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Written by JoshHere
Content is available under CC-BY-SA


People have nostalgias. Things that tear them apart from reality and put them in their own world. A world where they have total control; a world where there are no limits; a world where everything is right. Nostalgias are childhood homes or old pictures. My nostalgia was Kirby. I got my first Kirby game, Kirby’s Adventure, for my ninth birthday. Excitement filled me as I ripped open the packaging and shoved the cartridge into my NES. My hands shook as I held the controller up and began playing. I was suddenly in a different world. A world where up was down and down was right. A world where I could just be a pink wad of cotton candy and have my own adventures. Nobody to judge me. Nobody to hurt me. It was only when Mom turned off the NES that I returned to reality. And reality was a hallow place. Everything made sense in the real world. And I hated it.

Over the years, I began collecting Kirby games. I swept the entire house, cleaned the dishes, and did any other chore imaginable just to earn enough money to go to the game store and see Kirby’s face on that cartridge. By the time my eleventh birthday rolled around, I hadn’t grown out of Kirby as Mom had hoped. My bedroom walls were covered by posters of Kirby. My shelves were stocked with every game you could imagine. All of them had that one magic word in the title: Kirby. I began developing an almost cult-like relationship with Kirby and his games. While all the kids in my class were playing Mortal Kombat 3 and World of Warcraft, I continued my unhealthy addiction to Kirby. It was nothing but happy times, jumping around the hills of Dreamland. Nothing was right. Nothing made sense. It was the complete lack of order that drew me in to Kirby games.

Two years later, it was my thirteenth birthday. I was a teenager now, and Kirby was still a part of my daily routine. My parents were worried for me, so instead of a Kirby game, they gave me a wad of ten dollar bills for my birthday. “Go and buy a game, any game,” my Mom had told me. “But, please, not that damn pink thing again!” I nodded and bolted out of the door, entering into a nearby gaming shop. The store wasn’t as I last remembered it. The colorful posters and Nintendo games were replaced by piles of Fallout and Final Fantasy games. Walking between shelves, I scanned each one for any signs of Kirby. My hopes sank. Nothing.

I walked over to one of the employees and asked if they had anything else. The tall blonde lady I was talking to thought for a second before telling me to wait there and walking into the backroom. She came out a few minutes later with a box, filled with used cartridges. “Anything here is half-price,” she informed me before walking away. I dug through the countless Star Fox cartridges and eventually reached the bottom of the box. That’s when I saw it. A dirty, worn out cartridge tucked neatly in the bottom corner of the box with an instruction manual taped to it. The label read “Kirby’s Lost Island”. I snagged it and a smile spread across my face. Finally, something I can play, I thought. But something about it was strange. There was no Nintendo watermark anywhere on it, nor was there was copyright notice carved into the cartridge. The cover was also different. It showed Kirby in front of a black background, grinning strangely. It wasn’t bright and vibrant like the other game covers. It was dark. Disturbing. But there was nothing left, so I bought it. I came home content, a Kirby game in one hand and the twenty dollars I saved in the other, the manual stuff in my pocket.

Mom wasn’t surprised that I got another Kirby game. “You little shit” was all she said before stomping into her room and slamming the door shut behind her. I took out the cartridge for Kirby Super Star and put in the new one. The opening screen was pitch black. A slowed down version of the Kirby theme played in the background as the title appeared on screen: Kirby’s Lost Island. Another noticed appeared underneath it: Press start. I did so and the game itself started up. Strange. There wasn’t a selection menu or anything. Just jumped right to the game. I spawned ontop of a hill,  resembling the ones in the original Kirby game and began playing. But there was no music. There weren’t any enemies, either. The entire level was empty from any obstacles. Instead of quitting then and there, my curiosity got the better of me. I continued to play. After about two minutes of this crap, I decided to throw the shitball Kirby game away and continud playing Kirby Super Star. That’s when a door appeared on one of the hilltops, resembling the level-end doors you see at the end of a stage. I entered it. The screen turned black. A few cryptic symbols appeared in shaky text.

I pressed the start button on the controller rapidly, trying to exit the screen somehow. I was reaching for the power button on the TV when music began playing from the speakers again. It was the same, distorted Kirby music that had played on the main menu. The screen switched back to Kirby in front of the door. I picked up the controller and began playing again, believing that what just happened was some kind of easter egg the developers put in. When I entered the next “section” of the level, I realized there were actually enemies. I hovered over the small gap and landed on the ground, sucking up a nearby Waddle Dee, holding him in my expanded cheeks while I jumped over a second one.

I felt the happiness and rush I got when I played Kirby games all over again. Eventually, I had spit the little bastard out as a star and “vanquished” another nearby enemy. The game wasn’t the best in the Kirby franchise, but I was actually starting to enjoy myself. The music also started back up, this time not declined or distorted. I played for a few more minutes before getting into a boss fight, which is a regular occurance at the end of every stages. It was Whispy Woods, the same first boss from the original game. The fight was easy, and I managed to defeat Whispy in under a minute. He froze, a look of shock on his face. I was expecting a star to hover down from the sky so I could move on to the next level, but nothing came. The tree finally began moving again, but not in the way I expected. It shook violently, shaking the entire level with it. Whispy suddenly froze again. Two little red specks in the center of its eyes appeared. The tree burst into several pieces, which fell to the ground.

I was confused, but wanted to move on, and feared turning off the game would delete all of my current progress. The music died down, and it was just silence while my character and the crumbled Whispy Woods boss stood across from each other. The wait continued, and at this point I though the game was frozen or something. I pushed up on the controller, and Kirby began moving again. But there was still no star. The game screen began shaking again. A figure appeared directly across from Kirby. It was some kind of tall, jet black stick figure with red eyes and a sinister smile. What the fuck is this? I reached for my controller again, but the figure suddenly jolted forward and ran into Kirby, crashing the game. All that was left was a pitch black screen.

