What have I done… what kind of human am I…? I made a big mistake, and now it's costing me my life.
If anyone is reading this, I'm probably dead. What I'm about to say is something I shouldn't have done. I regret putting that… thing, into our world.
I'm sure most of you have heard of Sonic the Hedgehog. You know, the cobalt Mobian hedgehog that defeats a mad scientist named Dr. Robotnik with all his friends, the freedom fighters? I love that franchise! Sonic is all across the internet and wherever you can buy video games. He has fan games, fanfics, pictures, merchandise, and so much more.
But that's not important. Let me tell you all about my mistake now…
I was downloading a hack named "Sonic 1 Remastered" for my SEGA emulator, Kega Fusion. I was excited to play a revamped version of my favorite Sonic game. Why it's my favorite? SOOOOOOOO much hours wasted in my childhood! I spent every minute I didn't have homework to play Sonic 1. Figuring out cheats, making weird shit with Debug Mode, just having a wonderful time with the game. While I do like Sonic 2 and Sonic 3 and Knuckles, Sonic 1 forever holds a place in my heart.
Anyway, the download soon finished. I noticed, that unlike what the download said, the file was a .BIN file labeled: "SONIC-ORIGINS." I was confused by this, but I just decided to load it into my emulator. Now this is where the REAL story begins:
When the game booted up the SEGA jingle played, normal as can be. Then came the "Sonic Team Presents" screen. Finally the title screen popped up. It was the first Sonic game with the classic music and Sonic waving his finger. I was pleased by this. I pressed enter, but then something strange happened…
I could've sworn, in a split second frame, I saw Sonic's expression change to a nervous one, as everything else turned dark red. The title ribbon, originally saying "Sonic the Hedgehog," was changed to just "Sonic." Luckily, this image was only for a split second, but I was still confused and scared by this.
After a few seconds of black, a familiar file select appeared and a familiar tune played.
"Sonic 3's Data Select!" I exclaimed, and I laughed! There, sure enough, was Sonic 3's file select, music and all. There were a few differences though. The background was a blue sky that reminded me of Sky Chase from Sonic 2. There were also just 5 save files. The file select had Sonic (in his Sonic 3 and Knuckles design), Tails, Amy (surprisingly in her modern design), Knuckles, and… Dr. Robotnik? Now I knew something was up, how was Robotnik playable? He was the bad guy! Maybe they added him in as a joke character, or maybe a playable cutscene in his base or something? I didn't know what this game would hold in store for me. I tried selecting Robotnik, curiously, but the game wouldn't let me select him.
I tried to select Knuckles, would he work? No.
When I picked Sonic, he did his victory animation from Sonic 3, then he spun around and did another animation similar to his "I'm outta here!" animation from Sonic CD, only he was smiling and not angry. Sonic then jumped out of his file, and the files scrolled upward. Sonic fell through the sky as seemingly endless rows of clouds rushed by. The screen faded to black mere seconds later.
The first level started up. As expected, it was "Green Hill Zone, Act 1" from Sonic 1! When the screen faded back, Sonic fell in and landed with an unfamiliar crouching animation, before transitioning into his normal standing pose. He looked around, confused, (doing an animation similar to Sonic 1's good ending) and said in an unfamiliar textbox:
Sonic: Where am I? Is this Green Hill? Well, I guess I'd better explore a bit!
The classic Green Hill music then began to play, and I moved Sonic through Act 1 quickly. He had the spin dash from Sonic 2, the insta-shield from Sonic 3&K, the peel out from Sonic CD, and even the drop dash from Sonic Mania, which hadn't even been released yet! I blazed through the stage with Sonic's overpowered moveset. However, I noticed something at the end… when I had collected 50 rings, the giant ring wasn't there. In fact, neither was the signpost!
Instead, there was a monitor. But it looked very peculiar: it had Sonic's head in it, like the normal extra life monitor, but the eyes were black with glowing red pupils. The blue fur was darker, and it was surrounded by black too. I didn't trust this monitor, but I couldn't move Sonic offscreen. The screen was locked on the ending area with the monitor.
I was screwed. Sonic HAD to hit the monitor. Nervously, I charged up a spin dash, and released it, right toward the monitor.
That was my mistake.
