I am an avid World of Warcraft player. I started playing the game all the way back in “vanilla” when I was 12 years old, but had quit several times over the years, only for the lustre of a major content update to rope me back in. One of the pivotal reasons that I still played World of Warcraft after all these years was because of the story and lore. I didn’t play the preceding Warcraft games until long after, but I was so enchanted by this world Blizzard Entertainment had created, that I went back to them in order to experience each if their tales.
The most recent Expansion to World of Warcraft once again brought me back to the familiar land of Azeroth. This time, the Horde and Alliance would be exploring the continent of Pandaria; a land inhabited by talking Pandas, that were creatively dubbed the Pandaren. This was part of Blizzard’s appeal to gamers in China and the Far East, after drastic losses in subscribers in the west. This did not sit well with me at all, since I greatly valued the lore, and the Pandaren had originally been introduced as an April-Fool’s joke, a joke which had now been adapted into an entire expansion pack.
This is what started me reminiscing about the days of old, when World of Warcraft was first released, and the early years that would follow. I grew more and more nostalgic of these times, until I eventually resolved to find a vanilla WoW private server to play on. I had all the time in the world, since it was the summer and I didn’t start back at University until late September.
I was watching YouTube videos, one evening, of some classic World of Warcraft raid bosses, when I noticed that the video was uploaded very recently. It depicted a guild called Coalition, and when I read the video description, it said that they were from a Vanilla private server called the Emerald Dream.
Obviously, I carried out research on this server, enticed by the prospect of being able to raid at level 60 again. I found out that it is the largest and most populated non-altered Vanilla WoW server in the world, and had active support from the server owners. I immediately started the download of the game client, and left it overnight (or over-day, as I’m more of a night owl, and went to bed at about 6:00 AM).
The next day, the download had finished and I logged into the game. I eagerly created my first character, Nillius the Undead Warrior, and started my adventure. The game was everything I remembered, and I was having a wonderful time reliving old memories. An Undead Warrior was the first character I ever made when I first got the game back when I was twelve.
Before long, I decided to find something to listen to on YouTube as I played. This is what I usually resorted to when no one was around to talk to. I noticed that Mutahar from the SomeOrdinaryGamers YouTube channel had finally uploaded the last part of the Godzilla NES Creepypasta. I had been waiting for him to upload all the parts before I listened to it, so I didn’t have to consistently wait for the next chapter to be uploaded. Eagerly I put each episode in a play-list and knew that this would be a great next couple of hours.
The sun was just coming up, which means it was about time for me to go to bed. The Godzilla NES story was absolutely fantastic, both deeply disturbing and creepy, but with an extremely satisfying ending. It was definitely one of the best Creepypastas I’d ever heard. What terrified me about it most, as you would imagine, was the mysterious antagonist, “Red”. There were so many questions left unanswered about Red. Where did he come from? Was he always in the game? Or was he just some malevolent force that possessed a game from the character’s childhood? This is the explanation that I thought to be most likely, since what were the chances that the one game cartridge that contained Red would end up in the main character’s possession?
Anyway, I went to sleep that day, and as I usually sleep soundly for at least 8 or 9 hours, this night I was beset by strange dreams. I have had the ability to guide my own dreams for a long time. When I was young, I suffered with constant, terrible nightmares, every time I went to sleep. Eventually, I learned to either keep my mind from wandering into dark territories, or instantly wake myself up if it did. Because of this, I had not had a nightmare in years.
Tonight was different. I dreamt about normal, average things. Video Games, Nights out with friends, and of course girls, but at some point in the dream, things would immediately turn dark and morbid, too quickly for me to consciously stop it, and Red’s face would appear somewhere within my dream-vision. I woke myself up instantly, whenever this happened, but it reoccurred each and every time I went back to sleep. There was no gore, or “hyper-realistic blood”, just an overwhelming feeling of dread, and then I would spot him somewhere, watching me, before bolting awake.
The next day, I got out of bed early, which was actually about 1 P.M., and started up the World of Warcraft Emerald Dream private server. I logged in, and there was my Undead Warrior, Nillius, waiting for me. I played all day, and mostly forgot about the events of the night before. I listened to some podcasts, and a couple more Creepypastas, to keep me company while playing.
Before I knew it, the night had gone; it was past 6 in the morning. I was level 22, and questing in the Hillsbrad Foothills. I should have gone off to bed, but I was so absorbed by the game that I kept telling myself I’d just do one more quest. Now, bugs are generally something you come to expect when playing on a Vanilla server, as well as frequent lag spikes and disconnects. This was not really a problem for me, since 90% of the time, the game worked fine. That was why I didn’t think anything of it when I started seeing things that weren’t entirely normal.
