WARNING: This article contains real-life stories that some may find disturbing.
Kotaku recently reported on a game called Petscop, made by unknown developer Garalina for the original PlayStation in 1997. Or so we’re meant to believe.
Despite the supposed 1997 copyright date, no one has ever heard of the game or its developer until March of this year when a YouTube channel called Petscop uploaded a video of the game. The video is of a Let’s Play format, featuring a guy named Paul leading the audience through the game. Paul shows us that the game is unfinished, which may explain why it was never released and why no one knows about it. However, it is unclear how Paul himself got his hands on the game. Later in the first video, he just says that he got a letter with the game that had some instructions on it. We don’t know where or from who this game and letter came from.
The goal of the game, at least on the surface, is to collect pets. The player has to solve various puzzles to obtain each different pet. It is mentioned that these pets may be fearful of people. Once Paul follows the instructions on the letter, he is transported to a new, darker area of the game. This is where the first video ends. Paul has since uploaded several more videos of the game, delving into its grim underbelly.
Kotaku explains that there are several references to “rebirthing” and “Newmaker” in the darker areas of the game. These are likely references to a girl named Candace Newmaker. Candace was a girl (for real, not in the game) who, after being adopted by Jeane Elizabeth Newmaker, gained a penchant for killing pets, specifically goldfish. This and other troubled behavior led Jeane to enlist the help of a therapist to perform the controversial, and not scientifically sound, “attachment therapy,” the purposes of which were supposed to give Candace the sensation of being reborn and attach to her adopted mother the way she would with a biological mother. The sessions of “attachment therapy” went incredibly poorly and Candace ultimately died of suffocation while she was forced to “re-enact” her birth through being surrounded by sheets and pillows and restrained by several adults.
The odd thing (well, I mean, there are several odd things, but one of them) is that Candace died in 2000, three years after the supposed development of Petscop. The game now has its own subreddit, filled with people determined to figure out if the game actually is a lost relic or if it is just an extremely elaborate, and impressive, creepypasta-esque hoax. The first video is below; watch and see if you can figure out for yourself what the deal is with this game.