Kirby

My hands were shaking again as I fidgeted with the buttons. What the hell was going on? My screen lit up. White text reading You died appeared in the center as that eerie, slowed down Kirby theme began to play in the background. I pressed the reset button on my NES. The screen flashed and I was back at the start screen. This time, a message appeared underneath the game’s title. It read, 4 more to go. By that time, I’d had enough of this game. I hovered my finger over the power button when Mom called my name. “Dinner!” she yelled, the slow music barely muting her bombastic voice.

We ate in complete silence. All I could think about was that game. After I finished eating, I opened my laptop and googled Kirby’s Lost Island.

There was only one search result. It was just a series of seemingly random numbers and letters. I clicked on it and was brought to some shady website. A notification appeared in the top right hand corner of my screen, telling me the site was unsecure. I didn’t give jack shit, and began reading the article on the site. It was a short paragraph, with some cryptic writing followed by symbols. The first sentence read: Don’t let your adventure stop, be it by his name. I closed my laptop and headed for my bedroom. That chilling Kirby theme played from the TV speakers. I stopped in my tracks and slowly turned around. The game had started up without me. I picked up the controller and looked around. Mom was nowhere to be seen, Dad was probably going to be out drinking for another few hours, and Nico, my brother, was already sleeping. A few more minutes won’t hurt. I began playing again.

It was a different level, meaning I must’ve beaten the last boss and moved on. I floated across most of the stage, avoiding the few ground enemies. I was nearly at the end of the level when I came up again a single red Bronto Burt The music stopped as it approached me. The game froze again. I thought it was another crash, and was already reaching for the power button when the creatures’ eyes went completely black. Kirby began shaking violently in place, unable to move. Then the entire stage began shaking. What sounded like some sort of distorted bell chime played in the background as the enemy’s eyes lit up a bloody red and it began lagging towards me, skipping movement frames.

Posessed Brunto

Blood swelled up underneath the enemy’s eyes and began pouring out in the form of tears. The screen turned black again as the creature touched Kirby. The chimes stopped. White text reading Help me appeared on the screen before turning into Don’t let him take me away again. I began pressing B rapidly on my controller, trying to get the options menu to come up. Nothing happened, and the letters too began to shake. I threw my controller down and covered my ears, sobbing. “Make it go away,” I whispered, getting progressively louder.

“Make it go away,”             

“Make it go away,”

“MAKE IT GO AWAY!”

I uncovered my ears, and heard the upbeat Kirby theme. The level had restarted somehow. A normal person would’ve stopped then and there. But the fear of what would happened. The curiosity of how the game ended. It all gripped onto me, and pulled me back to one thing: Kirby’s Lost Island. My mindset had changed. I was going to finish the damn game. Even if it killer me.

I basically just replayed the level, avoiding most of the ground enemies. When I got to the Bronto Burt, I managed to kill it with no odd occurrences. Then I entered the door, ending the level. Heavy trumpet music played as my avatar came out of another door and entered the next stage. It was an ice world, which I never really saw in any other Kirby games. The stage, this time, was actually fun. The level was also relatively easy, with only a few enemies and pit drops to stand in my way. I entered the level end door, expecting to be transported to the next stage. But that didn’t happened. The door transported me to some kind of item shop, which looked like something straight out of an RPG. The store owner, a fat rabbit or some shit like that, was behind the store counter. A black text bubble underneath him read, “Welcome to the item shop! In here, you can purchase items using your in-game points!” The fat rabbit went on and on, most of the talk being instructions on how to purchase stuff. I ended up getting an extra life and a speed modifier from the store before moving on to the next stage.

There was no actual level, though. I was playing in a hills stage, similar to the first one, when the game began slowing down before freezing again. Two seconds later, I was transported to the final boss fight. I was a little disappointed I didn’t actually get to complete the level, but at the same time, I was relieved I didn’t have to go through all that shit again. The boss fight was again Lololo and Lalala. I had alreadt beaten this boss fight in the original Kirby game, so there wasn’t too much I was worried about. Lololo began kicking boxes around the forest area while Lalala dropped bombs from atop a cloud. I used the boxes as a staircase and destroyed the cloud Lalala was standing on, causing her to fall. The two disappeared into smoke. A star slowly came down from the sky, stopping just out of my reach. I hovered up in the air, attempting to grab the star. I inflated Kirby and floated upwards. To my surprise, I went right through the star, as if it wasn’t there. I checked my inventor to see if there was any kind of item that would allow me to move on. My inventor was empty except for the items I bought last time. Strange.

I tried again to grab the star and move on. This time it actually worked, and three Kirby’s appeared, dancing to music like they do every time you move on from a level. But these were different. Every Kirby had pitch black eyes, and they weren’t smiling. They all frowned while they danced, staring straight at the camera. The dance sequence also seemed slow down, as if somebody was playing it frame by frame.

They seemed so trapped. Alone. Nobody to take their hands. I reached out towards the screen, expecting to scoop one of them up and bring them into my arms. To cherish them. To protect them. The screen faded out to black, as the music faded out as well.

A white textbox appeared. The text inside of it began appearing. “You didn’t save us,” it said, as the text box disappeared. Chills went up my spine. What is this game? The next level started up, and a different, more tropical music began playing. I landed on top of a tree and immediately encountered a Waddle Doo. I killed it and absorbed the enemy, gaining its powers. Jumping from treetop to treetop, I encountered no other enemies. This was odd, as treetop levels like these were almost always filled with swarms of Bronto Burts. Everything was quiet, and as I got deeper into the level, the music began slowing down as well. The melody that played was so peaceful. Almost hypnotic.

Five minutes into the level, nothing has happened. There were absolutely no enemies. Just treetops. Sun. Light. Dark. Trees. Kirby. Nothing else. It seemed as if the whole level was going around and around in a circle. I finally made it to the end of the stage, but there was no boss fight or anything. There was no star to guide me to the next level either. There was just the level end door directly across from me on the top of a gigantic tree. I pressed down on the side arrow. Kirby moved towards the door. The ground underneath me suddenly disappeared. Kirby fell down into the pit and into the darkness below. But he didn’t die, nor did he ever hit the ground.

