Sunday, April 7, 2013

This Shadow (The Hedgehog)


As a kid I always liked violent video games, so when I became a fan of the Sonic the Hedgehog series, I nearly fell in love with the characters. I had gotten hyped up when I started watching the cutscenes of Shadow the Hedgehog. The graphics could have been better at the time, but a good game overall. So after around a year, I managed to buy a preowned PlayStation 2 version of the game from a gaming store by the name of GAME. I was nearly overjoyed by the fact that I owned it.

Shadow as a character never did please me with his so called sad and depressing past, with the death of his friend Maria. In the game I knew about the Black Arms, and how Shadow had obtained the ability to work weapons like a handgun, and that he mildly swore throughout the game.

After coming back from the shop with my parents, I instantly went to my room and turned on the PlayStation 2. I put it in and started. The game loaded and the normal starting save data menu had appeared. I of course clicked the new file and nearly jumped out of my skin at a sudden gunshot SFX from my small black TV. Damn game...I never knew that would happen. I instantly recovered and watched the starting cutscene.

The music for Shadow's game had always had my vote as the best soundtrack in a Sonic game, but the theme song "I Am All Of Me" wasn't playing. Only the sounds of a dying city in the background. The cutscene showed Shadow standing in front of a half-destroyed moon. Funny, I thought they had a plot-hole with the moon. Back in Sonic Adventure 2, Dr Eggman had blown half the moon up as threat to the planet. I must have an up to date one or something! This is so cool!

The black hedgehog looked slightly darker than he should have been. His stance was strange too, with a dead GUN soldier in one hand and what looked like a glowing red Chaos Emerald. Again, I thought it was a better version. I never liked the United Federation anyway.

The screen suddenly was swarmed by Black Arms aliens called Death Leeches around the dead human. Shadow smirked as a shiver went down my spine. The screen then faded to show his glowing red eyes and grin for a slight moment. The game was suddenly was brought to another menu, this time the starter menu to start the game. It then didn't act different at all. No difference to the game or levels. Westoplas was a wreck as it should be. I played until I had spotted a GUN soldier fighting off Black Arms.

I felt a rush of anger at the agent from god knows where and attacked him. He screamed in agony as Shadow shot at him, again with a small grin across his muzzle. Blood pooled around the dead and Shadow's hover skates, staining the pure white design. I also smiled at it. One down, twenty-nine to go.

Time and time again I shot and murdered the GUN agents, until I came across the end of the stage: a Chaos Emerald floating within a ring. I jumped into it and waited for the normal mission ranking screen to pop up, but it only showed Shadow standing there with the gun in his left hand.

Nothing happened as he dropped the gun and ran off the screen, heading to the next level. No cutscene with Black Doom or Sonic. Just skipping to the GUN Fortress level. That's quite a skip. This must be a hacked game or something. I sadly sighed, but continued to play.

I killed more and more GUN soldiers and somehow met up with Black Doom. He congratulated me with my mission on making the humans pay. Shadow didn't bother looking nor answering the Black Arms leader. The next level wasn't a boss with Sonic for the last boss of that path, but sent to Sky Troops. The only level with some difference to me.

It had my name in its title.

Sky without the added "e", but still seemed to link with me. Another cutscene showed with Shadow and Black Doom over looking the level, but as Black Doom talked about that the stage was a flying fortress that he had created over 2000 years before, Shadow stared upward and for the first time, I truly saw his face. Blood had stained his fur and deep dark circles around his eyes as if he had been crying for hours on end. His fur also seemed to be dirty and ungroomed, so it looked nothing like his normal self or like the cover. Black Doom had sank into the floor and left the hedgehog alone.

A voice began to whisper from the speakers in my TV.

"Why did you make me do it? I do want revenge from the humans on Maria, but not like this. Never..."

The "never" had impacted me like a brick. Shadow was talking about the way I was playing the game and choosing his path. He then looked straight at me through the screen.

"Why did you make me a monster, Skye?"

My jaw dropped. Shadow had just said my name and looked at me. My heart seemed to soar in happiness, but mixed with horror. Tears run down his face as his whole body began to shudder.

"I know you care about me. But not the real people around you. Just only me."

A grin slightly grew on his face. I couldn't stand it. This Shadow wasn't the Shadow that I knew and started to actually care about. This was the terror I had created that only looked like him. But I couldn't dare look away from his face.

"I don't want to kill like this anymore...make me stop...before it happens again, Skye...""

As I was about to reset the game, it screeched at me. Shadow screamed in pain as darkness overtook the screen. I suddenly try to talk through the screen just as Shadow had did before.

"Shadow, don't give up into it! Don't!"

My emotions overflowed as nothing had appeared on my screen. Then after moments of silence I spotted a young human girl with blonde hair and blue dress. Not her...anyone but her! The girl just stood there with a small version of Shadow lying in its pool of blood, dead.

Then as the girl turned around, her face changed from her normal facial structure to disfigured and menacing to the eye, and then changed to quite a similar face. My face. I wailed in terror at the sight and then she started to laugh at the dead corpse of the younger Shadow. Then I hear Shadow's voice coming from the game again.


Skye was found dead with a handgun in one hand while holding onto a bloody Shadow the Hedgehog plushie by the hand with a grim smile across its face. All police officers that had seen said scene has been murdered or caused suicide. One officer that was saved from hanging himself screams about a brown haired female teenager with a black and red hedgehog threatening him to not say anything or they would torture him forever...he then was found dead later that night with a direct gunshot to the forehead. Only thing found were bloody footprints of hover skates and trainers.

Dagon The Dark (Skyrim)


Most people don't see this, but Bethesda put a strange feature in The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim. Well, it's not really a feature, it's just a thing that happens. You see, when you use the wait feature, you can see the world move around you really fast.

The wait feature works on an hour-by-hour basis. That is, you can choose to wait a certain number of hours of in-game time. This is different from sleeping because it doesn't heal your wounds. It doesn't put you in a bed during those hours, you just stand there. Most people use this feature for little things, like, for example, if you get out of a dungeon or a building and it's night time, and it's hard to see, you might choose to wait till morning.

The thing about the wait feature that differs from previous Elder Scrolls games, such as Oblivion, is that in between the hours passing you can still see the world around you moving, albeit with an extremely modified frame rate.

Mostly, nothing interesting happens. You see the shadows of trees moving through the day, but nothing of real note. One night I came across something strange happening in between the hours.

I had previously assumed that people and living things didn't even render during Wait time, but it would appear I was wrong. It was about 11 pm, and i was drowsy. I was waiting from 3am in-game to 8am in-game, just waiting for the merchants in Whiterun to open. That's when I noticed something strange pass right by me. I saw some kind of shadowy figure dip out of the ground, up so it's head was showing, then fall back in, all within about half a second. I was shocked at first, and I almost jumped out of my seat. I tried to remember, and decided that the figure must have been the model of a dragon, preforming a flying animation a tad bit lower than it should have been, and missing its texture, just appearing as a black model.

I went on the Bethesda forums to ask about the dragon, but in writing my post, I misspelled "dragon" as "dagon", and we all affectionately dubbed the monster as Dagon the Dark. Even with about three people willing to help me speculate, we were clueless. A person under the alias of "Cylinder-dude" pointed out to me that if Dagon were simply missing his texture files, he wouldn't appear all black, he wouldn't appear at all. he'd be invisible. That's something. He told me he'd dig around in the game files for some all-black dragon textures.

I went back to my game and found something horrible had happened-- there were no more dragons in Skyrim. I searched far and wide for some sort of dragon to fight, but for the life of me, I couldn't find one. Over six in-game days of just wandering around, I didn't encounter one dragon. I even tried summoning Odahviin to fight with me, but nothing came. I did the shout successfully, but no dragon came. I figured something was wrong with my save file, but no-- Dragons were now completely gone.

