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Today I moved into my new apartment. A lonely but simple town nonetheless. This town of Cloverfield, Kentucky has never been known for video games. However, while setting up furniture and my belongings, I found an interesting Yoshi’s Story N64 cartridge. It was laying in a secluded bedroom closet. The sticker had been slightly torn off the edge of the cartridge. In the empty space where the sticker had been torn off there were the initials W.P., the previous owner I presumed.

Excited to play, I quickly unpacked and plugged my N64 into the lone television in the front room. I’ve been learning to play Yoshi’s Story again for years. I put the game into my console and turned the system on. I then turned on the television, picked up the controller, and started a new game. It played perfectly, no glitches, no freezes, nothing.

Except for one strange detail. Every time my current Yoshi took damage I heard a faint growl. Thinking that it was my imagination playing tricks on me, I ignored this. I kept playing making it to the third level before my first Yoshi died. Just before I got to the Yoshi select screen I was led to a blank white screen that flashed red with a slight image. I couldn’t make it out at all. “Oh well.” I said to myself as I picked my next Yoshi.

I noticed something strange though. The music had grown gloomy. It made me shiver. It felt as if the music was reaching out to me from through the game. Now when my Yoshi got hurt the growl was louder and angrier. I was confused at what was happening but too curious to turn off the game. Once my second Yoshi died the blank screen flashed red again, the image was clearer now but I was still not able to make anything out of it. So I went on with my third Yoshi. The music transitioned from gloomy to a more angry sound. Just the music sent shivers down my spine. Now when my Yoshi got hurt the growl was louder, angrier, but had an agonizing sound to it. My third Yoshi had died, the screed flashed red yet again. That same image again, showed up slightly clearer but I still couldn’t make it out.

I was shaking and trembling at the loud and intense sounds of the anger and hatred in the music. This time I could hear quiet screams as I played. The growls were louder and enraged. My breathing raced, my hands sweated profusely.

“On to the next Yoshi,” I said to myself as I went on reluctantly. The music continued to progress to a much angrier tone. It became more difficult to breathe at this point. Of course I lost another Yoshi. I rubbed my eyes sighing at this. The screen flashed red again, the image a little clearer. It appeared to be a creature of some sort. I shook my head and chose my next Yoshi.

The growls were loud and the music was enraging. With fierce, angry, demonic sounds. I’ve played the game many times so I was skilled enough to make it to Baby Bowser rather quickly. I needed to land one last hit on him to win. Just before I could do so he ground-pounded me before I could get out of the way. I yelled “NOOOOO!!!!” scared at what would happen next. The Yoshi made a horrifying scream as it died. The most dreadful sound I have ever heard.

Expecting the game over screen, the red flash appeared once again. The image was clear now. It was an enraged Yoshi. It was staring into my soul with such anger and hatred. The Yoshi was growling and snarling. Soon after this the dialogue box popped up and it read “You let them die…my babies! My fury shall rain on you for all of your days…Jimmy”. I gasped shaking. How did it know my name? I thought. I was terrified.

“How could a game do this?” I frantically pondered. I was then sent to an underground dungeon. There were bloody Yoshi hand-prints on the walls, intestines, blood, and flesh spread all over the floors. My body shook, my hands trembled. I told myself this was not possible but once again my curiosity drove me further into this twisted, deranged, hellish experience. I kept going right for what seemed like forever. I saw an opening and made my Yoshi jump in. I was excited to reach a new room but…it was terrifying.

When my Yoshi hit the bottom it made a splat. Its limbs flew everywhere. That’s when I noticed my six Yoshis…they were spread all over the room…in pieces…all of them. Their bodies had been cut, torn, and shred to pieces. Blood trails, guts, intestines, all of their insides were everywhere. I was terrified out of my mind. I dropped the controller as my breathing stopped. Another speech box popped up.

“You…le..let us…DIE!!!”. My eyes watered up and tears ran down my face. I was sobbing at the horror. Then the controller vibrated violently. I looked up at the screen, it read “FEEL OUR PAIN!!!”

I screamed and fell to my knees. I gripped my head…I could feel their pain. I screamed “GYAHHH!” Nothing was happening to my body but it felt as if my body and my insides were being ripped out from inside of me.

That was two years ago. I checked myself into a mental institution but nothing helps. I have nightmares of that dreadful experience every night. If this gets out to anyone don’t let your curiosity get the best of you. It got the best of me, and I suffer for it everyday of my life. Heed my warning.

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