Let's start this story out where it all began, I was moving from Illinois to Florida with my family when I was seven. My parents decided to buy both myself and my sibling a GameBoy color of the trip down along with Pokemon Red for myself and Pokemon Blue for her. It was all I played, I began collecting the cards, every time a new game came out I just had to have it. The thing was I couldn't read when I was seven, nor when I was nine. I was always great at math and never had a problem learning. Reading just didn't interest me, until a teacher asked me if I knew how reading could help me enjoy Pokemon more. Within three months I had gone from not knowing how to read to having what was considered a twelfth grade reading level. That was just the beginning though from there the Pokemon card game made me interested in Yu-Gi-Oh where I became first in the nation and received a trophy with my name in it. Yu-Gi-Oh lead to my hobby of Magic the Gathering which now at the age of twenty-two I try to play as much as possible. This all started from moving, but the door opened when my third grade teacher taught me how to read. I'm thankful that she taught me how to read since it's shaped my life since then. The thing is none of this would have happened if Game Freak had not made Pokemon and I would not have played it. I wouldn't be who I am today without it.
It was around a decade ago when I received my copy of Pokemon Sapphire for the Game Boy Advance. I had played previous Pokemon games such as Red and Gold, but this game was different for me. When I played the first two generations, I was around 5-6 years of age. I hated reading, so I never read anything from the original games and just did random things until I progressed into the story. However, this time was different; I was 8 and had more of an awareness of how to play video games. It was also in this generation when I really got into Pokemon.
The whole experience started in Littleroot Town. I saw a scene of the player inside a moving truck and already noted the massive improvement in graphics. Anyways, moving on with the adventure. After talking to some of the characters such as the neighbor and the mother, I then meet Prof. Birch. I laughed hysterically as he was being chased by a measly Poochyena. I was ordered to use one of three Pokemon from the bag. When I first looked in that bag, I loved all the starters right away, but my neighbor used a Torchic so I guess I wanted to do the same. Then comes the battle and like all first battles, I won. This, my friend, would be the start of my Hoenn journey.
You know how the story goes, collect all eight badges and then beat the Elite 4 followed by the champion to proclaim yourself as a Pokemon Master. A journey such as this contained many challenges along the way. From the get-go, I struggled against Brawly and his arm thrusting Makuhita. It was a pain for my Combusken and Shroomish at the time; my two strongest party Pokemon by far. The next few portions of the journey would be a lot easier until I hit the Team Aqua (the villainous team of the game) leader, Archie. I managed to get by the grunts with my Breloom but that was about it. The journey continues, and on Route 120, I had an encounter that changed Pokemon for me. I encountered Absol, my favorite Pokemon of all-time. The dark-type, the scythe on its head, it was amazing. I caught it and proceeded on with my journey. This adventure was about a decade ago, so I don't know much except for the fact that I unfortunately killed Kyogre and spent about two weeks trying to get into Sootopolis City. Climbing my way through the final badges and then the Elite 4, I made my way to Steven Stone, the champion. It was a rough fight, but with my trusty team led by my Blaziken, I got the job done. For the first time I could truly call myself a champion. (I had beaten Lance and Blue in the previous games)
Of course, this journey had a special component that has made me love Generation III the most. When you are playing any Pokemon game, there is music that plays a specific tune for any battle, route, or city. I know I have had favorites in previous Pokemon games, but the soundtrack in this game really stood out to me; and it still does after two future generations. In the beginning, I was given calm music; nothing to really point out, but it was that battle with my rival that opened my eyes to what this game could do. The trumpet solo is my favorite part of the whole piece. Of course, there was also other soundtracks that stood out to me as well. The battle with the Elite 4 was also a major improvement, in my mind, over the predecessors. The battles against Team Aqua were also as much enjoyable, despite how annoying those grunts were. I could go on about how much great music this game had, but there is one final tune I would like to mention. After a long, long search for Sootopolis City and endless hours circling a white rock, I made it into that elusive city. Upon making landfall on the city, I hear the tune for the first time. It was quite soothing and rather catchy. As I write this story, the tune still sticks to my head. The diverse music in the games, the calmness, the "epic"-ness of the game, made the experience much better.
To many fans, Generation III was viewed as a negative turn in the series. Traditionalists disliked the incapability to travel back to Johto or Kanto. However, I loved this generation. The previous two generations were released when I was too young to understand the story line to a game. I has missed all the hype to these games despite playing them. However, when Pokemon Ruby and Pokemon Sapphire came out, it was my time to jump into the phenomenon we call Pokemon. Unlike the last two games that I completed over a scattered 3-5 years, I completed Pokemon Sapphire in around a month or two; a standard time table to complete the game if played at a casual pace. This would be the true start of a hobby that has followed me for most of my life, a hobby that won me a senior superlative award in high school, a hobby that has built friendships with many great people. Pokemon Sapphire was an amazing experience, one that has led to many more great experiences with the series.
