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Friends are something I don’t come by too often. More than half the people at the first school I went to rejected me with no remorse or pity, but I guess that’s what you get when you are obsessed with video games and are homeschooled until seventh grade. I still miss my one friend from my first school though, maybe I shouldn’t have gone to that college prep school.

I left my home school for a college prep school so I could earn college credit and get into computer programming. I was unsure at first, but when the whole class is just a group gamers, I adjusted just fine. The class was mainly guys and nobody liked the only girl in our class (to this day we don’t care for her) so things never got to awkward. I actually managed to get lucky and find a spot right next to the smartest guy in the class. He was always there to help when I had a syntax error or didn’t know what I was doing and he always managed to help without complaining. I also made another friends with a guy who sat on the other side of the room. Our fathers went to the same school and happened to run into each other on orientation day. He was an all around anime fan while I was more of just a Pokemon fan, I was a Hoennbaby to be specific. We spent time together complaining about the girl in our class, watching internet videos of Deadpool, or just trying to find some way to get a good laugh in.

So the other day the school pulled all the students out of class to talk about our “Senior Projects.” I hadn’t given it much thought, but I had this one idea I really liked. I had watched “Did You Know Gaming” and heard about the Professor Oak battle and unused town coding. While some people thought it stupid to leave the code in there, I for one appreciate it. There are so many questions and theories to be made with this, but I planned to get my two friends from the computer class and fill in the coding for the missing town. I thought it would be cool to give the first generation games our own little ending.

So after I told the two of them my plan they didn’t hesitate to agree. We could complete our senior projects by screwing around with game coding. So we set up a time to get into the computer lab so we could use our insanely powerful Macs. Our lab instructor agreed to let us in from 4:00 to 7:30 while he was grading our Java tests from earlier that week. And I must say, that was one of the greatest times I ever had with those two. We made all the programming jokes we could think of, two of which stood out in particular. One of them was the linux joke I made. While I was reading a linux chapter, I found a command that was called, “whatis.” Being a fan of the internet, I put in the code, “whatis love,” but I would have never thought that the terminal would respond with the phrase, “love, nothing appropriate.”

The other one was a joke my really smart friend always made. In certain programming languages, you could make specific code repeat until something happened. So he made the joke, “while(1 == 1) { life++; }.” Now what this means in simplest way I can put it is this. As long as 1 equals 1, add 1 to the variable named life. Nothing hysterical, but still a good laugh at the time.

After a few days of going to the lab after school, we had just about finished. The new town’s design was a town full of trainers with high level pokemon, and after beating them all, we added a complete version of the Professor Oak battle. We saved the project one final time before finally transferring the code to a codeless Gameboy cartridge that one of the students in the computer networking class managed to get for us. Everything work fine just like it had when we were in the beta testing phase… yeah we went all out on this thing. So by the time senior projects were due, we had made sure that nothing was wrong with the game. We managed to get a perfect score and even win some regional competitions with it. Unfortunately we never made it beyond state, but we couldn’t have been more satisfied with ourselves.

After all the competitions were over, we decided to let my friend who was really into anime have it. He did seem to enjoy it more than the rest of us did, and I wouldn’t play it since I was more into generation 3. The smart guy who worked with us just refused to take it. I was a little confused on why he wouldn’t take it, after all he worked that hardest on it, but I just thought it was him being him. He was the guy who’s steam profile once said, “I wish to remain an enigma.” I thought that would be the end of it, but for some reason I kept getting calls from the guy we let take the game saying that he thought something was wrong with it. On a couple of occasions he brought it to school and we checked it out when we finished our lab work. We could find anything wrong with it, but I could see that something wasn’t right about HIM.

He claimed that RIGHT after beating Professor Oak with his favorite pokemon, he had felt as though he was constantly tired and he grew weaker as the days went on. His face seemed to show evidence of this with the bags he had under his eyes and even wrinkles surprisingly. We took the game to the guy other guy who helped us make it to see if he knew anything, such as if the computer networking guy got had found a way to get a virus (not a computer one, the one that makes you sick when exposed to it) on the cartridge. (computer networking was our rival class after all) He claimed that there was nothing wrong with it and that everything was working like he had coded it to.

Strange, we never asked him about the coding.

A few weeks passed. The guy who we gave the game was in the hospital and was in critical condition. He made out his will because he knew he wasn’t going to make it. I was greatly depressed when I found out about all of this and asked him if I could have the cartridge to see if I could eventually find a cause to his illness. He gave me the game and I immediately investigated every line of coding in the game. Nothing turn up until I got a call from the other guy who helped us with the coding. Before I could even say hello, I heard, “Check the code in the section labeled ‘final moments.’” Click

I opened the file an began my search. Nothing. Just like the other times I checked the code. I was about ready to give up when I saw something that caught my eye. There was code that read, “ get { player = this.player}.” Seeings how we named red’s NPC “Red” I get really confused. After reading the rest though, it made sense… horrifying sense. A section of code was set to execute only when you beat professor Oak with Nidoking, which was the favorite pokemon of our dying friend. The code read, “ while( 1 == 1) {player.Life++;}.” This.player was used to get whoever was playing the game, and life++ was meant to increase his age. I don't know how something like this could even work, but somehow it did. Is this the reason why he wants, "remain an enigma?"

I got the news that my one friend passed away in the hospital later that night. And it was no surprise that the other did not show up for school the next day… or any day after…

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