it was a average evening for me, you know walking to the store and what not but i had discovered something rather strange...
after my usual purchase of a drink for the walk, i was on my way home, when i saw something that confused me in a small box labeled "Free". now i assumed "tag sale leftovers" and for those of you who dont know, a tag sale is literally a yard sale or garage sale, but anyways, the box had only one object in it. a PS2 Game Case for the Simpsons Hit N' Run. it looked old, the plastic and cover were torn, but it looked like the disk was inside. i picked it up and took a look at the case, then opened it, the clips that held the usual adds and game-play book were broken and nothing was there, figures from a used game, but still, the disk looked pretty decent. it had a small scratch over the cover art, like it got chipped off , and that reminded me to check the back of the disk, it had a little crack on it, but one so minor i figured it'd work, i mean I've had plenty of damaged working copies of the game, and i still had my save-data on my memory card. so i grabbed the case and headed back home.
. . .
this is where it got weird though, as soon as i put the disk into the ps2, the loading screen, usual developers screen and all that were normal as can be. until it got to the Press l> to start screen. now when i pressed the Start Button, on the controller, it didn't do anything. but you know every controller is like that now and then so i just ejected and put the controller back in, that seemed to work and the screen vanished like usual.
Now, i expected the usual menu screen, you know with homers fat-a** on the couch sleeping with the window and TV and what not, yada yada, but it loaded right into the game, on a loading screen. Odd, but i shrugged it, maybe i hit resume and didn't realize.
however, the newspaper had a article that i'd never seen before.
SPRINGFIELD IN POST APOCALYPTIC RECOVERY
TOWN IN QUARANTINE UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE
GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN CONFIRMED ON POWER-PLANT
so i figured "You know, must be a rare edition of the game or something with a level 8?" the load screen was normal too with poor scratchy strapped to the dynamite. so i was like whatever as it loaded.
anyways it loaded like normal, and i found myself playing as Homer, he was wearing his Casuals, but they looked a little dirty, probably part of the map or something i figured. i wasn't in the Simpson house though, i was right outside the power plant, which was blocked off by quarantine at the front gates. my car was a rusty looking Level 1 Sedan, *in the cartoony hit n run style* and i noticed the sky was a normal blue color. perhaps it was going to be a map about cleaning up Springfield?
and thats what it was....until the end.
The entire maps game play was pretty similar to the other maps, and i kinda liked the new design. the tomato field was gone with burnt looking plants in placement, as if they tried to get rid of the "polluted" plants, some of the houses in the shitty part of town were boarded up, and others looked normal, the trailer park looked all the same. and the traffic consisted of Police cars with generic cops in them, normal SUV's with their regular color, Delivery Style Vans, kinda like the book burning mobile, but like, repaired versions that said "Apocalypse Cleanup Crew" probably a non-reference based joke, and the rest of traffic was just the trucks and whatnot that are normal cars but anyways, Springfield all around was pretty expect-able for what i saw, some houses had boards on them, some didn't some had broken window textures with generic painted rooms. the cementary was open, and like on level 7 the rich area was still under government protection.
a odd thing though was that the tire fire was re-textured to be a pile of Zombie corpses, and the sign was Labled "Springfield zombie disposal". probably just dark humor.
The missions were pretty much the same as before, but ill name a few of the objectives
"Collecting Zombie remains before time runs out and bringing them to the cementary to be re-buried by the guy there who you get the mission from"
"helping chief wiggum stop the few remaining ghosts and skeletons lurking Springfield by destroying their cars"
"finding supplies around Springfield to help repair the school"
and corny stuff like that. however, the last few missions got a little dark, and i hadn't noticed, but so did the sky, the texture wasn't rendered properly anymore and it was almost transparent, showing a pure red color behind the blue, creating kind of a purple, which to me personally looked kinda pretty , but still odd.
one of the missions towards the end was called "spreading the end of the spread"
the mission was from marge, homer was supposed to use a modified version of the plow king, basically just it with the light removed, and the salt replaced with a few generic zombie bodies, and dull spikes on the plow. homer was supposed to chase down cars that had "infected individuals" in them and destroy the cars to contain them" now here's the creepy part, the cars avoided traffic, and props , but hit pedestrians quite often if i got too close, now normally they do, but these drivers actually seemed terrified of me. the closer i got the faster they drove, and more they seemed to drive in a panic when i damaged their cars.
