"So did you get Smash Bros?" I asked my friend, Owen.
He paused to take a drag on a cigarette before answering, "I got Tomodachi Life."
"What? I thought you were gonna get Smash Bros? I got it, thinking we were gonna play together."
"I know, but then I watched these hilarious Youtube videos of Tomodachi characters singing songs. You can change the lyrics to anything you want. It's friggin' awesome."
"That does sound awesome, but I wish you had told me. I would have just gotten it too."
"Oh well. Smash Bros should be fun anyway."
Owen took another drag, then said, "I gotta go back to work. I'll call you later and tell you how it is."
"Okay. I'll just play Smash Bros till then. Bye."
"Bye. And watch the videos."
I went to Youtube and searched: "Tomodachi Life funny songs". Needless to say, people making their own lyrics to songs sung by video game characters is as funny as you would think it is.
"Damn," I said, "Now I want this game."
That evening, Owen called to tell me all about it.
"Dude. You would love Tomodachi Life. I made the most messed up looking people. I can't wait for them to have babies."
"They have babies? That's awesome!"
"Yeah, and they're a combination of the parents, so if the parents look all fucked up then the baby will probably be like a complete freak."
"Damn. Smash Bros is fun. I did a few online battles, but I don't know what I'm doing yet."
Owen changed the subject back to Tomodachi, "It's weird, though. I didn't get to make my own character at the beginning."
"I don't know. There was already a character there. I wanted to import my Mii, but it just jumped over that part. I know because I watched a video on Youtube showing someone starting the game for the first time. I tried to edit it, but it won't save."
"That's weird. So you're forced to be someone else?"
"Well, not really. I mean, I just made another character that looks like me, and I'm pretending he's the main guy. It's just weird cause the Miis talk about the other guy like he's the mayor or whatever, not me."
"Hey wait, did you get a used copy?"
"Ohh, that must be it. They usually erase the games before they resell them. At least at my store we did." Owen had previously worked at GameStop. "I guess they forgot, or didn't bother."
"Are you gonna restart?"
"Eh. There's no point, really. Besides, this character is awesome. His name is Mr. Happy Death Death. He's even got a song."
"A song? Do other people get songs?"
"Yeah, but his is fucking awesome. It's called 'Dying Happy'."
"Ha ha, that's awesome. I wanna hear it."
"Yeah, maybe I can find a way to put it on the internet or something. Oh wait, lemme show you the lyrics."
Owen turned on his 3DS and loaded up Tomodachi Life. He quickly brought up Mr. Happy's techno song, 'Dying Happy'.
"Okay, listen. Well, first it says in a robot voice, 'everybody's dying happy'."
"Yeah, then it goes," Owen began to sing playfully in his gentle baritone, "It's so awesome whenever people die. They are not alive anymore. It makes me haaappy. I've never been so haaappy. Let's all die. Hold hands. Jump to our deaths. Our brains will splatter. Haaaappy. Death is so cool. Let's all commit suicide." He started to laugh towards the end, and I busted out in hysterics.
"It sounds like something we would write," I said.
"Yeah. It's even better when Mr. Happy sings it. I've listened to it like a hundred times. You have to see the way they dance, too; the song alone isn't enough. I gotta find a way to show it to you."
"Well, you need to get Smash Bros so we can play that together."
"I will. I gotta go, though. I'll call you tomorrow."
But he didn't call. And the day after that, he didn't call. I tried calling him, but it just went to voicemail. It wasn't unusual if he was working a lot to not hear from him, so I didn't think anything of it. A week later, I finally got a call from Owen's number.
"What's up?" I said, as I usually did when Owen called.
A female voice answered quietly, "This is Jenny."
"Oh, what's up?"
"It's about Owen."
"What about him?"
"Something horrible happened."
Her voice was trembling, and I could tell she'd been crying. I didn't know what to think, but I knew if Owen's wife was calling me that there was something seriously wrong. I thought maybe he'd left her, but I wasn't sure why she would call to tell me when Owen could just do it himself.
"Just tell me what happened. It's okay."
"Owen... is no longer with us."
I didn't understand the meaning of those words. My best friend wouldn't die and leave me alone; not when we were both doing so well. I had been on a new medication for a year and a half that helped fix a lot of my issues, and he had quit drinking and gotten a good job. He couldn't die now when everything was going alright for a change. After a long silence, I asked the burning question.
"How did it happen?"
"He... jumped off an overpass."
"What? He jumped? He didn't fall?" I refused to believe he would kill himself.
"He definitely jumped. He... smiled... at me... before he did it." By the end of her statement she began sobbing and could no longer speak properly.
I was speechless. There wasn't anything I could imagine that would make him do something like that. We were so close that if he was really going to kill himself he would tell me. He would at least send me an e-mail or something with a goodbye message. I was more angry than sad. Though, later, when I was alone in the dark, I cried for a while. It had been a long time.
