One of my biggest passions throughout childhood was gaming. Everytime I'd get a new game, I'd work tirelessly for weeks trying to achieve every unlockable surprise available and explore as much of the game as much as possible. It was a hobby that pretty much shaped my entire childhood, which I still pursue to this day.
I eventually decided to make a club dedicated to this hobby in college, which was met with surprising success. "The East-Westington Gamers" we called ourselves; a group of fifteen people. We'd spend hours talking about the newest games and exchanging strategies and battle stoies, and even started to talk about the technology behind games. After a year of action, we'd created our first mod of Sonic the Hedgehog on Genesis.
But then we decided to explore more uncharted territory: to mod entire consoles. We'd spent some time trying to decide what we'd create, and we fortunately decided on my idea: a tiltcube.
I'd experimented with cartridge tilting a lot when I was a kid, and this mod would allow us to do the equivalent for gamecube games. It took months of research and game surgery to establish how the console would function, but we'd finally managed to complete our first prototype after a year of hard work.
The night we'd tested it was February 18th. I'd remember, as it was four nights after I'd attended my Grandma's funeral. Including me, there were only four of us at my house, my friends John, , Will, and Wendle. The others weren't able to arrive due to weather conditions. Out of randomness, I decided that our first test subject would be Sonic Adventure 2: Battle.
After going through the intro, menu, and stage select, we were landed in City Escape. We waited for a few seconds as sonic slid down the incline before tampering with the game.
After activating switch set 1, nothing happened. I slowly did the same for switch set 2, and again nothing happened. However, when Switch set 3 was thrown, we all jumped in shock.
The game was thrown into loud static as the stage was distorted and twisted briefly before two images flashed by. One was of sonic, his mouth slackened wide and his pupils dilated in horror. Although it flashed by for a split second, it seemed as if he was drawn in a hyper-realistic fashion. The next image was of sonic sliding down city escape as before, but there was red color covering the road, as if it was covered in blood.
After that brief glitch, the stage was playing normally, but the texture for the road was skewed slightly, eventually becoming pure black. We were impressed; we'd managed to distort one of the game textures!
As sonic flew of the board and into the walking section, we were going to try another switch set, but then I'd noticed something.
Omochao was nearby in his usual spot, but his color seemed a bit off. Slightly duller, specifically. Noticing the change, we decided to stick around and see if the voice files were changed by the glitch and approached him. However, what we heard was disturbing.
"Hi, I'm Omochao! I'm here to kill you."
We were surprised, but managed to get a few chuckles out, thinking that it was just a glitched pronunciation at a funny spot. I'd touched Omochao again to hear it again, but it became less funny when we saw that the text box did in fact say "kill". Was the word "kill" even typed anywhere in the game?
Although baffled, we carried on. The next omochao was the same color as the one before, and we were again surprised by what it said.
"You can use parts from the robots to kill chao!"
We made him talk again, and the result was the same. "Kill" both in the voice and the text box. How could the voice and text both have been glitched twice in a row?
But it wasn't until the third omochao talked that we knew something was seriously wrong.
"Press B button to do a soumersault! This comes in handy when you want to die."
I knew for sure that this was a mint copy of the game, so the idea of modding was out of the question. We'd all worked together and knew everything about the tiltcube...so how was this possible?
We carried on, and the stage was more of the same.
"There is an animal in the pipe! Try killing it!"
"Bring the animals into the chao garden, and all chao will die!"
Although disturbed, we'd eventually reached the goal ring. We'd gotten the chao key, so the black screen grew white with the awesome sound effect. Once in the chao lounge, we walked up towards the neutral choa gate.
However, we couldn't grasp the horror of what we saw. Blood was splattered all over the mountains and grass of the garden, with guts and entrails sporadically laid out everywhere. We all gagged and gasped in shock. When I walked up to the pond, I yelped in shock upon seeing one of my chao's head floating in the water. Horrified, yet eager for answers, we remembered Omochao and his spot inside the cave. Gulping, I walked sonic through the entrance.
