However unlike the rest of the planet I didn’t get Pokémon X or Y.
Let me go back a bit.
When I was a significantly younger tot, but not that much shorter, I was into Pokémon. Which isn’t much of a surprise considering the entire planet was into Pokémon when I was into Pokémon. Though no matter what anyone tells you, you couldn’t be older then thirteen back in the day and be into Pokémon.
I was a bit ahead of the curve then since I had both the internet and Nintendo Power so I knew the truth about the seizure incident long before people even had the bare details of it. However, when my turn came to play I didn’t get a Gameboy and a copy like everyone else. I, regretfully I suppose, played it on emulator on my computer. I duped rare candies to power level my Pokémon, used only Master Balls to catch Pokémon and yes I used codes to get all 151.
Actually, one of the codes was wrong (it was to get a mankey) and I ran through every possible hex value for the code to find the thing. I got a lot of Missingno’s. A lot.
That Christmas my mother had purchased a game for me: Pokémon Red Version. Not knowing that I’d just beaten the opposing version by piracy I slapped it in and set to playing again.
Then I stopped because I was basically replaying the same game, only this time I knew I didn’t have the friends playing the game who could trade me the missing ones from the opposite version and as someone living in Canada the chances of getting a Mew were about as likely as winning the lottery.
I still remember my ultimate team too: Venusar, Charizard, Blastoise, Gyrados, Raichu and Alakazam.
So I let it go. I still have that cartridge and I intend to keep it.
Then Gold and Silver came out and I got excited as anyone else would. I went to emulate it again but I got lost or confused at one point and I was just tired of the Pokémon craze. I wanted to get a Lugia as I’d seen it in the second movie but I just didn’t want to invest the time into it.
And for the longest time I abstained. I got older and stopped watching the cartoon. I put my cartridge into storage and called it a day. What was the point? The count of Pokémon kept climbing and climbing and there was no way I’d catch them all without cheating. Plus, my two favourite Pokémon Mewtwo and Lugia were being replaced by newer and newer Pokémon.
So why now? Why did I want to know? Is it just that I’m feeling nostalgic?
I think part of it really is that. I think in part I’ve wanted to play a Pokémon game for a while and I’ve tried substituting it but really I do want to play a game with those mechanics and Pokémon is the best at it.
I think part of it is the fact that I can play a game how I want to once I learned about the Nuzlock challenge. That I don’t have to run around collecting Pokémon, I can just collect ones I find interesting and work on a small superhuman team of demons.
I think part of it is the realization that I’ve always wanted to have a team with a Lugia, Mewtwo, Charizard, Blastoise and Venusaur on it.
But there are two things that really stand out in my mind. When I decided to buy SoulSilver I wasn’t met with any mockery or japes. Rather a lot of people were really politely supportive offering to help complete my collection and giving me tips and advice. I’ve even been offered a free copy of one of the games to carry forward to X and Y.
But I think I wanted to go back and at least play SoulSilver to go get that Lugia and if this is the only game I play in the franchise then I’ve lost nothing. I’ll still have fun. Also because Lugia and Mewtwo on the same team is the awesomest thing ever and shut up because it is.
There is one thing I want to do though. The final challenge of the game, the last battle is one with trainer Red or more accurately the protagonist from the first game. Now this version of Red has a nearly identical Pokémon list to my own back in the day. In fact the two Pokémon who are different, Snorlax and Lapras were in my top eight list.
But what I want to do is raise a team, a team that I train properly and take that sucker down. Not all legendries or shiny Pokémon (should I find one) but just a hard trained team built to win. Because then I’ll have really beaten me, me at that age who would cheat to win and just had a team that he thought was powerful and used duped items and power levelling to win.
To me, beating Red Trainer really is like defeating a younger me and all of his bad habits.
So, dear thirteen year old me: I’m coming to kick your ass.
So too does this work exist.