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Haunted Majora's Mask Cartridge

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The Haunted Majora's Mask Cartridge is the title of an ARG project started in 2010 by Alex Hall. It is also commonly called BEN DROWNED, Jadusable, and You Shouldn't Have Done That. The story was originally written as a series of posts and videos from a college student plagued by a haunted copy of The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask. After the conclusion, readers noticed changes on the protagonist's YouTube channel that launched the ARG portion of the story.

Development

In September 2010, during his second year of college, Alex Hall challenged himself to write a horror story, something he had not attempted before. The writing process took place over a short period of time, which produced a rushed quality to each succeeding chapter. A small amount of spelling errors went unnoticed during the writing process and made their way into the final versions of each post, though these enhanced the illusion of the Jadusable's deteriorating state of mind. The first version of TheTruth.rtf, the document released in the final chapter of the arc, was scrapped for unknown reasons; the second version, which was written much closer to its deadline, was released as the final version.

Just days after the end of Jadusable's story, changes to his YouTube channel's recent activity led readers of his story to a website ran by a cult, the Moon Children. After noticing parallels between the website and Majora's Mask, the site was proven to be an extension to the story. However, the amount of traffic received overwhelmed the site occasionally. The website ran for three "cycles," the in-game equivalent of the three-day cycle found in Majora's Mask, before Alex was forced to pause it due to technical and financial problems.

Two weeks later, the website, then designed as an out-of-character hub for updates about the game, underwent a series of changes collectively known as The Glitch. This event revealed several hidden files, some of which were already in plain use by the site. The 59th file revealed the subject of the next part of the game, which was headed by Kayd Hendricks while Alex prepared for the true continuation of the story. Kayd's story was supplemental, and told from the perspective of Ryukaki, another person being plagued by BEN due to his presence during the Moon Children incident.

The months after Kayd's story was finished were filled with small bits of in-game activity, mostly involving hidden text on the main site. The next arc began with the introduction of a new forum, Within Hubris. Alex designed the forum as a place for the community to gather and work during the coming story, which was set to include a video game expansion. Shortly into the forum's lifespan, youshouldnthavedonethat.net began redirecting to it. The unfolding story was suddenly halted when the Hubris Reveal trailer was delayed due to Alex's unresponsive partner.

In July, Alex officially paused the game indefinitely. Soon afterward, Kayd makes a statement about Alex having ignored him during his portion of the story, which led to Alex angrily declaring Kayd's portion of the story non-canon. On March 27, 2012, youshouldnthavedonethat.net was put on sale. After a short burst of activity in late July, Within Hubris was the subject of a police report. InvisionFree removed Within Hubris on August 9, 2012.

A prologue consisting of two videos released before the story was written is included in the official version of the first arc, hosted on the second Within Hubris.

Story

The narrative of the ARG spans three arcs and a prologue that was added retroactively. Several arcs have been divided by the wiki staff.

Reception

The Haunted Cartridge was originally posted on /x/, 4chan's paranormal board. During the period in which the story was posted, hundreds of additional threads regarding it were created and overtook unrelated threads due to its popularity. This in turn enraged several /x/ users, as the front page of the board was almost entirely taken over at all times. As of August 2016, the seven videos on Jadusable's channel have gathered a total of over 11.4 million views.

When the story moved from a written medium to an interactive website, the number of participants was not recorded. However, several communities spawned from the player base and much of their numbers were aggregated on Within Hubris after its introduction as a game mechanic. At the end of its lifespan, Within Hubris had a total of 3,706 registered members, more than 122,000 posts, and reached a total of 830 users online at 11:13pm on February 27, 2011.

The original story has inspired countless derivative works, ranging from fan-made videos involving BEN's hauntings to fan fiction to fan art and even entire ARGs that continue or re-work the original plot. Many were shared on the original Within Hubris during its time of operation, which lasted from February 17, 2011 to August 9, 2012. The day after it was removed, a recreation allowed the community to thrive, though many had left the original forum by this time due to the extended pause. Fan efforts to keep the story alive persist in the forms of several ARGs ran from within the community.

Controversy

Not long after the discovery of youshouldnthavedonethat.net on September 17, 2010, users noticed a discussion among minor characters in the guestbook area of the website that showed the beginning of a plot to commit a school shooting. In order to keep the site from being removed by police, though the conversation was fictional, Alex Hall did not include the guestbook in future cycles.

On July 15, 2011, shortly after Alex announced the story's hiatus, Kayd Hendricks hosted a Q&A on Within Hubris. A response to a question about his interaction with Alex during his portion of the story revealed that their contact was minimal, and that he felt that he had been ignored for the most part and decided to improvise at parts. Two days later, Alex replied to this answer by announcing that Kayd's part of the story was the result of a gamejack but had been allowed, and that he had intended to keep the story canon until then. Kayd replied by saying that he would not have continued had he known that he was intruding, and had only done so due to the swarms of contacting players.

Future

Alex Hall has claimed that the Hubris Arc will continue sometime in 2016. His film project, Methods of Revolution, takes priority over the ARG and will be completed before the story continues.

The second Within Hubris will continue to produce content internally for the foreseeable future, as several stories have not been finished. Fan works of the past and present include Blueshift Productions' unnamed multi-arc video series, PwerlvlAmy's gameplay videos, and several ARGs including John Is Dead, EVENT IMMINENT, I Am 979, and a recreation of the Moon Children Arc.

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