It’s not the tagline for a particularly nerdy sequel to The Ring, but it is the concept behind Sonic.exe, an iconic internet creepypasta.
The term “creepypasta” refers to any urban legend that began as a result of Internet sharing. It comes from the word “copypasta,” which is a combination of the words “copy” and “paste.” Slenderman is likely the most renowned example of creepypastas, which are eerie versions of text copied and shared around the internet.
The origins of Sonic.exe can be traced back to 2011, when a web user known as “JC the Hyena” uploaded a brief narrative to the Creepypasta Wiki describing a scary and violent Sonic game allegedly mailed to him by a friend. It came with a disclaimer that he should not attempt to play it.
But, of course, he does, and the game quickly becomes tense:
- The first thing I noticed was that when I pushed start, the title image changed into something completely different, something that I now consider horrific, before going to black.
- I remember what the image looked like in that split second before the game cut to black; The sky was dark, the title emblem was rusted and ruined, SEGA 1991 was now SEGA 666 instead, and the water turned red, like blood, except it looked hyper-realistic.
You can read all 4,149 words of JC the Hyena here if you want to know the whole storey. The short version is that the author plays the game “Sonic.exe” and discovers three levels in which a demonic version of Sonic the Hedgehog hunts down and kills Tails, Knuckles, and Dr. Eggman. The author turns to discover a Sonic plush toy looking at him from his bed, blood pouring from its eyes towards the conclusion of the storey.
The internet couldn’t resist the mix of “Sonic the Hedgehog” with a creepy storey, and it quickly gained traction. Hundreds of illustrations of the demonic Sonic appeared on DeviantArt, a site that is no stranger to odd Sonic fan art.
In 2012, a user known as “MY5TCrimson” on the indie-game developer site GameJolt produced a playable game version of Sonic.exe, which was constructed exactly how the storey described it. PewDiePie, YouTube’s most popular vlogger, uploaded a walkthrough video of MY5TCrimson’s game a few months later, introducing the creepypasta to millions.
A reaction was unavoidable with everything that became popular.
This is where the storey takes a tragicomic turn. The Creepypasta Wiki administrators chose to remove the storey from their website in January 2014, only a few months after Sonic.exe’s PewDiePie debut, claiming that it was “badly written” and “had too many cliches.”
Isn’t everyone a critic?
But JC the Hyena had gotten his fill of internet stardom and wasn’t ready to give it up just yet. He wrote an enraged blog post, urging all Sonic.exe lovers to revolt.
You can read the rest of his diatribe here, but here’s a sample of his venom:
“As you can see I am FURIOUS with the fact that my masterpiece, which has won the hearts of millions and has made a massive impact on the internet, is being brought down by a bunch of jealous, arrogant, retarded FURRY-HATERS.