I never thought the day would come. It was the first day my older brother and I had finally had a chance to enjoy each other's company in a long time. He's always been working ever since my mother passed away. As for me, I was busy pursuing my dreams as a baseball player.
My father, who had left my mother before she died, was living in Tokyo, Japan.
We don't communicate much, we never really did. I also have a sister. I absolutely despise her, considering the fact that she's always been a snobby and an annoying brat.
It was Saturday, my brother parties often on the weekend, but due to some strange event that had happened, the party he planned on attending was called off. My sister had been in her room, listening to music as always. I didn't bother talking to her today because it would have resulted in a fight. That's how it usually goes. She always complains about how I have no respect for her and whatnot, and that I'm always disturbing her. Therefore, I was in my room, staring at the ceiling like I usually did. Thinking about what life would be like if mom was still here. The thought always struck me. My brother told me that she was a cancer victim, considering the fact that I was too young at the time to even remember what had happened. Even though I have siblings who live with me, I've never felt more alone in my entire life. While being drowned in my thoughts, I failed to notice my brother standing in the doorway of my room.
He startled me. "What are you up to?" my brother asked. I gave the typical response that I would normally give, as though nothing was ever bothering me. "Nothing," I said. He gave me a strange look. He then pulled something out of his pocket, it looked to be a cartridge of some sort. The cartridge looked as though it was in VERY good condition. He tossed it to me and continued on to say "I thought I would get you something, we don't spend much time together so I thought I'd play a game with you." He had a huge smile on his face. We had a Super Nintendo Entertainment System which we never used, simply because we did not have any games for it. It was a gift from our father. We were both happy to be able to bond with each other. I laughed and continued on to tell him that I've been waiting for a day like this. Just you and me. I picked up the cartridge and read the label on the front. "Earthbound" was what I read.
I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I asked my brother where he had gotten the game, but he avoided the question and told me to start the game. "Did you... steal it?" I asked. He smiled at me and replied " Oh, come on now, I would never go to such measures. I've been saving up to surprise you! This is my gift, to you." His smile was fake. It was easily noticeable. It was almost as though something was bothering him. Ignoring what he said, I continued to put the cartridge into the system. The game started up. Static was going back and forth across the TV screen, when finally some text as well as a picture were visible. "Earthbound, The war against Giygas!" The picture was of what looked like an alien invasion happening in in the middle of an unknown town. This game looked awesome.
My brother sat down beside me and joined me. The screen faded out and letters started appearing, sorting themselves to their respective places to form the word, "Earthbound." It was very quiet. I turned to my brother to ask him what this game was about, but before I could even open my mouth the screen cut to black. I didn't touch the controller, neither did my brother. The screen immediately transitioned to what looked like a robot, in the middle of nowhere, standing outside of what appeared to be a cave. "Get your controller!" I frantically told my brother. "The game's started," I added. He tried to join in. It would not let him. "So, it seems this is a single player," he stated. I looked back at the screen. "But we're here together, right? That's all that matters to me," I said. He smiled. Using the controller I walked forward towards the cave. My character appeared in a very uneasy environment. The ground looked like veins of some sort. They were pulsing. As I walked further I heard a faint voice, that had been getting louder as I walked forward. It got loud enough to the point where I could hear it clear: "Josei no shi no kumon" is what I made out of it.
I'll never forget it. It was disturbing. My brother had a look of shock on his face. "Is this part of the game?" I asked. He didn't reply. I continued on throughout the map only to hear a girl screaming. The scream was bloodcurdling, it sounded as though she was in immense pain. As I kept walking I saw a huge looking figure. I don't know how to describe it. It seemed as though there was an egg in the middle of this figure. Music faded in as I was unable to move my character. The music sounded as though it was being played backwards due to the distortion of the sounds.
Suddenly, something seemed to be hatching from the egg. The egg fully opened up, and a face appeared. The face looked as though it was a real photograph of a woman's face. The poor display of pixels made it hard to make out the woman's facial details, but as far as I'm concerned, she looked shocked. Shortly after a long pause, the woman started to cry. The crying sounded realistic. Her crying got louder and louder to the point where she had started to scream. I was covering my ears, I didn't want to hear it anymore. This was scary. My brother looked puzzled, as if he was trying to figure out what the hell was going on. The screaming stopped. It was quiet again. I could move again.
I started to walk forward, when I then got stopped in my tracks. I was unable to move again. Immediately, I heard a demonic voice. It was deep, terrifying. From what I heard, the voice murmured "I am happy." The screen cut black. A text box appeared. Text slowly started appearing inside of the text box. Eventually the sentence finished. "Do you now know the truth now? Cry, cry, cry while I slit your female's throat." This didn't make any sense. Then some more text appeared. "January 22, 1976." The next text box appeared. "Do you know what it feels like to be bullied? Rejected? I've been waiting to die." The text box then disappeared. Suddenly It appeared as though I was engaged in a battle sequence, with nobody.
