Listen, this isn’t some random, creepy story. This is not a creepy pasta. This is serious. Call me crazy. Or superstitious, or whatever. I know what happened. And I wish I could forget. Okay, let me calm down and start from the beginning. First, my name is Carter. And I’m a pretty serious gamer. But, after a recent event with a certain game, I think I might have to change my habits.
It all started about two weeks ago. I had grew bored over the weekend and didn’t feel like playing any of the games I owned, being that I beat all of them. So I decided to mess around on my computer, trying to entertain myself. And just when I thought there was nothing to do, my friend, John contacted me on skype. He said that he found an emulation for Soul Calibur 2! He said he got for me out of return for a favor. He knew I couldn’t find it on any console I owned and that is was my all time favorite game. I begged him to send me the file ASAP. Once the game was downloaded, I immediately started it up.
Once the game started, it opened with it’s original intro cinematic. It showed all the characters, but Link for some reason. It seemed to have skipped his scene. I shrugged it off and skipped off to the start screen. The only thing I seen that was different was that the announcer’s voice didn’t come and say, “SOUL CALIBUR 2” as usual. Remembering that it was an emulated game, I discarded the thought, figuring whoever had the game first, must’ve cut those things out. Moving onward, I went to arcade mode and looked at the list of characters. As usual, they were all there. Taki, Nightmare, Yunsung, all of them; including Link. I hovered my cursor over each character, seeing their full forms, just for fun. But, once I got to the end and landed on Link, the game crashed. I groaned in disappointment. “Damn game.” I said to myself, starting it up again. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to use Link. He used to be one of the best in the game.
Once I rebooted the game, it started to get a little glitchy. Now, the cinematic was playing really slowly. The music slowed with it and also started to warp. I ignored this and just skipped right to the menu. I again went to Arcade mode and picked Ivy. The first match came up. Ivy vs Nightmare. I hit the X key on my keyboard, like on the gamecube, doing this make’s a character say a line, like, “Out of my way!” or something. But, when Ivy spoke, her voice was muffled almost. I tried to make out what she said, but couldn’t. Once the match started, the announcer wasn’t heard again. He didn’t say anything about a warrior or some cheesy wisdom line. But, the music again was slowed and warped. I found it a bit annoying, but proceeded on with the match. Once it started, I proceeded to deliver a healthy beat-down on Nightmare. Ivy’s fighting was quick compared to his and made him easy to beat. I celebrated a bit and moved on, excited to keep playing.
I’ll admit, everything was going great. I beat Taki, Talim, Necrid, and Cassandra. I was on a roll! Then the sixth match in a row started. And it looked like I was going to fight Link. But, once the characters’ shadow’s came up, the game crashed before they loaded. But, as it did, I looked over at Link. Just before the game went out, he seemed to have red eyes. I was unsure at first, being that it was just a short glimpse. But, all the same, I started the game up just one more time. I went to Vs mode this time. I figured I’ll just do a quick fight before quitting. As I scrolled through the characters again, a strong feeling of concern came over me for some reason. I scrolled over to Link. I made sure to look closely at him before the game crashed once again. Again, I get just a glimpse of him just before the crash. It was then that I had an idea. I loaded the game up one last time and went to arcade mode. I hovered one finger over the print screen key before hovering over Link’s picture. I quickly slammed the print screen key, just before the game crashed. I went to photoshop on my desktop and posted the screen cap. To my surprise, I seen that I was right about Link having red eyes. I tried to adjust the quality of the image to better see it. Then I seen that everything about Link, but his eyes were black. His clothes, skin, hat, sword, everything. But, what got me worse, was his position. Usually, the characters face to the left or right, depending on what side you were on and which player you were. But, Link…..was looking right at me. To be honest, this freaked me out. I quickly deleted the image, thinking it was just my imagination. I looked at the time on my monitor. It was late. I hadn’t noticed how tired I was til gave a long yawn. I closed the game, shut down my computer and went up to bed.
The next morning I awoke, thinking about Link from the game. I tried to recall the events of the game and figured that the night was getting to me. Link’s shadow? That was a weird notion.
I logged back into my Skype afterwards, finding my friend was still on. “Hey.” I said to him. “Hey.” He said. “Is the game working right for you? It won’t start up for me.”
“Works just fine on my end. It’s just that Link won’t load.” I told him. “Everytime you try, the game crashes.”
“Where did you say you get the file from again?”
“Um, it was in a file I found on this new computer I got.”
“Oh yeah. You did say you got a new one. Where from?”
“This pawn shop. The asshole clerk said that it was clean. But, then I found the game on it. Surprised it works for you.”
“Yeah. Well, I guess that’s all I wanted to know.”
“Okay then. See you.”
“See you.” We ended the talk there. I sat and thought about what he said. The game wasn’t working for him? If it was on the computer, it should’ve. Dismissing the thought, I decided to play the game again.
