My first game system was the original playstation, but I never truly discovered the fact that I was a gamer until I played Sonic Adventure for the Sega Dreamcast at a friend’s house. Life moved on barely seeing that game again until my mother got me a GameCube for my birthday.
The first game I had for it was Super Smash Brothers Melee because it was a platinum edition GameCube, so the game came with it. I played the hell out of that game, every day consisted of : wake up, school, homework (if I had any), then super smash brothers until I pass out from exhaustion. I eventually unlocked every possible character (Mewtwo being the last, despite my brother’s complaining from making him stay up seven hours on vs. just to get his ass kicked.)
On a visit to my grandfather’s house I discovered that they made a re-release of Sonic Adventure for the Nintendo GameCube, I felt like I witnessed the birth of a universe, I was so happy. I played with my grandfather’s friend Mike who was living there. Nothing was odd or paranormal about this game and to my slight dissapointment, the graphics were slightly worse than the Dreamcast's. Eventually I discovered the cute little creatures you can raise called Chao. Mike, after much dispute (and constant begging from me) gave in and gave me keep Sonic DX. After a few months the game was scratched beyond repair, I felt like my world had shut down. I kept quiet in school the only person I talked to was my best friend Gary.
Slowly another year came and gone, it was the 18th of September when I slowly drifted off to sleep at around 9 or 10 o’clock after playing a bit of Super Mario Sunshine, I just defeated king boo so I went to bed with a smile on my face, but in the back of my head I knew it was no replacement for my treasured Sonic Adventure. The 19th was on a Saturday so I wasn’t worried about school. I woke up to mom yelling happy birthday and pinning me on the couch for birthday spankings. (Hey I was 11 and she’s crazy) after laughter from my brothers and step-father it was over and my presents were given to me. I got a new MP3 player, a copy of Metroid Prime, and a new Lego set from my brothers. My mother had to babysit and Ron, my stepfather, had to go too. Believe it or not I wouldn’t have wanted my birthday go any other way.
I just sat down after putting Metroid Prime into the GameCube when a loud rapping on the door sounded. With a startled cry I got up and headed to the door to answer, I heard running and a fading laugh from Gary, as I went to open the door, not to answer it, but to belt the smart-ass across the head with a rock. I opened the door, rock in hand, to see only a small brown package with a card on top. I hurriedly picked up the card and read it. It said under a picture of a large dog balancing a cake on its head, “Happy Birthday Dom, From Gary.”
A slight smile spread across my lips as I went back inside. Of course, being how old I was, I tore the box apart, my heart skipped a beat when I saw the label of a Sonic Adventure DX game. Little did I know, this birthday wouldn't turn out as well as I'd hoped. Of course I sprinted straight to the living room slammed the game into the system, putting Metroid back, and diving onto the couch ready to play this game, on the brink of insanity. (Probably already was insane but you get the point)
The game started up normally, I never really skip the intro video, I mean, perfect chaos was one of the coolest things I have ever seen! I hit start and of course chose the only playable character at the beginning, Sonic. It started with the fight against Chaos 0 who I dealt with as quickly as possible. I made haste to the chao garden and began to raise the two default blue and yellow chao of course just trying to get stamina up seeing as how I had no animals. I got their stamina as high as I could before they started to throw the food away; I then headed eagerly to level 1.
Excited to run from the killer whale you had to flee from on the wooden bridge it destroys as it chases you, I did a speed run through it. The second I arrived at the ending the cutscene with Tails began. It’s not until I beat the casino level when things got... strange. You appear in the sewers and get the light speed shoes from that place. You use the ring dash the shoes give you and appear in the pawn shop which wasn’t accessible. It has an odd green stone, but it’s really a golden chao egg. Being the smart kid I am (and a tiny bit of help from the strategy guide) I fooled that chunky pawn shop npc by switching his egg with the rock you find of about the same size.
Now this is where things get weird, I don’t like throwing the egg against the wall to smash it open to make the chao hatch my process is picking it up, putting it down, picking up, and repeat. Eventually the damn thing decides to hatch a small golden chao with a green dot crawls out of the egg and takes a seat. After completing the first level I purchased a white egg if I might add so there’s four chao in my garden the little gold chao began to crawl around but where it crawled too caught my attention.
