I'm a total Super Mario Bros fan much like anyone else, I like the newer games, but I don't mind playing the classics. I don't think I've ever played glitchy or hacked games before, though I don't think I want to play any after the experience I had...

It started on a nice summer afternoon, I was playing Super Mario Galaxy (I liked how you get to explore the worlds in it) until I noticed, out of my peripheral vision, that the postman had arrived and put something through my door as usual and left. I paused my game to go see what I got in the post... The only thing was a CD case for a computer and with it, a note. I took it inside.

I looked at the note first and realised it was from my dear friend Eddie (Let's just call him that), whom I hadn't heard from for about a week or two. I know that because I recognised his handwriting, though what was weird is how it looked; it looked badly written and scratchy and somewhat difficult to read, as if Eddie was having a hard time writing it down and did it in a rush.

This is what he wrote...

"Nick,

I can't take it anymore, I had to get rid of this thing somehow before it was too late, and I was hoping you'd do it for me. I can't do it, he's after me, and if you don't destroy this CD, he'll come after you too, he's too fast for me...

Please Jack, destroy this god-forsaken disc before he comes after you too, it's too late for me.

Destroy the disc, and you'll destroy him, but do it quick otherwise he'll catch you. Don't even play the game, it's what he wants, just destroy it.

Please...

Eddie"

Well, that was certainly weird. Even though Eddie's my best friend (Right?) and I haven't seen him about a wee or two, I didn't do what he asked me. I didn't think that a simple gaming disc would do anything bad to him, after all it's just a game right? Boy, was I wrong about that...

ANY way, I looked at the disc and it looks like any ordinary computer CD-R disc, except it had black marker on it written "MARIOEXE", and it was much unlike Eddie's handwriting, meaning that he must've gotten it from somewhere else, like a car boot sale or Amazon. When I saw "MARIO" on the writing of the CD, I was actually excited and wanted to play it, since I'm a a BIG Mario fan.

I went up to my room and turned on my computer and put the disc in and installed the game. When the title screen popped up I noticed that it was Super Mario World, I was like "Awesome!" Because like I said earlier I liked the classics. The first thing I noticed that was out of place was when I pressed start, there's was a split second when I saw the title image turned into something much different, something that I now consider horrifying, before cutting to black.

I remember what the image looked like in that split second before the game cut to black; The sky had darkened, the title font was rusted and dirty, Yoshi was nowhere to be found, the 1991 Nintendo was now instead 666 Nintendo, and the Goombas have been crushed into puddles of bones and blood, except they looked photorealistic.

But the freakiest thing that was in that split second frame was Mario, his eyes were nothing more than red with black dots staring RIGHT AT ME, and his skin was a pure pale white. I was rather disturbed about that image when I saw it, though I figured that it was just a glitch and forgot about it. After it cut to black it stayed like that for about 10 seconds or so. And then another weird thing happened, the save file select from Super Mario 64 popped up, and I was like "WTF? What's this doing in the Mario World game?", anyway, then I notice something off, the background was an eerie mix of crimson and maroon, and there were only three save files. The creepy music sounded like something out of Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds, only it was in a loop and seemed to have been in reverse. And the buttons for the save files where you would normally see a head of Mario, instead, showed the heads of other Mario characters, as if one would play as them instead.

What freaked me out more was what the selectable characters were, it showed only Luigi, Wario and to my surprise, King Bowser! Now I was sure that something was up, I mean, how can you play as Bowser in a classic Mario game, for crying out loud?

That's when I realized that this wasn't a glitchy game, it was a hacked game.

Yeah it definitely looked hacked, it was really creepy, but as a smart gamer, I wasn't scared (or at least I tried not to be), I told myself that it was just a hacked game and there's nothing wrong with that. Anyways, shaking off the creeped out feeling I picked File A and chose Luigi and when I selected and got started. The game froze for about 5 seconds and I heard a creepy pixelated laugh that sounded an awful lot like that laugh Phil Collins did in the song "Mama" by Genesis before cutting to black.

The screen stayed black for about 10 seconds or more, then it showed what I presumed to be the title of level I'm in, all in that big bold typical Mario font and in different shades of red, and it simply read "ISLAND 1". The screen faded in and the level title vanished revealing Luigi in Yoshi's Island from Mario World, of course, the music was different though, it sounded like a peaceful harmony in reverse. Anyway I started playing and had Luigi start running like you would in any of the classic Mario games, what was odd was that as Luigi was running along the level there was nothing but flat ground and a few bushes for 5 minutes, that was when the peaceful music started to lower down into slow deep tones very slowly as I kept going.

