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Capcom sent us a VCR and creepy video tape for Resident Evil 7

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Does anyone know how to use one of these things?

A hand holds a large, old-school Sony VCR. Below the VCR is the box and packaging it was sent in, as well as a videocassette. Phil Kollar/Polygon

We get sent a lot of unnecessary promotional items for video games, but usually they’re like little action figures or pins or stickers. This has to be one of the stranger packages we’ve received in the four years since Polygon launched.

This evening, a hefty, 10-pound box arrived for us from Capcom. We ripped it open hoping to find a copy of Resident Evil 7 — a game we’re really looking forward to — but... well...

This picture shows a large box addressed to Polygon. It has several large red stickers that state “DO NOT DROP” in all-caps. Phil Kollar/Polygon

Our first hint that this wasn’t just the game was the sheer size of the box, which you can see here. It was also covered in “DO NOT DROP” and “Please handle with care” stickers, suggesting there was something more fragile than the average game box packed within.

This picture shows a large package that has been opened. The inside of the package contains a ton of bubble wrap and a smaller padded envelope. Phil Kollar/Polygon

The first thing we saw when we opened the package was a smaller padded envelope within. Just the perfect size to pack a game disc into!

This image shows a beaten up and bloody videocassette. Written on the front of the cassette are the lines: “Derelict House, Get this to Polygon! June 1.” Below the cassette are a padded envelope and box which have been opened. Phil Kollar/Polygon

Ha, just kidding! Within the padded envelope we found a frankly really gross-looking videocassette. The nicely typed label on the front of the cassette specifically calls out Polygon, so at least we know it made it to the right place?

But how do we watch this relic of a bygone era?

This picture shows a large Sony VCR stacked on top of a box. The box has a red sticker that says “DO NOT DROP” in big letters. Phil Kollar/Polygon

Yep. Packed deeper in the box, beneath the padded envelope and a ton of bubble wrap, was an honest-to-god VCR. Specficially, it’s a Sony SLV-678HF model videocassette player and recorder. As best we can tell from some quick Googling, this VCR was produced in 1998 and is very much no longer being created. Who knows where Capcom found enough of them to mail them out to very press outlets.

So what’s on the tape? Listen, we, uh, couldn’t actually find a TV that we could properly hook this up to. Capcom included all the necessary cables, but it’s, you know, a VCR. An old one.

However, the crew at EGM was apparently able to get past this brain teaser and reported on the contents of the tape. According to them, the video features a man with a handheld camera talking about being trapped in a house. He is captured and dragged off by a mystery bad guy and screams out for people to get the video to “[insert outlet here.]”

Digital versions of the video were reportedly available on YouTube as well, but have since disappeared before we even received our VCR (or had a chance to see the video for ourselves). Whoops!

UPDATE: CJ Melendez of horror site Rely On Horror was able to locate Polygon’s special message on YouTube! I’ve embedded it below for as long as it remains up. Enjoy!

While we continue to lament the inconvenience of delivering a message in this format, it’s a pretty clever promotional item for a horror game that features plenty of creepy VCR usage throughout. Read our full Resident Evil 7 pre-review and watch the gameplay video below for more details, and stay tuned for our full review of the game soon.

Uh, assuming Capcom actually sends the game. And that it doesn’t require hooking up a VCR to play.