My parents and I walked down the cemetary in the middle of the cold rain. Everything was gray, not a bit of color to surround any area around us. My mom and dad were crying, I was just speechless. We continued to walk through the somber graveyard, until we stopped. We stopped at a stone. It was a gravestone of course, but we all fell silent at it. This was what it spelled.
Here lies Brandon Eriks.
A great son and brother.
Yes, that is my brother, and he is no longer with us. He took his own life, which my family and I can't understand why. He was 26 years old, lived in a small house (which he rented), and he never really seemed to have any problems. Or, maybe he did, and we just didn't realize it. My mom kneeled down and said a prayer, my dad and I just remained silent. It was just 30 seconds of silence. The only sounds were the rainfall and my mother's wimpering. After that time, my mother made the sign of the cross and we walked away. We both got into the car and drove to his house, where there were items he left us in his will.
When we got there, there was the key under the mat, so we opened the door and entered. For mom and dad, it appeared to be a sum of money he invested and some other miscellaneous items. For me, he left me his NES and his games. I accepted it, but still wondered why mom and dad got everything when all I got was the NES. I didn't mind though, because I LOVED Nintendo. I was a Nintendo nut. When we acquired everything, we got in the car and drove home. When we arrived, I went up to my room to hook up the NES, I knew that my brother would want me to play it and have fun.
I plugged in the console and immediately opened the box of games. When I opened it, I was disappointed. In the entire box was only one cartridge. When I took the cartridge however, my disappointment turned into joy. It was a copy of Mega Man 2, in mint condition! I was a Nintendo nut, but my all time favorite video game series was Mega Man. I played Mega Man X, Mega Man Zero, Mega Man: Battle Network. I loved them all! And now, I'm playing the original Mega Man 2! This was so awesome! But one thing confused me a bit, this game was in MINT condition, it doesn't look like it has been played once. Also, the NES looks kind of new as well. One thing occurred to me however. If Brandon were to get an NES, why didn't he play the games? I soon brushed this off and put in the cartridge, waiting for the epicness that was Mega Man 2.
When I turned on the console, I was immediately greeted with the soothing melody of the intro, giving a little backstory of Mega Man and how he has to stop Dr. Wily. Soon, the screen was going up the building, music building up. And, boom! Awesome music plays with Mega Man standing on the building. I selected normal mode to start the game, and with that, Mega Man got acquired his helmet and teleported off the screen. I then hit Start and was brought to the boss menu. I know a lot of people decide to beat Metal Man first to get the Metal Blades, but I decided to do my own boss order. So the first boss I decided to fight, Wood Man.
I selected Wood Man, his boss intro played, and I was teleported to his forest stage. I walked along the stage, shooting up Bubble Bats and Robbits. When I came up to the parts with the Hot Dogs (Giant fire-breathing robot dogs), I played it careful, but eventually defeated them. I then got up to the part with the platforms, where I had to avoid the Pipis and Monkings. I shot them and got back on the terrain. Then the strangest thing happened to me. When you get back on the terrain, there will be a dead end with a ladder there that you have to go down. I was deciding to screw around, so I jumped before the ladder and hit the wall. Instead of just normally hitting a wall and getting back on the ground however, Mega Man went into the wall, shot out from the other side of the screen, and went INTO the terrain pallete. I was dumbfounded when this happened, but I tried to find a way out. Mega Man could still move and jump, but now when I pressed the B button, he would raise his Mega-Buster and making the shooting noises, but nothing would come out. I just jumped around like an idiot for a while until I accidentally hit Down on the D-Pad. This caused Mega Man to go down a ladder, but there was no ladder there. Curiosity overtook me and I went down the ladder. Right as Mega Man climbed down, he disappeared from the screen with the dying sound playing. I then respawned, but I was just wondering what the fuck just happened.
