Pokemon Leaf Green and Fire Red, the greatest remake in the Pokémon franchise in my perspective. Since Pokémon Green never saw the light in the rest of the world next to Japan, its great to see its remake.
September 23, 2008: A day I will never forget. I was 14 at the time, I had a great interest in Pokémon, and I was the only one in my class still playing it. Most of my friends lost interest and now are playing more "mature games". One day, I was at a yard sale looking through stuff when suddenly, I noticed a box of old games. The box was full of them, NES, N64, Gameboy, GBA, etc. I quickly started to dig my way into this huge treasure pile I found. The first things I started looking for was Pokémon games. Finally, after some time I found some Pokémon games. Pokémon Yellow, Pokémon Blue and Pokémon Leaf Green. What a find, and just for $15! The Leaf Green versions cartridge was a bit scratched, but, who cared? Pokémon Leaf Green! I did have Pokémon Fire Red already, so this would be a nice addition to my collection.
I walked up to the guy who was selling his stuff, he was an old man, around 60 years old and smiling away. I walked up to him and told him that I was interested. He told me that these were nice games and that these games were of his deceased son, who just passed away 2 months ago.
His son was a huge game fanatic and collected all these games, he loved Pokémon a lot too. I told him that I was sorry for him, but he just laughed and told me that it was all good. I gave him the money and he told me to have a lot of fun, a weird smirk appeared on his face but quickly disappeared. I ran home, I couldn't wait to play the games.
As soon as I got home, I had to decide which game I would play. Yellow? Blue? Leaf Green? I had no Idea, so I did what everybody would do, I was going to point with my eyes closed. I laid down the cartridges next to each other on the table, I closed my eyes, swung my hand above my head and pointed. As I opened my eyes, I noticed that my finger was pointing at the Leaf Green cartridge. Great! I was actually hoping for that. I quickly grabbed my red Gameboy SP and loaded the Leaf Green into the slot. Power on. The normal credits appeared, Gamefreak and what not. Then the battle scene between the Gengar and Nidorino appeared. The first thing I noticed was that the Gangar was actually able to hit the Nidorino with his slash. The first thing that came up to me is that this would be a difference between Fire Red and Leaf Green. A weird difference, but a difference.
The start-up screen came up, this is when I really started to notice something big. The Venusaur had no eyes, just blackness. I guessed this would be a pallet error or something, but the music was also missing. I checked my sound slider but it was fully open. I guessed this startup screen was glitched and this would be a one time event. I pressed start and I chose new game.
Professor Oak came up and started talking, still no music. It was the normal talk like in Fire Red, I told myself: "See, nothing is wrong with the game, except the sound". Oak talked and talked, I kept pressing A all the time, I've heard this speech already in Fire Red. Then he asked my name, weirdly, I could only choose from 1 name; Mikeyyy. Or make on myself of course. I was bad in coming up with names, so Mikeyyy it was. Oak kept rambling until I finally could get into the game.
Now things where getting really strange. It started with me, in my room like in all the games. For some reason a fog effect was floating in the room. I didn't know what to think of this, and continued. One thing was very interesting. My mom was gone. I tried pressing A all through the living room but no text, no bleeping sound and no collision with something invisible. Was this game glitched or was it a bad ROM hack? I went outside, not one NPC was there.
I ran into the grass and as in Fire Red, Oak came sprinting towards me. He told me that It was dangerous to get into the grass and "It" would get you. It? Doesn't he mean Pokémon? He took me into his Lab and told me I could choose a Pokémon.
My rival came running in. My rival? Yes, I didn't get the chance to name him! His name was 'IDI'. I was surprised and a bit shocked. He started like he always does, calling Oak gramps, etc. But Oak seemed to not react to him at all, and just continued. I picked my Pokémon, Squirtle. Oak asked me if I really wanted the Bulbasaur. The Bulbasaur? No! I picked the Squirtle! I tried again, but Oak asked me once more if I really wanted the Bulbasaur. Ok, I tried the Charmander. Same result. I was forced to take the Bulbasaur so I gave in and took it. I thought this was a cruel ROM hack. I couldn't set the name for the Bulbasaur either, its name was 'ed2so'.
