Let me get this out of the way right now; my name is Liam, and I'm a large fan of Nintendo and I believe their best console was within the Nintendo GameCube. Then, later on after the console's release in North America, I had the idea of creating a "virtual" GameCube that could be downloaded and played on a PC, a Mac, etc. The VirtualCube, it would have been called. Without further ado, here's how it all went down, and the consequences for dreaming up such an ingenious idea.
The Birth of the VirtualCube Edit
Soon after the GameCube was released in North America, I decided to spend the week before Christmas working on a GameCube that could run on a computer; I called it the VirtualCube, since that's totally a creative name. It would be able to run on operating systems such as Windows XP, Mac OS X Jaguar, etc. When I first opened the program up after converting the GameCube programming source code into an application, I was shocked to see the Nintendo GameCube startup screen. It worked! Then the main menu screen popped up. I had to insert a disk. I inserted my personal favorite GameCube game, Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, into the disk drive. To my surprise, it actually emulated the game, just like one of those online emulators you see nowadays. However, this successful "computer-like GameCube" had a dark side at one point...
VirtualCube's Dark Side Edit
It all started on June 5th, 2002. School just got out and I was ecstatic to show the VirtualCube to a friend of mine. He was an absolute Nintendo fanboy and he went nuts over the GameCube, who waited in the parking lot of the nearest Best Buy for 2 days before the console's release. Anyway, I went downstairs after my friend came over, and he was mind-blown by the VirtualCube. We played Super Smash Bros. Melee for hours on end. After my friend had left, I decided to troubleshoot some things and started to do the glitch where you could fight as Master Hand. I performed the glitch successfully, but when the stage select screen appeared, there was only one stage. It was labeled as "TEST". Thinking that this was normal, since the VirtualCube hadn't gone into full development yet, I selected the stage.
I spawned into the TEST stage as Master Hand, just like I predicted. The stage had texture-lacking platforms, the music from the Corneria stage played in the background, and the backdrop of the stage appeared to be a public house or bar of some sort. My opponents were Mario, Donkey Kong, and Yoshi. I found this odd, since I chose Captain Falcon, Fox, and Link as my opponents. I found myself unable to control Master Hand in any way for about 2 minutes before I tried plugging in a GameCube controller into a port in my PC. Now, I was able to control Master Hand, but only with the D-Pad instead of the Control Stick.
I was able to use Master Hand's attacks as he would use them in the Final Destination stage. My first attack walloped all three of the other fighters into the sky as I KO'ed them. "Sweet," I thought to myself.
As soon as the timer that told you how much time you had to fight hit 0:00 and knocked out Yoshi at the same time, I hit the power button on my PC to see if the new save state program I installed into the VirtualCube would be able to save my progress through a game. This gave off an ear-splitting buzzing noise for about 4 seconds before I was greeted by a blue screen. "Shit," I thought, not officially concerned yet. I restarted the PC, but instead of the startup screen, it went straight to my desktop, where the VirtualCube program was still running, as if the computer hadn't just restarted. This time, however, the startup screen appeared, and then showed me this image:
H-how did I...? Did I just break the program? I was pissed off and confused at the same time, so I didn't bother answering the questions that spun around inside my head. I tried restarting the program to see if this was just a bug in the program, but to no avail. "God damn it," I said out loud, although nobody was home at the time. I mumbled blasphemies under my breath as I started to reinstall VirtualCube. The startup screen animation played, much to my delight, after reinstalling the program. Then, VirtualCube asked me to set the date. I set it to 06/05/2002. It then asked for the time. It was getting dark out, but we didn't have any clocks in our house and I wasn't wearing a watch, so I put in the time as 8:45 P.M. However, it took me to yet another screen that wasn't in the original GameCube; a screen where you could enter a username that you would use if you ever decided to use LAN (local area network) to play with other people, even though only a handful of games on the GameCube supported LAN play. I was now a little bit spooked at this point. I never programmed in a username system, so how could it have gotten into VirtualCube? I cautiously entered my username as "CarterTheKid73".