I tried to start a new game, but that's when it got creepy.

Instead of starting out in the opening prisoner sequence and getting the Unbound quest, the game started off in Whiterun, at Dragonsreach. I searched the whole place and the Jarl was missing. All that happened was I appeared in the hall, and I heard the Jarl's voice say, "You have to slay the beast". I remember questioning weather I had actually heard that audio in-game or not. If you stick around in the hall for a while, you can hear him say, "Please", then the music stops until you leave.

I assumed that by "beast", he meant the drgon you meet in the Dragon Rising quest. I went outside and found Irileth and the rest of the guards waiting for me. I tried talking to Irileth, but all she said was "Please slay the beast".

So, I went down to the tower where you fight the dragon, only to find no dragon. The tower was still wrecked, but nothing was on fire like it usually is. I got close, and suddenly I got pulled into a conversation with one of the guards cowering in the tower. He said, again, with dialogue I had never heard in-game before, "Please... you have to kill it... it's only you... you can save us from it... you have to kill it... Please!" I'm pretty sure that wasn't the voice that guard usually talks in too. I got a dialogue choice; Yes or No. I chose yes, eagar to face the dragon and whatever else my clearly fucked-out game could throw at me.

It was then that the guard looked down at me and scared me. He said something, and it was bit louder than usual. My speakers must have messed up the stereo placement. because it sounded like it was coming from behind me. He said, "Don't just stand there!" in a suprisingly convincing dispair. Then, it happened.

Bam. Dagon the dark dove right the fuck out of the tower, this time without wings (a dragon without wings), swallowed up the guard, and dragged his body into the ground. I jumped, because it made this otherworldly, echo-y grunt that made my speakers buzz and my desk vibrate. From there, it became chaos. All the guards and Irileth started scrambling, running faster than they should have been able to, unarmed and hopeless. One by one, Dagon, a wingless ground dragon came up and swallowed up all of the people, one by one, until there was just me left. And then Dagon came up from out of the darkness and swallowed me. My character got sucked down into the ground, and everything was white. I looked down and the worst part happened. I saw dagon's face. My character's model was inside dagon's model, which was white from the inside, and at the bottom were two piercing, small black eyes and a big black mouth; like a dog's. It stared at me and I couldn't look away, which I initially registered to the game's fault, but soon realized was a deeper problem. I actually couldn't move the mouse. I was paralyzed at my desk, looking at this terrible face. This lasted for what seemed like an eternity, and then I woke up near my bed, standing.

It was insane. I just skipped through time to the next morning, completely blanking out on everything that happened that night. I'm really scared at this point, and I go to my computer to consult Cylinder-Dude about it. I find that he's sent me about five "where are you" messages over the night. I inform him of the events that happened the night prior, then he tells me he can't find the face texture or the dagon "wingless dragon" model anywhere in the game's directory.

He asks me to send him a copy of my game directory so he can patch his game with my buggy files and check it out. I send him the files and over the next few weeks, we both experiment with the game.

First, he played my save file again. He played a few times, and turns out the game has rules:

Rule 1: You need to kill Dagon. How exactly you do that is not certain, but Cylinder-Dude (Who has identified his name as Sam) thinks you may need to get an in-game item to kill him.

Rule 2: You can't let Dagon kill you. Now, this seems impossible at first, but me and Sam gradually found out that the thing that triggers Dagon attacking you is Irileth getting eaten. There is, in fact, a way to save Irileth and, by extension, yourself. Dagon makes a sreetching sound about 1 half-second before he attacks Irileth; If you can sucessfully hear that and start a conversation with her in time, you'll save her from getting eaten.

Rule 3: fast travel and Wait are disabled.

The initial plan was to - Get this - Simply run all over every inch of Skyrim's world, all whilst talking to Irileth every five seconds (we'd used the console to make her follow us), and just keep wandering and searching everywhere for this random item that kills Dagon, somehow. It was a crazy and painstaking plan, but noone can obsess over these things like internet losers.

Sam, understanding my concerns with the game after my black-out episode, offered to try it out for me. (I sent him a thank-you e-mail and he said he was going to work.

And that's the last I heard from Cylinder-Dude.

He was gone. No more e-mails. Nothing. I even scanned the forums for his posts, he just dropped off the map. Nonexistent.

I got scared; so scared I didn't even turn on my computer for a while. I scanned the news for mentions of search parties or something, and eventually succeeded in pushing it to the east-back of my mind. I just tried to forget about Sam and his fate. Of course, it didn't work. As soon as i went to sleep, I hovered over my bed and thought about Sam and what happened to him. It ate me up like; well, like a wingless dragon.

Over the course of a week, I gained the drive to try the game again. I decided that the omputer game ouldn't hurt me-- it was nothing more than a few billion lines of code. I started it up to the opening screen.


I swear to christ, they were chanting, "apples". The home screen music had switched to just a chant of "apples". I disregard my insanity and plunge further into my game.

There are approximately just over 4,000 apples in Skyrim, across barrels and other things. One of them is poison. One of them can kill Dagon. One of them can slay the beast.

I manage to save Irileth for the first few times. I walk backwards, keeping the crosshairs on her in case I need to save her, checking the map every so often to make sure I'm walking in the right direction.

I made it from Whiterun to a fort just outside it before I fucked up and let her die. Which means I had to stare into Dagon's piercing eyes again. Which means I blacked out again. I arose, standing in front of my bed. Angry. Violated. Filled with the kind of strange curiosity that created the first pedophiles. Still determined.

So this is what I did every night. Every night, making it a little further, but blacking out a little longer. This went on for about 2 weeks. Then I found what I made.

Sam is dead. I saw the news that his body had been found naked in the woods. His teeth had been ripped out-- and replaced. With a dog's teeth. This was the morning I woke up in front of my closet, not in front of my bed. I opened my closet.

I swear to Jesus H. Christ that for a mere milisecond - Maybe shorter - I saw Dagon's face in my closet. Did I jump? Of course I jumped. The face went away and at least 40 apples - All with a bite out of them - Some rotting, some fresh - fell out of my closet. Right onto my feet. Apples. Apples. Apples.

"Don't just stand there."

Sam was right behind me. It had to be him. I felt that it was him. I felt what I owed him. He was behind me one instant, and gone in the next. I fell into the apples. They ate me.

He died. He died because of me. He said please. I just stood and did nothing.

There are over 2,000 apples in Skyrim.

Don't just stand there.

You can save us. You can slay the beast.



Saturday, April 6, 2013

Link's Awakening (Black)


For me, the defining Zelda experience was Link’s Awakening. It was the first Zelda title I played and the most challenging. It took me longer to clear than any other game (I was pretty young). That said, it’s clear why this has bothered me so much. A few months ago I was helping a friend of a friend move. After a few hours of heavy lifting we took a break. I saw a box of old game boy cartridges and my eyes lit up. I like the new systems, but I still dig busting out that little 8-bit handheld. Or at least, I did.

The guy we were helping saw me and asked if I felt like buying any. I picked out a couple and then spotted it: Link’s Awakening. I lost mine (The non-DX one) and was looking to replace it. He looked confused when I asked him how much he wanted for it, like he forgot he owned it. I paid him, pocketed the games and went back to work. I should stress this: There was nothing wrong with the cartridge. The label was fine, the cartridge wasn’t cracked, nothing. I probably wouldn’t have bought it otherwise. The game started off normally. There was nothing off about the music, color or animation. I was stoked to play it again. Then I went to start a file.

Something was wrong. First off, there was no music; there was only this barely audible thumping noise every other second. Next was the top right of the screen. The knight statues had been replaced with two Stalfos. Different from what I remembered. The thing that convinced me it was a defect was that there was only one (empty) file. The other two were gone. At this point the thumping noise was starting to annoy me, so I started the file and entered “Link.” The game was faulty, but I was curious to see how.

