SCP-4054
rating: +149+x

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Fig 1.1: Box-art for The Seventh Door.

Item #: SCP-4054

Object Class: Safe

Special Containment Procedures: Three NES1 consoles modified to run SCP-4054 are to be kept for testing purposes. SCP-4054 is to be stored on-site in a secure locker. Access is limited to Level-3 personnel and above.

Foundation agents monitoring flea-markets, yard-sales, and property auctions for anomalous activity are to be briefed on the existence of SCP-4054. Any NES cartridges suspected of being copies of SCP-4054 are to be purchased for examination.

A Foundation-operated bot (I/O-SAURON) is to monitor online gaming communities for discussions regarding the existence of SCP-4054. A joint operation involving MTF Mu-4 ("Debuggers") and MTF Gamma-5 ("Red Herrings") is to be conducted to investigate these discussions and determine whether the participants are aware of SCP-4054.

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Fig 1.2: Title screen.

All copies are to be recovered, and action is to be taken to discredit the existence of SCP-4054 as a hoax or urban legend. Any screen captures or videos of SCP-4054 are to be removed or otherwise replaced with doctored images to further perpetuate this narrative.

Description: SCP-4054 is The Seventh Door, an unlicensed platform adventure game released for the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1988. The contents of each cartridge vastly exceeds the storage limitations of its ROM (read-only memory) chip. Extracting SCP-4054's PRG ROM produces a data-file too large to be contained on any currently available device.

Because of its limited publication (three hundred units), inability to be copied, limited replay-ability, and incomplete state, functional copies of The Seventh Door are highly valued by vintage NES collectors. The game is also notable for its unique method of bypassing the North American version of the 10NES lock-out system.2

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Fig 1.3: Level 5 (Catacombs).

Each cartridge includes two transistors that function as a voltage inverter. When activated, this component produces a negative-charged voltage spike that can temporarily disable early versions of the console's CIC,3 bypassing the authentication lock and allowing unlicensed cartridges to run. Later iterations of the NES would add a series of 1k resistors along with diodes and grounds to prevent this technique from circumventing the lock-out unit.

However, a defect in this voltage inverter's design causes irreparable damage to The Seventh Door's SRAM4 with each successive reset. This produces an increasing number of glitches which will inevitably render the cartridge non-functional.

The Seventh Door was shipped prior to completion. As a consequence, several core components of game-play differ from what is depicted in its instruction manual and box-art:

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Fig 1.4: Level 7 (Buried City). Note several sprites and tiles failing to load correctly.

  • The protagonist has no extra lives; upon dying, all progress is lost. The cartridge resets.
  • All power-ups described in the manual are absent save one (the Hand of Glory,5 which prevents monsters and platforms from moving for ten seconds).
  • All monsters are absent.
  • Falling into a pit does not kill the protagonist. The protagonist will instead continue to fall off-screen as the game-over sound loops.
  • Memory overflow errors periodically cause sprites to load incorrectly.
  • The prisoners use the protagonist's sprite rather than their own.
  • After unlocking a door, prisoners provide no clue regarding the location of other keys (the text boxes are empty).
  • The protagonist dies at apparently random intervals (typically after a period of remaining still). This occurs regardless of whether or not the game is paused.
  • To date, researchers have uncovered several hundred levels beyond the seventh (described in the manual as the final level, and the location of the seventh key). These stages consist of vast networks of crypts, prisons, abandoned factories, and empty underground cities. The precise number of additional levels beyond the seventh has not yet been determined, but vastly exceeds the storage capacity of the cartridge's ROM chip.
  • The seventh level does not contain the seventh key.

Addendum 4054.1: Video Stream

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Fig 1.5: Footage taken from user inky49's video stream.

In 2004, Charles Rogers (an amateur NES cartridge collector) posted a thread at www.opening-the-seventh-door.int (a defunct online forum that was dedicated to The Seventh Door) under the user-name 'inky49'. There, he suggested using an NES Game Genie6 to directly set the value associated with the protagonist's number of keys to seven.

Several days later, Mr. Rogers posted a link to an online video stream where he intended to attempt and beat The Seventh Door using this exploit. Part way through his run, the video abruptly stopped. A follow-up investigation determined that Mr. Rogers had gone missing; authorities suspected foul-play after discovering several fingernails torn from Mr. Rogers' left hand inside his NES console.7

To date, SCP-4054 has been linked to 25 disappearances. It remains under investigation.

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