Ever been in a situation where you feel like something big happened but you're not exactly sure what?
A few months ago I was poking around on Ebay, looking at classic game consoles. Retro gaming was becoming more popular, probably thanks to guys like James Rolf's Angry Video Game Nerd and Pat the NES Punk, so it was getting easier to find restored and working retro game systems. I happened upon one auction for a Sega Genesis with a selection of games. The Buy Now price was reasonable so I bought it. It arrived about a week later and the timing couldn’t have been better. I was suffering from a bad cold and hoped the games would help me forget about being sick for a while. Oddly there were two boxes from the seller.
Setting up the system on the basement T.V. only took a few minutes. I then rummaged around in the box to see what games I had bought. The auction had only listed a couple, classics like Altered Beast, Space Harrier II, and Golden Axe. and those were in the box along with others. I opened the second box,and found it contained a single game cartridge and a Sonic plush toy. The plushy toy had been altered by whoever owned it last. The eyes were blacked out and the pupils were now red dots. I threw it back in the box and thought it might make a good chew toy for my dog. I turned my attention to the game. It had a plain black label with SONIC.EXE written in red.
My initial reaction was this was a homebrew game.
Home brew games are usually fan made games of popular franchises and normally put online. I've heard of some being put onto Nintendo cartridges but this is the first time I've seen one on a Sega Genesis cart. I was never a big Sonic fan, but I thought it might be fun to test out a fan made game.
The into screen looked like the first Sonic game except the water was red like blood and Sonic had been altered into a nightmarish version.
The game went to character select screen. Tails, Knuckles, and Dr. Robonik were listed. At first, only Tails was selectable. The level was a flat surface, no enemies, no rings, nothing to do.
I was going to hit reset when I finally found Sonic. His back was to me, and when he turned it was the same twisted Sonic that was on the title screen. I assumed I had to fight this Sonic, but Tails wouldn't move. He seemed to be trembling, it was hard to tell given the graphic limitations.
Text appeared above Sonic “Want to play?” it read.”Hide and Seek”
Suddenly I was in a new level. Tails was still trembling and making odd gestures. Finally Sonic appeared hovering behind Tails. I assume I was supposed to get away from Sonic so I started to move Tails No matter how fast he ran Sonic was still behind him. Sonic suddenly teleported in front of Tails.
“That's cheating you blue bitch” I muttered
Tails froze, I couldn't move him. Sonic slowly closed in on Tails and screen cut to black.
I found myself back on the character select screen. Tails was now a faded gray and only Knuckles was playable.
Like with Tails, Knuckles level was empty but as he ran I noticed dead animals in the background.
They weren't just dead but looked like they had been ripped to pieces. At least I think that is what was being implied. I paused the game and looked from the screen to the Sonic plushy laying on my floor
I deeply hoped the creator got whatever psychological help he so obviously needed. I started the game for a moment, then paused again. I glanced back at the plushy. Hadn't I put that back in the box?
Figuring I must have missed the box I continued playing the game
It wasn't long before I found Sonic. Like with Tails, Knuckles seemed to be trembling. I tried to attacked Sonic but Knuckles didn't move
“Oh come on, you got spikes on your fist, just hit him” I grumbled, annoyed at Knuckles' cowardice.
It was over quickly and I found myself back at the character select screen. Now Knuckles was no longer playable
I looked at the character selects screen a bit longer, wondering if I really wanted to continue with this. After some internal debate I figured there was only one character left, might as well see what happens.
Robotnick ran faster than I expect. But not fast enough to avoid Sonic. Soon enough Sonic was confronting his old enemy.
“Come one DO something.” I said to screen as Robotnick trembled the same way Tails and Knuckles had
“SIT ON HIM YOU FAT BASTARD!” I shouted this was followed by a coughing fit.
The screen faded the black again and now all three characters were no longer playable
I got up to turn off the game but I saw a cut scene has started. Sonic appeared on the screen, looking directly at me. Text flashed on the screen “I AM GOD”
“Yeah, and I'm the godammn Batman” I replied.
But there was something about those eyes. They seemed to stare into my very soul. I found myself trembling and Sonic appeared to move closer to the screen. What the hell was wrong with me? This was just some idiot's badly made homebrew. Why was I sacred? I could feel my knees getting weak, my pule was racing and I was sweating heavily
Then deep and loud gong sound came from my T.V. It echoed through the basement. Then a second gong sounded. Whatever spell I was under had broken. I sat back on my couch and watched a purple beam of light had appeared on the left side of the screen. Sonic looked perplexed and started to the left. A third gong sounded followed by very familiar music.
Most people would call it a simple funeral march, but to anyone who watched WWE knew that music meant the arrival of a legend, the Phenom., the Dead Man, the man they called...The Undertaker.
Sonic tensed up.
Dressed in a long black coat and black hat, a sprite of the Undertaker walked in from the left of the screen. Sonic took a step backward, he was surprised to see the new arrival. The Undertaker threw off his coat and hat, which flickered and vanished as they hit the ground. The Undertaker looked out of place in a Sonic game, he looked more like he should be in a beat-em up game like Streets of Rage or Final Fight.
A deep voice came through the speaker “You dare prey my Creatures of the Night” said the Undertaker “You have earned the full fury of The Undertaker”
Sonic charged at the Undertaker his arms raised to strike, only to be hit in the face by a straight punch. Sonic fell backward. The Undertaker proceeded to beat Sonic mercilessly before throwing the little blue demon to the other side of the screen. Sonic curled up into a ball, when the Undertaker approached he dashed into him, and knocked the Dead Man to the floor. Sonic laughed triumphantly and moved in closer to finish his enemy off. A When Sonic got close the Undertaker sat up and glared directly at him. Sonic was startled for a moment and with that moment the Undertaker seized the little blue bastard by his throat.
I could see Sonic trying to struggle to free him self but the Undertaker held on tightly. He hoisted the blue hedgehog onto his shoulder then held him upside down so that Sonic's head was just below his knees. I knew what was coming a moment before it happened. A loud crack came from the speakers as The Undertaker dropped to his knees, driving Sonic's head into the ground, with his signature move, the Tombstone Pildriver. He then let Sonic's limp body fall to the ground. Even with the low resolution, I could tell Sonic was feebly trying to move. The Undertaker raised his arms, a bolt of purple light struck the ground near his feet and a coffin rose up.
He walked over to Sonic and grabbed the limp hedgehog by the throat, easily lifting him into the air.
The Dead Man's voice came from the speaker again “Your little guardians weren't much of a challenge, now all of you can..Rest...in..Peace..”
With that, the Undertaker lifted Sonic into the air and slammed him into the coffin. I watched as Sonic's body bounced and flopped pathetically. When the Undertaker slammed the lid was shut two things happened at once. First, the game crashed and I have never been able to get it to work again. Even taking it a friend who knew more about computers than I ever will, told be all data had been completely wiped. The second thing, I heard a gurgled cry. I turned to see what had once been a Sonic plushy now lay on my basement floor, a pile of fine, bluish-gray dust.