Now, you’ve probably read a lot of creepypastas, so you’re probably expecting me to be stupid enough to play a label-less game, or play a game some creepy old pedophile gave me, but no. I remember back when Starfox 64 had just come out. I wanted it so badly, but could never hold my grades, so my parents wouldn’t let me get it.
Now, fast-forward several years, and I’m 25. After all those years, I had finally regained interest in the game after a long night of searching YouTube. You know how that is, you search one thing and an hour later you find you’ve subscribed to three people and you’re on a whole different topic. After breakfast, I went to see my childhood friend’s mom about the game. She said I was free to look through his old games, since he’d been gone for 14 years.
You see, my friend and one of his friends were having a sleepover one night back in 6th grade. They had stayed up really late, so no one noticed when they suddenly disappeared in the middle of the night. The next morning, his mother had noticed they weren’t even moving upstairs. They were declared missing an hour later. The search party looked for nearly a month, but eventually the police department had to give up. They were never found, dead or alive.
After about an hour of digging, I found the game at the far bottom of the box. Something about it didn’t feel quite right. It just felt… strange. Wouldn’t it be great if I thought it was just a little too creepy and put it down or just didn’t care enough? Now what kind of story would that be? No, that’d be no fun. And besides, human nature makes us all naturally curious, no matter how potentially dangerous it might be. I mean, let’s be honest, if you found a game with no sticker or got a creepy package, sooner or later you’d play it.
But I digress. So when I put it in, everything seemed perfectly normal (Never heard that that one before). I was playing through the game to try to get all the expert mode medals, remembering my friend had taken the same challenge back in the day. After weeks of hard work, I was on the last medal. The level: Venom. Just to clarify, this was the easier one. Now something seemed a little off at first. About half way through Fichina, my game's audio was replaced by static. A few seconds later, it crashed. Now this happens when a 64 overheats or connections are wrong, so I got up to fix it. But suddenly, a voice box came up. The portrait was empty, and a voice said “He doesn’t know, does he?”. The voice consisted of maybe 17 or so separate voices all playing at once. Then, another box opened. This time, Falco, Peppy and Slippy were heard laughing at the same time. It then closed.
I was really confused, as this was never in the real game. The game started up normally back on Fichina, right where I left off. I was really creeped out, so I turned off the system and left to go watch TV. I came back a few days later and decided to play. I don’t know how, but I totally forgot about what had happened. Most would think that impossible, but hey, things happen. I had gotten all the way to Venom when things got weird again.
My whole team was gone. Not down, with the little wrenches over their portraits, but gone entirely. I pressed start to pause, but it didn’t work. Being on Venom with no sound but my Arwing running, something wasn’t right. Despite how badly I wanted the medal, I didn’t want to keep playing. I turned off the system and decided to wait until tomorrow to play again. After all, I had been playing all day, and it’s never good for a system to be on all day. It must just be overheating.
At least, I hoped.
The next day, I turned on the system. Something was off from second one. I turned it on, and the second I flipped the switch, that same level was on, and I started at the same moment it was at when I turned off the system last night. I proceeded to throw out the game, then went out to get lunch. It was Wednesday, or where I live, trash day, so I figured I could just be rid of it. Later that day, my mom came into my room. She wanted to know why I threw out my game. I was about to tell her to just throw it out, but something hit me. I had to play it. I told her I didn’t mean to throw it out and took it. I turned on every light and started playing.
Again it started up where I left off. I was flying down Venom for at least five straight minutes when the message came up again. “He doesn’t know, does he?” I went into All-Range mode, and a box came up. It was Falco, or at least I think. It was just a dark outline of him. “Well look who it is…” Peppy came next. “Well, if it isn’t James? What took you so long…” Two things were clearly off. Firstly, the obvious: He just said my name. Secondly, he said it very angrily. What had I done? Slippy said, “He doesn’t know, does he?” “KNOW WHAT!?!?” Then, randomly, a whole army of at least 100 fighters stormed me from behind them. There was no lag, everything was running smoothly. This was way beyond the 64’s processing power.
This wasn’t right.
I got up to turn it off, and the strange voice… erm… voices came on. “You can’t just turn off your problems, James.” Oh… shit… Now it was talking directly to me. Then, my mom came on screen for a second then disappeared. “Go ahead, turn it off now.” I called for my mom several times. No response. It only took me a second to realize what that meant. I had to face this army.
