The Pocket Monster Diaries, Part 1
(Author’s Note: This is sort of a…Let’s Play, writeup…thing? For Pokémon Leaf Green. I’ll be playing through the game using Nuzlocke rules, which are:
1. If a Pokémon faints, it must be released as soon as possible (basically fainting = death)
2. You may only catch the first Pokémon you encounter in a given area. If it faints/escapes, too bad.
I’ll be playing through the game with these restrictions, then posting the screenshots and writeup here. So, enjoy! (Maybe?))
My name is Winston. I’m ten years old, and Pocket Monsters have made my life a living hell. I’m writing this down partly to take my mind off of the fact that I currently have a bloodthirsty animal inside the tiny ball attached to my belt, and partly so that on the off chance that someone finds my mutilated corpse in a ditch next to Route 22 (where I was finally pecked to death by Spearows), at least one person would know who to hold responsible for my untimely demise.
Ultimately, the blame can be laid at the feet of two people: my mother, and Oak. I’m fairly certain that Oak was the brains of this plot – but only because I don’t think my mother could come up with a plan to tie her own shoelaces by herself. No really, she’s 33 years old and still wears velcro (I am pretty sure that I’m adopted). And as for “Professor” Oak, I’m starting to suspect that the diploma in his lab was made using WordArt and a laser jet printer. He’s been here since I was born, but I overheard two of his aides talking while I was pulling weeds in the flower bed underneath the laboratory window for 50 cents an hour, and one of them said that he moved to Pallet Town after he got expelled from veterinary school.
Another time he had to hide in my closet for like two hours while these intense looking guys in suits sliced open all the chair cushions in his office with box cutters and had a bunch of Growlithes sniff around his lab, and he told me to just play video games like normal and if they came in and asked me where he was to say that I hadn’t seen him all day, and he kept telling me to stop glancing over at the closet but I was super nervous that they were going to bust through my door any second because I heard them yelling at his aides to put their hands on the hood of the van and the Growlithe kept barking and my hands were all sweaty and they kept slipping off the buttons and making me lose to King Hippo in Punch Out!! Worst birthday ever.
Anyway, this morning I come downstairs and see my mom at the table with this expectant look on her face. I immediately know something’s wrong because normally she’d already be watching reruns of The Goldeen Girls. I ask her what’s up and she hustles me out the door to Oak’s place, saying he wants to see me about something. At this point I’m like, “Yeah, whatever,” because I want to get this over with and it’s pretty hard to avoid someone all day when your town has six people living in it (including you).
So there’s three Pokéballs on the table in Oak’s lab and I know I’m in deep shit. They’re not just sitting there either, they’ve got little pillows under them, each one is perfectly equidistant from the others, and they all have a big lamp that looks like it was stolen from a dentist shining on them. I mean this guy must have spent at least an hour arranging these things (actually he probably made his aides do it. I’m not sure how he gets so many undergrads to work in his lab, but it appears to be option D after “Silph Co intern”, “Pokémart stockboy” and “professional lawnmower”). And Oak is just standing behind this table beaming. And I just know he’s gonna make me pick one.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I wouldn’t say I hate Pokémon. Some of them are pretty darned cute, I’ll admit. It’s more like I’m terrified of them. Because one minute they’re looking up at you with their big baby Seel eyes, so innocent, so trusting, and they next minute they shoot a Motherfucking-Hyper-Laser out of their mouth and kill you. Or they pulp the contents of your ribcage with a Beefy-Murder-Fist. Or they lop your arms off with their Merciless-Death-Talons, or some other crazy shit because the truth is that every last creature on this planet wants you dead for no reason. Really.
Don’t believe me? You want facts? Alright smart guy, how about this: A Magmar’s body temperature is 2,200 degrees Fahrenheit. A Heracross can throw an object up to 100 times its own bodyweight. Starmie MIGHT BE FROM SPACE. Nobody even fuckin’ knows! One time, after my mom went to bed, I snuck out of my room to watch the news, the kind where they tell you to have your children leave the room because “what you are about to see…may disturb you”. I’m kneeling there on the carpet, a foot in front off the glowing TV in the darkened living room with the volume on two pips from the left. Apparently some construction company over in Vermillion tried to retire one of their Machamps when it started getting old, and it went berserk. They brought in the guy who had trained the Machamp since it was an egg, and he starts talking to it real low, slowly walking closer with his hands way out to his sides. The Machamp stopped thrashing for a minute and you could tell the guy thought he had made a breakthrough. It’s staring at this guy and breathing real heavy, and even on the crappy hand-held camcorder you could see the smile form on this guy’s face as he gets within striking distance — and then the Machamp punches his head off. Thuk. That’s the sound it made. One of those four meaty arms just flicked out, very casually, and his head popped clean off, bounced once, and that was it. The man’s standing there, a head shorter, arms out like he’s still expecting a hug, and after what felt like an hour he crumpled to his knees, a woman screamed, and that’s when I hastily flipped back to the cooking channel (so my mom wouldn’t know what I had been watching) where I saw a split second of a fat man making poffins before I mashed the power button and ran all the way upstairs to hide under my covers. I didn’t sleep until morning.
My point is, no predator exists, has ever existed, or could ever exist, that can account for the evolution of these walking death machines. It completely defies natural selection. That’s why they could only have been created for one purpose: to wipe us out.
So obviously the prospect of owning one of these things does not fill me with glee. But I also know there’s no way I’m going to get out of this lab without one. To make matters worse, Oak’s halfwit “grandson” shows up. I don’t know if he even has a real name, but everyone just calls him “G’yorp”, because that’s the only noise he ever seems to make. I have no idea where Oak found this kid, but he smells like a Grimer in the middle of July and he doesn’t look too far off either. Oak refers to him as his “grandson” but it’s obvious that they aren’t actually related and I can only assume that he keeps G’yorp around so he can claim him as a dependent or use him for unethical experiments or something. I don’t really like to think about it.
