"Scorcher today. High, a blazing 110. No sign of rain."
I turned off my car radio. I lived in Texas, this was pretty normal.
I was headed to GameStop to get a used copy of Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, my childhood game. I remember playing it for hours on end, even after I beat the main game I had so much fun with it. Even after getting all the heart pieces and Gold Skulltulas, it was so much fun.
It's been 30 long years. I'm ready to start again.
I bought a copy and headed home. I went up into the attic and found the old, dusty box labeled "Childhood Memories".
A Rock'em Sock'em robots set, Worn down teddy bear ("Muffin") GameBoy Color with an untouched copy of Pokemon Blue that hasn't been played in forever, (Darned Lance).
Ah, there it was.
My old N64, with scribbled in an almost illegible font "Mark" In red Sharpie. I excitedly began playing. Naming my character "Link" As I always did, I began. Four nonstop hours of nostalgia. From watching Darunia patting me on the head, to easily defeating Morpha.
But next up was the Shadow Temple. I always hated the Shadow Temple. Not Bongo Bongo or the Redeads, but the mini boss.
I never really understood it as a child, all Navi said was it had "Infinite Hands".
I learned the Song of Storms and went back to the Windmill as a child. I drained the well, and went back down.
That's funny. I never remembered that. A single Dead Hand hand, the ones you find in the battle room, was sticking out of the well. Then again, it's been 30 years since I played it, so it's not like I could remember it. I went ahead and let it grab me. It yanked me down the well, and straight into the Dead Hand battle room. OK, I know I remembered going through a series of things to get there. I went ahead and waited for him to come up.
He would never come up. That's right, I needed to let one of the hands grab me. I just remembered a flashback of me and my old friend Tyler.
"I just found this crazy glitch on OoT. If you're fighting Dead Hand and you let all four of his hands grab you at once, something AWESOME will happen!"
"What? You're lying."
Tyler always lied about things like that. He died in a car crash like 3 years ago. I never got a chance to try it though, In my past OoT, I never got a chance to try. All my files were full and there was no WAY I was deleting any. I decided to give it a go. I went into the center and let all the hands grab me at once. There he was, same empty face, same bloody and white body.
Knowing my Zelda more than anyone in my past school, it was easy.
"Strike when he lowers his head to attack."
I followed my knowledge and won in less than a minute.
Tyler was lying, nothing happened when you let him grab you with all his hands at once. The treasure chest appeared, I remembered this had the Lens of Truth.
Sure enough it did. But the description was different.
"COME BACK HERE 30 YEARS IN THE PAST. I'LL BE WAITING FOR YOU."
What? What did he mean by 30 years in the past? I was child link, so I couldn't go back any more.
I had a brainwave. Thirty years was the last time I played my old game. Maybe Dead Hand meant in my old OoT game? I lost it a long time ago. How could I go back? I had only one chance. Maybe it was in the box in the attic.
I crept back up there, the box still open. I dug through the rest of the box. A few toy soldiers, an RC car...
At the bottom of the box, I found it.
An old, worn out, Legend of Zelda Ocarina of time with the sticker peeled off and had the same illegible "Mark" In the same red sharpie.
I took my new Oot out and replaced it with the old one.
Two files - both named "Link" Greeted me after a long 30 years.
I went on the first one.
I was adult link in the Temple of Time, with the Goron Tunic and the Longshot, Ice Arrows, and Hover Boots equipped.
I went into the Castle Market, and waited for the ReaDeads.
No redeads appeared.
Long, white, bloody hands sprouted everywhere in the ground. There must have been 50 of them. Each waiting to grab me and pull me under.
Everywhere was in ruin, not just Hyrule Castle Town.
The Shadow Temple music played.
I went off into the bottom of the well as instructed.
Kakariko village was full of hands too. I couldn't find any NPC, I looked all over the small village.
I found one.
The Cucco lady, a hand grasping her face.
When I talked to her, she replied with a chilling message.
"WHY? WHY DID YOU LEAVE US WITH... HIM? HOW COULD YOU LEAVE US LIKE THIS FOR 30 LONG YEARS?"
I felt guilty, leaving Hyrule's citizens like this for 30 years.
I had to stop this. I had to find Dead Hand.
Wait... You couldn't go under the well as an adult.
The single hand was waiting for me, sticking out of the well.
Knowing the only way of getting to the battle room.
It dragged me under.
Twenty. Twenty hands all positioned and scattered around the arena.
I let one of them grab me.
"I'VE BEEN WAITING FOR YOU."
There he was. Nothing has changed. Same empty face, same strange body. I had to beat him. I knew I did.
With 20 hands, it was hard. But I was a hardcore Zelda player. I chopped each one down, and struck.
All the hands disappeared. I did it. Dead Hand was dead... Wait... No... He came back up. He was persistent. Stubborn. Willing to do whatever it took to kill me.
He lifted his strange body off the ground.
I almost threw up.
Thousands. THOUSANDS. Thousands of hands rose up under the visible part of him. Like a giant spider.
I immediately began running.
Out the door, up the ladder, out of the town.
He followed me all the way.
I ran for what felt like forever. It felt like another 30 years. Tyler was right. Why didn't I try this earlier? If only I could ask him about it.
I knew it was pointless in running. I only had one choice.
I stopped running and let him catch up.
He ripped me apart. I could see all Link's Organs, being ripped up by the hands. Everything. It was over. All over. I couldn't take this anymore. Thirty years, this monster has invaded my most precious memory.
I shut off the game. It was too much.
I locked the games in the box and boarded up the attic.
Every night. I see him out the window. He presses his hands against the window. Sometimes I see his face. Every night. I realize he will haunt me for the rest of my life.
I dare not step out of my house - I'll end up just like Link.
I have one of my other friends get food for me. All I can do is cry at the foot of my attic. I don't have the energy - the compulsion to do anything else.
The worst part is, my hands grow thinner... Whiter... and hungrier... with each tear.
Originally posted on theunder the name "Hands".