The newborn took a seat in the center of a triangle formed by the other three. I watched as the casing around the four began to form signifying they are maturing. I knew something was wrong, but I continued to watch the process of these chao transforming. Instead of the happy short music skit that plays when they transform it was a darkened deep sound, leaving a state of sorrow in my mind. This was nothing compared to what happened next.
The cloud dissolved and revealed the four, to my horror they were all dark type, skin black with red markings on their hands and feet, even though they didn’t hatch with these facial features they all had the sharp grin, and menacing eyes as if they were always up to something.
What startled me is that the golden one even had skin as black as oil (gold chao do not change color when matured), and it approached sonic slowly with enough time to notice the red streaks under its eyes, and slight red tips on its teeth. The thing is they were realistic and seemed like the young creatures was crying tears of blood. The other chaos didn’t have this feature. Just him, he lifted his arms to be picked up by sonic, (this was also strange because mature chaos don’t do this.) so I gave in to the creatures wants and picked it up, when I did my heart skipped a beat because all stats were 99 except one, stamina symbolizing hunger, it was at 98. A loud screech was heard, much like the yell that Perfect chaos emits only at a much higher pitch.
The chao began to squirm as Sonic’s facial features changed from continent to fear, then to pain as if this adorable little creature was crushing his skull. The chao turned around in his hands, I rapped the B-button to make him put the demonic monster down to no effect. Suddenly in a flash of white light that would put an epileptic into a seizure, the chao jumped onto Sonic knocking him onto his back, the chao’s arms slowly shifted into the lion claws, in an animation I’ve never seen before.
He dug them into Sonic’s face slashing and clawing viciously as I stared in horror, the claws got redder and redder as sonic became more and more mangled by the demonic creature. I tried to save poor sonic by pausing it but all that happened was a text box, like the one that appears when talking to an npc, that said three words that made my heart stand still, “No, you watch!” I began to cry as my childhood hero and favorite game character was torn to shreds by the demon chao, who from now on we will call Lou.
Lou stopped his onslaught and panted heavily looking down at the corpse of Sonic, the muscle tissue bleeding slowly one of his eyes popped out of the socket. It was a lot for an eleven year old to see, but what came next was worse, Lou leaned forward and began to feast on the dead Sonic’s flesh slowly tearing away the muscle, (I take this time to remind you that Lou’s stats are up) his stamina began to regenerate slowly, he continued to eat until the counter reached 99. Another text box appeared saying in blood red letters. “More, I want more.”, as the chao was panting heavily blood dripping from its chin.
The game shot me back to the title screen where you select your file, I quickly tried to delete that file but the screen kept saying “No.”, so I tried to select file #2 or three, same result. Instead of revisiting that horror again I shut the console off and put the controller on the stand, I tried to recover the disk but the eject hatch wouldn’t open. I rubbed my eyes and laid down for bed, almost the second after I closed my eyes I was out and I began to dream.
I was confined in a dark room, one light illuminated a dirty mirror standing in front of me. I looked into it to see my reflection and something else through the grime on the lower corner, it was small, had blood flowing from its dark red demonic eyes; it seemed to be drooling teeth covered in a fresh coat of crimson which led down to its lower jaw and dripped to the floor.
Slowly its teeth parted and it began to speak to me, not in a cute innocent voice the chao usually have but in a voice that would put the lead singer of Six Feet Under to shame. It was all audible somehow. Lou spoke slowly and calmly as if it had something in its throat.
“Why did you try to get rid of me Dominic?” my throat went dry, it slowly continued to speak to me, “Don’t you love me, all I wanted was something to eat.”
I began to sweat as it continued to talk to me.
“If I go hungry…” I had a sharp pain in my neck as the beast sinks its teeth into my throat. I scream loudly as it pulls away and whispers into my ear.
“…you will regret it.” I woke up suddenly looking around hoping my entire experience was a dream, but it wasn’t, the box was in the corner torn apart contents spilled out and the game case open on the TV stand.
I had no choice, from fear of what Lou would do to me I started the game, selected my old file and stared in shock as the hope that this was all a dream faded away, the character selection screen was brought up, Sonic’s face was torn apart, his body twitching as the revealed muscle tissue continued to bleed slowly, one of his eyes was hanging out of socket, the other was missing.
