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Spectrobes: Lucid Shadow

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As a recent fan of the Haunted Gaming section to SoG, I've come to share what was inspired from it. It's a pretty short pasta, however expect more where this came from, as this was merely a sort of test run.

Quick DescriptionEdit

Spectrobes is a game where, in the distant future, evil creatures called Krawl that actually eat planets have begun ravaging the Nanairo System. The main characters, Rallen and Jeena, are part of a Nanairo Patrol Force that stumble across the Krawl's natural enemy; Spectrobes. Since the spectrobes have basically gone extinct, you have to excavate their fossils and reanimate the beings as a means to fight. Spectrobes was fairly popular, but not nearly as much as the mainstream games most Creepypasta are based on, so I hope this has been useful. Even if it were not, my pasta itself is fairly explanatory, so enjoy.Edit

The StoryEdit

So, Now that my ordeal is finally over, I’ve got half a mind to tell someone all about it. I’m sure you’ve all heard scary stories about hauntings and the like before, but you might find this one a little different... Having cashed my cheque from work at BMO, the first place I had to go was to EB games across the street. I loved their used games bins, finding a gem inside every now and then like Super Smash Brothers Melee for the Gamecube or one of the older Ratchet & Clanks for the Playstation 2. Browsing through the titles aimlessly stacked side by side, I crossed one that got me intrigued; Spectrobes: Origins, a Wii game. I loosely remembered a friend of mine in high school playing it whenever I went to his place; you were some galactic cop that had to dig up fossils and make them come back to life and fight the more evil monsters of the game. My memory of it was fuzzy, so I didn’t think it was serving me well enough given the summary I’d just come up with, not to mention that friend of mine had never really played anything that I hadn’t been fond of. It was an older game, just over ten bucks- why not?

When the clerk took my case for Spectrobes and went looking for the disc itself, he came back to me with a perplexed look on his face. He said that this had been given to them quite some time ago, and the disc itself was in bad shape; but just on the side that had the title and some pictures on it, and lightly enough so playability wouldn’t be impacted. Looked kind of like someone took a paper clip, bent it straight, and dragged it across the game several times. Perhaps they hated the boxart that much? It was usually reflected on the disc itself, though I didn’t get why anyone would get a game when they didn’t even like the art style. Regardless, it seemed like it would run fine and I had little more to do at home, so paying an extra few bucks to slap a warranty on there, I headed back.

I was still mulling over exactly what circumstances had led to the damage, but it wasn’t exactly unheard of; I’d bought games in pawn shops that had cookie-cutter looking chunks out of the bottom, permanent marker drawings of phalluses –which made me often laugh outright- and the list went on. Heading into my room upstairs, I unhooked the A/V cables from the playstation and hooked up the Wii instead, popping in the shredded game to see how things would work out. The launcher came up without a hitch, and I started playing immediately. There was a save file already on here, smack in the middle of the three, named Rickard. It had just over 72 hours of gameplay, last time it was updated was a few months ago. Ignoring it, I started a new game on slot one.

The cutscene that filled you in on the plot never came. The game wasn’t even starting in the right location; I was just standing still, seeing some idle animations of Rallen- the main character- every now and then, in the middle of a generic looking spaceship. All the lights were off. A few of them flickered when I finally started to make Rallen move, choosing to pass through a lengthy hallway that had windows facing outer space. I saw a familiar face .Well, it wasn’t the face so much as the hair and the small white vest-jacket thing she was wearing. It took me a minute to remember the name that went with your radio buddy and ship pilot, Jeena, and about the same time as it hit me she turned from the window she was looking through to face Rallen. Her hand was still against the glass, and white text that appeared most noticeably against the dark background began to appear;

“This isn’t what was promised to us, is it Rallen? This isn’t an adventure... not anymore.”

Seriously? Someone dicked around with a copy of Spectrobes to this extent, just to shave the top of the disc and pass it to EB for points? It didn’t really matter at all; I was getting more than I’d bargained for, being the only person privy to such a heavily altered game made me feel like this was luck on my side for once. Of course, it really wasn’t... I was soon to find that out.

Jeena turned away, walking off into the darkness by herself like any other female NPC asking to get kidnapped or worse. I made Rallen chase after her, and the further I got the deeper the darkness became; soon it was more like I was running around inside a pitch black void rather than the interior of a sci-fi space vessel. I found it funny and kind of clever that the guy who did all this was betting on the bright pink hair on Jeena’s head to act like a beacon for me, but eventually even that was snuffed out like a candle. Lost, and without any way to figure out the next step, I had Rallen stop for a moment so I could think. Running toward where I last saw Jeena wasn’t working. I had no spectrobes, and no way to dig up new ones... I fell to that wondrous last resort we gamers have where we mash every button, and for once it miraculously worked; despite not having a spectrobe, Rallen pointed as if to send one forward and have it search for any fossils in the ground, the waves still going out despite a lack of creature to cause it.