That was when it occurred to me, did I discover a new glitch? I went past the platform part and went to the wall, I jumped against it, but nothing happened. I knew something had to happen, so I continued to jump against the wall. Finally, after about 6 minutes, I was in the wall. Mega Man was now walking backwards, so I just continued jumping to the right and eventually got the glitch to work again. Mega Man was absorbed by the wall and shot out from the other side into the terrain. I went over to where the ladder was supposed to be, Mega Man climbed down it, and the dying sound was heard as he disappeared. This was awesome. Not only was I playing the original Mega Man 2, but I also found a new glitch in the game. Due to there being an invisible ladder where Mega Man will die when climbing down, I decided to call this "The Ladder to Hell" glitch. That is when I decided I must capture this on video, so I got my camcorder and turned it on. Unfortunately, it was almost dead, so I had to make the most of it. I respawned, got the platform part over with and started jumping against the wall. I turned on my camcorder and started taping it. Although it did take me a while, I was able to pull off the glitch. Mega Man shot into the terrain and I walked down the Ladder to Hell. Causing Mega Man to die. Once I pulled off the glitch, my camcorder died, but I was able to save the footage before it died. I will upload it later.
Well, since I used up my 3 lives, I guess it was now off to the title screen, but no. Instead, I was greeted with the strangest screen I have ever seen. At first, the screen was dark for about 10 seconds. Then, in the middle, a Mega Man head appeared, looking like like how the 1-ups looked in the game. Except this one had no helmet, had red hair, and instead of the smiling face a 1-up face would have, it had a stern face, an emotionless face. What disturbed me the most was its eyes, they were blank white with no pupils or anything. For 20 seconds, it just stared at me with those eyes. I felt a wave of uneasiness flow through me, I felt intimidated by this...face. At the same time, I had another feeling. I felt a presence, a presence from the face, a presence I know I've felt before. After those 20 seconds, the face then changed from an emotionless look, to an evil and terrifying smile. Bold text came on for about 3 seconds. I was able to read the text. It read:
"Thanks for the help Buffy!"
Buffy, I swear to God I've heard that name before. Where have I heard it though? What was happening with this game? What the hell was that thing? I had questions, questions which I know could not be answered. So I just decided to shake off that experience and continue with the game. Any gamer would turn the game off at that point, but I thought it was just a hidden screen Capcom put in for hackers, like the hidden screen for Sonic CD. When I got back to the boss menu, I picked Metal Man, as I had had enough of Wood Man's theme for one sitting. I selected Metal Man, the boss intro played and I was teleported to the Industrial stage. I ran across the tread floors and continued on with the stage. This was when I noticed something, the enemies were gone. Not one enemy was in sight. I continued on with the stage and eventually got to the boss door. I enetered the boss door to walk into the area before the boss, which acted as a checkpoint. But as I continued to fight Metal Man, Mega Man paused in the middle of the room, the level theme went silent. The sounds of the charging and firing of a charge shot were heard, then the dying noise that the bosses made as they exploded was heard. When it appeared to be over, I walked into the boss room, the floors were no longer moving and Metal Man was nowhere in sight. However, there was a square sprite in the middle of the room. I walked over to the sprite and touched it. Upon doing so, a screen popped up. It was the same dark screen with that same face, except the text was different.
"You're too late Sap!" It read.
There it is again. That familiar presence, that familiar name. What does it all mean? Also, if it was this thing that killed Metal Man, why did he do it? What did this thing want from me? As I progressed through this game, my questions started getting more and more abundant. I feel like if these questions are going to be answered, I will have to keep playing. When the screen disappeared, Mega Man teleported out of the stage. As always, I was given the optiom to Continue or get a Password. I chose Continue to get back to the boss screen. When I got there, there was no music and I couldn't move the cursor. I heard charging noises for a Buster, and then a sound that I can only describe as sounding like the sound effect to PK Thunder in Mother 1 (Earthbound Zero), except the sound lasted for about 8 seconds. A screen then flashed showing the remaining 7 robot masters exploding and dying. The screen then faded and cut to a black screen of text verses, it said:
"Please! I give up! Don't hurt me!"
"You are one of them, one of the last things that he would care about. Now get up!"
"GET UP YOU OLD FUCK!"