It started off with Link tossing and turning while Marin watches. There was no music, but the thumping noise was gone. When I woke up Marin says the wait is over. She then said she’d “make preparations” and left the room. I tried to leave only to be stopped at the door by a dialogue box that read “…” prompting me to speak with Tarin. His friendly tone was gone. He was pleading with me, offering my shield and asking to go. He begged, saying he’d tell me where the sword was. The usual sound effect for text was replaced by something duller and strangely paced. His wording and tone made it sound like Tarin was crying. He then insisted that I must be hungry, promising to make me mushroom stew before rushing out of the room.

It wasn’t defective; it was hacked. Realizing that made the sequence with Tarin kind of interesting. I started exploring the village. The physical layout of everything was the same as I remembered except for two things. All the human characters that lived outside of the village were now in it (Except for the witch). Richard and the Cucco Keeper were standing near the Cucco statue, Crazy Tracy was at the center of the field of bushes, the second Fisherman was beneath the first and Mr. Write was beside the library. The music was the same track used for the village in the original, but slower and a bit scratchy. Second, the crane-game was gone. In its place was an area fenced off by lit torches. Inside was a large collection of bone piles, the same ones used in the caves and dungeons. In this area there was no music. Just a low pitch broken up by sharp, awkward breaks.

Every villager laughed and said that I couldn’t be “him” because I had no sword. The one exception was Ulrira. His sprite changed to show that his eyebrows were lowered angrily. The sword comment was an obvious hint, so I headed toward the beach. I made my way down, the music fading to silence. Oddly, there were no monsters. I was more confused than bothered by it and went for the sword. The owl flew down when I got near it. He cackled and talked about how glad he was to fulfill his role. He ordered me to take the sword and go to the Mysterious Forest before flying off. I grabbed the sword (not that there were enemies to fight with it) and headed back toward the village/forest.

Near the village the owl appeared again. Walking toward it caused him to scream about how you can’t go; that they can’t know and that they don’t deserve to. The game was forcing me into the forest, the layout of which had been changed. From the first screen I could only go right, where I found the witch’s hut. The dull thumping noise started again. When I entered it became faster. Speaking with the witch made it louder and even faster. She insisted that there were “other ways to make it” and offered power for “a way out.” The game shot out this brief, high pitched screeching noise. Syrup’s sprite stopped moving and no further text could be prompted. I left the hut and headed right.

The next screen was more familiar. It was Tarin in his raccoon form. The crying sound from earlier began looping, louder this time. He charged and began doing damage, crying as he did. The shield kept him off of me, letting me pull up my inventory. The magic powder had been added. I threw some onto him, thinking it would cure him. His sprite movements became faster, and text appeared as he screamed about how his skin was burning. A new animation played, the game releasing another of those high-pitched screeches. This one lasted for the whole animation, mixing different sound effects. Lines of darkness began to cover Tarin’s sprite until he was covered. The arms fell off, his eyes disappearing as the ground was stained with his blood. The game was making sure I heard Tarin’s suffering. I was horrified.

He hit the ground, a pile of blood and guts. The crying sound looped softly. The owl flew in and marked how excellent it was. I had done it almost to the letter. He screamed at me to put the thing out of its misery. I had no idea what to do. A new dialogue box popped up, Tarin whimpering about the sword. I turned the game off. A few minutes later I turned it back on, annoyed at the idea of the hacker getting one over on me. The file name had changed from “Link” to “Black.” I was intimidated, but determined. It brought me to the point I had just left. The fact that I hadn’t saved made me nervous. Everything was the same except Link’s clothing. I couldn’t tell if it was meant to be red or black, but the file name gave me a hint.

I cut at the Tarin sprite. The panels above and below Tarin became dark and the game made that horrible screeching noise. The owl flapped its wings and laughed, complimenting me. He ordered me deeper into the forest before saying “two down.” Hearing that, I went to the previous screen, into Syrup’s hut. There was crudely drawn blood everywhere. Syrup’s head was on her table. The rat was hopping up and down beside it, feasting. I searched around and found nothing until I reached her cauldron. Text appeared. “Still a few bones in here. What’d you think magic powder was made of?”

I saw it as a taunt and resolved to keep going. No enemies, no music. Screen after screen of forest, with a soft high-pitched screech in the background. Eventually I had to go north, traveling a few more screens before finding it. At the center of the screen was a black sword. To either side were two treasure chests. The right contained the fire wand, the left the ocarina. Taking the sword summoned the owl, who proceeded to teach me “the Lullaby of Longslumber.” It didn’t sound like music, just hisses and scratches like a series of audio errors. He then asked me to try the wand. Trying to leave caused “…Afraid?” to pop up. I used the wand, trying to defy it. The screen flashed white for a second, followed by every tree on fire. The owl giggled, flapping his wings and screaming about how they can be given no quarter.

Everything in the forest was on fire, including some floor panels. Eventually I was out, the high-pitched noise ringing the entire time with the sound of burning. I decided to talk to the villagers to see if there had been a change in their dialogue. I started with Madame Meowmeow. The thumping noise started again as soon as I entered her screen.

It was similar to the witch. Meowmeow starts pleading and the audio for her text sounded like crying. She apologized, saying that they were just too hungry. The same screeching noise before her sprite stops. When I left her house Bow-wow was gone. I went back inside to see what had happened. Meowmeow was in pieces, blood all over. Bow-wow was moving from piece to piece. Interacting with him brought up a box that talked about how happy he seemed. How hungry.

Leaving the house I saw the owl again. He was eager he was to keep going. He told me to play the Lullaby It would speed things along. The prospect bothered me, but getting through this insult to my childhood faster sounded good. Playing the lullaby led me to a room like the ones you found at the end of each dungeon. There was a treasure chest and two full heart pieces. A plaque on the wall read that for every “one you carry out” you’d receive new treasures. I took the items (the first was the roc’s feather) and left through an exit at the rear of the room, which brought me back to Marin’s house.

Trees blocked off the plains and beach, the forest by fire. The select glitch brought me into a black screen that forced a reset. There was no way out of the village. It was a weird, cruel cycle. I approached a villager, they said something, that horrible screeching noise sounded out and I came back to see something horrific and disturbing. I’ll post their dialogue and how I found them here:

Crazy Tracy: “Before you do it, tell me I’m pretty.” / A bloody pile with skin to the right. Richard: “You silence only a symptom. I was merely the first.” / His hands and tongue formed a triangle around him. He was in a pool of blood. Ulrira: “You actually let me think I’d go to old age. How unkind.” / He was lying sideways with the telephone where his head would have been. The blood scattered all over the floor made it look like his head had been smashed apart with the phone Ulrira’s wife: “I won’t hide. Won’t give you the pleasure.” / I never saw her, but when I tried to interact with one of the cabinets it read, “She’s finished bleeding out. Leave her in there.” Cucco Keeper: “Ha ha, I’ll find a way out!” / Impaled on the Cucco statue. The Fishermen: “The funniest part? I don’t regret it.” “Me either.”/ Their fishing poles are by the pond. If you interact with them it reads, “No more bubbles. You’d reel them up, but it would just tear it off” Papahl, Wife, and Child: “Anything! Name it, it’s yours! I can get it! I can get anything!” “Mercy. The one thing I couldn’t get my hands on.” “Why?” / Found them hung by what appears to be the hookshot chain. Shopkeeper: “Everything I’ve got, here and back home. Information, powders, weapons. Just lemme sail away. You’ll never hear from me again.” / Found him in pieces with arrows in his torso. The fact that the bombs and bow are missing from his stock suggests that that’s what was used. Mr. Write: “I never stopped, you know. Here’s the key. You’ll need a magnifying lens.” / He was sitting at his desk, black pixels around where his mouth was and his hands cut off. I didn’t catch on to what the black pixels were about until later.

