Like everyone else, I'm a BIG fan of Eric. The old classic games were kind of boring, but the new games were way cooler! I don't think I've ever played glitchy or hacked games before, though I don't think I want to play any after what I had been through...
It started on a windy Fall evening, I was playing Eric: The Revenge of Arthur Read (I liked how you get to explore the towns in it) until I noticed, out of my peripheral vision, that the mailman had arrived and put something in my mailbox as usual and left. I paused my game to go see what I got in the mail... The only thing in the Mailbox was a CD case for computers and a note. I took it inside.
"Well, thank you!" I told the mailman.
I looked at the note first and realized it was from my dear friend Dominic (Let's just call him that), whom I hadn't heard from in 2 weeks. I know that because I recognized his handwriting, though what was weird is how it looked; it looked badly written and scratchy and somewhat difficult to read, as if Dominic was having a hard time writing it down and did it in a hurry.
This is what he wrote...
There's no way I can take it. I've been trying and trying to destroy this disc, and I was hoping you'd do it for me. I can't do it. No matter where I hide, he knows where I am. Do not play this, or he'll come after you too, he's too fast for me....
Please Cameron, destroy this god-forsaken disc before he comes after you too, it's too late for me.
Destroy the disc, and you'll destroy him, but do it quick otherwise he'll catch you. Don't even play the game, it's what he wants, just destroy it.
Please, do it.
Well, that was certainly weird. Even though Dominic IS my best friend and I haven't seen him in 2 weeks, I didn't do what he asked me. I didn't think that a simple gaming disc would do anything bad to him, after all it's just a game right? Boy, was I wrong about that...
ANY way, I looked at the disc and it looks like any ordinary computer CD-R disc, except it had black marker on it written "ERIC.EXE", and it was much unlike Dominic's handwriting, meaning that he must've gotten it from someone else, like a pawn shop or eBay. When I saw "ERIC" on the writing of the CD, I was actually excited and wanted to play it, since I'm a a BIG Eric fan.
I went up to my room and turned on my computer and put the disc in and installed the game. When the title screen popped up I noticed that it was the first Eric game, I was like "Awesome!" Because like I said earlier I liked the classics. The first thing I noticed that was out of place was when I pressed start, there's was a split second when I saw the title image turned into something much different, something that I now consider horrifying, before cutting to black.
I remember what the image looked like in that split second before the game cut to black; The sky had darkened, the title emblem was rusted and ruined, the GOANIMATE 1991 was now instead GOANIMATE 666, and the water had turned red, like blood, except it looked hyper-realistic.
But the freakiest thing that was in that split second frame was Eric, his eyes were pitch black and bleeding with two glowing red dots staring RIGHT AT ME, and his smile had stretched wider up to the edge of his face. I was rather disturbed about that image when I saw it, though I figured that it was just a glitch and forgot about it. After it cut to black it stayed like that for about 10 seconds or so. And then another weird thing happened, the save file select from Sonic the Hedgehog 3 popped up, and I was like "WTF? What's this doing in the first Eric game?", anyway, then I notice something off, the background was the dark cloudy sky of the Bad Stardust Speedway level from Sonic CD, and there were only three save files. The music was that creepy Caverns of Winter music from Earthbound, only it was extended and seemed to have been in reverse. And the image for the save file where you see a preview of the level you're on is just red static for all three files.
What freaked me out more was the character select, it showed only Kevin, Brian and to my surprise, Memy9909! Now I was sure that something was up, I mean, how can you play as Memy9909 in a classic Eric game, for crying out loud?
That's when I realized that this wasn't a glitchy game, it was a hacked game.
Yeah it definitely looked hacked, it was really creepy, but as a smart gamer, I wasn't scared (or at least I tried not to be), I told myself that it was just a hacked game and there's nothing wrong with that. Anyways, shaking off the creeped out feeling I picked File 1 and chose Kevin and when I selected and got started. The game froze for about 5 seconds and I heard a creepy pixelated laugh that sounded an awful lot like that Kefka guy from Final Fantasy before cutting to black.
The screen stayed black for about 10 seconds or more, then it showed the typical level title thing, except the simplistic shapes were different shades of red and the text showed only "HILL, ACT 1". The screen faded in and the level title vanished revealing Kevin in the Green Hill Zone from Sonic 1, the music was different though, it sounded like a peaceful melody in reverse. Anyway I started playing and had Kevin start running like you would in any of the classic Eric games, what was odd was that as Tails was running along the level there was nothing but flat ground and a few trees for 5 minutes, that was when the peaceful music started to lower down into slow deep tones very slowly as I kept going.
