Modding is a huge part of PC game-ery. The possibilities are endless, and usually completely freaking ridiculous. It’s usually a because I can, that’s why sort of deal. Ever felt a hankering to swim though a completely submerged city in Grand Theft Auto? Or dick about with a selfie stick and Instagram filters in Doom? Of course you haven’t, but you can.
Generally, it’s all harmless enough. Pretty damn technically impressive sometimes. It can take a turn for the pervtastic, what with nude mods and enhanced jiggle mods and that sort of business, but we’ll excuse the lonely gauchos who devise such things. If someone decides to dedicate months to removing that pixely blur from showering Sims, who are we to judge?
With big ol’ expansive RPGs like The Elder Scrolls, there are whole communities of nerdly creators doing their thing. Which is all well and good, until… THE DEATHS START. Hold on to your asses, gentlemen, it’s the tale of Morrowind Mod jvk1166z.esp.
Supposedly, this one started life as just another suspected virus. If you tried to install it, your copy of The Elder Scrolls 3 would be completely wiped on booting. For some 300+ hours players, that’s a goddamn horrifying curse in and of itself, but it gets worse. In some mysterious, lurid corners of the internet (not the ‘give us your credit card details to see GILFs violate their poodles with cucumbers’ ones, different lurid corners), jvk1166z.esp. has itself a nightmarish reputation.
When you did manage to get the damn thing to work, you found that the mod has some really creepy effects. If your character remained stationary for too long, their health would drain away. If you went to take a leak or something and died in this fashion, a new guy would appear in the game. Players knew him as… The Assassin.
According to listverse, the Assassin is the kind of guy who’d make Slenderman sleep with his little Thomas the Tank Engine nightlight on:
‘He appeared to be a man except his legs and arms were long and bent like a spider. Players began to notice that if you paid close attention the player could see the assassin around corners or scurrying up the walls, but only for brief moments.’
No effing thanks.
The legend states that spending too long with jvk1166z.esp caused players to hallucinate and obsess. A new dungeon it added to the game had a door which could not be opened. Affected gamers would spend days on end, fixated with trying to get it open. More importantly, they’d see the Assassin crawling along their walls and ceilings in real life. I’ll leave you with that image.
It’s all BS, natch, but this mod actually exists. It’s probably not haunted and/or evil, but you won’t catch me downloading it.