the first car blew up, and i expected a npc to appear to mimic them jumping out of the car, but when it exploded, nobody came out, instead, a skeleton model appeared in a driving position in the drivers side of the broken car frame you get when your car explodes, i was gonna try to get into it, but wasn't able to leave the plow king during the mission, so i was like whatever and chased after the next driver, however i failed the mission and got a weird screen. i couldn't cancel i could only retry, and so i did and did the same routine making it to the second driver.
now this was a mission that was based around distance from the driver and damage, there was no timer thankfully because i chased them from the school all the way to the power plant area before finally destroying their car. this time i was expecting the usual explosion with the skeleton and what not, and i did get that, but i noticed something odd, it did the yell that a female pedestrian does if you hit them, yet this area had no pedestrians at all. i also noticed that the driver was a generic male driver but was like whatever probably a glitch. i had one more driver to defeat in this and started to chase them, this one was easy though since the car glitched into a fence near the barn with the cows, and i just kept ramming it till it blew up. i got the mission completed screen and the game glitched, instead of homer doing some kinda funny gimmick like he normally does it sounded like he said "What have i done?"
i had a shiver go down my spine, but ignored that, i decided to see what the next mission was, and if it was just as unusual i wouldn't continue it. the next one i had to go find Lisa near the Retirement castle ..no clue why but i did. when i went there the mission dialogue was about how Bart was accused of being a infected individual and was taken by a mysterious car.
the mission was about me chasing the car before time ran out to figure out where it was going. it was kind hard with traffic but i did manage to do it, it took him all the way to the Quarantine by the school where the ramp was. mr.burns was there, and the dialogue was homer accusing him of taking Bart. the audio cut out and it was just them talking. and then the mission complete screen appeared. but instead of jumping in joy, homer just stood, and the sky was turning more red now as the blue vanished, the mr.burns npc, walked through the quarantine and i noticed it merge through the ramp and vanish.
the model of the car was still there, i dont know if i mentioned it, but it was the Armored truck model, this one was different though, you could see a driver, and Bart in the back window. just staring straight out with a blank look, the driver was generic, like all traffic, and i figured it was there until i looked away. so i walked down the road and looked back. it was still there. so i tried to get into my car but homer wouldn't get in the drivers side, he entered as if a AI was in it on the passenger side.
the car could be driven though oddly, kinda like the glitch with the Bee's when they shoot a driver in a convertible. so i went along with it to see where this went. i drove off in my car and accidentally hit a pedestrian while driving "typical with the floaty controls of that game" however the audio seemingly glitched, so instead of the female pedestrian doing the "im not afraid to die" phrase, it was a static "die". i figured the disk was scratched so it was bound to have audio glitches, however with the weird shit going on, i didn't even wanna know.
anyways, i went back to the Simpsons house for the next mission and i noticed the Armored truck was there, it was the same one that had Bart in it with the same driver, i figured that was strange, but approached the npc who looked like a agent. the audio again seemed to skip out and all i heard was "Simpson...coming with us....no way out.." Homer did the scream he would do by driving into the tire fire, you know the funny one he does? anyways, the mission loaded me in the Simpson car ,and my objective was to escape the van pursuing me by out-racing it to Moe's house.
i managed to win the race and talked to Moe, homer said something about saving his family, and Moe's audio was cut out. but the mission continued and we were in Moe's sedan, but the game crashed as soon as i entered. nothing i did worked either, i couldn't seem to get the game to respond, so i had to hit reset on the ps2. The usual startup and all that was the same entirely, even the main menu screen was okay. this time i went into the level select, and it showed Level 8, with all but 2 missions complete, the rest had the Green check mark. so i loaded up the one i was working on, and it loaded me at the Simpsons house on the outside,
the same red sky glitch had occurred, and other texture glitches too, the wire frame was showing in certain spots, and the models didn't move properly to animations, they seemed to go in reverse, so when i walked, homer was walking backwards, while moving forward.
anyways i wanted to see if the glitch effected any other map aspects, because im a serious glitch fan so i got into the Simpson car and tried to drive off, homer did the enter animation normally, and the only real issue was that the door didn't open like it should, the music started like normal, only skipping and repeating a few times "not sure if i mentioned but it was the level 1 and 4 music". driving to the left towards the kwik e mart, i noticed a fast change in game play. traffic was gone, and all the pedestrians were sliding in t-poses, as if they didn't have any set animations. they did their usual position change looking at my car as i drove by. which was frekin' terrifying too. but i wanted to keep going. i made it to the kwik e mart and parked horribly half on the grass. getting out of the car and approaching it, again my animation for the car was normal but walking was glitched.
