I never thought anything strange could come from this day. On a rather sunny day, I filled up the trash bin next to my street with the garbage that had been filling my home. I knew that the dumpster truck would be around soon to empty it as it always had been every day. Seeing as I had nothing else to do for the morning, I decided it would be the proper time to go for a quick 5-minute jog to the next block downtown. In fact, the temperature was in the perfect spot so that I never really got too hot until the end of my jog.
As I was walking back to my home as part of the cool-down, I was shocked at what I found. The trash in the bin had not been picked up but rather was strewn about all around the bin. Barq's root beer cans were littered around the bin in a circle along with various other bits of debris. The black trash bag that I had placed the unwanted material into appeared to be emptied completely and was just laid on top of the bin. Wondering what could have even happened, I began to clean up the unexpected mess. However, as I was about to place one of the Barq's cans back into the bag, it seemed as if the sack wasn't completely empty.
I curiously peered into it to find an old SNES cartridge. I didn't remember throwing out something like that recently. In fact, every SNES game that I had ever bought before is still sitting in my basement. I figured maybe whoever littered my trash everywhere did this, so I took the game out and examined it. What was on it surprised me.
I know there are a lot of stories about games that have a label torn off or just a suspicious-looking cartridge to begin with. However, this label actually seemed professional in its making. The only thing off about it was the premise of this game as shown by the label. The title of this game was simply "My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic," similar to how it is titled just by the show's name on the iOS game. The generation 4 character models were even present on the cartridge as well. Twilight Sparkle, Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy, and all of the other main characters were present! This was especially odd since this version of the show came out in 2010, which was way after the time of anyone making SNES games for a profit.
I then thought back to a particular game known as Battle Kid for the original NES. Someone had actually programmed that for an old system long after it was abandoned by most developers. In fact, the guy was even selling a physical copy of it to people for a small profit! After hearing this, I figured maybe it was some fan developer that wanted to share his or her creation with someone else. I was rather curious as to why it had to be done in such a messy manner though. They could have just left the game on my doorstep and I would have gladly sat down to play it.
As I was beginning to walk back into my home, I noticed that the back of the cartridge didn't feel as smooth as it should have. My fingers had slid across a rough patch somewhere. I flipped this supposed game over as I noticed one piece of tape on the back. In black marker and almost seeming as if it was in Times New Roman font, it read:
"I'm sharing the magic! -T.S."
T.S.? Those are the same initials as those of Tara Strong, the voice actor of who is Twilight Sparkle within the game that this is based on. I thought it was cool that whoever made this had also gotten the approval of one awesome voice actor as well! I remember seeing a saying somewhere once before that described whatever Tara Strong touches turns to gold. Seeing as I have yet to see anything terribly bad come out of whatever she's a part of, I thought that saying would have some merit in determining how good this game really was to play.
I think I've rambled on enough about how I managed to come across this game. I think it's time to describe what came from playing it. When I first booted it up, I was surprised to see that the 16-bit sprites within the game actually closely resembled what the six main ponies in the show looked like. They were sitting in front of what is Fluttershy's home in the show. They seemed to be relaxing with a nice little picnic. Twilight was reading another book as usual. Fluttershy seemed to be resting along with her pet bunny Angel resting next to her. Rainbow Dash could be seen just lying down on her back with some sunglasses on. Pinkie Pie seemed to be focused on... waiting for something to come out from underneath the picnic rag? I don't even know. She's hard to figure out in the show too. Rarity and Applejack just had their backs against a tree. All of this was covered with the classic logo which read "My Little Pony."
Most impressive yet was the audio. It was a classic remix of Pinkie Pie's Smile song from the show, which is one of my favorites of all time. It always seemed to cheer me up in my worst days. Hearing it through an SNES soundchip was just beautiful.
I knew this game actually had some effort put into it. After I was getting over the beauty of the Smile track, I pressed start to start the game. The first few screens explained the basic controls that I would have to use to get past certain obstacles. If anything, the gameplay was similar to what Trine had to offer in which you would have to use all of your characters to get past certain obstacles. For example, Rainbow Dash would be necessary to remove thunderclouds and fly over things while Fluttershy could be used to tame and walk past any large living creatures that you would happen to run past. Of course, for the inanimate obstacles along with several other threats, Twilight was always there to work her magic. Pinkie Pie was able to launch a party cannon attack which somehow managed to turn enemies and projectiles into some sort of cake batter. Applejack's main purpose was bucking all of the apples out of a tree for more food in the event that your party's health got too low (Apple trees were very rare in this game though and would only provide a maximum of three apples when bucked). Rarity was simply used for the majority of stealthy portions in the game in which you would have to get past a guard or avoid being detected as you had to use one of several of her outfits to blend in with your surroundings.
Now that I've got that lengthy description of the way the game played out of the way, it's time to describe what's truly frightening about this experience. After playing through a majority of the levels for about an hour, I came across a level simply titled "Stage 16: STOP". I thought that was odd. The way "STOP" was written was also unnerving as it almost seemed small drips of blood were dripping from each of the red letters. As the level faded into view, I was horrified by what I saw. Dead, lifeless trees that seemed more like Nintendo 64 graphics were appearing on the screen. The sky was also blackened with a slight hint of red. The ground I had been walking on was gray instead of the lively colors I had been seeing before. The character who was on the screen was Fluttershy, who seemed more worried than usual.
