When I was about ten years old, I played Halos 1-3, including Halo Reach. I played the 3rd one at my friend Mikey’s house, and was hooked. I liked the way the in-game character's’ emotions seemed to affect me too. I could seemingly fell Cortana’s pain at the hands of the Gravemind. But what hit me the most was when I got the book “Halo: The Fall of Reach” by Eric Nylund. When Sam died, I almost cried. I got this effect when the main character in a lot of different movies/books die, but only when late into it *cough* Darth Vader *cough*. But that doesn’t matter right now.
When Halo 4 came out I was ecstatic. I couldn’t wait to play it, so I looked on Amazon for a copy. I couldn’t find anything. I had second thoughts, but I switched to eBay. I searched for Halo 4, and most of the things were books about Halo (which I though were the real game, due to them having the cover of the disk case as a cover), or other Halos, but one caught my eye. The title of the item read “Halo 4: Special Edition”. The picture was an inverted version of the Halo 4 cover, with the blue rocks being red. The chief was not color-swapped however. But the best part was it was only fifty bucks! I instantly clicked the “BUY NOW” button and checked out.
It arrived in the mail around a two days later, and I almost instantly popped in the disk. It loaded like normal, and I loaded up the first level of the Single Player campaign, “Dawn”. Everything was normal except one thing. Cortana seemed...different. She had entirely black eyes and a sadistic smile. Her left arm, (the one she was not using) was just a shoulder, and she was wearing a strait jacket. She was covered in holographic blood. I was confused, but that wasn’t where it ended. When she opened the Cryotube, the Master Chief stepped out, missing a shoulder plate, his visor cracked, and dirt and blood all over him. The odd models of the infamous characters did what they normally would do in the cutscene, but with the Chief sounding slurred and drunk and Cortana sounding laggy and corrupted (her mouth would move, but would not start talking for a few seconds after, or vice-versa). I was slightly creeped out.
When the cutscene ended I picked up the Magnum lying next to the Chief and began making my way though the ship. I spent about two hours playing the Campaign, and everything was normal, except for the odd models. The UNSC troops were blood-stained and scarred, and the some were missing limbs or eyes. The Spartans had extremely withered armor, exposing skin, and sometimes even muscle. The Covies were normal though, which relieved me.
I finally got to the last stage. Midnight. I was upset at the moment, wondering where the special editions were, so I checked the case. Thats when the tagline caught my eye. I knew what it should’ve said, “Wake up, John”. But this time it said “I met an old friend...”. I was more than creeped out by this. But I clicked the ‘A’ button and loaded the level. I wish I hadn’t.
This time it was way worse than any mission before it. Rather than telling my to ‘Kill the Didact’ (Who, by the way, hasn’t made an appearance) it said ‘End it’. That’s it. I began the long trip to the Composer, but along the way, the “Gravemind Effect” would happen where the screen would become shaded on the edges, and a voice sounding like a lighter version of the Chief’s would say “Help me” or “Come here”. I was about to get through the first multi-layered platform, but then it happened.
A strange cutscene began to play. It showed the Master Chief blasting at Promethean Knights with a Battle Rifle. He took out the last one by throwing his Combat Knife at its forehead. Then it began to get very...disturbing. A translucent white spartan walked out from behind a column of Hard Light. It carried an Assault Rifle and was aiming down it’s sights. The Master Chief gasped, and began to weep. “N-no!” he screamed. “It’s...no!” He fell to one knee and clutched his facemask, sobbing. This was not like him. Then I realized who it was. Spartan-034. Sam. I too wanted to sob. I wanted to vomit my guts out. But it was like I was frozen. I could see my reflection in the TV, and it showed a boy with blond hair, a white T-Shirt, and glazed-over eyes. All I could do was watch. The spartan, Sam, began to speak in a raspy voice. “You left me to die...” he groaned. The Chief still sobbed on the ground. My eyes flicked around the room, looking for a way to get out of this paralysis. Sam tossed John a Magnum, and it landed to his right. He picked it up. “You know what to do...” Sam said. I knew what would happen. John blew his brains out. Hyper realistic blood stained the walls and floor. And Sam laughed.
And now I’m here, writing this. You’re probably wondering why. It is a warning, and a hope letter. Ever since I have seens that special edition episode, I’ve been getting strange pop-ups on my computer labeled “Spartan034.exe”. It would always be different. The .exe was a game where you play as Sam, and explode in a fiery death at the end. Spartan034.gif and Spartan034.png were almost the same. They both had the words “HeLp mE” on them in blood, however the .gif would have to blood trickling down the wall, whereas the .png had a bloodied UNSC marine in the corner. I thought it was a curse, but I stayed strong. Until Spartan034.wav I was fine. But after that two minute long animation (I shall not say the contents or I will suffer more) I couldn’t do it anymore.
And of you see Halo 4: Special Edition on eBay, buy it, and burn it.