[Revised as of 3/13/2017]
I can distinctly remember all the way back to the olden days of my childhood, primarily the age when I still had a lot of my relics such as my Nintendo Gamecube and all of those wonderful titles that came with it: Thousand-Year Door, Super Mario Sunshine, and Super Smash Bros. Melee, to name a few. However, one game will always stick out from the rest no matter what, and that game was Sonic Adventure 2: Battle, though I have a very good reason for it and that reason is mainly why I'm telling this story today.
The Story Edit
Now, Sonic Adventure 2 in itself was a great game. Though the story was fairly convoluted to me, at least for awhile, the gameplay was astonishing and made up for my childish habit of lacking understanding. However, my favorite aspect about the game overall was definitely the Chao Garden. If you're not familiar with Sonic Adventure 2, the Chao Garden is basically a place where you're given these little creatures called (obviously) Chao, which you can raise and evolve as well as use them to compete in either the Chao Race or Chao Karate. Since I lived in my family as an only-child with no pets and little in the means of friends, I found myself wrapped up in this virtual day-care day after day, spending my time with these adorable little creatures and raising them to be absolutely perfect... It provided me endless hours of entertainment, even causing my parents to become concerned that I was spending too much time near the TV.
Then came that day when I was fooling around in the Chao Garden. A problem had arisen: I wanted to buy another Chao egg so I could have a new Chao to evolve a Sonic Chao, but all three of the game's gardens were full, meaning I had to get rid of one of my Chao to make room in the garden. I didn't feel like giving any of mine away, though there was one in particular I had forgotten about: A yellow angel-type Chao simply named "Cuddles".
Cuddles was the oldest Chao I had in the garden, being born from one of the first two eggs I had received when I first began the game. I had raised him for a good few years ever since I had first purchased the game, and as such he carried with him a lot of memories. He had been the very Chao that had emerged victorious in all difficulties of both the Chao Race and Chao Karate, and had been... I guess something of a best friend to me. After reading some guides, I had planned to try and transform him into a Chaos Chao, though I got bored of trying to do it and now I simply had no idea what to do with him. In later days I stopped paying attention to him almost entirely. He was more or less kind of like an old dog that had lost his touch.
After awhile of deliberating, I had decided to let go of him once and for all; I had other Chao that could easily take his place and as I mentioned before, he had lost my interest. It was a little saddening, but I really wanted that Sonic Chao more than anything, so I walked over to the Transporter at the edge of the Garden and selected the “Good-bye” option. The game asked me again if I really wanted to say goodbye to Cuddles, and I hesitated out of regret, but eventually found myself hitting the “Yes” option, causing the game to ask yet again. This time I stopped for a few seconds to rethink my decision, but I again found myself selecting the “Yes” option thoughtlessly, finalizing the action and getting rid of Cuddles from the Garden once and for all. I felt upset about it, but reminding myself about the Sonic Chao, I pressed the A-Button to go back to the Chao Garden.
When I did just that, I first noticed that the pleasant little tune that usually plays in the Chao Garden was absent. It took me off a little, but it wasn’t an unusual occurrence, as my Sonic Adventure 2 disk had been scratched for some time, which often caused some odd issues with the game such as the music stopping halfway through levels followed by a Gamecube error message. In response, I quickly saved the game and prepared for the game to crash… Which it did soon after the game saved and I went to the Stage Select. Shrugging it off, I took the disk out of the console, spit on my shirt, then rubbed it all over the back of the disk before putting it back into the tray and restarting. On the first two attempts, the game crashed at boot, which now had me worried because Sonic Adventure 2 never usually had startup problems like this. On the third try though, I finally got the game to run.
After loading up my save file and heading to the stage-select screen, I once again noticed that the game’s music had muted, though this time alongside all of the sound effects, leaving the game completely silent. I stayed there on the stage-select, waiting for the Gamecube error message to show up again… Only it didn’t. The game seemed to continue functioning normally, though it was soundless. To make sure it didn’t crash, I decided to try and play through one of my favorite levels: Metal Harbor. I selected its icon, and waited patiently as the game began to load the stage.
While Metal Harbor eventually did show up with Sonic running full-speed, the upbeat music that normally plays did not. However, the sound effects had returned, and about a minute into the stage, the music started up as well. My younger self went through the possibility that something might’ve been wrong with the disk-tray of my Gamecube, but nevertheless, the game seemingly went back to normal and for that I was satisfied. Maybe about halfway through the stage, I ran into the familiar crate that held the Chao key and broke it open. When I touched it however, the Gamecube made a loud, ugly, droning beep sound that literally caused me to jump.
...Never had the console previously done this at all in the past. Becoming increasingly annoyed but slightly worried for the state of my Gamecube at the same time, I hopped up from the leather couch I had been sitting on to unplug the console. That’s when I noticed a major red-flag that something was wrong with the game while I was playing it. I think it was just me hoping that the game would stop and continue to function, but I glanced at the TV as I walked towards it when I suddenly noticed something out of the corner of my eye that caused me to stop. Just in the distance of the level, near the sun, I noticed something that was oddly bright-yellow in color. Taking a step back to stare at it… It was way too far from the level to make out any details, and ended up just looking something like a tiny blur of yellow-and-cyan… It couldn’t be him… Could it? No, it was probably some glitch pixels from the game crashing or something, get over it, I recall my 12-year old self thinking at the time.
Praying that my Gamecube wasn’t internally fried at this point, I tried to start up Sonic Adventure 2 yet another time. Surprisingly enough, it started up completely fine, and the rest of the game played fine as well, even after getting the Chao Key to make sure everything was working. Sadly for me though, it didn’t stay that way for long.
