so here is every game in the episode and what it is a reference to.
Rick and Morty has always been torn between doing one-off comedic episodes and canonical episodes that maintain continuity, but it seems as if the series has finally found a balance in season 6. Rick and Morty season 6’s canon and one-off episodes are now one and the same, with the season’s episodes presenting fun episodic ideas that also develop the plot. “Bethic Twinstinct” is the perfect example of this, as it continues the arc of Beth and Space Beth to its conclusion while also having a heavy focus on fun video game parodies.
“Bethic Twinstinct” follows Beth and Space Beth developing a romantic relationship, causing all kinds of uncomfortable situations for the Smith family. When Summer and Morty find out, they decide to distract themselves from the bizarre circumstances by playing Morty’s new Game Pod XL, an alien gaming system that is known for its hyper realistic video games. However, as Morty soon finds out, these “realistic” games are not all they’re cracked up to be.
Episode 2 of Rick and Morty heavily parodied Die Hard, and “Bethic Twinstinct” instantly reveals that the series will be continuing its pop culture parodies with Morty playing a clone of the classic Atari game Asteroids at the beginning of the episode. The version of Asteroids that is on the Game Pod XL is very similar to the original, with its minimalist graphics and simple goal of blowing up asteroids. However, when Rick turns up the game’s realism setting, all the asteroids disappear, with Morty soon realizing that the close proximity of the asteroids is unrealistic, revealing that the Game Pod’s realism settings aren’t as great as he originally thought.
Next, Morty sees Rick and Summer playing a game called “Gettin’ To A Street Fight,” a clear parody of the arcade fighting game series Street Fighter. Rick’s character is a spin on Ryu while Summer’s character is clearly a homage to Blanka. Because of the Game Pod’s realism, this version of the game requires the player to play through their character’s entire day, having to find the other character in order to engage in a fight. Rick also mentions that a fight isn’t even guaranteed, adding to the hilarity of the bizarre joke.
Final Fantasy VII
After discovering that Beth and Space Beth are in a relationship, Morty and Summer can be seen playing a parody of Final Fantasy VII, the 1997 turn-based RPG. This version of the game still has the protagonist Cloud Strife, except his Buster Sword is too heavy to lift. Many of Final Fantasy VII‘s mechanics are referenced, such as the game’s Limit Gauge.
Beth and Space Beth’s relationship has been revealed to everyone except Jerry at this point in the episode, and in order to prevent Jerry from discovering the affair, the kids decide to distract him with a game. Morty accidentally turns on “Hide the Affair,” a romantic visual novel game where the user plays as a woman who is cheating on her husband. While “Hide the Affair” isn’t a direct reference to any video game in particular, it is a parody of the visual novel genre of games. Visual Novels are story-based games that often combine frequent dialogue with a series of static images, with the gameplay revolving around various choices the player has to make. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney and Doki Doki Literature Club are some of the more popular examples of the genre, but examples of romantic visual novels are incredibly prevalent online. Jerry’s arc in Rick and Morty has already covered his troubles with Beth, and although it initially seems like Summer and Morty successfully hide Beth’s affair by turning on “Hide the Affair,” ultimately, it doesn’t work out.
The final Game Pod XL game in “Bethic Twinstinct” is played by Rick, Morty, and Summer. The game follows the player character as he attempts to escape the Forest, although Rick doesn’t quite succeed at doing so. Text-based games are one of the oldest genres around, with the format involving the user typing in actions in order to advance. The Oregon Trail and Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy are some of the most popular examples of classic text-based games. When playing the game in Rick and Morty, the game randomly adds vampires and airports, referencing the difficulty that exists in many text-based games. Rick and Morty season 6, episode 3 references tons of video games, from modern games all the way back to gaming’s roots.
New episodes of Rick and Morty season 6 release Sundays on Adult Swim.