Twas a dark cold evening March 6th, 1998. I had just turned 11 years old, cake had been eaten and gifts were being opened. My dad had surprised me with a rescued Rottweiler Doberman mix earlier in the week, which had to weigh at least 130 pounds. This birthday could not get any better. That is until I saw that my parents had ignored the large RATED M sticker on the front of the case of Resident Evil 2 that they bought me. How about three cheers for that alone?
With the excitement of receiving what was supposed to be one of the scariest games ever created, I thanked my parents and flew down the basement steps to my Playstation. I put the game in, shut off the lights, and got to playing. The dark voice growling out "Resident Evil 2" as you begin the game alone got my adrenaline pumping. I couldn't wait to be scared and man did the game deliver. I found myself turning corners only to let out a yelp and run the other way. The Licker's introduction is to this day, cemented in my mind as one of my most memorable gaming experiences. Even with all of this, fatigue wins out and I pass out on my basement floor, controller still in hand,
I awake in a daze, not sure where I am or how long I've been asleep. I can't even see my hand in front of my face. The sleep timer must have kicked in on the television as it is pitch black. However, what I can't see, I can hear... and feel. There is slow, deep, heavy breathing coming from behind me. I feel something warm and wet dripping onto my neck. I reach out, fumbling around in the dark, searching for the lamp to bring the sweet salvation of light back into my life. The button on the lamp cord clicks, and I am face to face with a giant, drooling, beast. I scream and take off towards the basement steps. I am tackled before I am able to make it there. The beast lunges for my neck and starts to voraciously lick my neck? I flip around and instead of the Licker or a T-Virus infected doberman, is the dog that my dad had gotten earlier in the week. Happy as could be that I was awake.
OK, sure, maybe it wasn't exactly a brush with death. Maybe it was more like my dog wandered down the basement and fell asleep next to me and was drooling on me. But how was I supposed to know that? I was 11 years old and was positive that the T-Virus had somehow spread in my sleep and I wasn't exactly used to this new dog being in my house yet. Let's see you wake up to that and not nearly crap your pants. I think it's pretty needless to say, but I didn't play this game with the lights out again for a couple weeks.