The waves went out further than normal from what I remembered, and lit up the immediate area to show me Jeena, a few feet away now, and the tall, gaunt, gray being standing behind Rallen-... wait, what? Before I could turn toward the fearsome figure it grabbed him by the head, all of the long and spindly fingers covering the whole circumference of it. Effortlessly Rallen was picked up off the ground and Jeena shrieked, oddly enough Rallen wasn’t really struggling, just staring wide-eyed on the angle the thing was holding him up. Its grip seemed to tighten, its victim’s head reddening and eyes bulging as he clawed feebly at the hand wrapped around his skull.

The thing was leering down at Rallen, sunken brown eyes being the only real feature as there was no hair, nose, mouth or ears to be seen on it. There were bones jutting out of irregular places and other more correctly placed ones were sticking out due to just how skinny and weird it was, like an alien that had taken a spill and snapped a few limbs but was ignoring the fact. The strange face slowly diverted from looking at the main character, and instead stared directly at the screen. At me... The muscles on its lack of face twitched and then stretched; if it had had lips, they would be curved into a smile just before the low but audible crunch that signified the lights going out once more.

Throughout all of this, I was staring dumbstruck. This was one sick mod. In a good way and in a bad way. It was like someone who decided they wanted to play silent hill, but had Spectrobes to work with. It had already started getting to me; the hair on the back of my neck may as well have been trying to jump off of me and escape this experience. With a sick fascination I continued to play, or so I tried, but the controls changed nothing about the black screen it would seem. Then again, Rallen just had his head cracked like a nut and there was no game over screen, and once that came to me I tried the reset button to no avail. I had been about to hop on my computer to check the web for answers when the bottom of the screen lit up with that text again;

“... Are you there? I’m frightened... He’s not supposed to be here... Rallen is gone. Don’t let him take me next. Please!”

I’ve never had a game character plead to me before, though I’d have more incentive to help if the girl in question had some more feminine charm, like Samus in her zero suit. Still, now that the game had resumed, I would pick up the Wiimote and Nunchuk once more. The screen was slowly taken over after I grabbed the controller; the gray thing’s face took up the entirety of it. One of those hands of his came up, and it began to... caress the screen? Those empty-looking brown eyes looked alive behind the fingers trailing down the TV, the tips making contact even showing those fine details of flattening against the glass. A gray text appeared this time, taking me a second to discern;

“I like you. You haven’t stopped playing the game yet...”

At this point I was repeating profanities in my head, amazed at how subtle yet impactful this was being. Since the scream Jeena let off when Rallen died, there had been no voices whatsoever, and that trend seemed to continue for now;

“Maybe that’s it. Do you still think this is a game? How about I make you see?”

The level of interaction this villain was giving actually made me smirk. It smirked too... identically. When I dropped the expression, so did he. I did what anyone would do; got up and left the room. This called for a sandwich and a cold pop. Trying to brush it off as coincidence, taking a break was the first thing I should do.

As I was making myself the triple decker sandwich, some mumbling came from upstairs. Up until this point, I had at least thought I was progressing the dialogue myself, so I figured my roommate was just talking in his sleep from the room next to mine. When I completed the glorious peanut butter edifice I noticed the mumbling getting louder, and a few thumps following suit. As I approached the stairs, I was freaked out to no end, as my roommate’s cat had been swatting the wiimote and its connected addition down the stairs and hissing at it. A low quality, but deep and brooding tone emanated from the small speaker built into the wiimote;

“Who said we were done?... Get back up here. NOW!”

Dozens of hypotheses coursed through my brain, but none of them fit. Not nearly enough. My refusal to believe I found a haunted game in the financially challenged gamer’s bin took hold of my will and made me follow the instruction, re-entering my room and flicking on the lights. Gray thing was still up close and personal with the screen, but once I came back in it seemed to back off a little and nod in affirmation of my arrival. I started speaking sarcastically, my only hope at this point was to make it do something unrelated to me, hence proving it was not actually aware; I first mentioned that I would certainly keep playing a game once the main character died and the backgrounds were turned to nothing but black. It responded naturally;

“Of course you will. You’ve come too far to back out now... And she needs your help, remember?”

