It started out as a normal day, me looking for retro video games. I went to GameStop, like I always do, and I found a copy of one of my favorite games that I loved as a child. It was Tom the Shootman, a platformer where you play as Tom and shoot the crap out of enemies with guns. Anyways, I asked the cashier how much he wanted for it, and he told me it was free. I was flattered! A great video game for free!
Tom the Shootman PS1 cover NTSC

After I thanked the cashier, I went home and popped Tom the Shootman in my Playstation. However, something was off.

The title screen was very disturbing. The walls of Tom's castle were crumbling, and Tom was not on his throne. Instead of the title screen music playing, It played Fire Bob's battle theme playing very fasted and at a much lower pitch, also in reverse. I was a little scared, and I wanted to turn off the game, but something inside me told me to keep playing.

When I pressed start, it didn't take me to the file select screen. Instead, it took me right into the game, and I was in the castle. Tom, not usually scared, had a frightened and depressed look on his face. I went into Excitement Central, the game's first world, and I started on the first level, Genao Lands.

When I got to Genao Lands, it wasn't called Genao Lands. Instead it was called:


I was surprised at this. Link wasn't even IN Tom the Shootman and he was not supposed to be on another system other that the Nintendo systems! However, I kept on playing. Genao Lands was on fire, the enemies were on fire, everything except Tom was on fire. every time I shoot an enemy, blood squirted out and pooled all over the ground. The enemies didn't explode in a cartoony explosion when they hit the ground, they just fell on the ground in a crumpled heap.

I got to the end and found Link in the area where Genaofist was. Link was bloody and weak. He said in a sad, weak voice, "Please, end my suffering..."

I shoot Link and he fell on the ground, dazed. I picked him up and used a Mad Move on him. "Do it again, Tom..." I did it again.

"O...n...c...e...more...Tom..." Finally, I killed him, and instead of spitting gems out of his mouth like when you beat Genaofist, Tom stood in front of him and blood splattered all over his face.

I vomitted in my lap. I couldn't take it any more. I reached to turn off the game, but Tom spun around and looked directly into my eyes. I was terrified. He spoke and said, "Don't turn off the game, you worth-for-nothing little fool. Let me do it for you."

At that instant, my Playstation turned off. I cried my eyes out. I was so scared. I took the game out of my Playstation, and smashed it, burned it, and did everything you could to destroy it.

I still have nightmares about what I saw. I will never play a Tom the Shootman game again, due to my past experiences.

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