Pokémon: The First Time

Pokémon: The First Time
 
 

If there’s ever been a game that pretty much everyone has played, it’s either going to be Tetris, Minesweeper or Pokemon. Since those who care about Minesweeper are more or less non-existent, and by now Tetris has had more clones than Boba Fett, let’s focus on Pokemon and our first foray into that cute, weird, and addictive world.

Pokemon Go is taking the world by storm, and bringing a lot of people back to the franchise (at least for now). I got thinking about the first time I played Pokemon, and why I love it to this day.

A couple things before we dive in. First, I never stopped playing Pokemon. From Blue through Omega Ruby and (soon) Sun, and many others in between, I’ve been playing what is basically the same game for almost two decades. As such, I look back on the original gen with a mixture of nostalgia and pity; like seeing the puppy you had when you were a kid succumb to arthritis in their old age. In context Red and Blue are buggy, ugly messes, and the series has vastly improved in the years since. That being said, the worst Pokemon game is still better than the majority of other games, so let’s dive in.

It was 1998. For whatever reason, the Pokemon anime reached Ireland before the games did, so my first introduction to Pokemon was the episode with that samurai kid and his inappropriate Metapod. I had no idea what was going on, but I was 9, so I just sat back and enjoyed the bright colours.

A few weeks later, school was letting out for Christmas, and one of the kids in my class already had Red. A gaggle of us watched over his shoulder as his Nidorino took on Lorelei’s first Dewgong and got destroyed. Clearly Nidoking wasn’t on Barry’s priority list when it came to Moon Stones. And regardless, Nidorino? Come on kid, this is the Elite Four; go big or go home.

Anyway, we went home. Christmas came and my sister and I got  a version of Pokemon each from our grandparents (and by grandparents, I mean my parents had gotten us things and put their names on them); she got Red, and I took Blue. I was ecstatic.

Abandoning the rest of the presents, I ran upstairs to grab my Game Boy Colour, which I then couldn’t find. I searched for about ten minutes before falling to my knees, sobbing in frustration and wallowing in the special kind of despair that only small children can feel. From that angle, it was much easier to see the lime green console slotted into the keyboard shelf on my desk. Trying to save face, I grabbed it, composed myself, pretended none of that had happened, and headed back downstairs to grab some fresh batteries.

Starting a new game, I made many mistakes that I continue to regret. I used my real name as my Trainer ID, which was lame. I also picked Bulbasaur, to my eternal shame. You’d think I’d never make that mistake again, and I didn’t until Pokemon Go, when I caught Bulbasaur after not seeing the clearly superior Charmander. I’d say live and learn but, well, I didn’t.

Brock was a breeze. Leech Seed didn’t affect Bide, so I just Seeded and Growled my way to victory. In Mt Moon, I met the love of my life, Clefairy. Having no idea how rare this was, I caught and immediately evolved the fairy, who I named Phic, being under the misguided impression that it was a Psychic type. I repeat, nine years old, Gen 1. I was the Jon Snow of Kanto, knowing nothing and giving everything stupid names.

Phic knew Pound and Growl, but I evolved him (I assumed, since this was prior to Clefable being a female only ‘mon) before Sing could be learned, and left Mt Moon only to teach him Mega Punch from the Move Tutor nearby. On to Bill’s house, where I picked up Thunder Wave on the way and taught it to – you guessed it – Clefable. Defeating Misty with Ivysaur was simple enough thanks to Vine Whip, and Bubblebeam’s TM went to – that’s right – good ol’ Phic. I secured Phic’s place as my useless yet somehow best Pokemon outside Rock Tunnel, when I taught him Flash. Because why not?

Continue reading on page 2.





 

Relevant Articles

 

Comments Comments (10)

 
Posted by drunk_monk
On Friday 5 Aug 2016 11:35 AM
1
ince those who care about Minesweeper are more or less non-existent"" - hey let's keep it civil Brian :P

Fun piece to read though thanks.
 
 
 
Posted by acedumbunny
On Friday 5 Aug 2016 11:46 AM
-
I always started with Bulbasaur as it evolved to its final form at level 32, making it stronger, fast. My first time playing was in Japanese because my brothers and I didn't want to wait for it. This started my habit of only using moves that do damage, as if they didn't do damage, I had no idea what they did.
 
 
 
Posted by acedumbunny
On Friday 5 Aug 2016 11:48 AM
-
5 August 2016, 11:46 AM Reply to acedumbunny
I always started with Bulbasaur as it evolved to its final form at level 32, making it stronger, fast. My first time playing was in Japanese because my brothers and I didn't want to wait for it. This started my habit of only using moves that do damage, as if they didn't do damage, I had no idea what they did.
On a side note, Gold and Silver were harder in Japanese than the originals as we didn't know you could give items to a Pokemon and my younger brother ended up equipping his starter with an everstone.
 
 
 
Posted by emetic
On Saturday 6 Aug 2016 3:14 PM
-
5 August 2016, 11:48 AM Reply to acedumbunny
On a side note, Gold and Silver were harder in Japanese than the originals as we didn't know you could give items to a Pokemon and my younger brother ended up equipping his starter with an everstone.
Hah, I played gold and silver on an emulator before it had been translated to english and the computer didn't support japanese text so everything was just garbage characters. I had no idea what was happening, no idea where to go, I was never very good at pokemon anyway and the pc had a 12" screen with spraypaint on parts of it but it was still awesome.
 
 
 
Posted by acedumbunny
On Sunday 7 Aug 2016 9:47 AM
-
6 August 2016, 03:14 PM Reply to emetic
Hah, I played gold and silver on an emulator before it had been translated to english and the computer didn't support japanese text so everything was just garbage characters. I had no idea what was happening, no idea where to go, I was never very good at pokemon anyway and the pc had a 12" screen with spraypaint on parts of it but it was still awesome.
Mine could display the Japanese text, so I learnt to recognize certain things as good moves or items.
 
 
 
Posted by emetic
On Monday 8 Aug 2016 5:40 PM
1
7 August 2016, 09:47 AM Reply to acedumbunny
Mine could display the Japanese text, so I learnt to recognize certain things as good moves or items.
You must have played on an epic multimedia machine! That sounds pretty cool actually. I think mine was barely even a 486.
 
 
 
Posted by acedumbunny
On Tuesday 9 Aug 2016 4:54 PM
1
8 August 2016, 05:40 PM Reply to emetic
You must have played on an epic multimedia machine! That sounds pretty cool actually. I think mine was barely even a 486.
I didn't even know it was odd to be able to display the Japanese text at the time. We got the copy from some friends who also could display the Japanese text, so maybe it was something that was built into the version I had.
Did you have to use an emulator for yours? Mine was just a simple double click the .EXE and it would run.
 
 
 
Posted by emetic
On Thursday 11 Aug 2016 5:21 PM
1
9 August 2016, 04:54 PM Reply to acedumbunny
I didn't even know it was odd to be able to display the Japanese text at the time. We got the copy from some friends who also could display the Japanese text, so maybe it was something that was built into the version I had.
Did you have to use an emulator for yours? Mine was just a simple double click the .EXE and it would run.
Yeh it was an emulator and you could totally poke and cheat it, which I made a point of not doing because it spoils the fun.
I don't remember if I finished it or what.
 
 
 
Posted by emetic
On Friday 12 Aug 2016 5:29 PM
-
Oh wow minesweeper is boss.
 
 
 
Posted by emetic
On Thursday 18 Aug 2016 2:34 AM
-
What was up with original Chansey though>? I guess the games were made with Japanese gamers in mind, because there is no way whatsoever that any normal person could catch all 151..