I remember when I was about eight or nine. You know that age, when you lived the innocent life. Without a care in the world, I spent a good amount of my childhood time playing video games. Hell, I even made friends with other kids who played it to.
I knew a kid back then who was named Tony. He told me a story about some strange thing that happened to him while playing Banjo-Kazooie. He gave me specific instructions of what to do, and what would happen. He spoke of Mad Monster Mansion and the portrait of Gruntilda that was in there. He said that if I crashed into the portrait using the fly pad, it would summon a monster. As a frightened little child, I believed him. This lasted until one day when I summoned up the courage to try what he told me years ago.
It was just a little lie he told me, a little story he believed. So I did it again and again countless times, knowing that it was all fake with nothing to worry about. I found it amusing - I'm not sure why - so I would crash into it over and over again going to that same place where the monster would show up. It never did; that lone pipe outside the mansion was always empty. There was never anything more, or anything less.
Of course, not everything is predictable; not everything follows the same routine. I tried it again one day, not too long ago. Well, let us just say that things took a turn for the worst. You hear these stories and do not think anything of them.
"Oh, they are just stories. It doesn't matter. It'll be alright," they say.
Of course, this time I did it. I almost broke a tear from how terrified I was.
I went into the room where Napper was. It was empty and quiet, nothing but a huge table and some chairs. I climbed to the top of the table got aboard the fly pad. I mashed the B button facing Gruntilda’s portrait. The bear and bird duo flew into the portrait with a big crash as expected, but this time a different noise I heard was there. It sounded like someone had broken a bone, almost as if there was literal pain. I did not think anything of it, so I left the room as normal.
Heading towards Mumbo’s skull, I came across that pipe with the Jiggy inside. But the oddest thing happened. Banjo seemed to have fallen underneath the level. I thought I had glitched the game or something, which I had done before with other N64 games. That was until I realized his legs were crawling through that small hole where the pipe was. He was clawing at the ground not making a noise - not even music - and he just flailed his arms wildly as he slowly was dragged inside. Frightened, I dropped my controller and backed away from the TV.
Next thing I know, it showed the inside of the pipe; Banjo looked fine. He was just standing in the middle of that pipe, looking around as usual. The music, although back, was a little distorted as if played in reverse...but it could not be more than a freaky glitch, right? Slowly reaching for my controller without taking my eyes off the screen, I saw a giant dark hand fall from the ceiling. I screamed, and Banjo followed suit. It dragged him up to the ceiling, almost like the Wallmasters from Ocarina of Time.
The sounds of bones cracking was heard. Banjo screamed in a voice that sounded as if his throat was filled with blood and he was experiencing unspeakable true pain. The music slowed itself and turned to static. The screen switched angles to show higher up in the pipe. The hand pulled him further up slowly and painfully. As it got closer to the screen, I could just see the hand gripped around his neck, nearly tearing Banjo in two. It was as if his head would pop off at any moment. I could not believe what I was seeing. Banjo flailed around as the hand dragged him up into the darkness. Eventually the screen went completely dark.
Shortley after, the game over transition occurred. However, the black background with the witch's face was red. Surely this could not be real. I had to be dreaming, but somehow I knew I was not. I was frozen in my place with beads of sweat falling down my face. Suddenly, the game started the game over cut scene. Tooty, Grunty, and Klungo were all together, except it was definitely different.
Tooty was strapped into a chair with Klungo standing at her side. Grunty was slowly cutting into Tooty's arm, dissecting her like fresh piece of meat. The screams from Tooty were to painful to hear as her head shook violently in agony. Grunty held up the knife and continued to pierce through her arm. After it was cut off, she threw the arm to Klungo. He began to gnaw on it. Gruntilda's eyes were filled with madness.
Wait, no, madness isn't the word for this. This was true pleasure from causing pain. A fantasy fulfilled.
She enjoyed herself with a wicked and sadistic grin.
With the knife, she carved into Tooty's stomach. Blood flowed out and organs dropped to the ground, splatting in a way too realistic for a game to recreate. No way could this be real; I kept telling myself it was not, but it was and I knew it. I just could not accept it. Grunty held the knife up to her mouth and licked fresh blood off of it. Satisfied, but still eager for more, she violently stabbed Tooty in the eye then threw the eye across the room. Leaning towards Tooty's face, she smiiled and chanted something quietly as she slowly slit the blade across Tooty's neck. The knife began to slowly drip with the blood of her victim.
It faded out to a soundless black screen; the TV was definitely on, but there was nothing on the screen. I stood in place, still too scared to move. I still could not believe what I had witnessed. After a couple days, I decided to try it again. Surely, no one could sell something like that to the public, right? I went through and crashed into the picture. Nervous, I slowly walked up to the pipe.
There was nothing.
I stood, waiting, but it did not happen. Everything played as normal. I tried multiple times but it would not work. Why would it work that one time but not any other? What came over my game and made it insane? I wish I could have moved, and gotten a picture or a video. Anything I could have gotten as a shred of proof.
I am not asking you to believe me; I just want to share my tale with whoever it may interest. I will keep trying it, this time prepared and maybe, just maybe, I can get a single photo of what happened that night.