I began "Animal Crossing: A New Leaf" when it was first released. I never really got invested in it, and I abandoned the game for months. Recently, I was cleaning out my closet and I found a case with "Animal Crossing", "Rune Factory", and "Digimon World Dawn" sitting in there! I decided after I finished cleaning, I'd play them. I beat Digimon 100% within 4 weeks (I have no social life), and I was really wanting to play Animal Crossing for no particular reason. I didn't particularly remember liking it, and I had plenty of games to play but… for some reason, Animal Crossing was almost calling out to me, so I couldn't resist it any more. It was 2:00-ish in the morning, but I didn't care. I wanted to play Animal Crossing!
I got up and went over to my shelf where I kept my 3DS games (the ones I keep track of, I'm disorganized as hell), and opened the Animal crossing case. Rune Factory and Digimon were there but… where was Animal Crossing? I looked around forever before I looked in the closet and heard a snap. I swore to myself before lifting my foot. I had stepped on it. I picked up the pieces, and fell to my knees, almost in tears. I don't know why I was so sad, I just REALLY wanted to play the game, as if a force was compelling me to play it, like my life depended on it, and I screwed it up. I decided I'd go to sleep, and go game hunting at the crack of dawn. I didn't sleep that night. I was LOSING SLEEP over it! I was acting so irrational… and I didn't see any problems. But my problems weren't even beginning.
I immediately searched Ebay, Kijiji (a local classified site), my local game store, and my local EB games before I finally found a copy at a local electronics store. There was one used copy of "Animal Crossing: A New Leaf!" When I say used, I mean it had no label, just the top of a sticky note was wrapped around it with "Animal Crossing, 3DS" crudely written on it in black ink. Also, the cartridge appeared to be burnt in one corner, but it was my only option. I bought it, for dirt cheap, as I was a regular of the store. My friend, who was working the cashier, commented on my tired and "crazy-looking" appearance. Looking back, I realize I had just walked out without replying. But at the time, my heart was singing, and I wanted to play the game SO BADLY!
I got home and eagerly popped in the game. I was male, and I named myself Max (my real name), and named the town Onett, because I love Earthbound. I got into the game, and met my villagers. I got Rolf, Flora, Nan, Papi, and Stinky. I love all of those characters! I lucked out! I absolutely adored the game, shaking trees, and getting bells in order to buy a shovel, dig for fossils, and then get money to get more stuff, do more things, and then get more money, to buy more stuff, rinse, and repeat. I didn't mind the tedium, and I couldn't understand why I didn't like the game before. This was, at the time, my favourite game by a landslide. And that's saying something! It was as if not owning the game was like I couldn't breathe. Then getting the game was like getting a gasp of air, and playing it is like taking a deep breath. It was as if a weight was lifted off my shoulders… I never wanted to stop playing.
It felt like no time at all. I had a full town, nobody had moved out, and my ordinances were all in place. I had a campsite, a pointless sign, and everything in between. I had T.I.Y, all the add-ons for the Able sisters, the museum, and, most importantly… my house… or MANSION I should say, was fully decorated, with each room having a theme, and all the furniture being that theme. Everything was perfect and it didn't feel like any time at all. Once, though… for no reason, Flora was moving out! Why? I went to go talk to her, and she was already talking to Rolf, and had already packed all her stuff in boxes! When I came in, she looked surprised. "M-mayor! Hi! I uh… I'm leaving town. It was a last minute decision… just personal reasons! Au revoir, mayor!" She said, and as soon as I left the house, she was gone. Just a few moments later the EXACT SAME THING happened to me with Rolf, right down to the dialogue, except he was talking to Stinky this time. Then the same thing happened with Stinky, and it repeated, until my entire town was gone.
I looked at my character. He was looking red-eyed, and his neat hair I got from Shampoodle was all messy. He started doing random things that I didn't control, like just randomly doing the happy dance you do when you pay off the loan for your house or fully fund a public work project. And then… something especially odd happened. Cyrus and Reece announced they were moving out, and then Retail disappeared. I didn't think that was possible, but then the Nooklings moved out, then Blathers, and all of a sudden, it was entirely deserted except for me and my loyal secretary Isabelle.
I walked around aimlessly for a while, before entering to talk to Isabelle. I came in, and she looked concerned. "Max… I'm concerned for you. As your advisor, I highly suggest you stop. Please Max… stop pl-" She got cut off, by an animation of me pulling out my axe. She looked terrified, like if you try to delete your town, and then… it transitioned to dark, as if I had left a building. Then… the town hall was gone, and in a blessing in disguise, I dropped the 3DS and the game popped out of the system. It was like I awoke from a trance. I was hungry as hell and I realised I was swimming in cups and plates, all over the spot on the couch I was sitting on. My back was killing me, and I checked the time. It was 3:00 PM… six days after I started the game. I was horrified. I knew I had been absent-mindedly getting up to eat and drink when absolutely necessary, and I checked my phone, and it had 28 missed calls, and 19 messages, all concerned family members and friends, because I had officially disappeared for six days. First of all, I picked up the game and smashed it with a hammer, and threw it onto the streets. The uncontrollable desire to play Animal Crossing was gone as soon as I did that, and it took all of my effort to not keep playing. I ate, and drank a lot of water, and responded to all those calls, telling people of what happened. Only yesterday, though, I was back at that same store, where I saw a copy of Animal Crossing: A New Leaf, heavily used, with the top of a sticky note that said "Animal Crossing 3DS" on the cover, and it appeared to be burnt in one corner, and it was cracked……