Private Mod Note
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"On my business card, I am a corporate president. In my mind, I am a game developer. But in my heart, I am a gamer" -Satoru Iwata
I have been lurking around this site since maybe 2007 when I first got into competitive Pokemon. Well, I figure me joining the site is far past due and what a great thing for me to post as my first comment. Sorry in advance for the long post, feel free to skip it if you like, although I think many can relate to my experiences.
The year was 1999, I was a six-year old living in a small apartment with my older brother, my mother and my father. To say the least, we weren't too well off at this point, but no one wants to hear that really. We lived in a small town of about eight thousand people, the elementary school I went to had about 400 kids ranging from kindergartners to sixth graders. My parents both had to work until at least four o'clock every day, so my brother and I had to go to an after school program dubbed "Keys" until my mom or dad picked us up. One day while I was playing wall-ball with a few of my friends, they started talking about this new card game called Pokemon. I hadn't the faintest idea what they were talking about. The only card games I have ever played were the typical ones you learn as a child, war, go-fish, games of that nature. I had never before been introduced to a TCG like Pokemon. So my friends showed me their Pokemon cards, and needless to say I was awestruck and being a selfish child I immediately wanted some.
I remember this moment with such clarity it is ridiculous. My mom came and picked me and my brother up from school that same day. It was a beautiful Spring day, the street painted with the pink and red leaves from the blossoming trees that lined the sidewalk around the school. The sky was a light blue with cotton-white cirrus clouds that that ran the length of the sky. Even surrounded by the beauty of the day, all I could think about were the cards my friends showed me. I couldn't wait to tell Stephen, my brother, and my mom all about them. As we were walking off of the school grounds I spotted something that was a deep red coming from the netted pocket of my brother's backpack. As I looked over I realized it was the lizard-like Pokemon that I took a liking to when my friend showed me his. It was a red lizard with a weird name and an awesome flaming tail that it held in front of its body with its razor sharp claws. Needless to say, my brother had a Base Set Charmeleon in his backpack. I was struck with both bliss for my brother having Pokemon cards and ironically, disdain, for my brother having Pokemon cards. I hastily asked my brother where he got that Pokemon card, and he told me that his friend had given him some extra cards so my brother could start off collecting. I expressed me deep interest for the Charmeleon card, and he told me all about it. He said that Charmeleon evolves into a dragon called Charizard, the strongest Pokemon ever. Then he gave me a Fire Energy card, telling me that Charmeleon needs those cards to power up into Charizard, which of course is incorrect. I was so happy to get my first Pokemon card ever and it was a Fire Energy needed to get the best Pokemon of all time!
That Christmas, you can guess what I got. My first ever Pokemon packs and theme deck. This effectively induced a love for all things Pokemon upon myself that will, hopefully, last a lifetime. From here, my knowledge, curiosity, and love only grew exponentially. In January of 2000, I received a gift from my grandmother that not only solidified my love for all things Pokemon, but also solidified my love for video games. She gave me my first ever game system, a Gameboy Pocket. My parents gifted me my first ever Pokemon game, of course it was Pokemon Yellow version. Pokemon Yellow taught me so much from a young age. The game helped my further my ability to read, something I was struggling with at the time. The game inherently taught me how hard work and dedication can pay off in the end, which is something I couldn't even articulate at the time if I wanted to. The game also taught me one of the harsher lessons in live. Losing something that you care deeply for.
I am sure many of you can relate to my experiences if Pokemon Yellow was your first ever Pokemon game. With my Pikachu, Nidoran, and Pidgey, I trekked through the arduous Viridian Forest. My Pokemon got sick from poison, my Pokemon fainted from strain, and my Pokemon, battered and weak from constant fighting, finally lead me out of the forest and into a new town. This town was Pewter City. At last I came to a Pokemon center where I could heal my injured companions before trudging ever onward. First though, I realized there was a Pokemon Gym here. As I entered and began challenging the trainers but, Pikachu could not hurt their Pokemon. My Pidgey and Nidoran could not hurt them much either. I knew nothing about the intricacies of Pokemon types, so I lost and lost and lost some more. After some time I decided I should raise my Pokemon's levels. I had never played an RPG before this so I had no idea that levels could be anything more than what they are in Mario games. Once my Nidoran hit level 12, he learned a new move. That move was Double-Kick. Next time I challenged the Pokemon Gym, Nidoran proved to be my greatest asset. His great new move was Super-Effective versus the rock Pokemon at this gym.