I left the room again, instantaneously, drawing out a loud and displeased sound from the wiimote in my hand that I dropped soonafter. Opening my roommate’s door, I kicked his bed and jostled him awake. We had a short conversation outlining who should wake up whom and when, but I quickly hung that one up to tell him about my game, and its sentience. He scoffed, and I pressed the issue with as much serious as I could muster. Knowing that this was going on right next door, I ushered him in to see gray thing, at which point I picked up the wiimote again.

“I will not tolerate any more absences...”

My roommate seemed impressed, but still sternly held my prior stubbornness it seemed. I went on with the game for now, having felt no danger to myself in person and with the added comfort of a witness. Jeena was still nowhere to be seen, and Gray thing seemed to be in thought, eventually turning and walking off into the darkness. Well if that wasn’t hypocritical, I didn’t know what was. Changes began to happen soon enough for me to forget it, my roommate having picked up the nunchuk and messing with the joystick it was now moving the camera angle. We could see a faint outline of Gray thing, standing just past what looked like Rallen’s corpse. It lurched down to the fallen character, text glaring back at us before the horror started once more;

“If you can leave to get a snack, so should I.”

We couldn’t quite see what was going on in gruesome detail, only some shape of mutilation and the sounds of flesh tearing, tendons popping and bones breaking. It would have seemed like an average moment in a disgusting movie if not for the fact that these sounds were so good this time that I could swear something was devouring internal organs inside my television. My roommate took a step back, covering his mouth, and after a few minutes Gray thing came back on screen, no trace of this meal save for the fang-filled jaws meshing together and being covered by a thin veil of skin. Our skepticism was dashed, my hands gripping the wiimote in a vice. Gray thing seemed intrigued as I messed with all the buttons.

“There will not be a way out for her, you know.”

I knew. It was rather unsettling, but after seeing that display I couldn’t bring it upon myself to leave someone, fictitious or not, trapped alone in the dark with this monster without at least trying from my thus far safe vantage point. The d-pad was making the camera itself move now, the free-motion screen allowing me to start searching. Unable to cause light to happen like Rallen did made things difficult, as much as it hadn’t exactly saved him the only time I made him do it. I wandered for a good twenty minutes in this emptiness, eventually hearing quiet sobs every now and then from the wiimote which let me do a marco-polo and hunt down the female protagonist. Curled up tight and cheeks stained with tears was Jeena as I’d never seen her before, though she paused in her lament to look at my camera. She smiled, a sight that shook then broke my heart at just how sad it was; the smile of someone who lost their friend and gave up moments later, glad that it was finally ending but thankful that someone had come for her at least.

I saw fingers on the screen as my camera was shoved away, gray thing descending upon Jeena with those gnarled teeth and unnatural limbs. I cried out, my hands dropping the wiimote and grasping the TV in vain as she was getting torn apart-

Then the TV went black. Not only that, the air conditioner kicked out, the lights housewide lost power. Then, everything came back on, the Wii now in standby. My roommate came back up the stairs, having left while I was immersed in the game. He wanted it all to stop, but didn’t even want to get close to the Wii itself, so he fell back on using the breakers... The timing had been impeccable, and now I got a much different vibe when holding the disc once removed from my console. We both decided it was something we shouldn’t question, as if we chased the origins of a game as messed up as this it may lead us to something far more dangerous in reality. Whatever this was... It was going back to EB.

No, no, we didn’t just take it back. Actually we both decided that we would equally share the responsibility of snapping it in half until it couldn’t be snapped any more, followed by ramming it into the garbage disposal in the sink downstairs. The experience had me sick to my stomach, scared stiff... and most of all, depressed at how it had ended. It wasn’t just watching some people get murdered in a video game; haunted or not, the lonely world of hopelessness I had just explored was not something I wanted to be involved with ever again.

After all that was said and done, I visited EB games again the next morning. I wanted to know what kind of person had exchanged the game to them if they could remember, though that was as far as I would go with it. The one who gave me the game in the first place didn’t know, but after describing the disc’s condition it sparked a memory with the man’s supervisor. Apparently, the person who brought that game in had been somber looking and listless, not to mention pale. His only words beyond simply making the exchange went as follows;

“If I’m going to be given such a horrible gift, I might as well trade it off for something else.”

That’s the gist of it. I feel as if I was lucky; there were times where I could have been subjected to far worse when I think about it, and there was no telling how much things may have escalated if my roommate hadn’t flipped the power. The thought of having it turn its attention to me again after having dealt with Jeena makes me shiver, and all things considered, after losing what seemed to be the only remaining characters in that game gray thing might have migrated to my Wii itself- perhaps worse?

I’ve done everything I could to forget all of this, but I still have this urge to turn on a television whenever I see one turned off; a pure black screen on one of those things means a bit more to me...

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