Monday, March 11, 2013

Pokemon Lost Silver

(AKA "Lost Silver")
Author, date not available

You see, I am a simple college student living alone in an apartment. I was very enthusiastic about the release of HeartGold and SoulSilver in the states. I have purposely locked myself out of all media and the Internet aside for school purposes, which means no 4chan, no /v/, no Bulbapedia, etc.

As I was busy with the school year and being a poorfag at the time, I wasn’t able to buy SoulSilver on the launch date. After my school year ended, I ordered SoulSilver on Amazon. However, it would take a week for it to arrive. I decided that during that time I would replay my Crystal version on my Game Boy Color. However, I realized that long ago, my mother threw it away because I told her the save went dead, and I was very upset about it then. She also threw away my Silver version, so all I have left is my Game Boy Color. As such, I set out to GameStop and bought a used Silver version, as it was the only Pokemon game left that they had for the Game Boy Color. It was ten dollars – fairly cheap for GameStop.

I went home and started it up for a nostalgia trip, however that’s where things began getting bizarre, and most likely the reason why you’re reading this. The Game Freak logo started up at normal, but then it froze there. I thought the cart had an error or something so I turned it off and back on. The same thing happened. I tried pressing the A and Start buttons over and over – all of the buttons, really. Eventually, the logo vanished and there was a black screen for about five seconds. Suddenly, rather than going to the usual menu screen, I was already in the game with a previous save file; it was odd, considering that I expected all these carts to have been wiped clean by the poor battery. Either way, I wasn’t complaining, as I would have chosen the “Continue” option anyway, just to see what the previous guy did.

First, I checked his trainer information. His name was “…” – he didn’t have much originality. I checked his profile and apparently he had 999:99 hours put into the game, with all sixteen badges, 999999 Pokedollars, and all 251 Pokemon logged in the Pokedex. Seeing as he also had Mew and Celebi logged, I assumed he either used a Game Genie or was a really hardcore Pokemon player. I checked his Pokemon to see what sort of badass team he had, and to my surprise I saw five Unowns and a sixth Pokemon named HURRY. I’m thinking that this must be some cruel joke played by the person who last played the game, but I decided to check the profiles of these Pokemon anyway. As expected, they were different letters of Unown, and all of them were level five. I was a bit shaky with my Unown alphabet at the time, but I identified the word spelled out to be “LEAVE.” As for the sixth Pokemon, it turned out to be a Cyndaquil. It looked normal, but it was level five with only one HP left and only two attacks: leer and flash. I don’t know why they named him “HURRY,” but at the time, I simply disregarded it. The most eerie thing about it was that, despite my volume being at max, none of the Pokemon had sounded their cries. There was only silence. Having enough of the team, I closed it. I was parked at what appears to be a room inside Bellsprout Tower, however, there were no NPCs around. Even more eerie was that the ‘pillar’ in the middle didn’t move at all, and appeared to be leaning on its side. There was no music at all, and it seemed like there was no exit or ladder.

I walked around for a few minutes but couldn’t find a way out. This was certainly not a room I had seen in Bellsprout Tower before. I tried checking my items for an Escape Rope, but the bag was completely empty. There weren’t any wild Pokemon, either. I finally managed to find a ladder, which turned out to be behind the ‘pillar.’ The screen turned black, and the music finally started. I had a sudden chill when I recognized the melody to be the theme you hear when you listened to the radio at the Ruins of Alph where you catch Unown. I immediately realized I wasn’t in a loading transition, but rather I was in a dark room and would need to use Flash. Before I took care of that, though, I immediately checked my Pokegear to change the radio to something more pleasant, but there was no Radio card – the Pokegear was even lacking Phone and Time cards. There was only a map card, in which Gold (“…” from earlier, and I will refer to him as Gold from now on) was walking in a sea of black.

I recalled that Cyndaquil had flash, so I turned off my Pokegear and made the Pokemon use the attack. I didn’t see any message saying “HURRY used Flash!” or anything of the sort. The room simply became lit just like that, though I soon regretted it. The room was a chilling blood red with a linear gray path heading south. The ladder I used to get into the room was not there at all. I had no choice but to head south. The screen got darker every twenty steps I made, until I finally made it to the end. There was a sign there that said, “TURN BACK NOW.” Suddenly, the option to select yes or no was there, despite no question being asked. I chose YES, as I didn’t know what it was asking, and the screen went black as the ‘ladder climbed’ sound played. The Unown Radio music stopped, and in a few seconds was replaced by the not-so-creepy Poke Flute radio music.