He just kept falling down. For two minutes straight, he was falling down the pit, which seemed like an endless loop at the time. I finally landed at the bottom of the pit. It was some kind of cave underground with a tunnel leading forward. I began walking down the tunnel, trying to make sense of my surroundings. Every time I passed one of the extinguished torches on the tunnel wall, it lit up with a red flame. The tunnel ended, revealing another cave, this one smaller than the cavern I first landed in. In the center was the level-end door, and in front of it was…was…

I don’t know what it was. It looked like an NPC of some kind, but it wasn’t moving. It was tall and slender, its skin a pale blue. It had its head buried in its arms, like it was crying. I approached it, but the game wouldn’t let me get any closer. I just kind of froze, looking at the weeping monster. It stopped shaking abruptly. Slowly, it turned around and stared at towards me. Not my Kirby avatar, no, it stared directly at me, like it could see me through the screen. The thing disappeared in a cloud of pixelated red smoke, allowing me to enter the door.

The game transported me back to the item shop. The fat-ass rabbit was there again. The text bubble underneath him read, “Welcome to the item shop! What are we getting you today?” The rabbit’s eyes turned red. Foam began pouring out of them. He began deflating, like a balloon, until he was on the item shop floor in a puddle of blood and foam. What the fuck? The game crashed. The black stick figure appeared, its eyes twitching and looking every which way. The items hanging on the wall were replaced with the corpses of in-game characters, pixelated blood pouring from their eyes. The screen erupted into static as the figure began twitching in every way rapidly. Strange symbols appeared in the text box underneath him.

Mars in shop

A loud, long beeping sound came from the TV speakers, as if something wasn’t right with the cartridge. The creature’s eyes (along with its smile) grew wider as the static continued to build up. Letters began flickering amidst the static. At first they appeared for only a frame, but over time they stared to appear faster and faster. Slowly, I was able to make out words. You. Can’t. Save. Them.

Mars Error

I screamed and threw the controller at the screen, jumping behind my couch for cover as if the thing was going to crawl out and attack me. I peered over my hiding spot and examined my surroundings. The game seemed to have reset to the first level. Cautiously, I walked back over to the console, ejecting the cartridge. I sat back down on the couch and just stared at it before placing it back down on the coffee table. I felt around for the instruction manual in my pocket and flipped through the pages until I got to the section describing the games enemies. There were pictures of Waddle Dees and other in-game enemies with brief block paragraphs describing each one. But their in-game names were nowhere to be found. Names like Mary Jane, Sam, and Shelby were written by each of the enemies in pen. I turned the manual around and saw a final enemy page. There was a crude pen drawing of the figure from the game, with Mars written next to it. The creature’s description was only seven words: if he finds you, it’s too late.

The TV screen flickered back to life. I looked down at the cartridge in my shaking hands and then back up at the game playing on the television. I placed the cartridge down on the couch and looked into the console to confirm that there was nothing there. There wasn’t. Kirby began dancing again, this time on his own. His eyes were pitch black again. A red dot was in the center of each gaping eyehole. Then he began mouthing words. No noise came out, just the straight line he had for a mouth opening and closing, as if he was trying to tell me something. I grabbed the controller and tried to move. Kirby continued to dance, blood pouring out of his eyes. We wasn’t trying to communicate with me anymore. He was crying out tears. Tears of blood. Kirby’s eyes went blank again as he stared at me through the screen, the background changing rapidly. The game stopped before revealing a new level screen. The level name read Sundae Beach. But the square shown above, in which there is supposed to be an image of Kirby eating ice cream or fighting enemies, remained completely blank.

The level began. I spawned on some kind of beach area near the ocean. There was a few Blade Knights, but the level was mostly just stage. It was like somebody or something already played through and killed all the enemies. I inflated myself and floated onto some kind of pirate ship near the shore of the level’s beach. I walked across the vessel, passing multiple barrels. Each barrel had separate symbol carved into it. J. F. h.  They were some kind of pictographic symbols. I couldn’t read them, so I continued the level. I was on the end of the ship when boss fight music began playing. Thinking there was some kind of boss stage underneath the water. I attempted to jump off the ship. The game wouldn’t let me. Symbols began flickering on my screen, some of them of which I have seen carved into the barrels. All of them were pitch red.

The symbols disappeared. I attempted to inflate Kirby and fly upwards to see if there was a cloud boss or some shit like that when I noticed a checkpoint on one of the ship’s crow’s nests. Grabbing the check point, I continued upwards and landed on some kind of long, thin cloud. There were multiple enemies on it, but they just passed right through me. Hell, they didn’t even have any walking animations. I reached the end of the cloud. A star fell down from the sky, as if I already defeated a boss. After grabbing the star, Kirby turned and stared right at me again, a black smudge appearing over his eyes. Two Kirby clones appeared by both his sides. They’re eyes lit up red. And they started dancing again. Frame. By. Frame.

Kirby Dancing



That haunting melody began playing again. It sounded as if somebody was smashing their hand against a piano. But at the same time it was…beautiful. Shit. I need to stay on topic. The dancing ended. The music stopped. The Kirby’s disappeared. And so did the cloud underneath me. My avatar began falling down, and down, and down, and down, and down below until I landed near the see. The water below was….different. It had a strange consistency and a different shade, as if it was filled with blood. I inflated myself and looked for any sort of land I could jump onto. Nothing. The level began shaking. The boss fight music began playing. Text appeared over Kirby’s head: Save them if you can.

A pitch black tentacle rose out of the water, followed by a second one. I expected some kind of a squid boss or some shit like that. I loosened my cramped fingers and watched the tentacles rise out of the water, one by one, followed by the creatures head. Holy shit. It was…..the thing. Its head was severely deformed and enormous. Its teeth were extremely bright, as if they were yellow. It smiled up at my avatar. I tried to fly away, but the game wouldn’t let me leave the area. A long tentacle reached out for me. I thumbed down the up controller. Kirby wouldn’t inflate. It was as if the game was playing against me. Kirby began falling down into the bloody water, towards the creature.

