I turned the disk in my hands. I hated it. It ruined my life. Why do I still have this, again? Oh yeah… That’s right. Let’s start from the beginning, shall we?
It was 2 years ago, on my birthday. I had asked for the game Star Fox Assault for my birthday. I wanted it so very badly because I was a huge fan of the Star Fox series… or what I could get of it, that is.
I literally begged for the game, but now I wish I hadn’t… I wish I would have saved up the money myself to buy it on my own instead of my brother getting it for me, so I could look at it, myself.
But now, knowing my luck… it all would have been the same either way.
I opened the package that was nicely wrapped in glittering purple wrapping paper. I opened the small package to reveal a case for Star Fox Assault. I cheered, and jumped up and down constantly.
It was after my parents and brother had left for a week when I got the chance to play it. I popped it in and started it up. As it was loading, I took a closer look at the case.
The colors were slightly darker than normal. And were those… scratch marks on Fox’s face? I shook my head. Surely I’m imagining it. I opened the empty case to see that there was not an instruction booklet, but a small slip of paper. I took it out and read it.
~Handle with Care
I saw some sort of lines under the sentence, but ignored it. Since this was obviously a used game, this must have been the previous owner worrying about his game… right?
The game had loaded, and I picked up the controller. Everything seemed fine, but the music sounded a bit… what should you call it? Pixely. You know, as if the music came strait out of an old arcade game, or something.
I was a bit skeptical, but then got the idea that they decided to bring the music back from the classics. But why did I have this unease? A feel of dread? I must just be excited to try out the game, is all.
I got to the screen to select your game. There was one saved game. It was labeled “SAVE”. I was a bit confused. I looked for a place to start a new game, but the option was gone. I didn’t want to click on the one labeled “SAVE”. I’ve watched a let’s play on this game, but it would still be awkward to just jump in on some random spot without even so much as knowing to controls, first.
I sighed, and hit “SAVE”. Much to my surprise, it took me to the beginning of the game… or, what I once thought was the beginning.
The freaky stuff starts from the get-go.
It went into the first cut scene, but before anything could be said the screen went black. A text appeared across the screen.
“ROUND ONE. How far?”
I immediately took notice. I didn’t remember this being in the game! How far was what? I pushed the button to continue.
I heard the same music as what you would hear when you went through a warp on Star Fox 64. I was in the Arwing, flying through what I made out to be a dark, round, endless tunnel. Possibly that same tunnel that led you to Andross in 64. But if that’s the case…
My Arwing stopped flying. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t shoot. The music screeched, and stopped. As if it had crashed. After a minute or two, I jumped at a sudden sound. It was the laugh you heard Andross laugh after the credits, also in 64.
A small box popped up in the lower left corner of the screen. It was filled with the same static as when someone talked to you during the game. It popped up, and disappeared, as if somebody wanted to talk, to say something, but quickly changed their mind.
It did that for a good 3 minutes, and finally decided to talk. I saw Leon’s face as it appears in this game, but what he said sent chills down my spine as it had come from 64.
“I think I’ll torture you for awhile.”
His face went away quickly. I almost wanted him to come back, so I didn’t have to feel alone in this black hole.
I remembered the name of this so called “Level”. It had said “ROUND ONE. How far?” It dawned on me that it was trying to test me. To see how far down this tunnel I could get.
I heard a crash, as if I had been shot down. My Arwing faded, and the game over music from 64 started playing. Why did I keep hearing things from Star Fox 64, when this is suppose to be Star Fox Assault?
I was sent back to the starting screen. I had to choose which saved game I wanted to play. I was headed for “SAVE”, but it was slightly faded. Gray. I couldn’t select it. Every time I clicked on it, a text box popped up, and it said “FOX, WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!”
I looked below the “SAVE” and saw a new save file. It was labeled “US”. I put the two names of both files together. Save us? Save who? I took a closer look at the case. Fox wasn’t smiling like he should be. He had a look of fear on his face. How did I not notice that before?
I selected “US”. The screen was black. A text popped up.
“ROUND TWO. Will you?”
Will I what? The screen led me to Sauria. I was on foot. I was in the cave where you had gotten a staff upgrade in Star Fox Adventures. Standing in front of me were Slippy, Falco, and Krystal, important members of the Star Fox team. I nearly dropped the controller when I saw that they were all pixilated, and mangled in various ways.
