Looking for an Old Game

March 19, 2013 at 12:00 AM
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Posted: January 11th 2013, 9:02 PM

Hey, I’m still kind of new here. My name’s Matt, and I’m looking for an old game that my dad and I used to play together on the SNES, taking turns switching the controller over after the other died. I remember the game-play pretty well, I just can’t seem to remember the title of the game or what the cartridge looked like, aside from having the main character on it. Figured I’d play the game for old time’s sake when my dad was still here…=/ All I remember in the title is it had the word Mayan somewhere in it, I think.

The game itself had a kind of darker background and atmosphere to it, and that’s probably why I remember it so well, compared to all the other brightly colored games from Nintendo, like the Super Mario Bros games. In the corner of the screen, there was a crocodile that’s mouth gradually closed down on your character as you got closer to dying. To progress, you climb up vines on trees or jump on spider webs, and find your way around like a maze of of the jungle, and they had some sand traps that opened and closed on the ground, as well as different animals that would attack you on your way, like snakes, monkeys, crocodiles, a boar and I think a jaguar at the end that was like the boss in the first level. You collected things like rocks or pouches full of them that you sling at the animals, and I think a bomb and whip as well. I thought it was something like Indiana Jones at first, but turns out it wasn’t.

My dad and I used to play for hours to get away from the little annoying chores around the house and school work for me, we were really close then. =) But after a while… he moved out after a big fight with my mom and I only got to see him once in a while, but sadly, each time I saw him, he seemed to be losing touch and his actions became more and more rash, and just oddly out of character for him…He left one day without even saying anything about why or where he was going. And I moved into his old apartment when it was available, since he had left some stuff there that I was hoping he would come back to.

So, this is really important to me, we haven’t spoken in over two years now, and its the only thing I have that’s still a good memory with him that my mother hasn’t ruined that I can hopefully share with my son in a few years. He was just born October, I named him after my father, Allen. =) I’ve tried looking through the few boxes of games he kept in his room, but no luck finding it. I wonder if he took it with him, wherever he went. But I just got a call from a storage company in the next town over that says payment for his bin is overdue, which I didn’t even know he had. So I’m going to check that out within the week, or they might auction it off, so I’ll see if there’s anymore games or family pictures or anything of personal value in there. It would help out a lot if any of you could tell me what the game was called, so I know what to look for. It would be very much appreciated. I don’t know what happened to the SNES either, maybe its in there, if not I could probably just buy it on eBay or something if I find the game.

Posted: January 13th 2013, 5:33 PM

Well, I’m back…and I found it, Pitfall. I’m a bit shaken up after all the weird shit that’s gone on from this though. I couldn’t very well have typed all this out in such little time, so I’ve started up my voice-to-text program to tell what’s happened. Which brings me to ask this, since I don’t remember having these experiences from the game ever before…Has anyone else had strange experiences with this game that they couldn’t find an easy explanation for? I mean, I know some of it could be explained if its just a hacked game or whatever, but truth be told I wasn’t scared by most of the images, or texture changes in the game. There were however these really odd noises that I’ve never heard before, that didn’t even sound human. And there were strange things going on around me, with my senses, and in my dreams…I’ll be honest, because I must sound like some kind of hippy right now, I don’t really believe in ghosts or paranormal phenomenon or anything like that, but I can’t find any rational explanation for what this game seems to have done, it’s gone far beyond breaking the fourth wall and I don’t know what’s going to happen next, which terrifies me. Maybe I’m just going crazy, I’d just be happy to know that that was true. But considering I’ve recently seen a psychologist for a routine check-up, since I usually have alot of stress in my job and daily life, and having been told a couple weeks ago my mind was just as sharp as any other person’s, I just don’t get it. What’s happening to me, it’s not normal, it can’t be.

Okay, let me try to explain what I’ve experienced in a bit more detail if that helps. See, I didn’t have a car to go check the storage containers a couple days ago, I usually just borrow my roommate’s car to get to and from work, and to see my wife and son sometimes. But he’s been away for vacation this last week. And…I just couldn’t wait to play the game, so I found a download for a Super Nintendo emulator that worked fine, and a download for Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure.exe on Piratebay the next morning after my last post. It took a while to download, because I’m using a crappy Asus laptop. But it played fine at first, just like I had remembered it. Aside from my father not being there, I was having fun figuring out the tricks to the game again and the controls on my computer were simple enough.

I would go into more detail of the gameplay at the beginning, but just play the game for yourself and you’ll see its not the most complicated game there is, I don’t want to bore you with detailed explanation of hours of gameplay, and don’t feel I have too much time left before my turn is up, so I’m speaking to my speech-to-text program and just going to use the spell-check with it, while its still fresh and clear in my mind. Here’s hoping it gets it right. But I have to know if anyone else has experienced any of this and if so, how to stop it, or at least I can hope to help other people avoid the same fate I fear my dad and I are going through now. I know he’s still alive, he has to be…I know it now.