Immediately after Sonic broke through it, the icon rose out and started flashing. First slowly, then as I moved Sonic toward it, it flashed faster and faster! Suddenly, the stage began to shake like crazy as Sonic did his "wobbling" animation, but he was looking up, instead of down. The monitor's icon rose into the sky, and a sound that sounded like time slowing down played as Sonic was lifted up, playing the "lost rings" animation. With a blinding flash of light, it cut to black.
The screen faded into what appeared to be darkness. And… another Sonic was there? It was laying on its back for a few seconds. Suddenly its eyes snapped open and it jumped to its feet. A text box appeared, labeling the other Sonic as "X."
X: *gasp* What was that? That's not right.
X began running through the darkness, and as he did I noticed something: he had a somewhat red tint on his eyes, though it was barely noticable. X ran along for a few seconds before he jumped into a red version of the special stage ring. It cut to black mere seconds after.
I was confused at this cutscene. What wasn't right? Who was X? Before I could think about it a bit more, the next level title appeared, saying "Hill Act 2." Very odd indeed. When the screen faded in, Sonic now had an unfamiliar expression on his face now. It looked like a sad face. When Sonic idled, he looked at me and pointed right, curiously. Sonic had lost his overpowered moveset and could only jump, crouch or spin dash.
What was weird about this new level, was that it was a long, linear version of Green Hill Act 3. The music had changed to what sounded like a calm melody that would belong in a Genesis game, but it was reversed. As I moved Sonic along, I had noticed the trees, grass and plants start to get duller and more "lifeless." The water had darkened to a sickly gray, and the sky was black and cloudless. Totem poles had expressions of fear on the top, as if they were screaming. As I kept Sonic moving, the music got slower and slower.
After walking throughout this barren level, something caught my attention on the floor. It was a flicky, the iconic blue bird version. But, it had no eyes and was laying down on the floor, dead. Now Sonic walked with an unfamiliar slow walking animation. He passed more and more dead flickies, killed in gruesome ways. Trees were dripping blood, plants were ripped up and dying, and some of the original GHZ stage gimmicks were on the ground, broken. It was a terrible mess.
As Sonic kept moving, I saw more dead animals and even broken badniks as Sonic moved past them looking more and more worried as the music lowered in pitch. When there were no more animals, trees, totem poles, etc, the music wound down completely. Sonic stopped, and the screen panned over to the right to show… Sonic? I was so confused, how were there two Sonics now?
My playable Sonic started to walk slowly toward the other Sonic, whos back was against the screen. I wasn't using my keyboard to make Sonic move, so this was a cutscene, apparently. I heard a deep thumping that sounded like a heartbeat as Sonic got closer to the other Sonic. My playable Sonic stuck his hand out to touch the other Sonic. Then, I remembered the cutscene from earlier, and it hit me all across the face: the other Sonic was X!
"WAIT!!!" I shouted to Sonic, but it did no good. X spun toward Sonic, and Sonic jumped back in shock. A cutscene began.
Sonic: What the?! Who are you?!
Suddenly, I noticed X's eyes begin to melt away into black sockets. Those sockets began bleeding, but the worst was yet to come. With a flash of red, X revealed his true form. He now had darker fur and red eyes in black sockets, which were bleeding. Sonic now had a terrified expression on his face. X then spoke…
X: My name is Exetior, but you can just call me X.
Exetior: You hit my monitor… NOW YOU WILL DIE!
X, or rather, Exetior, lunged toward Sonic and grabbed him by the neck. Sonic was squirming and wailing for mercy, to no avail. The same "time-slowing-down" sound effect played as the screen distorted and flashed into a black screen. A message appeared with text like Sonic 2's title card: "Hello there… welcome to my world!"
I was scared but I decided to continue anyway. Why? Because I had questions that needed to be answered. Anyway, the next level was titled "Try to Escape, Act 3."
Sonic spawned in what looked like Spring Yard, but the background was a darker version of Sky Chase's background, which the original background was on the character select. I heard "Black Noises" from Sonic Adventure 2 start up, though it was only the part where Eggman met Shadow on Prison Island on loop. Sonic could now only run left or right now. He couldn't jump or spin-dash. When he idled, he pointed right, like in Hill Act 2, but more panicked.
An arrow pointing right appeared, and I pressed the right arrow key down as hard as I could. Sonic ran through the stage quickly, but it wasn't fast enough. I heard the infamous drowning theme start up as spikes began coming down from the ceiling.
"Run, you blue bastard, RUN!" I shouted to Sonic. Thankfully, Sonic made it out thanks to a special stage ring dead ahead. It faded to black a few seconds after Sonic entered.
