You know, I was originally going to end this month of Zelda-ween with a look at the Happy Mask Salesman from Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask. He’s unusual, mysterious and also quite creepy (in Majora’s Mask at least); definitely worth a closer look. However, Zelda-ween is about the creepiest things to be found in and around Zelda, so it’s only fitting that we take a look back at the creepiest thing to come out of the games: the “Ben Drowned” creepypasta.
For those unaware, “Ben Drowned” is the story of one man’s encounter with a haunted Majora’s Mask cartridge and the harrowing experience that followed. The story goes that in 2010 a 4chan user by the name “jadusable” received an odd-looking copy of Majora’s Mask from a strange old man. For whatever reason he accepted the game and took it back to his dorm to play it. Upon staring up the game, jadusable saw that there was already a save file titled “BEN”. Thinking it was odd; he deleted it and started up the game proper…only to find that none of the characters in the game would say his name. Of course, that was only the beginning. Soon he began to observe all manner of strange happenings within the game: missing textures, random teleportations, text prompts triggering in places they should never trigger. He initially wrote it all off as the malfunctions of an old glitchy cartridge, but eventually came to realize that glitches could not explain the bizarre behavior he was observing. Supposedly, in order to process what was happening to him, he shared his story to a forum he frequented and accompanied his posts with YouTube videos which supposedly documented some the less-bizarre things we was seeing. I’ve included the videos below, and if you want, you can read his full story here.
I found this story about a year after it initially showed up in 2010, and I have to admit that it stuck with me even though its creator had already admitted that it was nothing more than a story he’d thought up. Even though the story itself was fake, its core ideas still scared me. I bought the idea of a more frightening version of Majora’s Mask, as there’s already a lot of freaky stuff in there. I also couldn’t help but consider the idea of a ghost leveraging the power of the internet to escape and spread its horror. We may use it everyday, but how many of us really understand what the internet is or what it’s capable of? After all, they say that the majority of users altogether only see a fraction of a percentage of what’s out there. Who knows what’s hiding just beneath the surface in the invisible depths of the Deep Web? I can’t help but shudder at the thought of it.
Speaking of shuddering, just how creepy does a statue have to be for it to inspire one of the internet’s more famous ghost stories? Well, apparently it has to be about this creepy:
Oh yes, I definitely did not forget about Link’s Elegy of Emptiness statue! How could I?Everything about is unnerving! It’s utterly inanimate and yet it somehow feels like there’s something more to it. Those unblinking eyes blankly staring off into the distance. That horrible toothy grimace (I cannot call that a grin!)…it’s all too much. I don’t know about you, but I could definitely buy into the idea that something malevolent could inhabit this awful Link effigy. Seeing its creepy appearances in those videos was just the icing on the creepy cake as far as I’m concerned. It may not have been intentional, but I think this statue is definitely one of the scariest things to come out of the Zelda series.
The “Ben Drowned” creepypasta is old now, 6 years old In fact. That’s almost ancient in termS of internet time, but I still think it’s rElevant. Even after all thesE years, Majora’s Mask still has the power to unsettle its players, thanks to the themes it deals with and that wonderfullY disturbing statue. Thus, it’s still a great foundatiOn for a ghost story. Combine that with story’s core concept of the unknown power of the internet, and you’ve got something that will stick aroUnd for quite awhile.. After all, most of us still don’t really understand what the internet is capabl e of,, nor can we grasp the full measure of what all could be waiting just underneath the surface. Who kn ows what you’ll fin d out there, or even what might find you.
Hey, thanks for taking the time to revisit this story with me. You didn’t need to do that – really, you shouldn’t have.