Recently I was met with a scarring experience and I wish to share it in hopes that maybe at least one person will believe me. It started a few weeks ago, I had just spent the day at the local strip mall a few blocks down from my home and decided to stop in at the small video game shop there just to see if they had anything good or new. I know the man who owns the place, he's not a day over 25 and has a pretty good knowledge of the products he sells. He told me he was closing the shop and had to clear out all of his merchandise.
He gave me some free games in a large cardboard box labeled "games" in return for being a long time visitor and friend. when I returned home I decided to see what was in the box, it was covered in dust and must have been sitting on a shelf in the store for a long while. Inside there was a stack of super Nintendo system games, NES games, and one Sega Gen. game.
I instantly went for it, the label "sonic the hedgehog" stood out to me lie a sore thumb.
Not in a bad way or anything, but I was a HUGE fan of the sonic pop culture crowd and was thrilled to have this in my collection of Sonic merch and nostalgia. I had never actually played the game before, so I went looking for a Sega Genesis to play it on. After a while of looking for store online who had them, I had to resort to eBay.
Millions of results popped up on the screen, I decided to play it safe and bet on a brand new, never opened system. the man who sold it to me was from Boston, MA and who's name I did not know. I arrived in the mail a day later, he sent it with express.
I was disappointed to find it crudely packaged, there was no bubble wrap and no extra boxing, just the system box and the contents. Still, I was thrilled to set it up! I blew hard into the cartridge and booted up the game. The screen turned black, and then static buzzed loudly and the game crashed. I attempted the same pattern again but it still was not working.
I kept on trying more and more times until finally I was met with the home screen. The music played out normally, maybe even a bit better than normal and the screen seemed to be just fine. I was so happy to have not gotten a rip off game or system, for the money I payed for it. I clicked Sonic's Icon and began to play in green fields, and maybe it was just me but the music seemed just a little out of tune. I was racing up and down the hills with not a care in the world, having the time of my life, this is when things got a bit....obscure.
The piece of track or road that twisted upside down became flat when i approached it. I would back away and it would flash back to normal. I attempted to race across it but I would fall off. Even stranger, the coins that usually line the road fall off when the road twists as well. It appeared to be twisting upside down. I had seen way to many gameplay videos to think this as being part of the game so I tried restarting.
This time when I started the game I was not greeted with a starting screen but spawned immediately to the space I left off, in front of the twisted road but this time, I was playing as knuckles. I thought that it was probably just a glitch in the game, it was old after all. I just decided to continue from where it set me.
I went up to the bridge and the screen went to black and when it flickered back on, I appeared to be spawned on the other end of the road. I tried my best to pay no attention but my curiosity got the better of me and I went on to play for about a couple of hours until I was again met with a black screen and static. The loud buzzing was mixed a distorted version of the opening theme and only lasted for about 10 seconds. I was met with a frozen screen shot of sonic and Dr. egg man in the wrecking ball boss fight. Sonic was standing on egg mans ship or small craft and looking at him intently and Dr. Eggman had no expression.
I went from a screenshot to a clip. I pressed every button on my controller in hopes that I could move sonic but to no avail. He commenced to look more and more intently into Dr. Eggman's eyes until Dr. Eggman slowly stood up in his craft and jump out onto the grass that had now turned black and grey along with the rest of the pallet.
Sonic now looks over to the screen after hoping into the vehicle and drove towards the screen until fading to black, but when he was lying to the screen I noticed something. His eyes where completely filled with black and he had no mouth. I began to shake in fear and my palms became sweaty from fidgeting with the controller.
I kept saying to myself, "It's just a hack, it's just a hack."
But I didn't help with the intense fear I was experiencing. The game turned itself back on one more and i was back at the title screen except it was night time and the sea was red. one more thing, Sonic was gone and we where left with tales, giving his usual smile but, crying with tears streamed down his face.
Again, the game started without me, the screen set in an unknown world, it was just on long stretch of red road and the moon behind me.
I was knuckles again, but I had no hands or feet, and could only sit there. The world manipulated behind my character, twisting and contorting the colours and shapes. I panicked and tried to turn of the system but when I finally pulled the game out It would not turn off. It began to menially laugh and the volume rose.
I shielded my eyes and ears until it stopped and when i looked back the screen there was sonic, standing at the centre of the screen looking at me with all the characters dead body's littered behind him in a gory pile. He turned back around and gave Tales's corpse a little nudge, a text box appeared below:
"That was fun, no wasn't it?" and he ran off.
The screen faded to red, then black and the system turned off. I took the game and threw it out the window, along with the system and anything else that reminded me of the game (so my whole collection) and went to bed. I still have frequent nightmares of sonic starring at me.
I went back to see if the gaming store was still there but it had already been cleaned out. Now, I am left with this mystery of whats happening to me and what was wrong with that game? I just don't know.