A few days ago, I was biking down the road in our quiet neighborhood when I came upon the vacant house. It had been empty for quite a while; the last person who had lived there was a former tech support (who for the purpose of the story will be dubbed "Mary") who had been arrested on a D.U.I. charge and an assault charge, and while her trial was pending, her mom and dad had come and taken all of her stuff to their house. She wasn't very well liked, except for me; after she was arrested and her stuff had been moved out, people had been doing bad things to the place; breaking the windows, spray-painting the house, and even pissing on it, which, for our neighborhood, was quite unusual. I was en route to my best friend's house. Ever since we had fixed my DS Lite, I'd been going over whenever I could to do some gaming with my best buddy, Brandon.
As I was about to pass the house, I spotted something red on the porch. I was surprised to find a copy of Pokémon Red there, especially since as far a I knew, no one in my neighborhood owned the original R/B/Y Game Boy version... besides Mary, who had Blue. I picked it up and put it in my backpack, wondering whether the battery back-up had gone dry or not. It didn't really matter though; this cartridge was a piece of gaming history--a pretty big one, in fact, and I was intent on keeping it.
When I got to my friend's house, I showed the cartridge to him. He was kind of sad neither of us could play it at the moment, since he only had a 3DS, which didn't have the second port, and the only handheld device I had brought was my DS Lite, which, although it had the second port, it could only play GBA games, not GB or GBC games. I told him that I had a GBA SP and a GBC at home, so the next time one of us came over to the other's house, we could play. The next day, Brandon and my other two friends, Sam and Cody, came over. They all wanted to play GBA Pokémon games, which I was more than okay with. They were credible gamers, but a lot of them either didn't have the device needed or had left it at home, so I had to supply the things we gamed on/with. Brandon had found his copy of FireRed, so I let him use my DS Lite, since, again, his 3DS didn't have the second port. Sam had a GBA (regular), but he didn't have any GBA Pokémon games with him, so I let him play my LeafGreen version. Cody brought his Sapphire version, but he had forgotten to bring his blue GBA SP, so I lent him my red one for the next few hours.
I still had enough GBA games to go around another time, but nothing to play them on; this meant I could either drag everyone into the living room so I could play PC or Wii, or stay in the bedroom and play on either my chubby PS2 or my GBC. I picked the GBC, then declared that day "Handheld Day". As for the games, I had three to choose from: Spot, which was kind of boring, even with two players; Yu-Gi-Oh: Dark Duel Stories, which I had played so much, I knew the whole game inside out by now; or Pokémon Red, which it turned out the battery back up still worked, so I'd been playing it ever since I'd gotten home from Brandon's house the previous afternoon. I'm sure you're not surprised I picked Pokémon, since that's what everybody else was playing. I then declared the day "Pokémon Handheld Day".
As I turned the system on and selected my save file, I thought about a glitch Mary had shown me. It wasn't like Missingno or anything, and in fact I'd never heard about it before then, but I liked it. She called it "The Friend Glitch".
It was supposed to be that you would run along a hidden panel in the S. S. Anne in the kitchen, leading to a room where you could get a shiny Eevee with Fly. You'd then fly to Saffron City and go to the Pokémon Center. Then you'd walk over the Town Map on the wall, and a text box would appear: "The corner of the map reveals something." After pressing A, another text box appears. "There is a panel! RED opened the panel!" Then, a menu would come up, which would let you input three names. It would then add those characters to the game. The first one gave you free items, the second one healed your Pokémon, and the third one gave you TMs. I decided to perform the glitch. When I got to the panel, I input the names of the friends that visited me: Brandon, Sam, and Cody. The glitch worked perfectly--at least until I showed my friends.
It was pretty fun. It opened up some fun little minigames I didn't even know about. When I found a new minigame, I was excited. What did this one have in store for me? I thought as I walked into the little buildings that appeared whenever there was a new minigame to play. As I started up the minigame, I noticed the title-"Best Friend Enemy". I wondered if it was some bad translation or something as I started the game. You had to shoot little bubbles of your friends with A, using the control pad to switch between bubbles. The only thing was that you had to get at least 100 points per round without shooting a bubble of yourself. I was up to about 1800 points when I accidentally shot my own bubble and had to return to the overworld.
Once I was back, I immediately realized that I couldn't move. After pressing A, my friends walked onscreen. I could tell that they were pissed off, although I'm not really sure how. Brandon's sprite stepped forward.
