My name is Blake Pryde, I’m a private investigator. After everything I’ve seen, heard, and read during my last investigation I decided it might be a good idea to write this down in better detail than my standard reports. That’s not my only reason for writing this though; I am writing this mainly because I promised someone I would to help his cause, to get the knowledge out there to help prevent more of these bizarre incidents from happening. I’m going to relate the details of this investigation though I will either omit names or use pseudonyms instead of anyone’s real name to protect the innocent people involved and I will also omit any identifying details and most of the more disturbing content as it really isn’t necessary to even try to put such things into words… I would like to think I can get the point across without going in to those details.
Let me start from the beginning, one afternoon I got the first call from a woman wanting me to investigate her son’s disappearance. I listened to the woman’s story; her son had begun acting strangely about seven months ago. His behavior gradually became more erratic and unnerving for four months and then he just disappeared. The police hadn’t found a single trace of him and no one had seen him or come forward with any information. The police had started to move on to other cases because the son was 23 so it was possible he had left on his own, no signs of fowl play were found which further implied he may have disappeared willingly.
The woman was almost sobbing by the time she had finished her story, I felt bad for her so even though I didn’t think I would get much farther than the police I took the case. Because I doubted I would come up with anything more I told her I wouldn’t charge her for my services. Like I said, that was the first call; as I began the investigation I got several more calls with similar stories, people whose loved ones began acting strangely for four months before disappearing without leaving any trail what-so-ever. Now, it does happen, people do sometimes seemingly drop off the face of the earth and are never heard from again and it becomes accepted that either they took on new identities and new lives or they are dead and their remains have not been found.
I just couldn’t ignore it though, all in all about 8 people had disappeared after exhibiting strange and unsettling behaviors, things like nightmares or night terrors, increased irritability often leading to violent and aggressive reactions, depression, even things that sounded like symptoms of PTSD. There had to be a connection between the missing persons.
I dug around for two months, after interviewing all the friends and family of the missing persons I found the only connection; each of them had played a game called White Book. I had never heard of the game before but then I’m not a gamer so I probably wouldn’t have anyway. I decided to look into it just to see if there was even a remote possibility that it may have something to do with the disappearances, maybe it was one those games with the ridiculously addicted fan base that do all kinds of weird stuff, like cosplaying, to show their fandom. What I found was nothing… at first. I search and searched for several months coming up with absolutely zilch until one day I found someone’s blog entry about the game. All I have to say is that this person probably was one of the smartest people to have come into contact with the game. Here is the blog entry in full, with the user’s name changed to protect the user.
- Hey everyone, Maria here and even though I am reluctant to even think about it I feel I should post this so as to warn you all in case you should come across the game White Book by a company called Jacknife. Now, I posted before about my PS3, how super excited I was to finally get my hands on one; well I went to GameStop about a month ago to find myself a copy of F.E.A.R. for it and I did fine one but I also found the game White Book. The cover art depicted what looked to be some kind of spell book with hands reaching to grab it, the hands were coming from the foreground, as if they belonged to the person looking at the box.
- On the back was just a quick summary of the features, no real synopsis. From the screen shots on the box the graphics looked to be just as good as those of the SquareEnix games. It looked like some type of dungeon-crawler RPG and kind of interesting; I took it to the counter and asked the guy working the register what he knew about it. He looked at the box carefully for moment. “You know, I don’t really know anything about this game. Hell, I’ve never even seen anything from this developer before.” he said as he handed me back the box.
- I looked at it and saw the developer logo on the back, the name was Jacknife and logo looked like a hand holding a knife. “I’ve never heard of them either. Maybe they’re some new indie company and this is their first release.” I said, musing out loud. “Maybe, but they’re marketing must suck because I’ve never seen any ads for them or this game.” he said as he ran the copy of F.E.A.R. and told me the price. I thought about it for a moment and decided to go ahead and get White Book and check it out, it did look pretty good. It was a used game so when the guy finally found the disc he looked it over and asked me if I was sure I really wanted it. He showed me the scratched up disc. I sighed.
- “A victim of a dumbass who has no idea how to care for discs properly.” I said as I looked at the damage done to the disc, several minor scratches and a few deeper ones. “How much is it?’ I asked and he scanned the barcode on the box. “Seven ninety-five.” I almost didn’t believe him but then I figured he might be giving me a discount because of the condition of the disc. I went ahead and bought it. If it didn’t work then I wouldn’t out that much and if it did I potentially had an interesting new game for my PS3.