I suddenly saw something and I stopped to see what it was; it was one of the small animals lying dead on the ground bleeding (That was when the music started to slow down), Kevin had a shocked and saddened look on his face that I never saw him have before, so I had him move along, and he kept that worried look on his face. As he kept moving I saw more dead animals as Kevin moved past them looking more and more worried as the music lowers and he moves past more dead animals, I was shocked to see how they all died, they looked like somebody killed them in rather gruesome ways; a squirrel was hanged on a tree with what appeared to be his entrails hanging out, a bunny had all four of his limbs torn off and a duck had his eyes gouged out and his throat slit. I felt sick to my stomach when I saw this massacre and apparently so did Kevin. After a few more seconds there were no more animals and the music seemed to have stopped, I still kept Kevin to continue.
After a minute passed after the music stopped, Kevin was running up a hill and then he stopped, it wasn't until I saw why; Eric was there on the other side of the screen with his back against Kevin with his eyes closed. Kevin looked happy to see Eric but then his smile faltered, obviously noticing that Eric wasn't responding to him, if not acting as if he was totally oblivious of Kevin' presence. Kevin walked slowly toward Sonic, and I noticed that I wasn't even moving my keyboard to make him move, so this had to have been a cut scene.
Suddenly I began to have a growing feel of dread as Kevin walked closer to Eric to get his attention, I felt that Kevin was in danger and something bad was going to happen. I heard faint static growing louder as Kevin was but inches away from Eric and stopped and stuck his hand out to touch him. That foreboding feeling in my gut was growing stronger and I felt the urge to tell Kevin to get away from Eric as the static grew louder.
Suddenly in a split second I saw Eric's eyes open and they were black with those red glowing dots, just like that title image, thought there wasn't a smile. When that happened the screen turned black and the static sound was off.
It stayed black for about 7 seconds and then white text appeared forming a message, saying, "Hello. Do you want to play with me?"
At this point I was creeped out, I didn't want to continue with the game, but my curiosity got the better of me when I was taken to a different level with the level title now saying "HIDE AND SEEK".
This time I was in the Angel Island level from Sonic 3 and it looked like everything was on fire.
Kevin looked as though he was scared out of his wits this time. He actually looked at me and made frantic gestures to me as if he wanted to get out of the area he was in as fast as possible. I was starting to get freaked out by this...I mean Kevin was actually breaking the fourth wall, trying to tell me to get him out of there.
So I pressed down on the arrow key as hard as I could and made him run as fast as he could, The Hyuponia music from Klonoa 2 was playing as I made Kevin trek through the desolate forest, trying to help him escape from whatever he was trying to run from.
Suddenly I heard that creepy laugh again... that awful, Kefka laugh... right after 10 seconds have passed as I helped Kevin run through the forest, and then I started seeing flashes of Eric popping everywhere on the screen, again with those black and red eyes.
The music changed to that suspenseful drowning jingle as I see Eric behind Kevin slowly gaining up on him FLYING; Kevin wasn't running, he was actually FLYING! The flying pose his sprite was making looked very similar to Metal Sonic's flying pose in Sonic CD, except it was just Eric and he had the black and red eyes again, only THIS time he had the most deranged looking grin on his face, he looked as though he was enjoying the torment he was giving the poor little bro as he gained up on him.
Suddenly when Kevin tripped (another cut scene) the music stopped and Eric vanished. Kevin laid there and started crying for 15 seconds. The scene was rather upsetting to watch and I kind of teared up myself. But then Eric appeared right in front of Kevin and Kevin looked up in horror.
Blood started to come down those blackened eyes of Sonic's as a grin slowly grew from his face as he looked down at the horrified fox, I could do nothing but watch.
Just in a split second Eric lunged at Kevin right before the screen went black, there was a loud screeching noise that only lasted 5 seconds. The text returned only this time it said "You're too slow, want to try again?" and then that god-awful laugh came with it.
I was so shocked by what had happened...did Eric murder Kevin No, he couldn't have... He and Kevin are supposed to be best friends, right? Why did Eric do that to him?
I shook the shock off as I was brought back to the character select, the save file that had Kevin was different; Kevin was no longer in the box itself but in the TV screen itself, which was flickering with that red static, Kevin' expression scared me, his eyes were black and bleeding, his orange fur had gone black and he had an expression of anguish on his face, Trying to ignore it I picked Brian next.
The laugh came again and the screen cut to black again and stayed there for another 10 seconds, this time the level said "YOU CAN'T RUN".
I was really freaked out by now, I couldn't really tell if this was a glitch, or a hack, or some kind of sick twisted joke... or anything really. But despite my fear of what happened next, I kept playing.
