Has anyone ever been to the website "Freeware Database?" It's a huge website full of freeware games and where you can download them. Since the mainstream use of services like Steam, FD hasn't updated it's website since January of 2011 or so, and even sporadically goes down. I was upset to see it go into disuse like that. It was at least a great search engine for freeware and obscure Japanese flash games. I kept it bookmarked for whatever reason and I even check it from time to time.
Well, you can probably guess what's going to happen. I was doing my rounds on the internet when I absentmindedly typed the website for Freeware Database into my search bar. While it was loading, I realized it wasn't going to have anything new, so I hovered my mouse over to the back button. The website loaded, and to my surprise, it had an update! The only new game that caught my attention was an RPG called "D-LORD." It was a really basic looking game and seems like it was made straight from some RPG maker software. I tabbed some of the screenshots to look at them. Had some interesting little features. I figured it was a little weird, but there was a working download link, so why not? I downloaded the file and closed the browser window, now having something to fill my time.
The file unzipped as a weird type of executable file. Not an EXE, but the readme said just to "Double click it to be begin D-LORD." So I double click it, and I get a cheesy loading bumper like when programs made in stuff like Game Maker start up. Title screen pops up just like the screenshot. I choose new game, of course. There is a few minutes of a cutscene explaining how they live in a world devoid of free will ever since the Destiny Lord appeared. He has used his knowledge of the destinies of citizens of your character's world around him to manipulate people to do his bidding. You, the hero, whom you get to name (I just named him AAAAA) are one of a rare breed who is unbound by the ties of destiny. I dunno, 5 minutes in and it was already too convoluted for me. In addition, the English is horrendously awful, so I stopped paying attention to the backstory.
So anyway, the patriarch of your village tells you that you and you alone must venture out into the world and destroy the Destiny Lord. It is at this point you are able to walk around and do whatever you want. The game's interaction system works a lot like Dragon Warrior, where you have a selection of 10 or so actions ranging from general actions like "LOOK" and "TALK" to totally restrictive ones like "STAIRS" and-strangely "CHOP" and "EMBALM." The music's kind of crappy. It sounds like bad public domain midis from the early 2000's.
Another thing that's weird about the game is the names that were chosen for everything. Instead of gold or money, you buy things with Skins. If that's not creepy enough, all the weaponry and armor has names such that you'd NEVER figure them out. Your initial equipment is a "Iron Toyrrd" on your body and you wield a "Steel Idaggnar." I spent the Skins I started with on a weapon called a "Black Urrrtin", mostly because I thought its name was really funny. It's almost as if the game was just hastily and randomly translated from a foreign language, but I tried Googling some of these items and didn't get a SINGLE result on an Urrrtin that made any sense. If you poke around long enough, you can get your friend from the village to join your party. He seemed worried, but AAAAA reassured him that "there wasn't an enemy they couldn't fall." After that I wandered out into the world map, and almost instantly I was attacked by monsters.
The encounter was brought on by the toll of a bell, like from a church or something. The monster I encountered was called a Feeedus (Three E's, I swear), and for being the first monster in the game, you'd think he'd be in one of the 30 screenshots on Freeware Remakes's website. Nope. This thing was totally unfamiliar to me. It's basically a floating zombie head with tentacles coming out of the back of its head. It looked pretty sad and tired, so I figured it was just a low level ghost and attacked it. No effect. The other character refused to even swing his weapon. The Feeedus flashed a few colors and then made an attacking animation, which was a really vicious and crazed smile. Both party members took a TON of damage and the Game Over screen appeared. I guess I can't say I expected much better from the game.
It was a shitty RPG Maker game, so I wasn't surprised when the FIRST enemy one-shotted my party. I forgot to save, so I chose new game and started over. I was just a little more hesitant to leave the village now due to the looming threat of Feeedus. On my second walk through the first town, I was starting to wonder if getting Game Over was supposed to happen. Villagers who used to just wish me well would actively mention the Feeedus in conversations now. Most of them told me that they didn't exist. One even told me to go to the town library and look it up. So I obeyed him and looked into the book called "Monster Journal" I looked over the completely empty book of creatures I had been unable to encounter. There were about 20 or so, so it seems this game was designed to be short. When I backed out of the book, that name flashed up as one of the entries as the menu closed.
My heart leapt at the sudden appearance of that name. I reopened the Monster Journal and closed it over and over until it finally let me select it. The game started to slow down the more I kept opening the book and closing it. I was worried the game was going to crash, but eventually, it allowed me to look at the entry for the Feeedus.