Slippy’s eyes were cut out, and his tongue was sticking out the side of his mouth. Falco had various bullet holes in his chest, and his beak was torn off. Krystal was covered head to toe in claw marks and large gashes, her ears were missing, but what frightened me most was the axe in her head.
“Why… why is this happening?!”
Fox’s voice was distorted and glitchy. Like a signal that wasn’t coming in well. I wanted to help them. I wanted to do something to help them. Anything. I remembered the name of this one, as well. “ROUND TWO. Will you?” Could the “Will You?” be asking me if I would help them? Or if I would try to escape?
The same static box started trying to appear on the screen in the same spot. It kept giving me hints of who was trying to talk to me. The picture was trying to flash itself. I squinted to try to figure out who it was, but as soon as I saw it I regretted my efforts.
It was a picture of all of everyone’s missing parts all jumbled to make one. It was Falco’s beak that looked to be attached to Slippy’s eyes with Krystal’s ears. They were covered with blood. Blood was running from his nose, his eyes, and her ears.
When they started talking to me, no static boxes popped up in the lower screen. I heard their voices come out of nowhere, which nearly scared me out of my chair.
“Uh-oh! I’m a goner!!!”
“No way! Unbelievable!”
The things Slippy and Krystal had just said… they were pieced together from different quotes of theirs. Their voices were filled with fear and anxiety. Maybe even a little paranoia.
“Fox! Look behind you!”
I gasped at the sound of Falco’s voice. His voice wasn’t normal. It sounded afraid. Paranoid. Shocked. I debated on turning around. I ended up turning him around.
Fox had obviously been crying. Why wouldn’t he, though? Even I was trying not to cry… I stayed strong for Fox.
The screen went black again. It stayed that way for around 30 seconds before I head 3 blood-curdling screams at the same time.
I identified them as belonging to Slippy, Falco, and Krystal. A text appeared as I heard Andross’s demonic laugh.
“Too late. Game over, pal.”
That quote belonged to Falco, but there was no voice to accompany it. Only that sly, demonic laugh.
The text was no longer the usual white text. It was red and dripping. Something told me that it was written in the blood of Slippy, Falco, and Krystal. I gulped, and reached for the power button because I didn’t want to play anymore. I pressed the button and… nothing happened.
I heard something Slippy would say, but it was distorted and low-pitched.
“Escaping? I don’t think so…”
The screen flashed that terrible picture that was trying to show itself, earlier.
“ROUND 3. Which one?”
The screen revealed me to be flying in Meteo. It was the same level as it was in this game, only much more… quiet. The music that played was the same music you heard when you were in Vs Mode on the Zoness stage, only it played the first bit (The part that sounds like static) over and over.
I looked to see what Fox was talking about. I flew past 3 mangled and destroyed Wolfens. (Wolfens are the enemy’s version of the Arwing. Wolfens belong to Star Wolf.) You could see that blood was leaking out of them.
I had Fox fly a bit more. There wasn’t as many meteors as there should be. I gasped as their voices rumbled through the area.
“I… Can’t… Lose…”
“This can’t be happening!!!”
Nothing was said for Panther. Could he already be dead? The music suddenly stopped, and changed itself to the music you heard during a boss fight, and changed to the music you heard when you had to fight against Andross’s secret weapon in 64. Boss Fight- The crazed Spyborg.
I was a bit confused when I saw that the base (the main part of this course) wasn’t anywhere to be seen. Just space and rocks. When the meteors cleared out, something came into view. It was a large ship. It was the one that was suppose to have the Pigma boss, only nothing happened when I approached it. It just sat there.
“Something is wrong, here…”
The ship started to shake, and the arms of the ship popped out. But, instead of attacking me, they started hitting the middle of the ship. By this time, I still hadn’t figured out what it was trying to ask at the beginning of the level, when it said “Which one?” Maybe it had something to do with Star Wolf at the beginning of this level?
That was when the game shut itself off. The whole system was off. I quickly turned off the TV, and unplugged the system.
I knew it was a bad idea, but I was tired and went to bed.
Just like I imagined, it was a bad idea. It had a horrible nightmare… if that’s what you want to call it, that is.
I could see nothing. Everything was pitch black. I heard a voice…
“You cannot resist us… you will join us…”
I recognized that voice as being from Pigma after he got infected by the Aparoids.
“Obey us… Obey us…”
“Give in. This is not sacrifice… It is evolution.”