I was in another dark room, but I held my breath and used flash again. Suddenly, it said “HURRY has fainted!” It was odd, since I recall that there were no status conditions on him and I clearly wasn’t in a battle. I checked my Pokemon quickly, and he was no longer in the party. In fact, none of my Pokemon were there. Instead, they were all replaced with level ten Unown. I did the same thing as before and spelled out the Unown. The message spelled “HEDIED.” Either way, after that creepy change the room was lit to reveal myself in a very small room that seemed only four squares big. The walls of that room were gray bricks, as if I was inside something that was hollowed out. Outside that room appears to be a bunch of graves similar to the ones in Pokemon Red and Blue. I walked around that small room and pressed A but nothing happened.

By then, I had already concluded that it was a hacked game some sadistic fuck sold to GameStop, but my curiosity kept me going. I checked the trainer profile of “…” again only to find that the sprite of Gold was missing his arms. He also seemed to appear less smug – more sad and empty in a way that I don’t know how to describe. For some reason, it also said he had 24 badges, which is clearly impossible. After a few minutes of aimless wandering, Gold suddenly did the Escape Rope animation, but instead of flying up, he spun downwards slowly, as if sinking.
After that screen, the music stopped. After finally landing, the overworld sprite of Gold was colored differently. Instead of the usual red color he dons, he appeared completely white, including his skin. It was as if he came straight from the old Game Boy games and was placed into a colored background from a Game Boy Color game. I checked his profile, and he was as white as his overworld sprite, but he lost his legs and had what appeared to be bloody tears coming from his eyes. It also said he had 32 badges, which started to disturb me because this change of number seemed to represent something important.

I also checked my Pokemon, which at that time contained five Unowns and a level 100 Celebi without a nickname. The Unown at that time were level fifteen and spelled out “DYING.” I checked the Celebi’s profile, and it turned out to be shiny. Half of the sprite wasn’t there – there was only one leg, one arm, and one eye. It only had one attack, too: “Perish Song.” The area I was in itself was the Sprout Tower with the immobile pillar as before, except everything was red. I walked north for what felt like forever before encountering generic NPC characters. They were all lined up to the side facing the pillar in the middle of the room. Nothing happened when I tried to speak with them, and they were white like Gold. I paid them no mind afterward and kept going north until the pillar appeared to be chopped off. A transparent looking Red was in that spot, and I walked up to him. Without even pressing A, I was suddenly engaged in a battle.

The music started again; it sounded like the Unown Radio music, but played backwards. Gold’s battle back sprite matched his front one – the one with the bloody eyes, white skin, and lack of arms – while Red’s was the same as before in Gold/Silver/Crystal with the exception of it being transparent. The text simply said “ wants to battle!” It was as if he had no name. Both of us only had one Pokemon each, which was odd considering that I had six before. My Shiny Celebi came out, with the half-a-sprite for its back sprite as well. The ‘shiny’ noise and animation was different, and the sounds it made sounded like multiple screech attacks used consecutively. Red sent out a seemingly normal male Pikachu, except it was level 255 and the sprite seemed sad with teary eyes. Rather than the usual “FIGHT/ITEM/PKMN/RUN” menu, I was only given the option to use attacks. Because Celebi only had one, I chose it. Naturally, since Pikachu was level 255, he went first.

“PIKACHU used CURSE!” It lowered his speed and increased his other stats. I’m not even sure if it’s possible for a Pikachu to learn that move.
“CELEBI used PERISH SONG!” In three turns, both Pokemon would be KO’d, but it wasn’t like I had a choice.

At this point, it didn’t go back to the fight menu. The battle simply continued without me. Also, I noticed that there were no animations at all for some reason.

