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I collect retro video games. I have an entire collection of Mega Man games for the NES. All of them are complete in box, except for the fourth game in the series, Mega Man 4. It had been cartridge only for a while now, and the Mega Man series is one of my favorites. So I finally cracked and decided to spend the money for the box due to my love for the series. I found a box on eBay that was $15, about average price for the box and the manual. When I received it in the mail, I was happy to finally beatable to display the entire boxed series on my shelf. I thought that I should do a full play through of the game, commemorating me getting it completed.

I stuck the game into my NES. It started up normally, displaying the story and playing music. After I was done reading the story, I pressed the 'Press Start' option on the menu screen. I chose the 'Toad Man' stage.I noticed Mega Man was a little more bulky than he normally was.

I figured it was a graphical glitch, and continued through the stage. It was all regular, until I got to the boss fight at the end of it. The screen was a giant cluster of pixels all different colors. I could barely depict what was going on behind the clustered mess. Toad Man had used his rain attack, and killed me in one hit. I thought that was weird, because he usually kills Mega Man in four or five hits. And I thought that the pixelated mess on the screen was just another graphical glitch.

I decided since I wasn't that far into the game, I'd clean the cartridge and restart. This time, I killed the boss, but instead of the normal ending to the stage, Mega Man grew even more bulky than before and a subtitle read, "You have grown stronger, Mega Man. This is where I was confused. I thought it over carefully and just couldn't come up with a good explanation.

I continued on to the stage directly beside the current stage I was on, 'Drill Man'. Everything was normal until half way through the stage. I needed to use an energy tank, as this was a difficult stage. But when I used the energy tank, instead of it giving me full health, my health was completely drained and I died. Obviously, this was not a hacked cartridge, as I had played the exact copy of the game many times before. So, eventually I beat the stage, and I got another strange stage ending. It read 'Your Mega Blaster has been upgraded'.

This time when I selected another stage, Mega Man wasn't bigger this time, but his Mega Blaster was quite a bit larger than before. The oddest part was when I tried to shoot an enemy, instead of a normal plasma shot coming out, a HUGE circular plasma shot came out enveloping the whole screen killing everything, including me. I had to go through the whole stage with out shooting a single enemy. Luckily, on the boss, it was back to normal.

I continued on and the rest of the stages all had different, strange endings. I was on the last stage, and when I beat the boss, the odd ending appeared:

"Congratulations, your armour and weapons are at their full power. You truly are a 'Mega Man'".

After this, Mega Man turned into a mixture of colors including yellow, green, brown, and grey. He looked like vomit.

He then jumped up, pointed his Blaster toward me, and fired, A since of pain and suffering I could not describe came over me.

I must've been out for 5 hours. I woke up, and found my boxed copy of Mega Man 4 standing strait up on my NES, and the TV was a rainbow of colors. The box art was not normal, though, it was a drawing of Mega Man shooting his improved Blaster toward a drawing of me and hanging Dr. Light off of a tall tower. His eyes glowed a nasty yellow, and I felt as if the box was penetrating my soul.

I was defiantly going to sell this to keep the evil thing away from me. I grabbed a postage box and threw the game into it. I posted it on eBay for $0.99. Not surprisingly, I sold it for well over $40. But I didn't care what I sold it for ,and I hurriedly shipped the menacing video game. It was only a day later, and I got a knock on the door. The mail man handed me a box, and I opened it. It was that cursed boxed Mega Man 4. I quickly lit it on fire, and threw it into the fire place.

After it burned, I realized that the ashes spelled out something:

"Acquire your armor, you have earned it, fool."

I brushed the words away. I wanted to forget this had ever happened.

A week later, I opened my closet to see what looked like a blue helmet and and electrical circuits as if from a robot. I realized this was Mega Man's helmet, and fled my house. I stayed at a friend's house for about a month, and when I returned to my house it was gone.

It has been over a year since this happened, and I still enjoy playing Mega Man and other video games. But, occasionally, I dream of that boxed Mega Man 4 and wonder if it will ever return.