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My name is Mikey. A long time ago, say 26 years, I had a cousin named Thomas, who loved playing his NES. It was proven since he once got a copy of The Legend of Zelda. He played that game hour after hour. It even overshadowed the fact that a car accident had killed his parents, or my Aunt Marie and Uncle Zachary, so he had to live with our grandmother. She grew concerned for Thomas as she saw him playing the Nintendo as if he had nothing more important to do. I wouldn't blame her since I was concerned about him myself when I visited him. One day, Grandmother Lisa called me and said that Thomas was gone with the NES still on. I grew worried about what would have happened to him before that day. As the years went by and Thomas was nowhere to be found, we concluded that it seemed as though he was...dead.

Why do I start this anecdote with that bit of history regarding my family? Well, it's because now at age 37, I decided to look into the game itself for some reason. So I drove over to Grandmother Lisa's house, which was now being maintained by my sister Kaylee, and got the cartridge, which was still in the now yellowed NES that Thomas once had. I figured that it might somehow work better on my NES back home, so I drove back. I inserted the cartridge upon arriving inside my living room, plugged in one of my controllers, and turned on the system. However, it seemed as though the game didn't work. Luckily, I had a friend named Ron, who was able to extract ROMs from cartridges/gaming console CDs. I took the cartridge to him, he extracted the game and battery backup data, and stored all of it in a USB drive. The files all came out as a single .EXE file. After a quick test of it, and noting that Thomas obviously had a saved file in it, I drove back home again and inserted the USB drive into my computer.

Before anyone goes, "Oh god, here it comes," this is not like the original Sonic.exe story. This is far different from that by comparison, much like Airman.exe. And spoiler alert, the one entity that's messing up the game, or has done so, isn't named "ZELDA.EXE" like the file is.

Anyway, back to the story. I inserted the USB drive into my computer in my office (I had a home job that got a decent pay) and started up the game (after checking the modification of the controls, of course). Like in the quick test we did, it worked just fine at first. The theme played at its normal tempo and key upon starting up. I then hit start and went to the data select menu. It seemed as though I didn't have my save file there like when I tested it out. I shrugged it off and went to register a file for me. I thought of deleting Thomas' save file, but I decided against it since something inside of me counted it as a piece of Thomas to remember, even if I wasn't likely going to play that file. I named my file after myself and started the game. Upon seeing the first screen, I moved around to get a good feel of the controls. The game then slowed down a bit. After going back to normal speed, I went to the obvious area that anyone and everyone would go when starting a game of this magnitude: the cavern up north of Link.

Going inside, the elder man's dialogue was being typed out in classic LoZ fashion. Though the game started to freeze and slow down again before the message, "It's dangerous to go alone! Take this!" was even halfway finished. Though this was only a little shorter. I then got the wooden sword and gave it a test drive. Obviously, it was functioning like clockwork. I headed to the first dungeon of the game and slayed some Octoroks on the way with the ground apparently changing from yellow to orange. I don't know what that meant, but I shrugged it off like I did when I saw my save file not there at the start.

As I progressed through the path, surprise surprise, slow down again...sometimes, at least. As it slowed down, the overworld music looped a part of itself a couple of times. Upon reaching the bridge, the ground once again turned orange for some reason. Upon crossing the bridge, the ground was back to its original color. However, when I entered The Eagle, as the dungeon is known as, something...odd...had occurred. Rather than being at the start of the dungeon, the elder man was inside a room with the scenery of the dungeon. He stood between two fires like he would in the normal version of The Eagle as blue text appeared above the screen saying: "Dad?"

I got a bit confused by that bit. Was it the elder man saying that Link was his father? That can't exactly be possible since next to no children are older than their parents. I put it down as that being said by Link, even if it is going against the fact that he's a silent protagonist in the mainly official games (therefore, the CD-i trilogy doesn't count at all). I tried walking around and seeing what I could do or find when the game froze. Luckily, there was somehow an extra command where I could reset the game like it was on a Nintendo. So I did just that.

Once again, I was at the title screen. Upon pushing start, though, my file seemed to be erased and was replaced with Thomas' file. "Strange," I thought. "What caused it to change slots when I reset it?" I decided to go against the previously mentioned part of me and delete the file. Though after I went to the regular file select menu, Thomas' file remained there as if I did nothing. I thought of deleting it again and making a new file, but I theorized that it would just be pointless since it would likely remain there. I then began to grow eager as to know what Thomas had been doing in the game before I came to this event and look into his file. I guessed that he'd beaten the game giving all the time in the world he spent playing the game.