After all that hard work, leveling my beloved Pokemon and challenging the Gym over and over again, I finally beat Brock and his overpowered Onix one night that I was up playing when I wasn't supposed to be. The next day when I woke up I wanted to do nothing more than to exclaim my accomplishment to my brother. I went into my brother's room to tell him, but my mother stopped me and said Stephen wasn't feeling well so he was still sleeping and staying home from school. So as I was eating my breakfast of Peanut-Butter Captain Crunch (yes I still remember that for some reason), I came to the conclusion that I would leave my Gameboy home for my brother to play and see my badge while I was at school. Throughout the entire day I professed my amazing feat to my friends at school yet no one believed me because my Gameboy was still at home. So of course I couldn't wait to go home right after school because my mom stayed home with my brother, then I would head back to school with my Gameboy to show my friends while they were at Keys.
I am sure everyone can see where I am going with this. When I got back to school I turned on my Gameboy for my friends to see my awesome badge, only to see that I had a level 7 Pikachu and was still in pallet town. I was devastated. I had no idea what happened, no clue what overwriting was. I felt defeated. Sad. On the verge of tears. Never have I had a feeling like that before. After I recuperated from that instance though I was determined to do it again, show my friends that I was lying. Also, my brother couldn't play my game ever again (He did though, and overwrote my data several more times). This time with my knowledge that Nidoran was the key to beating Brock and his apprentices. I was going to do it again and nothing was going to stop me. Now I am here, a dozen years older and hundreds of badges under my belt. Of course, I have so many other stories about Pokemon. Ranging from watching the anime with all my friends in Keys every afternoon, to Missingno. the Pokemon I discovered that was level 0 and could duplicate your items. (I actually figured this glitch out by accident with my brother one day.) To spare you my entire life story, I will stop here.
Thanks to anyone who read this whole thing, it was awesome writing this and re-experiencing my memories and nostalgia I have for Pokemon.
I remember when Pokemon came out. I was 10 years old my Grandfather who had raised me up until then had just passed away at the time at the kitchen table on a sunday morning. I didnt have no one in my life but him my mother was a coke addicted my other aunts hated me and my uncles just were around to be there for me. He had his 5th heart attack that morning i remember i was sitting in the living room recliner watching tv. He started coughing i remember thinking it was his normal sitting at the kitchen table coughing until he didnt stop. I remember hearing him trying to gasp for air it seems and turned and saw him as his eye were as big as tennis balls it seemed. I ran over trying to figure out whats was wrong as he stiffened up like a wooden plank it looked like he was trying to get on the floor when it happen and i helped pulled the chair out. I called my aunt that lived across the street and she called 911 and the rest of the family and i remember my uncle micheal in his bronco driving straight over a ditch to get to the house because of where the ambulance was at. After about 3 hours at the hospital i was allowed to go see him and the last thing i remember see was him smiling as he closed his eye. During this time i had to go live with my mother whose husband at the time for a child abuser and for the next 3 years i lived in fear of what would happen to me if i told any one. But the one thing i had the whole time was my gameboy and pokemon nothing else keep me goin besides that and for that im thankful becuase without it i wouldnt be here today. between My snorlax and charmander me we got through everything over and over again I loved them they were trully my only friends and i miss not having my gameboy i finally wore the game and the gameboy out and just never was able to get another one.
Pokemon actually changed my life for me as a kid. I was around 11 years old when my best friend moved back from Indiana to Mississippi where I lived. I was so so happy and when he came back he brought with him some toys I had never seen before. He brought his Gameboy which had Pokemon on it, but the biggest thing he brought was a ton of Pokemon Cards he had been collecting. He showed them to me and taught me how to play the Pokemon Trading Card Game and I was instantly hooked. I was so relieved because I was afraid I would have nothing in common with my friend anymore since he had been away for so a year, but Pokemon brought us back to being best friends again. This was just the start of how Pokemon affected my life at that age too.
I started collecting the cards like a mad man, but I only had my friend to play the card game with. My friend told me he heard that every Saturday morning Toys R Us held a Pokemon Trading Card event and he wanted us to go together. Well I was so nervous because I had trouble meeting new people and was extremely shy. But I decided to go with my friend, and that first event was one of the best days of my life. I finally had something in common with many people my age and that was Pokemon. I made so many great friends there and to this day I'm still friends with some of the people I met there and I'm now 24 years old. Pokemon opened me up as a person, and if it wasn't for Pokemon I think I would have had a very lonely childhood.