For some reason, I had 40 lives. Either this would be impossible, or the game wanted me to survive. I didn’t like either alternative. With 40 minutes, 7 lives and lots of luck, I defeated the army, which consisted of at least 20 of every generic unit in the game attacking at once.
Now I had to fight my team, and they were almost impossible. There AI’s weren’t even like AI’s, they were like supercomputers. After an hour of avoiding hits, though, I noticed certain patterns. For example, Peppy had this one weakness where if you went after him and landed a hit, he would freak out and start yelling Do a barrel roll! a bunch and barrel-rolling. You could hit him between rolls. With Falco, you needed to get him close to the map border to make him U-turn and make him open for attack. Slippy wouldn’t do much, but if you hit him, everyone would gang up on you with B-bombs, and you’d be dead before you knew what hit you. He had to go last. Do it any other way and you would fail.
With just 10 lives left, I went on to the Andross fight, and I was not looking forward to what messed up thing the game might throw at me this time. I entered the tunnels, and the voice box appeared. “It’s unbelievable that you still don’t know” I sighed. “Know what?” I asked, calmly this time. “Don’t you see? Oh… That’s right. You’re not like us.” “What’s that supposed to mean?” I asked, a little more angrily this time. “Oh, let’s just put it this way… Better not run out of, what’d you call them, lives, I think? Yes, lives.” It responded with a chuckle. “Or el-“ I started to say but stopped myself, realizing what it meant. If I ran out of lives, I could say goodbye to my mother, and maybe even me. It answered anyways. “If you lose, you’ll understand why no one else ever talks about having all the medals” “But if I win?” I requested.
I exited the tunnels, and met the mystery creature. It was horrible, to put it bluntly. The creature consisted of a strange body, bee-like in shape, and seventeen humanoid heads with ant-like mandibles all laughing like Andross along the body, one for each voice. Then something stunned me as the shape left the shadows and showed me the details. They were all twisted, distorted versions of all the heads of people who played that cartridge and took the challenge. How’d I know? Two of the faces were my missing friends. I paused the game. I didn’t know what to say, what to think. I couldn’t grasp the concept of what had just happened. It all made sense now.
Either I beat the game, or the next person to play it would hear eighteen voices.
The fight began, and the creature was devastating. It fired beams, shot lasers, and did anything it took to kill me. Again, the graphics, the AI, everything was far beyond a normal 64’s capabilities. Worst of all, every head I killed let loose a horrible, blood curdling scream exactly like the person who died. I was down to two lives, and had killed all but two heads. I was feeling confident, but suddenly a chill fell down my spine as I lost my focus and noticed something. The last two heads were my friends.
I had two choices: Kill my friends, or turn off the game and kill my mother. Clearly I wasn’t going to kill my mom, but it wasn’t exactly easy to kill my best friend, either. I was stunned long enough for my health to go down very low, but something else caught my attention. Just like in the real game, James McCloud (Fox’s Father) flew in. “Don’t ever give up, my son.” “F-father?” Fox and I said in perfect sync. The voice of James was my dad. We both started fighting the last two heads, which were much more violent and intelligent than before. I was both more scared and more motivated than ever before, because now not only my mom and I were at risk, but now my whole family was at stake.
The first to go was the friend of my friend. I gagged a little at the sound of him dying. It was horrific. Killing the others was easy; they were people I didn’t know at all. But killing someone I knew well was totally different. The second I killed him, I thought of what I’d just done. But I remembered I didn’t have time to feel bad. Besides, that wasn’t really my friend. At least, not anymore.
I swallowed everything I’d ever been taught, everything I knew about my friend, every emotion telling me not to, and pushed forward. I had to win. I had to win for me. For my father. For my mother. For all of us. I started shooting the head. My friends’ voice came on. He sounded weak. “J... Ja… James? I… It’s me… Kevin... Stop… Please…” “No!” I yelled. “I won’t stop! I won’t give in! Please forgive me!” I shot a bomb at it. If I thought any of the screams before were scary, well, let’s just say this one made me see double. Not just the screen, but the world around me began to spin. I threw up, letting all my emotions lose at once, and everything turned white.
“Now you know…”