I swallowed a bit of vomit that was rising into my throat and selected the only other character I had unlocked; I scrolled over to Tails and gasped. His facial expression wasn’t the happy go-lucky fox that I know and love, but a dark depressing shadow of the young cub he is, his eyes filled with sorrow that could make the most evil demon cry gently for the suffering he must feel.
It opens with Tails flying his plane through the air testing the new power source, a chaos emerald. His music wasn’t happy and joyful; it was dark, slow, and sad. He didn’t lean over the side of the plain to wave gleefully at sonic as he normally does, and I knew why, there was no sonic to wave to anymore. He crashed the plain as he always did when the game moves normally.
Slowly he crawled from the wreckage retrieving the emerald. He then left the beach walking to the hotel; a young npc with a startled facial expression looked at Tails and said, “Chao…”most of it was corrupted appearing in the kind of text you would see when you encounter Missingno like you see in Pokémon classic, But there was one other word that appeared, “feed.”
I began to try talking to all the npcs I could find but they all said the same thing, “Chao (corrupted) feed”. I began to cry as in the back of my head I heard that satanic voice saying. “Feed me.” I closed my eyes tightly as it kept repeating the phrase, “Feed me.”
Slowly I begin to go through the game playing level after level trying to drown out the looming feeling of evil trying to push me to sacrifice the young Tails to that beast. I grip my eyes shut tightly “N-No, I won’t do that to Tails.” I tell myself. I suddenly drop the controller and let out a yelp when I feel a sharp pain in the back of my head. The voice begins to speak again, “You are MINE!” I begin to cry, not from the pain but from the guilt of what I’m going to put poor Tails through. As Tails approaches the elevator to get up to the chao garden, the pain in my head begins to numb until the doors open and it stops completely.
Tails speaks slowly in a worried voice and in a tone that sounds like the young fox is crying, “P-please don’t do this to me.” A single tear rolls down my face and onto my chin. “I’m so sorry Tails, I have to.”
I wipe the tear away and force him forward into the elevator. The doors close and seal his fate. The screen goes black a slight flash of that terrible face a peace of Sonic’s flesh still hanging from between his teeth. T
he screen fades back in, revealing the elevator opening it shows Tails cowering in the corner at the back of the elevator, claw marks all over the back and sides, his fingers bleeding lightly as it seemed the frantic scratching have torn his nails off. Tails uttered slowly, “I-I’ll be good, I promise!” the camera switches to Lou and his friends the four chao sitting in the same formation they were in when that horrible evolution took place. I began to make Tails walk out of the elevator heading to the triangle.
The leader stood slowly extending his arms as if offering a gentle kind embrace to Tails but that smile showed the deceit. I forced Tails forward and pushed B, instead of lifting the Lou into the air Tails dropped to his knees embracing the creature. Lou’s arms wrap around Tails, with a yip in pain Lou’s claws slip into the fur and eventually the flesh of the young fox’s back.
With a sudden jerking motion Lou tears open his back revealing Tails’s spine and ribcage to the three other chao. Like animals they begin to swarm the injured fox, they violently tear the poor creature apart while the leader stands over the messy pile laughing like it’s a joke. Even though Tails is being torn apart, shrieks of pain can still be heard. After a few minutes hearing the sounds of crunching and tearing, they disperse revealing a mess of what used to be Tails.
I cried throwing the controller onto the floor, shouting at the television as it continued to show Lou laughing at me, he slowly picks up Tails’s heart from the pile and squishes it lightly trying to make it look like it is beating, and offers it to the screen.
“For you…” he says slowly. I scream at the screen with hatred in my voice, “NO MORE!” To which he replies smirking evilly taking a small bite out of the heart in his claws.
“More…” I was confused as I had no other characters unlocked to feed to him. “Now let me help you…” he said slowly, I jump as the screen flashes a new message, Knuckles unlocked.
A small shred of hope dawns upon me, if anyone could kill this thing its knuckles. I didn’t believe it to be honest, but I tried to force myself to.
I thought to myself, “Please be strong enough.” To which I heard a reply from that damn voice, “Don’t bet on it.”
