I just want to start out by saying that I am not necessarily a “gamer”. I mean, yeah, I do play video games from time to time, but I don’t really consider myself a “gamer”. When I do play video games, I usually play the older kinds, like Nintendo 64 or PlayStation 1 games. I grew up on the PlayStation, but I guess I just kinda grew out of video games a tad over the years. Anyways, one day, I was walking down the street, minding my own business, when I saw that one of my neighbors was having some kind of garage sale. Interested in what they might have, I went and checked it out.

They didn’t have much, mostly old appliances and baby stuff. They did have one thing that interested me, however, because as I was looking around some old electronics they had, VCRs mostly, I came across a CD jewel case with a copy of “Croc: Legend of the Gobbos” inside of it, with the words "Croc Game" written on it in marker. This made me smile, as Croc was one of my favorite PS1 games that I remember fondly from my childhood.

I grabbed the game and went up to my neighbor and asked how much it was. He took one look at it, then blinked a few times as if trying to remember what it was. He told me that he didn’t know how that got there, and that he didn’t remember putting it out for sale, so I could just take it for free since he didn’t seem to be interested in it at all. I just shrugged and thanked him before taking the game back home.

Once home, I went up to my room and hooked up my old PlayStation, popping the game in for a fun night of retro gaming. The game started up with its usual logos and opening cutscene, but that is all that was familiar about this game at this point, because instead of showing the title screen, it just dropped me into the first level. This made me wonder if this copy had been tampered with or if it was just old and scratched, but I just shrugged that off and began playing. To my surprise, everything seemed to play correctly...that is, at the time it seemed to play correctly. That would change pretty soon after.

There was a door on the other side of the level, so I made Croc go over there and go through it, but then…it froze on a black screen. I thought the game had been scratched, and went to turn the power off when I heard creepy music, that sounded like a slowed down version of the theme in a lower pitch, coming from my TV. I looked back up, and was greeted with Croc standing in the middle of a completely red, flat space. I tried pressing the directional buttons to move him, but to no avail.

Croc simply just stood there, staring behind him as if he was looking right at me. Then the screen flashed white for a second and then cut to a black screen with some white text, reading “You shouldn’t have came here, you know, this isn’t a safe place.”  And then cut to another level, but this level didn’t seem like a level from the game, but something…unspeakably horrific added in by a hacker. Croc was now standing in the middle of what appeared to be a dungeon, two of the walls covered in rusty, blood splattered spikes.

I tried the directional pad again, and Croc yet again refused to move, as if this was some kind of cutscene. At this point, I was afraid to do anything but watch as there was a loud, metallic creaking noise, which made Croc look around with a horrified look on his face.

The spiked walls shook and then began closing in slowly, Croc now frantically looking for a way out as the walls began getting closer and closer to him. I tried the controller again, and yes! I finally had control again! I made him run to one of the unspiked walls and he automatically banged on it, as if it were some kind of door he wanted opened. He began screaming, but it was still cartoonish screaming, sounding like a clip from the game rather than something added in.

The walls began inching closer and closer, as the crocodile finally collapsed onto the ground, me no longer having control of him as he awaited his fate. And finally, walls closed in on him, spikes driving into Croc’s body, causing blood and internal organs to spill out, Croc letting out one last scream of agony before his head was crushed, his eyeball popping out as the screen, yet again, cut away to pitch blackness.

I coughed, holding back the urge to puke as I reached for the power button, on the midst of crying myself when another screen of text popped up, saying:

“Told you, now why didn’t you listen to me? You’re a dead croc now, boy.”

And the screen faded to a picture of Croc’s lifeless body, his bones crushed and his skin torn in certain places. His skull was crushed as one eyeball laid on the ground next to him, blood shot and half squished, he looked like a pile of mashed up gore, he WAS a pile of mashed up gore.

I finally hit the power button, and proceeded to vomit all over the floor, tears leaking from my face and onto the carpet. Without even cleaning up my mess, I grabbed the disk and snapped it in half, chucking it into the waste basket next to my bed. All I can really say is whoever it was who did this, be my neighbor or some random punk, fuck you. Fuck you for all of the nightmares I will now go through, fuck you for making my nights restless and full of painful images. I hope you’re happy with yourself.