I need to write this quickly... It's watching... I'll just jump right in I don't have the time to tell to many details, but I'll try my best to tell you all of what put me near the brink of my sanity, and is the reason for me typing this.
Around three months ago I wanted to play some games, because I had completely finished all of my other ones start to finish. It was late and I was tired. Also I was drained because of a paper that I had to write, and needed desperately to play some kind of game to rest. I didn't have any money to spare for anything new though. I had already spent most of it on rent at the time.
I decided in the end to improvise and dig through all of my old games and see if I could find just a single game I had not finished. I did, I found my old N64 and Super Mario 64. I got a surge of warming memories when I found the cartridge. I remembered getting all the way to around 76 stars. I let out a small smile and noticed something. Mario looked as if he was frowning like he was stranded and alone. I still wanted to play, but something about that frown was just... Unnerving. Yet I still stuck the cartridge into the slot and flipped the power switch. As it started it froze on the title screen. I got a little frustrated with it and tried again. The same thing happened.
"Come on!..." I mumbled angrily.
The game just simply refused to play. Despite countless attempts I simply could not get the game to work correctly. I tried cleaning it and blowing into it, but nothing would work. Finally just when I was about to throw the controller out of blind rage... It worked.
"Alright!" I exclaimed.
The title screen was almost normal... Almost. The face of Mario on the title screen had a slight frown as well. I tried to mess with his face, but it wouldn't let me so much as move the head at all. So I shook it off and gathered a bit of courage and selected start. My profile was right there where I had left it. I noticed just like I had anticipated I had exactly 76 stars. So I attempted to play my profile, you know, to see where I had exactly left off. It seemed to freeze, and this time I grew furious.
"Why won't you work?!" I yelled at the top of my lungs.
As if the game had heard me... It started. It surprised me a bit, but then I just scolded myself for being so impatient. I was on the inside of the castle... Everything was exactly the same. Most of the game was completely normal. Every now and again the game would freeze, but nothing I couldn't just restart the game for. Another thing I would occasionally see was a pair of eyes staring at me. I knocked it off as just simply a graphics glitch. It was only when I reached the staircase to the final stage that things began to really get... Strange. I had all 120 stars, and I began to ascend the staircase, but the staircase never ended. I started to run up the staircase, but it wouldn't stop. So I decided to turn around and try to see if maybe it was a glitch and just try to go up again. The staircase still never ended, though I was going down not up. I got a little freaked out by this and frantically ran both ways trying to find a way to get off of the staircase. I then noticed Mario's face... It looked like he was frowning. A small text box appeared stating.
"It's waiting..." It said.
Mario then seemed to sink into the floor and his drowning animation was played. I looked at the screen bewildered as to what had just happened. Then it spawned me into a pitch black room, all that was there was the pair of eyes... They just stared at Mario. I took the controller and tried to move quickly away from the eyes, but... They followed in pursuit. After multiple attempts to escape the gaze of those eyes a text box appeared.
Then I moved Mario away and to my surprise. The eyes didn't follow me. In fact they soon disappeared into the darkness. As I ran it felt as if Mario was growing more and more uneasy. Then Mario seemed to be running into a wall. I panned the camera around to see the eyes directly in front of Mario. This time I jumped a little bit dropping the controller. I quickly switched the console off. I needed desperately to get away from that game. I decided that I was just tired and needed some sleep to clear my mind. I hadn't slept very well in four days, and I knew that lack of sleep could possibly result in hallucinations. So I softly lifted my head into my pillow and let the warm comfort of sleep overtake me.
As I did I felt like I was falling into a dark abyss, I saw those eyes. They were all around me as I fell. They stared blankly right at me. I felt cold fear surge through me, yet I could not move or scream nor do anything at all. All I could do was fall and fall. It felt like an eternity had passed, yet I still stood there frozen as I fell with those eyes looking right at me...
Then... I heard a small whisper in the dark reaches of my dream.
"Why?" It asked.
After that word I jolted out of my bed almost instantly hitting my head on the top of a lamp. It was around midnight when I woke up. I rubbed my head with a groan. Then I got up and watched TV for a bit, something... Seemed to be drawing me back to that game. I decided that maybe since I had received sleep I would be fine so I started the game again. This time Mario was smiling, this greatly lifted my spirits and seemed to confirm my hunch. I selected play and started my profile again. I was right back in the lobby of the castle, and I slowly made my way all the way to the top of the castle to the staircase. Feeling a bit more confident that this time I would be able to make it to the top no problems at all.
As I opened the door I looked at the staircase for a moment. Then I ran up the staircase. This time I made it to the top with little trouble at all, and I even let out a sigh of relief when I reached the top. I just jumped down the hole and continued on. The level was the same, but to my surprise and horror there were no enemies in sight. I grew a little nervous. As I continued along I noticed the game would freeze for about 2 seconds every now and then. I also noticed everything that moved had stopped. The platforms sat there virtually motionless, this made it almost impossible for me to complete the stage without any form of hack.
Eventually I reached the end of the stage. I jumped down the pipe. I was in the same black room as before, but there weren't any eyes. I ran around the room looking for some sort of way out of it. Eventually the staircase music began to play and there were the eyes moving towards me... Smiling. I turned Mario away, but the eyes were right there in front of him. Mario's body warped and then the game froze.
I hesitated, but I restarted the system. Upon the start... I heard the staircase music again. This time Mario's head was missing from the title screen. I also noticed that there was a new profile that had replaced the old one. It had 0 stars, after I mustered some courage I selected it. I was shaking a little bit from apprehension of what was to come. It loaded me up to Mario's body on the ground in the void just lying there.
After multiple attempts to make anything happen by pressing the buttons randomly, I decided I should restart the console. I felt something grip me though right before I could turn it off. I looked up.
"What..." I said.
Mario had stood up and was now looking right at the screen. His face was now... Like the eyes. He was staring right at me I could feel his stare. I started to shake... The stare was identical to the eyes I kept seeing.
I was then teleported to the flying stage, but I was never put on a platform I was just falling... Falling. As I continued to fall it got darker and darker the farther I fell. Until Mario hit the ground with a crunch. I heard a faint whisper nearly the same as in my dream.
"Why?" It asked.
I turned the console off quickly. I was shaking and I felt paranoid, I checked my room repeatedly. I tried everything to calm myself down, but I couldn't shake the feeling that I was being watched closely. I thought to myself..
"It's just a game...right?" I said.
I wanted to know though... Why was this happening? I decided that I was going to finish what I had started, and I proceeded to turn on the system one more time. As I did Mario's head had reappeared and was once again smiling. I was confused... Was it... Playing with me? I noticed my file was back. I nervously selected the file, and it started. I was automatically started in Big Boo's Haunt. I looked around and then went inside.
It was pitch black and only a faint small light illuminated the room.
"Why do you torture me?..." It asked.
I saw the eyes approach me this time there was a figure that slowly came into the light, it was.... Mario. The game simply froze and crashed with an error message saying that the memory had been corrupted. After that the game would never work no matter how hard I tried to get it to work. Worst of all I kept thinking about those eyes being Mario. Was he angry that people played and purposely killed him for the fun of it? That as we played we were blindly unaware of the hidden pain that the mustached plumber carried on his back, and that every time he died he descended into a hell he paved himself? I'm not sure... But I keep thinking... That I see those eyes whenever I'm alone in a dark room, or when I sleep. Even as I type this.... I'm not sure If I can take the staring anymore.