Inside the mart, everything 'seemed' okay other then the fact that it rendered without any entity npc in the bathroom area. i talked to apu and the voices skipped the same line of homer saying "what do you have". eventually it stopped and apu's voice reply played, in a low tone, oddly i got a coin, but i should have figured since the stupidest things gave you them. i had 630 coins. and went to the outfit section. there was only one outfit though labeled "Homer Doomed" it was homer wearing his casuals, but more filthy then the map standard, and the shirt was several torn up, like he was barely wearing it, with his hair lines off to the side. the price was 120 coins, and i dont know why but i purchased it. it changed my outfit and loaded the mart again, something changed though, apu was standing next to me, repeating random phrases he'd do if i spoke to him, but i hadn't, and he wouldn't stop looping different quotes, some more distorted then others, so i left the place and the outside part of the map loaded.
the sky was normal, but flashed red for a sec at certain angles, in all honesty i was calling myself a idiot for still playing since i felt uncomfortable, but i kept playing anyways. getting back into my car and driving onto the traffic free road. the pedestrians were less now, only one or 2 here and there, still in the t-pose, but something wasn't right, they all were facing me no matter the distance, and some even slid towards my car. now normally they're programmed to move away, so i figured it was just another creepy glitch, this went on for quite a while as i kept driving, and i noticed a lot of them followed my car, some even bumping it, every time one did it played a npc reaction that they'd do if the player ran them over or hit them. my car started moving slower and homer started doing the "oww" he'd do when saying "ow, my neck" after a collision, but without the last 2 words. it kept going like this until i reached the school area, and my car stopped driving. it was fine, but then i noticed it set on fire and homer jumped out, my car did the explosion it does at 100% damage and turned into the frame remains. most of the npc's vanished, and the ones that didn't just fell over and stayed that way. i went to a phone booth and picked a new car out, still having all my other unlocked cars, but not a single unlock able for level 8, so i picked out the "Car built for homer" which loaded normally" homer played the "i need your help my car is duh, sleeping" which surprisingly played normal. i was glad too because it seemed the disk wasn't entirely corrupted. i got into the car and drove to the ramp but remembered it was closed off, so i turned around but then decided, why not load a new map and see what happens. so i paused the game and went to mission select and picked level 2 with Bart in the city.
the same level 2 load screen went normal and the map seemed normal and i decided to see how game play would go, the only glitches were the game freezing here and there, and the audio cut out now and then. which seemed odd, but i played this map for about a hour, and then got bored so i turned off the ps2. with the disk still in.
The next day i loaded the console and forgot the game was still in there, it gave me the "please insert ps2 disk" screen with the red blocks, and i reset it again, because i frekin hated those. but i opened it up before it could do that, and noticed the disk. for a sec i forgot all about the odd occurrences and thought it was a old copy i had from before, and checked my save-data. i had all my games like normal, and i clicked on the hit n run save. but it said "the data is corrupted" or whatever it says, this was a while ago, i haven't used my ps2 since.
i shrugged and deleted it, it did like normal and i loaded the game, this time it seemed fine. it didn't have the unread error, and it loaded into the main menu casually, with the same humor music and sleeping homer, just audio skips, and again that happens with any used disk. i went to click "new game" but the option was grey, meaning i couldn't select it. so i clicked "Resume Game" which oddly worked, and it did the level 8 newspaper. now i was uneasy.
the level loaded in the Simpson house and the game crashed. when i tried to reboot it i heard a really awful noise and reset the system, it was making another odd noise and i opened the disk drive. the disk split itself in half, completely snapped. i trashed it and noticed the save data was still gone. turning off the ps2 and just storing it away. since that day i haven't even looked up game play videos of it. its been a few months and i do miss the ps2, but i need more time. especially since a simple chip in a disk did so much change to it.