When a university student picked up Majora’s Mask for free at a garage sale, he thought it was his lucky day, until the cartridge turned out to be haunted. So the story goes, anyway. This is the legend of Ben, the spirit in the cartridge.
A 4chan regular named Alex Hall, AKA “jadusable”, put up a rather anxious message on 4chan in September, 2007. It described a day out shopping for secondhand games – keen to keep his costs down – in which a “disagreeable” old man left him a less-than-pristine cartridge of Majora’s Mask for free. Pretty much a dream scenario. He popped right it into his N64 when he got home, and found a save file named “Ben”.
In a series of about six 4chan posts, all walls of text big enough to keep the White Walkers at bay, jadusable chronicles the game’s buggy behaviour, which evolved into the game outright messing with him, which evolves into a ghost within the game named “Ben” revealing himself as jadusable’s tormentor. It started with missing textures, and being warped to incorrect places, then moved onto troll-ish dialogue boxes and statues following him, and then Link just died to a fiery attack and wouldn’t get back up, even after reloading the game.
Then it got worse.
Reporting that his computer had somehow been affected, jadusable posted CleverBot chat logs that he said the ghost was using to communicate with him. To mess with him. In addition to the technical elements of being trolled by a ghost, such as his game and now his computer not working properly, jadusable described incredible feelings of dread. Being in a deserted version of Clocktown, for example, made him feel more depressed than he had ever been.
Most notably, every time he played the Song of Healing, it would somehow be backwards.
This first chapter culminated with a post from jadusable’s roommate, saying he’d been too stressed lately and had moved out of his dorm. Along with all the information in the posts, videos were put up as well — even things like the immolation attack that killed Link “for good” were captured on video. This lent the story some credence, as there was no such fire attack in the game. If the footage were faked, it would have to take some very clever modding or video editing.
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After jadusable left, he told people that nothing should be trusted from his Youtube account after September 12th, 2010. Presumably he’d be abandoning it. Shortly afterwards, the Youtube channel’s profile image changed to the statue that had been stalking jadusable in-game, and its location changed to “Now I am everywhere.” Eight days afterwards, jadusable announced that the story was a fake, though he would be continuing it later. To those buying into it, there was room to believe that any calls for people to not be worried could in fact be coming from the ghost.
There was this video, however, put up on the 12th of September, showing some of the techniques that could have been used to fake the videos. It actually doesn’t seem that hard:
There were plans for an AR game to be based on the “Ben drowned” story, but jadusable’s wiki has stated it’s on permanent hiatus. It’s been in that state for quite some time already, so I wouldn’t hold my breath on being able to walk around haunted by a holographic Ben.
More recently though, DC has partnered with Machinima to put together a show called “Creepy Pasta”, with horror writer Clive Barker involved. Variety is reporting that it will include Slender Man and Ben Drowned.
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