Well... Pokemon affected me in a very specific and sentimental way. Back to my youth, my mother gave me a Gameboy color that came with a Pokemon yellow cartridge. That was the best of the best for the time! I was thrilled! At first I was buying lots and lots of batteries for playing without pause, but then I bought one adapter for recharging batteries that was put in the gameboy. I played it a lot. And I always do everything that there is to do, and overlevel my Pokemons before any gym battle. I was playing so much that I would not even leave my room. I would sleep with the gameboy by my side, wake up and turn it on to keep playing. Would leave bed just for eating and bathroom stuff. One time I fell asleep while playing, and when I woke up I was in a different place (I left the movement key pressed). But then, as I was still playing eagerly, something came to my mind: MY FISH! I had a Betta fish called Saddan (based on the pitbull of a comedy character, Massaranduba, from Brazil) and while playing pokemon yellow I totally forgot about his existence. When I went to see him, there he was, floating in the water, hard like a piece of wood..... I still tried to wake him up, feeding him and moving. But he was dead for a long time already :/ So, I grieved... playing more Pokemon! I would be the best in the game for the memory of Saddan (my fish, not the other one)! And I really was, I could win the elite four using one pokemon for each, killing them with one hit each. All for Saddan (my fish, of course)! So, this is how I'll remember Pokemon yellow for the rest of my life! With sadness and laughs!
What was my favorite Pokemon experience? Well let me tell you.
Well, it all began in June of 2011. Days earlier I had discovered the 2011 video game regional in Virginia. Unfortunately, my friend was planning his birthday party, THE SAME DAY OF THE TOURNAMENT. I had decided to not go to the party. When I told my friend he stared at me like I was the strangest thing he'd ever seen since Jason On Ice. Then the rest of my friends ganged up on me, and I was left out cold.
The day of the tournament we (my dad and I) had to get up at 5 30 am and go right then if we wanted make it. The drive to Virginia was long and boring. When we got there we saw all types of license plates (Texas, Georgia, Virginia) and people. We walked in and saw thousands of kids and parents, life sized Unova starters, and a giant Pikachu balloon. It was the greatest (and only) Pokemon event I'd ever seen.
I made tons of first time friends there. After I got registered I sat down to face one of my first time friends. She accused me of cheating because alto of my Pokemon were in master balls. I told her I transferred the master balls from other games, and she accepted that. I beat her, and moved on. I was the only one of my new friends to advance to the second round.
I sat down at the table in front of a kid whose character name was VINNY (all caps.) I had no idea who he was, but my dad said that someone told him that VINNY was the runner-up of last year's tournament. I only beat two of his Pokemon, but he beat all of mine. I was crushed. I couldn't stop crying. We drove home sadly (but not before I took a picture of Snivy) and then went to the pool. Yeah wasn't the best day. It's my favorite experience because it was my first tournament. I'll never forget it.
I know how everyone has had their own Pokemon experiences in life, and I think I'd like to talk about how Pokemon has not just affected me, but the people around me. I'm not hoping to spill some sappy, sweet story on you, but since I was a kid, Pokemon had always been a fun part of life for me. Whenever something stressful in my life occurred, and I felt down, I always ended up playing one of my Pokemon games, like Red, and my troubles would disappear. On my birthdays, I wished many times for Pokemon to be real, and I'd be disappointed that it hadn't come true, but I'd always try again on my next birthday. Besides myself, Pokemon has let me meet many friends. We can all laugh an talk about Pokemon, but Pokemon does really untie people, because years later, we're all still great friends. Pokemon has been such a big part of my life, that when someone asks me a question just like this, that is the moment when I am speechless.
I think that for anyone here, it's too difficult to put in words, the memories , the joy, and the excitement, Pokemon has put into all of our lives.
I remember receiving Pokemon Yellow back in 1998, when I was only six. My mother had bought it for my birthday, and I remember her smiling and saying, "The little guy on the box looked cute, so I figured you'd like it." My mom recently shipped White 2 to my college dorm with a note that said, "And to think I bought that first game on a whim!"
I've been a Pokemon fan for fourteen years now, and I still have as much fun as I did when I first started. When I was little, I really think that Pokemon taught me two wonderful life lessons. Firstly, it taught me about empathy. Playing now, sometimes I get annoyed with all the characters who, when you talk to them, give you a long speech about being friends with your Pokemon. But, thinking back to when I was a kid, that was really important for me to hear, and I think that it is still really important that kids see that today. I do not think that Pokemon is a violent adventure - it's a wonderful, fun game with partners that you love and appreciate. Pokemon really do a lot for their in-game trainers: they attack others, they are attacked, and they sometimes pass out from exhaustion and pain. I imagined being a Pokemon and how horrible it would be having a harsh trainer - it would be akin to abusive servitude instead of friendship. When I was a child, I would become so upset when one of my precious Pokemon fainted - I felt like I had let them down! I would save my game before battling every trainer in case my Pokemon fainted, so I could just restart and try again. I'm a bit of a better battler now, but I still get upset with myself when I accidentally let one of my Pokemon faint. Maybe it's strange having such deep attachments or empathy for game characters, but I think it helped nurture a deep sensitivity in me as I became older, and for that, I am truly thankful.
