The lights are on
"It's kind of like dog fighting": my friend didn't have the most eloquent way of explaining this new game called Pokémon that was just released for the Game Boy, but I was intrigued. In 1998 I was eleven years old and had never played an RPG before, I also hadn't really spent much time with any Nintendo game. I remember peering over my friend's shoulder as he explained this world where you can capture and train little monsters. The closest analogy I had at that time was Tomagotchi, but this combined ownership over some strange digital pet with a gigantic world and genuine challenge.
I went with Pokémon Blue because it is the only version where you can catch a Meowth in the wild, and the television show had taught me that Meowth is a must-have. I was immediately hooked. I chose Squirtle and set out on my path to become a Pokémon master or something. I spent an unhealthy amount of time with the game; not only because of the scope of the adventure, but the slow battle speeds can really eat away at the clock. I was always eager to give it another go in the Safari Zone or to cruise the same strip of sea over and over again in hopes of finding something other than an unwanted Tentacool. Facing the Elite Four at the end of the game was brutally difficult, and I'm happy to say that the final showdowns still make me sweat when playing and replaying other Pokémon games in the series.
The game itself was great, but what made Pokémon an infinite time sink were the discussions that surrounded this new universe at school. Pokémon swept through my school like a plague. You would walk down the hallways and have to step over kids battling Pokémon cards before tripping over a Game Boy multi-link cable. It was the first and only real cultural phenomenon that I was a part of. Who needs The Beatles when you have Weedles? I eventually got my hands on a strategy guide for the games and read it again and again as if it were a great work of fiction. I remember riding the long bus ride home and studying the 151 Pokémon like my life depended on it. I memorized all of them because it was fun, I will be able to tell you the difference between a Grimer and a Ditto when I'm 64 years old. Claiming your favorite Pokémon (Tangela and Golduck) and arguing with friends about their quality was an oddly formative experience.
The games had a sense of mystery surrounding them. Part of this could be that they were Japanese and there were always rumors about how far along the television show or new game releases were in Japan, but a lot of confusion and rumors came from the game itself. There was the infamous glitch that could corrupt your save when you took the steps to catch something called Missingno, and then there was the legendary Pokémon Mew that couldn't be caught in the regular game. Those two additions opened the door and set off a firestorm of rumors and exaggerated first-hand accounts across the playground about things that have been accomplished and mysterious new Pokémon that have been caught. I heard that you could evolve Charizard into something called "Charcolt" if you followed five simple steps, a friend of mine claimed to have caught variations of Pikachu that were called "Pikagreen" and "Pikablue." It was hard to draw the line between reality and rumor in a game as ambitious and new as Pokémon.
For the amount of time that I spent both playing the games and daydreaming about what type of gym leader I would be if I lived in the Pokémon world, I'd have to say that Pokémon has consumed more of my brain cells than any other title. I've lost a little enthusiasm along the way, but I know that I'm still going to get a nostalgic thrill when I choose my starter and set off on the adventure in this fall's Pokémon X and Y.
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My experience was pretty similar but I was way ahead of the cutting edge. I entered some Wal-Mart or K-Mart (remember that?) contest to win an N64, but got second place and a subscription to Nintendo Power instead, reading about games I'd never play as an impressionable nine year old.
But then came a long, intense build-up as Nintendo Power started devoting long sections to an upcoming game called Pokemon, replete with guides, how-to's and strategies. I was obsessed and made my parents get me a Gameboy Pocket for Christmas. It was glorious.
I went with Blue and Blastoise because Blatoise had like, totally bitchin' guns.
All i can say is that i was thrilled when school got done. getting off the bus and running to the tv to watch the new episode of Pokemon. When the games came out, yeah it was a wrap. had to get all the games, cards, toys. old times well spent
I've played at least 1 version from each set. I thought I would skip BW 2 after playing White, but I finally broke down and bought it yesterday. I'm doing the Nuzlocke Challenge. If you want the games to be more challenging, I suggest you look this challenge up.
I think I'll have to concede that Pokemon Blue consumed more consecutive hours of my life than any other game before or after. A lot of that had to do with the fact that I didn't need to leave it at home... I remember exactly where I was when I finally defeated Gary (or whatever I named him). I was in a carpet shop with my parents and sister. My Charizard was all alone and had no PP left...through some miracle I managed to emerge victorious! Sweet, sweet victory on the floor of a carpet shop downtown.
Ahh,Pokemon. My first game on my first console. While the game I played was Crystal and I played on a yellow Gameboy color I still can remember the countless hrs. I poured into it. To this day, anytime I see Pokemon in any way, shape or form, I get this overwhelming sense of nostalgia, in which I am almost driven to getting the nintendo handheld it's on. Hell after reading this article and writing this post I'm kind of tempted to go out and grab a 3DS. There is no shortage of memories of my bestfriend and I playing pokemon ruby/sapphire, fire red/leaf green, emerald (I can go on and on).
I actually didn't play Red version first. I understood the craze, and eventually purchased Gold, and later Red and Crystal version. Even by today's standards, Crystal version still holds up. Every now and then, I'll pull out my GBC for nostalgia's sake, despite the fact I own Heart Gold version. Nothing beat the soundtracks in the original games. I loved the item that plays the old soundtrack in the remakes, since the original soundtrack from GSC is arguably better than the updated one. Even to this day, I have friends in college who still play the games. It's a testament to the series's popularity.
Ben "Hanson Hanson" Hanson
Oh man the nostalgia, or should I say "The Feels".
I got in and out of pokemon with ruby, but it was soooooo good
I spent a TON of time on Pokemon Blue (mostly due to replaying it a bunch of times, but then also finally taking the time to catch all 151 Pokemon), but I think the Pokemon game I spent the most time on was Silver (250 hours to complete my Pokedex).
Ben "Golduck" Hanson.
Im playing red right now on my iphone, not as fun ad playing on gb color but watever, should probably catch up on pokemon games. Might pick up a 3ds next year.
i too remember how ppl were with this when it came out , i was in lately elementry school at the time and those few 'nerds' played it , which caused me to watch the show .... sadly i never jumped on board till gold/silver came out , and i'll always love it , even brought it to school my senior year ( 5 long years ago) and was ment with amusing talks cause of it from my buddies ... good times
Awww,thats such a good memory of a game.Iv heard this certain pokemon story so many times,but its always such a great thing to hear about from peoples childhoods..wish I was a part of that...I grew up around Yu gi oh...somehow I never was dragged into that.
I haven't played since Gold and Silver, but maybe I should catch up.