“PIKACHU used FLAIL!” It didn’t do much damage despite his level, and it didn’t boost his health since it was maxed.
“CELEBI used PERISH SONG!” Nothing happened, as it was already used.
“PIKACHU used FRUSTRATION!” This did a ton of damage and knocked Celebi down to less than ten HP.
“CELEBI used PAIN SPLIT!” This surprised me, as Celebi didn’t have that attack in the first place. Celebi and Pikachu ended up with about 150 HP.
“PIKACHU used MEAN LOOK!” It did absolutely nothing.

As expected, due to the effects of Perish Song, Celebi fainted. In the text, though, it said “CELEBI has died!” and instead of the ordinary fainted animation, the Celebi sprite vanished. For some reason, the Pikachu was still up even with Perish Song and it didn’t count as my loss. Pikachu then used one more different attack beyond the four-attack limit.


Afterwards, it said “PIKACHU has died!” with a slow fade-out animation. Apparently, I was the winner, as the transparent Red sprite showed up and said “……………”
At that point, I freaked out. The transparent Red sprite was suddenly beheaded, leaving nothing but his transparent body. The battle then ended at that point and faded out along with the music.
I was back in the overworld, with another change to the Gold sprite: he was just as transparent as Red was. I quickly checked Gold’s profile, and it showed the only thing that remained of him was his head, with transparent skin. The head was Zoomed in a bit, showing a black void in his eyes. It also stated he had 40 badges. I then backed out and checked my Pokemon. They were all level twenty Shiny Unown, which then spelled out “NOMORE.”

I was at what I now know is next to the end. There was no music playing, but for some reason I still felt like something was there that could be heard. I was back in Gold’s room in New Bark Town. I thought maybe I was able to play the game properly, but whom was I kidding? I knew some sadistic fuck must have done something. I ‘walked’ around the room to interact with things, as I was afraid to go down the stairs to see what was waiting down there. Note that I said ‘walked,’ but while the background was moving, Gold wasn’t moving his transparent limbs at all while doing so. He was floating just like those ghosts you see in Diamond/Pearl.

As expected, the radio, computer, and TV didn’t work, so I had no choice but to go down the stairs. I ended up in the lower level room of Gold’s house. Everything appeared to be normal, but his mother wasn’t home. After failing to interact with anything in that room, I decided to go outside. To my surprise, the door leading outside didn’t work, and instead I walked straight through it into a void. I continued moving south to see what the fuck was going on. Gold’s house vanished as I headed south into the black. It was creepy, as when I entered the void, the outline on Gold’s sprite turned white to contrast with the pitch black. Eventually, I reached a white area and Gold’s sprite outline turned black again. I continued south without thinking of stopping at all.

After a long trek south, I finally encountered something. It was Gold’s regular sprite. I talked to it, and he said “Goodbye forever ….” (notably with a space in between the forever and ….), and vanished. As that happened, it said “??? Used NIGHTMARE!” At that point, I didn’t deny that to be possible. Gold did another Escape Rope animation after that.

I’m now back in that small hollowed-out room surrounded by graves…. Or, at least I say I was back there, as there was no sprite any longer. I tried to walk around but nothing happened – there wasn’t even a wall bumping noise. I checked my trainer profile, and there was no sprite left. It said I had 0 badges, and all the pictures of the Gym Leaders were replaced with skulls. I checked my Pokemon, which were all level 25 Unown. As expected, it spelled out a phrase that I dared to read: “IMDEAD.”

As soon as I went back to the overworld, the room I was supposedly in was then covered with the same blocks as the walls. I figured out what exactly that room was when a text box popped up that said “R.I.P. …” That room was a big grave, surrounded by other graves. Gold had already been dead. He died presumably a few years after he defeated Red. He was a young trainer, who, despite his efforts in collecting so many badges and attempts at becoming a Pokemon Master, was unable to avoid the inevitable fate of death. His efforts were eventually forgotten by the next generation.

I was unable to escape from that text no matter what I pressed. I tried to reset the game, but the same thing happened again and again until I decided to give up on that horrible nightmare. After that experience, I will never look at the ‘gimmick’ Unown the same way again. They say that only the first generation has its folk tales and legends, but the second generation has shown me how unpleasant the truth can be. I eventually got my copy of SoulSilver and enjoyed it immensely, but I still can’t unthink what that rigged game showed me.

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