This one is about the classic Super Mario Bros for the NES.
I bought an old NES a couple of weeks ago - for nostalgia's sake. Whilst plugging it up to my television, I couldn't help but think about when I had to ask my mother to do this for me so I could play Donkey Kong and Megaman with my big brother. My uncle had heard my news on Facebook about my purchasing an NES and decided to send me a gift - the old copy of Super Mario Bros that I used to watch him play, and sometimes join in. It had always been my favorite. I had been elated when I found it in my mailbox, and promptly proceeded to plug in the system.
Once I had plugged it in and (to my distraught) blown into the cartridge, I pressed it in and grabbed one of the controllers, settling into the couch. I felt the smile fill my face when I saw the starting screen. Once I had picked single player, I felt myself remembering where everything had been in this world. Every secret hidden box, every green 1-up mushroom, every warp zone, everything.
I had played about three hours, laughing at myself where I stupidly died, and getting angry at the points I couldn't pass. It was great. At one point or another, a thought crossed my mind. What if I don't go into all the secret passsages? What if I collect every coin and destroy every enemy? I rubbed the sleep from my eyes, determined to do this. Why wait till tomorrow?
After I had got a cup of coffee and settled back down, I started my little adventure. It wasn't easy - nowhere near it. I almost quit out of frustration many times, but something kept me pressing. I was determined to win this.
I was on the final round. Finally. It had only taken two hours. I had collected every coin. I had stomped every enemy. I had hit the top of each flagpole. I had done EVERYTHING correctly. Nothing could stop me from acheiving this, now.
The castle. Sure it was challenging, but I made it through. Once I hit the axe, and watched as Bowser fell into the lava, a grin broke onto my face. This was it: the perfect game! I watched as the pixelated Mario turned, starting his stride to the Princess.
But... She wasn't there.
My grin faded. What? It was the same stride I had seen in every castle, but there wasn't anyone there. Not even Toad.
What was going on?
Before I could even swear about the glitches, I heard a noise. A clicking noise, almost like a trapdoor. When I glanced back to the screen, I was shocked to see that Mario seemed to be falling. After a moment, he landed.
At this point, I was so confused I was making sure I had drank all of my coffee. Was the sleep getting to me? I shook my head as I looked back to the screen. On the television, Bowser stood, the princess behind him, seemingly tied up from a rope from the ceiling. Bowser stepped towards Mario (who was on the complete other side of an all-too-familiar bridge), and a speech bubble appeared.
"One last game, Mario. If you win, you get her. You lose.... You'll see."
Of course, this was weird. I had beaten the game many times, but... this had never happened...
The axe appeared on the other side of the bridge as normal and Bowser and Mario both stepped onto the bridge. Well, it was just another jump and grab, I thought. Right?
As soon as Mario stepped foot on the bridge, he was bombarded with the flames from Bowser. I tried as hard as I could to dodge the fire, but to no avail. I groaned in frustration, realizing I had lost. I expected the music to play, to indicate Mario's death, but surprisingly, it was silent. Mario had fallen, yes, but he had not disappeared like normal. I watched as the Bowser sprite turned, going to the princess - who was shaking now.
I tried to pause the game, but I couldn't. It wouldn't let me. I would have turned it off, but I was too curious....
I leaned forward as I watched, clasping my hands together in front of my face. Bowser seemed to be thinking as he stared at the princess, then let out a dark, demonic laugh that broke the silence and made me jump.
Now the image changed. It was far more... detailed. Something you don't expect from an NES. It wasn't HD, but it wasn't NES graphics. It was the same scene - Princess Peach tied up, as Bowser looked her over. After a moment, he stepped forward and gently carressed her arm, then gave the same, deep laughter before grabbing her arm and ripping it clean off.
I was taken aback. She had opened her mouth to scream, but no sound came out. At this point, she had fallen, holding where her arm had once been. I myself was covering my mouth, eyes wide in shock. What?! What was going on now?!
Bowser didn't hesitate to lean forward and rip the other arm off in a fluent movement. When the princess fell back, he did the same with both of the legs. I wouldn't had been moved so much (for I am one that laughs in the Saw movie theatres) had it not been for the sounds. The sounds of the flesh tearing from the woman. The blood dripping to the ground. It was terrible.
I had thought I had lost it, when Bowser took the leg in his hands and brought it to his mouth, snapping his jaws down on it. I had heard a sickening CRACK before I turned and vomited.
I vomited until I was sure I couldn't bring up anything more than my stomach, then turned to the screen. I was horrified. Bowsers face was in the television, Peach's head in his mouth. His eyes were red and bloodshot, and all I could hear in my dark home was his demonic laughter and some disembodied screams.
I panicked. I went to the television to turn it off, but it wouldn't. I tried everything to get the image off - I turned off the NES, I unplugged it, everything. Nothing. When I came to the conclusion I wouldn't be able to stop it, I ran out.
Since then, I'd sold the NES and the game. I hadn't returned to my home until about a week after that. I still don't feel safe in my home, and I've considered moving. Of course, I don't have the money. Now, the last image in my mind is of Bowser, his eyes staring me down with Peach's head in his mouth. His laughter still echoes in my mind, everyday.