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I hate video games.
I really hate video games.
It wasn’t always like that, but now a days I can’t stand the things. Let me tell you a story, it will make things more clear, maybe you’ll get why video games suck so much. The year was 1994. I had gotten out of high school, and had worked it out with a university so that I could have a year to myself before actually enrolling into the college. I was a pretty well off guy, my parents had money, I had this great blond hair, I had a good body from football back in high school, and I had a sexy as hell girlfriend. I just had one little secret I didn’t want people to know about. I loved video games.
Now this was the early 1990’s, when video games were still considered kids stuff. I mean they still are, I guess, but with the amount of” COD broz” and “gamur girlz” out there today, it’s more mainstream. That wasn’t the case back in the day. You got caught playing video games, you were a nerd, plain and simple. Maybe that was just in my home town, but whatever, now you know why I tried keeping it a secret.
Someone knew about my hobby, though, because one day, when I had just gotten back from the gym, I found some sort of video game console by the front of my door. There was this weird ass note on it too. It said something like,
“Well met, young adventurer! We know of your hidden talents and skill, and believe you are the chosen one for our epic quest. However, you must first prove yourself! Enclosed in this mighty CD-i is the classic adventure game, “Link: The Faces of Evil.” Defeat the challenges of this game, and you shall be ready for the true adventure. Good luck, hero!”
I had a pretty good feeling my friend Chet was fucking with me, but I wouldn’t call him out on it. On one hand, I didn’t know if he knew about my video game love, and besides, I got a free video game console out of it. I never had a CD-i before, and I didn’t know about a Legend of Zelda game not on a Nintendo console, so I was a little psyched.
The game...was...fucking...awful. The shittiest fucking game I have ever played in my entire life. The voice acting was awful, the weird cartoons were shit, the controls were like they were designed by a drunk monkey. Half the time I didn’t know if the game wanted to kick my ass or hold my hand like a baby. It was such a slog to play through that I stopped playing it after only a few hours or so. Absolute donkey shit. But I wasn’t one to just quit a game. I had this huge ego thing going on, and I wouldn’t let a fucking MS paint nightmare beat me. So over the course of maybe a month or so, I finally beat the game. Ganon dies with a one hit kill, Link doesn’t get the girl, overall an awful ending for an awful game. But right when Link yells out “I won” in his stupid kid voice, the screen cut to black. There was white pixel text that looked like it was poorly thrown in at last second; it was flashing and disappearing half the time. It said something like,
“Congratulations! You are the chosen one! Come to the dungeon's mouth near the kingdom of burgers near your home, you know the one!”
I thought it was just some bonus shit that the devs threw in after you beat the game, but I had no idea what burger kingdom they were talking about, and I doubted that the dev team would even care about lengthening the game with extras. That’s when I remembered the note from a month ago. Needless to say, I thought this was scary as hell. Someone went into the game and is leaving me strange notes? Was I being stalked or some shit? And why in the world would this mystery stalker be talking in ye old english? I tried to analyze what the hell the message was talking about, and that’s when I figured it out. I didn’t know what dungeon’s mouth meant, but kingdom of burgers obviously meant Burger King.
At first, I wasn’t planning on dealing with this stalker shit. So I just sat down and watched TV for a bit, relieved a bit of my stress, and then I realized I was bored as hell. I tried calling my girlfriend, but she was out. I thought about the game again, and was about to call my friend Chet, but I still didn’t know if he even knew I played video games, so I didn’t want to risk calling him. I didn’t think any of my other friends would be elaborate enough to come up with this prank, so I just decided it was Chet trying to fuck with me, ignoring the fact that he would have probably said something by now about it. I was a little hungry too, so I set up a plan. I would go to the Burger King, get some food, look around for a “dungeon's mouth”, and when I didn’t find anything, I would go home.
I got in the car and drove to the Burger King. It was late, and the sun was down, so I wanted to make it home quick. Got myself some heart attack on a bun, threw it in my car, and was just about ready to start up the car when I saw something weird. The man hole cover on the street had been removed, and there was some arrow made of neon tape stuff pointing into it. Suddenly, it hit me. That could have been the “dungeon's mouth.” I got out of the car, and walked into the street. Probably should have looked both ways first, almost got hit by a car. There was a note on the neon arrow. It said,
“Hero! You’ve finally arrived! Enter the dungeon, and save the princess!”
So of course, I stepped down into the man hole. I knew what was going on right when it said “princess.” It was Carrie, my girlfriend, pulling some sort of crazy trick. She had been scouting colleges, she was in her last year of high school, so of course she had an excuse not to hang out and set up all of this craziness. She must have known I was into games for a while now. Still didn’t know why she wouldn’t ask me about it after a month with no response, but maybe she was just too busy with university planning. And as I went down, I also questioned how no one would question the open man hole, assuming it was also open for a whole month. Maybe they just thought people were working on it. Ok, that was stupid to think, but cut me some slack, I didn't have any other explanation.
It smelled like shit, and there was nasty water everywhere. But I was in the sewer, so I guess that was given. It was dark as hell too. The only things lighting my way were the neon tape arrows. So I followed them for a while, trying not to gag on the smell, until I saw a dim light in the distance, and some weird shadows moving around. I hesitated for a moment, but reminded myself that it had to be Carrie. So I called out for her. The shadow stopped moving, and ran towards me.
The figure slammed into me, and I fell down hard. Standing above me was a terrifying sight. A skinny, acne riddled teenager, with a crazed look in his eye. Patches of black hair were scattered on his face, he clearly didn’t shave. Green napkins were all over his body, and on closer inspection, staples could be seen holding the napkins on him. And these weren't just on his clothes, there were napkins were stapled to the top of his head too. Trickles of blood could be seen squeezing out as he made strangely exited faces at me.
