Author's note: I have translated this creepypasta, which is of my authorship. I hope I haven't made many mistakes, if you can improve it, go ahead. Thanks for reading. The story is originally called "Chronos Predictor".
This story does not contain subliminal messages, nor does it involve demons, supernatural entities possessing a cartridge, nor does it make my life dangerous. Although, this event, yes, would change my life and possibly yours too, if you got this ROM hack. Perhaps it involves something that neither you nor I should have at our fingertips.
It all started back in 2016, when I was visiting a few extinct video game forums. Those long abandoned blogs I visited as a kid. A simple nostalgic trip to remember the old days, and I even took the time to look at other older video game forums with the same destination. Among them, there was the Chrono Trigger forum, where people had survived too long until their inactivity two years after I entered it. I knew the game, and I could define it as one of the best games ever, and my first love with a Super NES in my hands when I was a child. The passing of time made me forget its name, plus the endearing characters, the visual style and above all, the music, invaded my mind with good memories.
I started to analyze the forum, looking at the messages, fanarts, and remixes that users made during their stay on the site. However, what interested me most was a space where alterations and ROM hacks of the game were placed. This opened my mind to a new extension of the game, going through small modifications such as altering the characters' clothes, adding new movements to them, new combat scenarios, until I got to Flames of Eternity, a fan-made sequel that I enjoyed quite a lot. However, I would also find a ROM hack created by one of the users of the server.
The ROM hack was called Chronos Predictor, and it consisted of a new accessory that, besides being a great help to predict the attacks of the enemies and to have a method of evasion, it also added secondary missions that extended the lore of the devastated world. Without much else to do, and having a great deal of curiosity, I decided to play this ROM hack.
The home screen welcomed me, with almost no noticeable changes. The modification wouldn't have much impact on the gameplay either. Clearly, I was adding new objects that, frankly, were broken, but were fun to watch. The real change came when I arrived on the first time trip in history, arriving on earth after the apocalypse caused by Lavos.
The landscape looked destroyed, and there were more missions than usual, as well as an extension of it. I could assure you that it was twice as big as usual, being enlarged by some cruises and ships that could be boarded. This section of the story also became darker and more depressing, mentioning one of the secondary missions where, as it was impossible to get food for the inhabitants of one of the ships, they had to come out of hiding, being killed by some rampant robots from the metal desert. It was a desolate scene, but nothing explicit. There were only the sprites on the ground with no vital signs, but no blood involved. Other missions were of the same caliber. Whoever had created this ROM hack really wanted to give a more realistic setting than the one shown in the original story with that mildly cheerful ending.
According to the little guide, in the robot factory, I would find a tablet, which only Lucca could handle. This tablet was needed to open certain cellars hidden by the map, which generated codes according to the rooms. It was a new mechanic that did not work at all well, and did not usually give you the codes until after several attempts. Then, there was a door to the main communication room, the one where the NPCs appeared talking about Lavos and the apocalypse. The door was closed and took up about four codes to operate, and, as you can guess, more than once the codes generated did not correspond. I could assure you that my persistence was great, but the generator was so inefficient that it ended up tiring me out. I left that vault unopened, and I continued with the original story. Leaving that part, there was really nothing else that could interest me. The ROM hack had only been dedicated to the future section, but the addition ended up being quite interesting and above all very helpful because of the quantity and quality of the loot.
I finished the game without any problem. I beat Lavos, and the final credits appeared. Although, the final part left a message just as the credits were ending.
“01001010 01101111 01101000 01101110 00100000 01010100 01101001 01110100 01101111 01110010”
That code seemed long enough for me to write it down on a piece of paper. Once I hit the next one, it disappeared and again the home screen made an appearance. Obviously, this was not part of the original product, and the only one of the modifications of the ROM hack belonged to Chrono Predictor, so I deduced where the shots were going.
Luckily, I had saved the game after many attempts to code the doors of that vault. What I didn't know, was if the key would work if the end was not unlocked, for my fortune, after putting the unnecessarily long code, the vault was opened.
The room was the one where the destruction caused by Lavos in the kinematics of the apocalypse is shown, and the guard was lying on the floor. Although only a skeleton and his clothes remained. There was a cinematic, in which, Lucca went straight to the board, trying to make it work.
Lucca: This machine seems to have a record of the events that precede our time. It still works. But it needs a password.
Later, another text box appeared:
"Enter a valid logging date."
The text box now threw up a modifiable text. It counted two digits, a slash, another two digits, slash, and four more. The problem was, it didn't have a code as such.