When I killed the last victim the owl appeared. He thanked me for helping him to fulfill his role. He said I’d find Marin in front of the library. I found Marin, who said it was almost time to go. She gave me the magnifying lens and told me to take my time. Inside there were more books out than in the original, with one blank bookstand near the entrance. Each was a profile organized by crime and sentence. From top left to bottom right:

Richard staged a coup against the Hyrule royal family. He was left to bleed to death publicly after having his hands cut off and tongue removed as punishment. Ulrira, a former advisor, betrayed the throne as Richard’s informant. His skull was caved in with the medium that represented communication. Ulrira’s wife hid criminals and rebels in support of her husband and Richard. She was given a small but mortal wound and bound before being left to die in a small, confined space similar to the ones she used to hide others. Mr. Write wrote slander during the coup. His hands were cut off to rob him of his favorite pastime before being force-fed enough ink to burst his stomach.

Papahl and his family where thieves. They were hung facing one another so the last thing they could steal was a look at their suffering loved ones. Crazy Tracy was a man who skinned women and wore their flesh. He would wear the face as a mask and hide within what looked like a seat, the body stuffed to appear as though it was sitting. That is why the body seems so much smaller. Skinned alive. Syrup kidnapped and sacrificed a child to the black arts. She was forced to watch the bones from her arms and legs be used in making magic powder before being beheaded.

Cucco Keeper was a felon who escaped every prison in Hyrule. Impaled on a statue that represented freedom. The fishermen were pedophiles. Drowned with their genitals attached to fishing hooks. Madame Meowmeow killed her children and fed them to her pets. Diced into pieces and served to animals. The shopkeeper was a powerful criminal drugs and arms dealer. Killed with his wares, magic powder forced down his throat. Tarin was a serial rapist. He was transformed into a literal beast and then executed.

At this point I felt sick. That low thumping in place of music wasn’t helping. It grew slower and duller, as if the sound were trudging along. I spoke with Marin and she explained the rest of it. Koholint is a prison island. The worst of Hyrule’s criminals are sent there before receiving their death sentence from the judge: The owl. He had been waiting for an executioner, someone to carry out his will. I was sent by Hyrule to enact the wishes of the throne, leaving their carcasses as a warning to the next group.

Marin was innocent. She had been wrongfully sentenced for a gruesome crime she had no part in. She accepted that she would be killed by the executioner, but refused to give Hyrule the satisfaction of fearing it. Nor would she let her name be passed around in horror stories. She saved me so that you could tell them they had failed to break her. She asked if I was ready to end it. I was given the option of “yes” or “no,” but choosing “no” just let me explore the village again. When I said “yes,” the screen faded to white.

It came back up to an animation of Link, or Black, sailing away. He looked satisfied. Happy, even. It then cut to a drawing of the library. Marin was lying propped up against it with her eyes rolled back. Her throat and stomach had been cut open, with a huge slash across her face. A lot of care was given to the blood and guts. It was disturbing, and the picture has stuck with me long after I turned off the game.

Bold font appeared in front of her reading “CONGRATULATIONS.” Beneath it in smaller black print was “You’re the hero of Hyrule!” It fades to black, before white text appears at the center of the screen.

“And no one will ever know you volunteered for it.”

Minecraft corruption images

Not 'pasta, but sometimes you gotta draw from real life.

Or a broken graphics engine.

Think there's also a video somewhere.

- Owner

Minecraft OGG Files


During the 2010 Halloween update, Notch momentarily had an alternate download link available from the development blog. I decided to update from the blog, rather than let Minecraft update on its own. I simply extracted all of the files from the Winzip file to the game. I was about to leave for an out-of-country trip, so I (unwillingly) had to extract the files, shut down, and leave for Europe without trying the new features.

I returned two weeks later and forgot about Minecraft for a while. I needed to do a project for my Mass Communications class, though, so I wanted some somber melodies to accompany it. Instantly, I thought of Minecraft's bleak tunes and went digging into the Minecraft .ogg files. I chose calm2.ogg for the presentation, but I stuck around to listen to the other songs. In the 'resources' file, there was a folder, all on its own, entitled simply, "New Folder." I opened the folder to find "ashes1ashes.ogg" and played it in Audacity. There was nothing really heard, just silence and faint clicking noises. I sent the song to a fellow Minecrafter who works professionally with sound editing, but they didn't find anything.

I eventually started to play Minecraft again, for the first time in a month. The game updated and I played all night, making portals to the Nether and messing around. I wanted to listen to 'ashes1ashes.ogg' again, but the folder had been removed upon Minecraft updating. I found the file in my e-mails and downloaded the attachment back onto my computer, this time throwing the song with the other music files. That's when everything went downhill. I opened up my world to find everything on fire, including myself. My hearts would run out, refill, then run out again. Everything was on fire: the grass, the water, even the pigs and chickens. I tried reloading the world several times, but everything still burned. I deleted the world and created a new one, but that world was on fire as well. I decided to explore a bit and tried playing through a day. It was upon sunrise, the time music generally starts to play, that I heard it. It was a man, humming a melody, clear as day. I listened to it, through the cracks and pops of the fire. It wasn't any recognizable tune, just something a father would hum to a sleepy child. Halfway through the song, the humming started to break up into a bit of a sob. Finally, the song cut off abruptly and the game shut down. There were no pop-up warnings or title screens. The world was deleted, too. I searched for 'ashes1ashes.ogg' on the forums, to no avail. I checked the blog and noticed that the alternate download link I used on Halloween had been removed. Then I googled it, producing an angelfire page with two links: 'ashes1ashes.ogg' and 'ashes2ashes.ogg.' The first song produced the same sounds as the ones I had - silence and clicks. Hesitantly, I listened to ashes2ashes.ogg. It seemed to pick up where 'ashes1ashes' had left off. The humming turned almost directly to complete sobbing. The sobbing turned to silence, and and at the end the man spoke something in what seemed to be another language. I transferred 'ashes2ashes.ogg' to the music folder in Minecraft, and all hell broke loose. Never again.

(Click here <> to go to the AngelFire site mentioned in the story. You're welcome.) 

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[Having trouble uploading the files. - Owner]

Kingdom Hearts Cathedral Glitch


Remember the beginning of Kingdom Hearts? Sora is in a limbo-like shadow area standing on cathedral-like objects made of stained glass showing a Disney Princess in a scene from a movie. Usually, if you were to be defeated by the Heartless, you would start over from the beginning of the fight. However, If you were defeated on top of the Snow White cathedral and died exactly in the center of the apple she is holding, you won’t start before the battle.

Instead, Sora respawns in a different cathedral.

The first thing one notices about the area is the music. Instead of being choir-like or happy, as the music in the game often is, the music is nothing but this odd static sound with a single broken violin attempting to play a scratchy version of the Kingdom Hearts theme. The longer one stays in this area, the louder the ‘music’ gets, and even trying to mute or turn down the television won’t shut the music up. As for the stained glass floor, it’s like the Snow White one, but the color of the glass is harsher and the scene is somewhat more frightening than the original. Instead of having Snow White eating an apple, she is dead at the bottom and holding the apple, blood leaking from her eyes, nose, and mouth while the evil queen laughs in triumph while holding a bloody heart. As you progress sin this place, the other cathedrals have similar scenes, Beauty watches in horror as her father is devoured by the Beast, Sleeping Beauty lies completely still, her face a gaunt gray (hinting at some sort of decomposition) while King Phillip is burned to death by Dragon Maleficent, Cinderella is sold into slavery by her step-sisters… The scenes basically show what dark ending could have been put into the story. The detail in the pictures (especially the gruesome segments) is far more advanced than one would expect from a game of this time.