When I tried to open the game, a small window popped up, saying, “You do not have enough disk space to run program. Please clear out drive.” That was odd. Didn’t have this problem last night. I went through my computer to delete anything that I wasn’t using. Of course, there wasn’t much, but the same window kept popping up. Finally, I decided to check my pictures. I knew there was nothing in there to delete, but I checked anyway. “What the hell!?” I said, seeing the pictures. They were screen shots of the game. Or to be more specific, screen shots of Link. But, again it was the Link’s shadow skin. Red eyes, black skin and attire, everything. There were at least 20 pictures. Some were the same. Link’s shadow posing at the character select. The rest were of him attacking different characters in the game. Quickly, I deleted them all, but saved one to show my friend.
When I went back on Skype to tell my friend, he wasn’t on. He must’ve went to work. I stayed logged in and looked at the one picture I saved. It was like the screencap I took last night. Link looking dead at me. The picture’s name was just a bunch of random letters and numbers. Just from finding all this crap here, disturbed me. I closed the image and started the game up again, curious to see if I could play as Link, judging from the pictures. Once the game started, I went to the arcade mode and went to select Link. To my surprise, the game didn’t crash. Link also came up as himself. Upon selecting him, he did his usual strike, but something was wrong with his voice too. It was muffled, but I could still make out what he said. And it sounded like “help”.
My first fight was against Ivy. When it started, Ivy just started to move backwards, as if hoping to get away from Link. I still went ahead and attacked anyway. She of course fought back, but I was too good at the game to lose. Hours passed till I reached the final boss. The usual cut scene played, but instead of Inferno appearing, it was Link’s shadow. Even being early graphics, I could see what I guessed was horror on Link’s face. As soon as the match started, Link seemed to take control and back away from his doppelganger, like Ivy did. Link’s Shadow seemed to have Link’s usual move set, but he was faster, stronger. One strike took just ¼ of my health away. I soon enough regained control of Link and countered evil one. He took the usual amount of damage. I tried to block all of his attacks and attack when I saw an opening, but that didn’t work. He was still too fast.
After Link’s Shadow took down my last drop of health, he didn’t stop. Even when the announcement of the match being over was announced. He just kept striking till the real Link fell to the ground. Soon enough round two started. Link again, tried to back away from the fight, but his opposite, just kept coming, attacking with what seemed to come to no end. I tried to fight him off again, but I lost. This time, when he beat me, he didn’t stop. This time, he ran Link through with his sword like 6 times before letting him fall to the ground. That’s…not part of his moveset. I thought to myself.
The screen didn’t fade to the game over screen though. Link’s Shadow looked up from his victim and right to me. I was honestly really fucking scared now. But, this was just a game. No. A hack. That’s the only explanation. My train of thought was cut of by someone speaking. “Are you scared?” It said. I looked around to see who it was. But, then I turned back to my monitor to find Link’s Shad0w, staring at me, his whole face taking up the screen. “Are you scared?” He repeated. I hesitantly shook my head. “Are you sure?” He asked. I shook my head again. He smiled. “Are you having fun, Carter?” He asked. “Did you have fun beating everyone here senseless till it was your turn?”
“What the hell?” I said, moving away from the keyboard.
“Wasn’t it fun?”
“…What the hell do you want from me?”
“I just want to make sure you’re having fun. You seemed to like the game, so I just made it more fun for you.”
This was getting disturbing. He flashed another grim smile at me. I quickly closed the game and deleted it. I deleted the image I saved, too. I don’t know what was wrong with the game, but if it was part of a sick joke, it wasn’t funny.
A few hours later, my friend logged back on. I quickly messaged him, demanding to know why he gave me something so sick.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” He said.
“Don’t feed me that bullshit.” I snapped. “What did you do with this game? You sent this hacked piece of shit to scare me?”
“Dude, I honestly have no idea what you mean. Are you talking about the Soul Calibur?”
“Yes. The game knew my name and everything.”
“‘Okay?’ Dude, that was just wrong!”
“Okay. Okay. Whatever. Look I told you, I just found it on my laptop. Okay? I deleted the game after I sent it to you so I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
I wanted to say more, but he’d just think I was crazy. I logged out of Skype and shut off my computer. It was late again, so I figured I’d go to bed.
That night, I could barely get a wink of sleep. I kept waking up from a bunch of nightmares. And they were all of that damn game. Each time I was a different character and I was beaten nearly to death by Link’s Shadow. Each time, he would laugh and hack at me with his sword till I woke myself up. This never ended. It’s been 4 months since, I played that game and all my dreams are the same. They’re all just full of Link’s Shadow murdering me. Laughing, with those pure red eyes of his beaming into me. I’ve looked for help from psychiatrists and whatever other help I could afford.
I don’t know what’s going on. Ever since that damn game, I can’t sleep. And now, I’m seeing Link’s Shadow everywhere I go. Like he’s stalking me. Usually shaking my head and closing my eyes work and I realize it’s just a hallucination. I think he’s looking for me. I don’t know why, but he seems bent on tormenting me. But, it’s hard to be sure anymore. So please, take this as a warning. Believe me or not, Soul Calibur 2 is evil. Even if you have an old copy. Link’s Shadow is there. And if you see him, he won’t ever leave you alone.