The next level looked much different, it had the ground of the Scrap Brain zone, but the sky background looked like the main menu; it had the dark reddish cloudy sky. But it was the music that creeped me out the most: It sounded like Giygas' theme right after you beat Pokey in Earthbound. I also noticed that Brian looked afraid just like Kevin did, though not as much, more rather he looked a little unnerved. He broke the fourth wall just like Kevin and looked as if he wasn't sure about going on, but I made him move anyway.
He ran down the straight pathway in this dark level, and as he did the screen started to flicker red static a couple times and then that maddening laugh came again.
Then after a few seconds of running I notice several bloodstains on the metallic ground, I felt a growing sense of fear again thinking something horrible is going to happen to Brian. He looked nauseated walking down this blood-stained road, but I still kept him going.
Suddenly as Brian ran, Eric appeared right in front of him with those black and red eyes and then red static appeared again, when the static vanished showing nothing but black screen with text saying "FOuNd YOu!", I was now scared, Eric found Brian already?! What was going on?!
Anyway red static came again and then I was back to the level, Brian looked like he was panicking, and Eric was nowhere to be found. And this time that high-pitched squealing from the Silent Hill 1's final boss was playing.
Was this some kind of boss battle with Brian? I hoped to God it wasn't, honestly.
Suddenly Eric appeared right behind Brian in what appeared to be pixelated black smoke, I made Brian turn and then punch Eric, but Eric vanished in black pixelated smoke before I could even land a hit, that terrible laugh went off again. Then Eric appeared behind Brian again and then I made him punch again, and Eric vanished again laughing. Brian was panicking even more, and even I felt like I was going crazy, Eric was practically playing with us, he was playing a sick twisted little mind game with me and Brian...
Another cut scene played as Brian fell to his knees and clutched his head sobbing, I felt his agony, Eric was actually driving us BOTH crazy.
And then in a split second Eric lunged at Brian and the screen went black with another distorted screeching noise that lasted for at least 3 seconds.
Another text message appeared, "So many souls to play with, so little time... would you agree?"
What the hell... Just what is going on? I started to think Sonic was actually trying to talk to me through the game... But I was too scared to think that.
I was brought back to the main menu and this time the second file box had Brian in the TV screen, his red fur had darkened to a reddish grey, his dreadlocks were dripping with blood and his eyes were black and bleeding too, and he had a look of sadness on his face. I began to think that those are the actual characters trapped in those TV screens on the save files, but I couldn't believe it... I didn't want to believe it...
So I shut off the game and took a break. I took a nap, wish I hadn't, 'cause I then began to have the most disturbing nightmare, I was in pitch black darkness, though I was under the light given off by a lamp that hung high above my head. I could hear the cries of Brian and Kevin nearby. They were saying stuff like, "Help us..." and "Why did you give us to him?" and "Run away, before he gets you too..."
Their cries died out as I then heard Eric laugh, his laugh... it sounded a lot like the distorted Kefka laugh.
"You're a lot fun to play with kid, just like your friend Kyle, though he didn't last long..."
I was scared and looking around for the source of the voice...
"Won't be long now until you join him and all my other friends..."
I saw him walking toward me, flickering in and out in several directions...
"You can't run, kid. You're in my world now. Just like the others..."
When he grabbed me and I saw his bleeding black and red-eyed, grinning face, I woke up with a fright.
After a couple of hours I decided to continue playing the game. I don’t know why, but I had to know, I had to figure out why this was happening... So I turned on the computer, turned on the game and selected Memy9909 next.
I still thought that was wacky, playing as Memy9909, but anyway the level title appeared again and this time it said "...", which I found really freaky.
This time I was in some kind of hallway, didn't really look like it was from any of the classic Eric games, though it has the pixelated style; the floor was shiny and checkered, the walls were a dark greyish purple with animated candlelight’s and a few dark bloodstains here and there, and there was a dark red curtain hanging above on the top part of the screen. Every 12 seconds or so that red curtain sways very slowly, but whenever you're playing the game you can barely see it move. The music was oddly pleasant, a piano playing a rather sad yet peaceful song, but I knew better, this was the song that played in Hill act 1, only it wasn't in reverse.
Memy9909 didn't look entirely nervous like Kevin and Brian did, but he did have a suspicious look on his face as if he was just a bit paranoid. He did a little animation when I just left him standing, he turns his head to the left and then to the right at least twice and then shrugs at me, as if he has no idea where he was or what was going on. Even though I was scared outta my mind about what was going to happen, I had Memy9909 continue onward. He did his usual running animation (You know, when you've beaten him at the end of a classic Eric game and you chase him) as we continued going through the hallway.
Then I stop at a long flight of stairs leading downward, now I was nervous, even Memy9909 seemed unsure of himself, though I pressed onward.
