I was a rather obsessed kid. Let’s go back to when I was eight (which was ten years ago, I can already sense the slightly “wiser” members of staff preparing a speech about us youngsters) and talk about me in what can only described as a craze for Pokémon. It got ugly, let me tell you.
I loved Pokémon. I loved the games, the cartoon show (sorry, anime, the knowledge of age) the trading cards, the sticker album and anything else with Pikachu’s or any other Pokémon’s face plastered across it. After managing to avoid all the previous mega fads that had struck down my peers, ranging from Furbies to hatching aliens to goodness knows what else, I became the local nerve center for all things Pokémon.
(Incidentally, I never fell out of love with Pokémon, but everyone else I knew did. For years I was in the Poke-wilderness without any peers to share my love of the series. Luckily time has aged the series well and now people seemed to be somewhat gleefully nostalgia ridden about it all. Only problem is that everyone thinks the Togekiss on my mobile phone background image is a Pikachu. But I digress.)
When I was that eight year old Poképhile, who lived in a Pikachu room and pretended to be Charizard or Blastoise every time he went to play outside, merely absorbing the series wasn’t enough. I wanted to live it.
Of course this presented a few problems, not least that my parents were unlikely to let me go off around the continent on my own with only a gym leader without eyes as company. Where was I going to get a Pokémon? Where was I going to get several? I’d need at least that many if I wanted to take down Lance or the Champion, and if I intended to keep up Ash’s turnover rate, I would damn sight more than that too.
My eight year old solution? Get a tortoise, a small house plant and a glue gun and, hey presto, you’ve got a Bulbasaur. It would also evolve as the plant flowered and the tortoise grew, not quite as flashy as the anime perhaps, but I was willing to make the sacrifice. My only issue was that I couldn’t figure out how to recreate Vine Whip or Razor Leaf effectively, but other than that my plan was ready for the go-ahead. (And if anyone can come up with a solution, then post it in the comments and we can get the ball rolling!)
Sadly, I never realised my ongoing eight year old dream of creating my own Pokémon and being the very best, like no one ever was. But this is Future Week on Nintendojo! And with all the miracles that we can achieve today with genetic engineering, and by that I mean we make random animals glow in the dark, imagine what we will be able to achieve by the year 2032. (Hopefully the invention of Poké Ball technology will emerge by then so we don’t need to keep them on the shrunken side.)
So put this article in a safe place (preferably nuclear strike-proof) and dig out some of these “recipes” for when genetic engineering goes mainstream in the future.
Base animal – Pika (Ochotona genus)
Foreign implanted gene – The electricity producing organ gene from an electric eel (Electrophorus genus)
Instructions – The electric eel has organs within its body that produce its electrical charge, much like Pikachu’s cheeks. Extract the gene from the eel’s DNA and implant it into the Pika’s cheek coding, et voila, you have a Pikachu. If you want your Pikachu to double as a bed lamp, you can also implant fluorescent jellyfish genes. Comes in handy, let me tell you.
Base animal – Uri Geller (Spoonbendus genus)
Foreign implanted gene – The law suit gene of a lawyer (Corporategreedus genus)
Instructions – Uh… let’s move on before we get sued or something.
Base animal – Dyeing dart frog (Dendrobates genus)
Foreign implanted gene – Purple gene from a rather purple potato and the fighting abilities of Bruce Lee
Instructions – Combine a poisonous frog with the martial art skills of a fighting legend, and an odd-coloured spud or two, and you get Croagunk. Not only is he a great little member of your team, he also can stop your eyeless gym leader companion from constantly throwing himself at girls. Helpful. Just don’t let him near Uri Geller. Croagunk’s got a 4x weakness to Uri’s spoon-bending prowess.
Oh, who am I kidding? No one’s ever going to top my childhood brainwave. Now where did I put my glue gun?