The lame midi ceased to a halt and the entry was revealed to be a portrait of the Feedus, looking right at me, its white pupils just barely visible through its murky black holes. It was like a badly pixelated drawing of a skull face. It wasn't exactly scary, but it was making me uncomfortable to look at. By this point, I knew I had to take a picture of it- in case I wouldn't be able to make this happen again. So I print screened, and since I didn't want the game to crash, I decided to wait until after I saw where this was going to alt-tab and paste it into paint. It felt so personal and close. Like Feeedus was someone I knew. Of course, if I knew someone like that, I'd hope I lived far, far away from them.
As I closed out of the book, the game returned to normal. The book didn't give me any real info on what I'm supposed to do or what kind of weakness the Feeedus has. I thought maybe I could just try to get through the game now. So I went to find my friend I took with me last time. His dialogue was different this time though. He said, "How are you doing today, FEEDU?" It was all he would say. Why did he call me "FEEDU"? The game changed my name, and it was calling me the Feeedus now? Now thoroughly confused and sufficiently creeped out, I decided to forget about my friend and began my quest. I saved this time just at the gates, just in case any funny business was going to happen. The same thing happened. I took a few steps and was face to face with my old friend the Feeedus. I had hoped my new found knowledge of it would better prepare me for this battle.
It didn't. Oh, and my name was changed to "MEATS" for the battle. He effortlessly killed my lone hero. Same little face, same game over screen. I loaded my save file this time (named "FEEDU" again). I was in the town, but strangely enough, I was placed outside of the item shop, which is across the map from where I had saved. I could only guess this was the game telling me to go inside. The shop looked normal enough at first, but then my stomach dropped. There he was. He had a little fucking sprite right in the shopfront. I have no idea how to describe what was going on, but it was almost like Feeedus was slowly seeping into this game, as if he didn't belong here and he was trying to get my attention. It was at this point I even started to wonder if the game was actually saving when I saved it, or were my deaths by the Feeedus scripted events that gave me the illusion that I was making choices about my adventure. It was almost as if the game gave me the illusion of free will, but twisted my actions to lead towards what it wants me to do.
I sped right up to the Feeedus, knowing this is what the game wanted me to do, and hit the action button. There was an empty text box, and then the screen faded to black. A chime along with the message "Box Got" delighted me, as even when it's being scary and broken, the game can't seem to say anything in proper English. The screen faded back in with my character entering the shop as if nothing had happened. I found that I now had no skins and only one item: a black box that wouldn't open if I tried to use it.
When I walked out, the town had completely changed. The area was darkened and all the townspeople were stuck together in a cluster, almost like they were being held there against their will. Next to them was a lone figure. a man in a black and white mantle. I was honestly less worried about this guy, because the Feeedus was nowhere to be seen. I approached the man and he courteously greeted me. This man was the eponymous Destiny Lord. The games final boss came to find me, but his intentions were apparently peaceful. From what I could understand, he rules the destinies and pathways of all the people in this land (except for my character, of course), but just the other day, he was kicked out of his lair in Glazbarg by strange monster whom he couldn't seem to control with his powers. I could only guess who he was taking about. He wanted to join forces with me to go and defeat the Feeedus in his home. I figured it couldn't hurt, since I knew I couldn't beat it myself. The Destiny Lord joined my party and soon after he proclaimed he wasn't "felling himself". His character portrait changed once I looked at him in the menu. It looked more wooden and the expression was empty (Also my name was changed to "DIES!"). I figured I should try to go for it while I still had help.
The path to Glazbarg was peaceful. I had no encounters with enemies (or the Feeedus) and when I had gotten there, I realized just how close it was to the first town. Glazbarg was a large iridescent mountain. I couldn't climb it, and there was no caves and no ways around it. The only feature on the mountain was a pixel right in the middle of the screen. The Destiny Lord had nothing to say about the entrance. I checked my inventory for any keys, jewels or things I could use on that tiny pixel. The black box, of course, didn't work, but now I had some rather funny items now, such as the D-Kidney and the D-Lung (I had 2). Mr. Lord was looking worse for the wear, as his HP was half of what it had been last time. There was no way I had of restoring his HP. Using the D-Organs just gave me a "They wont stay in" error message. This game is...pretty macabre.
I tried every option:
"TALK"- There is no one to talk to.
"LOOK"- You could probably fit your little finger in there.
"ITEM"- No item will work here.
"ACT"- Your finger fits perfectly, but it's too short as it is.
"PRAY"- Nothing happens.
"STAIRS"- There are no stairs.
"EMBALM"- D-Kidney, D-Gall and D-Lung x 2 embalmed.
"CHOP" - Chopped.