Pokemon also taught me to be accepting and respectful of other peoples' opinions. My whole life, I have only tried to catch Pokemon that I consider "cute." I remember when I was younger, my friends and I were showing each other our Pokemon teams in Yellow at lunchtime. We had just started new games and one friend proudly showed me her prized Pokemon she had just caught: Weedle and Mankey and Geodude. I was horrified. "Ewwwww! Those aren't cute," I said. Well, that really hurt my friend's feelings. Afterwards, I apologized, and she told me that she didn't understand what I had said, because she thought those Pokemon were adorable. Even though I still don't favor those Pokemon, I learned that day that I shouldn't judge other peoples' tastes. Whether it's what Pokemon you think is cute, what boy/girl you think is cute, or what clothes you think are cute - no one should insult your personal style.
Even today, I am still finding that playing Pokemon teaches me new things. As I have grown older, I have also become more responsible and had to shoulder more tasks. I have had part-time jobs, I'm a full-time college student, and I have to start planning for my life after graduation. With student loans and so other things to worry about, it can be really stressful! However, Pokemon helps me cope with that. It's wonderful to sit down next to some friends after a long day of studying for finals and just get lost in another world for an hour. We still laugh and have fun and even do the occasional high-five when we beat a gym leader - just like we're kids again. As this stage of my life, Pokemon has truly taught me that it's perfectly acceptable to be a kid sometimes and just take some time for yourself and have fun. In a day filled with classes and homework, it's great to take a little bit of time to pretend that you're traveling across a land with your friends to become the strongest the world has ever seen. And outside of the game, it's great to have true friends who share your interests and can laugh about Pokemon with you. I have learned so much from Pokemon so far. It's given me so many laughs and so many good memories; it provides a small oasis where I can sometimes go amidst my hectic daily life. But, through some difficult times of my Pokemon friends fainting or disagreements between other players during my childhood, Pokemon also taught me some really great lessons that have helped me throughout my whole life. I do not think I shall ever forget these lessons, and I think that they will continue to grow in importance over time.
Thank you so much for holding this contest and letting me enter! I has been really rewarding to reminisce about Pokemon and think about the games in a critical manner. Even if I do not win, I hope that you still enjoyed the story!
Well, for starters, Pokemon has made a great impact on my life and probably had a lot to do with shaping me into the person I am today. I remember, I was about 6 years old when I was first introduced to Pokemon. My friends showed off all the cards they had collected up to that point and instantly I fell in love. I didn't know what the cards were for, but the idea of having my own set of Pocket Monsters (written on the back of Japanese Cards) with me to carry around sounded like a dream come true. Pokemon wasn't out in America yet at the time, but me being half Japanese gave me easier accessibility to Pokemon goods. I wound up asking my mom to ask anyone on her side of the family to look for Pokemon cards in Japan and send them over. This is where my Pokemon craze began. Now that my Japanese side of the family knew I liked Pokemon, my aunt decided to ship in more Pokemon related things over to me. I had the first edition gameboy, the big fat grey one, so my aunt sent in Red Version and Green Version and a guide for the game. The problem though was, I couldn't read Japanese. Both the guide and the games were all in Japanese, I ended up having to ask my mom every few minutes what was going on. Eventually she got tired of essentially playing the game for me and posted up a hiragana/katakana sheet on my wall and told me to read it every night. I understood Japanese, I just couldn't read or write it, so if I could read out the words I was able to know the meaning of the sentences. I ended up studying hard every night just so that I would be able to enjoy my game. Eventually, I had it all down and my mom was relieved from an enormous burden. I am now 21 years old, in college, and taking up Japanese classes to further improve my skills. If I hadn't started so early, I feel as though Japanese wouldn't have come naturally as it does. I still watch Pokemon every week in Japanese (NO SUBTITLES!) and I love every minute of it.
Ever since I was 8 years old Pokemon was a go to game for me. I remember finishing up my last few hours at school planning strategies for whatever big fight I was stuck on. I would get home hug my mom and run up to my room to play. I stopped playing a few years ago and reading all these stories has made me realize I need to find my old Gameboy!
At the time, this wasn't my favorite memory of Pokemon, but not it surely is!
My brother and I had been playing and collecting Pokemon cards ever since the first pack of cards was released. We would brag about each card that the other one didn't have and made our mom drop unimaginable amount of money on several packs a week. One day my sister decided she wanted to start collecting Pokemon cards so my mom went out and bought her a pack. My brother and I laughed at the thought of our sister getting into Pokemon....until she got her first 2 packs...My sister opens the first pack of cards as me and my brother hover over her to see what she got. To our surprise she got a holographic Gyarados in her the first dang pack she opens! So as me and my brother are pooping our pants she begins to open the 2nd pack of cards....Only to be even more upset because she got a HOLOGRAPHIC FIRST EDITION CHARIZARD!!! As of course like any other kid would do, we offered all of our Pokemon cards for the card. My sister was not a dumb one and realized that over our reactions that she should keep it. So it was my sisters first day of Pokemon and she only had 20 something cards and already had cards worth more then my brother and I. Not to mention me and my brother had 100's and 100's of cards. She never bought another pack of cards in her life and still to this day will not give me or my brother the cards...