Omochao was there, as dulled as before. To our utmost horror, each of the decapitated heads of my chao were piled up behind him. Not only of the neutral garden, but the hero and dark as well. He was coated in blood with a demonic grin on his face. The selections had turned to "Chao Death Race" and "Chao Kill-rate". Revolted and shocked, I hit B to exit.
However, as the screen faded, another staticky glitch occured; the sonic picture visible a bit longer. Rather than cut to the chao garden, it instead loaded up a choa race. The camera panned across the eight contenders before zooming out, at which point omochao was visible. However, the pistol in his hands was replaced with an AK-47.
When the "GO!" appeared, Omochao loaded and cocked the gun and began firing at the choa, who were torn to pieces by the gunfire. Blood was splattered everywhere as Omochao laughed with a demonic tone to his voice. I will always be haunted by that voice.
After the chao race massacre, the screen glitched again and froze on the sonic picture. It was horrifying.
"Fuck this shit, I'm turning it off!" Wendle announced, thankfully coming to his senses. He stood up and went to the console to turn it off, but yelled as he recieved an electric shock.
We could see massive surges of electricity surging into his body from within the console, but that wasn't the wierdest part. He started...changing. We all watched in horror as his skin grew a bizarre shade of blue, his hands turning yelowish. Even his hair started to change, chaging to dark blue and slicking backwards into a crude point at the back of his head.
When the lightshow ended and his screams subsided, his head lowered and gazed directly at me.His eyes were glowing yellow, to my horror.
"Oh, such sweet sorrow." He announced in a deep, demonic voice.
"WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU?" Will screamed.
"I am the shadows within the corner. I am the rustling of the breeze through the trees. I AM OMOCHAO!!!"
As he hollered that last bit, he whipped out the machine gun from earlier and proceeded to fire into Will, carving a hole through his chest with gunfire. John leaped into action and tackled Wendlechao, who squirmed against his attacker's attack.
"WHY DON'T YOU GET YOURSELF A TEDDY BEAR?" He screamed as a propellor formed from the point on his head, which started to spin around like a buzz-saw. John's face was frozen in terror as the upper half of his head was completely sawn off, spraying blood everywhere. His body stood for a few seconds before falling limp to the ground. Wendlechao freed himself, but failed to notice that he'd dropped his weapon in the struggle.
I grabbed the gun and aimed it at him, standing ten feet from it. He seemed to realize the predicament he was in. As I kept the barrel aimed right at him, however, he stated to change.
His hair started to turn white, his skin growing more pale and wrinkled. His lips seemed to gain lipstick, and a pair of glasses even managed to sprout from his face. I stood there, gawking at the visage he possessed.
"Ted, please stop..." he said in a frail, feminine voice. Her voice. "It's me! Please don't hurt me....you're my favorite grandson!"
For the slightest moment, I began to lower the gun... but it wasn't lowered an inch when I felt overwhelming rage surge through me.
"YOU'RE NOT MY GRANDMA, YOU MOTHERFUCKER!!!" I pulled the trigger and shot the entire magazine into the fiend, who let out a shriek in pain. The ammunition tore straight through him, but he sustained life with his left side blown away.
I hightailed it for the door at that point, lunging outside and blindly striding into the forest behind me. It was after about a minute of running that I could hear a propeller blazing behind me. As I looke back, I slammed into the ground after tripping on a rock.
Wendlechao glared down at me with those evil, glowing eyes.
"You may have taken my left side from me," he said cooly "But I'll be all right now!"
I shut my eyes just as he lifted his leg to deliver the final blow, peparing for my demise. However, it was after five eternal second that a massive SHUNK! sliced through the air.
I opened my eyes and saw an axe blade embedded within Wendlechao's neck, whose eyes slowly dimmed as he fell to the ground, dead. Behind him stood John, whose head was still halved. Before I could thank him, his mouth filled with blood as he collapsed.
After that night, I hid their bodies in a car and staged a car accident. I still own the Tiltcube, but never use it, instead viewing it as a reminder that some doors should never be opened.
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