The background was moving, and red smoke formed to what looked like a skull's face. There was a loud screeching noise during this. At the bottom of my screen was a status bar. "Paula" was the name that was shown. The game gave me a number of options for the fight, but the only one that seemed to work was an attack called "Pray" since the other abilities and commands were faded out. Seeing this, I chose "Pray." A text box came up and read, "Paula prayed from the bottom of her heart!, ...Please give us strength! Anyone who can hear our plea.... Help us." This seemed odd considering the fact that the only character on the playing field was the character we were playing as, Paula. The screen faded to black, followed by a sprite of the character I was playing as laying in the middle of nowhere. The atmosphere was black. A text box was then shown. "Don't you love how helpless little girls are? Women that fall under such categories should die, don't you think?" The text scrolled up, revealing more text that said, "MOTHER... Satan wa anata no karada o jōshō shi, kuiiruyōni shimashou."
The screen shifted frames and closed up on the character's face, followed by a loud scream from a woman. It was Paula. She had an upside cross on her forehead, and Japanese symbols on her cheeks. I don't have much knowledge on Japanese letters, the extent of what I do know is from watching anime on my free time. The screaming stopped and a whisper could be heard. It sounded realistic, no distortions, almost like a voice recording. "Do you love me?" is what I caught from the whisper. Right after that the screen went black and it was very quiet. One last text box appeared, "Your dear old dad Kiyoshi Okubo is thinking of hitting the hay tonight." The game then froze. My brother didn't say a word. He was shocked, I could see it in his face. I was shaking. For some reason, this whole thing had me worried, no, terrified. "Kiyoshi Okubo..." My brother whispered under his breath. He grabbed my hand in haste and brought me to his laptop, another gift which was given to him from our father. He searched the internet only to find that Kiyoshi Okubo was the name of a serial killer, who was executed on January 22, 1976. Throughout researching we also managed to find out that all of his victims were female, and ranged from the ages of 16-21. He had accepted his execution willingly. I slammed the laptop down and looked my brother in his eyes, I've never portrayed this kind of emotion towards him, ever. "Where the HELL did you get this game from? Tell me!" I shouted while shaking.
"It... reminded me of mother..." He replied.
"WHAT THE HELL DO YOU MEAN?" I shouted. "Mom... she wasn't a cancer victim..." he whispered. He immediately got up and left the room. I hurried after him. He ran outside and got into his car. I ran towards his car as fast as I could, yelling for him to come back, but he refused. He turned his head towards me and said something. I couldn't hear him over the engine of the car, but I could read his lips. "Goodbye," he said. He drove away. Here I was. Abandoned by the most important person in my life. I didn't know what to do. I was scared. I didn't want to go back inside, I didn't want to see that game again. I couldn't pull my self together. Tears streamed down my face as I looked up to the sky. "Why?" I thought to myself. "What did I do to deserve this?" " Mother..." I fell to my knees, sobbing on my driveway.
I've been outside sitting on my driveway for about an hour now. I had finally built up the courage to to back inside. I slowly walked in through the front door. I walked up the stairs leading to my bedroom and cracked the door open. I took a peek at the TV screen. The text box was still there. Without thinking, my first instinct was to destroy the game. I was trembling. I popped the game out, and smashed the cartridge into pieces with a baseball bat I had gotten from my sister's room. Not sure what she was doing with it in there, that didn't matter though. What had me scared was now taken care of. I lay onto my bed in relief, when suddenly I heard the doorbell ring. "Odd, we never have visitors," I thought to myself. I quietly proceeded down the stairs towards my front door. As I opened the door, I noticed that it was a woman. She looked like she was in her late 40's. "Mommy's home from her business trip. How's my little boy?" She asked with a wide grin on her face.
I was in absolute shock. I didn't know what to say. She knew my name, she proved to me that she was really my mother. She knew everything about me, even my favorite food. Nobody knows my favorite food except for my mother. We talked for a while and I explained to her everything that had happened while she was gone, The game, my brother, everything. She looked as though she was in disbelief, and told me that it was all a bad dream. Disregarding the fact that I just made myself look like a retard, I saw no point in even trying to explain the situation to her, as she would not listen. "You're right," I said, "I think I'll just head off to bed."
I had trouble sleeping that night, but I was eventually successful in doing so. To little notice, I was woken up by what sounded to be an explosion. The house was shaking. I couldn't move. It eventually stopped, and I got off of my bed. Surprisingly, I felt calm. I went to go check up on my mother as well as my sister to see if they were okay. As I got to my sister's room she immediately turned to me and said "Hey, bro. Did the sound wake you up? Were you freaked out?" I had no words. I then went downstairs to find my mother standing in the middle of our living room. She turned around and said to me, "What was that noise? Ness, you don't seem scared." I was scared out of my demolished skull. That boy... was me.