Hey, Jadusable here,

Consider this the 'real' TheTruth.txt

A lot of you may hate me for this, but I've decided that I can no longer continue the Majora's Mask story the way I originally wanted to. Even as I'm typing this I can feel the disappointment and the "OH MY GOD YOU ASSHOLE" cries as you guys read this, and really, it kills me. A lot of people have initially surmised that this must be some kind of viral marketing effort from Nintendo, or some kind of marketing ploy, and while I can't tell you how flattering that is I can assure you that it is neither. I'm just a sophomore in college who came up with this elaborate idea and as it stands I simply don't have the manpower or the funds to continue this in the direction that I wanted it to go (now I realize why it took a team of talented individuals to do Marble Hornets as opposed to just a one-man-army).

Perhaps too ambitious, I purchased the cheapest webhosting service I could find given my budget (aka nonexistant), and with all of the people attempting to access the site (since the website opened two days ago, I've gotten over 300,000 visits and I've spent probably half that time in maintence) - it was almost consistently down. If you're going to involve a website this closely in your interactive story, then you can't have your website crashing or unavailable for the majority of your users; you would need a service that could handle that many viewers. Unfortunately this was something I simply could not afford being a broke college student. I paid for the site out of my own pocket (in retrospect probably not the most sound finanical decision), and with the insane amount of traffic I was getting the server host wasn't cutting it and I didn't want to "break character" by putting Google ads in to generate revenue. I didn't have the money to upgrade and I knew that I wouldn't be doing this story justice if I continued on as things were. Even if the money issue was solved, there's still the matter of the updates taking too long - I simply did not have the time to devote enough attention into the project for speedy updates. So I was presented with two options - either wrap up this game in a lackluster ending that would feel contrived, or stop here and resume it later.

A bit of backstory: Writing/story-telling has always been a hobby of mine - I actually have a TV show that I'm currently finding an agent for - and being a closet dork, videogames have always interested me as a kid with Majora's Mask ranking among my favorite. I've never attempted writing anything remotely scary before, but MM aways had that "creepy" vibe to it and so on a whim I decided to try my hand at it. Maybe it wasn't everyone's forte, maybe a little cliched to some, but the concept of a videogame - a device that only reacts to what the user tells it - suddenly going outside its coding was something I wanted to explore and something that could engage the reader and have it relatable on more than one level. I wanted to make the story creepy not because of severed heads or morbid descriptions, but on a more psychological level with a fair amount of mindfuckery, for both the poor bastard protagonist and the reader.

I view this whole story as two separate stories  - the original "Haunted Zelda Cartridge" - which ended with TheTruth.rtf - that is my original work and story. The second story - involving the website - would pick up where  "Haunted Zelda Cartridge" left off. However, it obviously isn't completed and may seem too "out of place" for people to really get the whole picture, thus subject to a lot of "jumping the shark" claims. I know that there were some of the original fans who weren't happy with the direction it went in after the website came out and that it seemed like two different concepts entirely - they were, but I feel had this thing run its course the way I intended those same people may see the "second part" of the story in a new light.  This explaination will not do it justice, but perhaps clears things up as to what my overall goal was:

The story was just as much of an experiment to me as it was an adventure for you guys. Being new at this genre, I wanted to try and bring a new kind of feel to the standard "creepy" stories; one that had to do with shattering the fourth wall and that sense of security. When you read a scary story, there's no doubt that it can be creepy, but in the back of your mind you know you're safe behind your computer screen on the internet connected to millions of other people. You've used the internet for years and you know how it works inside and out - and as a result you have this built up sense of security because of how familiar it is. I attempted to shatter that "fourth wall" with BEN.  I wanted to write a story that involved the reader so they would feel more connected to the story. The biggest example of this is the big reveal at the end of TheTruth.rtf where the reader suddenly realizes that BEN has not only tricked the protagonist, but the reader as well, making them personally feel betrayed and uneasy at the same time. Obviously Cleverbot isn't haunted, but the way it works is that if a bunch of people start chatting with it saying specific words, the program will notice a pattern and start to associate them together, making it a perfect choice for leaving that lingering doubt of "what if?", especially now that BEN has leaked out into the internet and could theoretically control exactly what you're reading now. Maybe he just wants you to think this was all fake so you stop worrying about it and continue on with your normal lives. Probably not.

