Growing up from the ages of 12-16 the majority of the games I played were FPS. Before though, when I was just a wee lad my favorite game of all time was that of Pokemon. Pokemon Pearl version for the Nintendo DS Lite to be exact is one of the games that I had logged 150+ hours on (I know this as I have a faint memory of the last time I played, it may have peaked at 160 but its been awhile and sadly I can not find my Nintendo DS). As I was sitting here reading through the daily news of Gameinformer I was looking at a Pokemon article and I remembered a thought I had a few weeks ago. I remembered from when I was a young kid riding the bus home every day and connecting to The Underground in the Sinnoh version within Pokemon pearl. 

For those of you who don't know The Underground is apart of the Sinnoh region within Pokemon pearl and that generation of games. You use an explorer kit later to dig a hole, leading you to a tunnel system that is also a local server. Once in this tunnel you can meet up to 16 other players through Bluetooth or a local WiFi network. Once players are connected they can run throughout a maze of a tunnel system and begin mining the walls (almost like a 2-d minecraft) and get emeralds and fossils after a slight glint sparkles on where to search. Once you obtain a drill, you can actually choose any spot within the tunnel system on the wall to create a personal secret base! 

Once you have a base to yourself inside will be a computer, a flag to the right of the computer, and a crap ton of rocks (don't worry you can remove them by using certain items and mining a LOT). The computer is your decoration system for the base, it is how you will design your base, use fossils, emeralds, etc. You can also then obtain traps. 

Why would you need traps you may ask? Well you are on a mission now. Your only job is to find the enemy's base, infiltrate their base, obtain the flag, and make it back to your base before getting caught up by them. In the case that you do get caught, the flag will be returned and the chase will begin again. But watch out! You may hit a trap which could send you sliding into another sand trap, bubble trap, or even worse! So be extra careful while your out there. Oh, and by the way, there are statistics and flag capture logs so you better get to work!
As you can  see this was a mini-game within Pokemon Pearl and the other games during this generation in the Sinnoh region. I loved this mini game with a passion. I never connected it before, but the ability to have 16 players on such a small crazy mini game that is in a constant fluctuation is not only exhilarating but truly gave me a friendly competition that is often hard to find now a days. 

I am going to provide a link to a website regarding The Underground and more specifics behind it, but if you have Pokemon Pearl, Diamond, or Platinum and your old elementary buddies still do to, take some time and go give this mini-game mode a try, you will not be disappointed. I will also provide a game play video with some footage of what it was like back then as well. If you grew up having a Nintendo DS or invested in one during the life span of this game, you may have already played this mini-game and I hope this post allowed you to see and feel some old memories regarding it. It was truly a blast and I wish more people were given the chance to try it. 
If anyone know's any similar games to this (such as maybe an indie game) please let me know! I have imagined a revamped, fully produced game dealing with secret bases and tunnel systems but at the same time, isn't that what minecraft factions is? Anyways, I hope y'all enjoyed this quick little blog and I hope you all give this mini game a chance or at least watch a few minutes of game play and try to imagine how much fun having 16 players running around stealing each others flags and maybe even creating some spy teams in the process would be! Have a wonderful week.

~Dawson Wyckoff