ATV Offroad Fury 4: Dead Rider.
It was late summer, the Playstation 2 I had played on for years had broken a couple years back. I always wanted to play my favorite game on the system, ATV Offroad Fury 4. The only problems with the disc before were that if you left it paused too long it would crash, but the music would still play. After my PS2 stopped working, I was almost heartbroken. I had just gotten a Nintendo GameCube and had only two games for it. (those games are unimportant to the story though) Then the next year, it screwed up and stopped working. I was thinking to myself “Crap, what am I going to play?” At the time my GBA was lost and my DS Lite's buttons were so hard to press almost any game was unplayable.
Back to where I started, late summer 2013. Last winter, around mid January, my father had bought a $1000 computer from our local store, of which the owner was his friend. It's really powerful and I'm writing this on it right now. So still a bit beaten up about my PS2 I browsed the internet for someway to play my games on my computer. I had even asked some friends about it but the only thing they knew about emulators was Project 64. So browsing through the emulators page on wikipedia, I stumbled across the most popular PS2 emulator, PCSX2. It was good except for the fact I had to go to some weird japanese or chinese website to get the PS2 Bios, whatever those were. Anyways I downloaded and installed everything only to find out that Kaspersky (my AntiVirus Software) said it was malware. I scanned it to find nothing wrong, no threats, no viruses, and definitely no malware. I shrugged off the false reading as a software glitch and proceeded to run the program.
I inserted the disk of ATV Offroad Fury 4 and booted the CDVD (After configuring controls). And despite some lag which was weird for my computer everything worked fine, until I got to the warning screen. Now mind you I never actually read most of the warning but the last part of it this time struck me as odd, “WARNING: DO NOT CRASH”. What did this mean? Crash the game? Well I shrugged it off again saying to myself it was there all along and I just didn't remember it.
I used all the cheatcodes off the top of my head like TraxAhoy for all tracks and similar unlock all cheats. I chose Europe 01 P2P as the track since I had never played it before, never being able to unlock it. Setting everything to classic ATV action I started the race. Then when it loaded up, BAM SO much FPS loss, it was running at less than 5 FPS! What was going on? I figured out that some textures the emulator didn't like such as building walls and bricks. The shadows seemed a bit rectangular as well, probably just hardware limitations of the PS2 itself. About halfway through the race I landed on another racer after a jump, expecting the usual falling off my atv and respawning after the jump. But something else happened. The other rider fell off and a quite out of place message appeared where it tells you what trick you are performing, the message said “Kill -1000”. I was horrified at this message, that game was rated E for everyone for god's sake! Why did I just murder somebody! I looked reluctantly at the list on the left that shows positions, and right under my name, was the rider I had landed on. But instead of a number, it showed a skull. I raced the rest of the course making sure not to land on any other riders and definitely not letting them land on me.
At the end of the course was a jump, over a river of lava. This was REALLY out of place, I slammed on my breaks as hard as I could push the button and stopped right before the pit. I then watched in horror as every single rider behind me jumped straight to their fiery deaths, they couldn't make the jump. It wasn't like the Kenyan Canyons jump where there's some sort of forbiddence to players making the jump but not AI. They could not jump that far. I dropped my controller and grabbed my mouse. I tried to close the program but it wouldn't close. However I could minimize it, thank god for the minimize button. I then looked at my taskbar. The icon for the emulator had turned into a skeleton drowning in lava. I turned on the cheat I had installed for flying, kinda like noclip but with collisions still enabled. I floated over the lava pit and turned off the cheat. I turned it off too early though, my rider crashed right into the other side of the jump. Soaring over the finish and into a tree. I hoped to god in my mind that my rider would get up from this as he always does, but he didn't. I pressed every button on the controller, he did not get up. Finally, after 2 minutes of button pushing and staring at him. A trick message appeared, “You cheated, and you payed. -infinity” is what it said. Suddenly my score started dropping rapidly, but I didn't care. I know what that message at the end of the warning was. This emulator had messed with my game. Finally the game crashed, I was almost thankful I didn't have to save that, I never saw that lava river again, never saw anymore deaths, and still play to this day. But sometimes, when I fall off my vehicle, I can faintly hear the crunching of bones.