Again, I began to try and test. First with approximate dates to the important events of Chrono Trigger that could enter, and then improvising others that were far from ridiculous numbers, like the prehistoric times. Between attempts, I ended up looking at the time on my computer, and I put the date it indicated.
The screen showed a number of numbers, and later, it allowed me to put in a date. The value had matched the number of the day I was playing, which I didn't find strange. There were certain games that had a real-time system that allowed you to access certain events, but I didn't know that it was possible to enter this system into an SNES game. To try it out, I put in a random date:
"A senior editor of a publishing house has been murdered."
It was obvious that the news was not from the world of Chrono Trigger. I immediately opened a tab on the computer, and looked up the date I had randomly placed. The first result thrown up by the browser was the same news said in the game.
I was slightly surprised by such an event, but the skeptic that I was prevented me from making sense that such a game could, as its title would say, predict such an event. The most certain explanation was the fact that the game itself accessed the Internet through some virus in the ROM hack, and gave the result of the written date. I tried one more time, another random date, and the news was right.
I disconnected the internet from my computer, and ran the game board again. He asked me for a date, and I wrote down the one that sounded the most in my mind.
"Twin Towers bombing, America mourns."
The result left me cold. I checked the internet several times, and yes. It was.
It took me a few moments to recover from such an event. Did this ROM hack really have the power and memory to access so much news according to the dates it was put on? Although... I hadn't quite checked yet. I had to see more, to keep watching the news that was thrown up by each of the dates I could write.
One after another, the results were correct. That's when an idea came to my mind: write down a date far in the future.
I wrote down a date that was not too far in the future, to check the veracity of the prediction.
"Are you sure of your search?"
That simple text made my blood run cold even more, and made me doubt what I was doing. But, I couldn't help but wonder. I had to solve this. After I hit the "accept" button, the result came up
"England will begin the referendum to leave the European Union."
The news was simple and straightforward, without any hesitation. The predictor's assurance was that in less than a week this would happen. So, I just sat down, and tried to go on with my life as if that event had never happened. But reality hit me in the face when I woke up in the morning.
The predictor had been right.
I immediately went back to my computer, and loaded the game where I had left it. Right in front of the board, still in the shock of the moment, I sat down to reflect on my next step. It was impossible that a simple computer within a video game could be so accurate, even without the Internet. So, I decided to put a date that I had thought about, but I didn't have the courage to put it.
"It's the date of your birth, Demian."
Immediately, I closed the computer, and uninstalled the game in every way I could. My paranoia got to the point where I decided to format the computer and never touch it again.
A few months passed after what happened, and my life managed to return to normal. I had tremendous paranoia during that long period of time until I finally got over that event. I went with a friend to get the computer functional again, and it only cost me a few coins and a pizza in between. After doing a security analysis, just in case, the computer was active again. There were only a few important files left, and the operating system was running smoothly.
Once it was gone, I went to put a USB I had with a backup of the files recovered after the disinfection, getting back my various digital belongings.
Then, with some fear, if that's the right word, I went back to that folder where the ROM hack was hosted. There it was again.
Both anguish and paranoia reigned in my emotions for so long, and also, curiosity. That unhealthy curiosity that would no doubt end up killing more than one cat. And that cat, well, that would be me. I wanted to see such an event again, at any cost.
Once I passed the game again, and entered the code. And later, the date I visited the video game. I was guaranteed access to the power of the predictor.
I wasted no more time with the past, and went straight to distant dates in the future. Mostly, it started out as trivia, and the occasional news item which was nowhere near my home country. It was interesting to see the near dates, but I wanted to bet further away. I pointed to a date several decades away, and...
"No relevant data on this date."
It was the first time such a message appeared. I tried again with a modification of days in the same month, then the year, plus the result did not change.
I reduced the years, first to an even number, then to a longer number. There were still no records.
Seeing that the results didn't show up, I decided to do a reverse search. I started several years in the future and...
"A deadly pandemic will be officially announced."
My body didn't let me get past the initial shock, and I continued, giving separate dates now for only years. The decline of humanity was told and it was longer as the years went by, and at one point, the months, and finally, only days separated humanity from recording that message.
"There is no data in the record."
It's been several years since I've seen these predictions and I'm scared. All the events that I saw, and that I wrote down in my notebook, have happened to the letter. Whoever it was, the creator of that ROM hack, wanted to warn me of what was going to happen. Perhaps, just perhaps, he also carried in others the anguish of knowing the dark future of humanity. I will never know for what purpose it was created, but at least I have the consolation that I will not be there to see with my eyes the end of it all. According to the messages, my death is near, and only that can give me peace of mind. The tranquility of not suffering the fate prepared for the survivors of the apocalypse by the cosmic abomination that will arrive, in the last days of humanity.