There was a game called "Copys" way back when, but I don't think anyone remembers it. It was for the PlayStation, but it was very much unlike any PS game I ever played. The game play graphics were shitty as to be expected, but the cutscene graphics were different. Has anyone ever played Myst? How the cutscenes looked like real people? Or Amazon Trail? Well, it was like that, as if the actors had been filmed and stuck into the game. Quality wasn't great, but it sure was detailed.
Anyway, I was about... I dunno, eight or nine when I played this game. I found it in my cousin's game cupboard. It had the word "COPYS" in all caps on the front, and below was a very sketch-like shadow of some man standing over a table. You couldn't see any details; it looked as though the artist had done it in like thirty seconds.
"Hey, what's this?" I asked my cousin, holding up Copys.
"Oh," he said, rolling his eyes. "I got that last year from my uncle's ex-girlfriend for my birthday. It doesn't even play."
"They spelled 'copies' wrong," I said, opening the case. There was no gamer's booklet like there usually was, and the disk's label was pure black and didn't even have the title on it. I flipped it over to the readable side of the disk, which was also black. That wasn't weird though, considering all of PS disks had black undersides.
"There are no scratches," I said. "Let's give this a shot."
"I told you, it doesn't play," he replied.
"Well, who knows, maybe it will today." I stuck the disk into the PlayStation, after taking out his copy of Monster Rancher, and turned on the system. My cousin switched on the TV from the couch with the remote, looking amused that I wanted to try this game so bad. He was two years older than me, so obviously his interest had... been depleted when it came to some things.
We watched the screen, which was still and black. After about a minute of nothing, my cousin sighed and said, "see, I told you." Just then however, the screen slowly faded to a white background with the title messily written in what I supposed was black marker. The game had completely skipped the PlayStation logo.
"Ha!" I said, not really thinking about the lack of the logo and simply bragging about how I got the game to work. My cousin sure was interested now. He slid off the couch and joined me on the floor, excited. Since I was the one to get the game working, he was nice enough to let me play.
There was no music or sound at first. The title faded to a second screen, which looked like the menu. It showed an ordinary folder with papers sticking out of it, and on top was another, lined, piece of paper. This had all the menu options; New Game, Load Game, Options, and Exit. "Load Game" wasn't selectable, of course, since the game had never been played. I selected "New Game," and my cousin and I nearly shit our pants as we were met with a terrifying scream that sounded male.
"Turn it down!" I hissed to my cousin, covering my ears. He did so, but even at low volume it seemed to be ear shattering. The screaming went on for ten seconds as the menu screen slowly faded to black. "This is a big kid's game!" I said.
"There was no rating on it," said my cousin, looking at the case again. "Just because there was a scream, doesn't mean it's a rated M game."
"I don't like scary games!" I said, tossing the controller to him.
"Okay, okay," he sighed. "I'll play. You big baby." I stuck my tongue out at him as we turned back to the black screen. There was complete silence in the room for a long while... and then there was a voice.
"Isn't life wonderful?" said a man, unseen because the screen was still black. He was speaking softly, but to who, we didn't know. He continued. "So many creatures God has given us. So many organisms to study. All different... all unique... tell me, my friend, have you ever seen two people who were exactly alike in every way?" There was a muffled sound, as if someone was gagged. "Of course not. Not even twins are exactly the same... you know, my friend, this leads to complications... because everyone is different, everyone harks on others... makes them miserable... and they fight and fight..."
At last, the screen faded into scene, and my cousin and I were surprised by the live action graphics. We had never seen anything like it on a PS game. The room was a blindingly white, clean doctor's office, and there was a handsome doctor in a white coat, pacing. He had a stethoscope around his neck, brunette hair, and strangely dark eyes, almost black.
"I found a way," he continued, wearing a smile that sort of creeped me out. "We can make you all the same... cloning? No, no, even clones can have... certain differences..." At last, it showed who he was talking to. There was a man in a hospital gown tied to an operating table, a rag stretched over his mouth. "A copy is much different than a clone, don't you think? We'll make exact copies of you humans... and slowly destroy the illness of individuality. Congratulations... you're my first subject..."