The startup animation began playing again as a text box appeared, saying "Settings saved." I was a bit relieved, but that feeling went away as soon as it came when Super Smash Bros. Melee's main menu showed up, which had a button saying "PRESS A". I was legitimately creeped out by now. It usually told me to press the START/PAUSE button. Did I mess up the VirtualCube by restarting my PC right when my previous match was about to end? I decided to play as Bowser this time instead of being Master Hand, but when the stage select screen loaded up, another application had launched. It was downloading another application labeled "termination.bat" and an image labeled "stop_now.jpg". The hell? When it was finished downloading, I opened stop_now.jpg, and this is what I saw:
This was piracy? Another text box appeared in front of me, and it read: "NINTENDO, INC. have been notified of copyright infringement and/or other methods of distribution prohibitions being disobeyed electronically, physically, digitally, etc. If you would like to stop the executives of this company from contacting federal services and organizations, please contact Nintendo at 1-800-255-3700, state your identity, and verify a payment of $10,000."
For the love of God, how does Nintendo know of all of this? I realized now that this couldn't be a joke; Nintendo truly somehow knew that I was stealing their content. It doesn't matter if it was unintentional, it's still unacceptable. Now, they've caught me red-handed as the one behind the VirtualCube.
I considered going into panic before it showed me another image. This time, the image caught me completely off-guard, something I never expected to see. The image was depicted as seen below:
I was terrified by now. This had to be a dream. I kept pinching myself to wake up from this nightmare. There's no way that image could have found a way into the program. I tried to click aimlessly, hoping to close out of the image, but there was no way to get rid of it. I tried to restart my computer at that point, but another loud ear-splitting sound came out of my speakers for another 4 seconds, as if it were telling me not to restart. The next thing I knew, the desktop monitor began to crack open, spilling extremely hot mercury and toxic amounts of chromium onto the keyboard. Some mercury got on my fingers, and I screamed like I never had screamed before as I went to dunk my hand into a tub of freezing ice water. My index and ring fingers had been crippled by the mercury. I rushed back to the PC to find colored ink splattered all over my chair, hearing sizzling and cracking sounds becoming more frequent by the minute. Eventually, the computer blue screened before it cut to black. My $1,500 desktop PC is now a pile of gooey burning liquid on the floor. Then, the monitor snapped to life again, but showing an image of a distraught Mario with text saying, "Copyright infringement is not acceptable. This is your punishment for failing to abide."
How the fuck was this happening? I had no time to answer that question, because I heard police sirens heading towards my house. I bolted upstairs, trampled my way to my bedroom closet, and then locked the door after slamming it behind me. I hid under piles of blankets, in the hope that none of the officers would be able to find me. Unfortunately, they were better prepared with a battering ram and found me. "Sir, come with me. You are under arrest for copyright infringement and violation of the law," an officer said to me, beckoning me to come over to him. He shoved me into the police car and drove off to a local jail not too far from my house.
I ended up imprisoned for the next 5 years, even after paying a hefty $200,000 fine. Life in jail was worse than you could possibly imagine. Fellow inmates were beating me up each and every night, the food there were practically piles of shit for lunch, and you had to sleep on a freezing, metal plank, which is the jail's sorry excuse for a bed. I had recurring nightmares of walking into a dark room inside Nintendo headquarters only to get brutally mutilated by a Nintendo executive or representative, my disfigured body mutilated in disgusting forms, hearing people mumbling "You thought you could run from the law, but it will find a way to catch up, just like it did to you," before waking up drenched in my own sweat.
After I finally concluded my 5 years in prison, I managed to strike a deal with Nintendo representatives giving me special written permission to release, sell, and manufacture the VirtualCube after paying them $50,000 for the copyright infringement that landed me in prison. I saved up and bought a new Windows 7 laptop for about $700. I started the whole VirtualCube project again from scratch, but I managed to finish it fairly quickly. It became an online success and continued to be a success until around late 2010. While the success is astounding, there's a painful and cruel moral to this story; even if the outcomes afterwards are positive, it's better safe than sorry.
Written by Heavy the Pootis Mann