For anyone who hasn't heard of it, the 'Jail Game' mystery began on some gaming forum years ago in a thread similar to our 'games you can't remember the name of' threads. Someone made a post about a game they had played as a child sometime around 1985. I can't find the post now, but it was something like this:
I remember the game had really good graphics, like the best I had seen in a game at the time. It started you in a dark jail cell with text that kept popping up urging you to get out. I specifically remember the words 'GET OUT' written at the bottom of the screen.
Pretty much my entire experience with the game was moving my character pointlessly around the cell, because I never could figure out how to 'get out'. It was a top down view and your character was kind of brownish looking.
People began responding that they too had played exactly the same game, but weren't sure of the name. People were conflicted even on what console the game had been for, with most claiming it was the NES, but others claiming it was for an Atari console or even the C64. Everyone agreed on a few things, though: the game had amazing graphics for the time, you started in a jail cell, and there was text somewhere on the screen (or sometimes on a sign or in the intro) telling you to 'GET OUT'.
As more and more information came in, people became very puzzled that no one could actually track down what game this was. Even stranger, almost no one claimed to ever been able to do anything other than explore the jail cell. Eventually someone claimed to have got past the jail cell by killing a prison guard character who entered the cell at one point, but no one else remembered any such thing. The few people that had claimed to play it couldn't remember exactly where or how they were introduced to the game, only that they had vivid memories of it. One person claimed that he definitely owned this game and that it was in storage somewhere, but he never managed to find it.
By this point a lot of time had passed and the mystery had gained some attention. A lot of people began claiming to have played the game, including some obvious hoaxes by people who made up extravagant details, such as the game was about escaping prison and murdering people and children. Telling the difference between lies and people who genuinely believed the game to exist became impossible, and the original game was never found.
I always checked back every once in awhile to see if anyone discovered it, but now I can't find any information on it including the original thread. Does anyone know if it's archived somewhere, or if any information on it has been released? The mystery always fascinated me because you could tell there was definitely a real game somewhere, but there were so many cases of contradicting/false memories and outright lies that the details became impossible to nail down.