From the Archive: A Walk Down 8-Bit Lane to Viridian City

Mel spends thirty minutes reviewing her long forgotten Pokémon Blue save file.

By Mel Turnquist. Posted 02/29/2016 10:00 Comment on this     ShareThis

A Walk Down 8 Bit Lane masthead (Viridian City Pokémon Blue)

This article was originally published on June 25, 2011.

I was cleaning through my room earlier in the week and I came across something I hadn’t seen in years: my old Pokémon Blue Game Boy cartridge. The nostalgia bomb that hit me took me back to the awkward years of 8th grade where an ill-advised super short haircut and an awkward weight gain led to me being bullied and depressed. Pokémon came into my life right in the nick of time and introduced me to a whole world of friendships, gaming, and so many other things. Combined with my Game Boy Advance, I decided to go take a look at my old Blue game, which I haven’t opened since 2001 or so.

6:30pm: Turning on the game…ahhh, yes, the old Game Boy chime followed by the awkward looking animation. I gotta say, I’m getting pretty pumped up about this. I can’t wait to see what is going on in here!

6:35pm: Accessed my game, and my Pokédex is at 108. Last time I remember playing, I think I was making trades with friends. For some reason I was in Viridian City. No idea why.

6:40pm: Hmmm…let’s see what my Pokémon roster is….Oh yeah, did I mention that I cheated on this game? Because I totally did. Do I have any shame? Hell no. I did the cloning of items, and the cloning of Pokemon as evidenced by the two Charizards I have named Bob, both of which are clones and were my cousin’s. Oh, and they were all Level 100. Ahhh yes, cheating– the American Way…

6:42pm: Oh yeah, and one more important thing that I have to stress that this was last really played in 2001– I. HAVE. MEW.

6:43pm: Yes, Mew. The Pokémon that was so famously rumored to be a cheat back in 2003, I had attained him back in 2001 or so through my cousin. For some reason the trainer’s name was Gumpel. I dunno who the hell Gumpel is, but Gumpel totally wins the prizes at the fair. Rounding out the group are Mewtwo and Hitmonlee, both also Level 100. For some reason I was missing one Pokémon space. No idea why.

6:45pm: Hmm let’s take a looksee at the batty, crazy names I gave my Pokémon. I had some weird ones.

* A Zapdos named Aquafresh. Why Aquafresh? I have no clue but for some reason it sounded funny to me.
* My starter Blastoise named Mr. Squirt– I was not very creative when I came up with that name.
* A Sandslash named Spikezy…the Z is for extra oomph, I suppose.
* I have a bunch of Cloyster that had my cousin’s name on them. Dunno why, I think they were cloned and also belonged to my cousin. Odd.
* Here’s a vaguely racist name– Mushu Chkn….which was a Rhydon…I apologize for my 15 year old self. I was kind of an idiot.
* A Dratini named Crayola…I obviously liked to brand name my Pokémon like I was a NASCAR driver…
* A Pidgeotto named Dude and a Fearow named Bopper. I like the name Bopper, but I think that naming Hitmonchan Bopper would be cooler.
* A few more nonsensical names, like XOX with random signs on it which was a Gyarados, Proop Proo which was a Porygon.

6:45pm: Oh god…I see it…the Ponyta…

6:46pm: Basically, the story goes like this: I had a Master Ball and I was on Cinnabar Island. I let one of my friends play it to see if they had better luck catching a Ponyta that I was having issue with….I stupidly didn’t tell her to not use the Master Ball (I mean, everybody knows the Master Ball is for Mewtwo) and, well…she did. Yeah, this friend of mine wasn’t a huge Pokémon fan. She was just always very lucky with these things…

6:48pm: As to why I was able to clone Master Balls beforehand, my cousin traded me one of his many cloned ones. So it all worked out on that front.

6:50pm: Looking at the Pokédex, I have seen every Pokémon except for Golem, Scyther, Omastar, Kabutops, Articuno, and Moltres. I think I was in the process of going to the Seafoam Islands to pick up Articuno at the time I ended this.

6:55pm: Some random thoughts on the game in general:

* Is it just me or does Lady Gaga remind you of Jynx? It’s just the blonde hair and the way that they both look like drag queens. Actually, next time I play through a Pokémon game, I’m going to name my Jynx “Gaga.”
* Why was Kangaskhan so damn hard to catch?! It was so rare to see them in the Safari Zone and then when you got there, you only saw freaking Nidoran of both sexes and other Pokémon you’ve seen a few hundred times more…I didn’t have a Kangashkan unfortunately.
* Pokémon has some great music, but man does Lavender Town’s theme give me the jibblies after all these years. I get creeped out even passing through. And so sad to see dead Pokémon.
* My favorite town theme is easily Vermilion City but I also love Cinnabar Island and Cerulean City.
* Who the hell sends out their 10 year old to have an adventure like this? I mean at age 12 or 15, it’d make more sense.

7:00pm: And now to close this out, let’s look at the Pokémon I beat the Elite Four with….. Whoa, WTF? It’s glitchy. It’s all messed up…I can’t stop laughing at this though. Let’s see the list anyways for the lulz.

* Level 6 Wartortle with some garbly name.
* Level 194 Normal/Flying-type Pokemon… doesn’t give a name but I’m assuming it’s a Pidgeotto.
* A Level 120 Normal/Flying-type… presumably a Fearow?
* An Electric-type Level 19….and now the Vermilion City theme is playing for some reason instead of the Pokémon Center Theme….
* Level 55 Electric-type whose name is “f’v,” whatever that means.
* A Zapdos with no level and a name of some garbled up mess…I think that was Aquafresh.
* A few other WTF names, but now I see a Level 98 Venomoth as a part of it.
* And here’s now a Bulbasaur….and there’s a Pokémaniac type….I see a Raichu… and a Magikarp… a Staryu and… a MissingNo?
* And now it’s stopped…and the Vermilion City theme is still playing in the Pokémon Center.

Well…that was interesting.

From what I can observe from this experience, I was a dirty rotten cheater of epic proportions and I have mad street cred for having Mew back before it was cool. I could almost be a Pokémon Hipster…all I need is to have a snobby outlook and condescend to anybody who started playing after Red and Blue.

On second thought, never mind.

Well, that was my look down 8-bit lane for a few moments. A game that, along with the music of Bruce Springsteen, got me through the awkward 8th grade year and a good chunk of high school. Until next time (if there is one), I’m going to put the game away again in a very safe (bulletproof) place. After all, Aquafresh can’t even be tamed with an Ultra Ball.

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