I was shocked when this screen popped up, my mouth was gaping open. I knew that one of the voices was that thing that killed everything, but what was that other voice. Was that Dr. Wily? "One of the last things he would care about." Was that referring to me? What the hell is going on in this game!? Then, the symbol for the Wily levels appeared in the middle of the screen, so I selected them reluctantly and started the levels. I was terrified at this point, but I still continued. Instead of the cutscene where it showed Wily in his UFO flying to his castle, it just teleported Mega Man to the last level, the cave. I walked through the cave level, avoiding the red drops from the ceiling that would cause damage. The lack of music and all of the experiences leading up to this gave me an incredibly uneasy feeling. When I finally got to the boss door checkpoint, I walked through the door leading to the boss and prepared for a fight. When I entered the boss room where the fight would take place, I felt my heart stop a bit. In the middle of the room, was the full sprite of that thing that was tormenting me the whole game. It looked just like Mega Man, except its armor was dark instead of blue, and it still had its terrifying facial features. Next to him was Dr. Wily, he was on his hands and knees begging for mercy like when you beat him. Wily kept begging and begging until I saw the evil Mega Man shake his head in disappointment. He then raised and charged his buster. Then screen went black as I heard the same PK Thunder sound from earlier, but at the same time, I heard what I believed was an 8-bit scream.
The screen switched back, Dr. Wily was gone. The evil Mega Man turned to Mega Man, raised his buster and began charging. I tried moving, hitting every button rapidly, I was terrified beyond anything and I was panicking. I couldn't move, and then, he fired his buster. A huge blast of red, hellish looking beams hit Mega Man, more 8-bit screaming was heard as Mega Man's sprite dissolved in the beams. When there were no other characters on the screen except for "it". The damn thing looked at me with those empty eyes. The screen started to fade to black, only to reappear showing the thing as a detailed 8-bit image, like how Mega Man looked in the cutscenes of his later games. The image showed the head, shoulders and torso of the thing. Its smile was filled with sharp teeth, red hair was all messy, and the eyes were still empty white that pierced the soul. A text box suddenly appeared on the top, while a response feature with letters to use was at the bottom, so I guess I was going to talk to this thing? Dear God, why? What did I get myself into? Well, here is the conversation.
"Why are you doing this?"
"Oh what, I can't play with my favorite Buffy?"
"Why do you keep calling me those names?"
"You honestly don't remember? Typical."
"Who are you!?"
"Hm, and here I was thinking we were brothers, Aaron."
Brothers? What? How did it know my name? Was this thing...Brandon? No, impossible! There is no way!
"Of course, Sap. You were always a bit slow, Buffy."
I remember now. "Buffy" was what I called him as a toddler, since I couldn't pronounce brother. I was never really as smart as him and was never the most athletic, so he called me "Sap". Dear God, this thing, this demon, is my brother.
"Brandon? Why are you doing this to me?"
"You were always the favorite one. You always took Mom and Dad's attention. When it was my birthday, they forgot about it to watch your stupid school play. When I had my High School graduation, they were off getting you prepared for some stupid end of the year dance for your school. What really broke me, was when they didn't even show up to my college graduation to watch your championship track meet. They were never there for me because you were the golden boy. It was because of you why I suffered years of depression. Then, I remembered how much you liked Nintendo, so, I got you these gifts, and did a little something to them."
I was speechless, all of these years I caused my brother so much pain. While I just happily continued life without caring. I had no idea what to say at this point, so I ended up asking a stupid question.
"What did you do to this game?"
"I know you can't resist the good old glitches in games, so I made one, only for you to bring out the demon which you created."
"You hacked it?"
"A little something more than that, complicated to explain."
"Brandon, I'm so sorry."
"...You're sorry. You make my life Hell, and you're sorry!? You ruin me! You kill me! And you're FUCKING sorry!? You little shit! You don't deserve to live. Do you have any idea of the pain you've caused me? The torment!? You ruined my life, it is because of you why I am dead. You killed me, you caused Mom and Dad's unhappiness! Just do us a favor, and KILL YOURSELF!"
I didn't respond, I was too busy crying. He was right, about everything.
"Well, it seems like I got to you. Just think it over, all of the damage you've done. I hope you suffer like I did. Now, good-bye Aaron, see you in Hell."
The image of Brandon then changed to show him holding the Mega Buster up to his head. It charged up, then the screen went black. The thundrous shooting noise booming through my speakers, nearly giving me a heart attack.
It has been 2 weeks since then. I can't take it anymore. I don't deserve to live. I killed my brother, ruined my family forever, what kind of non-human fuck does that? I am preparing my noose right as I write this. I can't live life anymore. Mom, Dad, I'm sorry for what I've done, for killing Brandon, for doing so much harm. I hope you can forgive me. Brandon, please forgive me. I never meant it, but now I'm going to Hell like I deserve to. Good-bye everybody.