Never accept candy from strangers. Or free game cartridges!

Just in time for Halloween (well, okay, it’s a couple months early) a spooky bit of hoaxery has been making its rounds in the gaming community. We’ve refrained from posting on it, primarily because of how absurdly fake it is, but it has grown in popularity so much that we feel obligated to keep you in the loop.

Hit the jump if you want the lowdown on this “haunting.”

The story begins with a post on 4chan’s paranormal board.  The poster claims that they received a free copy of Majora’s Mask from a creepy old man while at a garage sale. The game had a save file named “Ben” on it, which the poster promptly deleted. The game showed signs of being glitched, causing Link to die from drowning, which the poster took for paranormal activity, especially when the deleted “Ben” save file returned along with a new save file that said “drowned.” So the poster returned to the neighborhood and asked around about the creepy old man, but he was nowhere to be found. But people in the neighborhood informed the poster that a Ben had died not too long ago due to (wait for it) drowning. Dun dun DUN!

Oh, and by the way, somehow the poster had the wherewithal to capture all of this (on what looks like an emulation of the game rather than a cam aimed at their tv) and posted the video here.

Taking this account at face value, Zelda Dungeon wrote an article explaining how even if the storyteller is honest, this amounts to nothing more than a glitched game. However, Zelda Dungeon got some facts incorrect. They tried to explain away the backwards music as a glitch telling the song to play backwards. However as the song is not a wav file but a series of midi notes, we would hear a relatively normal-sounding song. The “backwards” effect is impossible regardless, because it is a modification of a wav recording of that midi song played backwards.

But wait, there’s more. – the hoax gets even more convoluted. The person keeps posting on 4chan, linking to more YouTube videos and detailing more of the alleged happenings. The poster claims that “Ben” is able to edit his posts and YouTube uploads and has deleted any mention of his various interactions with “Ben” outside of the game, including a supposed Cleverbot chat. He also kept something of a diary about all these interactions which he made downloadable as an RTF, convinced his life would soon end.

This makes for a spooky story, surely, but it is clearly an elaborate hoax. Some of the footage captured in the videos is actually from Ocarina of Time rather than Majora’s Mask. Some of it uses some of the hi-res graphics packs that you can apply to either of the emulated Zelda games. Neither of these things would be possible in a Majora’s Mask cartridge.

However, people love a good ghost story – our own forums even had a thread on the topic.

So what do you think? Actual haunting or obvious fake? Let us know in the comments below.

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