The gameplay started, and I found myself...in an area of land that was hexagonal, only showing an entry supposedly to a cavern up north. I had nothing. No extra hearts that could be filled up so that I may have a better chance to survive enemies and dungeons, no secondary weapon, no Rupees, not even the wooden sword. Looking at the map, I was likely in the central south region of the overworld. I entered the cavern, mentally praying for an answer for this sudden occurrence of events. There wasn't much of one. Just a cavern as expected with the elder lady sprite and text above reading "Dad, is that you??" Again, I assumed that dialogue belonged to Link. Though unlike before, the text wasn't the same blue I saw, but rather plain white. This doesn't mean much, I just wanted to point that out. It did confuse me a bit since that's an elder lady. It was around this point that I apparently started to think of something that would not get many to believe me if I even said it in context: Is Thomas possessing the ROM of the game?

I exited the cavern, inconsistently finding myself in the graveyard-like part of the overworld according to the present color scheme used. What sounded like some 8-bit hissing played twice as I went to an open path east. It showed a group of Gibdos surrounding an entry to what seemed to be the entry to The Eagle, only in the color scheme of the graveyard-like environment I stood in, with lavender leaves. "The Dead Eagle," I said to myself without even chuckling since that's not a very good joke, obviously. Anyway, I went into this bizarre dungeon, still hoping for answers. Naturally, I avoided the Gibdos since I lacked the sword. Upon entry, it was just another cavern with a Gibdo between the two fires. The text this time, which lagged a bit while it being shown, read, "Wait...you're not my dad.."

Before the message was supposedly fully typed up, the game froze up again, only to then shriek a scrambled mess of the sound effects used in the game as if some nutjob tried to paste together random sounds from the game, piece it together, and call it his/her original bit of 8-bit music (or chiptune, if you will). The game also seemed to reset itself without me pressing the button. As it hit the black screen, I saw what some other average haunted gaming pastas would include: pictures of what seemed to be dead people. This time, it looked like Thomas, but with pale skin, seemingly black eyes (I couldn't tell since the image was a bit blurry), a grim look on his face, and blood going down from his forehead. I saw that image flash on my screen twice before going back to the title screen, with colors composed of shades of red, gray, and black. Rather than the year the game was released accompanying the company behind it, it instead read the Mark of the Beast. The music began to sound less scrambled and just kept on slowing down. It then played a more listenable tune and the game shut itself off. I was in total shock when that happened. My mouth must have hung open for, say, a half-hour before I came to my senses and went off the computer for a bit. I decided I needed to get myself together before I could go on with that game. Though before I could, I noticed that an .AVI file came up named "ZELDA". I gave it a watch and noticed that it was my playthrough of the game. I closed the file and shut down the computer to go have some dinner since I needed to get my head together.

[***]

It has been a year since I played Zelda.exe. I kept thinking over why those things happened when I was playing it. I went a bit deeper into my nonsensical idea of Thomas possessing the game after I read a blog-like gaming creepypasta made by some guy named Jadusable. The story was named Ben Drowned, and there were even .WMVs of what occurred in the game. For the most part, it seemed to have matched what I was going through. I say that since we both played haunted Zelda games that people have said to be possessed by deceased children. The one that possessed the haunted version of Majora's Mask was named Ben, and his avatar was the creepily-faced Elegy of Emptiness statue. On the other hand, I didn't exactly get the game from an old man since my sister didn't mind it. And if she did, she was 29 years old, so she's not that old. As for the cartridge, it was still labeled.

Anyway, on to what I've been doing. I've been in therapy trying to get over my mental scars since the experience I had gave me a slew of different nightmares. Over time, the therapy worked and I was able to cope with my problems. Though I still thought of what had really happened to Thomas that day. It seemed as though the game gave a vague explanation of him likely going out to find his father himself, only to later on get mixed up and pretty much killed by someone. I don't know how that would seem to fit since I don't know who exactly would want to see Aunt Marie and Uncle Zachary dead as well as Thomas. Whoever they would be in my bizarre and not-so likely explanation, I hope that they had paid for what they did.