Well, if you’ve ever played this game, you know that every time it froze on a Super Nintendo system, whether from the cartridge having dust, or you accidentally moving the system an inch, you would have to reset the game and start over no matter where you were. After I had been playing for a while, I was trying to be thorough playing through the levels and as soon as I got up to 443,550 points, with three pouches left, and two lives, the game on my laptop froze and the game crashed altogether. I was pissed off at first, but I noticed something when I went to the files to launch the game again, there was another file added that said, “HeyBuddy”. I hadn’t really thought about it at the moment, but that’s usually how my dad would address me as a kid. Out of curiosity, I clicked the file and it opened a box of text that said, “Your turn is up.” Which I remembered my dad and I used to say to each other when the other had died.

It was a bit strange for me, to say the least, but it…the program, started itself up after I went to close the text-box. I noticed the three lights on the bottom of my laptop, that were usually white, green, and flashing white from left to right were now all solid red, which I’d never seen before as my computer started making that noise it makes when it gets heated up after being on for a while, but it was louder than it usually is. I didn’t mind it much, it just sort of stuck out in my mind for a moment. The screen was just black for a while, so I figured it was going to crash again…but then the animation before the title screen of the game popped up and played like it does whenever you reset. The text played normally, as I expected, but when the shadow of the boy’s father shows up at the doorway, it isn’t grabbed by anything, the shadow actually looked like his dad was stabbed and he fell to the floor. The boy didn’t exclaim “DAD!” he asked “Dad?” and ran towards the door. He was pulled through the door by something I couldn’t see on the screen and red lines ran down the stone face in the room the boy was in as static started playing…it was obnoxious. I didn’t realize until a little later that the red lines were supposed to be blood. Until red ran in through the door in a small puddle I guess it was, from where the boy’s father fell to the ground and where the boy was abducted. It was a bit odd, and unexpected.

Honestly, at this point, I wasn’t very scared though, it did seem odd and nothing like I remembered, but I thought it was pretty cool that someone was making this a more interesting game-play experience and potentially changing the story line, though this was a Super Nintendo game…there wouldn’t be much story line anyway. And since I’d pretty much beaten it in the previous play-through before it crashed, I actually hoped there was more, and unfortunately I was right. I moved over to options at the title screen, because I wanted to see if the controls were as I had set them before it reset, but the static sound picked up, as if the game was getting angry with me and the cursor moved itself over to play and it was selected.

At this point, I was just hoping my computer didn’t have some kind of virus from downloading the game. It wouldn’t be the first of my computers getting a virus from something like that. But this was an entirely different virus from anything I had seen before, if it was a virus that is. Maybe just an exceptionally good programmer.

The static sound stopped as soon as the screen transitioned to black and came up with the screen that said the first level name, “Ceiba Jungle”. Once it showed the play screen with the character, I saw the character wave to me, I paused for a moment and awkwardly waved back…I don’t know why I did, I just felt compelled to for some odd reason. The level looked exactly the same. But then, I noticed something, the main character looked different, he looked like he was trying to talk to me, and like he was in a panic at the same time. I felt the same for a split second, and when he tried to talk to me I realized…that was a sprite of my dad on the game. This brought a mix of emotions to me that were disturbing, part of me felt hatred for him leaving, partly was happy to see him there like we were playing the game together again, and the last part was the onset of genuine fear and paranoia. I thought, maybe someone was messing with me, and who was watching my life and doing this to me and why?

I pressed escape over and over again, trying to close the game and even tried to manually turn my computer off by holding down the power button, but nothing was working. And the character on the screen, he was still silent, there was no sound as he ran to the left of the screen, he ran straight into a tree trunk with a thud and fell to the ground a couple times. What scared the fuck out of me was that every time he did, I heard a slam against the door down the hall, in time with the game. When he stopped, it stopped. My heart was racing by now, and I rushed to look out the window overlooking the front door, but there was nothing, absolutely nothing and no one at the door, and I was the only one in the apartment. I was pretty scared to say the least, and half-expecting him to be there. I stood there for a minute, baffled, thinking I was going insane.

I ran back over to my laptop and wanted to see more of what was going to happen, but the character was gone. And as soon as I sat down, the game crashed again, and when I went to re-launch the file, it gave me another phrase that said; “YourTurnSon.” I clicked it, it read: “You’ll soon find out why.” I was a bit confused at that, but I didn’t want to restart the game, I was done with this weird shit. It did the same as before, it launched itself, went to black, then skipped the intro and went straight to the menu. And again, it wouldn’t let me press escape or manually turn off the computer. So I figured I’d outsmart it, I closed the laptop and unplugged it, hoping the battery would die soon and the next day I’d have it reformatted to get rid of the obvious virus. But it wasn’t that simple, even though I had muted my sound the last time it crashed, I heard a loud scream coming from my laptop, it was a scream of torment and torture, and it sounded like it was in my dad’s voice. I panicked and threw the laptop at the wall, but it got louder. I’m surprised my crappy laptop still works to be honest. It didn’t stop until I opened it up again and pressed play.