A message appeared again. "You're still alive? Interesting…"
The next level loaded, titled "My Game, Act 666."
When it loaded, Sonic was standing in darkness, like in the first cutscene with Exetior/X. There was no background or ground tiles. Just darkness. Sonic had got his overpowered moveset back, thank god. I made him peel out through the darkness and the blue blur ran as fast as he could go.
Just then, a few minutes into the level, I heard a deep, distorted laugh and the background changed. Now Sonic was standing on static and the background was distorted, pink, swirling spikes. I then noticed that music had begun: it was an intense, chase-like theme as I saw Exetior start gaining on Sonic! What disturbed me though, was that Exetior was flying! He flew in a manner similar to Super Sonic in Sonic 2, but without the "super fur." A wide smirk crossed the fake hedgehog's face as he sped up.
Dead ahead was a green version of the iconic special stage ring. Sonic jumped for it, but Exetior stopped him, as if by telekinesis. A cutscene began.
Exetior: You're not getting away that easy, hedgehog…
A quick-time event began where I had to smash the spacebar as fast as I could. The music had changed to what sounded like an intense fight song. A quick-time event began where I had to smash the spacebar as fast as I could. And trust me, I nearly broke my keyboard doing it. Luckily, I hammered the spacebar enough, Sonic broke free of Exetior's telekinetic grab, and entered the green ring. Exetior looked stunned. Then, he smiled.
Exetior: Oh. He did get away that easy. Guess I can't capture him yet… until… I gain more souls. And I know just who to start with…
Before it cut to the last message in the game, Exetior began laughing. He vanished a while later. Speaking of which, the last message of the game said:
"It's time… Ready for Round 1, KYLE?"
I gasped when I saw my name, MY NAME, in this game. It was the most horrifying thing I had ever seen. The game closed and I noticed that my desktop had been given a huge overhaul:
My wallpaper of me and my GF Alice kissing was replaced with a realistic picture of Exetior smirking and looking at the screen. There was bloody text above him saying "I AM GOD. END OF ROUND 0."
The game itself was replaced by an Exe file, named "Sonic.exe." I burned the file onto a CD disc and tried to break it, but it didn't break. I wrote "SONIC.EXE" in red marker on it and decided to send it to my friend Tom to destroy it for me. I wrote a note as fast as I could before I could be caught.
What I wrote was this:
I can't take it anymore, I had to get rid of this… this THING somehow, someway, before it was too late, and I was hoping you'd do it for me. You were the only person that came in mind. I'm hoping you'll be more successful than I was. I can't do it, he's after me, I know he is, and if you don't destroy this CD, he'll come after you too, he's too fast for me…
Please Tom, destroy this god-forsaken disc before he comes after you too, it's too late for me. Destroy the disc, and you'll destroy him, but do it quick, otherwise he'll catch you. I'm begging you, Tom. Please, destroy this hellish creation before that monster reaches your house. If you destroy it, he'll be stopped. Otherwise you will belong to him. I'm out of time and options, so for the love of all that is holy, do it quickly. Don't give in to temptation. Don't let him win. DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT PLAYING IT. It's what he wants. Just destroy it! Please! I'm begging you… make the move now, or he'll come after you like he did with me and everyone else.
If you do play it… don't fight back. Don't try deleting it or try to resist playing. Don't try to defeat him. You can try and survive all you want, but he WILL retaliate without mercy. I have suffered greatly for it. Nightmares about him plagued me for days. I even tried destroying the CD myself, but he already had an influence over me. Just hope that he will be kinder to you than he has been to me. I'm sorry, Tom… I should have valued our friendship a lot more. I only hope you'll keep yourself safe.
May God watch over you…
It looked messy, but I didn't care. I wrote Tom's address on the envelope, put the CD and letter in the envelope, sent it to him, and started typing this blog post. That's pretty much it. Tom, if you're reading this, then thank you for being a amazing friend. You too, Gary, Jake and Alice. I love you all very much.
The next day, Kyle Caxton had gone missing. People looked all over for him.
A few days later, Kyle was found dead. He had been killed by Exetior. A funeral was held, but Tom hadn't found out, so he couldn't attend. Gary, Jake and Alice were caught passing the disc on to Tom. They were all killed by Exetior. Same with other people passing the disc around. And so, the Wrath of Exetior began...