I decided to see if I could give the game another go. Not-so fortunately, I could, and the game was back where it left off before shutting itself off. Only the colors seemed to be a bit more dark, and I was unable to see if the "©666 Nintendo" bit was still there. At first, I assumed it was, but a background flash that occurred upon me pressing start showed that it was inconsistently not there. Not that I was upset about it. I then saw that the colors were just shades of red, and the audio that played as soon as I pushed start was...bizarre, yet disturbing to say the least. It sounded like 8-bit squeaks and toots that were jumbled together. What made it even more disturbing was what the files read from top to bottom: "They All Perished". For some reason, I wanted to start on the third file since that was originally where Thomas' file had been. I don't know. The bizarre squeaks and toots kept going when I got in, the palette still consisting of individual shades of red. The area I was in showed me near the entry to The Eagle with what looked like patches of sand on the sides as well as stone walls north and south. I roamed around, not knowing what to do at this point, and then just entered what I now knew was an entry to a cavern. It was the same scenario as it was a year ago, only the text read "No one could save them." I didn't know what to do at first, so I roamed around seeing if I could somehow get something. I then got nothing and exited the cavern.

Strangely, I exited, only to find that the game was normal once again. A spark of relief came to me at first. I then decided to head north to The Eagle and see if this is now normal and I can at last end this highway to sheer insanity. I noticed that I didn't have the sword with me. I've heard of people playing through the game without bothering to get the sword. There was even a Dorkly bit where Link apparently made it to Ganon without the sword. However, I'm not that ludicrous, and I can't exactly perform glitches well, so I went into the cavern to get the sword. While entering, I was given the middle finger salute by a Link sprite in the exact spot you start off in. The sprite was in shades of red, and the audio of that strange disturbance of audio played a bit.

Upon entry, the same scenario as when I had entered a third cavern, expecting it to be some random dungeon I've never even heard of, greeted me. As the text was being typed up, the colors went from normal to the multiple shades of red as well as the audio now being those inexplicable shrieks. The text then read in full, "I'll seek my vengeance." The "A" glitched out and was no longer there. I wandered around the cavern and found a Magic Key for some reason. I had no idea how that would have helped me. I then exited the cavern.

I found myself in an area of land shaped like a diamond. I roamed around, trying to find something that could get me out of this madhouse from hell. The stone walls started to close in on me slowly. Though rather than just close entirely, when it looked like they would, Link just died himself, animation and all.

I then found myself at the continue screen, the only option being "continue". I didn't know what to do at this point. I was purely scarred by what I had seen, unable to once again try to wipe the images from my own psyche. After a while, the "continue" caption started flickering rapidly from dark to normal contrast. After a while, the music stopped, and in plain white text over a black screen, the final message appeared: "The new dawn will rise." The last thing I saw flash in my face was the image of Thomas before the game itself shut off and left me another .AVI, this time titled "NEW_DAWN". I clearly needed to give myself a break from this madness.

When I got back home from work, I noticed that my computer now had an NES emulator and the file I played Zelda.exe an was now a .NES file. I loaded up the emulator and then the ROM (via dragging the file to the screen) and I went back to where I left off: the red continue option that flickered, only to be replaced by the caption "The new dawn will rise," only this time, I heard some sort of distorted laughter. I then closed the emulator and decided to end it all myself. I dragged the ROM (dubbed Mikey.nes, by the way) to the recycle bin and allowed it to proceed. When I did at first, I got an error message saying "I can't let you do that Mikey." After that, another came up saying, "Join me. The new dawn has begun." I could swear that I heard the laugh of the Happy Mask Salesman.

The name of the file was PLAY ME.nes. I decided to reupload the ROM and see what is it he wants to tell me.

I was in an area with 3 stones on each side against other stone walls and a thinner path north. And all I had was the Magic Sword, and nothng else on the HUD but the A and B slots for the items used throughout the game. I went up the path as some glitchy, barely audible music played. As I moved up north, I glitched up a bit. At the penultimate screen of this long trail up, I passed a merman who shot a fireball at me. I didn't bother attacking it. The last screen of path had a cave entrance on the right corner. I went in as needed.

Between the fires that lit the area was another sprite of Link, only facing the right fire and doing the sword-stabbing animation. The upper caption only said two words:

"It's time."

I had to end this somehow. In any manner possible, this had to come to an end. So, I decided to shoot a sword at the clone sprite. When I did, the emulator went black and I heard the bells sound out of Clock Town from...Majora's Mask. The second one closed the emulator by itself and renamed the file "New_dawn.nes". I had to shut down my computer, but I got the message, "You've met with a terrible fate, haven't you?" with the laugh of the Happy Mask Salesman.

Now I know things have gone too far for me at this point. I'm not sure I can keep on posting more of this, but I'll see what I can do.

Author's Note(s): I'd like to point out that this was mainly inspired by a pair of intriguing creepypasta-related videos, so this concept is owned by Savemepleaseee

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