"What?!? I didn't catch Dugtrio!" at the exact same time the real-life one sitting next to me did.
Then, Sam's sprite talked. "Aw, crap! I knocked out Zapdos." Again, in sync with his real self.
Next, Cody. "You've gotta be kidding me! So close!"
I asked them what was wrong, but they still kept saying their phrases. Over and over. I pinched myself, hoping desperately it was a dream. Nothing. I was scared.
I screamed, "STOP!", upon which everything returned to normal. I asked my friends why they were doing what they did, but they just told me to stop joking and being weird.
On my way to the next gym, I noticed my friends' sprites showing up in random places. when I went to go talk to them, they didn't say anything, but when I called them up with the 'B' button, they didn't seem to be fazed; in fact, as soon as I pressed 'B' again to get out of their menu and I had gotten back to the overworld, the random sprite would have disappeared. This kept popping up, over and over again, but nothing like what had happened during the whole "Glitch City" thing.
When I got to the next minigame building, I was reluctant. What if the same thing, or, heaven forbid, something worse happened, only this time I couldn't stop it? As I went in, I noticed my friends were following behind me, Legend of Zelda: Four Swords style. Soon after entering, we came upon something interesting. It looked like an altar.
When I went up to it and pressed 'A', a text box appeared, stating, "She wants what she died with."
I was wondering what that was when I saw an item on the ground. When I picked it up, it said I picked up a bottle of booze. I was baffled by this; Nintendo didn't put alchohol in their games. Alchohol references, maybe, but not alchohol itself.
I went up to the altar and placed the bottle of booze. Don't ask me why, I just did. When I did, a door on the right of the screen opened up. When we walked in, it was dark. The only thing on the screen you could see were our sprites, and the door, which disappeared when a woman's sprite walked on the screen. A text box appeared.
"Ah. I knew you'd use it."
My character stepped forward,and another text box appeared. "Use what?", which was exactly what I was thinking.
The dialogue went on. "The cheat, of course."
"The one I taught you, of course."
"And who ARE you, exactly?"
"Let's see if you can guess."
As soon as she said that, a screen opened up. It was the character naming screen, except for the sprite; it was the woman's, and it wasn't walking around. I had by then made the connection. Booze. Cheats. Mary. The only thing I didn't get was that part back at the altar.
"She wants what she died with."
She wasn't dead, was she? I turned to ask my friends, when I noticed they weren't moving, and their eyes were closed. Fearing the worst, I shook Cody. He was still breathing, and so were the other two. They were just sleeping. Well, at least there was that. I ran to the living room to get on the computer and check the local news site, and, sure enough, Mary had died at the hospital after complaining of a hurt stomach and a bad headache in jail.
When I got back to the game, I put in 'Mary', and she responded almost immediately.
"I knew I wouldn't be long for this world. That's one thing you need to understand."
I didn't know what she was talking about. Unless...
"You were the only one who really cared about me. I respect and appreciate that. I made this ROM knowing you would play it. Now, there's one thing. Whenever you came to my house, you would complain about that smell? You thought it was alchohol, but it wasn't. It was poison."
I was shocked. Poison?
"I put it in my house so every time you came over, you'd get exposed to it. Eventually, you worked up an immunity to it, and the day when you asked me to fix your Game Boy Color... well, let's just say there was something there that wasn't there before. Now you've done the glitch, therefore triggering the poison. They're only asleep, though. Although, I never liked your friends..."
I turned the Game Boy off in horror. As soon as I did, Brandon, Sam, and Cody all woke up, not even noticing they were in weird positions from falling asleep. Sam didn't even seem to notice that he had woken up half under the bed. Whenever I ask them what happened, to this day, they look at me oddly, and only say one thing:
"Mary." Then they go on doing whatever they were doing, as if they didn't even notice I was there.
A few weeks later, they performed the autopsy on Mary's body. It was all over the news; gases had poured out of her body, killing one of the doctors and putting the assistant in the hospital. The hospital was evacuated, and a bomb crew was even called in. A day later, the hospital was cleared and a full investigation launched. I gave them my Red cartridge, not telling them about what had happened to my friends, only how to perform the glitch, which I dubbed, 'The Enemy Glitch'.
I'm still having nightmares where my friends never wake up, and I keep seeing someone that looks like Mary in the corner of my eye.
What do I do?