I had just arrived in the town of Tarren Mill, in the Hillsbrad Foothills, and accepted every quest I could find. I did notice a lack of other players in the area, but that may have just been due to it being in the early hours of the morning. Then, I set out into the hills to complete my quests. Something you should know about World of Warcraft, is that in order to make the game run smoothly on older computer systems, the game’s render distance was limited. This manifested as a constant grey fog in the distance that you were unable to see past.
The first thing I noticed that was really unusual was that I kept seeing something, a shape, in the distance. Always obscured by the fog and the forestry of this region of the game world, I would catch glimpses of it on the corner of the screen, or as I quickly rotated my camera angle, only to go back to where I saw it to find nothing there. I made it to my quest destination, and still I had not run into a single other player along the way, but it didn't bother me. I even attributed the shapes I had seen in the fog to my sleep-deprived imagination.
My objective was to collect 10 “Bear Tongues” and 1 “Creeper Ichor”. This didn’t take me too far from the town, as its one of the first quests in the area. I completed it relatively quickly, although the Ichor took multiple attempts to acquire, and began heading back towards Tarren Mill. This is where I noticed that the music had stopped playing. I went into the options menu and made sure that I had the Loop Music option selected, and it was. “Just a bug”, I thought, and I ran back to Tarren Mill in silence, all the while keeping my camera pointed straight toward my destination, not willing to risk witnessing another shadow from behind a tree, or under a rock, after I had just convinced myself that it was just my imagination.
I arrived back in town and approached the NPC to hand in my quest and claim the reward. I suspected that I was lagging at this point, as none of the NPC’s in the town were moving or patrolling, as they usually were. Right enough, as I spoke to the Quest-giver, I was immediately disconnected from the server. I impatiently restarted the game and attempted to reconnect. As I did, I was met with a message that read “This account has been closed, visit _ for more details.” Confused, I entered my user name and password over and over again, each time getting the same response. I couldn’t understand why my account had been closed, I hadn’t broken any rules. There wasn’t even a URL to visit for more information because this was a private server.
Eventually, after I was about to give up and go to the server’s forums to complain, I was able to log back in. There was Nillius, in front of me, and I pressed “Enter World”. I loaded back into Tarren Mill. The music was still absent, and the characters in the town remained eerily unmoving, like they were before I was disconnected. “A problem with the server”, I determined, and thought that must be why I was being told my account had been closed. Nevertheless, I approached the quest NPC and spoke to him. He rotated on the spot to face me and responded by saying “Greetings Nillius”. This I knew to be the default dialogue for NPC’s who were never programmed to say anything.
As I spoke to more of the town’s people, they all had the same reaction. They simply looked at me and said “Greetings Nillius”. I checked my connection to the server, and my latency was fine. Instead, I decided to go and complete a different quest while I waited for this bug to be resolved. As I was leaving town, I decided to see if the nearest monsters were experiencing the same bug. Unfortunately, those monsters happened to be a pack of level 25 mountain lions. I ran towards them, expecting no response, while suddenly they pounced upon me. This was the creature’s normal behaviour of course, and I was relieved that I would at least be able to make progress on my quests.
I tried to run away from the Mountain lions, but to no avail. They had the “Hamstring” ability that tore at my character’s legs and severely limited my movement speed. I knew at this point that I would have to die and respawn. Fortunately, the nearest graveyard was at Tarren Mill, merely seconds away from where I died. Then, all of a sudden, the sound came back. The first thing that I heard was my character’s death cry, followed by the dark moans and squeals that played whenever you died and became a ghost. This definitely made me uneasy. I pointed the camera toward where I died and headed back to my corpse as I looked away to turn down the volume on my headphones.
As I looked back at the screen the world was now entirely in black and white, as it goes whenever you die. I noticed that my character was still limping painfully, as though wounded by the Hamstring attack. This was not supposed to affect your character after death. Nevertheless, I proceeded back toward my body, and when I came within range the box appeared on my screen asking “Would you like to resurrect?”. I hovered over the “Yes” button, but decided to do a quick check for nearby monsters before I accepted. I rotated the camera around me slowly, scanning, the area, when I saw it. This time, clearly, I knew that what I saw was really there, I couldn’t have imagined it. Standing in the near distance, partially obscured by a large tree trunk, was a grotesque horror that I recognised instantly. All I saw was the beast’s giant head, staring right at me, massive jaws agape, revealing a hideous abyss of darkness, but what stood out most, against the black and white world, were the creatures petrifying eyes, shining bright red.