Kirby vs Mars

I finally regained control of the game just as Mars’ tentacle was wrapping around me, inflating myself and attempting once again to exit the level. In all my panic, I hadn’t noticed the stage music had changed once again. It wasn’t the typical upbeat Kirby theme you hear whenever playing through a boss stage. It was slow piano music, crippled by static sudden jump cuts. I reached the end of the screen. The game blocked me off from the end of the level. Mars traced Kirby from below. Kirby began falling as Mars’ head split into two, revealing monstrous teeth and multiple long, twisted tongues which flicked forwards and attempted to grab me.

Mars plus

The screen went black. In the center of the darkness, there was an outline of a face. I had to squint and lean in to see it, but it was there. Very faint. It was…I think…..Kirby. Kirby stepped out of the darkness. His eyes were pitch black with small red dots in the center. “You could’ve saved me,” read the text above him. “You could have saved all of us.”

Kirby Text

A series of letters appeared on the screen, as well as a response line. I slowly typed out who are you? Kirby took a step back into the darkness, his eyes returning to normal. Shaking letters began appearing on the screen one by one. Sam, the letters said. The response line, along with the letters underneath it, appeared again. Why, I typed. Three white dots appeared on the screen.

He trapped me. The letters read. Who?

Mars.                                                    

The screen returned to the game. I was in the same location as I was before the screen switched to black, inflated over Mars’ monstrous teeth. But there wasn’t any kind of force pulling me in. I flew out of the stage’s “view” and saw land. Mars tracked me perfectly as he had before, but stopped when I landed on the land. The monster just froze for a few seconds before sinking underneath the ocean of blood. My tenses relaxed as I leaned back in the sofa, taking deep breaths. What the fuck is this game? The screen promptly began shaking again, a loud monotone beep accompanying it.

The hellish sight I was next scarred me. The creature slowly rose out of the water, a blood spine holding its bleeding head upwards. Two spider-like legs pulled it onto the land, its tentacles dangling underneath it. I darted forward, trying to outrun the beast. You can’t hide, read the red on-screen text above him as he crawled towards me, slowly gaining speed as his running animations become more and more realistic. Mars’ monstrous sprite began splicing into smaller pieces, lagging out wildly.

Kirby vs. Mars

I eventually outran the thing, but there was something else up ahead. It was a Kirby clone with pitch black eyes, each with a red dot in the center. I tried to pass, but it mirrored my movements and blocked me from passing. The monotone beep returned as the creature’s face appeared. Its mouth opened, and it created a vacuum, sucking Kirby in. I closed my eyes as I heard something resembling the sound every time Kirby absorbs an enemy, except greatly deepened.

My eyes flung open. I was at the start of the first level. Everything was the same, except…

Everything was darker and in negative lighting. All the enemies had the same black eyes with red dots in the center. I ran through the level, passing the frameless creatures along the way. The level end door appeared on one of the hills, which I entered.

It took me to a completely black area. BRZZZZZ! I jumped and spun around. My Dad’s printer was turned on, and printing out some kind of paper that went onto drop on the floor. My hands shook as I bent down and picked it up. “WHAT KIND OF SICK FUCKING JOKE IS THIS?” I yelled, looking around the vacant room. The paper showcased a picture of multiple Kirby enemies walking in a single file line, Mars watching them from the shadows. The text above them repeated a dark message I’ve felt since beginning to play the game: You can’t save them.

Another earsplitting sound came from the TV speakers. The screen flashed with vibrant colors for a few seconds before the same message began blinking on the screen. You can’t save them. The message disappeared, as I stared down at the once-innocent looking controller I held in my shaking hands. Two options appeared on the screen. Quit or Continue. I bit my lip, hovering the selection icon over Quit. The taunt kept echoing inside of my head. You can’t save them. YOU CAN’T SAVE THEM. “Fuck it,” I hissed, selecting Continue. An error sound played as the text above changed to No. I pressed down on the A key again to select it. NO, the text read, this time in capitalized shaking letters.

The screen went blank. An inverted voice played through the speakers at full volume. The pitch was too low to make out what the speaker was saying. A horrifying pitch played behind it, slowly rising. The music stopped abruptly as the flashing screen showcased Mars standing out in front of a white background. His mouth began mouthing, no longer twisted in the Glasglow grin.

His sprite was shaking. It didn’t give me the impression of anger, but fear. Trembling letter by trembling letter, words formed over his head.

You Will Be Sorry.

Mars Angry

The two options appeared once again by either side of Mars. Quit. Continue. They began overlapping and splicing, connecting and dismembering. A horrifying scream came from the speakers. The controller slipped out of my hands. Screams. Mars’ horrified frown widened.

Y̸̬̐̈̾̚͝Ǫ̵̭̼͍̱̱̙͕͍̬̫̪̪̗̀̔̆̾̀͒͒̍͊͛̀͆͐͝Ư̷̧̹͎̻̦̺͔̟̰͂͒͌͋̚ ̴̨͔͕̰̙̤͗͌̔̆͌͐̎̂͐̃̉̅͝C̶̛̛̖̝̱͓̖͕͎̤͂̄̈́̎̑̈̋̀̈́̓͘͜ͅẬ̴͕̰̩͉͓̲̰͇́̓̑̃͆̉̄N̸̺̜͚̰͗̑͊̿͋͘̚N̵̢͚̠̮͎̯̻͓͈̻̩͕̱͇̙̑͛̃͌̏͐͂̌Ô̴̘̩͚̖̄Ṭ̶̛̟̑̒͗̔̓̚͠ ̶̬̲̙̘͖͖̮͔̬̘̫̠̣͐̏͊̇̅̏̐̄̄̋͑̍ͅͅĘ̷̣̦͖̝̠̼͈̭̫̬̮̝͓̥͑̀̾̽̄Š̸͓̘͇̯̠̜̯̠̘̳̱̠̃͜ͅC̴̛̲͍̥͇̣͕̯͇̰̙̱̊̈́̿̐̈̇̽̂́͒À̸̺͎̙̳͓̹̥̤̌̂̀͆̄̎̇͘͠͝ͅP̷̧̨̧̤͚̩̳̻͓̣̪̜͈̦̗̀̃͑͝͠E̶̡̺̗̺̳̻̼̎̃̊̕!̴̛̭͖̈́̈́̐̀̐̃̌̆

“No,” I whispered. Another scream erupted, flooding through the room.

