So, 18 years ago today, the first movie from one of my all time favourite TV shows was released: “The X-Files: Fight the Future”.  It didn’t reach here in the UK until August 21st, but for the purpose of this post let’s overlook that shin-kick to the Brit fans.

 

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I remember the anticipation, wondering how they intended to draw together five years of intriguing storylines and provide the fan base with the answers they were promising.  Merchandise hit the shelves over here before the film was released: behind the scenes book, music and score soundtracks, figures, promotional items to whet your appetite for the impending release… one of which came in the form of an “Enhanced Music CD” in the Sunday Times.  I saw it advertised on TV, so of course I had to get up early and rush to the newspaper shop to buy it.

 

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The disc came with an array of delights, a screensaver which cycled through all three trailers for the film, some tracks from the soundtrack, an offline version of the entire movie website, and a few quirky extras.

 



 

How 90s does the website look!  It’s actually the “desktop application” that caught my interest, and after exploring a few areas of the disc, I proceeded to click on it, and was met with the following screen:

 

 

Keep in mind, this was early 1998, most computers were still running Windows 95.  However, the “Windows 95 only” comment given by the disc is clearly not true, as I have run all this through Windows 7 for the purpose of this post.

I then got greeted by this…

 

Uh-oh.  I was late for school, I didn’t have time for this.  I just wanted to know what it did.

Then…

 

 

Noooooo!

It couldn’t be!?

This was an extremely stressful Monday morning.  I was late for school, wanted to just have a quick look at the proper contents of this disc, and in return it appeared to have completely erased my computer’s hard drive.

Then…

 


   
It had all been a joke.  A trick, played by the marketing team of the movie.   Clever, but annoying.  I wondered what it meant by “inner forces are still dormant within your computer.”  It then became apparent…

 




Maybe they thought the slowly fading appearance of Scully would calm the nerves of all those they had just upset by fake-deleting their hard drives.

It didn’t.  But the sense of relief that it had been a trick was overwhelming.

Thank Christ I didn’t have to re-do all the homework I watched it delete!

18 years ago this scared the hell out of me.  It now scares the hell out of me that this happened 18 years ago.

Happy 18th, FTF, you can now legally drink here in the UK.