The very moment that I saw the beast that I knew to be “Red” from the Godzilla NES story I had listened to just yesterday, my body immediately clenched up uncontrollably, my fingers instinctively pressed the button to resurrect, and colour flooded back into the world while Red vanished simultaneously. It was only for a fraction of a second but I knew what I had just seen. My nerves were frozen, my eyes were unblinking, and staring at the screen for what must have been minutes. I broke out into an ice cold sweat, and I tried to rationalise what I had just witnessed, all while completely terrified, mortified, stupefied by that creature.
I don’t know why I didn’t just turn the game off right then and there, or even if I could have if I tried. Instead, I started running back to Tarren Mill. When I got there, I saw that every NPC in the town was now lying dead on the ground. The corpse of a nearby guard spun in place towards me and spoke. “Greetings Nillious”. This chilled me to the bone, and I turned and ran away. I got to the road and headed in the direction of Silverpine Forest, still not even taking the time to blink my dry and dilated eyes, afraid of what might happen in that brief moment that I’m not watching the screen. I couldn’t understand why Red could possibly have come to my game, and then I was struck with the realisation that this World of Warcraft was my most sentimental childhood game. It was my Godzilla NES.
Then, as soon as I made this connection, the chat box at the corner of the screen read the word “Run”. I didn’t even think. I didn’t look behind me, I didn’t need to. I knew he was there. I didn’t even know where I was supposed to run to, since World of Warcraft doesn’t have levels. I just ran. I drank a swiftness potion and I ran, I used “Charge” on animals in front of me just to gain some extra distance. The sound began playing the screams, moans and cries of dying characters from the game, all one after another, blended together into an abysmal choir. I ran as far as I could, but I could feel Red gaining on me. The colour drained out of the world, as I ran aimlessly into the Silverpine Forest.
I could hear my own heartbeat, beating faster than my character’s feet on the ground, and then suddenly a massive shadow began to protrude from behind me, on the bottom of the screen. As this happened, Nillius’ head began to slowly revolve on his shoulders. It turned to the side, and then continued to turn until it was facing all the way back, staring at Red with eyes of pure horror, and out of the screen directly at me. Still I ran, but as Red grew closer I tried with all my will to shut the game off, but I couldn’t do it, some force was allowing me to do anything in my power to survive, but only within the confines of the game. I remembered the line that Red had spoken in Godzilla NES, “Can’t break the rules”. A blood curdling scream came from Nillius’ mouth, which began to stretch and distort horrifically. As the shadow of Red grew nearer, the scream grew louder, and Nillius’ mouth grew wider, and I saw the look of pure terror on my character’s face.
It had been minutes since I had blinked at all. I tried screaming but my jaw was clenched tight. Suddenly, with all my strength, as Red burst onto the screen and Nillius’ cry reached its terrible peak, I clamped my eyes shut.
I relinquished control of the keyboard and mouse, and ripped my headphones off with one hand, and slammed the side of my monitor with the other, knocking it onto the ground and disconnecting it. Then I screamed. I had the ability to scream; I reached behind my computer and unplugged it entirely. It was over.
I sat awake until the sun was up. Unmoving, unblinking, staring at my computer on the ground. I turned on the TV just to hear a real voice, I couldn’t bear the silence. When the rest of the world was waking up, I called up a friend that lived nearby, and told him to come over, I didn’t say why. When he arrived, I simply instructed him to re-connect the computer and turn it on, as I stood in the doorway, ready to flee at the first sign of abnormality. It was warm outside, but I still shivered uncontrollably.
When the computer came back on, I asked him to find “World of Warcraft Emerald Dream” in the menu and start it up. He asked why I was acting so weird, but I just had to know, I told him that I just had to know. I spelled out my log-in information to him, and he logged into my account. The Character Select screen was brought up. I told him to select the one named Nillius, and tensed myself in horrific anticipation. He clicked on Nillius, but Nillius wasn’t there. Instead of displaying the character model, there was just an empty background. I didn't care to find out where he had gone. My friend went to click “Enter World” but I snapped and stopped him. I grabbed the mouse and closed the game. That’s all I needed to see. I uninstalled the game.
If you ever feel the urge to revisit an old game for nostalgia, then wonder why it’s started behaving oddly when you play it, just turn it off. Don't investigate, or try to rationalise it, please, just turn it off before it’s too late.
- Writen by Jordan Sparkes
Author's Note: This is my very first attempt at a Creepypasta, written between 2 and 4 A.M, after listening to the Godzilla NES story by Mutahar. The first part of the story is true - I do have an undead warrior on the Emerald Dream private server name Nillius, and I was playing as him at the time. Anyway, I would love any constructive feedback or comments about improvements that I could make.