Being nerds and fans of creepy-pastas, we chuckled at that catch-phrase, and got the cartridge for fifty cents (kind of a lot, if you ask me, but my friend paid for it, and it´s his money). We were curious what they meant by Hyper-Realistic. How could an 8-bit game be hyper-realistic? Figuring it´d be a fun experience, we went home and turned on his NES, set up a few cameras filming our reactions, and with screen grabs or video recording of the game. Well, I assume that´s what it was, I´m not the technical one.
So we turned on the game, joking a bit, kidding around and trying to scare each other by making monster noises like in screamer videos, and we had good fun. Everything worked normally, there were no differences in the graphics, music, title, anything. We selected a two-player game, and my friend played as Mario, so he got to go first. It was just a normal game of SMB, same controls, same enemies, same everything. We still were hushed though, anticipating something, ANYTHING, different.
He zipped through 1-1 like normal, and went on to 1-2, everything going hunky-dory. I told him to try doing the Warp Zone, as maybe this was one of those hacks that punished the user for "cheating" or exploiting glitches. He didn´t say anything, but went there anyways. Nothing unusual happened. He warped to 4-1. Same old, same old. Not even any spooky static, or anything. Just all the normal stuff. I was getting disappointed, and a bit bored, and was certain that someone had just written the sharpie on there just to mess with obnoxious internet nerds looking for a fun time at a flea market. I had to admit: it was a brilliant strategy for getting your old SMB cartridge off of your hands.
Near the end of 4-2, right before the flagpole, he suddenly stopped, looked at me and said "none of this is real." I responded, "...well, yeah, it´s a video game." "No, NONE of this is real. None of it." He had a strange look on his face, one of contempt with a tinge of frustration. Obviously, something had changed, but I had no idea what. "...can you elaborate a bit more on that?" "Why bother, you won´t understand." "Dude, tell me what you´re thinking, the cameras are rolling, /x/chan will love this--" "You don´t understand, no one understands! None of this is REAL!" The anger in his voice startled me a bit. "...Okay, well, calm down, and try to explain it." "No one ever wants to know, we all just want to watch the shadows on the walls." By this point, I was a bit freaked out. To say the least. "Fuck this, I´m going to live. If you really want to know, play the game." And then—Well, something happened. I have no idea what, but he was there with me one minute and completely gone the next. I can´t describe what happened in between, it was like... I didn´t understand what happened. Obviously, I saw something, but my brain had no way to interpret what I saw.
I looked back at the game, confused. What had he experienced that I hadn´t? I was afraid to do anything in the game, and like a pussy I just unplugged the NES from the TV and took out the cartridge. Nothing had changed physically on that, nor on the NES itself, nor on the TV. I quickly did a mental check on myself: nope, no existential crises here.
I suddenly remembered the cameras. The ones that had been filming this entire thing! At the very least, I could slow down and take a good look at what happened when he vanished.
The footage was fine, and showed nothing out of the ordinary. Just what you would expect to see, no glowing orbs, no scary demon faces, nothing. Finally, the part where he just vanished. Maybe seeing it from a different angle would shed some light. But no; it looked exactly the same as it had from where I had seen it in real life. Well, I mean, it was from a different angle, but the same thing happened, and I couldn´t make heads or tails of it on the digital recording either.
I put the digital file on the computer and played it, and tried pausing it in exactly the correct moment when he vanished. But looking at the frames one by one, it was like he was just erased. I played the scene through again, and the action of him vanishing happened again. So obviously it must have been something related to how it moved, how it all flowed together.
So I googled what he said: "No one ever wants to know, we just all want to watch the shadows on the walls." No results. Narrowed it down: watch the shadows on the walls.
The What Could Be, by Paul Larson. Possibly? Activity and toy ideas for 0-3 mos? Doubtful. Then, What is the Cave Allegory. More with Plato´s Cave Allegory.
Bingo. Hyper-Realistic suddenly made a lot more sense.
So, now what?