The Heartless you face in this area are also different. Instead of being cute shadows, they have yellow eyes with red irises and are taller than Sora, more slender, and have claws at the ends of their hands. These creatures move insanely fast, and they often dispatch all but the most experienced players with ease. They are also difficult to see as they blend in with the black background. Most people are only able to see their eyes. The staff and the shield don’t work against these creatures, so only people with the sword are able to fight them. Most people who randomly stumble upon this often reset the game, thinking it’s a glitch, and because they’re unable to get farther than the first cathedral…however, there are some who have made it further to other cathedrals. The music gets louder (as mentioned before) and a strange whispering can be heard beneath the noise and violin. Finally, the player makes it to the last cathedral in the area and fights the giant Sora-shadow Heartless. He is different than the one you usually fight. There is no heart-shaped hole in his chest, and his eyes are red with yellow irises. The fight is rather short, as well. The giant grabs Sora, who begins to be wrapped up by the darkness; it begins to enter his eyes, nose, ears, and mouth. Sora begins to scream while the violin begins to play louder, combining with the whisperings and other screams, when it soon becomes a mess of noise until the darkness covers Sora completely. Most of the noise (save for the whispering) abruptly stops and the words “Game Over” flask continually on the screen.

Players who try to reset the game and start over find that every time they try to play that copy, all the screen show is the Game Over sign with the whispering in the background. The very few players who made it that far have also reported to hear whispering when they are alone in rooms and have seen red eyes with yellow irises in dark and distant places. The designers of the game deny ever making this section and say that creatures, area, story, and music don’t appear in the code. They claim it is a fabrication by people with a sick sense of humor. However, there was one designer, one Akane Hoyotami, who was on the game only in the beginning stages (when this level was being created) and left shortly after this section was finished. Because of the fact that he left so early, his role in the game is unaccredited. He made some calls to the Japanese police, claiming that there were creatures following him with red eyes and yellow irises. The police dismissed his reports as the ramblings of a lunatic and led him out of the police station. He was found dead the next morning, cut up with what appeared to be sharp nails. The neighbor in the apartment next to him claimed that they heard Akane screaming about eyes and whispering when they called the police.

MARIO (SMW hack)


MARIO is a Super Mario World ROM hack pasta by SMW Central user Adam. The hack patch can be downloaded here.

(Note: This is a true story, and sums up my thoughts as I was playing this, and I had no idea I was about to be bullshitted the way I was when I played this and I can say it is by far the creepiest hack I've played. If you were on IRC you would have heard me talking about it as well, but anyways it's late at night, and I don't have alot of time, and I need to get to sleep, so this is all I have time for...)

So, it all happened, on tonight of all nights. I was bored, obviously contemplating what I thought I could do to waste time as I chatted with the people in #smwc. We had good times, and shared a few laughs together. Out of boredom, I decided to patrol the "Hacks waiting to be moderated" section. Seems that we had quite a bit, 33 if I recall correctly. The first few hacks I saw when I sorted them by date were a couple really horrible ones with bad screenshots to boot. Naturally showed these hacks to the centralites currently on #smwc. We were laughing at how bad some of them were, but then I got to a hack called "MARIO" just that, nothing more, nothing less. The description seemed quite odd, as if some Japanese hacker was trying to translate the original plot of Super Mario World into English and failing horribly. I showed this to kieran and he started laughing at the description, it reads as follows:

"As you play the role of Super Mario plumber, verify that you are beautiful Purinsesutozutouru again Bowser kidnapped the evil king. It is your job to save her! This hack includes six levels of very long."

I simply dismissed this as someone trying to act Japanese and release a crappy hack with some edits, or so, that's what I thought this was, at first...

Curiosity got the best of me, I decided to download the hack. Not knowing what I was in for, since the single screenshot of the hack was the title screen with nothing but the letters "MARIO" from Super Mario World's title screen. I thought it was a little odd how there were no dates or anything either, as hackers usually place their names and dates on the titles to mark when the project was started.

So, when I opened the hack, I was greeted by 2 files. One called 3007014, a simple .txt file 27 KB in size, and the IPS file, simply named "MARIO." For some odd reason I wanted to see what the author of the hack had to say, but I opened the hack in Notepad but there was nothing but indistinguishable symbols and letters and punctuation, sort of like how when you open a rom in a text editor like Notepad. Seemes like the author just completely copied his ROM to .txt form, though I could be wrong. Taking a closer look, at the top of the .txt file mixed in with the jibberish I find the only thing that looks like English there. Here is a piece of what I found:

"ÿØÿà JFIF H H ÿþ 1find me find me find me find me find me find meÿÛ C"

To be honest I didn't know what to make of this, and I thought it was to simply waste some of my time by making me find some text in the jibberish file. That I'm willing to bet no one will ever be able to make sense of.

I decided that my interest was growing steadily, so I started looking through my horribly disorganized download folder for a copy of a clean ROM I had downloaded a great deal of time before the events of tonight unfolded, and an IPS patcher of course my choice for the job was Lunar Ips (LIPS).

So, I then proceeded to move the ROM and the IPS patcher to the folder with the hack. I patched the ROM, not knowing what to expect next, and I quickly hurried to drag it to ZSNES and play what I thought was to be shit in the form of a ROM image. I noticed on boot up that the author had taken the time to change the header of his hack. Instead of the usual "super marioworld" you normally see when booting up a rom in ZSNES, it just had the letters "MARIO" there again. At this point I gained a little hope, because normally people who do horrible half assed edits to the ROM generally don't know enough to change a header title. I thought I wasn't wasting my time with this, and my mood brightened slightly at the thought of seeing that the author had to offer in his interesting little hack. So, the title screen loaded, exactly like it would with Super Mario World, except it had just "MARIO" on the title like I had mentioned earlier. Something else had grabbed my interest moreso than the unusual absence of layer 3 tiles on the title screen. Mario's normal bright colored and happy palette seemed, how can I put it..."dull." What was once violet-like red was now what seemed like grey with a slight red tint to it, and I'm fairly sure his pants were looking more grey than blue too...I thought this was strange, and I wondered why he had decided to give Mario such a dull palette...regardless as to what his intentions were, I felt that something was....wrong. Not in the sense that the palette was slightly bad, but, that the hack was, empty, like something had happened. Upon pressing start and selecting a new file, like alot of other countless Mario hacks I have played in the past, there was some sort of intro screen that basically described the entirety of the plot in a short paragraph just small enough to fit into a small black box. I began reading, and for the most part, the message stayed the same, but there was one key factor that made this interesting. Apparently the main antagonist of this hack wasnt Bowser at was....Mario?!

The message says as follows:

"Welcome! This is Dinosaur Land. In this strange land we find that Princess Toadstool is missing again! Looks like Mario is at it again!"

What the? "This wasn't the original message from Super Mario World," I thought to myself. Normally I wouldn't think anything of this, seeing as how over my nearly 2 years at SMWCentral I have played countless hacks and have seen many different intro messages, but this one really stuck out. At this point, I definitely knew there was something odd about this hack. Upon letting the intro level music play, I pressed the start button on my controller to finally get to the overworld and begin my journey into this unknown hack. Upon entering the overworld, everything seemed normal. Same old level paths, same old music, but the level names were different. Instead of "YOSHI'S HOUSE" like it always has been every time I've ever played Super Mario World, it was now simply just "YOSHI'S." The "HOUSE" part was gone. I thought that this was strange, and I began to lose hope in the hack because it had seemed like barely anything had changed at all from the original. I was hoping to see something new. Well, unluckily for me, I got my wish, as you'll see when you read on. I decided to enter the level out of curiosity. When I entered, the whole house that's normally there was gone. No more smoke, no more fire, no more little birdies, no more tree house. All that was left was the message box. I decided to hit it. Upon opening, the message I expected to be there was replaced with what seemed like binary.