T̸̡̛̩͖̪̳̪̭̖͇͔̘̤̥̈́̿͗͆̏̌̎̇͝H̷͎͉̫̭͙̠̤̻͍̼̓̓͊̈́̾͌̾̈́̆̾͌͛̆̈́͜È̵̞̮̦̈́̈̎̓̾̑̈́̊́̊̔͗͠Y̸̡̪͑̽̉̏͗̑̉͘ͅ ̷̡̫̳̦̹̲͋̈́̏̽͊͛̂̐͆̑̒̈́̾̈́͝Ą̷̢͇̰͚̮͔̟͕̤͙̄̄̒̾̓͜Ŗ̵̧͍̜̘͔̰̼̘̽̔̈̆̀̄̆̑ͅĘ̴̢̙̙̬̙̮̳̟͚̣̞͍͌͜ ̶̨̧̩͔͖̫̭̟̱̼͋̂͆͑̾͊Ģ̷̨̪̞͓͔̣̼̗͉̦̺͔̬́̿̿͌̔O̷̞̙͚͙͌͌͠͝Ņ̴͈̲͍͔̱̊͒È̶̢͓͔̹̩͖̦̯̘̣̮̤̮͎͎͒̂̃̾̆͆̀̕͝

“NO!” I repeated, this time as a scream.

