Back in 92' when I was a kid, most of my neighbors and friends would either have an NES or a Sega Genesis. Unfortunately I didn't get my SNES until a few years later. About a year before I got the console, I had a Pentium 386 333Mhz NEC PC with a few pirated and shareware games pre-installed.

I had some classics on that computer, Wolfenstein 3-D, Leisure Suit Larry 3 and the original Duke Nukem. Duke was a shareware game and only included the first chapter, but I played the hell out of that game every day while my pops played the same chapter of Wolf 3-D for 15 years (yes, we installed it on every pc we had until Win XP SP 3 wouldn't run it no more).

Anyways, I eventually got curious when I got my first computer that had Windows on it and tried to learn everything I could. Eventually I learned programs like Photohop, Blender, 3-D Studio Max and some Digital Audio Workstations. I ended up making some shitty games using these and pass it around school for fun. My peers were my critics returning to me with what could be changed and what would be possible (given I had no programming history).

On day, I came home and on the kitchen table was a media envelope with no return address or postage. I opened it up and found a CD. I loaded it in my desktop and found hundreds of high resolution (considered at the time) images that could be used for bitmaps and textures on 3d models. I found some .dxf and .3ds files as well with fully functional models. But the main thing that caught my interest was a file simply called Engine. Yes, it was a .exe file, but this isn't one of those stories, so shut the fuck up.

It was a complete game engine with pre-programmed dynamic physics. When I opened the file, the engine started with a pop up over it that said "Engine and Images by Boss". This was perfect, I started creating a simple and fun game that everyone could enjoy. It was a simple FPS with no absolute goal (like Gmod but not as good). My main focus was to have a lot of places for hiding and builders for climbing (as it was called back it '01). I sent the beta to my friend Jack to add the multiplayer capabilities and within a week all of our friends had it on their PC's (sorry mac users). The game was fun and hilarious given some of the world models were of immature objects such as a mountain shaped like a dildo or a rainbow colored costume for the characters. The majority of these objects and images were taken directly from the CD with little to no alterations.

We played for an entire weekend until school started again, at school we would only talk about how to make the game better by adding extra stuff in or altering existing objects. Unfortunately I did not tell them the physics and models were from someone else, and the credits did not mention anything about BOSS. I told them I'll look into it but knew I couldn't change anything. I got home that day and found an envelop on the kitchen table. Just like last time, no return address or postage. Opened it and it was a 3 page letter, in summary it was BOSS and was stating that he's glad we're having fun playing with his models and physics but not happy about leaving his credits out of it. This surprised me as this game was only played among us and was not distributed on any forms or other media. Hell, the damn thing didn't even have a name, we just called it "the shooter". Did the original CD have some type of spyware on it?

I didn't want people to know I had borrowed someone else's codes, so as a tribute I created an NPC character that pops up every now and then (yes, like Steve from minecraft). With what little code I knew, I would make him dance every time he showed up. It wasn't all that great, just him waving his limbs while jumping up and down. His shirt would read "BOSS", so most people thought it meant the boss of the level and would start shooting at it. After playing for three hours straight a message appeared that said

"You think this is funny… BOSS"

I thought it was Jack, but he denied it and I was too tired to actually care. Most of my games had glitches anyways so I wasn't all that surprised.

The next morning I wake up and find a usb stick under my pillow. I didn't bother asking the family who put it or anything and decided to check it after school. I plugged it into my computer and saw one file, it was an avi titled "This_is_funny.avi" . Opened it and it was a video of the NPC in the game but the head looked like me. It was being shot from all the other players while dancing, but this time limbs were flying off every time it was shot. I automatically knew it was BOSS, but since I've never seen him, heard him, or know anything about him I couldn't do much. As I was thinking about how the USB may have gotten into my room during night I was suddenly startled by my phone ringing. It was Jack and he was frantic. I asked him what's going on, he said he just noticed a usb stick under his pillow and on it was a video similar to the video I saw, but this time the character looked like him. Throughout the evening, the others noticed the usb sticks as well and started contacting each other. They eventually thought it was an unfunny joke made by one of us, but I knew it was BOSS making these jokes. How was he getting into our rooms, undetected and without waking us up in the process? I quickly got in the game and removed the NPC character for BOSS.

We all took a break from the game for a week and returned playing the following weekend. It was a limited match that only allowed each of us to use knives. Since there was no counter on the game we had to keep score through manually using a group chat on AIM. Jack was in the lead with 23 kills and 0 deaths, we thought we should teach him a lesson. We started a second group chat without Jack and planned it out, one will be decoy while the others hid nearby. Jack was so self confident at this point he took the decoy, ran in to get the guy and we all jumped out stabbing him. His character fell down but did not fade away or re-spawn. I chatted to him "We got you! lol" but did not get a response. I looked back at the game and the NPC was back, dancing on top of Jacks dead character. I could feel something was wrong, called Jack on his cell, no answer. Left message after message, no response or call backs. I called his house number, the mom picks up, tells me they found Jack in his room dead. I couldn't believe it.

Since he lived only 4 houses away, I ran there while calling an ambulance. I ran in and saw everyone sobbing and ran into his room. There he was, sitting on his chair, in front of his computer, stabbed to death. On his computer screen, was the dancing NPC.