Hi. My name is Joey.
As you can probably tell by this story, I am a video gamer. I like many kinds of games--be they Mario, Zelda, Mega Man, Sonic... name it and I play it. Unlike others who seem to have insatiable appetites for them, I do have other interests outside of them, but I play them when all my homework and chores are done (I am a high-schooler) and there's nothing else to do. For instance, if it's raining or snowing, or otherwise not a good time to be outside.
Ever since the Shantae game series emerged, I've developed a sort of interest in it. I mean, I still play other games or do other hobbies, don't get me wrong, but the Shantae series--all the games that are out--has kind of become a guilty pleasure for me. I mean, who doesn't like playing as a sexy dancing girl heroine, whether half-genie, full genie, or fully human.
My friend Gordon also developed an interest in these games, and he not only has played the full series, but even made fan-games of them, as sort of practice for when he makes games that are his own idea. But some of his fan-games (Shantae-related or otherwise) sometimes get macabre or otherwise dark. Luckily he never sends me anything with jump scares--he knows I hate those.
But not too long ago, he sent me something that might as well have been a jump scare. Now, I assure you, this isn't one of those stories where the game is haunted and the game made my breathing difficult or paralyzed me, or made some of my plush toys come to life, or anything like a ghost or otherwise supernatural. No, this is just something that revealed a really dark side of my friend's psyche.
A few days ago, Gordon sent me a sort of "fan mini-game". The summary is describing a "what-if" scenario of the events following the second game, "Shantae: Risky's Revenge." Since there's no way I could describe it without giving spoilers, I might as well tell as much as I can without spoiling the overall series. Anyone who's played the game knows that in the final boss battle, Risky steals Shantae's genie side, causing the heroine to become fully human. She was forced to fight her genie side to save all of Sequin Land, that is, her homeland.
Well, the mini-game was called "Shantae: Passion of Sequin Land's Guardian." For some weird reason, there was a "calibration screen." Sometimes the Nintendo DS would have you do a calibration to ensure both the stylus and the touch-screen were working properly. Why would a fan-made mini-game need a calibration? But, I humored him. The calibration had me press the left arrow three times, the right arrow three times, and the bottom arrow three times. Each time I did so, I heard what sounded like a quick knock on something solid, followed by a brief yet loud scream from Shantae.
The game soon started up with a cut-scene within Scuttle Town. Shantae was nowhere to be seen. Instead, there was Mayor Scuttlebutt, Uncle Mimic, Bolo, and Sky.
The Mayor said, "It's not like Shantae to be late."
Uncle Mimic then said, "I got a bad feeling about this."
Bolo said, "You think Shantae might've gotten in over her head?"
Sky then volunteered to find her, saying "I'll go see what's up. I recall her going near where the Zombie Caravan used to be."
Then I ended up taking control of Sky. That's right, Sky became the playable character here.
Now, before I continue with this story, I should note that Gordon really made these Shantae fan games REALLY well, as he had learned how to imitate the art style too, so he was able to make new sprites in the art style--even the official series' creators were impressed.
Anyway, Sky went through the forest trail. It started out empty for a few screens, but then some of the Dingbats appeared. For those who have played the game series, you know who the Dingbats are. But for those who haven't, or have forgotten, Dingbats were the henchmen of Risky Boots, the main antagonists. Well, the Dingbats did not damage me, even when I accidentally bumped into them. But despite their relatively simplistic look, they looked rather happy, even like they were gloating.
I then reached a location, and Sky was in shock. When the screen panned over, I shared that same shock. It wasn't an actual jump scare, but for all intents and purposes, it might as well have been.
There was Shantae, naked--albeit the "Barbie-doll nudity", with no naughty bits showing; perhaps it was to keep it from being TOO offensive. But not only that, she was crucified--yes, you read that correctly, Shantae nailed to a cross. There were even some red lines on where the nails were, to imply blood. Now, I know this was LONG after Nintendo relaxed its censorship slightly regarding religious symbols and the like, but I knew Gordon had to have made this. No way could this have slipped past the official creators. This'd definitely offend some of those who were staunchly religious or otherwise overly sensitive. Not to mention offend parents of young children. But as stated earlier, Gordon learned to imitate the Shantae art style to make the sprites so much like the official sprite art style, they could pass easily as official. This also explained the so-called "calibration". The left and right arrows were the nails going through the respective wrists, and the down arrow was the nail through the feet. Sky approached slowly, in horror, as Shantae writhed in agony. I mean, after all, it was from "crucifixion" that we get the English word "excruciating."
After two more gasps, Shantae limped dead. Then about two and a half seconds later (that's in real time), the cross and Shantae's body combusted into flames. If you have played or seen a playing of the Castlevania arcade game "Haunted Castle" and seen how the first form of Dracula turning into a fiery cross upon defeat, well, that's what it looked like here--albeit in the Shantae art-style, naturally. After the cross and Shantae vanished, Risky Boots leapt in from somewhere off-screen, laughing, as if to gloat. But after three seconds of this, I saw Risky showing a look of horror. She then grasped her heart, and then fell over, dead. Some saddened Dingbats--I could tell a look of sadness was on their faces--picked up their fallen leader and then went off screen, perhaps to prepare her for burial. Could the ghost of Shantae have struck one last blow on Risky, to ensure the final safety of Sequin Land?
The screen then faded to black, with text reminding me, "This is just a hypothetical scene, of one of the possibilities of what could have happened. Take it with a grain of salt."
Yeah, I knew this never happened, since Shantae returned in "Shantae and the Pirate's Curse." Still, the game was very disturbing, and too this day, I remember it all that well.
Gordon, if you are reading this, I beg you... please seek professional help.