So, after making a practiced speech about how we’re finally ready to go out into the world and be Pokémon trainers, he offers us a choice. Lucky me, I get to go first.
Now, I find myself faced with a moral dilemma. I’ve never wanted to own one of these monsters myself. But, imagining the havoc that G’yorp — untamed, ungovernable, unhousebroken G’yorp — would potentially be able to work with one of these potent creatures, I felt a strange sense of obligation to take up a living weapon that would be able to match his, move for move. But which to choose?
Gah! No! Nonono! It looks cute now, yes, but I’ve seen these things evolve before. On TV. I can already envision those little claws sprouting into huge talons, that little ember building into a roaring inferno. And what happens if we end up battling in the dessicated grasslands? Or if there’s a climactic showdown in a petroleum refinery? Or we need to square off in some kind of ill-conceived oily rag emporium? I can’t be responsible for that kind of property damage, my allowance is only 15 PokéDollars!
Ugh. Just look at this thing. Leering as it squats there, evilly. Face only a Kangaskhan could love. And there’s something not quite right about that bulb on its back, either. What sinister fruit will it bear in the fullness of time? A sickly, poisonous bloom? A baleful, man-eating shrub? Or perhaps a tiny tree COVERED IN FEET?!? Perhaps it is best not to know.
Ah! Here we go! This little guy looks friendly. I don’t see any spikes or claws, and his body has a pleasing, round shape to it. And as far as supernatural PokéPowers go, water isn’t so bad, now that I think about it. I mean, I’ll dry off eventually.
And now, it comes to the naming. This is important, as I’m a firm believer in nurture over nature. I need to pick something warm, unassuming. Something that says, “Hello. I am your friend. I am not here to punch your head off. Beat your Hyperbeams into plowshares, and your Earthquakes into pruning hooks, for you shall not learn war anymore. We shall live out our days in peace.”
G’yorp, who has been burbling with anticipation while I deliberated, snatches up the Bulba-Creep, cracks the Poké Ball open with the aid of his teeth, and discards it on the ground. He will never use it again. The ball coughs up his squat little monster and they begin to dance around each other in a frenzied display of mutual recognition, hooting and g’yorping in primal joy. The aides wisely retreat behind bookshelves and under tables. They are used to the antics of G’yorp, but are not sure what to make of his diminutive partner in crime. They have chosen to wait out the storm. To me, it seems that G’yorp and his charge are not trainer and Pokémon, but brother and brother: equals, inheritors of a savage bond forged in blood under the fickle waxing moon. It’s all very touching in a noble savage sort of way until without warning the little Runt-Beast (the Pokémon, I mean) comes barreling at my kneecaps. I instinctively hold the ball up between me and my assailant, and time seems to slow down as I gingerly, remorsefully, with the care afforded to the trigger of an atomic bomb, depress the white button on the ball’s equator.
Like a spring-loaded turtle-bullet my new companion leaped into action, hitting his opponent before he hit the ground and sending Derp-asaur’s stubby green feet skidding, spinning across the laboratory floor. He-heh. Loser. If it is possible for a turtle to look smug, believe me, dear reader, that is what you would have witnessed had you been there at this moment. I found myself impressed by the zeal, the sheer life on display from this little fellow, who had just a moment previous been contained in a ball. Inspired by his example, I decided to take firm command. “Mr Suds!” I said, trying out the name in my mouth, “You should…uh, hit…hit him-” As I struggled to make myself heard over the clanging sound of Mr. Suds repeatedly slamming Bulbasaur’s head into a radiator, I was forced to admit to myself that perhaps my guidance was not totally necessary in this battle.
With his Mulch-Soldier soundly beaten and bleeding from the tiny holes on the sides of his skull that I assumed were ears, G’yorp scooped up the unconscious creature and ran out the door wailing. I have to admit I felt pretty bad for the guy, uncouth though he might be. I eyed Mr. Suds warily. He had performed well in his first fight, perhaps a bit two well. Former gang member maybe?
Well, he could keep his secrets, for now. He got back in the Poké Ball easily enough. However, Oak reminded me that G’yorp was now on the loose with a potentially dangerous Pokémon in his possession. Oh yeah.
“He’s hurt, confused, and possibly hungry.” For a minute Oak almost sounded like an actual grandfather. “Also, that Bulbasaur is extremely rare. We cannot allow any harm to come to it.” Phew. That was a close one. So, this was it. This was Oak’s plan, I suppose. Make me feel responsible for his idiot grandson as a way to get me to embark on some kind of quixotic PokéJourney. My mom was no help at all in the matter. In fact, by the time I got back to my house she had already converted my room into a Sewing Nook.
And so, with some brusque words of encouragement, I found myself unceremoniously booted out of the nest. Just me and Mr. Suds. Face to face with Route 1. That big wide world out there, chock full of Pokémon thirsting for my blood.
Here we go.
Okay…that wasn’t terrible. I made it through. No Pokemon! Perhaps, this journey will not be so bad after all.
…I shall be a peaceful warrior, with the improvement of the mind as my goal, and I shall shun the path of conflict, not deigning to engage-
AAAAAAAH MR. SUDS HEEEEEEELP
KILL IT KILL IT KILL IT
Posted on April 5, 2011, in The Pocket Monster Diaries and tagged Bulbasaur, Diary, Game Boy Advance, Leaf Green, Let's Play, Nuzlocke, Pokemon, Screenshot, Squirtle. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.