As I led Memy9909 down the stairs, I noticed that the walls have gotten darker and more reddish; the red torches are now an eerie blue. Then we landed onto another hallway, this one was longer than the last one (or at least it felt like it) and then we headed down another flight of stairs down, this one was much longer, took at least 1 full minute.
And then I heard that horrid Kefka laugh again and then the music slowly faded until it was quiet, as it did the walls turned more dark red and the torches were a black flame now.
When Memy9909 landed onto the 3rd hallway, I noticed he now looked really creeped out, though he tried to hide it, I couldn't blame him, I was scared too.
Suddenly, Eric popped right in front of Memy9909 the same way he did Brian and then red static. The red static lasted for about 15 second and then it showed me a most unpleasant image...
The image showed a hyper-realistic of Eric standing in the darkness where you can only see his face while his head and torso faded into black, and when I say hyper-realistic, I mean like he looked so real you could actually see the lines in his blue fur, as if you could actually feel the fur if you touched the screen.
His face...oh god, he had the most horrifying smile I had ever seen.
And that's saying something considering I saw that image at the start of the game.
His eyes are wide and black and once again crying blood (Which also looked hyper-realistic) and there were two small glowing red dots in those black eyes staring RIGHT AT ME, as if staring into my mind. His grin was wide and demonic, it literally stretched to the sides of his face like a Cheshire Cat except Eric had fangs, VERY SHARP fangs, much like the Werehog's teeth except more vicious-looking, somewhat yellowish and from the look of it, he had stains of blood and small bits of flesh on his lips and fangs as if he ate some animal.
I stared at that gruesome image for a good 30 seconds, never taking my eyes off it, I felt as if he was actually looking at me, smiling at me...that face, it just took 10 seconds for it to etch itself into my brain for good.
Then the screen flickered with red static again 3 times, and on the 3rd time I heard the Kefka laugh, except this time it sounded distorted, demonic even...
It went back to the image again except this time there was the text again though it was messed up, but it was pretty much one of the most horrifying things I looked at since I had this game...
"I AM GOD."
It was when I read that message while looking at Eric when it hit me, I realized right there and then.
This Eric was a monster, a pure evil, sadistic, all-powerful, nightmarish, demented monster... and all of his victims, including Kevin, Brian, Memy9909 and possibly William, are just his little toys, and the game is the very gateway into his chaotic, nightmarish world and the very Hell his victims are trapped in.
Suddenly in an actual split second I screamed as Eric lunged at the screen screeching loudly with his mouth wide open to an unnatural length revealing nothing but a literally spiraling abyss of pure darkness before the red static came again, this time much louder and distorted, so loud that it hurt my ears, I yelled and grabbed my ears as the red static screeched for a good 7 seconds.
Then it stopped and showed nothing but black screen.
As I sat there staring at the black screen, one last text came up.
"Get ready for Round 2, Cameron!"
The Kefka laugh, now sounding more clear as if Eric was right behind me, played again 3 times as I looked at that text in shock and confusion.
Then I got booted back to the main menu and this time the third save file had a TV image of Memy9909 in the same, tormented state as Kevin and Brian; Memy9909's skin turned a dull grey, his mustache drooped and had blackened, his glasses broke and blood is coming from them and he had a mere dead like expression on his face.
I looked at Kevin, Brian and Memy9909 and I cried a bit, I pitied them for the agony they're going through, they were forever trapped within the game, forever tormented by that horrid boy, and always will be.
Then the computer shut itself off, I couldn't turn it back on no matter what I did.
I sat there for maybe 25 seconds, horrified by what had just happened...
Eric is the very embodiment of evil, he tortures people who play his game in more ways than one and then when he gets bored he drags you into the game, literally drags you to Hell, where he can play with you always, as his toy....
I can't get the game outta my computer. I think it's stuck in there, but at least I managed to turn it back on now.
After I sat there for 25 seconds I heard a voice right behind me, like a whisper...
"It's your turn to play, Cameron."
I turned around to see where the voice came from, and what I saw made me gasp...
Sitting on my bed... staring right at me...
...Was a Eric plushie, smiling with bloodstains under its eyes.
I grabbed the plushie with an intense grip, and threw him out the window as far as I could.
I somehow managed to get that goddamn disk out, and I smashed it REAL hard with a hammer. I won't be able to experience something like that again.
I looked out the window, and I saw that the Eric plushie was gone. I guess Dominic was right, and I destroyed the disc to destroy him. However, I will never forget Dominic. He was a good friend.
Now, let me clarify that the disc isn't destroyed, and it's somewhere else. I hope that you never, ever, EVER have the same experience I had, and if you find this same disc, DO NOT PLAY IT! FOR PETE'S SAKE DO NOT PLAY IT! FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, JUST DESTROY IT FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!