I forgot that he was in my head, now my plan was ruined. I quickly got to the character selection screen, the same disfigured Sonic is shown, but Tails has been replaced by a steaming pile of organs, blood spattered on the floor around the vile pile, this sight did make me throw up. I tried to go get something to clean it but the pain began again keeping me in the seat,
Lou spoke again, “if I must prod my pet to behave, so be it.” I scrolled over and went to select Knuckles, he was a bit discolored the red a bit darker than normal, his gloves were damp as if he has been crying, but this wasn’t what was the worst. His eyes hallow as if his pupils have been taken from him, soulless to the highest definition of the word.
It started with the smashing of the master emerald and the cut scene carried on normally. I quickly did the first few levels carefully avoiding the mystic ruins chao garden, you couldn’t pay me to go in there.
I eventually progressed enough to get into the hotel but first I had to defeat Chaos 3, easy enough but once he left the elevator leading to the fight his prideful face suddenly shrank as he stared out at the camera, “Not me too…” he begged sobbing a little. I made him turn to the elevator; I began to feel the pain again. Soft blue tears began to slip down the echidna’s face, sobbing sounds could be heard but then he says the words that force me to pity him, “I’m afraid…” I begin to cry deeply as the elevator doors close, I hear the laughter from Lou.
He apparently has swallowed his fear because he walks out in a stance that shows he is not afraid; this is short lived because just as soon as he walks out Lou grabs Knuckles by the face using his small wings to lift him in the air. Suddenly he begins to spin at a speed that would only make a large black and red blur visible.
A loud “Crack” is heard fallowed by knuckle’s body flying away from the horrible vortex blood falling like rain from his neck hole, in a circular pattern drenching the other chao in red; one’s mouth is wide open trying to catch as much as he can. Leo casually tosses the severed head to his company laughing deeply and devil like, the kind of laugh that would be burnt into my memory forever.
The three begin to feast upon the flesh from the severed head giggling happily and demonically. Lou flies to the corpse and pulls out his spine wiggling it around like a maraca, he continues while slowly humming a small song as chao do in the normal game. The others take their attention off the severed head and dance to the sounds their master is making.
I cry as the screen flashes with the words, you unlocked, Big the Cat. I look at the old goofy creature on the character selection screen, trying not to look at Knuckles, but curiosity gets the best of me, his body is mangled and torn hanging from a hook that’s suspending him from the roof. I select big who seems naïve to what’s happening to his friends, but it’s shown that all is known when he says, “Please let me see Froggie again.”
The cut scene is normal he lost his darling pet frog and begins to chase it, eventually getting to the town. The hotel is closed and he has to head onto the beach, I quickly catch the frog but instead of holding it up triumphantly, he embraces it crying deeply. “I love you Froggie…” he cries, slowly he leaves the beach walking into the hotel, he puffs his chest out trying not to seem afraid of what will happen next.
He walks out of the elevator when it arrives in the garden looking around, the chao were missing. He began to roam randomly around, then I see him, Lou is lounging against a tree sharpening his teeth with a stick. Slowly he pulls the stick out of his mouth revealing that he was sharpening the stick instead. He exclaims excitedly, “Look guys, Daddy brought us a Piñata!” I choke back a laugh as he refers to me as his father. But my laughter is stopped abruptly when he says his next words, “Let’s see how much candy is inside.”
With a lightning fast jabbing motion Leo buries the stick into Big’s stomach, with a smirk Leo begins to twist the stick roughly coiling Big’s insides around it. Leo yanks the stick out pulling his intestines out with it, Big screams in pain and agony. The chao kicks Big onto his back jumping onto his chest roaring triumphantly. He begins to savagely thrust the spear into Big’s face, splattering blood everywhere. With a small gurgle his chest stops moving and body goes cold. The chao begin to devour the poor cat. Leo’s grin somehow became more maniacal as he says something that made my blood run cold, “One more.” He roars with laughter as it says Amy Rose unlocked.
My heart jumps into my throat as it skips me back to the main menu yet again, I felt tired and thought to myself knowing he was listening, “May I go to sleep Leo?”. A short burst of laughter fallowed by “Trying to delay the inevitable are we daddy?” he said mockingly, I sigh knowing that I would have another nightmare so I just head to the character selection screen.
