25 April 2010

Why I never became a Pokémon Master

My first foray into Pokémon happened when I was around 13. A classmate told me she thought the cartoon was really cute and suggested I watch it. I was instantly hooked, and of course, I now needed to play the game so I could have PokéAdventures right alongside Ash and Misty.

My little brother had both Red and Blue for Gameboy, so I started playing Blue, despite his objections to me erasing his saved game. Oh, it was love. Instant love. My trusty Charmander and I, traversing Mt. Moon and Diglett's Cave, fighting our way to the top of the Pokémon League. To be a Pokémon Master was my destiny.

C'est l'amour.

Then it came time for me to complete my PokéDex. Professor Oak had entrusted this sacred task unto me, and may the gods help me should I fail. It should have worked out perfectly. I had access to both Red and Blue. My brother and I each had our own Gameboy, and he even had a few friends that played the game. We could all get together and spend the day trading our Eevee evolutions and Kadabras. We were just missing one thing.

To trade Pokémon in the old games, you didn't just need friends and multiple $20 game cartridges. You needed a link cable. Specifically this: a DMG-04, used to connect two of the original Gameboys.

Cheeky bastard.

Thinking back, 13 years after the fact, I imagine that this small bundle of wires was not actually that hard to find. It probably wasn't even that expensive. But try explaining that to my parents. We already bought you the Gameboy. We already bought not one, but TWO of what are essentially identical games. Now you need something ELSE for it? Try getting a job and paying bills and learning what it's like to live on your own, see how you like that.

So that was it. Never, not even once, did I get to trade in the Generation I games. No Ekans. No Mankey. No Jolteon. No Alakazam. And hey, if you wanted a Bulbasaur, maybe you should have gotten one from Professor Oak in the first place.


I WAS able to obtain all the Pokémon you could possibly get without trading (which is 128.) A very poor concession prize considering all the wild rumors that flew around about what DID happen after getting all 150 creatures. A guy in Professor Oak's lab gave you a Mew. You gained access to a special hidden Safari Zone. The president of Nintendo America showed up on your doorstep with a sack of pirate gold.

We didn't have the internet back then, so all I had to go on was what my 10 year old brother and his weirdo friends told me. Turns out all you actually get is a pat on the back from Professer Oak and a shitty diploma from one of the employees in the Celadon Mansion.

I want the last 300 hours of my life back.

To this day, I've still never had a complete PokéDex. I'm close in Diamond; very close, especially after purchasing a used copy of Pokémon Pearl at a GameStop and finding it had been maxed out with cheat-generated legendaries. I'll be sure to post here when I get my awesome completion certificate. At least I can look forward to it being in color this time.

1 comment:

  1. Ah that's awesome.
    I completed the original pokedex, from trading with school friends and using the missingno trick to get unlimited rare candies. I've never even come close in recent games. I'll beat the game with like a 40 pokedex. :/


Gotta catch 'em all!

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