The game my story has to do with is quite real and 100% commercially available. There was nothing unusual about the version of the game I played, other than I probably overpaid for the used piece of XBawks trash (though this being Gamestop, you wouldn't think it'd be that surprising).
Some of you might even have played the game. It's a PC title with an Xbox port called Arx Fatalis. And if you've played it, I'm sure you know why it would show up with a creepypasta story.
Now I can't speak for the original PC version of the game, but I can say with some degree of certitude that the Xbox version was one of the creepiest games I've ever played. Those who've played the game, including the PC version, can attest to this.
Essentially, the plot of the game is that the sun of a LotR/WoW type world had begun to die, and that the normally warring races of humans, goblins, dwarves et al had decided to collaborate to build a mine large enough to house them all. The mine - called Arx - is basically one of the last few bastions of civilization, and you get the sense that the few humans left down in the caverns of the mine are leading a pretty wretched existence.
The game isn't really half as strange or disturbing as it sounds. For starters, the game has virtually no music - only ambient sound, and what passes for music in the game is an awful, grotesque jumbled up noise like someone bashing on a calliope. This plays when the player is in areas populated by humans.
The ambient noise in the game is frequently interrupted - and this is where things become a little strange.
The game is undoubtedly poorly scripted. The game's few quests are disjointed and somewhat nonlinear, and the storyline of the game isn't very informative. Hence, sometimes, you might encounter random bits of a storyline you might not be familiar with, or of storylines that don't seem to be connected to the game at all.
These can range from the strange - being confronted by high level enemies at seemingly random times - to the bizarre and disturbing, like repeated instances of the loud sobbing of a young girl interspersed with demonic chanting and sometimes high pitched noises that sound like screaming.
Also in the latter stages of the game you are frequently attacked by assassins - an event which becomes surprisingly terrifying when the part of the cavern you happen to be in is completely silent.
People who have played the game likely have their own stories to tell about the game's persistent strangeness - more than what I've said, the gameplay itself exudes a strange feeling of helplessness. Your character is not particularly quick or responsive, and this leads into the latter half of my story. In fact, those that have played through the entire game - and I've spoken to maybe a handful - tend to remark on one specific event toward the end of the game.
Anyone who is thinking of playing the game might want to look away now, as the next part of the story is a spoiler to some degree.
Toward the end of the game, you're sent far down into the mine to meet with the dwarves and have them help you construct a special sword. The journey down to the base of the mine is pretty arduous, but at the time I was pretty excited that I had finally been given something actually specific to do. It's filled with its own strange occurrences, but nothing more strange than what's already been said.
A note: there's one other thing about Arx Fatalis worth mentioning. Though the game exudes a kind of grotesque cartoonishness throughout, it's also violent and bloody. Surprisingly violent and bloody. Dismembered corpses and blood-soaked walls are pretty standard fare throughout, as well as animal sacrifices.
I don't know what I was expecting when I finally reached the dwarf level of the mine. I wandered around for a short while before dropping into what looked like where I wanted to be: some kind of small room. Blood was smeared all over the walls, and the room contained what appeared to be the remains of two badly dismembered dwarves, from which you collect a key.
It is at this time that a creature appears from the crawlspace you just left.
I didn't know precisely what it was when I first saw it, but I knew from its appearance that I didn't want to be anywhere near it. The problem: I ran to the only way out of the room to find it locked, and the way Arx Fatalis works you have to fumble through your inventory for a few seconds to find your keyring. It was at this time that I began to comprehend what my character had muttered when the creature first arrived: something to the tune of "I have no weapons that can defeat this". I managed to get the door open as this thing begins chasing after me, running in bounds, making this horrible thudding sound. I run into the hallway to find - a fucking dead end. The thing mauled the shit out of me.
I've spoken with multiple people about this game, and invariably the topic always turns to this thing, or as it's called in the game, the "black beast". The most disturbing part is what people have to say about it when describing it; it's almost universally described as just a shapeless black mass with slanted white eyes, sharp claws and huge spiked teeth. Pretty much everyone will say something to the effect that it looks like something out of a really bad nightmare.
I know what you're saying. "The game's meant to be scary you fuckwit." Yep. Totally hear you, and I promise this isn't one of those stories where everything starts to get hyperrealistic and shit. Long story short I began to get so frustrated with my repeated deaths at this point that I'd decided to reach into my big bag of xbox tricks and god mode this bitch like anyone respectable would have.
I talked earlier about how badly the game appears to be scripted and about how strange things tend to happen as a result of this bad scripting. (For those that asked, I really have no idea what the game is like on the PC. If you want my advice, and want the game for the fucked up experiences I had, I recommend the Xbox edition, which undoubtedly went without the bug fixes that made that version what it was.)
I had pretty much managed to eke my way past the monster, and a whole lot of noclipping and god mode-ing later, I wound up where I wanted to go. Unfortunately, I found out, I would need to head back to where the monster was for some book or rock or shit. And this is where things became truly frightening.
As I headed back toward where I needed to go, I heard that dreaded pounding noise that signaled that the black beast was coming my way. By this point I was more tired of dealing with it than scared, but then something stopped me cold. The level itself began to flicker in and out, and as the thing approached its movements became jerky and crazy. This alone didn't scare me half as much as it annoyed the shit out of me; after a few seconds of trying to slip by the black beast (which by this point had ceased attacking me and was just grinning in a crazy way and running at me), I realized I'd have to noclip this part too.
As soon as I did, the game began playing what seemed like random sound bites. They weren't necessarily creepy ones - though some were. Some of them were innocuous, like the music of a mandolin player from earlier in the game. But then I got the sound of the little girl crying glitching in and out from the other game sounds. I decided this was getting just a little bit too disturbing.
To explain this last part, the quest tie-in for the sound of the little girl crying is that she becomes lost in an underground graveyard and you have to find her. If she dies before you can, you get the quest message of something like "I failed her".
The level flicking in and out didn't lend itself very well to navigation. So I open my menu journalist type thing to open the local map. To cut to the chase, it goes directly to my journal, which is fucking FILLED with I FAILED HER messages. And the game just erupts with the crying sound file. Like as if it were being played stacked on top of itself a million times. This combined with the scratching and roaring of the black beast convinced me to turn the game off. I did not play it again for a year.
I have never experienced anything like it before or since, though I have experienced similar sound problems in other games so I guess it's not that uncommon.
Written by Anonymous