I have never beaten a Pokémon game.
Well, at least not that I can remember, and you think that’d be something I’d remember, you know? But, let’s start from the start.
The first time I saw Pokémon the series was a chance in the stars and in the flipping of TV channels. I remember standing up by the TV, blazing through the channels looking for something fun, and then being struck by an image. It was the shot of Mew flying through space from the theme song, and from that moment I was sucked in. I eagerly watched the episodes, collected the cards, and dreamed of being a Pokémon Master. Burn me to the ground and call me Ash.
So, when I heard they were releasing a game for it, I was ecstatic. Here was a chance to live out my dream! Of course, that meant I needed a GBC to go along with it. I have no idea how I convinced my parents to buy it, but I did.
Flash forward to my grandparent’s house, release day. I was entertaining myself with their shag rug carpet while my dad had left with the direct orders to get a GBC and Pokémon Red. I was pretty much set on having Red version because it seemed so much cooler. And, as an indecisive person, believe me when I say I was set on something it meant I was set on something. When my dad comes back from waiting so long in a line for a game he understands nothing about, he had some bad news. They were all out of Red, and he had to get Blue.
There are two things I remember from this moment: 1) The complete and utter disbelief and disappointment that they were out, completely out, of Pokémon Red, and that I was now stuck with Blue, and 2) How quickly those feelings disappeared when I played the game. Looking back now, I’m struck by my lack of appreciation for what my dad did, just because he brought home the wrong version. But I guess that was the age and the tantalizing prize he had brought home with him.
After unboxing everything, my Game Boy and I were pretty much inseparable. This was the first time I stopped without saving and kicked myself the next day. This was the first time I played video games on the toilet (caught my first Zubat on the can). This was the first time I played way past my bedtime just so I could experience the euphoria of my Wartortle evolving into Blastoise (holding my fingers as far away from the B button as possible). But, as much as I restarted the game, I never remember beating it. What I treasured most was catching Pokémon and having an adventure with them. That may sound like a description of the game, but I think subconsciously, I never wanted the adventure to end. By completing the game, I could still play the game over again, but it wouldn’t be the same. It wouldn’t be this never-ending journey to be the best. I don’t know if I will ever beat a Pokémon game, but I can tell you it won’t be for lack of playing.
To be continued…..