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One day when I was about 13 years old, I came across a shop called "Retro game city". It was a small shop that looked like a corner shop from the outside but had a large sign in the window with the words RETRO GAME CITY written in the same style as pac-man. Around the text there where pictures of Mario and Sonic and other characters. I walked into the shop and looked around. It was amazing. There where so many old games and consoles, but the one I was looking at was the N64. I had allways wanted one and now I had found one. A pikachu special edition one. I bought it for about £25 and a couple of games with it. These where Benjo-Kazooie and LoZ Ocarina of Time. There was unfortunately no Super Mario 64, but I just thought I could get one off the internet. After looking for hours on ebay and amazon, I couldn't find a copy of the English SM64 Cart that worked. I checked back at the shop the next day, but the shop was closed. The old woman that worked there stood outside with a box of old games with a piece of card that had written on it the words "Cheap games for sale". I ran over quickly and asked why she was doing this. She told me she was moving and that the shop was her house. I asked if she had a copy of Super Mario 64. Her facial expression changed immediatley from a smile to a more neutral face that looked disturbingley like she was about to cry. She reached into the box and handed me what looked like a brand new cartridge of the game. She then looked down and scurried into the shop, closing the curtains and taking down the sign. I was very confused but just walked back home with the cart in my hand. When I got back, I looked at the cart's sticker and noticed something strange. Bowser's small little eyes where bright red and in the distance a toad could be seen with what looked like no head. I ignored it and thought it to be a simple misprint and put it into the slot of my N64. Pikachu's cheeks flashed red to show it was booting up. Suddenly on the TV screen, Instead of showing the words SUPER MARIO 64, There was just Mario's floating head with no music. The only sound was the whooshing sound of the star shaped transition. There was no "press start" in he corner either. I pressed start and it went straight into the game, skipping the menu and the scene with the pipe. I walked up to the front door of the castle and there was no Peach cutscene. Inside the castle there was no music for a while and suddenly there played Peach's cutscene music. Once it had fineshed, it changed to the Bob omb battlefield music. I walked up to the door to the level but when I opened the door, the black void in the door before you enter the room with the painting had a face peeking out. It looked like a disfigured boo ghost that had a glitched body, was grey and had no face texture. Just a white blob. I contunued, thinking it was just a glitch. I was about to enter the painting when I heard my phone ring. I answered. It was the old lady. She was breathing heavily, as if she had been running. She asked if this was my house, and the doorbel rang. I answered yes, and how do you know my phone and house number? She just said hurry up and hung up the phone. I ran downstairs and asked what she wanted. he pushed a package through the letterbox and ran away. I opened it to find what looked like a N64 cart with a gameboy camera crudely attached. It had a note written on the label saying "PLAY WITH MARIO 64 HAUNT." in capital letters. I turned off my N64, plugged the game into the camera cart and put the cart into the console. When I turned it on, I was greeted by the usual opening with "It's a me, Mario" played. The game was normal now. Or so I thought. Once I had entered Bob omb battlefield, It came up with a video of me. It was my reaction toturning on the console, recorded with the camera. I looked carefully at the video and saw something in the back of my room. It was the disfugured boo, this time with its face. Staring at me. I turned the console off and thought about it. Maybe it was an odd glitch where the boo came on screen? No. It couldn't be. It was staring right at me in the video, and when I moved its eyes moved. I thought it must have just been some sick hackers work who sold it to the lady. This idea calmed me down a bit, and I turned the console on. Immediately I spawned in Bob omb batlefield and could see koopa the quick. I talked to him but all he said was "...". I tried again, and thtis time he said "why did you come here?" and an edited version of the race music played. It was slightley slower and higher in pitch. He ras=n faster than me but I tried to follow him anyway. I ran around the spiral hill. And again. And again and again and again. It wouldnt stop. It kept on going round and round and all the time the music was getting slower and lower in pitch. I got to the point where the music had turned into just a mess of crackling and static. I finally got to the top and saw a wall with a painting on it. The painting was me. A picture of me looking straight forward. I found this strange because I did not remember looking into the camera thing under the game cartridge. I jumped in, hoping for the music to stop. It didn't. The only mission available was labled "HELLS CAVERN". I continued and the boo sound played. I spawned outside peaches castle, but the sky was pitch black. Themusic sounded distorted as if it was reversed, but It didn't sound farmiliar at all. It sounded like the reverse of a song that was not in SM64. A hidden track. I tried to enter the castle but the words "It was locked" came up in a dialogue box at the side of the screen. I tried a few more times and it finally said someting different. It said "Hells cavern is not a place for people, you know?" in a bold text. Mario entered the castle and walked forward. I could not control him. He walked up the stairs and into the locked door, playing the unlocking animation but with no key in his hands. A text box appeared saying "Are you sure? Yes-No". I selected "Yes" and a screech could be heard followed by peach saying "Mario!" in a distressed voice. The reverse music played again. I saw mario with a rope around his neck. He was standing ontop of the castle. A text box read "I'm sorry I was too late, princess." and Mario jumped down. Before he hung, he landed on a platform infront of peach's picture infront of the castle. The picture showed Peach with blood running down her face and what looked like a mutelated face. I jumped into the painting and before the level started, her face turned into the deformed boo with blood running down its eyes. The level was black and in the distance there was a light square. I walked towards it. Suddenly the screen turned white and a quiet beeping sound was playing. It changed to a live video of me. I waved my hand and saw it on the screen. The reverse music played again as a crying face approached me. I looked to my side to see nothing, so it was just something on the game. The face changed to the boo face, crying blood. I looked to my side and coud have sworn I saw the face at the back of my room. I must have imagined it. I looked back at the screen and saw a picture of boo. His face faded indo another. I couldn't see what it was at first, but I finally saw what it was. I was horrified. I turned off the game and took both carts and smashed them. I then tried to cl the lady back but got no response. I sat there, and felt like crying. The face was the face of my dead cousin, who was my best friend. I had no idea how it got there at first. Then it struck me. My cousin had died of a heart attack following a series of strange events. He had owned a N64. A pikachu edition. With SM64. This game was his. The game had killed him, and taken a part of his body and soul, trapping him. The screech, before peach said "Mario!" was my name. The odd music was not in reverse, but was a song my cousin used to listen to al the time. The beeping noise was the tune of his favourite show on TV, Kexxen. I picked up the broken pieces of the cartridge and buried them in a hill the following day. That night, before my parents came back from their holiday, I had a dream of the hill. The sky was black, and in the distance an old broken down castle could be seen. A hand came out of the ground, followed by a body. It was Mario, with a noose around his neck. His face was rotten. He flew into the air with his wing cap. This must have symbolized my cousin's escape. Finally.

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