Paper Mario wasn't a part of my childhood. It wasn't my favourite game, nor in the Top 10. This was my experience with an odd phenomenon that I shouldn't have discovered in the first place.
How it beganEdit
The day began, September 22nd, 2014. It happened yesterday. Me and my 2 brothers were just haning out and playing Animal Crossing: New Leaf. My older brother was on our PS3, playing an old PS1 game. Then I heard an odd noise from upstairs. It sounded faint, but noticable. Construction going on upstairs.
I asked my brothers (Who's names I won't explain for privacy reasons) if they heard it too. "No. I don't hear anything", one of them said. I thought they were trolling me by ignoring the noises, after all, brothers do that stuff nowadays. Anyways, I went upstairs and saw... A door that wasn't there before.
I, being a very curious individual, opened the door. Upon opening the door, I saw a practical ton of Paper Mario merchandise. In the middle of the room, 2 things amongst the merch caught my eye. One of them was a thumbstick, and the other was an N64 cartridge. On the thumstic was a note: "Dear Player, use the thumbstick if you do not own an N64 device." I used the thumbstick (I wasn't alive during the N64 era, don't judge me) to play the game.
I turned on the computer and put in the thumbstick. The thumbstick had a ROM titled "Pay-per Mario". I knew from there that this was some sort of hack. I know that only game hacks have new titles, I have experience of this stuff, trust me. Anyways, I was lucky, as I had Project 64 on hand already. I launched it and saw the title saying, of course, "Pay-per Mario".
I went to the "File Select" screen as usual, and chose the 1st slot to make a file. I was taken to the regular "Insert File Name Here" screen. This was the first odd occurence. You see, I tried to put in the name of "Kaido", but every time I put in any letter, It just put letters in this order: P, A, Y, -, P, E, and R. Obviously this spelt 'PAY-PER", and at least it didn't put in "HELL" or "SATAN" or some shit. Anyways, I made the file, and started it. The game spawned me in some sort of bin, with faint text saying "VIDEO GAME MERCHANDISE".
Then I realized that Mario was in a bin filled with other Mario's, Sonic's, Luigi's, et cetera, as if he was a toy in a Toys-R-Us or something. Then the camera zoomed out, showing a little girl pick up the Mario I was controlling. Text appeared, saying: "Mommy! I want that one!" "OK, dear. How much for the Mario toy?" "Roughly $5, good deal if I do say myself." Then the little girl walked out of the store with Mario in-hand. More text appeared, saying: "A small drive later...", probably stating that the girl and her mother/father were driving home. Mario was now in a straight cave, that was rather short. After the small walk, there was a door. I made Mario open the door...
And there were 3 bodies hanging on hooks. Luigi, Peach, and Bowser. This person must have been VERY dedicated to this hack, it looked as real as an N64 game's graphics could go. Even though this person may have a rather sick mind, I still have to give him some credit. It looked so good. Almost Nintendo-quality. Luigi's body shook, and more text appeared, stating: "Mario! Not you too! You have to get out of here! Something here is demented, it is probably already after you! If it catches you..." And it just cut off there. and Luigi's body stopped, as if Luigi had died. I then got an option to save the game. I did. Almost immediately, I was forced into a battle with the Shadow version of Mario from Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door, when Mario lost his body to Doopliss.
Even though I didn't have Goombario, the Mario's HP was visible. 99. Trust me, this fight was almost impossible without good skill. I almost resorted to cheating, but didn't have to. Shadow Mario (lets call the other Mario that) does 5 damage per hit, which is HALF of Mario's HP. It was very difficult. Luckily when you block his attack, it does 0 dmg. It literally took 99 turns, as each hit I did to him only caused him to lose 1 point of HP. Eventually, somehow, I won. He vanished, and the camera zoomed out to show... The room that the game was in. I immediately ran to the room, and saw a small box, looking similar to the one Mario was in, in the exact same place. I picked up said box, and tried shaking it in my room. It had an effect on the area, but ultimately, I was done with the hack. But right when I closed the rom, more text appeared, but I couldn't catch it. I looked down at where the box was, and it was gone. I ran to where the odd room was, it was gone too. Luckily, it was over. At least, so far it is.
I never saw any signs of the game again. Hell, the ROM was gone the same day I wrote this. I wasn't affected by nightmares, and nothing bad happened. But I'm posting this so that if it happens to you, I hope you'll beat Shadow Mario. Who knows what'll happen if you lose...