Terror on the High Seas… Be Afraid

Eeeeevil!!!

Pull a seat up next to the campfire, huddle together, and get ready to hear the scariest videogame story you’ve heard in a long time, kiddies. Halloween is nearly here, so it’s a perfect time to tell the tale of Saints Row 2, the game that actually knows what you’re doing in the “real” world! Scarier than a disc read error, scarier than a memory card failure… even scarier than a red ring of death! The weak hearted out there may want to move on and spare their mind from the horror. Once you’ve read this tale, there’s no way to un-read it…

There I was, in the city of Stillwater, on what was literally a dark and stormy night. Stuck in the ocean on a jet ski, the storm had caught me unawares. Despite the tumultuous waves and torrential downpour, I decided to tempt fate and stay in the water. The waves were too tempting to ignore. I chose to risk death (or worse!) just to enjoy launching my watercraft from one wave crest to the next. Despite the doom and gloom all around me, I found enjoyment. It was the end of the world, and I didn’t mind.

My little jet ski was equipped with a radio. Deciding that the storm wouldn’t defeat me, I turned it on. I flipped through the stations until I found one that played hits from the 80’s. A-Ha’s “Take on Me” was on. Surfing the waves and ignoring my peril, I decided to sing along. It is important, dear reader, to take note that as I was singing, the Xbox did not have a headset plugged in to it. Just one controller was active. No headset or microphone were connected in any way. I sang along to a few phrases of the song as I rode through that downpour, with no care in the world who might hear me. Someone… or more specifically, something, was in fact listening…

As soon as the song ended and Europe’s “Final Countdown” began to play, the Xbox notified me that I had just earned an achievement. “Soprano – 10 points” How strange, thought I, that I would receive an award for doing nothing other than ride a jet ski in a storm. Pausing the game for but a moment, I checked my recently earned achievements to shed light on what this latest accomplishment was for. And then that’s the moment when my heart leapt to my throat. The supreme moment of terror hit me like a beast striking from the dark. “Soprano” had this as the description:

Sung along to the radio

Click to find out more, unless you’re too scared to read on…

Although I nearly dropped the controller and ran screaming from the house, the explanation for the achievement isn’t anywhere near as scary as it initially seemed. It turns out that the character you control in the game will occassionally sing along to whatever song is on the radio. It’s a random event. Should he ever do it, you earn the 10 point achievement. This was confirmed for me shortly after “Final Countdown” began. I listened closely and noticed that he was singing along, mimicing both the lyrics and the instruments with his voice. It was quite funny actually, as he was more or less doing exactly what I was doing with the previous song. But still, what a shocking moment! It’s one of the scariest moments I’ve ever experienced in either a game or in real life (this event was a little bit of both). It’s almost enough to make one just a little bit paranoid. Hopefully something like this won’t happen again around this time next year. Who knows if my heart can handle it!