"01101110011011110111010001100101011100000110000101100100 -Yoshi"

Apparently it says, "notepad"

At this point, I was on IRC telling everyone about how the hack was starting to weird me out, which in itself yielded some sarcastic responses, but hey, I expected it. Anyways, after this my interest level in the hack skyrocketed, and along with it my paranoia. Oh boy, was in in for a fun surprise. So, I decided to head left. Upon reaching what was before known as "YOSHI'S ISLAND 1," the level was now labelled "never come back." Now I thought things were going to be all kaizo death trap, because generally that is what people name their levels in kaizo hacks to make sure the player doesn't go there. To my surprise, it wasn't quite that way, though, I wish that it had been. Upon entering level 105 I am greeted by the insanely loud clown car sound that Bowser's flying vehicle makes right before peach falls out. Of course, with my headphones being moderately high, the sound scared the living shits out of me, which wouldnt have happened if I hadn't been so nervous before hand. I decided at this time it would be best if I turned the volume on my headphones down, as to not get anymore unpleasant surprises such as that one.

When I entered the level, other than the music, everything seemed to be the same, except for the fact that the little Koopa that slides on the ledges wasn't there anymore, nor was the Banzai Bill. The Dragon Coin was still there, however for some odd reason I wasnt able to collect it, or rather, any Dragon Coins at all. The author made certain of that. I also noticed that there was a brown used block near the spot where the Banzai Bill normally shows up. I can only assume this was a revisit to the level after I had beaten it like I heard in some half assed creepy stories in other Mario games. Now I was wondering why things were like this, making me wonder about the intro message. Had Mario done something previously to Dinosaur Land? Was this in Bowser's point of view? I quickly dismissed the latter option, because it seemed kind of stupid. So that left me thinking that Mario at one point and time in the author's story did something, but what?

What did Mario do? My mind was nothing but rushing thoughts at this point. However I quickly dismissed them and ventured further into the level, only to find that all blocks had basically been hit, coins had been collected (save Dragon Coins, those were still there and unobtainable), that there were no enemies, and that I could no longer go down pipes. "What kind of bullshit was I playing here?" I kept thinking to myself. At this point, I felt uncomfortable. I decided to keep venturing. Eventually I came across a message box, which I wasn't surprised was still in the level. Being the idiot I am, I went and hit the box. Upon hitting it, I am greeted with the familiar black box once again. The message was edited obvously. As I had figured that this was a given at this point. It reads as follows:

"-POINT OF ADVICE- I hate you"

Now, I thought things were starting to get the vibe that the author was a twisted and warped individual, and that I was right about Mario having done something. At this point I was basically rushing to get to the end of the level, so I just scurried by, and then I came across another message box, however this one was just a blank box with "POINT OF ADVICE" at the top with nothing else in it. I quickly disregarded it and headed off further to the right hoping to free myself of the hell that was once level 105. Upon reaching the end I saw a Fire Flower in the top block where the 4 way block intersection used to be, however it's too high for me to reach by normal means, so I just continued onward, like the blind curious idiot I am would do. So I finally beat the level, and as usual the path to the Yellow Switch Palace is unlocked. I decided to head up the path that normally leads to the Yellow Switch Palace, and I find that when I enter the main overworld, every other landmass and decoration besides the ghosts from the Ghost Houses and Yoshi's island itself are gone. Nothing really changed at the Yellow Switch Palace except for the switch message. All that changed was that -SWITCH PALACE- was changed to -MARIO WORLD-. Boring. Anyways, just when I thought I was done with this abomination that calls itself a hack, I find that Yoshi's Island 2 has also been edited. "Oh joy!" I thought to myself. <sarcasm/>

Upon reaching Yoshi's Island 2 I find that it has been renamed to YOSHI'S HOUSE, the original name of level 104.

I decide to enter and find that the palette of the level has been changed along with the background. They seemed to have been changed to the same palette as Yoshi's Island 3, you know, greenish tan and such. Except the background was pushed down some and was now a rotting brown color, and that the vegetation on the FG was now no longer present. I decide to explore the level a bit and come across the trail of Koopas, that countless players have used a shell to rack free 1up's with. I decide to ignore them and go see if any more of the level is changed. I eventually come across the ? that holds Yoshi and decide to free him. Upon freeing him, I now get this message:

"Hooray! Thank you for rescuing me. My name is Yoshi. On my way to rescue my friends, Mario trapped me in that egg."

This had me wondering what kind of sick and twisted hack I'm playing. I'm now having thoughts of all possible scenarios of Mario attacking Dinosaur Land horribly and causing irreversible damage. The author had me hooked with his sick little game, and like any other idiot, I took the bait and kept coming back for more..

Somewhere not far off from the Yoshi ? Block, I found a message box, in the same place I remember that it always had been, though, if I've learned anything at all from playing this, it's that whatever had to be in that message box message was not going to be even remotely normal in the slightest. This made me hesitant to hit it, but I ended up doing so anyways. I wanted to find out more. The message I was greeted with was as follows.


is there anything I can do to change your mind?"

"What the fuck?!" I thought to myself. What the hell did this even mean? Change my mind? What would I change my mind about anyways? Was this about Mario and whatever he did, and about how people were trying to convince him otherwise to stop? Was Yoshi talking to me through message boxes? Or, was it about me? About me playing the hack, asking me, as if the hack was trying to talk to me through message boxes. Either way, whether it was for more backstory on what Mario had done, or if it was questioning my decision to keep going, I decided to keep progressing despite the obvious signs that I should have quit playing the hack a while ago. As I progressed further, I found that I was right, all vegetation was now gone, and nothing was left at all, save a few enemies, like Chucks and moles and such, even the pipes were gone. I came across another message box. Like all other times before, I decided to hit it. I was greeted with yet another cryptic message...

"-POINT OF ADVICE- This is the selfish way out."

The selfish way out? What the hell, was he calling me selfish for continuing to play the hack despite the warnings? Had Mario made some kind of selfish decision that only benefited him? Was Yoshi still trying to talk to me? What the hell was this guy trying to tell me? At this point I was creeped out to the point of where I was shaking slightly, a mix of anticipation, fear, and the fact that my room was terribly cold last night. I closed the message box and once again proceeded further. The area with the moles seemed the same, except for the fact that the block next to the vine block was gone, along with the happy clouds and Dragon Coin the vine allowed access to. This made me feel gloomy, to say the least, not so much frightened as I was's a feeling I couldn't really explain well. From this point on, it was basically just a big empty stretch of land to the end of the level. I proceeded quickly, I wanted to get the fuck out of there, as I felt that I had spent enough time looking around. So, me and Yoshi (I still had him at the time) opened up the next path on the overworld. It too was changed. What was once Yoshi's Island 3 now read as "Yoshi's Island 7." Memories of Super Bobido World flooded my mind, how the levels would take giant leaps in number order which made it seem ridiculous, though at this time I didn't quite find it as humorous, due to common sense and obvious reasons explained earlier. I entered the level. As I entered, I was welcomed by a solid black background, and a blue and grey colored floor. The place seemed frozen...lifeless and barren. There was nothing in the level at all, save the goal point.