When it came to the first level again, I immediately noticed the level was different, everything was black and white, the only thing separating the black things and background was all the outlines traced in white. I couldn’t really tell if my character looked the same as before or not. But I also saw my health, it usually always started you at three lives, but it started me with two this time. I heard something that sounded like a record playing something in reverse…That didn’t bother me so much as the in-humane screaming and crying I heard from the left speaker, leading me to go where I’d last seen my dad’s character. I walked back to the left of the screen where the open tree trunk was, it looked like the hole in the trunk was all red though, and it looked sort of like a portal.

I didn’t want to go in yet, so I turned back and walked to the right, I went as far right as I could. And as I did, I started to see white things sticking out of the ground, I thought they were spikes or something like that, that I just jumped over. But when I stepped on one, I heard the cry of a wild boar that sounded like it was being tortured. And suddenly I realized, these were the skeletal remains of the animals that I had faced before on the ground. I heard some strange noises from my speakers that sounded like low laughter. Like that of something not human, demonic almost as I ran to the left of the screen again, towards the red portal. It got louder the closer I got.

The game crashed again when I went through. I was relieved. This time I could avoid clicking the files and reading whatever ridiculous things it had to say and try to shut down the computer without the game running at the same time. I checked again to make sure my speakers were muted, and I took the laptop and stored it under the stairwell outside between some blankets and old pillows next to the trashcans. Hell I would have welcomed someone trying to steal it. But I needed to get some sleep, it was a lot later than I thought it was by now. I knew the limits of my speakers and I knew I wouldn’t hear it from my bed at the least, I just wanted to forget about that game and give my laptop away to any unfortunate random pawnshop owner the next morning.

But that night, last night, I had some very strange dreams. I heard the screams again, the crying, and distorted laughter. I saw everything in the game play in my dream over and over, but I was seeing through the eyes of the character and it all seemed so real. But I heard my father, he said; “Help me Matt, buddy I need your help. Find it.” I didn’t know what he meant by that ‘find it’ part, but I knew in that dream exactly where he was, he’d gone to find the Mayan ruins from the game, to find something that I wasn’t clear of. After that, I saw him, and his body violently purge his skeleton from his flesh, there was blood and organs scattered everywhere around the pile of bones mostly mangled together, as he screamed and to my amazement started to laugh too. I don’t know why, or how he would have found them, but I knew I’d find him there and maybe there was a chance I could still help him and get him back before anything like that happened to him. Now I knew where to look.

So, at about 3 AM I was startled awake with tears down my face, then went to get the laptop and plug it back in to find out more. It had already brought up the game files, with a message that read: “WelcomeBack” and when I clicked it, the text-box said; “Come find me, you’re ready.” Then, I didn’t give it the chance to launch itself and I launched Pitfall myself and just pressed play, and the game let me this time. Now there was nothing, but my dad’s character, and pitch-black all around. There was this quiet music playing, that sounded like a pipe organ, and some low dark chanting or hymns or something, there were a lot of words I couldn’t quite make out. But I started feeling a burning sensation throughout my body, I almost couldn’t stand it as I heard flames crackling, I wanted to claw my skin off and I smelled fire for a split second. I got up when the sensation faded and checked around the apartment, I was the only one here, I never smoked, and our apartment can’t even facilitate fixtures for a stove of any sorts. The windows were all closed and we had no air vents, I still couldn’t imagine where that smell came from. When I got back to it, the last life went from one to zero and the game crashed for the last time and, when I checked, it had deleted itself completely from my computer. I had also used my Windows audio recorder to record some of it, but the files were either deleted or renamed and moved when the game crashed the last time. I’ll keep looking for that audio file. I tried to find the name of the author of the file download today, and I remembered the name was “Hourglass11″, but the file was just gone and I couldn’t download it again to find out more of what was going on. I have to see what’s on that damned cartridge…maybe it will give me more to go off of.

Posted: January 14th 2013, 12:11 PM

I’ve calmed down a bit now, as I type this last part myself. But that will only last until the next dream haunts me, and calls me to find him. But I realized today, that I am actually becoming my father in a way, as much as I don’t want to accept it, I’ve been rapidly drawing away from my family and becoming more reclusive because of all this. As much as I want to stop looking and break the chain now, I just can’t…I already took a vacation from work and went to the storage container when my roommate got back. I didn’t bother explaining to him, I knew he wouldn’t believe me. And I found both the game and the SNES in the same box with nothing else in it. Everything on the cartridge sticker were blacked out, except the character, that looked just like my father…a lot of people say I’m a mirror image of him. I’m going to find out where exactly he is and buy tickets to Mexico to find him and those ruins.

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