T̸̡̛̩͖̪̳̪̭̖͇͔̘̤̥̈́̿͗͆̏̌̎̇͝H̷͎͉̫̭͙̠̤̻͍̼̓̓͊̈́̾͌̾̈́̆̾͌͛̆̈́͜È̵̞̮̦̈́̈̎̓̾̑̈́̊́̊̔͗͠Y̸̡̪͑̽̉̏͗̑̉͘ͅ ̷̡̫̳̦̹̲͋̈́̏̽͊͛̂̐͆̑̒̈́̾̈́͝Ą̷̢͇̰͚̮͔̟͕̤͙̄̄̒̾̓͜Ŗ̵̧͍̜̘͔̰̼̘̽̔̈̆̀̄̆̑ͅĘ̴̢̙̙̬̙̮̳̟͚̣̞͍͌͜ ̶̨̧̩͔͖̫̭̟̱̼͋̂͆͑̾͊Ģ̷̨̪̞͓͔̣̼̗͉̦̺͔̬́̿̿͌̔O̷̞̙͚͙͌͌͠͝Ņ̴͈̲͍͔̱̊͒È̶̢͓͔̹̩͖̦̯̘̣̮̤̮͎͎͒̂̃̾̆͆̀̕͝T̸̡̛̩͖̪̳̪̭̖͇͔̘̤̥̈́̿͗͆̏̌̎̇͝H̷͎͉̫̭͙̠̤̻͍̼̓̓͊̈́̾͌̾̈́̆̾͌͛̆̈́͜È̵̞̮̦̈́̈̎̓̾̑̈́̊́̊̔͗͠Y̸̡̪͑̽̉̏͗̑̉͘ͅ ̷̡̫̳̦̹̲͋̈́̏̽͊͛̂̐͆̑̒̈́̾̈́͝Ą̷̢͇̰͚̮͔̟͕̤͙̄̄̒̾̓͜Ŗ̵̧͍̜̘͔̰̼̘̽̔̈̆̀̄̆̑ͅĘ̴̢̙̙̬̙̮̳̟͚̣̞͍͌͜ ̶̨̧̩͔͖̫̭̟̱̼͋̂͆͑̾͊Ģ̷̨̪̞͓͔̣̼̗͉̦̺͔̬́̿̿͌̔O̷̞̙͚͙͌͌͠͝Ņ̴͈̲͍͔̱̊͒È̶̢͓͔̹̩͖̦̯̘̣̮̤̮͎͎͒̂̃̾̆͆̀̕͝T̸̡̛̩͖̪̳̪̭̖͇͔̘̤̥̈́̿͗͆̏̌̎̇͝H̷͎͉̫̭͙̠̤̻͍̼̓̓͊̈́̾͌̾̈́̆̾͌͛̆̈́͜È̵̞̮̦̈́̈̎̓̾̑̈́̊́̊̔͗͠Y̸̡̪͑̽̉̏͗̑̉͘ͅ ̷̡̫̳̦̹̲͋̈́̏̽͊͛̂̐͆̑̒̈́̾̈́͝Ą̷̢͇̰͚̮͔̟͕̤͙̄̄̒̾̓͜Ŗ̵̧͍̜̘͔̰̼̘̽̔̈̆̀̄̆̑ͅĘ̴̢̙̙̬̙̮̳̟͚̣̞͍͌͜ ̶̨̧̩͔͖̫̭̟̱̼͋̂͆͑̾͊Ģ̷̨̪̞͓͔̣̼̗͉̦̺͔̬́̿̿͌̔O̷̞̙͚͙͌͌͠͝Ņ̴͈̲͍͔̱̊͒È̶̢͓͔̹̩͖̦̯̘̣̮̤̮͎͎͒̂̃̾̆͆̀̕͝T̸̡̛̩͖̪̳̪̭̖͇͔̘̤̥̈́̿͗͆̏̌̎̇͝H̷͎͉̫̭͙̠̤̻͍̼̓̓͊̈́̾͌̾̈́̆̾͌͛̆̈́͜È̵̞̮̦̈́̈̎̓̾̑̈́̊́̊̔͗͠Y̸̡̪͑̽̉̏͗̑̉͘ͅ ̷̡̫̳̦̹̲͋̈́̏̽͊͛̂̐͆̑̒̈́̾̈́͝Ą̷̢͇̰͚̮͔̟͕̤͙̄̄̒̾̓͜Ŗ̵̧͍̜̘͔̰̼̘̽̔̈̆̀̄̆̑ͅĘ̴̢̙̙̬̙̮̳̟͚̣̞͍͌͜ ̶̨̧̩͔͖̫̭̟̱̼͋̂͆͑̾͊Ģ̷̨̪̞͓͔̣̼̗͉̦̺͔̬́̿̿͌̔O̷̞̙͚͙͌͌͠͝Ņ̴͈̲͍͔̱̊͒È̶̢͓͔̹̩͖̦̯̘̣̮̤̮͎͎͒̂̃̾̆͆̀̕͝T̸̡̛̩͖̪̳̪̭̖͇͔̘̤̥̈́̿͗͆̏̌̎̇͝H̷͎͉̫̭͙̠̤̻͍̼̓̓͊̈́̾͌̾̈́̆̾͌͛̆̈́͜È̵̞̮̦̈́̈̎̓̾̑̈́̊́̊̔͗͠Y̸̡̪͑̽̉̏͗̑̉͘ͅ ̷̡̫̳̦̹̲͋̈́̏̽͊͛̂̐͆̑̒̈́̾̈́͝Ą̷̢͇̰͚̮͔̟͕̤͙̄̄̒̾̓͜Ŗ̵̧͍̜̘͔̰̼̘̽̔̈̆̀̄̆̑ͅĘ̴̢̙̙̬̙̮̳̟͚̣̞͍͌͜ ̶̨̧̩͔͖̫̭̟̱̼͋̂͆͑̾͊Ģ̷̨̪̞͓͔̣̼̗͉̦̺͔̬́̿̿͌̔O̷̞̙͚͙͌͌͠͝Ņ̴͈̲͍͔̱̊͒È̶̢͓͔̹̩͖̦̯̘̣̮̤̮͎͎͒̂̃̾̆͆̀̕͝T̸̡̛̩͖̪̳̪̭̖͇͔̘̤̥̈́̿͗͆̏̌̎̇͝H̷͎͉̫̭͙̠̤̻͍̼̓̓͊̈́̾͌̾̈́̆̾͌͛̆̈́͜È̵̞̮̦̈́̈̎̓̾̑̈́̊́̊̔͗͠Y̸̡̪͑̽̉̏͗̑̉͘ͅ ̷̡̫̳̦̹̲͋̈́̏̽͊͛̂̐͆̑̒̈́̾̈́͝Ą̷̢͇̰͚̮͔̟͕̤͙̄̄̒̾̓͜Ŗ̵̧͍̜̘͔̰̼̘̽̔̈̆̀̄̆̑ͅĘ̴̢̙̙̬̙̮̳̟͚̣̞͍͌͜ ̶̨̧̩͔͖̫̭̟̱̼͋̂͆͑̾͊Ģ̷̨̪̞͓͔̣̼̗͉̦̺͔̬́̿̿͌̔O̷̞̙͚͙͌͌͠͝Ņ̴͈̲͍͔̱̊͒È̶̢͓͔̹̩͖̦̯̘̣̮̤̮͎͎͒̂̃̾̆͆̀̕͝T̸̡̛̩͖̪̳̪̭̖͇͔̘̤̥̈́̿͗͆̏̌̎̇͝H̷͎͉̫̭͙̠̤̻͍̼̓̓͊̈́̾͌̾̈́̆̾͌͛̆̈́͜È̵̞̮̦̈́̈̎̓̾̑̈́̊́̊̔͗͠Y̸̡̪͑̽̉̏͗̑̉͘ͅ ̷̡̫̳̦̹̲͋̈́̏̽͊͛̂̐͆̑̒̈́̾̈́͝Ą̷̢͇̰͚̮͔̟͕̤͙̄̄̒̾̓͜Ŗ̵̧͍̜̘͔̰̼̘̽̔̈̆̀̄̆̑ͅĘ̴̢̙̙̬̙̮̳̟͚̣̞͍͌͜ ̶̨̧̩͔͖̫̭̟̱̼͋̂͆͑̾͊Ģ̷̨̪̞͓͔̣̼̗͉̦̺͔̬́̿̿͌̔O̷̞̙͚͙͌͌͠͝Ņ̴͈̲͍͔̱̊͒È̶̢͓͔̹̩͖̦̯̘̣̮̤̮͎͎͒̂̃̾̆͆̀̕͝T̸̡̛̩͖̪̳̪̭̖͇͔̘̤̥̈́̿͗͆̏̌̎̇͝H̷͎͉̫̭͙̠̤̻͍̼̓̓͊̈́̾͌̾̈́̆̾͌͛̆̈́͜È̵̞̮̦̈́̈̎̓̾̑̈́̊́̊̔͗͠Y̸̡̪͑̽̉̏͗̑̉͘ͅ ̷̡̫̳̦̹̲͋̈́̏̽͊͛̂̐͆̑̒̈́̾̈́͝Ą̷̢͇̰͚̮͔̟͕̤͙̄̄̒̾̓͜Ŗ̵̧͍̜̘͔̰̼̘̽̔̈̆̀̄̆̑ͅĘ̴̢̙̙̬̙̮̳̟͚̣̞͍͌͜ ̶̨̧̩͔͖̫̭̟̱̼͋̂͆͑̾͊Ģ̷̨̪̞͓͔̣̼̗͉̦̺͔̬́̿̿͌̔O̷̞̙͚͙͌͌͠͝Ņ̴͈̲͍͔̱̊͒È̶̢͓͔̹̩͖̦̯̘̣̮̤̮͎͎͒̂̃̾̆͆̀̕͝T̸̡̛̩͖̪̳̪̭̖͇͔̘̤̥̈́̿͗͆̏̌̎̇͝H̷͎͉̫̭͙̠̤̻͍̼̓̓͊̈́̾͌̾̈́̆̾͌͛̆̈́͜È̵̞̮̦̈́̈̎̓̾̑̈́̊́̊̔͗͠Y̸̡̪͑̽̉̏͗̑̉͘ͅ ̷̡̫̳̦̹̲͋̈́̏̽͊͛̂̐͆̑̒̈́̾̈́͝Ą̷̢͇̰͚̮͔̟͕̤͙̄̄̒̾̓͜Ŗ̵̧͍̜̘͔̰̼̘̽̔̈̆̀̄̆̑ͅĘ̴̢̙̙̬̙̮̳̟͚̣̞͍͌͜ ̶̨̧̩͔͖̫̭̟̱̼͋̂͆͑̾͊Ģ̷̨̪̞͓͔̣̼̗͉̦̺͔̬́̿̿͌̔O̷̞̙͚͙͌͌͠͝Ņ̴͈̲͍͔̱̊͒È̶̢͓͔̹̩͖̦̯̘̣̮̤̮͎͎͒̂̃̾̆͆̀̕͝T̸̡̛̩͖̪̳̪̭̖͇͔̘̤̥̈́̿͗͆̏̌̎̇͝H̷͎͉̫̭͙̠̤̻͍̼̓̓͊̈́̾͌̾̈́̆̾͌͛̆̈́͜È̵̞̮̦̈́̈̎̓̾̑̈́̊́̊̔͗͠Y̸̡̪͑̽̉̏͗̑̉͘ͅ ̷̡̫̳̦̹̲͋̈́̏̽͊͛̂̐͆̑̒̈́̾̈́͝Ą̷̢͇̰͚̮͔̟͕̤͙̄̄̒̾̓͜Ŗ̵̧͍̜̘͔̰̼̘̽̔̈̆̀̄̆̑ͅĘ̴̢̙̙̬̙̮̳̟͚̣̞͍͌͜ ̶̨̧̩͔͖̫̭̟̱̼͋̂͆͑̾͊Ģ̷̨̪̞͓͔̣̼̗͉̦̺͔̬́̿̿͌̔O̷̞̙͚͙͌͌͠͝Ņ̴͈̲͍͔̱̊͒È̶̢͓͔̹̩͖̦̯̘̣̮̤̮͎͎͒̂̃̾̆͆̀̕͝T̸̡̛̩͖̪̳̪̭̖͇͔̘̤̥̈́̿͗͆̏̌̎̇͝H̷͎͉̫̭͙̠̤̻͍̼̓̓͊̈́̾͌̾̈́̆̾͌͛̆̈́͜È̵̞̮̦̈́̈̎̓̾̑̈́̊́̊̔͗͠Y̸̡̪͑̽̉̏͗̑̉͘ͅ ̷̡̫̳̦̹̲͋̈́̏̽͊͛̂̐͆̑̒̈́̾̈́͝Ą̷̢͇̰͚̮͔̟͕̤͙̄̄̒̾̓͜Ŗ̵̧͍̜̘͔̰̼̘̽̔̈̆̀̄̆̑ͅĘ̴̢̙̙̬̙̮̳̟͚̣̞͍͌͜ ̶̨̧̩͔͖̫̭̟̱̼͋̂͆͑̾͊Ģ̷̨̪̞͓͔̣̼̗͉̦̺͔̬́̿̿͌̔O̷̞̙͚͙͌͌͠͝Ņ̴͈̲͍͔̱̊͒È̶̢͓͔̹̩͖̦̯̘̣̮̤̮͎͎͒̂̃̾̆͆̀̕͝T̸̡̛̩͖̪̳̪̭̖͇͔̘̤̥̈́̿͗͆̏̌̎̇͝H̷͎͉̫̭͙̠̤̻͍̼̓̓͊̈́̾͌̾̈́̆̾͌͛̆̈́͜È̵̞̮̦̈́̈̎̓̾̑̈́̊́̊̔͗͠Y̸̡̪͑̽̉̏͗̑̉͘ͅ ̷̡̫̳̦̹̲͋̈́̏̽͊͛̂̐͆̑̒̈́̾̈́͝Ą̷̢͇̰͚̮͔̟͕̤͙̄̄̒̾̓͜Ŗ̵̧͍̜̘͔̰̼̘̽̔̈̆̀̄̆̑ͅĘ̴̢̙̙̬̙̮̳̟͚̣̞͍͌͜ ̶̨̧̩͔͖̫̭̟̱̼͋̂͆͑̾͊Ģ̷̨̪̞͓͔̣̼̗͉̦̺͔̬́̿̿͌̔O̷̞̙͚͙͌͌͠͝Ņ̴͈̲͍͔̱̊͒È̶̢͓͔̹̩͖̦̯̘̣̮̤̮͎͎͒̂̃̾̆͆̀̕͝T̸̡̛̩͖̪̳̪̭̖͇͔̘̤̥̈́̿͗͆̏̌̎̇͝H̷͎͉̫̭͙̠̤̻͍̼̓̓͊̈́̾͌̾̈́̆̾͌͛̆̈́͜È̵̞̮̦̈́̈̎̓̾̑̈́̊́̊̔͗͠Y̸̡̪͑̽̉̏͗̑̉͘ͅ ̷̡̫̳̦̹̲͋̈́̏̽͊͛̂̐͆̑̒̈́̾̈́͝Ą̷̢͇̰͚̮͔̟͕̤͙̄̄̒̾̓͜Ŗ̵̧͍̜̘͔̰̼̘̽̔̈̆̀̄̆̑ͅĘ̴̢̙̙̬̙̮̳̟͚̣̞͍͌͜ ̶̨̧̩͔͖̫̭̟̱̼͋̂͆͑̾͊Ģ̷̨̪̞͓͔̣̼̗͉̦̺͔̬́̿̿͌̔O̷̞̙͚͙͌͌͠͝Ņ̴͈̲͍͔̱̊͒È̶̢͓͔̹̩͖̦̯̘̣̮̤̮͎͎͒̂̃̾̆͆̀̕͝T̸̡̛̩͖̪̳̪̭̖͇͔̘̤̥̈́̿͗͆̏̌̎̇͝H̷͎͉̫̭͙̠̤̻͍̼̓̓͊̈́̾͌̾̈́̆̾͌͛̆̈́͜È̵̞̮̦̈́̈̎̓̾̑̈́̊́̊̔͗͠Y̸̡̪͑̽̉̏͗̑̉͘ͅ ̷̡̫̳̦̹̲͋̈́̏̽͊͛̂̐͆̑̒̈́̾̈́͝Ą̷̢͇̰͚̮͔̟͕̤͙̄̄̒̾̓͜Ŗ̵̧͍̜̘͔̰̼̘̽̔̈̆̀̄̆̑ͅĘ̴̢̙̙̬̙̮̳̟͚̣̞͍͌͜ ̶̨̧̩͔͖̫̭̟̱̼͋̂͆͑̾͊Ģ̷̨̪̞͓͔̣̼̗͉̦̺͔̬́̿̿͌̔O̷̞̙͚͙͌͌͠͝Ņ̴͈̲͍͔̱̊͒È̶̢͓͔̹̩͖̦̯̘̣̮̤̮͎͎͒̂̃̾̆͆̀̕͝

