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10 Creepy Video Game Urban Legends

Jonathan Kaulay

Gamers have carved themselves their own independent culture. In this culture they have their own slang, rules of etiquette and folklore. Everyone loves a good creepy urban legend and gamers are no exception. This list is going to tell you the story of the creepiest urban legends in the history of gaming.

10

Killswitch

Killswitch

Killswitch is a game that was supposedly created by Soviet gaming company Karvina Corporation in 1989. Only limited copies of the game were produced (between 5,000 to 10,000 copies) and it was very popular among Soviet gamers. The game itself was a pioneer in the survival horror genre. You had to choose between two characters, a girl or an invisible demon. The goal of the game was to navigate through an abandoned coal mine while battling demons and coal monsters. As it was hard to navigate the game with an invisible character people choose to complete the game with the girl character. Unfortunately, No one ever completed the game with the demon, because upon beating the game all trace of it would be erased from your hard drive.

In 2005, an unopened copy of the self-deleting game surfaced on Ebay where it was promptly bought for $733,000 by a man from Japan named Yamamoto Ryuichi. Ryichi had planned to document his play through of the game on YouTube. The only video Ryuchi posted was of him staring at his computer screen and crying.

9

Squall Is Dead

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Final Fantasy VII and VIII are the two primary reasons twenty-somethings will never be able to play a Final Fantasy game without being disappointed, because nothing can compare to them. Those two games were ahead of their time and featured a handful of memorable characters. Squall is one of those memorable characters. He is the main character in Final Fantasy VIII, and much like the “Paul is dead” conspiracy theory about The Beatles, there are many who believe that Squall is dead as well.

At the end of disc one, Squall is impaled by an ice shard while fighting one of the games main bosses, Edea. Squall awakens at the beginning of disc two with no wounds at all from the battle and no one ever brings up that Squall was killed. It is also at this point when the game goes from being a fairly realistic fantasy game to being an over the top, fantasy where all realism goes out the window. I mean a good portion of the plot takes place in outer space. It is believed that Squall actually dies from his wounds that he suffers during his fight with Edea at the end of disc one. The rest of the game is simply a dream Squall is having as he passes away. This would explain why the game has such a surrealist tone after disc one. It would also explain the collage of images we see at the end of the game as Squall’s life flashes before his eyes. Among those images is a shot of Squall without a face which just adds icing to the creepy cake.

8

Lavender Town Syndrome

Back in 1996 the Pokemon Red and Green video games delighted Gameboy owners all over the world. Well, except for in one part of the world.

The game was first released in Japan and it supposedly correlated with a huge spike in suicides and illness in children ranging in age from 7 to 12. The children did not fall ill or commit suicide until reaching Lavender Town in the popular game. The game’s score was said to be the source of the sinister ailments in children. The piercing tones of the music caused headaches, nausea and eventually suicidal tendencies in young children. The music in the level was changed before the game was shipped overseas. The above clip is taken from the original Japanese version of the game.

7

Fallout 3 Predicts the Future

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Fallout 3 is a vast open world role playing game. Therefore, it would not be surprising to find that there are things within the game that many people have yet to discover. However, it is claimed by some that they have found something in the game that may predict the future.

The story goes that the post-apocalyptic game predicts the future, in the real world, using morse code and hidden messages within the games radio station. There are stations that broadcast morse code in the game. However, some claim that you can hear a DJ on the station rambling off such cryptic phrases as “The Queen has died today. The world mourns, as on days like these we are all Brits” and “I can’t believe Britney’s actually won an Oscar!” These phrases are followed by a series of numbers in morse Code that can be interpreted as dates. Whether or not the Queen will die on March 19, 2014 remains to be seen. Bethdesa, the company that designed the game, denies that these cryptic radio stations exist.

6

Earthbound’s Final Boss Is an Abortion

Earthbound

The above subheading is not a cheeky critique of the final boss battle in the game Earthbound, but is meant to be taken literally. In the game the cute characters essentially perform an abortion in order to kill the final boss, which is an alien that wants to destroy the world.

In order to defeat the powerful alien Giygas, the main characters travel back in time where Giygas will be “weaker.” What is creepy is that when they travel back in time to fight the weaker Giyga, he looks remarkably like a fetus.

The game’s creator has all but come out and said the final boss battle is an abortion. He has, however, admitted that the ending of Earthbound was inspired by a movie he accidentally saw as a child and was traumatized by called The Military Policeman and the Dismembered Beauty.

5

Herobrine

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Minecraft is a game that is brilliant in its simplicity. You mine for different materials in a large open world and use said materials to build structures, monuments or whatever your creative mind can conceive. However, some players claim that something sinister is happening in their games.