Just a clear stretch of land with nothing else at all. I quickly lost interest and finished the level, though this was what seemed like the most empty and creepy level in the game, though as you'll read on, it gets far worse. With the level beaten, a new path opened up. Yoshi's Island 4 was now just "leave now." Now I hesitated as to whether I would stop playing, but my interest kept me going further. At this point #smwc was nothing but me posting findings and messages from the hack, so others could experience what I was experiencing. The channel sadly was unusually inactive, seemed like no one really cared, or wasn't around. I felt alone. I proceeded into the level. For the most part, everything seemed the same, save for the fact that there was now no water at all to keep me from falling in pits without using Yoshi as a sacrifice. The level was also void of all enemies as well.

Whenever I got to an area that seemed too far for me to jump, I found that I could just walk right across on this air, thus getting rid of the need to use Yoshi as a sacrifice. It's apparent that the hack wanted me to keep him, I could tell that much. I was able to get to the pipe that usually leads to the exit level. I went in and found that the room was exactly the same, everything in the right place and nothing edited...or so I thought. The message box once again broke the mood of that brief moment of relief I had gained upon entering the pipe. At this point I was questioning whether I should keep going to see how it ends, or quit now while I still have a bit of common sense left. The message box was sort of indistinguishable, and I couldnt really make sense of it.

"You get if you cut the at the end. If you collect you can."

For a moment I tried to figure out what the box meant but eventually I just gave up and beat the level. I figured that box wasn't worth the time anyways. With the level beaten, the path to the first world castle opened, now renamed from "#1 Iggy's Castle" to "#1 GO BACK". I sure did feel welcome here. <sarcasm/>.

I decided to completely ignore the level name, as I just wanted to get this over with and to be done with it forever. What seemed like a normal castle intro was made especially creepy, given the fact that I had to dismount Yoshi. I felt for the first time that I was actually abandoning him, and that I wish I had taken him with me. The inside room of the castle looked strange. There was this darkish blueish greenish black lava on the ceiling, and there were goal points that looked like pillars. Aside from that, next to each pillar, there was an increasing amount of message boxes next to each pillar the further I got. The room was basically just a big hallway with no enemies or anything of the sort. Every message box I pressed either gave me a blank box with Yoshi's signature at the bottom, or the message that as follows...

"Don't you think you've caused enough trouble?"

Another cryptic message, though at this point I wasn't surprised, not in the slightest. Again, the thoughts in my head started circling. Wondering what exactly Mario had done, why he was here, and why everything seemed to hate everything about him and wanted him gone forever. I was feeling more depressed than scared at this point to be honest, and I had no idea what to expect next. I proceeded down the long hallway, checking message boxes filled with nothing but the same 2 messages over and over. It's like they were telling me to stop playing, or something. Obviously, I ignored them and kept going. I eventually reached the end of the hallway, there was a door, I entered it. I was welcomed by nothing but a small section of land, and at that, the level was auto scrolling, so I figured that this must be the end, that the author wanted me to jump in the pit and commit suicide or something, thus ending my journey. I was wrong, the auto scroll pushed me over the ledge, and I was still walking, unfortunately. The whole level was nothing but a long stretch over invisible land to another small piece of land just big enough for a boss door to fit. The auto scroll came to a stop, and I prepared for the worst. I gathered my composure, swallowed some of the spit in my mouth, and took a deep breath. I entered.

Nothing but a normal Iggy boss, I felt cheated in a way, though. I was happy to THINK it was finally over. I defeated Iggy with 2 jumps effortlessly, which was actually the quickest I'd ever beaten him before. After he fell in the lava, the course clear message popped up as usual. It ended and I was brought to the rescue egg scene, though instead of the usual message, I was shown something disturbing and vastly different, like a profile for the scene of a crime. It was as follows.

"Victim #1: Eyeballs were unable to be found. The victim was found lying on her carpet. Causes of death unknown, handmarks with unidentifiable fingerprints were found all over the corpse."

"What the fuck is wrong with this guy?" I said in as I read the disturbing message. I mean, it was a hack, but still. Who the hell was this victim? Why were her eyeballs gouged out, and just what could have made those unidentifiable finger prints that were found on her body? Was this Mario's doing? Is this what the author was trying to tell me? And furthermore, was the girl Princess Peach? It took me a while to see if I read the message correctly, then I proceeded outwards, though I was wondering what happened next, since the main map was completely gone and there was no trace of it anywhere. To my surprise, it still showed the path marked for Donut Plains, the event tiles still being there, marking the path to the lone level on the giant map that was once the main world. It was still called Donut Plains 1. I thought we were finally done once more, but when I entered the level I could see that like the previous times, I. was once again wrong. Upon entering I see 2 message boxes. They said as follows:

"There's no way out of here"

"Fly away"

I found it quite strange that both message boxes were contradicting each other. One was telling me that there was no way out of this accursed hell, and the other was telling me to fly away that I could be free, though I saw no feather or enemies to grab one with. Was this telling me that I could either rise up and go to heaven, or stay in hell forever, wallowing in despair? Did I need a cape to proceed? And what happens after this? Is the whole game like this? I began to create more thoughts in my head trying to figure the message boxes out, but to no avail. I proceeded to walk to the right. I made a jump, but I found that i was stuck in the area, there was an invisible wall, and I had thought I hit a dead end. When I landed I tried moving right again to see if there was any way to go on. All of a sudden I hear the pipe sound, and I'm making the pipe animation, except, there is no pipe present, so it looked quite odd. I am then taken to a level with a black background, stone blocks for ground, and a small door. I am immediately given a mushroom to prevent me from entering it, So I proceed further to see if there is anything else in the level. I found that the room was nothing but a long stretch of concrete blocks and doors that were too small for me to enter because of the mushroom I got. It's obvious that the author didn't want me going through any of them, or I wouldnt have gotten the mushroom in the first place. As I proceeded, I found myself at a dead end. Since there was nothing left for me to look at, I tried to go right again. It worked, I went through the brick wall, it acted like a pipe, and I did a pipe animation that looked like I was going into the darkness.

I was then taken to a small room, with what seemed like a pit, and a wall. I jumped down the pit seeing as how there was no other option, though I found that the bottom of the pit was solid. I tried pressing down in a bunch of areas untill I came across a pipe. Mario slowly did the pipe transition downwards off the screen. Expecting another level, I waited, but there was no more. Just a black screen. I was unable to continue. Unable to pause or exit the level, or move. There was nothing, nothing at all. This was the video game representation of death, a crash. Mario had died...

After playing, I think I finally understand what was happening. I believe Mario was atoning for his actions, eventually being plummeted into a hell that looked exactly like Yoshi's Island, where, he was lost to the grip of death, forever...

I was finally done playing and quite relieved at that. The nightmare was over, and activity on the IRC seemed to be back up again, and I quickly shared my tales with the rest of #smwc, and typed this documentation of it.

If you feel daring enough, you too can witness my tale, first hand.

Remember guys, it's only a hack, it cant hurt you.....Or can it?

The Depths


Ever heard of a game called, "The Depths?" It's not surprising if you haven't; it was never released to the public. Bootleg copies were spread in the United States from roughly 2006 - 2007, but it was completely gone by 2008. To date, only a few people have reported knowing of the game and even fewer have actually played it. It is still unknown who developed the game or where it came from, for details are not found anywhere within the installed files.

Additionally, no one has ever finished the game due to the gratuitous amounts of scarring images portrayed and the trauma that followed. The following is a description of The Depths, from those who have played it.

The users who successfully installed the game said that after installation, their computers never functioned the same. Freezes, blue screens, and file corruption were common after playing. The only way to remove the game was to wipe your hard drive. There was no deleted of the files, no uninstalling, nothing. It would stay on the computer, never leaving. Some users even reported seeing the file being duplicated to different parts of their computer - a cloning of sorts - making the file appear in unwanted folders.

The setting of the game is supposedly a mountaintop, as it is a snowy environment and whenever the player would walk too far, they would fall and die. Not much can be seen in the beginning, just snow. An endless display of falling snow. This is what frustrated players the most. They would try walking in every direction but find only more snow, until they fell off the endless array of white and died. This is where most players stopped playing, though the persistent gamers found an alternative.