The scene faded to black, and then faded into gameplay mode. We were playing as the doctor. He was very tall and lanky, and now we were in the type of graphics we expected from a PS game. My cousin started playing. He walked up to the "patient" and clicked the X button. the doctor said, "I can't operate without my implements." So he started exploring the office, which was a bit small and not made to serve as an operating room.
There was a doctor's degree on the wall that looked old. The paper was yellow and torn slightly, and the glass in the frame was broken. White text appeared at the button to show that the degree belonged to "Dr. Charles Little," which we assumed was the doctor we were playing as.
My cousin continued to look around, clicking on everything he could and ended up collecting quite a few things; latex gloves, a small flashlight, a scalpel, a weird tool that looked like a very small handsaw, one of those weird tong-like devices that holds open the skin for surgery, tweezers, medical scissors, a syringe, a jar of cotton balls, and two different, small bottles of some liquid.
He went into his inventory to inspect these bottles. One was blue and said, "FOR THEM," and the green one said, "FOR YOU." He tried using the green one, but the white text at the bottom said, "you cannot use this item here." So he carried on.
He went back over to the man on the table and clicked X again. We were brought to another cutscene, but this time, it was from the point of view of the patient. It was as if we were the patient... The screen was shaking, as if the man was trembling from fear, and we heard muffled sounds of panic as Dr. Little came closer to us.
"I'm sorry to say I've run out of anesthetic," he said, holding up his scissors. "But you'll be fine..." My cousin and I were silent, unable to tear our eyes away from the screen even though we were scared at what he had just said. Dr. Little cut a very long slit in the hospital gown, and then took out his scalpel. Before either of us knew it, he had plunged the scalpel into the man's abdomen. We were horrified; it looked so real, as if this had really happened. We could hear the man screaming and crying underneath the gag in his mouth as the doctor very slowly slid the scalpel downward, opening him up entirely.
"Oh my god!" my cousin yelled, covering his mouth. I felt close to vomiting. Dr. Little started slowly pulling out the man's intestines and setting them beside the man. The camera got fuzzy at certain points, as if he was about to pass out.
"You're a nice specimen, my friend," said Dr. Little. "You'll make a great contribution to my perfect human. Oh, but this liver is no good, see..." He held it up very close to the camera, and I started sobbing. "You drank too much. Nothing good ever comes from that. We'll toss it..." He threw the liver into a very large trash can sitting next to the table. The scene grew darker and more blurry as Dr. Little kept tearing out entrails, and eventually it faded completely to black.
I was still crying, and my cousin was frozen to the spot, eyes wide with horror. As the scene faded back in, we were in game play again. Dr. Little was holding a large bucket, and they were now in what looked like an abandoned hospital that hadn't been touched in decades.
"I need to take these down to the very bottom floor," he said. My cousin discovered a map on the wall and took it with him, following it's directions to the bottom floor. There were no lights, no other doctors or patients, and the entire place was just a terrible mess. Was Dr. Little the only one there?
Finally, he made his way all the way down and opened a door. We were met with strange grinding and pumping sounds. We were in a large room with an enormous machine in the middle of the metal grated floor. There was one empty tank on the left hand side of the machine, and a tank filled with red liquid on the right.
"What is this...?" my cousin whispered. He approached the machine and interacted with it. It went to a cutscene of Dr. Little dumping the bucket of entrails into the liquid filled tank. Then, to our horror, he took a knife and chopped off his left pinky finger, adding it to the mix.
"Turn it off!" I yelled, feeling even sicker. My cousin had his hands over his eyes, but was peeking through his fingers. Dr. Little pulled a lever on the machine, and a horrible wiring sound blasted through our speakers, though we still had the volume on low. When it was done, Dr. Little walked over to the empty tank, but it wasn't empty any more.
There was a man standing in it, drenched in blood. Dr. Little opened the door of the tank, and the other man walked out. They shook hands. We realized that this was a clone... no, a copy of Dr. Little. The copy walked away and left the room.