I started to hear Peppy’s voice, as well. It was followed by the voices you hear the aparoid Queen say mixed with some other voices.
“All for us… Everything in the universe… exists for us…”
“Let us live together… together…”
“All for us… all things in the universe… will be ours…”
“Live… as… one…”
I had to play it again. It was eating at the back of my head. I couldn’t sleep after that dream. Those voices… it all seemed so real…
I plugged everything back up. I started it up, and it brought up the starting screen. Even if I wanted to, I couldn’t select anything other than “Start Game”. I wasn’t surprised to see that the file “US” was now gray and unusable, just like “SAVE” was.
I clicked on “SAVE”, just to see if anything new would happen if I did. Instead, the same box popped up.
“FOX, WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!”
I clicked on “US”, and another popped up, but it didn’t say the same thing as “SAVE” did. My stomach jumped as I read it.
“YOU’LL KILL US ALL!!!”
There was a new file. All it said was “NO”. I clicked on it.
“ROUND 4. Time’s up.”
Time’s up? What? I was timed this whole time? The screen revealed Fox on foot, and in front of him was Peppy. Peppy looked the same way he did after the Aparoids got him… but he was just standing there. As was Fox. I tried moving Fox. He would just shake his head at me.
I didn’t know what I was supposed to do. I couldn’t move. Well, I couldn’t move Fox, that is. I waited what had to be a good 5 minutes before I pressed the A button. That started up a conversation that made me scared out of my wits.
“What are you fools doing?! Go! Get out of here!!!”
It played an animation of Peppy choking. He was making all sorts of noises like gasping for air. He stopped after 10 seconds. Fox turned to me after staring down Peppy. He bent his head down and shook it.
“Looks like Peppy is already gone…”
I pressed the A button again and Fox turned back to Peppy to continue the conversation. Fox shook with fear.
“Peppy! You can’t die!”
“No, Fox. This is my duty. And it is your duty to die as well, Fox!”
The screen went black. I heard Fox scream for help. I couldn’t hear him anymore after 15 seconds passed. A picture popped up on the screen and I screamed.
It was Fox. His eyes were gorged out. He had various bullet holes in his body. There were large gashes on his arms and legs. His tail was completely gone. His ears looked like they had huge bite marks out of them. He was baring his teeth, which reminded me of shark’s teeth. His mouth was dripping with blood.
“I counted on you…”
The text appeared on the screen. It was written in blood. It looked exactly like the text that appeared right after Slippy, Falco, and Krystal were killed. The text dripped off and some new words appeared.
“But you gave me to them… Why?”
I suddenly heard Andross’s demonic laugh once more, followed by the noise he makes after you shoot him in the eye in Star Fox 64.
“I trusted you… and you betrayed me…”
He started walking closer to the screen. I grabbed the nearest thing that could do the most damage.
“YOU WILL JOIN US!”
The object I grabbed luckily happened to be a baseball bat. I smashed the Gamecube to bits. The picture on the screen flickered and glitched up then shut off.
I beat the system until there was nothing but rubble. The disk was still there, however. I took it and snapped it in half. I took the halves and snapped them, as well. I threw them in the trash, and threw it out.
I looked at the case once more, remembering it. It was darker. It was bloodier. It was horrible… I opened the case back up, remembering the slip of paper.
~Handle with Care
I looked closer at the lines under it. It wasn’t just underlined. There was something else written on it, but it was too small to read.
I grabbed a magnifying glass, and held it over the bottom line. Here’s what the entire message said:
~Handle with Care,
But Play If You Dare
I mentally slapped myself. I should have read this, first, instead of throwing it aside… I might have been spared the agony of this torturous game…
After my family returned they saw me huddled in the corner. That game… it wouldn’t leave my head. I kept hearing that dang laugh… The pictures of Fox and the one with Falco, Slippy, and Krystal… They were implanted in my brain and wouldn’t leave. I was unable to sleep.
I decided to call the game Star Fox’s Blood Red Assault because of that one gruesome image at the end. My parents claimed that I had gone crazy, so they hired me a therapist. That never worked. It never would have.
To this day that game haunts me. And I was actually about to forget about it until I received a package in the mail… It was from my grandma. It was a birthday present. I took it inside, and opened it to reveal a very familiar game disk…
I keep trying and making endless efforts to get rid of it, but there is just one problem….
It keeps coming back.
Credit To – Draya Duncan