What is Hotline Miami? Brian Laundrie's gory Instagram images linked to violent game
Brian Laundrie's life story keeps getting more mysterious with each passing day, as internet sleuths uncover more and more about Gabby Petito's boyfriend. In the latest bizarre discovery, Laundrie appears to be linked to a violent game, called 'Hotline Miami', in what can only be described as a strange way. The discovery was made after careful analysis of Laundrie's Instagram page, which shows several violent images shortly before his fatal trip with Petito.
Since his disappearance, two Reddit communities were created in Laundrie's honor. Those communities have become home to some truly odd conspiracy theories, including one that claims he is hunting "for the real killer". Then there's also the mystery of Laundrie's social media accounts, given that he left his wallet and phone at home, leading many to wonder if his parents gave him a second device.
The latest conspiracy theory to talk flight involves Laundrie's drawings posted on Instagram. Shortly after Laundrie and Petito started their journey from Blue Point, New York, Laundrie began to upload his drawings on Instagram. While some are popular characters like Hellboy, Rick and Morty, and Tyler Durden from 'Fight Club', there are also a handful of others that appear to be darker, and more sinister. One drawing features a man in a wolf mask, with a blood-soaked knife. That post was uploaded with the caption "786 519 3708".
The 'Hotline Miami' link
The number in question appears to be a promotion for the game 'Hotline Miami'. When called, it leads to an automated answering machine with two messages, one for each installment of the game. "We are 50 Blessings, together we march, m-m-m-march, into the future. Ahh-h-h-h. You have reached the wrong number," says the message. That's it. There's nothing else to the number apart from the message, that appears to be directly linked to what has been dubbed "the most violent game" a reviewer has ever played.
According to the Steam store, 'Hotline Miami' is a "high-octane action game overflowing with raw brutality, hard-boiled gunplay, and skull crushing close combat." In the game, players "will assume the role of a mysterious antihero on a murderous rampage against the shady underworld at the behest of voices on your answering machine." It claims, "you'll find yourself struggling to get a grip of what is going on and why you are prone to these acts of violence." The game is a top-down first-person shooter set to soundtrack and visuals inspired by the 1980s, along with a wide array of weapons players can use to kill the Russian mafia.
Over the years, the game and its sequel have gone on to achieve critical and commercial fame and is today considered a cult classic. However, there's no denying that it is perhaps one of the bloodiest games to be created. "This is the most brutal display of violence I've seen in the medium," IGN noted in their review of 'Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number'. In fact, it is so violent that back in 2015, Australia refused to classify the sequel because it "depict, express or otherwise deal with matters of sex, drug misuse or addiction, crime, cruelty, violence or revolting or abhorrent phenomena in such a way that they offend against the standards of morality, decency and propriety generally accepted."
Violent images adorn Instagram
It's unclear whether Laundrie played 'Hotline Miami' at any point, but some images he uploaded certainly appear to take that violent tone seen in the game. Beyond the image with the phone number, he has also uploaded another of a bloody skeleton, and the same wolfman image with blacklight paint. Another features a grim reaper "leading sheep to the slaughter" with a mousetrap. Adding to this, he has also posted several captions that have become the subject of wide-ranging conspiracy theories.
In one image of Petito and himself, Laundrie says, "Till death do us part or until I wake up, I’m so happy the answer was yes, Love you hunny." In another, he says, "Thank you @gabspetito for putting up with me through Utah." Normally, such captions would be overlooked, but with the mystery surrounding Petito's death and Laundrie's disappearance, both have been heavily scrutinized on social media and subjected to the most bizarre conspiracy theories.
Is it just a sheer coincidence? Or does Laundrie truly have a violent streak? These are questions to which we have no answer, and will likely not have an answer until he himself responds.