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Back in the day, I was a fan of the old-school Nintendo games such as Contra, Super Mario Brothers, and Life Force. I played the games constantly. But as we all do, I grew up to do better things other than play video games.

One spring mourning in 2011, I decided that I wanted to re-live my childhood by bringing up my old Nintendo from my basement. This turned out to be a bad idea. It was too dark down there and I was tired so I just went to bed, deciding that I would play it tomorrow.

I woke up the next morning and want to find nearly a foot of water in basement. I looked outside and there was dirt everywhere. I turned the TV on and the newscasters were saying that this was “The Storm of the Century.” Rain had poured down all night. I then went to drain my basement of all the water.

After that annoyance was over I searched for my Nintendo. I eventually found it, and it was fine, just above where the water was. But the games weren’t. They were soaked. I dried the games off and went upstairs.

I tried the games in my Nintendo. Obviously, they didn’t work. I didn’t have much time to play around with them, since I had a full-time job. So, I called my friend Ted. Ted was my old college buddy who didn’t currently have a job because he was only interested in computer hacking/modding and was just recently laid off. I asked him if he could fix my Nintendo games for me.

I would have just bought new ones, but I was saving up to buy a wedding ring to propose to my girlfriend, who was currently out of town. He owed me a favor anyway. He said sure. But he didn’t say it normally; it was kind of dark and mumbled. I hung up the phone.

On the way to work, I dropped by Ted’s. He opened the door with colorless eyes and a flushed face. I asked him if he was okay, and he answered with the explanation that he was working on some big project all night to get this high paying job that he recently showed me.

I gave him the box of games that included Super Mario Bros. 1 and 3, Contra, Life Force, Jaws, and a few others. He said he’d have them done by tomorrow, and he started to turn around and close the door. Before the door was closed all the way, I could have sworn I saw him smirk on the right side of his face. I ignored it, and went to work.

I picked them up the next day. As he gave the box to me, I said thanks for the work. He replied with you’re welcome in a melodic and dark voice, with a small smile. Again, I ignored it and drove home to play my functional Nintendo games.

It was 7:00 and the sun was going down as I plugged in my system. I played most of my games the next few hours, rolling in my old childhood nostalgia. They played perfectly, except for the occasional blue screen coming from the bad pin connection in my non-top loader Nintendo. They were as fun now as they were back then. It was around midnight when I started to get tired, and checked the rest of my games, to see if I missed any. Idiot! How could I have missed Super Mario Brothers 3?

I pushed the game into the Nintendo. The game started up. The curtains revealing the logo opened and instead of a happy yellowish background, it was all black. There were blunt sound effects for each time you pushed a button instead of a *bling*, all of which without background music. The Koopas on the ground were red skinned and black shelled. Mario and Luigi were the same colors.

I pushed start and 1 player mode, and I could have sworn that right before the screen revealing the first world appeared, Bowser’s face appeared. On world 1, it wasn’t the same. Actually, it looked like World 8. The first level was named:

“You.”

As I started the level, eerie music, that sounded similar to the original music if it were edited, only to be slow and depressing. The level itself was a swarm of tanks like in the original world 8 from the normal game. But it wasn’t possible to beat. There was no end. I just played until I died.

I was then forced onto the next level titled “Are.” As soon as the level opened, you fell in a pit, hearing a faint scream, 8 bit and all crackly. I then spawned on the world map and realized the 6 remaining levels and my 6 remaining lives. There was one of the hands from the original game at the end of the 8 levels, instead of the 5 at the middle of the world.

As I played the remaining non-winnable levels, I got to the last level, with one life left. It was called “Infected.” Wait, the levels had chronological names. It spelled out: You are cursed. Now prepare to be infected. Then I entered the final level. I died at the last level, and had zero lives. I was expecting a “Game Over” screen as usual. But instead, I went to the world screen. I went over to the hand the hand dragged my down. The game suddenly crashed and the screen was black.Evil Mario by GameScanner Mario THEDEVILGODAdded by THEDEVILGOD Then a loud glass crackling sound came to my right. It was my actual window. It wasn’t broken, it was just cracked. My heart was pounding. I raced for the door. It slammed shut and I wasn’t able to get it open. The lights suddenly went out. Only the cracked moon (from the window) shown in on the room. The door rattled. My head was shaking. I couldn’t take it. I collapsed, unconscious.

I awoke on the floor the next morning. The door was on the floor as well. The hinges were bent off. My girlfriend rushed into the room and asked what happened and if I was alright. I said later and immediately rushed off to see Ted. What the hell was his problem? That GAME. WHY? Why would he do this? I reached his house and noticed that it was surrounded with police.

I got there just in time to see the paramedics bringing a stretcher out of his house. I went up to the stretcher to see a cut, broken, abused version of Ted. There was a wicked messed up burn mark on his right hand. He said one thing. He said “It was transferred successfully,” and he died right there. I was so confused.

As I started to walk off, I felt a painful jolt. I looked at my right hand. There was the pentagram, the mark of the Devil. I looked up slowly and smiled. I then started for home.

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