Hey there! I’m Tom’s best friend, Kyle, and just like him, I was a big fan of Sonic the Hedgehog games. Well, actually, I USED to be. I stopped being a fan of those games because of that one other game… it had to be about that massacre with the hedgehog, if I remember correctly… I think so, maybe.Anyway, it all started with me having some fun with good old Sonic Adventure when I heard a doorbell noise on the front door. I paused the game to take a look at whom it was at my door. There was no-one there, but instead, there was a single package that had a ribbon and wrapping paper, no pieces of paper on it.”Hmm… that’s weird…” I thought to myself. “I know that Tom, my best friend ever in the whole world, would send me a gift, but not when he’s sick, like now… right?” I felt sorry for Tom not feeling well lately. However, I focused back on the package and brought it inside my house.I opened it up with a pair of scissors after getting near my computer. Inside was a CD, perfectly unharmed nor scratched in any way possible. On the back of it, there was a clean piece of writing in marker that said “SONIC” in all caps. I raised an eyebrow, and thought, “Wait… didn’t I get that game before for my Genesis? I mean, that’s a nice offer to give to me, but really, I don’t really need it again… Eh, why not? Let’s give this game another try.” And I smiled with confidence as I put the CD in my computer.A window opened up, and it only showed one file that was named SONIC, in all caps like the writing on the CD. Being curious about that file, I decided to right-click on it and go to properties. It said it was an application (.EXE), and had no info about it, all being question marks. The other tabs were locked as well, so I couldn’t figure out what to do with it. Not like I would’ve wanted to edit the file, anyway.I decided to open up the file in full-screen mode.As soon as it appeared, the title screen appeared with good old Sonic on the right and his sidekick, Tails next to him, both in orange background. One word in a font I couldn’t recognize said SONIC and below that were two words in Times New Roman that said respectively “Press Start”, and the whole screen had cheery music.I thought later, “Hmm… a homebrew? I didn’t know there was a homebrew featuring Sonic… I wonder what this game’s about… Let’s check this thing out!”As told, I pressed Start, but unfortunately, I also saw a disturbing image for a split-second, and heard the screen make a static noise at the same time. It later cut black.I couldn’t remember what it was, but it seemed to be more corrupted with bloody red colors. That kinda made me want to cringe.”What the?” I told myself. “Was it somehow hacked or something? Whatever, let’s just forget about that and just focus on the gameplay…”A little later, in the bottom right corner, I saw blue text in yellow outline that said “Now Loading…”. I guessed the first level would’ve taken some time to be built. I waited for a few seconds for the level to load, and another disturbing image appeared on my screen that looked like a red demonic Sonic for a split second, and then the title card appeared, having read “Not Special Act 0”.Sonic, whom started with 3 lives, appeared later on grass like in Green Hill Zone, but the background, oddly, was all pitch black.On the opposite side of Sonic, there was a huge ring, but it wasn’t solid gold, like in the original. It was actually sort-of white/grayish.I tried finding a few hidden rings, monitors, anything that would help me before I enter the grey ring by moving Sonic to the right, and then to the left. Nothing. Not even a secret path. I then moved Sonic next to the gray ring and then made him jump into it.The screen faded into white, and then into a space-age background I couldn’t recognize, with incredibly distorted special stage music. Then Sonic appear on four peppermint blocks, which made me realize I’m in a Special Stage like the ones in first Sonic the Hedgehog. I made him hop immediately to the right, and did it again to keep him in balance. The blocks kept spinning to the left, so I had to hop Sonic onto them again, but unfortunately, gravity physics shifted me ahead to a goal wall. The whole stage spun normally for a few seconds, but stopped abruptly, corrupting the whole game’s palettes and causing an incredibly loud static, making the background turn red, Sonic and the goal spheres into a green and blue mess (along with Sonic losing a life), and to make it even more tragic, the game made a tragic scream that possibly came from a Disney character named Mickey Mouse!After a few seconds of that awful scream, the background turned to red static for a split-second, and the whole screen blacked out into another “Now Loading…” text on the bottom right, but this time, it was more green than blue and yellow, possibly from that corruption earlier. I was creeped out by all that, but the game was so enticing, I just had to keep playing no matter how scary it was.There was no disturbing image a few seconds later, thankfully. (Though, I didn’t really think it would happen again) Another title card appeared, but it had no zone name. Instead, it just had “Act 1”.Sonic appeared on Chemical Plant background, associated with a background that looked similar to the SEGA CD startup and slower Green Hill music. I observed the level on my screen, and I noticed on the right a monitor with speed shoes inside.I made Sonic crouch and spin-dash to the monitor, crashing it and going faster along the way. But unfortunately, he crashed into a few more speed-shoe monitors, going faster and faster. What worried me now was that the music was going so fast it got out of sync, and then a few seconds later, Sonic crashed into a wall of spikes with a loud *SPLAT!!* I didn’t even think that kind of noise would occur in a 16-bit game! Anyway, that splat knocked me out of my chair, but I got back up quickly. It was horrible, however, Sonic’s lives were down to one, and a lot of blood was dripping from the spikes, and the background and ground were melting… poor Sonic…After a few tragic seconds of blood dripping, a white Sonic appeared for a split-second, then cut to the same “Now Loading…” text on the bottom right, but now it was getting a bit corrupted as well, with a new color of purple, along with looking a bit like Arabic. It even glitched itself out a couple of times while it was loading the next act. Gosh, did I want to cry.”Okay, Kyle, breathe, breathe,” I told myself. “It’s only a game… just a game… except it’s a hacked one… Anyway, it’s probably over by now.” A third title card appeared, and read “Go Back Act 9”.Sonic was now but a dark silhouette in a red, demonic background.