Mars’ entire body once again began shaking wildly, this time literally ripping itself apart.

Y̶̦̲̙̣͎͖̣͇̲̣̩̞̜̦͑͆̓͜O̷̤͖̥͔̪͚̤̬̻̱̮̦͔̦͝U̸̺̘̼̗͍̯͂́͆̀̇̓͊̑̕ ̸̧̡͎̱̜̻̳̥͇̅͆̒́̋̃͜͝C̶̡̨̯͈͇̯͈̘̼̟͍̟͒͛́̔̀̍͒̂́͂̍͛̂ͅĄ̵̬̭͖͕̗͈͖̒́N̶͙̟̤͍͍͈̐̒̇̑̑́̅́̐̎͑͝T̷͓͖̲̝͕̑̂̃́̿̈́͂̔͂͘̕ͅ ̶̧̨̨̢̭̣̣̺̤̹̠̟̘̪͖͊͐͌̇͆͒͗̋̈S̶̪̻͚͎͎͋̈́̈́͐̈́̅̅͂̏A̸̯͕͓͉͚͔͕̖̣͈̿̌ͅV̸̢̼̩̩̺͈̱̲̘̦͎̐̒̾͂̿͒̓́͑̀̎̚͘͝E̷̳̟̣̩̐͗̽́́́̂̌̕̚̕͝͝ ̵͚͌͒͐̆͗̂̊̍̀͒̅̈́͋̚͝Ṭ̸̙̈̑̓̌̔̍̓̾̄̉͠Ḩ̴̟̺̲͔̰͎̥̖̋̋͑̌͋̽̈̈́̚͘E̸̢̛̝̰̝͚͎̯̹̍̈́͆͛̊M̷̨̡͕̘̮̦̓̈̽̇̀̀̎̃̋̂̍̈͝͠

I chucked the controller across the room, diving for the console and reaching for the Reset button. Mars’ expression molded into pure rage as his eyes lit up. “You will never save them,” he whispered through the speakers one last time before disappearing into the static of the screen. I wasn’t finished yet, though. Picking myself up, I drove a fist through the TV screen. CRASH! The screen shattered, glass spilling on the floor. I looked down at my bleeding knuckles before taking the other hand and doing the same. CRASH! CRASH! CRASH! Blood dripped onto the floor, creating a trail as I limped into the bathroom and reached for the bandages. Everything went black.

I woke up to the sound of a slowed down version of the Kirby theme. Snapping back to life, I ran through the household, the blood trail still fresh on the ground. There, sitting cross-legged in the living room, was Nico. He smiled up at me, oblivious to the blood stains on the ground.

“I like your new game,”

So, yeah. The world's a funny place, isn't it? I could have ran, but who can I run to? Who will believe me? You don't believe me. Sitting behind the safety of you're screens, reading a dead man's blog. Are you smiling? I am. I...I just remembered. It's been years but I can still recall the look on Nico's face as I wrapped my arms around his neck. His eyes were dead. He smiled as my grasp around his neck tightened. His eyes were red. Mars. Mars. Mars. It was too later for him. Do you blame me? DO YOU FUCKING BLAME ME? Mars was in his head. Mars is everywhere. Mars. Mars. Mars.

My Mom always told me I was a little shit. She told me to pull my head out of Kirby's ass, wake up, and make my life a life. A life for a life, Mom? I helped her next. She tried to scream. But I was too quick. The blade sunk into her chest. Mars. Mars. Mars.

The revolver is loaded. One bullet. My hands are shaking as I type this. I have one shot. I will see Kirby again. Hold on. I'm putting it up to my head. Anroi4no n45o tin4o gnr nkrtnk gkrn krtn gkjnrn tgjnkr trjnk tr trgjnk rgjnk?/.

...

I'm happy.

I'm smiling.

A̵͕͆̈́̀l̸̨̜̙̄͛̔w̸̭̤̱̹̹̓̈́̒̃̿ȁ̵͕̦̓͑͝y̵͍̿͐̀s̵̤̬͙͒̌̂͜ ̶̠͚͌͊͐͝s̶̗̉̇̽͊m̶̻̈́͗i̵̥͉̹̼̍l̸̡̽̂͜ḯ̴̫̬̋͊͊n̸̟̫̮̎̕ǵ̶̟

:)

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