There are secrets in every area of life and culture. So the gaming industry is full of its own strange stories. In honor of Horror Month, we decided to recall the classic creepypasta from the world of gaming: "The Killswitch Story" The legend of Killswitch says that in 1989, even before Silent Hill, there was a mystical game that could not be repeated, it could not be copied or transferred to another. But the most mystical thing in this whole story is that no one actually played this game. But more on that later.
Point and click from the Mining Depths
Killswitch talked about a girl named Porto who wakes up in an abandoned coal mine and has to get out of it to the surface. The game was released by a certain studio Karvina Corporation, which until then did not particularly stand out. According to legend, they released only 5,000 copies of the game and announced that they would no longer distribute it. Visually, the Killswitch looked gray with a rare appearance of red in the game. Presumably the mine was located in the Czech Republic, as evidenced by the soundtrack, reminiscent of the motives of Czech national music.
We were given to play for two characters, already mentioned Porto and the ghost of Gast. Depending on the character chosen, the gameplay also changed. Porto was a classic Point and click puzzle game, similar to Myst and King's Quest. We had access to the inventory at the bottom of the screen, where various items fell to interact with the world. The girl had a special ability - she could grow and shrink, [like Alice from Wonderland] in different locations. However, these growth changes occurred by accident, and the player could not control it.
The gameplay for the ghost of Gast was, as Kotaku described it at the time: "ridiculously difficult", because the ghost was not seen not only by the enemies, but also by the players themselves. There was nothing on the screen. However, Gast could attack enemies with fiery breath, which at first helped to somehow see the position of the character in space, but when the mana indicator was excised, it became impossible. We can say that the emphasis was still on the fight, although aiming was also another task.
Players started playing the game in an easier way - for Porto. She wakes up in a mine with a damaged elbow [from the side it looks more like a red bandage from some vigilante from the Soviet Union]. She begins to climb up the shaft. What is she doing in her? She once worked here, but now part of her memories are missing. On her way, she finds magnetic tapes for a tape recorder, which help her restore the events that took place in the mine. It becomes known that during the work in the mine there were ghosts similar to Gast, coal demons, dead workers, as well as some demonic inspectors.
The first oddity was that despite its simpler forms, the game was getting weirder. Its riddles were incomprehensible and looked delirious on monochrome screens. However, they were still solved. The key puzzle that would shed light on the plot was one that required players to unravel a complex code. No one was able to do this until a user named Porto881 posted a response on Colombia's message board. Porto881 himself said that he was the son of one of the game developers, and his father left him after his death all copies of the company's games, as well as a lot of secret information.
As it turned out, in order to justify the low productivity in the mine, its management began to forge documents on frequent accidents at work. As a result, this led to the fact that an inspection came to the mine. After that, an eerie thing happened and the players were shown scenes of how inspectors in red suits mock workers, and if they stopped working, they pierced their joints on the arms and legs with knives. Various sources say that these were detailed images, in others that they were blurred. Thanks to this moment, Killswitch also has a reputation for playing with political and anti-Soviet overtones, which hints at the real torment of miners in the Soviet republics.
After that, we found the tape recorder itself in order to listen to the recording with it. It was about the fact that spirits entered the equipment of the mine and stood up to protect the workers. The equipment began to drive the inspectors crazy, and they disappeared into the depths of the mines. Porto herself accidentally fell into the depths of the mine when she was pushed by one such mechanism. It is not known whether the equipment later killed the miners, and it is illogical, but history is silent about how then Porto was the only survivor.
Then there was a dead end, at one of the final locations Porto could not go further, as it was too big. The mysterious Porto881 came to the rescue again. He said that there is a stove behind the tape recorder, and if you eat coal from this stove, the girl will be able to control her height herself and go forward. And when we left the mine, the screen started to glow white [like in Fallout 3 when you leave the vault] and after that the game deleted itself.
This arrangement of things infuriated the players, since after that it was impossible to complete the game at all. The developer said that in this way they created a personalized gaming experience that was impossible to repeat. He is like life - one, and after death there can be no other. So the story of Porto and her beloved Gast can be very individual for everyone. This was allegedly stated in a press release for the game in 1990. The situation and the fact that Gast is Porto's other half prompted players to look for other copies of the game in order to pass it for Gast and get answers. However, as I said at the beginning - only 5000 copies were released [although some sites write 10000].
There are many theories that Gast is the steam that Porto breathes out when he reaches for coal in the stove, or if you play the game as Gast, you will be able to play the game for both characters.
As a result, in 2005 a certain Japanese Yamomota Ryuchi bought the game for big money at an auction and started uploading a video with the passage of the game for Gast. Only one has survived, where he sits, looks at the camera and cries, and in the background you can see the character selection screen.
Hoax, fanfiction and creepypasta
So what was it? Common hoax and creepypasta. The fact is that this story is a story invented by Catherine M. Valente. She wrote it on one of the forums, and the community spread the legend, significantly changing the meaning. In 2013, she released a collection of short stories, Melancholy of mecha girl, which included the story of Killswitch. And she was inspired, obviously, by "Agrippa" by William Gibson, a self-destructive book. True, the author of the text herself said that she raised the question of the inevitability of death and thoughtless burning of life. She is aware that her story has become a legend and is even happy with this scenario. But the fact remains - Killswitch, like Karvina Corporation itself, does not exist.
The interest around Killswitch has led to the fact that today you can find a fan-made re-creation of the game that will install the fourth time and then not launch. There were also those who conducted a detailed analysis of how the legend appeared and spread.
It's true, the story looks too interesting and exciting, and you want to tell it, but as soon as you think about it, you realize that it is full of blank spots. For example, why is there no information about Karvina Corporation, except that there is a son of a certain employee? What platforms was the game distributed on? In 1989, what was the capacity of the platform to self-destruct? And lastly, is there a point for people who publish the game as a commercial thing to release so few copies?
Anyway, the legend of Killswitch takes pride of place in the hall of gaming legends and is our story of the crash of aliens in Rosewell.
The Topic of Article: Killswitch Story: A mystical game that nobody has played. [Cadelta Horror Month].