- When I got home curiosity overwhelmed me and I just had to try White Book so I turned on the PS3 and put in the disc. There was an intro video of a knight fighting a bunch of monsters and finally reaching for a white book with a faint glow, it was almost identical to the cover art. Then the main menu which was an open book with the options written on the pages. I selected new game and started playing. First was a character creation screen, with ridiculously intricate customization options. Once I finished my character the game started, a brief intro, or more accurately, a tutorial for learning the controls.
- It didn’t take me long to figure out the story, the titular white book was some kind of spell book or powerful tome and you had to find it before it fell into evil hands and kingdom fell blah, blah, blah. Gameplay was pretty good, very similar to Arkham Asylum or Dishonored. I played for several hours until I realized it was 3:00am. I reluctantly turned it off and went to bed.
- For a whole week I played the game as often as I could and became more and more engrossed in the story; a really dark story. There was a character named Kylia who had said she had been brutally raped by one of the villains of the game and another character who completely nuts, he was some kind of cannibal and was always shown eating what he called man-kebabs. Several other characters had dark and unsettling back stories and traits. Hell even the player character could be messed up, there was an attribute you could choose called ‘cannibal’ and another called ‘serial killer’ the game was seriously mature and kinda jacked up. Otherwise it was actually pretty good.
- Anytime I left the game to interact with my friends and family they were telling me that I was getting more irritable lately, I didn’t think so at the time, I just thought they were getting more annoying. I had started to have bizarre dreams too, mostly about things mentioned in the game, at some point the dreams became nightmares and I figured the best way to get over anything thing freaking me out in the game was to beat it. That’s how I overcame Silent Hill, I got freaked out by it at first but once I beat it proving my dominance over it’s horrors, that it couldn’t scare me, I wasn’t freaked out anymore. It also seemed to make sense that game was creepier because the content was so dark. I know now I shouldn’t have kept playing but at the time I thought if I just finished it, it wouldn’t be so scary anymore…
- As I played I started to notice that the farther I went the more disturbing it got… the words ‘red rum’ were scrawled on mirrors and walls, even on random notes I found here and there. Call me derpy but I didn’t catch it for a while, then at some point I realized the phrase wasn’t ‘red rum’ at all, it was ‘murder’. I also found notes that were pictures of real people, some had names to them. At first I thought it was one of those Easter eggs where the developers put in their own names and pictures but when I looked up the names out of curiosity they all came up as missing people and still, I stupidly kept playing. Over the course of three days things got more and more unsettling… I was starting to see random body parts scattered around different areas, NPCs were starting to act differently towards me and my character would randomly rest and wake with quivering hands and text boxes would appear with things like “…What did I do this time?” or “No…no…I didn‘t do it…”.
- Stupidly I continued to play the game until I got to a ghost village though it was more like a corpse village, every NCP that lived there was dead and their bodies littered the streets and buildings, like there had been a massacre there. Random notes indicated that some monster was responsible and I had to kill it. I looked for the monster and what I found deeply disturbed me… random notes weren’t notes but pictures of dead people, real life dead people…grotesque scenes that were obviously vicious murders … I quit picking up the notes and now really started to question the sanity of the people who made this game. I should have stopped at the point but I kept on for a bit longer.
- I eventually found the monster and it was the most grotesque and disgusting game monster I had ever seen… I tried to fight it but it was ridiculously difficult and the things it said… it kept saying things like “His juices mixed with her blood as he finished.” or “Their screams as they are ripped apart are a sweet symphony of blissful agony.” and more that I refuse to repeat. As I sat there, feeling nauseous again my character died. I knew right then and there I couldn’t take anymore, I literally ran to the bathroom and vomited… when I was done I immediately exited to the PS3 menu, ejected the disc, deleted all the data off my PS3, including the picture and video files that it had put on it, and destroyed the disc.
- That was almost a month ago… I realized White Book is a sick, twisted, and disturbing game so if you ever find yourself in possession of a copy… smash it, burn it, I don’t care what you do, just don’t play it.
After reading this blog post I continued to research the game and eventually found a forum where people were talking about the game. They had talked about how no one has ever heard of Jacknife before and no one has even found a website for them, or even an official site about White Book. Other people talked about getting a rom of the game to check out its code but that no rom could be found. As far as I could gather Jacknife had created this game, sent it out into the ether, and dropped off the planet. I couldn’t find any evidence that this game existed except for some screen shots that surfaced but that wasn’t very reliable, what with people being able to Photoshop everything these days. In the forum I found some people who played the game claimed to be suffering from nightmares, or night terrors and being so absorbed in the game they got very irritable when pulled away.
