Herein lies the dread account of one man’s descent into the ancient ruins of Cash Converters and the unspeakable otherworldly terrors discovered within.
Dear stranger, to whom I write this harried confession as the sun slowly abandons my lonely refuge and the darkness draws nearer all around. It is my dim hope that these words may find you by happenstance, so the world of man might know of the things I have seen and be roused from its easy slumber.
By the time you read this it will be too late for my salvation, but there may be others who follow in my footsteps; innocent explorers whose eternal souls are in perilous danger. A monstrous evil resides on our doorstep and it does not sleep. With what little light and wits remain to me, I will endeavor to write down everything I endured in the terrible realm of Cash Converters; the catacomb of the gaming damned.
My ill-fated expedition occurred in a remote pocket of civilisation known by the local West-ee tribe as Penriff. As an avid collector of interactive motion pictorials (or "video games" in youth slang), it had been my custom to visit queer shoppes and hovels on the outer fringes of the known world. After all, the finest treasures are often buried in the least-expected places.
Yet in all my travels off the beaten track, I had never encountered a region so utterly loathsome and bereft of cultured breeding as here. The very air seemed to hang heavy with the rank stench of sin and corruption. Undeterred, I drew my coat around me as if to ward off the winds of evil and pushed on towards my destination.
The location of my hunt was an ancient trading post of evil repute; a crumbling relic of a bygone era known only as Cash Converters. Like some terrible sauropod of the deep, this ageless building had somehow defied extinction and continued to endure in a world to which it belonged no longer.
As I approached the sulfuric entrance the air grew thick with thunder, and the doorway suddenly seemed to take on the shape of an open maw. An irrational fear gripped me, and I was struck with an almost uncontrollable urge to flee gibbering into the rainy afternoon. But alas, my own greed momentarily quelled my terror. I had heard tale that they sold copies of R-Type Delta inside and I was determined to add this rarest of jewels to my collection.
As I cautiously ventured into the building's fouler depths, I immediately knew that my mystery correspondent had been mistaken. There were no treasures for my collection here. All that remained were the discarded trinkets of thieves, beggars and opium fiends — a potpourri of worthless artefacts that had been offloaded for a handful of coins.
...And yet... ...And yet... a strange power seemed to thrum from the display chests festooned upon the decaying walls. As I leaned closer, I came to notice that the game cabinet was locked and bolted.
"Who would deign to steal such pitiful refuse?" I wondered in a vain attempt to calm my frayed nerves. But even as the hollow jape left my lips, an awful thought came unbidden: the locks were not there to keep what was inside the cabinet safe — they were there to protect the people outside it.
It was at this moment that one of the trading denizens slithered out of the shadows with a sibilant hiss. His blunted, deformed language was barely decipherable, but I managed to glean what sounded like an offer of two-for-the-price-of-one.
He held up some of his vile wares, the very sight of which caused my gorge to rise. The primeval artwork and inscriptions on these tablets filled me with despair and foreboding. Forty 4 Party. Robin Hood Quest. Clever Kids: Pony World — each unnatural offering was more terrible than the last. Had these abominations been forged by some malevolent Elder God? Or had I stumbled into a nightmare from which there was no waking?
I wanted no part of these dark and unknowable entities. I would sooner have accepted a proffered python. They had been cast into this wretched abyss for a reason and no good could come from bringing them up to the surface. But the merchant of gloom would not take no for an answer.
Fearing what might happen should I refuse, I hastily accepted a pair of the upthrust relics and fled that godless realm, never to return. For the sum of five dollars I had purchased my life... as well as my doom. For I had taken the terror with me.
Visibly shaken from my harrowing ordeal, I absconded to my mountain retreat with the cursed booty clutched to my clammy breast. There was now a taint on me that could never be washed away. The dogs in the streets cowered in my presence and when I tried to pet a stray cat, it exploded.
As soon as I entered my abode, I felt an irresistible compulsion to gaze upon the diabolical secrets inside the ancient receptacles. As if drawn by an unseen force, my white-knuckled hands broke the seal on the first tablet and prized out the contents entombed within.
Inside was a parchment and disc that were familiar yet horribly alien; a satanic mockery of the collectibles I held so dear. Even the title was an affront to Christendom and all that is good and holy in this world — Mary-Kate and Ashley, Sweet 16: Licensed to Drive. What kind of madness was this? The blackest kind.
Things become hazy at this point and I thank the heavens that my tortured intellect has been spared the enormity of full recollection.
The brief snatches I do recall are horrible enough — I remember there was a terrible din of music, endless waves of disturbing colours and ghastly inhuman faces staring with dead, souless eyes. Driving may have been involved also.
The cockerel has now ceased its crowing. The light is all but gone. I fear my time on the earthly plain is almost at an end. With my last dying breath I implore you to warn all who will listen never to step inside that terrible, terrible place where even the foulest of demons fear to tread.
Here ends my missive. Know that these scribbled ramblings are truth. There is a place worse than hell on this earth. A place teeming with indescribable terrors. That place is CASH CONVERTERS and it will surely be the doom of us all!
P.S. — I also got Sensible Soccer 2000 which was passable. I give it 6/10.
But seriously, how is Cash Converters still a thing? Does anyone still go there to buy secondhand games? If so, what's the appeal over eBay and the like? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.