I have been playing RuneScape since 2008, back when there wasn’t the “Evolution of Combat” update and there were a ton of gold-grinding bots roaming the area. Still, I have stayed with the game, and I have slowly and surely levelled up (I don’t like to rush RPGs, as I find it to be a more realistic adventure) to a good level. As well, when it came out, I downloaded the game so it didn’t have to be run off the browser.
A week ago, I was minding my own business on my laptop, cooking away in Catherby, when I was struck with a virus. Normally, I would be using AVG to get rid of it, but the title of the virus, “RS_Offline.jgx,” made me think twice. Eventually, seeing as how it was a .jgx file and I knew that RuneScape was made by Jagex, I allowed this one exception to be passed into my computer’s system. I continued playing RuneScape and noticed there was no noticeable change in the game itself.
Fast forward five days, and my family packed all of our suitcases into the car and left to go on vacation, via our car. After an hour of sitting and doing nothing for two or three hours, I pulled out my laptop and began to play some of my Steam games offline. Then, all of a sudden, I heard a familiar tune mixed, overlapped with the Castle Crashers game I already had open.
Bored of the game anyways, I closed of Castle Crashers and switched windows to RuneScape. Now, normally the game cannot be played without an internet connection, so I was cautious of this.
But nothing seemed out of place. The introduction music seemed valiant and heroic, and the login box did not have any sort of problem to it at all. Quickly, as I really wanted to play the game, I logged in as the user “Pchefcool64.” On the next screen, the only thing that was missing was the friends and clans chat tab that would have normally been there in online mode, but I sluffed it off, figuring there would be no need for it since I am without connection to my friends.
Appearing as I was before, now in the Lumbridge castle basement, I ventured around to see first I could move past the rendered distances without any internet. Luckily, I could, though the loading was very much slower than before. Walking back into Lumbridge, I saw the NPCs walking around and I decided to go to the general store to talk with the owner there.
No mouth moving as if mouthing any words, just a slight head-bob as most of the game characters had. Disturbed slightly, I moved on to Shop assistant, who was staring out the door as I talked to him.
As I moved on to other people, I became a little more cautious, because everyone would say the same thing. Even Duke Horatio didn’t say anything.
Upset at the fact that I couldn’t talk with anyone, I decided to go levelling up my woodcutting at the dungeoneering isle with the willows and maples on it. As my little character floated upwards after using the Ring of Kinship, the music began to jar a bit, trying to load up the surrounding area. The noises frightened me a bit, but I tried to calm myself down, believing that I was just being paranoid now.
Sadly, I couldn’t even gain any experience for cutting down any trees. I already knew most of the map of RuneScape and didn’t feel like exploring, so I only had one more choice, and that was questing.
I had completed more than half of the quests, and I was craving a new quest. To my surprise, there was a new master-level quest.
It was called “The End of Day.”
I was excited! A master quest with requirements that I could easily fill: level 50 construction, level 40 prayer, and level 50 dungeoneering! I used the lodestone network to get to Draynor Village and I sauntered into the town centre.
Deep in the back of my conscious, something caused me to pause. No-one in the game would say anything, and I feared that something bad would happen if I went to the quest-starting person. Slowly and carefully, I met with a man in a dark cloak, named “???”.
My avatar spoke first this time.
“What’s going on? Why is everyone silent?”
The cloaked man did not speak, like the others.
“Can you say something? …Anything?” My character became angry now.
Still no words were spoken.
“…Please talk to me?” Now his face showed fear. He seemed to be afraid of the silence. Now that I thought about it, the music was gone. Even the originally eerie atmosphere of Draynor became scary.
The cloaked man finally spoke after three empty voice boxes.
Smiling now, my avatar thanked him. Using my Ring of Kinship like before, I teleported to Daemonheim and explored the main area. Like everyone else, the Fremmenik banker and guide only ‘spoke’ with an ellipses. Standing in the centre of the large building, I looked around.
Then I saw the same strange man I met in Draynor run straight into the Daemonheim halls. I followed him in, and without selecting which floor to go into and I was plunged right into a strange corridor like normal dungeoneering gameplay did.
I saw the cloaked man standing beside a strange statue plinth. The screen slowly darkened, and I saw another speech box pop up. It was ???, and he only spoke ellipses, but 3 times. My character, surprisingly understood, and with a sad, fearful expression just said “…I understand.”
Now I was scared. The immense dread that came with an empty room, surrounded by deep, unknowing darkness… it was a little too much. Exploring everywhere, I couldn’t find what to do next in the quest. I couldn’t get any hints from the cloaked man other than ellipses.
Confused and frightened, I checked the quest log. The objectives that appeared before didn’t exist. The only thing the quest log had written for “The End of Day” was The man has spoken. I must repair the statue.
I right clicked the plinth, and the option ‘Repair Statue’ came up. Reluctantly, I chose that option. The screen slowly faded to black. When it faded back in, the man was gone. To my surprise, the statue was of my avatar, Pchefcool64. It was an onyx statue with dragonstone eyes. It was unnatural though… such a beautiful statue in such a soulless place.
As I turned to find an exit, the statue began to move off of its plinth. It grabbed my avatar’s throat and rose him high above the ground. The statue spoke. But instead of a normal voice, or maybe even like an automaton voice, but all that came out were screams of agony. In the textbox, in red letters, “I am night, darkness eternal.”
Slowly, my health started to drain away (I presume from strangulation). I tried to click the statue and get my avatar to fight him.
Again, it spoke. “It’s useless to fight, unless you have faith.”
My prayer began to drain as slowly as my health did, and my health stopped draining. As it got closer to zero, my panic began to rise. I knew that if I lost my prayer, then I could not live any longer.
I closed my eyes, slowly waiting to hear the prayer-depletion-noise. Then I heard that agonizing scream that played before when the statue spoke. Reopening my eyes, I saw a prayer bar, mostly empty with only one point left. The health bar remained at about a quarter left, as it did before the ‘questioning of faith’.
Anyways, the statue spoke again and said “There was never any night in Geilinor when you arrived. Did you notice it? Everyone is so happy in the sun. But now everyone is gone.”
“And no-one can save you now.”
As the speech box disappeared, the scream let loose again and my avatar was tossed across the room.
With my magic equipment I had bound to me from previous dungeoneering stints, I volleyed shot after shot of the air wave spell, trying to destroy the darkness. When it got to me, it punched me, doing little damage. I continuously pummeled the statue with more and more magic.
Just before I could destroy it, it walked backwards and ran towards me, shoving its fist right through my gut, killing me. With no health, the statue bent over like it was whispering in my ear.
“It is the end of day, the twilight reborn.”
As my avatar plummeted to the ground and the death music played, I let loose my breath which I apparently had been holding this whole time. I was tense from this…thing…killing my avatar.
When I was back in Lumbridge, everything was greyscale and darker. I could see the blood-stained street and NPC bodies strewn everywhere. My character had transformed into some sort of ethereal being, making some sort of motion of crying, holding his hands in his face. He knew he had done wrong to everyone else, creating darkness.
A song began to play. It had a very similar tune to the Citharede Requiem, except organ played a very low, saddening tune. As I could hear, these were the lyrics (looped five or six times):
Unholy darkness, bane of light,
Cause us to sing into the night;
Grant us to see the fault we knell,
And become pure and sent to hell.
After a few loops of this single chorus, I closed my laptop. I did not want to play offline any longer.
A few long, fearful hours later, my family reached the hotel. I quickly went on to the internet, loaded up all the forums I could, and tried to see if anyone was attacked by “RS_Offline.jgx,” but no one knew of anything. I reopened AVG to remove the virus.
But, somehow, it was gone.