Not everyone seemed to be as smart as Maria about it though, several people talked about the images and videos placed onto the hard drive of whatever the game was being played on (PC, Mac, Xbox360, PS3, or WiiU) and about how things got even more disturbing after the player defeated the monster Maria talked about. I noticed something else that seemed too coincidental, every player who said they got past the monster hadn’t posted anything after that for months, one person had been gone almost a year.
I kept up research and finally came across the news articles. Missing people had turned up mumbling and muttering incoherently or acting completely deranged. Those who were traumatized didn’t seem to have any recollection of where they had been other than some faint memories of dark rooms or disturbing sounds, although descriptions were vague and according to the articles the people who did talk would break down into fits of hysteria. Those who acted deranged however refused to really talk other than to say some truly psychotic and disturbing things and a couple even talked about having killed other people although no evidence was found to corroborate their stories despite the details they gave…
At that point I decided to investigate the company that made the game. I searched the net for months and came up empty handed. All I could ever find was the actual knife and anything else with “Jacknife” in the title and of course, all the random, unrelated shit that comes up with any web search. On a whim I had tried to look up walkthroughs or playthrough videos of the game just to see exactly how long it was, I didn’t even want to know about the content but maybe if I could find the credits somehow then I would have a new lead to follow. I found one walkthrough but after the monster Maria mentioned it only went to the next town and the start of the next mission and that was it; nothing else except the author’s promise to add more when there was more to add. I never found any videos of the game, not even a trailer. I was beginning to wonder if the whole thing was some elaborate internet hoax.
I had decided to give up the case when I received an email from someone named Matt Sheldon. He claimed to be one of the people responsible for the game, someone from Jacknife. This was the message:
- Dear Mr. Pryde,
- I know you have been looking into that horrible thing, White Book… My name is Matt Sheldon and I, unfortunately, was one of the programmers for the game. Please believe me, I didn’t program all of the horrible things, I programmed much of the original, yes original game. The game was my creation, picked up by Jacknife, and was supposed to be very much like the games Dishonored or Oblivion. I honestly and truly had no idea what they were doing to it after the programming left my hands and was sent to their “secondary programming department”… I found out just like everyone else when it came time to beta test it, they gave us all copies of the beta of the game to take home… I… I… I wish I never had anything to do with something so disturbing… I couldn’t finish the desecrated village, I destroyed my copy of the game and encouraged my coworkers to do the same.
- Sadly, for most of them it was their last act of sanity before succumbing to the damage done to their minds… I went back to the studio where we had worked on the game and found it closed… the sick, twisted bastards who tricked so many of us into helping them make this grotesque instrument of mental torture were gone. The next time I went into a game store, White Book was on the shelf. Somehow they managed to get that thing distributed! I had no idea how they managed to distribute this thing or even how they could have gotten it licensed for any console or computer OS. There was only one copy so I bought it and burned it in my backyard.
- I tried to forget and refused to set foot in a game store for months; then I began to see things online and in the news… people losing their minds to a game called White Book that really no one knew anything about by a company no one had ever heard of… I knew right then and there what I needed to do. I set out buying every copy I could get my hands on and destroying them. I found a couple of roms and downloads of the game from a couple of websites like Steam… with some help from a hacker friend of mine we used viruses to wipe out any virtual copies of this accursed game we found.
- I have made it my life’s mission to atone for my part in this and perhaps even atone on behalf of my other coworkers who were also fooled by Jacknife. I don’t know if you will ever be able to find Jacknife, I tried searching for the CEO, a man supposedly named Brent Rose, but all I can say is that it looks like the man never existed, nor did anyone else I’ve ever tried to look for who was specifically tied with the company. It looks as though they all used fake identities to create the company and trick many of us into creating their demented game…
- We may never be able to punish the very sick individuals who started this but we can at least protect anyone from being harmed by this game… if you find any copies of the game destroy them or send them to me at 7226 Ridgeway Drive, Dickenson, ND, 90771 and I’ll destroy them. If you ever find any links email them to me so I can destroy those as well and if you would like to talk to me about the game or anything else I can help you with please feel free to email me or call me at 765-555-8931… one day we might just turn this into a harmless urban legend and maybe, just maybe, the game can be made right someday, using much of the original coding that I still have maybe it will be what it should have been; the rich, immersive entertainment experience that all games should be. The game I originally envisioned… The Sage’s Tome.
Now I would like to make this request of you, if you ever find the game White Book then please, call or text me at 1-895-555-4376 and tell me where it’s at, be sure to tell me the exact name, location, and phone number of the place where you found it if possible. If anyone has any questions or other information regarding this game you can either call or text using the number above, or email me at Bpryde@Jacknife.net.