Some players claim to have found mysterious structures appearing on their maps. Others even claim to have seen the source of the structures, a mysterious, white-eyed version of the game’s protagonist. Theories regarding the existence of Herobrine range from the logical, he is a glitch, to the extraordinary, that Herobrine is the ghostly manifestation of the game creator’s deceased brother. Mojang, the team behind Minecraft, do not do much to discredit the legend of Herobrine as in many of the games updates they list that one of the improvements made is the removal of Herobrine.

4

Haunted Majora’s Mask

The legend of the haunted Majora’s Mask game was born on the popular web community 4Chan. A user posted a story about how he obtained a blank N64 cartridge with “Majora’s Mask” written across it in black magic marker. He posted photos and videos along with the story that showed us a twisted and sinister version of one of the most beloved games of all time.

Upon starting the game the user noticed that there was already a game saved on the cartridge simply titled “Ben.” He ignored the save file and started a new game and noticed that all the NPCs (non-playable characters) would refer to him as Ben. He deleted the “Ben” file and tried to start a new game. The game became more erratic. The music would play backwards and his character began to be followed by a statue of the game’s main character with a creepy smile on its face. Eventually, the “Ben” file returned to the game. Along with it was another new file simply titled “drowned.” Every time he played after the two files appeared his character would simply die and creepy messages would sprawl across the screen:

“You’ve met with a terrible fate, haven’t you?”

3

Morrowind Mod jvk1166z.esp

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The Elders Scrolls 3: Morrowind is an expansive RPG and to this day is considered to be the best game in the Elder Scrolls series by a lot of fans. It has an expansive online community where users mod the game to add custom quests, characters, weapons and armor. Legend has it that there is a very creepy and sinister mod to Morrowind that exists that could potentially drive a player insane.

The mod first popped up on the internet a couple of years ago and was originally thought to be a virus as when you loaded the game with the mod your game would freeze on the title screen and corrupt all the save game files essentially ruining the game. However, it was soon discovered that if you ran the game in DOSbox, software that allows gamers to play older PC games on their modern computers, the game would work. When the player starts the game with the mod all the main characters in the game are already dead. Also, if you stay in one spot for too long your health would slowly begin to deplete. If you died from standing still too long a new character would reveal himself. Players took to calling him the assassin. He appeared to be a man except his legs and arms were long and bent like a spider. Players began to notice that if you paid close attention the player could see the assassin around corners or scurrying up the walls, but only for brief moments. Another creepy element added to the game was all the characters left living would come outside at night and just stand there. When a player would attempt to interact with one of the characters they would simply say “Watch the sky.” A new dungeon was also discovered.

Inside the dungeon was what players called the “hall of portraits.” The hall was lined with picture frames inside the frames were photos from the player’s My Pictures folder. At the end of the hall was a locked door. No one has ever posted proof that they figured out how to open the door, but there are some unbelievable stories of players obsessed with trying to open it, playing the modded game for days straight with very little sleep. Some claim after long hours of playing they began to hallucinate seeing the assassin in real life quickly crawling on their bedroom ceilings or down their hallways as they took a bathroom break from the game. As fantastic as this story sounds, the creepiest part is that this mod does in fact seem to exist, but download it at your own risk.

2

Berzerk

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Berzerk is considered to be one of the greatest games of the arcade-era of gaming. In the game you battle an onslaught of robots. It also has one of gaming’s most iconic boss battles in Evil Otto, which was a simple smiley face. Berzerk also holds the macabre honor of being the first video game linked to the death of a person. The game would then go on to kill again a year later.

Jeff Dailey was the first person to die after playing Berzerk in 1981. Then again in 1982, a healthy 18 year old named Peter Burkowski was playing Berzerk. Within 15 minutes he was placing his initials in to the game for getting a high score. Burkowski took a few steps away from the game and then collapsed dead. The causes of death in both cases were ruled as a heart attack.

1

Polybius

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The legend of Polybius is likely the oldest gaming myth and had the honor of guest starring in an episode of The Simpsons.

Polybius was an arcade game that mysteriously appeared in an arcade in Portland, Oregon in the early 1980s. The cabinet was completely black except for the green joysticks and the logo at the top of the machine. The game combined elements of classic shooters like Tempest, mazes like in Pac-Man and spatial puzzles. When played, it supposedly caused all sorts of health problems including amnesia, blackouts, nausea, seizures, headaches, night terrors and, in some cases, players were reported to commit suicide not long after playing. It is also said that men dressed in all black would often be seen messing with the game leading some to speculate that the device was not a video game but a government experiment. Whether or not this insidious arcade game ever actually existed is not known.

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