When I was younger my parents got me a Playstation for Christmas. I remember the delight I had when I opened it and I still remember the games that came with it. Parappa the Rappa, Crash Bandicoot, Twisted Metal, and an obscure title called Blade Fighter 2.
I wasn't to intrested in Blade Fighter at first because I've never heard any of my friends talk about it plus the cover wasn't as intriguing as the others with only a black cover. Other features present on the cover were the title of the game, the rating, and some Japanese lettering underneath the title which I always assumed also read Blade Fighter.
After a few days of playing the other games with my brother Alex we got a bit tired of car explosions, rapping animals, and plain wackiness and decided to take a look at what Blade Fighter 2 had to offer. Our room was an absolute mess and we couldn't tell where anything was in which we had to do something that burdened several children which was actually cleaning our room. As soon as we found the case we popped the game into the console and saw what it had to offer.
The game had four options which were start game, load game, options, and bonus which wasn't unlocked yet. Since we haven't played the game yet and options didn't really appeal to 7 year olds the only thing for us to do was play the game. It started with an introduction explaining what happened in the last game with the plot revolving around a samurai who has to take down demons that were enslaving a futuristic enviroment. The gameplay was what I would now compare to as the same as Brave Fencer Musashi but more fast paced. I would give you a more detailed explaination of what the game was truely about but its been around 17 years since I've actually played it.
We both enjoyed the game a lot until things started to get weird. Nothing major like the game coming to life to kill us but small details that you wouldn't notice unless you played for a while and wondered what was happening. The screen would occasionally flicker and some red streaks would appear on the screen. We thought nothing of it and just thought it was a cool effect. That was until we paused at just the right moment to see what it actually was. It was a message written in a messy fashion reading "ENJOYING THE GAME TOM?" This was strange to us mostly because neither of us were named Tom, our names were Alex and Michael. We unpaused the game thinking it was just a silly thing the creators put in and saw a message say we unlocked new concept art and to check it out on the main menu. We felt really cool after that message popped up mostly because we did it without help.
Enjoying the game more than we expected we would we got a few more concept art peices and some music by proceeding with our method of pausing every time the red messages appear. The messages ranged from things like "TRY A DOUBLE JUMP TOM" to "DID YOU HAVE A NICE DAY TOM?". This continued for a few hours until our mom called us down for dinner. We saved then turned off the game eagerly awaiting for next morning when we got to see the cool unlockables we got. This is when the game would get disturbing for when we checked the concept art they were mostly pixelated messes of red and black but that wasn't the weird part. The weird part was that there were a few of these pictures that looked like a humanoid rat creature with a sunken in face caressing an infant. The picture had the same black and red color scheme as the others so it was a little difficult telling anything but it felt as if with each picture they were getting clearer and clearer.
We had unlocked all the "music" unlockables by that time and listened to all of them. What we heard confused us as the first one was just a man saying random numbers in a disorganized fashion. 99,107,3,78,etc. There was another audio file of children screaming at the top of their lungs which made us quickly mute the tv before our parents came running in. The one I actually liked was a rock cover of the battle music. The final one which will forever scar me was a simple four worded phrase. "Never look back Alex". This sent my brother into a frenzy, he started to freak out and burst into tears. Our parents ran into the room and asked what happened but I just told him Alex was just overreacting. They walked out and for the next few days we didn't play the Playstation and Alex always had his back against a wall and made a ruckus over the simplist noise. He kept a camera on him at all times so he could capture the soul of whatever was stalking him. It was a stupid idea but I didn't want to tell him that.
I woke up one morning about a month after we got the game and saw my own brother dead on his bed. His eyes were gouged out to a bloody pulp and on his chest was carved one word. TOM. A knife was in one of his hands and in the other was a suicide note written on the back of a photograph. It was a lengthy suicide note chronicaling his misfortune but it was a simple sentence saying "I looked back". I flipped over the picture and to my disgust I saw the rat creature staring directly at the camera but this time there was no red and black filter. I screamed and cried all at the same time at the top of my lungs and my parents cried when they ran in seeing they're beloved son dead. They asked me about the picture and I told them about the game. I would've shown them the audio files and the pictures too but for an odd reason the data was corrupted.
We handed the game and picture to the authorities and still there's no information on what happened to Alex. They never found out who Tom was either and the game never showed anything wrong. They dissected every bit of it but still the game remained normal. I pawned off my Playstation a few years after Alex's "suicide" because I couldn't stand the sight of the machine for all it did was bring upon bad memories.