Video games have always been a breeding ground for urban legends and strange stories that players like to share with each other. This is especially the case with gamers from around my generation. We grew up with games that had much less visuals and explanations than games do now. If you wanted a logical explanation as to why things in a game went the way they did all you could do was come up with one yourself. As there was no internet back in those days, false explanations and stories of non-existent easter eggs would often be told along with actual cheats and tips as facts. It’s not surprising that when the internet came along that these stories started getting much more involving and detailed. Since computers are powerful enough to run the games romhacking, screenshots and streaming videos have only helped this cause.
Yes, most of these deal with games released by Nintendo. This is mostly the case because stories like these tie in perfectly with games people have grown up with and loved. If there’s any company that’s known (and attacked for being seen at through nostalgia goggles by their fans) for fond memories like that, it’s Nintendo.
Let’s get started looking into some of these horror stories floating around the net.
The Majora’s Mask Haunted Cartridge (link)
One of the more famous stories out there, spanning several long story posts each followed up with a video showcasing what was described in the text. In this story, we follow a guy who, just like many of the people writing these stories, buys a second-hand copy of the game. Upon loading the game up, he’s greeted by a save file called Ben. There’s a lot of things wrong with this game, as his story will quickly uncover.
I can’t help but shake off the feeling there’s a connection to the Link’s Adventure Glitch Dungeon in there. There’s less drama involved with the Glitch Dungeon, and well, I’ve personally experienced that dungeon several times. As a kid it used to completely freak me out whenever I accidentally stumbled upon it.
The Mint Copy of Mario 64 (link)
This one pretty much plays out like the haunted Majora’s Mask cartridge story. A guy buys a mint copy of Mario 64. When the game arrives it turns out the box has already been opened. As if that isn’t enough, the game starts acting up. Luigi, who wasn’t in the game originally, starts appearing. Not as a pallet-swap, but as a completely independent game character. Shame there’s no video here.
Personally, I preferred the old story of Luigi being unlockable after getting all 120 stars. An old legend about the game that got so popular Nintendo actually did make him an unlockable character in Mario Galaxy. How did you unlock him there? Collecting all the stars.
The Terrible Secret of Animal Crossing (link)
Okay, maybe this one doesn’t count as a proper “horror” story. I still feel this one deserves at least a mention on this list as it’s one of better written pieces of fiction revolving video games out there.
In this story we follow a young boy named Billy who was sent off to go to Camp. Once there, he gets pressured into child labor, having to pay off his enormous debt to Tom Nook in trade for a place to live.
A creative use of in-game mechanics, screenshots, artwork and videos puts together one of the more memorable video game stories out there. If you’ve played the games before, there are multiple “ah-ha” moments in there. If you haven’t, it’s still worth a read as it’s one of the few stories that doesn’t take itself too seriously and is all the better for it.
Pokémon Black (link)
There’s a lot of pokémon stories out there. From the over-analyzation of the cartoon (which is a good read if you’ve grown up with the show), to the story of Gary’s Dead Ratticate (complete with rom-hack to reflect this).
Pokemon Black however, deals with an actual cartridge that’s floating around in which you don’t get a normal starter pokémon, but instead get a ghost pokémon with only one attack: Curse. Whenever you defeat pokémon they die instead of fainting.
The Scariest Game Ever Made
I’d like to end this post with the mother of all video game horror stories, one about the scariest game ever made.
If anyone out there feels I have left out any major stories, or know a good obscure one to share, please feel free to post it in the comment section of this post.