'Chopped' bothered me a little bit. Just a little more than "EMBALM". I checked my items. Sure enough I had a nice little "L-Finger" in my inventory. Unbelievable. My character chopped his own finger off. My D-Organs were gone, by the way. I guess Embalming makes stuff go away, I don't know. The game tried to make it apparent enough already, so I used "ITEM" on the keyhole and the mountain split in half. As there was nowhere else to really go, and the Destiny Lord was having a tough time seeing now, as I had received two D-Eyes to embalm, I had to press on quickly if I was to have any hope of defeating the Feeedus.
Glazbarg's entrance looked like, had the game been working properly, it would have been a real pain. Not only did the game lag to a crawl in here because of really badly done lighting effects, but there appeared to be tedious pushblock puzzles and locked doors sprayed throughout. I thought this game was supposed to be short, but this dungeon looks like hours of gameplay. Thankfully, a path had been cleared for me to proceed straight up to the D-Lord's chamber. At this point, I started to get nervous. The game was chugging at a pretty unsteady pace, and it had been too long since I saw the Feeedus. I didn't seem to be able to save in a dungeon. If I were to encounter the beast, it would surely mean I'd have to start over from the beginning. I started making my way out of the main hallway to save on the board. The Destiny Lord kept falling out of my party. Like, when I would walk, sometimes he would just come out of my character and stand where I was until I went to collect him. It was a hopeless endeavor.
I saved my game and walked right back into Glazbarg. I walked up the long and dramatic set of stairs. The further up I went, the quieter the music got until I had reached the top and there was just silence. The room? Totally empty. No Feeedus. Nothing. I walked around inspected everything. Embalmed the Lord's new parts, selected the black box over and over, none of that seemed to matter. Tried Chopping something else off. Nothing to Chop. I was miffed. Even if the Feeedus was going to wipe my crew, I'd be happier with that than just nothing. It didn't matter. The destiny lord had 1 HP left and I had embalmed all but a few of his organs, and I was out of places to go. I made my way back to the main town, but as I was leaving Glazberg, someone fell out of me. Not the Destiny Lord. It was him.
The Feeedus fell out of me with the same little sprite he had in the shop. I yelped when I saw him. I just looked at him for 5 minutes. I thought about taking a screenshot, but I still had the portrait of him on my clipboard, and there was no way I was going to save and quit, because the game's structure had gotten to be so shaky, I couldn't take any chances. I could feel that this was the last fight of the game, whether or not Feeedus was supposed to be in this game.
Right now would be a good time to mention that at first, I could see my characters fighting the sprite of the enemy. It was like the old Final Fantasy games. For this battle, it was as if my character was staring the Feeedus right in the face. The picture was that frightening portrait I saw in the library. It was blown up to cover the whole screen and nasty looking. My heart was pounding with excitement and trepidation. I was terrified of the Feeedus. It's definitely not of this world, let alone from this program. The entire time it has felt more like a virus corrupting and infecting this game. It has been stalking me, and now it's come for the kill.
My actions were, of course, ineffective. The screen slowly started to crescendo into white noise as Feeedus would just constantly take an action called "DESTINYISDECAYDESTINYISDECAYDESTINYISDECAY..." The action just kept going until it spilled out of the dialogue box. I tried running, throwing D-Organs, praying only made the static grow louder. While I was doing this, I reminded myself that it was just a creepy game, and it couldn't actually hurt me. I'm not exactly superstitious, but this kind of thing really chills my blood. After trying to use the black box, finally the Feeedus performed it's attack. It's horrid smile this time directly facing me. The face only flashed for a split second with cracking sound.
Blue Screen. The jump scare had my heart pounding, and I was only distracted by the disappointing fact that my computer fatally crashed because of Feeedus's attack. I knew it was no coincidence. I frantically started up the computer. My only proof that the Feeedus had happened was gone. I wish I had just stopped and shown what I had found. I had been so paranoid, and it's almost as if the Feeedus knew I was after him, and crashed my computer to erase his footprints. Freeware Database has no record of this game existing. I'm not sure if I had actually gone to their website the first time. The last time it was updated as I write this is still January 2011. I went to the folder D-Lord was in and tried to run the executable, only to be greeted by the "Find an appropriate program" prompt for the file. I didn't have anything that could run the executable now changed to "black.box". There are a few programs I could try, but I doubt it would be any help. There was one more change to the folder. Instead of "Read Me.txt", it was an image file called "Fead Me.jpg".
I wish I had more to tell you. I was left with no answers to any of my questions about the game, its makers, or the Feeedus, and I have no idea if he is part of the program, or some kind of a virus. I ran a scan on black.box, and it didn't have any problems.
All I am left with is this jpeg. This isn't the original, as it was too large to upload, but at least I still have something to show for it all: