The madness of Craig George

| brandon

On March 12, 2007, eric-jon wrote up a talk at the Game Developers Confernence, in which Nintendo designer Eiji Aonuma discussed at length his work on the Zelda series. The write up was quite fine, but everyone moved on shortly thereafter.

It was one year later (March 8, 2008 to be precise) that a fellow named Craig George found the article. He decided that, finally, he had discovered the perfect venue for his master work – a continuation of The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess. His game would be called “Zelda Master of Legend,” and would be the greatest Zelda game of all time.

For five months, from March 8 through August 2, Craig George went on to post some 190+ comments, amounting to nearly 40,000 words (give or take, there are a few anonymous posts that may not be him), unleashing his opus upon the unsuspecting populace – especially unsuspecting, since this was embedded in a year-old gamasutra news article that very few persons would come across. And few persons did. Aside from the aformention possible anonymous posts not by Craig, he made this journey alone.

Craig, or Craigie (or Mindy, or Link, or Zelda, or Joshua, and so on), is not your average fanfic author. Whereas at the beginning, on March 8 2008, he seems a delusional but harmless fanatic, over the course of the five months chronicled here, he descends rapidly into what appears a type of madness, which waxes and wanes as each day progresses.

His introductory post simply states his ideas about the Zelda series, quickly launching into a full fanfiction script. Some of his ideas are excerpted below, and are not edited for grammar or syntax, nor are they condensed, but they are almost always cuttings of a much greater, more rambling entry. If I clip in the middle, I append ellipses in the place of missing text.

March 8
I think I can see many flaws with twilight princess even though that not grate they are quite clear
The utilization of space was a misconception and a waist
there was enough game play to utilize an area like hyrule field

The action was set high /brutality but like walking into shop to” buy” special armor was humiliating

March 9
I may be 35 spell bad but I love my Zelda I bought a wii just to play this.

You’ll notice craig has given his age. Just now he’s 35, but at times he will be 32. On his personal web site, which we’ll address later, he listed himself as 33 around the time of this posting, according to something Leigh wrote on the subject. In his next entry, I dearly hope he is still writing within the pretext of his fanfiction, but it becomes increasingly difficult to tell.

March 23
Give me what is mine or I will destroy you as u never fooled me into leaving the cave
And I will destroy you if I must bitch

March 24
Oops just saw that never meant to say that to fast copy paste

Craig, or perhaps Craigie, does occasionally regret what he’s written. Sometimes he feels it’s a burdeonsome task he has to undertake. This regret will increase as we continue, and these appear to be his most lucid periods, though that could simply be a projection due to the reader’s tendency to regard the rest of his text as abnormal. The same day, he asserts, rather cleverly, “ im not mad just out of my head.”

March 26
Craigie/link I’m not Link I am his replacement, I’m the oracle of time you can call me Craigie ,Link he was not allowed to leave the cave for the devil in side would have consume him and have made his vision come true so I let the vision take me as my eyes are white as this would have no effect on me for I know the truth.

Above, we see already several important elements of the greater story of Craig. First, there is the insertion of himself into the story. Second, there is mention of the devil, who is a recurring character and occasional friend. Lastly, there’s the coloration of the eyes as an indication of a person or character’s inclination or intention.

march 26
oh i never ment to hijack your post bud forgive me i had
to exspress for some reason beyond me as i like to exspress

March 27
never mind me just delete it all

March 29
You know I really don’t want to play a game any more as I think I had enough
Really sorry for spamming once again just remove all this bale that I cant even make cense of

This series of apologies comes shortly after the posting of a 6,618 word scene from his fictional future Zelda title, interspersed with a few clarifications. A week later, we get into an extremely bizarre series of posts, which conflates the rest of his soon-to-be-established favorite themes, including Tom Clancy, chaos theory, religion, and murder. The entry below is also an early mention of age 8, which seems to be of particular importance. One wonders if something happened to Craig around that time.

April 8
If they told you Enid Blyton wrote the chaos theory then I must be his son for it is a Tom Clansie novel
About me because that mans a woman with blue eyes the 1 that killed princess yip…for I was princess yips guard at the age of 8
Are you shiting you pans now ?
Don’t worry the would will not end just judgment day as I changed my mind the guilty must pay
And the fate of the would is not in my hands its in gods, for there is no space ship or gates to hell
And there aint no splinter cell for my eyes don’t glow green you made me you know what I can do
And listen here bitch ,I bet you feel sad for they shot your satellite down for you wanted to start
The game again but realize I know you wanted to kill every 1 for you are the director..
You know what the chaos theory is a a way to trap some 1 in ¾ parallel realities and for them to find them self’s, I leave this story with these words once told to me by a the old man

At this point, Craig’s attention turns toward Aonuma, the director of the game. It’s unclear why, but Craig feels as though his beloved series was taken from him. From what I’ve been able to glean, he either feels betrayed by what he thinks is a sub-par product, he thinks Nintendo stole his ideas, or someone actually stole his copy of the game, and this anger is being directed toward Aonuma and Nintendo. All of these are equally plausible if you read the full text, but it’s more likely he’s simply having delusions of persecution.

April 9
You stole my game I think I should put this all over the net
As I feel ripped off and if you have a peace of paper signed to my silence witch is the only way you can
You tricked me when you stole my game… I don’t care if link killed Zelda

You turned my game into 911 bombings and tortured me for my mind is filled with splinters
For as you know I saw the space ship and my eyes turned green but Joshua’s were red.

April 22
I just realized you cant make another Zelda as you don’t know how
I want credit and I want hole would to know im the designer
As you chopped it to peaces and made 4 games out of it
You need me more than I need you
Think you could leave me as a moth plated on your window
As I am Zelda and both of you are frauds

Around April 26, Craig’s thoughts return to the world of Hyrule, but it’s interspersed with even more diversions, most of which appear to be from his in-progress Tom Clancy novel. He returns to it frequently – a bloody and cynical affair that he feels he must get out. At one point he apologizes to his imagined audience for stalling in the creation of his new Zelda; “ok hehe i go design but this story eats at me.” The next few excerpts show some of this story, as it grows to absorb the Zelda universe.

April 26
And Joshua did not survive Waco taxis he was replaced again by another author
For that is there game
As im craigie they had mistaken me for Joshua

May 2
Im the master sword because the gold dagger was the sol blade
Iv still got my nuts but mr web doesn’t …I still don’t understand
…I can understand now why north Korea has a fence

On May 5 we see the return of greater insults, followed inevitably by a rather sympathy-inducing apology.

May 5
For a Nintendo wii it took you what im 32 and I was 8 when you stole it
I remember you bitch take you so long to make it go?

Should I tell them how you stole it
Give Zelda back

hmm was it worth it

May 5
sorry my manner
my words are ment to be propper
my mind is shot
please forgive me
all i what is this curse to be lifted
no to dream dreams but to smile be happy
i exspec they may lock me up and think im nuts
but im not i just need to relax and get on with my life

May 9
remove all this please

May 9
i dont like storys like this

From here, the stories become ever more muddled and bloody messes of Clancyisms, Hyrule, and his own feelings of entitlement. There is a feverish desperation, and one can perceive a strong connection between the author and its text.

May 13
Zelda was in a tree not in the sea
All my brigade in black saved your asses from the men in short green not long… dirks solders
As iv never been to texis or Canada just south Africa and new Zealand.

but still how u end up with my game? my father was the 1 that made the sword from wood

May 15
Why you have my game my money? And the graphics card
Tell me?
I remember u 2 were the ones holding the guns
And made the book be written
As you the obsessed tom clansie fan
I hold you responsible for that 1

Above, is he speaking to himself? Is this Craig speaking to Craigie, and some other shadowself? Whomever it was “made the book be written,” and for him to accuse anyone other than himself of being an obsessed Tom Clancy fan … that would be quite a stretch. From this point it gets a little more disturbing. Recall the references to age 8. We also get a new cast of characters, with plausible-sounding names.

May 17
Fuck you slant eyed fuck and you fucken yanks you killed every 1 to steal my game my graphics card

May 17
You all remember columbine well im craigie and this is what they did
Same with the other ass hole as it was not the first time

the book was written in tomato juice
think you should have killed me but you cant can you?
And you sit there smiling fuck you
Fuck all of you why u do this to me
And lets not forget
Trever ,Carla, lisa ,Julie ,Shannon, ,greg ,bram, ,Tanya wore all kids
So who was shot in the jumping out the cabinet by Ronnie ?
Was not Bronwyn as come I was 8 and I was the oldest
Ronnie your name makes me sick

He does occasionally return to the style of the earlier, much more logical-sounding entries. But his now-familiar scattershot lexicon is working its way way into even these posts.

May 19
Hmm wind walker I never played it
But I think it was not meant for any 1 but his daughter
Im un impressed how I was shafted
For I was a nice guy ,now im just sad
And would he understand I had to go to the army
By the looks of it no
Wind walker was a dream, twilight maybe a sad ending
When it was meant to be a happy story
But as you see no 1 died but why the eyes still white
As it’s a lie

May 25
[Here he links to his site, where he hosted a number of photoshop maps, and doctored photographs. Unfortunately the page was not archived, and only one day’s entries exist on the Wayback Machine.]
Well if this was the entrance to the bridge with the center missing and pillars splattered as runes

May 25
[The story begins again, but with new names. This particular entry is re-edited multiple times.]
Zelda Master of Legend
Carla and Craig are chosen by there people to walk threw the gate as the ones to keep
There tribes seed alive ,Before there would ended.
Reaching the other side of the gate it flash white as light lit up the shadows as there would ended .Out of the silence the sound of horse shoes thumping in a gallop was coming to words them ,Craig and Carla jumped into the surrounding bushes. Just then fore horse men came riding threw the gate With out stopping they rode off into the distance.

His universes continue to mix and match, with increasing use of real(?) names such as Carla, Ella, and Bronwyn. One would presume the use of Joshua is biblical, given the context and frequent talk of the devil, but it’s apparently also an aspect of himself.

June 9
Any way am I splinter cell ,wind walker ,Ivanhoe? No im cragie but every 1 calls me Zelda as I love the
Game so much.

July 1
Any way the last I write here
For this is my story
And my name is Zelda you may know me as splintered arrow

What was Hyrule 3 friends Bram Carla and Craig /me
I was Ivanhoe until my friends walked into the game
Were you die in the game u die in the real would for we were in the matrix.

July 1
But I had already traded places with Bram….

And at the end I traded places with Joshua so only he would know tom clansie was missing for I had given him my place as I was the story teller for I was Mindy and I did not know the rules
I was only standing 8 at the time when I became the princes guard but I was not a woman I was a man

July 4
so better u make a game as i cant write storys for they become real and i will kill the devil in it my friend…

July 8
story of dragons
So Joshua wore the devils eyes

I was not Joshua I was craigie
Why Joshua’s eyes are green
For my eyes were blue
And why they found Joshua visiting friends

as Joshua’s eyes are mine

red = devil/devils advocate/spy and his eyes
Joshua and Ronnie

green= eyes of angel/innocent
brown= eyes dirty
blue = eyes clean
has nothing to do with religion or pigment of the eyes only the color

References to events surrounding 8 year old boys persist, as do cycling feelings of entitlement and penitence. Craig’s battle between writing his Clancy story and designing his Zelda game seems to be taking its toll.

July 22
And so I forget the ending to the story……because I don’t write story’s I design games
He’s the texture artist and he’s the architect and so on I cant remember
So no 1 died as no 1 really dies in games…

July 22
delete it all please thank you

July 25
And so they stole my company from me when I was 7 standing on 8
For I had designed the matrices to save every 1 from them
So link walked into the orical of time
Or did the orical of time walk into him
Or was he the orical of time for he was the good and wisest 1 of them all
And so in time he would reveal the truth

But then my father died of natural courses at the age of 45
And I was the little sprout that stood in his place..hmmm
Sot know what that has to do with the story…
No I broke the sword not my father and was not fro does quest it was mine
For I was lord of the rings 7 standing on 8 ,I had big shoes to full not big feet.
And so I was a elf not a hobbit//

The above reads like a child’s description of a series of unfortunate events. Whether this is so, or merely an extension of the charade, is impossible to discern from the text. But one wonders. Criag’s tale at Gamasutra is coming to a close, and the last two entries have a definitive feel to them.

August 2
Fuck every 1 of u ,use the orical on me …and I was innocent
But I did see my hole life…… just remember craig goerge has the rite to end Zelda and my god I will…

August 2
Reflect on that ninteno u cunts


…but the story doesn’t quite end there. Here you’ll find the one page of entries saved from his personal web site by the Wayback Machine. As luck would have it, the archived page contains an entry from August 8, 2008, six days after his final entry at Gamasutra. It reads like a continuation of the earlier “confession,” while also acting as a primer for his personalities or characters. Perhaps it’s addressed too literally to be taken as an acknowledgment of a fragmented mind, but it is hard not to make the leap.

August 8
And so the army never set the fire and all the people in the pit were a sacrifice
But can u explain the tunnel that ran to the right behind the houses
And so I swooped places with Joshua ,then I changed places with Joshua, then I traded places with Cindy
Then I swooped places with Joshua and then I swooped places again ,and then again
That I know of you work out the story as im craigie not Joshua
And I know the ending to all 12 stories for they are the same

And so I was link
Then I was a hobbit
Then I was king
Then I was Ivanhoe
Then I was mindy
Then I was link
Then I was Joshua
Then I was craig
Then I was Joshua
Then I was Green leader
Then I was Zelda
The I was craig
Then I was Mindy
Then Craig the
Then Joshua
Then Craig
The Joshua
The craig
Tom clancie
Then bram
Then …..i know im craig

So u must be Bram
Who knows how many times I was shuffled as im sure it was 2x that list
Don’t you forget I know the hole story but then again I lost my memory
I give up im lost…. I am who I am my family my family ,that’s all I had to remember
As I sat at the table I never stood on it.

What did happen to Craig? Did anything, in fact? Is this simply how he goes about his days, or is there something deeper? Does he indeed lead a sad life? Does he have the friends he mentions in these pages? Or are they merely reflections of or facets of himself, each struggling for control? I can’t know. But at the very least, he’s been able to tell his story.

Brandon Sheffield’s eyes are white.