I suddenly saw something and I stopped to see what it was; it was one of the Koopa Troopas lying dead on the ground bleeding (That was when the music started to slow down), Luigi had a shocked and saddened look on his face that I never saw him have before, so I had him move along, and he kept that worried look on his face. As he kept moving I saw more dead enemies as Luigi moved past them looking more and more worried as the music lowers and he moves past more dead enemies, I was shocked to see how they all died, they looked like somebody killed them in rather gruesome ways; a Goomba was hanged on a tree with what appeared to be its entrails hanging out, a Bullet Bill had both its limbs torn off and a Lakitu had his eyes gouged out and his throat slit, not to mention his trademark cloud were gone. I felt sick to my stomach when I saw this massacre and apparently so did Luigi. After a few more seconds there were no more dead enemies and the music seemed to have stopped, I still kept Luigi to continue.

After a minute passed after the music stopped, Luigi was running up a hill and then he stopped, it wasn't until I saw why; Mario was there on the other side of the screen with his back against Luigi with his eyes closed. Luigi looked happy to see his brother Mario but then his smile faltered, obviously noticing that Mario wasn't responding to him, if not acting as if he was absolutely oblivious of Luigi's presence. Luigi walked slowly toward Mario, and I noticed that I wasn't even moving my keyboard to make him move, so this had to have been a cut scene.

Suddenly I began to have a growing feel of dread as Luigi walked closer to Mario to get his attention, I felt that Luigi was in danger and something bad was going to happen. I heard faint static growing louder as Luigi was but inches away from Mario and stopped and stuck his hand out to touch him. That foreboding feeling in my gut was growing stronger and I felt the urge to tell Luigi to get away from Mario as the static grew louder.

Suddenly in a split second I saw Mario's eyes open and they were red with those deep black dots, just like that title image, thought there wasn't a smile. When that happened the screen turned black and the static sound was off.

It stayed black for about 7 seconds and then white text appeared forming a message, saying, "It's a me. Do you want to play?"

At this point I was creeped out, I didn't want to continue with the game, but my curiosity got the better of me when I was taken to a different level with the level title now saying "SURRENDER OR RUN".

This time I was in the Dark Land level from Super Mario 3 and it looked like everything was on fire.

Luigi looked as though he was scared out of his wits this time. He actually looked at me and made frantic gestures to me as if he wanted to get out of the area he was in as fast as possible. I was starting to get freaked out by this...I mean Luigi was actually breaking the fourth wall, trying to tell me to get him out of there.

So I pressed down on the arrow key as hard as I could and made him run as fast as he could, a pixelated version of that creepy song "On the Run" from Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon was playing as I made Luigi trek through the desolate forest, trying to help him escape from whatever he was trying to run from.

Suddenly I heard that creepy laugh again... that awful, Phil Collins laugh... right after 10 seconds have passed as I helped Luigi run through the forest, and then I started seeing flashes of Mario popping everywhere on the screen, again with that pure pale face and those red and black eyes.

The music changed to that suspenseful drowning jingle as I see Mario behind Luigi slowly gaining up on him FLYING; Mario wasn't running, he was actually FLYING! The flying pose his sprite was making looked very similar to Racoon Mario's flying pose in Super Mario Bros 3, except it was just Mario and he had the black and red eyes on his pale face again, only THIS time he had the most deranged looking grin on his face, he looked as though he was enjoying the torment he was giving his poor little brother as he gained up on him.

Suddenly when Luigi slipped (another cut scene) the music halted and Mario vanished. Luigi laid there and started crying for 15 seconds. The scene was rather upsetting to watch and I kind of teared up myself. But then Mario appeared right in front of Luigi and Luigi looked up in horror.

Those crimson eyes of Sonic's begin to glow ever so malevolently as a grin slowly grew from his face as he looked down at his horrified brother, I could do nothing but watch.

Just in a split second Mario lunged at Luigi right before the screen went black, there was a loud screeching noise that only lasted 5 seconds. The text returned only this time it said "You're too slow, want to try again?" and then that god-awful laugh came with it.

I was so shocked by what had happened...did Mario murder Luigi? No, he couldn't have... He and Luigi are brothers! They're supposed to be best friends, right? Why did Mario do that to him?

I shook the shock off as I was brought back to the character select, the save file that had Luigi was different; Tails was no longer his normal happy care-free expression but has changed entirely, which was now stained with what looked like dripping blood, Luigi's expression scared me, his eyes were black and bleeding, his green hat had gone black and he had an expression of anguish on his face, Trying to ignore it I picked Wario next.

The laugh came again and the screen cut to black again and stayed there for another 10 seconds, this time the level said "YOU CAN'T HIDE".