"Perfect copy..." Dr. Little whispered as the scene faded out. After a few seconds, we faded in to Dr. Little's office again, and a new person was on the operating table.
I don't know why we kept playing. We went through the same exact thing many times with many different people, and each time we had to create a copy of Dr. Little, sacrificing a little bit of him every time. Eventually he resembled someone who had survived being thrown into a meat grinder, if that was possible.
I was covering my eyes the entire time now, begging my cousin to turn it off. What's worse is, eventually the victims were no longer gagged. I was hearing them scream bloody murder, and it wasn't cheesy acting or anything, these were REAL screams.
I ran out of his room and to the bathroom, retching into the toilet and sobbing. His mother came to see if I was okay... I was surprised she couldn't hear the sounds of the game in my cousin's room, but then again... neither could I until I went back in.
The dissections became more gruesome and graphic, and the quality of the cutscenes seemed to be getting... better... finally, after I heard a soft voice, I uncovered my eyes and gasped. This time, the victim was a child no older than me.
"TURN IT OFF! TURN IT OFF!!" I shouted at my cousin, and he was pale, hands shaking. I didn't want to see a child my own age get disemboweled! I grabbed the controller from him and pressed Start, and then Quit. The white text said, "are you sure you want to quit?" I selected "yes," and we were met with another cutscene.
Dr. Little pulled the blue bottle from his pocket, forced the little boy's mouth open, and made him drink the liquid. My cousin and I were even more horrified as the child screamed in pain, foaming at the mouth, his eyes turning into the back of his head. His flesh began to boil as if he was on fire, blisters forming and popping, skin curling into itself like burning paper, and blood staining the table. I vomited on the carpet, sobbing hysterically. Finally, all that was left of the boy was an obscene mass of charred flesh and bone.
It wasn't over yet. Dr. Little then took out the green bottle, looked at the camera, and raised it with a smile. "Cheers, my dear friend," he said, and he drank the liquid. The same exact thing happened to him, except, along with his screams, he was laughing. He clawed at his melting face, digging deep into the tender flesh and ripping meat from his skull. Even my cousin was crying now. Dr. Little gouged out his own eyes with his remaining fingers, and at last he began to crumble to the floor. As his head hit the tile, it rolled off, as if the neck had been a weak bit of damaged glass.
Finally, the game shut itself off. It didn't go to the menu, it didn't restart, just... shut off. My cousin ripped it out of the PlayStation and started beating the disk with the game controller, sobbing as hard as I was. Once it was reduced to mere fragments, he grabbed me, and we hugged each other until we stopped crying.
My cousin never wanted to talk about it ever again, and we were both terrified of seeing a doctor. However, I did want to talk about it. I told the story to anyone I could trust to not think I was making shit up. Only a few believed me... but no one had ever even heard of that game.
I did research about this game, but nothing ever came up. The only thing I ever found was a thread that was titled, "has anyone heard of the game called Copys?" When I clicked on it, all there was was a very low quality JPEG of a dead child... massacred... I tried messaging the person who made the thread, but it brought me to a page that said, "this account has been terminated." The thread was locked after several comments about how fucked up it was, and even the moderators said they couldn't delete it for some reason. I returned to the site a few days after I first saw it and... it had been completely shut down. After that, all I got in the search engine was, "did you mean copies?"
A few days ago, I tried bringing the subject up to my cousin. It's been twenty years since we played that game, so I thought maybe he'd finally discuss it... but I was wrong. I was at his house when I brought it up, and he turned a knife on me, starting to sob and threaten me to not bring it up. His girlfriend walked in on this, and he tried attacking her. The police were called... and now my cousin is in a mental hospital. He even had to be put into solitary confinement and wasn't allowed to interact with other patients.
Maybe if he had talked about it... he wouldn't have lost his mind... I still have nightmares about the game, but... at least I'm sane.
But I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow. I had avoided this for a long time, and now it's gotten worse. I've been having headaches and blackouts, and sometimes even nausea. My sister finally convinced me to call the doctor after she said, "what if it's a tumor?" So... now I'm going... for the first time since before that day...
Wish me luck.