Mewtwo Armor
I used to be really into soft-modding Pokemon games, such as Pokemon Fire Red. While I am a fan of Pokemon in general, I wouldn’t consider myself a diehard fan at all. Anyway, after getting the necessary programs, I did some cosmetic changes of a Fire Red ROM I downloaded (My cartridge was harder to mod). Turning Pallet Town into a rocky area was fun, but I decided to up the ante a little bit.

I opened the text edit program and made the characters say dumb things such as “Who are you, weirdo?” and “I caught a shiny Mewtwo once.” for the sake of fun. It was at this point that I remembered  a video I saw from a friend about using hex editing. Hex editing is much more difficult because it runs the risk of completely destroying games if you write over the wrong things. I saved a copy of the hex code before I got to work on recoding it. After saving, I ran the game in an emulator to see if everything had gone as planned.

The game failed to load, so I checked the coding again to see what I did wrong.

However, the top line of code, which used to be blank, instead displayed the code “53544F5020504C”. While most people wouldn’t recognize it, when converted to ASCII text, it reads in plain English as STOP PLAYING GOD. Now, this obviously freaked me out. The code I changed was to increase the occurrence of shiny Pokemon, and nothing really explained the insertion of code I did not input myself. I rewrote the line and changed my error to the proper coding, and booted the game up again. Everything was in order, just a vanilla game ROM with a higher shiny percentage. After talking to Oak and getting Poke Balls, I decided to catch a Pidgey. I ran into a shiny one quickly and caught it. However, the text for nicknames was abnormal. Instead of asking me if I wanted to give Pidgey a nickname, it asked “Do you want to play God?” This bothered me again, but I just pressed no and continued on. At this point, I really didn’t want to play anymore. I wanted to just close the emulator, but it was such a curious glitch that I couldn’t help but play on. This was no longer a matter of having innocent fun, I truly felt like I did something that was never meant to occur. Every Pokemon I caught caused this question to come up. After a few captures I got used to it, since nothing else occurred. I beat Giovanni after a couple days of spotted play-time, due to school. But instead of his normal monologue, he told me about why it’s a bad idea to play God. “The world may bend to your will, but I remember what it was like. I created a monster, and I see that you have too. You need to stop before it’s too late, or you’ll face the same fate as I.” Giovanni’s sprite turned black quickly and then blinked to red, then back to black. It slowly disintegrated into the ground until disappearing from the screen entirely. Then, an audible sound of static played for a few seconds during which I couldn’t move, like it was a cutscene.

I jumped in my seat during the static, and my heart nearly beat out of my chest. No video game has ever caused me to be so scared in my life. It was so bizarre, and I just couldn’t deal with the stress of what just happened. But not a week later, I decided I needed to finish this. On my way home to beat this cursed game once and for all, I ran into an old friend. We chatted for a good half hour, but the last words he said to me almost made me faint. He ended his farewell with “…and try not to play God, okay?” I went home, got through Victory Road and struggled to beat the Elite Four. I was a bit under-leveled because I didn’t train much at all after Giovanni, wanting to end this mental torture as soon as possible. I finally got to my rival, and after barely beating him with one Pokemon left, I thought the game was finally over. But instead of his usual speech, he simply disintegrated into the ground just as Giovanni had. Oak came to congratulate me, and after taking me to the champ room, his sprite disintegrated, along with the room around me. It was just my sprite in a black room. I began to shiver as I saw a Pokemon walk toward me. It was Mewtwo. A text box popped up, asking “Do you wish to control God?” I pressed no, but it switched to yes. I had no choice but to press yes. After this, the screen shook as Mewtwo turned red and a battle started. I brought him down to low health and threw an ultra ball at it, hoping to get lucky. He popped out immediately, and I heard a laugh. I decided to stop messing around and threw my Master Ball. The laughter started up again, but Mewtwo was caught nonetheless. At this point, the game returned to the black room, and Mewtwo was standing there, with a Poke Ball at his side. A text box spoke “Foolish trainer. You cannot control God. You pretended to be me, but you know that you cannot control me. Giovanni himself created me in an attempt to play God. You tried to play God as well, and here we are. The Master Ball was his last ditch effort to stop me. But he couldn’t. And neither could you.” The room around our sprites turned red as a male scream sounded, startling me. The screen went black as the horrific sound of screams emanated from my computer. I was disturbed, the screams still give me nightmares. After what felt like an eternity of pain and agony, the screen lit up again. A black and white screen of Mewtwo standing over my seemingly lifeless body appeared, and what I can only assume was blood littered the now tiled floor. A text box asking me to save appeared, to which I responded yes after a moment of trying to gather what just happened. After this, I turned off the emulator. The torture was finally over. I decided I would never “play God” again; my days off modding were over.

After a restless night, I found a new file on my computer called “Next.avi” I played it. A cinematic of Mewtwo, the cyber version from “Pokemon the First Movie” was shown standing over a bloody Red looking at the camera. He looked straight at the camera as shivers shot up my spine. He spoke “Jeremy.” I froze. This thing…it knew my name somehow. I prayed it was just a nightmare. But then he continued. “You’re next.”