I was really freaked out by now, I couldn't really tell if this was a glitch, or a hack, or some kind of sick twisted joke... or anything really. But despite my fear of what happened next, I kept playing.

The next level looked much different, it had the ground of one of those Cavern levels, but the background looked like a dark grey cloudy sky. But it was the music that creeped me out the most: It sounded like that theme you hear when you encounter the Flood from Halo. I also noticed that Wario looked afraid just like Luigi did, though not as much, more rather he looked a little unnerved. He broke the fourth wall just like Luigi and looked as if he wasn't sure about going on, but I made him move anyway.

He ran down the straight pathway in this dark level, and as he did the screen started to flicker black and white static a couple times and then that maddening laugh came again.

Then after a few seconds of running I noticed several bloodstains across the rocky ground, I felt a growing sense of fear again thinking something horrible was going to happen to Knuckles. He looked nauseated walking down this blood-stained road, but I still kept him going.

Suddenly as Wario ran, Mario appeared right in front of him with those red and black eyes and then white and black static appeared again, when the static vanished showing nothing but black screen with text saying "iTsA mE! i FoUnD YoU!", I was now scared, Mario found Wario already?! What was going on?!

Anyway black and white static came again and then I was back to the level, Wario looked like he was panicking, and Mario was nowhere to be found. And this time that high-pitched shriek from "Careful with That Axe, Eugene" by Pink Floyd was playing.

Was this some kind of boss battle with Mario? I hoped to God it wasn't, honestly.

Suddenly Mario appeared right behind Wario in what appeared to be pixelated grey smoke, I made Wario turn and then punch Mario, but Mario vanished in grey pixelated smoke before I could even land a hit, that terrible laugh went off again. Then Mario appeared behind Wario again and then I made him punch again, and Mario vanished again laughing. Wario was panicking even more, and even I felt like I was going crazy, Mario was practically playing with us, he was playing a sick twisted little mind game with me and Wario...

Another cut scene played as Wario fell to his knees and clutched his head sobbing, I felt his agony, Mario was actually driving us BOTH crazy.

And then in a split second Mario lunged at Wario and the screen went black with another distorted screeching noise that lasted for at least 3 seconds.

Another text message appeared, "Don't you worry, it will get worse very soon... just wait and see..."

What the hell... Just what is going on? I started to think Mario was actually trying to talk to me through the game... But I was too scared to think that.

I was brought back to the main menu and this time the second select box had Wario's expression completely altered, his once zig-zaggy moustache was ripped off, his skin had darkened to a pale grey, his yellow hat was stained with blood and his eyes were black and bleeding too, and he had a look of sadness on his face. I began to think that those are the actual characters trapped in those select boxes on the save files, but I couldn't believe it... I didn't want to believe it...

So I shut off the game and took a break. I took a nap, wish I hadn't, 'cause I then began to have the most disturbing nightmare, I was in pitch black darkness, though I was under the light given off by a lamp that hung high above my head. I could hear the cries of Wario and Luigi nearby. They were saying stuff like, "Help us..." and "Why did you let him torture us all?" and "Run away, before he gets you too..." and "Wherever you are, HELP!"

Their cries died out as I then heard Mario laugh, his laugh... it sounded a lot like the distorted Phil Collins laugh.

"You're a lot fun to play with kid, just like your friend Eddie, though he didn't last long..."

I was scared and looking around for the source of the voice...

"Won't a be long now until you join him and all my other friends..."

I saw him walking toward me, flickering in and out in several directions...

"You can't a hide, kid. You're in my world now. Just a like the others..."

When he grabbed me and I saw his glowing red and black-eyed, grinning face, I woke up with a fright.

After a couple of hours I decided to continue playing the game. I don't know why, but I had to know, I had to figure out why this was happening... So I turned on the computer, turned on the game and selected Bowser next.

I still thought that was silly, playing as Bowser, but anyway the level title appeared again and this time it said "...", which I found really freaky.

This time I was in some kind of castle hallway, it must've been Bowser's castle from any of the classic Mario games, it still had the pixelated style; the floor was stoney yet polished, the walls were a dark greyish violet with animated candlelight's and a few dark bloodstains here and there, and there were dark red curtains hanging above on the top part of the screen. Every 12 seconds or so those red curtains swayed very slowly, but whenever you're playing the game you can barely see it move. The music was oddly pleasant, an organ playing a rather sad yet peaceful song, but I knew better, this was the song that played in Island 1, only it wasn't in reverse.

Bowser didn't look entirely nervous like Luigi and Wario did, but he did have a suspicious look on his face as if he was just a bit paranoid. He did a little animation when I just left him standing, he turns his head to the left and then to the right at least twice and then shrugs at me, as if he has no idea where he was or what was going on. Even though I was scared out of my mind about what was going to happen, I had Bowser continue onward. He did a kind of typical running animation (You know, when you've confront him at the ending boss fight of a classic Mario game and you have to fight him) as we continued going through the hallway.