After maybe about fifteen minutes of going through levels normally to collect the animals and Chaos Drives I needed to raise my Sonic Chao, I eventually returned to the Garden to hand them to him. Although I specifically remember leaving him there, I just couldn’t find him. By that I mean, I looked everywhere for the little guy, even going into the other gardens and I simply couldn’t find him. Getting desperately worried, I sped over to the last place I could think of: The Kindergarten class. Walking through the blue-colored door, I ran in and selected “Take Chao” from the selection box to check if he was there, which was unlikely but... To my surprise, his name, “Sonic Jr.”, showed up. I pressed the A button to confirm the action, and the game came back. When it did, a feeling of relief swept over me as I saw the Chao in Sonic’s hands. I took him back to the Chao Garden and placed him there. When I did, he just idled and stood there. He didn’t walk around, make any emotion, or anything. He just kind of stood there completely motionless. In fact, as I moved around him, I noticed that the same had happened to the rest of the Chao. It was like everything else in the game had just frozen, except like last time, no Gamecube error message showed up.
I ran around the empty garden for a bit, trying to ease myself of worry by just petting the Chao and throwing them around (They still refused to do anything and were stuck in that motionless standing pose.) After what felt like maybe 5 minutes of derping around with the Chao, I started to get bored. I quickly ran out of and back into the Chao Garden to see if that would fix anything, but my Chao were still the exact same as they were before I left: Unmoving and fixed. I was now officially unnerved. If I ran in and out, the game should’ve reloaded everything in it as it was before and that would’ve been that. I decided to try checking out the other two gardens to see if they were also frozen, but instead, I was greeted with another shocker: all of my chao in both of them were gone. When I went back to the main garden, the chao there were gone as well. The music stopped playing, and soon enough, the Gamecube threw another Error Message in my face.
I got out of my chair and headed back to reset the Gamecube. When I was about to however, I noticed the music from the Garden coming in again through the speakers. When I looked up, the Error Screen suddenly had disappeared, and Sonic was just standing there waiting for my command, though the Chao were still absent. Odd. I went back to the couch and grabbed my controller to investigate. From what I remember, I ran in between the gardens for the longest time, maybe about 15-20 minutes, to see if anything I did would cause the game to load my Chao like normal. Eventually, I stumbled across another sight: A dark-type Chao I didn’t remember having before, sitting in a gray cocoon, already vanishing. After he disappeared, underneath him was one of those crude drawings Chao make randomly when they participate in the “Drawing” class. An angel-type Chao, though I noticed something off about it. To me, it looked like it had something of a more yellowish tinge to it than usual, reminding me of that same familiar friend I used to have.
Now I was very nervous. I went out of the Garden, but as soon as I ran into the exit the Gamecube error screen came up once again, accompanied with that loud, droning beep from earlier, only this time it shredded out of my console, sounding incredibly bitcrushed. I also recall that the Gamecube started whirring as if the fan was spinning very fast. My focus was quickly averted as the error message suddenly vanished, and the stage loading screen came up with no message or text accompanying it. It was just blank. When the level finally came to, it was a strange stage that I now recognize as the game’s test level, though at the time I had no idea where the hell I was or how I got there. It was just a big, dark stage with a bunch of objects scattered around.
I ran around exploring the alien stage for awhile, still concerned as to what was going on. There was no music aside from the sound effects Sonic made, and the whole level made me feel generally unnerved, since I was still confused as to how I got there. That’s when I noticed that the game started to chug quite badly as I was falling down one of the ramps, to the point where it was maybe about a second between each frame. And then I saw something that I’m certain was not in the stage: A yellow chao with yellow wings and familiar blue halo. He was just standing there, idling throughout the lag. Approaching him, I tried to pick him up, but when I did, the game got stuck on a single frame ending with one last, loud, ugly, bitcrushed beep. I can still remember that final frame, which was Sonic reaching out to grab Cuddles.
At the time, I was terrified, completely convinced that Cuddles had been haunting my game and was out for revenge because I had gotten rid of him. It got to the point where I never even touched Sonic Adventure 2 for about a series of weeks. When I finally did, I reloaded the game to find it functioning surprisingly normal aside from a few crashes here and there. But the biggest surprise of all was that when I went to visit it, I found Cuddles was back in the garden. Odd considering I had saved the game before that occurrence, but I wasn’t complaining at the time. I ended up keeping him, frightened that he would haunt my console again if I tried to get rid of him.
Not long after that, my Gamecube died of Hardware failure one day and ceased to function, causing my parents to put it to rest. Years later though, I was so intrigued by this incident in my childhood, that I rapidly asked around online in forums, and even going as far as to send an e-mail to SEGA (Which I never got a response to.) However, what fascinated me was that nobody could explain this incident. Some people thought I was joking or making stuff up, and others even went as far as to report me to moderators and try to get me banned, leading to an incident I had where I was scolded by an admin for “spreading fairytales” on Neoseeker. However, a few like me were also fascinated by the occurrence, going as far to theorize about it being some kind of extremely elaborate glitch, or some kind of coding bug. Some have also said that they’ve deleted Chao only to have them come back upon reloading their saves. Still no definite answers, nevertheless. That is why those few had pushed me to upload this story as a simple creepypasta.
If I had to guess, perhaps some piece of hardware within my Gamecube went haywire, causing the game to be read by the console in such a strange way and thus causing all of the events in the story. Alas, this is only speculation. I can’t say for sure what happened that day, and there’s a high chance that I never will, as my Gamecube was thrown out and I have no literal idea what happened to my memory card soon after. As a result, I have no further will to investigate this. At the end of the day, there is simply no definite answer for this event.
Regardless, I hope you’ve appreciated this story of what happened to me soon after I made the decision to say goodbye to Cuddles.