Monday, January 28, 2013

WHA Leak

My name is Nick Taylor. This is probably the last time you will ever read that name or hear of me. This letter is to the world, which is why I'm posting it up here, for everyone to see.

Oh, and I don't want you all to freak out. I'm not about to die.

At least, I don't think so.

About two months ago, in the Summer, I was rummaging around some yardsales for cheap used games. Prices were just getting too high to keep buying them new, and sometimes there are some real obscure but awesome games lurking around the used bins. So I picked up a copy of some PC game. Looked like some kind of anime game, maybe a dating sim which I'm not really all that into. But it was only fifty cents, and still had all the inserts, so I figured that even if I didn't like it, I could flip it for some fast cash. Easy money.

When I got home, I kinda just forgot about it. I was packing for college, and I was already blazing through another game, so this one just fell out of sight and out of mind. Until I started unpacking and there it was, sitting at the top of the stack. I'd beaten that last game (which was an awesome Western shooter, btw) and was between titles, so I thought now would be a good time to give this one a try. If I liked it, I could get hooked to it without ditching another game. I needed a new game, and here was the opportunity.

So I pop open the lid, pull out the game. The CD was a little creepy. All pink and glittery with a pair of those big anime eyes googling at you from each side of the laser, all dolled up with eyeliner and long lashes. But that wasn't the weird part. Beneath the game was a blank disc, with no defining marks so I don't know if it was a CD or a DCD or what. Most games are DVD-R, right? It must have been that. Anyways, it was blank. All white, no brand, no disc type. Nothing but the words “WHA Leak” scribbled across the side in green marker.

I shrug and put the Japanese game off to the side. Hentai would just have to wait. Just planning to poke around the disc a little and see if there were any pictures or something on it, I slide it into the disc tray and watched it vanish behind the plastic door. I waited a minute for the computer to read the thing, expecting an auto-launch prompt to appear. My screen flickered once, zoomed up into a higher resolution. I always hate when programs do that. Get that momentary freak out because you think the computer is about to crash. Staring at the Paint icon blocking up the whole damn screen. Blue Screen, here I come!

But no, no Blue Screen here. Instead my screen flashed and up came the title menu. All red with crude, eye-burning yellow text that read: “Welcome Home, Asshole.” Beneath that were two options: “Start” and “Pussy Out.” A severed 16-bit head dripped a looping pair of red pixels and served as my cursor for the start menu. No music or sound except for an almost pleasant “blip” when I moved the head up or down. Not thinking much of it, I hit “Enter” and was tossed into the first stage of the game.

The first level reminded me of something from the 90's, like a SNES game. Old school graphics, blips and bloops for sounds. It was some kind of overhead game, like Resident Evil or something. There were poorly drawn bodies strewn across a lawn, most of them missing limbs. Oddly enough for an old game, the grass was animated and so was the character's hair, which seemed to move when a wind code was randomly activated. That was pretty neat, I thought.

My character was a little dude just kind of jogging around all these dead bodies, and I eventually found my way into a little town. The town was full of happy people, all drawn with cartoonishly exaggerated smiles. I tried interacting with them, but nothing seemed to work so I kept exploring. In an alley there were two dumpsters, and usually in these kinds of games there are items in those so I looked inside. My character hopped right into the trash can, and the familiar pipe sound from the Mario games played.

The screen faded to black, then faded back. I was in some kind of sewer-looking area, all grungy with green and brown colors and paper and trash everywhere. There was a destroyed couch of some kind, an I made my little guy go sit in it. The TV popped on and a demonic clown with pointed teeth danced around. A text bubble popped out of the TV, in big flashing text saying: “WELCOME HOME, ASSHOLE!”

Tiny little “Z”'s appeared over my character's head, and the screen faded again. When it came back I wasn't in the sewer place anymore, but in some kind dormitory. It was dark, and everything was shaded with blue and black pixles. An inventory popped up saying I had a knife now and I could use it by pressing “X” on the keyboard. That was cool.

I wandered around the building for a bit, trying the doors. Most of them were locked, but I managed to get into one room. There was a girl inside hanging posters or something, whatever NPCs do in their free time. When I entered the room, she screamed, demanding to know who I was. I couldn't figure out how to make my character talk, and eventually the girl started screaming for me to get out. All in bubble letters, of course. When I didn't move, she threw something at me. My health went down a block. Other people began entering the room, the entire left side of the screen filled with text bubbles.

Someone came forward and punched my guy, knocking my health down again. If I wasn't careful, he was going to die. So I used the knife, and I was actually kind of surprised when the other human died. I guess the NPCs were all enemies, or something. Realizing that I was surrounded by enemies, are started cutting them down. The poster girl, the group of people. They started to run away after the first couple were killed, and I couldn't keep up with them. The third one dropped a health pick-up, which I took gratefully.

After that all the doors in the building were locked and there were no NPCs around. I eventually found the exit and stepped out into a campus. The other buildings all had lights on in the windows, so I directed my little guy over to one. Up some stairs, check the rooms. Then I came to a room that made me laugh. There was a little nerd in the corner, playing on a computer. Boxes scattered about in every direction, clothes spread on the bed. I went over to talk to the kid, maybe he could give me some direction.

I felt a light tap on my shoulder. Startled, I jumped almost out of my seat. Figuring it was my roommate spooking me (he was one for such pranks) I spun around to yell at him. Behind me, knife in hand, blood on clothes, was my 16-bit avatar, waiting for his next command.

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