This story in honor of the best mom in the world, Jennifer Lacks.
To say that Pokemon has greatly impacted my life would be an understatement. Pokemon has been an integral part of my life since my sister and I got Pokemon Blue and Pokemon Red respectively, when I was 7. I still play Pokemon Black now that I am 21, in fact I have over 500 hours played and have almost finished the Pokedex. (No small feat this generation.) Pokemon has given me some of the happiest times in my life, and gotten me through some of the toughest times in my life... I would like to share with everyone a story of the latter. As I said, I got Pokemon Red when I was 7 (Mostly because I wanted to do what my older sister was doing with all her cool 10 year old friends.) and I loved it. I didn't really know what I was doing and I just picked Pokemon that looked cool with moves I found aesthetically pleasing, regardless of their effectiveness. One day my mom got me and my sister a starter pack of the Pokemon Trading Card Game and we began collecting any Pokemon cards we could get our hands on. I gave my mother my Jynx card, seeing as she owned a dance studio and taught ballet to young girls between eking out a living as a starving artist. She didn't really understand Pokemon (She always said she "loved the little mice", referring to Pikachu and Raichu.) but she appreciated the connection to her dancing. Three years later my mother got in a car accident due to a leak in her break-line and she ran a red light, unable to stop. A large truck t-boned the side of her small car and crushed the frame in. She was rushed by helicopter to a distant hospital (I live in a very rural area, and they lacked the medical care for her intensive care nearby.) and we drove three hours, worrying and unknowing what we would find when we got there. Though doctors said it was incredibly unlikely, my mother became the first person at that hospital to survive having every rib crushed. Her cigarette case that she used as a wallet had survived the crash. When we opened it I found that Jynx card, worn and torn. I had forgotten about it and she had held onto it for three years simply because I told her Jynx reminds me of her. She was in a coma for nine months before waking up. I am 21 now and I still take care of my handicapped mom, and she still keeps that worn out Jynx card in that same old cigarette case. She says that it reminds her of how she used to dance and that it gives her inspiration that she will dance again one day.
While the stories I have about stuff that’s happened in-game are pretty awesome, I think it’s even more important to tell you how I got the game itself! It’s one of my favorite tales to tell- one that involves sneaking past the forbidden entrance of The Beast’s lair- completely silent and invisible- plunging into its dark depths with more caution than you ever thought possible, and using ninja-like hands to collect the priceless game from right under The Beast’s nose!
…Ok, you got me, that’s all a lie. But the real way I got it is equally, if not, more dangerous than that! I was seven at the time, and had just heard someone talking about this ‘ultra-cool’ game they got for their birthday- Pokémon Yellow. Being the curious seven-year-old that I was, I looked over the top of my seat and quietly watched as- what I now know as Pikachu- was following him around! And he had others, too! It blew my little mind! I’d never seen anything like that before! Seven-year-old me had never even played a Gameboy- too busy messing around outside- let alone heard of this awesome new thing called ‘Pokémon’! So I went home that night and told my parents all about it- and to my surprise, they knew what it was! They even told me that they got a few games for my brother, Trevor, a while back- that he might share with… me…
…Houston, we have a problem.
Uh, you remember how I was seven? Well, I was an annoying seven year old. Trevor was around 17. Trevor didn't like annoying seven year olds. As soon as it left my parents mouth, I knew I wouldn't get it by asking- I would have to take it from him. And so, the trip to The Beast’s lair began…
Sometime later that night, I was passing by my brother’s room, when I noticed that his door was open a bit. Huh, that doesn't happen much. But passing by at just the right angle, and with the kind of luck that only happens once in a lifetime, I saw that he had left his GameBoy sitting on his desk- the desk that was right next to the door! And I could see ‘Pokémon’ written on the game-square-thing in it!
I certainly wasn’t going to miss an opportunity like this- it’d probably never happen again! Immediately, I did a quick-search of the house, seeing if maybe Trevor was out of his room and I could run in and grab it with no problems- but I’d had enough good luck for the day, and I knew it. Trevor was in his room- I’d have to figure out a way to get it without The Beast noticing.
It took a few minutes too steel my nerves, but finally I was ready and got on hands and knees. Slipping through the door would be the hardest part- one bump and it would squeak. For what seemed like forever I slowly moved past the door, but suddenly I found myself past it! I almost breathed a sigh of relief- luckily, I caught myself before I did, because I could see feet under the desk beside me. The Beast was only a few feet away!
At that point, I wondered if he could hear my heart beat- it felt like it was about to jump out of my chest- but then I looked up. The Gameboy had a corner sticking over the side! It was in arm’s reach! Before I thought about it, my fingers were on it- ever so softly, and at an angle I hope he couldn’t see, I pulled. Slowly…slowly…
And then The Beast moved.