It took multiple deaths, but players eventually found where they were supposed to go: down. As soon as you spawn, you can look down and see a bolted door. Opening it takes you to the next sequence of the game.

As soon as you open the door, the player starts to fall into a pit of darkness. It is pitch black and all that can be hears is the sounds of the wind as you fall. After about 20 seconds of nonstop falling, you see light at the end of the tunnel. The player reaches the bottom of the pit and as soon as they touch down, a scream can be heard. The player is now in a large room with no doors or exits, just the light next to them and the tunnel above them.

The walls are covered in blood, the light is flickering, and sounds of faint mumbling are playing in the background. This area is where most players quit - either out of boredom or fear.

There is nothing the player can do at this point except to walk around the room, looking for whatever it is they are supposed to do next. More sounds begin to play while walking: wind blowing, water dripping, and growling. Players usually hear the growling behind them and, in fright, turn around rather quickly. When the player turns around, they see, for a split second, a dark figure run away into the darkness of the room.

This occurs every time the player makes a sudden look behind them. Touching the dimly lit walls makes the game freeze for a moment before returning to normal. More and more sounds start to become audible and eventually piano banging and screaming become more and more frequent.

The volume of the noises increase over time and some users try to mute their sound, but can't; the noises continue playing over and over until they are at an ear-piercingly high level. All players at this point experienced the same thing. Their game flashed, their mouse wouldn't work, and the room would suddenly be full of dead bodies. Lifeless corpses, flashing out of nowhere, surround the room and pile up until the player is practically covered in bodies. Each one of the corpses are mumbling indistinguishable words.

Their mouths blurt nonsense while their eyes appear to be open, but are pitch black. The player is forced to stay with the talking corpses for they are stuck and cannot move. The only thing they can do is look around them and see the bodies staring at them and talking in a foreign, demonic tone.

At this point, the player is unable to pause or close the game. They can only look and see the corpses speak to the player in gibberish words. This only happened for a short period of time, but by this point, most of the remaining users had already shut down their computer. The corpses start to eventually chant their nonsense in unison. In one last scream, they all spread their mouths wide open to impossible lengths. It loks as if their jaws should break as they all scream at an alarmingly high volume.

The collective screams of the bodies gets louder and louder, and more distorted. As soon as the screams become ear-wrenchingly unstandable, the screen cuts to black and the screams suddenly stop. This darkness lasts for a very long time. The player starts to hear someone laughing close to them. The laugh is off, though; it sounds as if someone has messed with the audio. The laugh gets closer and closer until finally, it ends with one final "HA!" playing loudly. This noise is accompanied by a picture of an old man's face, cripped with age, and taking up nearly the entire screen. He has his mouth wide open...smiling.

This frame only appears for split second, however, and afterward, the darkness ends. Although there is only a slither of light, the player can look down and see their body tied to a wooden pole.

This part of the game is what users described as the worse. The light above them, shining onto the player, is confined to a small circle around the player. Small shadows start fading in and out of the circle onto the ground; the shadows look like mangled and distorted bodies. Finally, footsteps are heard. The old man from the photo can be seen in full now as he walks toward your pinned body. He is short and bald; his face is down and he is wearing only ripped pants.

His torso is almost completely torn in half. The only thing keeping his body from not splitting in two is the thread of skin connecting his neck to his head. His left leg is replaced with a long, rusty, metal tube. As he inches toward you with scissors in his hands, the scraping of the tube against the floor gives the player a nails-on-a-chalkboard feeling. When he is right next to you, he looks up; the player can see his face in full.

The man's face looks the same as it did when it flashed before. His eyes seem to be missing and his mouth is open, smiling. It is covered in blood - blood that looks days old and dried out. He starts rotating his head as he stares at you with his mouth open. The player can only look around them, unable to move. The man lifts up his crippled arm, holding scissors, and jams them into your body. Blood spurts out of your body in abnormally large amounts. The few players who experienced this scene described it as horrifyingly realistic.

The man then takes the scissors and brings them up to your neck, leaving a zipper-like effect on your chest. The player's body is cut wide open and guts pour out all over the old man's torso. He then removes the scissors, reaches to the floor, and picks up a mirror. He turns the mirror towards you. Although the player's face cannot be seen in the mirror, the players chest - now cut in half - can be seen in its full gruesomeness.

The man then drops the mirror, reaches down once more, and picks up an axe. He swings the axe at the pole you are tied to, multiple times, until you and the pole you are attached to fall to the ground.

The player is now staring at the ceiling, listening to the old man laugh. He kneels down in front of your face, mouth still open, and let's out one last "HA!" He then stands up and walks around the player with his axe in hand, dragging his metal leg across the floor as he walks. When he reaches the player's feet, he lets out three words in a disgusting, repulsive voice, "" He raises the axe above his head, stares at you, and rotates his head. He yells his final words as he strikes the axe down into your knee.


The game continued. Few players remained up to this point.

After the old man has chopped off your leg, he continues to laugh and turns his head. the blood from your wound sprays all over his split torso while all the player can do is look around and see their mangled corpse, tied to the bloodstained pole. The man then drops his axe. He comes right to your face, kneels down, and opens his mouth to impossible lengths. He seems to swallow you.

The game stutters for a moment as the old man's mouth is all that can be seen by the player. Instead of cutting to darkness, you are instantly placed in another scene; this time, players were in a long, dark hallway lit only by torches on the walls. The player is limping.

The player can only walk in one direction - forward - towards the end of what seems like an infinite hallway. With each step the player takes, the camera shakes and gets blurry until, finally, nothing can be made out except dim circles of light. Through this blurriness, a small figure is seen in the distance. It looks like the same figure seen in the shadows of the room before; it is disfigured and deformed. Instantly, the figure then jumps into the player's view as the screen becomes clear once more.

From the few players that remained, each one reported seeing a different figure jump towards them. It was, to each of them, though, horrifying. The fear they felt in that one moment was indescribable, so overwhelming that nearly all of them quit the game at that very moment. The users who played that scene reported that the game had short-term effects on their mental health, but no long-term repercussions. To this day, no known user has played past that point.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Owner sez: about owner's favorites

VG Creepypasta's my thing, as outrageously stupid as this genre is. I also love LSD Dream Emulator, a horrendously shitty game that was very clearly made under 6 months (that sounds very generous). Whenever I tell you about what I like, take it with a truckload of salt.

But I can be objective, although there are people whose opinions are infinitely more valuable than mine because they've consumed more media, know how it works and blah blah etc. None of that matters because this is my repository and I'll label things as I want.

So anyway, I'll grade things on a 1-5 scale, giving points for effort or little tiny things that I like (tiny gems in a pile of dirt). A high grade doesn't necessarily mean I like it, just means I can objectively say it's good. I'll label a piece of crap with my favorites tag if it has something that really sticks with me.

Sometimes little things really affect me, and I don't know why. I can't explain some things. There's a haunted doll story that has every cliche in the book, and it wasn't even among the first of the haunted doll stories (far from it) and I can't explain why this thing, with really badly photoshopped images to go with, affect me so much. I'd give it a 3/5. As bad as one of the pictures was (very low quality photoshop), it still creeps me out so much I don't even want to look at it. I don't know what sets this one out from the crowd.

Something I won't factor into a grade is cliche/tropes. Cliches are common. Tropes are common. To the point where they don't matter anymore. Besides, if I docked points for cliche, every single thing here would get a 2 at most. This is a Video Game Creepypasta repository, after all.

Maybe I'll make a repository for non-VG stories for the sole purpose of using tags from TVTropes titles and grading things 1-5.

- Owner