The freakiest part of all of this was the playing of the Smile song in reverse. This version wasn't even the 16-bit version from the title screen. It sounded like an actual instrumental of the song just played in reverse. I was beyond words at this point. Whoever made this game was a sick, twisted individual.
Confused why there was a sudden change of atmosphere, I decided to move forward, only to see a giant, bony black hand come out of the ground and grab Fluttershy. She was crushed within that same instant, blood running out into every direction. The game had never been this graphic with a character death before. In fact, there was never any blood in the event that a character had temporarily fainted. Deciding to try a different approach to overcoming the obstacle of the hand, I thought I could use Rainbow Dash to fly well above and over it. However, to my horror, the hand reached up all the way to the blackened sky and still crushed poor Dash with that same grip that had gotten the best of me before. Maybe Pinkie Pie would help me accomplish something with an insane stroke of luck? Nope. She was crushed into a giant pool of blood as well. I tried switching to Twilight to see if I could use her magic to get across, but the game was bugged and would not let me at this point. I thought "Maybe I could use Rarity to get across with a camouflage disguise of sorts?" No such luck. That camouflage was soon bloodstained. I tried switching to Twilight again, but she still wasn't selectable. Applejack was my last hope. Of course, she was crushed as easily as someone would bite into a single apple.
I had given up all hope of beating this game when the game suddenly put Twilight into control. In fact, I was no longer pressing any buttons. Twilight was just casually strolling past the spot where the other five members of my party were brutally crushed as if they were toothpicks. After she reached the edge of the screen, a dialogue box appeared.
"Princess Celestia was right. Friends really do come in handy when you need them."
After I pressed A to remove the dialogue, the reversed Smile song stopped. It was dead silent for about 10 more seconds. Then another dialogue box appeared.
"Their potential was exceedingly great. It even felt so good to possess it for myself! I feel as if I can accomplish anything now!"
What kind of sick madness was this? This was not the Twilight I knew from the show! She would never harm her friends just for her own personal gain, would she?
Then Twilight turned directly towards me. I could see a red pixelated glowing in her eyes as she just stared at me intently.
"I'm only merely doing what you've been doing this whole entire time! I'm using my friends as a means of escaping my current life! You've grown bored of your own life in the same way I have mine! It's time to move on."
Using them? How is anything she's done even remotely comparable to my feelings?
Almost as if in response to my question, she answered, "Your own life is empty as was mine. You turned elsewhere to keep yourself entertained. You needed a purpose. I've found mine, but it seems as if you still need to find yours."
At this point, a very disturbing image of Twilight with an unsettling smile just like the one seen in the episode of MLP:FiM titled "Lesson Zero". That smile sent shivers down my spine when I saw it in the show, but this far tops what that detailed. Everything about this seemed as if a real-life photograph had been snapped with a high-quality camera. Her eyes were completely missing. Beyond each of the sockets was just a black void. The mouth was also toothless. There was no tongue or any other features within it either. It was just a black void as the eyes were. At this point, text just splattered across the screen. Almost as if each letter stroke was carved with a bloody knife, the text read:
"I'm sharing the magic!"
At this point, a loud, ear-piercing scream suddenly came out of my speakers. I covered my ears in a vain attempt to block out the sound, but it was still coming through. I fumbled with the power button on the SNES for a few seconds and the sound finally stopped as the game was shut off. I ejected the game cartridge and left it sitting on my kitchen table. I knew I had to share this experience with everyone, and I needed all of the proof I could get to show everyone my case was real. However, I felt really tired despite the time only being about 1 in the afternoon, so I figured a quick nap wouldn't hurt me much.
However, during this quick nap, I happened to have a strange dream. I felt like I was walking down a street in my original hometown of Ballouville, Connecticut. I was just casually walking down the street when I stopped in front of someone's trash bin. I madly ravaged through the person's trash receptacle for whatever strange reason, littering all kinds of trash here and there. I also happened to take something out of a bag that I had somehow been carrying. That something was the cursed cartridge I had managed to come across earlier. So far, the front label looked normal, but then it mutated into the shape of the frightening image of Twilight that I described earlier. Scared to even look at it for more than a few seconds, I dropped the cartridge and ran away from that residence as fast as I could.
When I woke up from this dream, I was relieved that I was still in my home. However, the oddest part of it was looking at my kitchen table and noticing that the game was missing. I could have sworn I put the game on that table.
As I was madly searching around my home for the game, I got frustrated and knew it was futile to try searching for the game when I was getting more and more stressed out with every minute, so I decided to take a break and check my email.
My mother had sent me an email detailing a strange incident that happened to her home that morning. Someone had gone and messed with her trash just like what was done to me earlier. She made no mention of a game though. However, I knew she probably thought the game was just more garbage as she wasn't very interested in gaming to begin with. I didn't bother asking her about it as that seemed like a weird question coming straight out of left field at the time. Plus, there was the slight fact that what I had dreamed was actually what I had done.
I don't know where the game is at right now. Maybe it finally got hauled off to the dump where it belongs. Maybe my mother got a crazy idea to actually play it and now she had to suffer the same torment that I did while involuntarily passing it on to someone else. Wherever it is, be careful when you're playing it. If that Twilight has enough power to control people's actions in the real world, then who knows what she'll be capable of doing soon?