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MisfortuneStill2

First meeting with the demonic entity in game.

Misfortune is an obscure game for the original Game Boy. Since no known hard copies or roms exist, all information about the game is derived from personal accounts and a scant assemblage of screenshots. The game does not contain any credits and whoever created it is still unknown to this day. The few people who have experienced it consider it to be one of the scariest video games ever made.

Given its age and cult following among rare horror game enthusiasts, it's entirely possible that authors of widely known Creepypastas such as Sonic.exe and Lavender Town Syndrome drew inspiration from Misfortune.

Story/Concept

The player controls what appears to be a young boy in a strange Gothic building. After brief exploring, the player is confronted by a malevolent being. Despite the character never identifying itself, some people, siting notable similarities, claim that it may be a representation of Baphomet, Beelzebub or even the Devil.

Upon meeting the mysterious creature, a dialog box will appear with the text: "I exist within the very fabric of reality. Do you want to challenge me?" This is followed by a yes or no choice. Should the player choose yes, the being replies "Then, let's begin."

Gameplay

MisfortuneStill4

The cabin puzzle.

The player is then transported to a series of maze-like rooms, each filled with pit drops, locked doors, keys and traps. The objective for the player is to progress through each room by either reaching the stairs to the next level, or solving another kind of puzzle. This can include answering riddles or choosing correct doors or pathways. The most well-known example is in a level where four small cabins are shown on screen: a dialog box will appear that reads "Choose wrong and misfortune will befall your loved ones. Are you ready to play?" Should the player ever make a mistake throughout the game, the screen will cut to black before showing a more detailed image of the demon along with a dialog box reading "I am God here." in what appears to be blood-styled writing.

Alleged Side Effects

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Game Over screen, considered to be the cause of "misfortune" in the players.

Rumours pertaining to the games alleged harmful effects began to surface on the internet around the late 1990s. Players claimed to have begun experiencing ongoing depression and dread shortly after losing and seeing the "Game Over" screen. Once prominent members of online forums who told such claims are thought to have died or disappeared when they suddenly became inactive without warning. Heated discussions soon dominated these forums for some time, but the mystery never seemed to be getting any closer to being solved. Some wrote the whole thing off as a tasteless practical joke. Others believed that viewing the image of the evil character after losing the game can really cause the player to experience misfortune as the games antagonist promised. Soon people began to speculate that the eerie soundtrack of the game was the cause.

Soundtrack

The music in the game consisted of deep, buzzy tones, off-key melodies. The game had a remarkably unsettling soundtrack despite composition being limited to the 8 bit Game Boy sound bank. The "Game Over" screen had especially erratic, almost nauseating music with a very high frequency that accompanied it. Rumor has it that this very track could somehow influence moods and thought patterns. Of all the tracks in the game, only the theme that plays when first meeting the demonic entity can be found on the internet today.

Availability

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One of the deadly puzzle rooms.

Searching for playable ROMs or cartridges online is futile because none exist. In fact, most of those who have played it directly hadn't sought out looking for it, but rather stumbled upon it by accident. According to a first hand accounts, certain copies of various Game Boy titles contain Misfortune in it's entirety.

The means for accessing it through these games vary, but typically involve exploiting glitches or using cheating devices. Although some had detailed what they had done to trigger Misfortune to start, attempts by others using the same methods had always failed. Another common observation was that many of the sprites in Misfortune had been copied from its "host" games.

MisfortuneStill5

Puzzle in which the demonic entity chases the player character.

Misfortune is known to be integrated in the following:

  • Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening
  • Pokémon: Red
  • Spud's Adventure
  • Puchi Carat
  • Atelier Marie (JP)

Closing Thoughts

Misfortune01:27

Misfortune.gb - Haunted Game Music (Part 1)

Music from the game.

For this section, I'm going to be speaking to you a lot less impartially and a lot more personally. It's important you read this part.

Now, is the game really cursed? Does a specter really bide within and snare the innocent in its deadly game?

Who knows?

What I do know is that the game definitely exists. I also know what it can do.

I've never played it myself, you see, but I knew someone who did. A good friend of mine, actually. We were closer than brothers, and we told each other everything. He was the most enthusiastic, outgoing guy I ever met and, like me, he was really into videogames. Sure enough, one day he told me that he found a spooky new side game hidden in Pokémon. He showed it to me, and even back then it gave me an odd feeling. Though, to be fair, I was always easily scared.

Soon after, he started talking less and less. Later, he'd either ignore my calls or tell me he was sick or busy when I invited him out. He became something of a recluse. I did still sometimes get to see him at high school, but he rarely spoke and snapped at me when I pried too much over why he was acting that way. About a month later, before he got off the train after school, he said goodbye for the first time in weeks. I'll never forget the look he gave me that day. He was the macho, nothing-gets-to-me type of guy, and he always masked his emotion really well, but now he had a face filled with grief, like he was about to cry. He made me promise him one thing before he left: that I never play "that game". That was the last time we spoke.

The next morning they found his scratched and bloodied corpse hanging from his disassembled weight machine. The police concluded that he managed to lift 220lbs of weights over his head with the cord still attached, looped it around his neck, and released it over the other side of the machine, causing his strangulation as the weight on the other side yanked him upwards. The most horrible detail was that he was found with his hands clutching the inside of the makeshift noose, as if he were trying to tug it loose. That was it; the case was closed.

Personally, I don't believe that's what happened.

If you are a collector or perhaps just heard the legend and want to experience the game for yourself, you should reconsider. Even if you deny the existence of demons and curses, the misfortune that will befall you is very real. You have been warned.

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