The sight of Big was one I could barely stand, he was lying on his back, the sharp stick sticking from out from his stomach, but it was the fact his intestines were coiled around tightly around it, that got to me. “I-I’m sorry Big… so sorry.” I said sadly as I began to cry again. I scrolled to Amy and began to study her features, the best way to put how she looked was, afraid, not like the kind of fear of what’s going to happen next in a movie, no this fear was real, so real it struck my heart like a steak piercing through it as a punishment for putting all these cute animals through this pain.
I selected Amy and what she said cut deeper than anything I have heard prior. “Let’s finish this…” she said in a serious voice as she pounded her hammer off the ground, all sense of fear she expressed earlier was gone, I once again had a hope that this could be over. It opened normally Amy walking down the street cheerfully, the music in the background was dark and fearful but that’s about all that was different.
She bumped into the bird who became her traveling companion as the normal cut seen continued. A sigh escaped my lips as I begin to head to the chao garden ready for whatever evil idea Leo had in mind for this poor girl. After entering the elevator a frightful expression spread across Amy’s face as the doors slowly closed.
She walked through the large doors into the garden where Leo was waiting for her; he smiled evilly as he lunged at her knocking her off her feet. He chuckles lightly as he stares into her eyes, “What a pretty face she has, wouldn’t you agree?” he slowly drags his claw across her cheek leaving a small cut. “Would be a shame for anything to happen to it.” He laughed evilly as he began to bash her head off the floor roughly but not enough to do much damage before the bird let out a loud chirp attacking the monster. A loud screech was emitted by the chao as he slapped the bird away and began to savagely tear it apart.
Amy took this chance steadily rising to her feet hammer in hand. She brought the hammer to the side of Leo’s head sending him clear across the room, another screech as he fell to the ground clearly injured. The other three chao roar in anger and lunge at her only to be knocked back by her hammer spin attack. Two get knocked out cold; the third’s head gets taken clean off, his neck spurts a bit of blood as it drops to the ground. She quickly deals with the two disoriented lesser chao by smashing their heads with the hammer multiple times leaving nothing but a sick red paste in remains.
Leo recollected his senses and rose to his feet. A loud enraged roar is released as he jumps for his final kill; Amy quickly leaps out of the chao’s path landing another hammer swing to his side, knocking him out of the air and into the wall headfirst. A cracking noise is heard as he hits the ground. Slowly he begins to speak facing the camera with fear in his dark satanic eyes, “Don’t do this, I was only hungry daddy.” He looked up at Amy in fear as she winds back her hammer staring down at the beaten creature.
I sighed watching as she brought the hammer down upon the creatures head exerting a “Crunch”, she winds the hammer back and repeatedly hits the beast’s head destroying all traces of his facial features. A high pitch screech was emitted as the screen went to static, a long crack shot down the window behind the TV stand as the screen flickered images of all the dead characters before shooting me back to the main menu. Quickly I took the game out of the console putting it back in its case and throwing it into the garbage never to be seen again. I felt as if, I was free, this horrific experience was over.
I went to bed happy that everything was about to go back to normal, I had a nightmare about Leo that night, he didn’t speak to me, just stared with hurt filled eyes the tears of blood flowed sadly down his face. I pitied the creature he extended his arms slowly to embrace me; I turned away and began to walk in the opposite direction. I heard a slight please in a soft innocent voice but I ignored it and kept walking. Slowly I woke up in a few hours looking around frantically.
“I-It’s over, it’s finally over…” I said happily looking outside to see my parents pulling into the drive way, believe it or not I missed them so much and stood to greet them at the door, and then I heard it, that voice, that damn voice.
“It’s not that easy daddy.” Fallowed by evil laughter, and everything went black. My eyes opened several hours later to my mother’s frantic crying and Ron on the phone calling the hospital. I tried to speak but the words were not my own.
“Are you OK Dominic?!” my mother asked embracing me worriedly. An involuntary grin spread across my lips, my teeth sharp to a point as I utter three words against my will that made my blood run cold, “I’m fine mommy...” she smiles looking at me, her worried look is replaced by terror as I finish my statement.
“…just a little hungry.”