You can’t imagine my terror in that moment. My hand flew back to the floor and I stayed as still as possible. Then silence. It dragged on like that for a while. I finally got myself to believe it was ok to look up and, lo and behold, there it was. I must’ve moved it quite a bit when he startled me, because it was half-way off the desk. Not wanting to stick around any longer, I reached up and pulled it down it one swoop.
It didn't even register that I’d already crawled out his door and ran to my room- I was too busy thinking about what he was going to do if he noticed me. But then I looked down and saw the game in my hands. I don’t think I’ll ever feel that ninja-like ever again! In that moment, I couldn't help but put a huge, cheesy grin on my face and let out a ‘Woohoo!’
And how couldn't I? I’d just survived the Beast’s lair!
When one thinks of Pokémon, it is hard to deny that one will think of the friendship between Ash and Pikachu. For me, it is a love between a father and a daughter. I remember the first day I was given a Pokémon game, I was 6 years old. My Dad was always a gamer and he taught me everything I know, and how each and every little game has a real meaning behind it. I remember my father and I would be playing Legend of Zelda and he would teach me lesson that each game had shown. But this isn’t about other games. This is about Pokémon in particular. Anyways, my father gave me my own game boy; it was a chunky grey one, with a Pokémon blue as the cartage. I asked my father exactly what Pokémon was, and he told me basically it is a game about friendship and to escape from reality. I turned on the game, he recommended I should pick a Bulbasaur, since not only was it the cutest, it is also the most helpful. With my Bulbasaur and me, I fell in love with the game.
Many years have passed, my parents split up so I no longer see my father as much as I like. I am 20 years old and I still loved Pokémon as much as I did that first day. There wasn’t a single game that I didn’t try. Each game I played is another chance to escape into a world that is well, ideal in my mind. I would have loved to have a real life Pokémon, but of course, that won’t happen. But what I learned from Pokémon in general is the meaning of true friendship; I met so many amazing people over the years from this game. In both a casual setting and a competitive setting. When I joined Marriland back in July, I met people I would have never met if it wasn’t for this site. Thanks to a love of Pokémon, I found amazing friendships that will last a life time.
Also Pokémon taught me how to have confidence in myself and to pursue my dreams. Sure I won’t ever become a Pokémon master like Ash was. But thanks to the games and a little bit of the show, I learned that nothing is impossible to the eye of the beholder. That you can do whatever you want fulfill whatever dreams you want. Nothing is impossible. Nothing is ever impossible, and if someone tells you your dream is impossible, then they never truly have dreamed.
Thanks to my Father, I would have never have dreamed of the friendships I made, the realities I can imagine, and also the dreams I can pursue. Because honestly without Pokémon, I don’t know where I would be at today, I know I wouldn’t be the same person as I am now. But all in all with the help a Father’s love for his child. The child truly learned friendship and learned that nothing is impossible. That is what Pokémon taught me.
i find it interesting how this contest ends on the 11th. my 23rd birthday.
What is your favorite Pokemon experience?
so my favorite experience, or experiences i should say, have to be way back in 1998 when i had no access to the internet. there was no way for me to lookup hints and cheat codes. all of my knowledge came from classmates and playing the game itself. during that time, people were constantly swarming us with all kinds of silly rumors about the game.
for example, i remember the first time someone told me about getting behind bill's house and how there were wild charmanders, squirtles, and bulbasaur back there in the grass. of course i believed him and man i tried so hard to get back there. and once i thought that if you leveled a freshly caught magikarp to 100 purely through the day care man... he would evolve into mew. those were some seriously good times.
My favorite Pokemon experience came back in 1997. My parents worked with an organization that ran kid's camping trips and I was leaving with a number of friends for a week in the Canadian wilderness. We were all around ages 8-11 and were really looking forward to the trip, but it ended up being even more memorable than any of us were expecting. The reason for this is that some unfortunate kid had left his Gameboy Pocket on the bus a few months before our trip. Having been held for the maximum amount of time the gameboy was up for grabs among the employees and my parents got it since they were the only ones with young kids. I got the Gameboy and some extra batteries as we were leaving for the trip, and it happened to have Pokemon Red in the slot.
For that whole twelve hour drive to and from Canada, the other kids and I got to experience the joy of being a pokemon trainer together. We would pass the Gameboy around from person to person and make the decisions on who to put on the team, what moves to use, etc. as a group. It was definitely the most memorable camping trip travel experience I had and started me along a path of lifelong Pokemon fandom.
