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The coolest moments in Pokémon history
Pokebank is finally out! What a wait it was, but now it is here to deliver on golden promises whispered from what seems like an eternity ago. Drop your loved ones where they stand and stop playing outside; it’s time glue yourself to your 3DS all over again. Let’s celebrate because I feel like celebrating.
There is a tendency, when discussing Pokémon, to focus on the little critters themselves. With good reason too, after all the whole point of the franchise to “catch ‘em all”. But they are games with stories, and stories have moments, and moments are cool! So what are the coolest moments in Pokéhistory!?
I just got given this new game for my GameBoy called Pokémon Red/Blue/Green/Yellow (delete as appropriate #Bluemasterrace). No idea what it’s about, let’s switch it on and take a look. Oh snap! That Rhino is fighting a Bear!
Seeing battle visualised in that way really helped set the scene on the old games. Combat was, and to an extent still is, reasonably simplistic in style. A sprite makes a move and the other sprite flickers with damage. The importance of seeing a real fight at the start up was paramount for fueling the gamer’s imagination. So when my Charizard shot a little grey line out against Lance’s Dragonite, I didn’t see the monochromatic laser, I saw a flaming death beam spewing gloriously from my pocket monster’s jaw!
I was pretty cynical when I first saw the news. It was a phrase banded about a lot, but it really did just look like Super Saiyan Pokémon. Then I played it, and too my surprise, I really was Super Saiyan Pokémon. It was awesome! Something about being able to pull out your trump card in a tight spot really made the Mega Evolutions feel as exciting as I’m sure Game Freak wanted them to. It was a lot of fun, the kind of goofy fun that makes me feel as excited as I did pulling off matches by the skin of my teeth as a young lad. Even though Manectics evolution looks dumb…
Gold Vs Red
You knew this was coming! Fan art, I believe, is the word. Seriously, Google Gold vs. Red and go to images; you will find 15 pieces of fan made interpretations of the battle, before you find an actual screenshot of the fight. There is a reason for this… fighting Red was so god damn cool! The Pokémon league defeated, twice, two regions swept by you and your crack team, the only person who could threaten you now… is you. Game Freak were well aware of this, so who else could be your final opponent? Context was everything here and what impresses me most looking back on it, is how well they built up the legend of Red throughout the game. Team Rocket has been floundering in the wake of his intervention for that last two years and revisiting Kanto really showed the passage of time since the last game. It was a tough battle, but in the end you will be triumphant, as Red simply stares at you in defeat, then goes back to his training.
Brother My Brother!
Tell me what are we fighting for? We’d got to end this war! ♪
Pokémon is a sprawling multi-media franchise encompassing game, film, and page and Leviathyn is a multi-faceted site too! So why not include some other hype moments outside the games? The anime gets a lot of flak, but I kind of love it, unironically so. It’s sincere in its purity and that’s something I think should be admired in an ever cynical world. The first movie was no great work of film, but it was a hell of a lot of fun and 8 year old me watching this scene unfold had a lot of emotions over the Pokéstruggle. Stop being so obsessed with how “dark” and “edgy” the manga is and just enjoy something completely earnest.
So there you have it. Some of what I consider to be the coolest moments in all Pokémon. It has been a real rollercoaster of emotions and nostalgia, but it’s finally over…
Or it would be, but you have one more challenge ahead. You have to face another trainer! He beat the Elite Four before you. He is the real Pokémon League champion!
One Last Fight
Every step you took, he just had to be one step in front of you. You pick Fire, he picks Water. Every badge, he has before you even arrive in town. Always insulting and always assured of his superiority, he never stops and has fouled many a Nuzlocke in the past. Blue Oak might just be history’s greatest monster. So after finally toppling the four most powerful trainers in all the land, it turns out your blood sweat and tears were all for naught as the walking vendetta of a man has already beaten them! You know this is your final chance to really show him what’s what. You’ve beaten him before and you can damn well do it again. This time it’s different though, this time we play for keeps. This moment was so god damn momentous it even received its own unique battle theme to really make it hit home: This is it! I could literally feel my hands tremble as the last few inches of health peeled off his Blastoise. It was only then I knew…
I was a champion.