As I played with the concept of having the reader become more and more involved, the story sort of evolved into an Alternate Reality Game. I had always admired the unique sense of impending disaster and the three day concept in the videogame, and I wanted to take Majora's Mask and incorporate it into reality without copy/pasting it, which would make it lose all sense of believability. Instead, I opted for a more "modern" take, on how Majora's Mask would be if it happened in real life - there would be no goofy giant moon with a nasty face on it, there would be no floating mask that can possess said moon, etc. Instead there was a cult worshipping a moon that is destined to fall, a hero from another world, an evil entity that has crossed over into another dimension (Majora into Termina, similiar to BEN's entrance into the real world), a three day time cycle, as well as other parallels that would have become available further in the story. I wanted to capture and recreate the same feelings that we all got when we were playing Majora's Mask for the first time as kids. That feeling when you first went back in time, realizing that everyone else was oblivious, that was something that I wanted to try and bring to life. After that, with new knowledge of the events that will unfold, you then set out to change what was about to transpire.

I eventually introduced a "Link" to the viewers, with a second Youtube account, and my idea was to have him decide what kind of actions he'd take based on reponse videos. These response videos would require the user to boot up their own copy of Zelda and preform an action, not only making them feel more apart of the story, but directly in control of it. The viewers now served as Link's guide - or Navi as it was in the game.  The main example of this is how Link is killed because of a bad video response on Youtube to a video put up by Jadusable (an incorrect song played). Link then posts a video on his account of the game over screen and nothing more. Yet not even 30 minutes later another user records a video - without any hints from me whatsoever - of him playing HIS Zelda game and releasing a fairy (which revives the player if killed) - which prompted me to revive Link and continue as him. This was only the beginning of what I originally had in mind - Link was the only person who could save our reality despite him being in a completely different dimension, but the players could dictate his actions. So in a sense, they were the guide, yet they were also the actual "player" controlling Link. I'm not going to reveal entirely what would have happened to the main characters or the plot, because I do intend to pick it up again some day and continue this.

I'm still experimenting, but I feel like the genre of "ARGs" is something that should be explored more often;  the level of interactivity between the viewers and the creators gives the story a much more "personal" feel. I really hope that we see a rise of them in the coming years - if one single busy college student like me got this far - with an actual team the sky's the limit. The one major issue that I've noticed though, is fraud - no matter how many times I'd subtly try and remind my viewers "in character" that the only people they should be taking information as canon are accounts/websites linked to the original Jadusable Youtube account, every time some new guy claiming to either be a player in the story or be in contact with someone who is came to light, immediately people would swarm them and they'd end up throwing everyone else off because of bad information. I suppose I can't blame them, some of them were pretty damn convincing with their explainations of how they got into the story.

I expect that some of you are pissed now, and I can completely understand why - I can't tell you how much it kills me to have to cut it short like this because I know I'm letting you guys down, but hopefully you can see it from my perspective.  I would like to thank my fans - it's because of your support that has motivated me to get this far. If I had it my way, it wouldn't end like this, believe me. But I'm still amazed at how big this has all gotten - its really surreal browsing the internet and seeing an article about something you've written up on Digg, Kotaku, and what-have-you, or overhearing a conversation in class and doing a double-take when you realize what they're talking about.

I would also like to extend an apology to a certain message board who has literally been taken over by people analyzing, exchanging theories, and discussing all aspects of what all this could mean or what the next move is. Haha, I'm sure there are quite a few people who can't wait until this is all over so things can go back to their regularly scheduled programming. Not too much longer.

I am going to leave the website up, but modify it so that it now serves as an archive of the story, and include a timeline of events (I know a few members have been keeping a record, if you could forward that to me at the address below when it's done that'd be much appreciated). Unfortunately being as broke as I am,  I don't have the funds to maintain the website for very long, and donations would be appreciated just for the sake of keeping the website up as an archive for future viewers, otherwise the website will probably have to be taken down by the end of the month. If you are legitmently interested in making a donation to help host, there is a donate link at the top of this page. Don't feel obligated at all - knowing that I've kept you guys entertained all this time and provided something fun is reward enough, as lame as that sounds.

As I said before, this has been an experiment, and I've learned a lot of lessons from this for the future, and this is something that I would very much love to do again if given the resources. But, just know that this isn't the end.

If you need to get in contact with me or write me a nasty letter, my email is jadusable@youshouldnthavedonethat.net  

Thanks again guys, it's been a wild ride. Loved every single second of it.





inb4 obligatory "FAKE AND GAY" response


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