Then I stop at a long flight of stairs leading downward, now I was nervous, even Bowser seemed unsure of himself, though I pressed onward.

As I led Bowser down the stairs, I noticed that the walls have gotten darker, like a shade of Deep Purple; the red torches are now an eerie blue. Then we landed onto another hallway, this one was longer than the last one (or at least it felt like it) and then we headed down another flight of stairs down, this one was much longer, took at least 1 full minute.

And then I heard that horrid Phil Collins laugh again and then the music slowly faded until it was quiet, as it did the walls turnt into a dark metallic grey and the torches became grey flames all at once.

When Bowser landed onto the 3rd hallway, I noticed he now looked really creeped out, though he tried to hide it, I couldn't blame him, I was scared too.

Suddenly, Mario popped right in front of Bowser the same way he did Wario and then black and white static. The grey static lasted for about 15 second and then it showed me a most unpleasant image...

The image showed a photorealistic of Mario standing in the darkness where you can only see his face while his head and torso faded into black, and when I say hyper-realistic, I mean like he looked so real you could actually see the lines in his hair and skin, as if you could actually feel such if you touched the screen.

His face... oh god, he had the most horrifying smile I had ever seen!

And that's saying something considering I saw that image at the start of the game.

His eyes were wide and red and once again glowing so bright for something so 16-bit and there were two small piercing black dots in those red eyes staring RIGHT AT ME, as if staring into my soul. His grin was wide and demonic, it literally stretched pass his moustache (Which also looked photorealistic), to the sides of his face like a Cheshire Cat except Mario had fangs, VERY SHARP fangs, much like Bowser's teeth except FAR more vicious-looking, somewhat yellowish and from the look of it, he had stains of blood and small bits of flesh on his moustache and fangs as if he ate some animal.

I stared at that gruesome image for a good 30 seconds, never taking my eyes off it, I felt as if he was actually looking at me, smiling at me...that face, it just took 10 seconds for it to etch itself into my brain for good.

Then the screen flickered with black and white static again 3 times, and on the 3rd time I heard the Phil Collins laugh, except this time it sounded distorted, demonic even...

It went back to the image again except this time I saw something that I overlooked previously, there was a text above though it was messed up, but it was pretty much one of the most horrifying things I looked at since I discovered this game...

"I AM FIRST BANANA!"

It was when I read that message while looking at Mario when it hit me, I realized right there and then.

This Mario was a monster, a pure evil, sadistic, all-powerful, nightmarish, demented monster... and all of his victims, including Luigi, Wario, Bowser and possibly Eddie, are just his little toys, and the game was the very gateway into his chaotic, nightmarish world and the very HELL his victims are trapped in.

Suddenly in an actual split second I screamed as Mario lunged at the screen screeching loudly with his mouth wide open to an unnatural length revealing nothing but a literally spiraling abyss of pure darkness before the white and black static came again, this time much louder and distorted, so loud that it hurt my ears, I yelled and grabbed my ears as the grey static screeched for a good 7 seconds.

Then it stopped and showed nothing but black screen.

As I sat there staring at the black screen, one last text came up.

"Ready for a Round 2, Nick?"

The Phil Collins laugh, now sounding more clear as if Mario was right behind me, played again 3 times as I looked at that text in shock and confusion.

Then I got booted back to the main menu and this time the third select file showed an image of Bowser's head, this time in the same, tormented state as Luigi and Wario; Bowser's skin turned a dull yellowish-grey, his teeth cracked and had darkened, his horns broke and his usual red hair and eyebrows were burnt to a crisp and he had a mere dead like expression on his face.

I looked at Luigi, Wario and Bowser and cried a bit, I pitied them for the agony they're going through, they were forever trapped within the game, forever tormented by that horrid plumber, and always will be.

Then the computer shut itself off, I couldn't turn it back on no matter what I did.

I sat there for maybe 25 seconds, horrified by what had just happened...

Mario's the very embodiment of evil, he tortures people who play his game in more ways than one and then when he gets bored he drags you into the game, literally drags you to Hell, where he can play with you always, as his toy...

I can't get the game out of my computer. I think it's stuck in there, but at least I managed to turn it back on now.

After I sat there for 25 seconds I heard a voice right behind me, like a whisper...

"Try to keep this interesting for me, Nick."

I turned around to see where the voice came from, and what I saw made me shriek...

Sitting on my bed... staring right at me...

...was a Mari plushie, smiling with bloodstains under its eyes...