“Finally! The hero has arrived! We’ve waited a long time for you, maybe a month.”
“Who the hell are you?”
“I’m just an elf! Not the hero, like you!”
“Kid, you have napkins stapled to your head, you need to see a doctor or something!”
“What? No, this is my costume! It’s not as elegant as yours, but that’s ok, because you’re the hero!”
“I’m not a damn hero, kid, I’m getting out of here!”
The napkin kid smiled and pulled out a kitchen knife.
“You’ll play along, hero, and you’ll save the princess. Is that a deal?”
I had no choice but to accept. I slowly got up, and he told me where to go while pointing the knife at me constantly. We went into the lighted area. There were flashlights, lanterns, even a little fire going on.
There was a scream from the nearby darkness. It sounded young, scared. I ran towards it, but the napkin kid grabbed my shoulder.
“The princess isn’t ready to be saved yet, Link! Ganon! Take the princess away!”
The screams got farther and farther away, until I could no longer hear them. The napkin kid pointed his knife down towards the floor. There was a green hoodie lying on the wet ground.
“Put on the tunic, Link.”
What choice did I have? I put it on. It was wet and heavy, and there was a distinct scent of excrement on it.
“My name isn’t Link, it’s Mickey.”
“No no no! You’re Link! You’re here to save Zelda! And you need to ride the horse to get to her!”
He directed me to an, I shit you not, exercise bike that was painted brown. The paint was still wet. He forced me onto the seat, and tightened the straps on the peddles when I slid my feet in.
“Now ride, Link!”
The napkin kid slapped my back with the side of his knife. I got the message. I peddled.
“That’s not fast enough, Link! Ganon will get away!”
He moved the knife closer to my face. I really got the message then. I peddled as fast as my legs could.
“Take this fairy, Link! It will help you!”
The napkin kid pulled out something awful and shoved it right in my face. He had a broken Barbie doll with two bird wings tapped to its back, real bird wings. The skin was colored orange, probably by crayon, and the hair was red and wet, dipped in something.
“You’re there, Link! You’ve made it!”
He freed me from the bike, and walked me towards the fire.
“You’ll need this to solve any puzzles!”
He pulled out a grenade.
A fucking grenade.
I’m not joking.
I lost my breath for a second, thought I was dead for sure. Napkin kid came up to my ear and whispered to me.
“It’s ok. We can’t do any puzzles, this is my dad’s grenade.”
Napkin kid jumped back, and yelled out,
“It’s dangerous to go alone, take this!”
He handed me the knife. He actually gave up the only thing holding me here. I was planning on running until he called out to “Ganon.”
“Ganon! Link is here! And he’s here for the princess!”
A little girl tied up to a wheel chair rolled out of the darkness. She couldn’t have been more than five. There was tape on her mouth, and tears in her eyes. She was in a ripped wedding dress meant for a woman, not for a child. She obviously wasn’t here of her own free will. The idea that she could have been down here for over a month terrified me. But the thing that happened next would terrify me beyond comprehension.
A man came out of the darkness, with a rotting pig carcass thrown over his head. His obese body was covered in sweat and blood, I couldn’t see his face, but his chuckle was all I needed to be horrified and disgusted. A gurgling, childish and sadistic laugh, as if he was chocking on his own massive fat, like he was going to get his jollies from torturing a cat. I vomited right on the spot.
“Defeat Ganon, Link! Save the princess!”
The pig boy waddled over to me with a large carving fork in his left hand, and tried to stab me. He was slow, but his gruesome, disgustingly obese body kept me virtually paralyzed. I barely avoided his slashes. I knew I needed to fight back, but I wasn’t a killer, I couldn’t kill. But if I didn’t kill, that little girl would be stuck here with these freaks. I needed to save her.
I stabbed the pig boy right in the hog’s head, and jammed it in a little farther just to make sure. The boy screeched like a swine, and fell onto his back. The napkin kid ran up to me and patted my back.
“You did it! Zelda is safe! Now free the princess!”
I untied to girl, and pulled the tape off of her mouth. She cried and screamed, begged me to take her to her mommy. I threw her over my shoulder, and told her everything was going to be ok, and that I was going to take her to her home. The napkin kid had other plans in mind.
“Let’s play again! This time I’ll be the hero, and you’ll be the elf! Ganon, get up and hide the princess again.”
The pig boy wasn’t dead, he got up and pulled the knife out of the hog like it was nothing. I hadn't even penetrated him, I just cut through the pig.
I ran, I ran as fast as I could with the girl in my arms, hoping I wouldn’t trip over the dress. The napkin kid and the pig boy ran after us. The pig boy waved the knife wildly, and the napkin kid screamed at us, demanded that we kept playing his game, as he ripped the napkins out of his skin. All the while, the little girl bawled her eyes out.
The light of the man hole shone down, and I jumped onto the ladder. It was difficult, but I was able to force our way up to the top. I pushed the girl out of the hole, but before I could pull myself out, I felt something tug at my foot. I resisted the tugging long enough to tell the girl to go to the Burger King, ask to use their phone, and call her mother or the police. Then I felt a sharp stab in my leg.
I fell down onto pig boy as he was climbing the ladder, and we both slammed into napkin kid. The pig boy’s fat acted as a cushion, and I quickly pulled myself off of his body. I ran as fast as I could away from the two, and pulled out the grenade.
“It’s dangerous to go alone, take this...to hell!”
I threw the grenade, and jumped back. There was a massive explosion, followed by a cave in. I blacked out.
I awoke outside of my house. My parents were still out. A man was standing over me, wearing a red cap and blue overalls.
“Do you know how much trouble you were in, kid? Thank god you came across me. I know my way around a sewer.”
He walked away without a word.
And that’s why I hate video games.