Bored, I decided to search the Internet for some fun games to play. My first stop was Gamejolt.
As soon as I entered, a game caught my eye immediatly. It was named "Project Excelsior", and over 500 people gave it 5 stars.
Clicking on it, I read it's description. The game had no pictures and it's banner was merely a black background with the words "Project EXCELSIOR" written in comic-sans font.
"You are a man decided to become wealthy in life. Take on this text adventure game and see if you can rise up to fortune!
Over 500 possible commands!
To download, visit our site: www.projectexcelsior.com"
Finding this fishy, I read the comments.
"This is a great game. All should play it."
"it took me 3 hours to beat it. the storyline was good and the music was great"
"An example more games should follow. 5 stars."
"A game with several different endings and many branching paths. You can either become a lawyer, an astronaut, a driver and many more. Reminds me of those old 'CYOA books'."
With first hand experience from other fellow users, I clicked on the link and was redirected to the site.
It had a black background with the previously mentioned "Project EXCELSIOR" text on top of the page. There was also some description of the game, which I don't deem important. So I downloaded it and ran it.
"Greetings player. Welcome to Project EXCELSIOR!
We took inspiration from Zork to make this game. In it, you must find quick ways to become rich. Will you take a profession, or will you resort to dirtier methods?
1 for a profession / 2 for crime."
Nobody on Gamejolt metioned this option. I was pretty confused so many people forgot to talk about this. Seeing how I prefer to make a honest living, I typed in "1".
"What?" I said quietly to myself. Angry at the game not allowing me to choose a profession, I tried again.
I was begginning to curse the people at Gamejolt for not mentioning this load of shit. Just wanting the game to progress already, I typed "2".
"Your break in was a success. You silently pick the lock and deactivate the alarm with the password they gave you. Making your way upstairs, you loot everything that may be of value. Then, you are surprised by the owner, he woke up! You take out the pocket knife you brought with you. Kill? 1 for yes, 2 for running."
I automatically typed "2".
"The owner catches up to you with easy. He punches you in the face. Your nose breaks and blood is pouring out pretty quickly."
"Another punch. You already begin feeling lightheaded from the blood loss."
"Another punch. Knowing that you will die, you immediatly cut the owner with the knife. The knife passes through the heart area. The owner is dead in a matter of seconds. Walk upstairs to wash up? 1 to clean yourself, 2 to run away."
I am no crook, but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to guess that all this blood will attract attention to me. Feeling pretty mad at this game for not accepting my choices, I type "1".
"While washing yourself, a person walks into the bathroom. It's the owner's sister. You subdue her easily. She's at the tip of your knife. 1 to threaten, 2 to kill."
I didn't want another dead at my hands. I press "1" to threaten her.
"She is pretty startled and might jump at you at any minute. You can't afford to lose more blood. Type "2" to kill."
This load of bullshit was already driving me up the wall. I decide to try a third option and type "3".
"Knowing that she will call the police, you kill her anyways. You then get some gauze from the cabinet and use it to stop your bleeding. You take the belongings and run away. On the way out, you trip on the entrance stairs. Your skull cracks like an egg as your vision fades. Your eyes close for the last time."
"YOU DIED, TRY AGAIN? Y/N"
"Obtaining address....... done"
This message appears for a second before vanishing. My heart skips a beat. What did that mean?
"THANK YOU FOR PLAYING PROJECT EXCELSIOR"
After this, the game closed. Along with my computer, who automatically turned off.
Attempting to restart it, it didn't turn on no matter what I did, so I called a friend of mine who works at a shop fixing PCs for a living.
He asked me for the laptop and I handed it over to him. He said he would bring it back tomorrow, fine as new.
Even if it was only 18:00, I went to sleep early.
I woke up at around midnight to hear someone knocking on my door. Looking through the curtains, I saw it was my friend.
"Sorry for waking you up, here's your computer. It had contracted some sort of virus but I managed to remove it. It's working now."
Setting the machine at my table, I turned it on and noticed it was working. The desktop was exactly the same, but something was missing. "Project EXCELSIOR's" shortcut disappeared.
"Was there any file here before?"
"Nope. I mean there WAS one, but it was just some random strings of words. It was called.... x185.291oo.txt. Sorry man, I got to go now, I'm really sleepy at the moment. See you."
I then booted up the Internet. When I checked Gamejolt, I looked for Project Excelsior again. I found it and when I prepared my fingers to rip apart this piece of shit a new one, I realized the link was removed, along with all comments except for one.
An admin wrote:
"This game has been removed. Our site was hacked a few days ago and someone put this game here without our consent. Not only that, but this had a virus that could steal personal information and damage computers. If you played this, we recommend changing your IPs and passwords for other sites. Thank you for your understanding."
Running down the street, I caught up to my friend who was a few blocks away. I told him the story and we headed back. He made the necessary changes and after a while it was all ok. It was a quarter past 2 A.M. when we finished.
I went to sleep and woke up the next morning. On my mail box, there was a closed envelope. Inside, there was a disc with "Project Excelsior 2" written with permanent marker.
I immediatly disposed of the disc. However, the next day, it was there again. And again, and again.
I told this story to the police and they are arranging a place for me to stay until all of this is over. They have also assigned an officer to protect me in case anyone tries harming me.
By the way, I'm sure most of you attempted to visit the site as soon as you saw the link. For most of you, this will show nothing, but... if one of you is treated with the words Project Excelsior in comic-sans font... don't download anything from there. Please, it's for your own good.