So I'm eighteen years old now. I remember when I was very young, before starting grade school, my brother collected the trading cards. We had this blue plastic Pokemon TCG book to keep all the cards in. I remember it had a Charmander on the front and was getting so worn down the plastic was peeling and the cardboard that kept it stiff was beginning to be exposed. I remember as I got older and we collected more cards, which we eventually had to get a tin for because they wouldn't all fit in the book, I would spend SO much time just looking at them. Flipping through the pages, looking at the different styles the Pokemon were drawn in, paying attention to every detail.
My favorite card to look at was this Rhyhorn card, which we had two or three of. I still don't know what struck me about this particular card but I'd want to hold it and look at it as often as possible. I didn't ever actually play the trading card game, I was too young to understand. But my older brother would let me hold his cards, I suppose because he knew it made me feel better. When I was young my parents fought often and did, eventually, get a divorce, but not until much later. My brother did everything he could to make sure me and my little sister stayed happy as often as we could. If that meant the risk of hurting his cards, so be it.
Eventually, I also was very into having cards of my own. I'd still look through my brother's book, and even reached a point where I took them all out and mixed them up and put them back in numerical order, but I'd also have my own cards that I could do whatever I liked with. I loved Pokemon, but I was also a young girl, so instead of making them battle all the time I came up with stories for them. Things my Pokemon did together. Adventures. Sometimes I'd bring in my toys and put together separate worlds. One of my favorite cards, that was mine, was one of the special Mew cards they gave out at the release of Pokemon: The First Movie. That was the most special card I had in my possession because, as far as I was concerned, Mew was one of the cutest and best Pokemon there was and, since only people who saw the movie got one, I had to be one of the only people, right?
Although now I can tell whether a card is truly valuable or not, when I was young it didn't matter. Their value was how they looked and how they made me feel. Pokemon that looked scary were mean. Cute or beautiful Pokemon were good. This view on Pokemon stayed with me for a while, until Pokemon Stadium was released on the N64. That was the first Pokemon game I ever played. I loved the mini-games, and I can still recall so many. Digging as the Sandshrew and eating treats as Lickitung are the ones that I remember best. I still resent my father for getting rid of that game and the N64. He traded them for money which, although I knew we needed, was not worth one of my only sources of happiness. Especially now that I was learning what made Pokemon valuable and in what situations.
Pokemon Stadium was only the beginning, though I didn't know it at the time. My siblings and I were not allowed to have handheld game devices until my parents were sure we wouldn't be using them all the time. It wasn't until the release of the Nintendo DS that I had my first handheld Pokemon game experience. Sad, right? I was in the 8th grade. I'd loved Pokemon for as long as I had but had never truly experienced it. I'll admit I've never played a single original Gameboy Pokemon game. Gameboy Advanced is the farthest back I've gotten because I could play those on my DS.
The year I was in 8th grade was THE worst of my entire life. My mom had remarried, to a man I hated and she eventually did also, and we moved from my hometown in Louisiana to Tyler, Texas. I hated it. Hated the people. Hated the places. Everything. The only things I had were my mom, siblings, dog, and my Pokemon games. The game I played the most while living in Tyler was Pearl. Chimchar is my starter of choice, thanks to that game. Infernape was my favorite Pokemon. I imagined him being not only strong but loyal, cunning, and kind. I know it sounds crazy to be imagining a Pokemon's attributes, but Phyrrus, that was his nickname, was one of the only things I had that kept me happy. I imagined my Pokemon as my friends. I went to a school full of girls who wanted to fight me because of things I'm sure they made up just to try and find a reason to punch me. I avoided every fight though. I walked away. I was smarter than them and a better person. And I'd go home and go to my room and play Pokemon, where I could find real friends.
When we moved back to Louisiana, after only a year (it was that bad, I promise), I lost my games on the way. I didn't get a new game for about a year because we were trying to get back on our feet and, despite how badly I wanted one, I couldn't ask my mom for a Pokemon game while she was worrying about affording gas. So I waited patiently until I felt the financial situation was comfortable. And then, I bought the game myself. I waited to ask only to buy it with my money. I guess I just still felt too guilty to ask. But now, sadly, the only Pokemon game to my name is Platinum. Don't get me wrong, it's a wonderful game, but I miss having at least three to switch between. I'll beat this game and start it all over. Make new choices for the team. Except for one.
Phyrrus is a constant. As insane as it sounds, that Infernape helped me through a very hard time in my life. Having a a friend that doesn't judge is always good, and he was mine. So what kind of friend would I be to abandon him? I've taken a lesson from Phyrrus and try to be the friend without judgment. The friend who is always on your side no matter what you did or how wrong it may have really been. I'm strong and happy for my friends when they are down and weak, and always offer a helping hand.
Pokemon took me from a girl who cried every day to a girl who smile as often as she can. Not for herself, but for the people who are important to her. I still get emotional (which I may or may not have been doing while typing this story), but I don't dwell on things. I keep people who I care about close and stay sturdy for them.