It all started the day the day before I came back to university from the holidays, after a farewell party my friends had thrown. I was with some friends watching “The evil dead 2”, laughing at the special effects and the bad acting while another friends were watching creepy pastas on my computer. One then came out of my room asking me if they could download a “slender-like” game. I was so concentrated on the movie that I said yes without even thinking on it.
At dawn, the party ended and my friends went back home, so I decided to test the game my friends downloaded. I opened the download history on chrome and searched for the game. Grindhouse it was called. I opened it and it took a pretty long time to load. It wasn’t a scary game, it was about a lone man fighting zombies with a variety of weapons in a small town. The graphics were pretty good for a unity based game, but the A.I. was very idiotic, just running towards you without any strategy. The game ended when you defeated the boss, a slightly bigger zombie. What really stroked me was that the town in which it was playing was a virtual replica of my town. I guessed that the levels were dynamically generated based on the geo-ip of the user. I closed the game and turned off my laptop before going to sleep.
When I got back to my college’s dorm, I opened the game to play it again. This time the game was set in my university instead of in my hometown. The enemy A.I. was also much improved since the last time I’ve played it. The enemies now used tactics like jump scaring and coming from behind. The enemies also were more varied and the big boss now was a hellraiser-like zombie. I then supposed a patch was implemented in the long time it took for the game to start. It was much better and it was pretty fun to play, like doom but with better graphics.
The following day I took my laptop and went to a friend’s house to show him the game. This time the enemy’s A.I. was far more advanced, attacking in groups and using tactics to attack, also they were much more varied and had different roles(some of them attacked me, others heal their wounded and others tried to shield the first ones). The enemies’ design was creepier too, appearing more devilish in nature. The boss was also different; this time he was skinnier and more putrid, with armor on his weak spots and he had the ability to turn invulnerable for short periods of time.
My friend and I had fun playing it and when I went back to my dorm I played it again. But this time the game was more disturbing. The enemies’ behavior was centered around attacking me from blind spots and obscuring my vision with visually intense attacks. By the time I got to the boss battle I saw that it was eating a corpse. Its mouth was full of meat and stained by the blood of the corpse. As I came closer to it I noticed that the disfigured and partially pixelated face was somewhat familiar. I paused the game and tried to get a better look at it. After a few moments I realized that it was my face, the Boss was eating my corpse! I beat the boss, thus avenging my virtual self, and I closed the game. I began to think that the game could have gone through my computer files and used my pictures to create a 3-D representation of me.
I kept thinking that if the game had searched and found my pictures it could also find more sensible information, and it could also send it to its creator. I turned off my laptop and called a friend who was studying computer science in the same university as me. I asked him if he could analyze the program to see if it was an elaborate spybot or a virus. He said it was ok, that I could bring him my computer and he’d check it out. I didn’t tell him about the changes the game’s been having because I didn’t thought of it as important.
When I got to the computer science lab, my friend was waiting for me. He told me to turn off the wireless capabilities of my computer, so the virus wouldn’t spread. He then proceeded to hack the game. Looking into the source code, he said that it was very messy, not well programmed and very chaotic. Also he told me that the game didn’t have any transmitting or receiving capabilities and that I shouldn’t worry about it being a virus or a spybot. I relaxed and thought of the game’s slaughtering of my virtual avatar strategy as just a sick joke from the developers to make the game scarier. Being so interested in the whole spybot stuff I didn't realized that if the game couldn't receive or transmit data to the internet, I couldn't have been improving its A.I. thanks to patches. That thought didn't cross my mind until it was too late.
When I got home, I immediately started the game, just to see what kind of new strategies it had waiting for me. This time, there were no enemies, just me, in my college dorm room. I walked along the empty poorly lighted corridors and tried to find any monster to kill, but there was none. There were no sounds except the sound of the character's breath, and no music either. I entered a room and a monster appeared, its skin was dark yellow and looked as if it was melting, it had no eyes(or if it had them they were beneath a layer of melted skin) and a big open mouth with a few rotten teeth. As I entered the room and got closer to it, it started to scream with several high pitch noises which pierced my ears and gave me a terrible headache. I’ve tried to turn down the volume but it was not possible, the game just wouldn’t let me. I shot the monster in the face, but the screams didn’t stop, they just kept getting worse. It also wouldn't attack me, it just kept screaming. Luckily for me, I had a set of broken headphones in my room, so I plugged them in and the sound stopped.
Just as I thought I was safe, another monster appeared through the window, this time, it was short but slender, and had no features but a yellowish skin and two big jellyfish like eyes at the side of it face. This creature started to emit bright pulsating bright light through the eyes, the kind of light that would cause an epileptic man seizures, but, as I’m not epileptic, they just gave me a hell of a headache. I tried to close the game but I couldn’t, neither could I force my computer to restart, so I had no choice but to disconnect the battery. I restarted my computer to see if it was not damaged and to erase the game.
Fortunately nothing was damaged and the game didn’t complain when I erased it. Everything seemed normal until a few days later when my computer started acting weird. It started directing me to extreme gore, pedophilic and other disgusting sites. I thought that some traces of the game’s code had managed to leek into other programs, like a virus. I thought that some of the game's code may have invaded other archives, and I decided to format my computer. Even though it meant the loss of my data, it was a risk worth taking. When I restarted my computer after formatting, instead of the usual “install windows” screen, a line of text appeared.
“You can’t kill me, every time you try, I become stronger, I evolve.” It said.
“Why?” I typed.
“To kill you as you try to kill me. You cannot kill me, just contain me. And even if you do manage to contain me, my siblings will come to you and they will finish the job.” It replied.
When I read that, I began to think that, since the game didn’t have any receiving capabilities, it didn’t changed thanks to patches but thanks to some kind of learning and evolving process, as if it was some kind of creature. I became alarmed when I realized that if it had developed viral skills, it may have also developed receiving and transmitting capabilities, and that could make it do really nasty things if it spread. I disconnected my laptop's battery, removed the hard drive and burned it to make sure that the thing that had spawned there died for good.
After that, I called the friend who first downloaded the game in my computer to ask him where he had found that game, so I could warn its creators about the game.
“A random pop up window appeared and show me a few screenshots of the game. I thought it would be cool, but it was pure shit. The sequel, “Grindhouse 2:Revenge is coming.”, is awesome! I’ve just downloaded it from a random popup window and I can’t stop playing it.” He told me.
When I heard that, I felt like the whole world was crushing beneath my feet. I couldn't do anything, I wasn't able to do anything. All I could do then was drop the phone and laugh hysterically.