You Must Descend!
rating: 0+x

Screenshot of Stage 1 (Home).

Item #: SCP-XXXX

Object Class: Euclid

Special Containment Procedures: Five NES1 consoles modified to run SCP-XXXX are to be kept for testing purposes. All copies of SCP-XXXX are to be stored on-site in a secure vault. 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-XXXX. Any NES cartridges suspected of being copies of SCP-XXXX 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-XXXX. 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 possess copies of SCP-XXXX.

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

Description: SCP-XXXX is You Must Descend!, an unlicensed platform adventure game developed for the Nintendo Entertainment System. Since its publication in 1988, it has been associated with forty-nine disappearances and one suicide.


Screenshot of Stage 2 (Basement).

You Must Descend! was notable for its limited release (three hundred copies) and unique method for bypassing the North American version of the 10NES lock-out system.2 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 (Checking Integrated Circuit), 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. As a consequence, You Must Descend! can only run on original or modified NES consoles.

Unlike most platformers, You Must Descend! has no extra lives; upon dying, players lose all progress and must start from the beginning. In addition, an error in the game's source-code prevents the game from progressing beyond Stage 2 (Basement) without immediately crashing. Despite this, recordings of later stages have been found.

Addendum XXXX.1: Synopsis of Gameplay

In You Must Descend!, the player controls the main character as they descend into the basement of an abandoned structure. The goal is to retrieve the 'Heart of Glory' from the bottom floor, then return with it to the surface. Players must use items they discover to navigate challenges and fend off monsters on each level while managing their character's hunger counter.

Stage 1 (Home): In the game's first stage, players find no enemies or challenges. The only items of note are the Knife (a short range throwing weapon that does very little damage), and a Biscuit (which resets the character's hunger meter).

Instruction Manual: Stripped of all you love, nothing remains save the yawning pit below. Your bare feet slap against cold stone. You can feel it underneath. Pulsing. Pounding. Beating. The Heart of Glory.

There is but one path before you: You Must Descend!