A few weeks later, I decided to purchase Tomodachi Life so I could feel closer to Owen. He was really enjoying the game when I talked to him last, so I would remember him being happy whenever playing it. He was right about it being hilarious. I made a bunch of crazy looking Miis, but I also made one that looked like Owen, and of course myself. I pampered his Mii a lot, and made sure he married the most charming girl on the island.
One day, I was shocked to receive an e-mail from Owen's address. I opened it, assuming it was from Jenny, and was surprised at what I saw—a video file. Why would Jenny send me a video? I thought it might be some kind of memorial video about Owen, but that's not what it was.
I clicked play and was immediately confused. It was nearly black and white, and pretty blurry. It looked like someone recorded a video game with a webcam—a crappy webcam. Then I saw the words: "Everybody's Dying Happy."
Without even thinking, I stopped the video right there. My whole body went numb. I sat still for a few minutes, wondering if I should press play again. Who could have sent this to me? Did Owen send it before he died and it just showed up now? I didn't recall his webcam being of such low quality. My curiosity soon overtook my fear, and I resumed the video.
There were six Miis dancing on a stage. Mr. Happy suddenly descended, revealing his spooky face. He had no hair, his eyes were just two black holes, and his mouth—a black oval. He resembled that famous painting, "The Scream." It was all rather innocent really, until he began to sing.
The music was upbeat, but the lyrics were just as Owen had recited them to me. They were funny at the time, but now they felt morbid and disturbing knowing that my best friend killed himself. I realized then that there could be a connection. I just didn't know who sent me the e-mail.
I tried to forget about Mr. Happy, but for some reason I found myself watching the video again. In fact, I watched it dozens of times. Each time, I became less afraid and more accepting of the lyrics. Perhaps Mr. Happy had a point. Dying happy does seem like something everyone would want to do. After all, everyone dies some time. Why die sad? Owen wasn't sad when he died; he was smiling. Though, a smile doesn't always mean that someone's happy. They could be hiding their true feelings. Was Owen hiding his?
When I went back to Tomodachi Life, I was greeted by an unwelcome face. Somehow, Mr. Happy had moved in; same name, same face, same catchphrase. It was impossible. My niece and nephew hadn't been over for a while, so I knew there was no one else playing. Even if they were, they wouldn't know about Mr. Happy. I shut off the system, put it down, and sat there—stupefied. I didn't move for hours.
Once I calmed down a little, I found myself humming Mr. Happy's song. I just couldn't help it; I had to continue playing Tomodachi. If Mr. Happy was related to Owen's suicide in any way, I needed to see for myself what he was all about.
Everything seemed fine when I returned to my little island. Mr. Happy was just like the other residents, even with his strange catchphrases like "Death feels good." I tried to change them but they wouldn't keep. I even changed the lyrics to his song, but they reverted back as well. Even stranger, Mr. Happy became the most charming male on the island, and every female was in love with him.
I couldn't figure out how Mr. Happy could be involved in Owen's death; he was just a video game character. If he was in both of our games then he must have been put there by the programmers. Maybe he appeared later in my game because I needed to unlock him or something. At least, that's what I thought at the time, until the Miis started dying.
"[name of Mii] has committed suicide."
That's the message I got when I looked at one of the Mii's apartments. They would never put suicide in a family friendly game like Tomodachi Life. It was beyond unsettling. Did this happen in Owen's game, too? I wondered.
The next day, the dead Mii's apartment was gone, and the Mii that lived next door had committed suicide. It didn't affect me quite the same way as the first one dying, but it was still remarkably strange. It continued to happen that way as the days progressed. Every time I played, the Mii who killed themselves the previous day was erased entirely, and another Mii was lying dead in their apartment.
As time went by, I became less and less concerned by what was happening. Honestly, it started to make me feel good when the Miis would kill themselves. I knew it was going to happen, and the anticipation proved to be quite exhilarating. Owen's death drifted further and further from my mind, and I began to feel happier than I was before he died.
After thirty-six Miis were gone, there was just one more lying dead, Mr. Happy, Owen, and myself. The suicides occurred in descending order according to the apartment layout, so the order of the next suicides would be Owen, myself, and then Mr. Happy. But Mr. Happy can't die. He has to be there to help others be happy. Without him, I never would have realized that we should all die happy. I know now that the reason why Owen killed himself was because he was happier than he had ever been. He wanted to die happy. He wanted to die free. I want to do the same.
The following morning, I got up early to play Tomodachi Life. I smiled inside and out when I saw Owen's Mii lying dead on the floor of his virtual apartment. Mr. Happy's song started playing on its own. I danced around the room, though I didn't know how to dance.
Just one more day, and it will be my turn. My Mii will die, and so will I. I will die happy. It's something everyone should do. Why would we want our last moments to be painful? Don't we want our families and friends to remember us smiling? Tomorrow, I will jump to my death. But first, I will smile at someone I love.
Thank you, Mr. Happy.
Mr. Happy's video
direct link: https://vimeo.com/375193264
Written by Umbrello