Weird, are these just glitched out symbols or random names? I continued pressing A as Oak explained everything. After Oak was finished, I walked down, when suddenly my rival said: "Mikeyyy." The player stopped and my rival walked over to me. A battle begun, no more text or anything. I called out the Bulbasaur and he called out his Charmander. To my shock, my Bulbasaur only had Growl, no Tackle! I watched as my Bulbasaur was defeated by my rival. The battle ended and I was back at the lab. My Rival said: "Weakness is the greatest sin" and left. In shock I stood there for a few minutes, processing what just happened. Not knowing what to think, I moved.
I went trough Route 1, which had no name at all, without encountering even a Pokémon. I came across Viridian City, but nobody was there either. The Pokécenter was missing, to my surprise. The gym, the market and the old man were also missing! I kept walking, nothing to see there. I walked across Route 2, lonely, silently. When I finally got into Viridian Forest...
There was a mist I didn't recognize from Fire Red, the trees were blackish and no trainers anywhere, not even the bug catchers. There was an eary atmosphere, the silent was making things even worse. Not even the pesky Bug Catchers were waiting for me. I left Viridian Forest and continued.
I entered Pewter City and looked around for a while. Again, I couldn't find anybody. The first thing that came up into my mind was going into the gym, of course! I already forgot my Bulbasaur only had Growl. I walked to the gym and I entered. The screen went black, a text box popped up with the text: "Mikeyyy... We are here...". I was scared but something inside me told me to go on.
The gym was empty, even the guy in the beginning with the sunglasses was gone. I walked around, and to my surprise, Brock was actually there. I walked up to him and pressed A. "Your soul is the second one, why didn't you run?". My heart started racing and my hands shook. The battle begun. A sound suddenly began, really loud. The sound coming from my Gameboy was a cracking noise with no music. I was so shocked I quickly turned down the sound to a level where it was really soft.
Brock's, or 'on29' as the game called him, sprite had its hands held before its eyes. The sound coming from the tiny speakers was still a noise but with a soft, distorted sobbing in the background. Brock called out Geodude, its cry was distorted too. I called out the Bulbasaur, no cry. I noticed that my Bulbasaur was suddenly LV12 and knew Doom Desire, a move I've never seen before, and I didn't even knew Bulbasaur could learn that move. I was allowed to attack first, I used Doom Desire. The Geodude attacked, and it was my turn again. I tried to use Doom Desire again, but It told me "It was already in effect...It's too late...". Too late? Geodude attacked with a tackle, my turn again.
The Doom Desire finally came in effect and the Geodude was K.O'd in one hit. The sobbing stopped and was directly followed by a heavy crying sound. I was so startled I dropped my Gameboy. With my heart still beating in my chest, I picked it up again.
The battle was over and Brock, or 'on29', was gone. The sound was gone again, not even the noise.
With my hands shaking I walked outside and looked around, still no people. I opened my menu and checked my trainer card. I had a badge! The heads of the leaders where all missing and my own character sprite was gone too. I tried to save the game but it kept saying "There is no turning back". I was freaked out, I didn't know what to do.
I kept walking left but there was a mountain in the way of the path, which I can't remember in Fire Red. I got into the Pokecenter, only to see a lonely nurse. I walked up to her and pressed A. "...", only dots. I press A again. "...", more dots. I pressed A once again, and to my shock; "I will take your Pokemon and heal its hurts.". The Pokeball was placed into the machine and it began shining. I was scared when the normal 'beep, beep, beep, beep, beep' healing sound was replaced with a horrifying outcry. I covered my ears and began to cry as I waited for the healing to be over. I thought for a moment I could hear the cry trough my hands,but suddenly, it stopped. The nurse gave me my Pokémon back, told me "There is no more turning back." and disappeared.
I got out of the Pokémon center and outside, the screen was getting darker, like it was really cloudy. I kept walking and heard the weird background noise again but this time with a very heavy breathing mixed into it.
As I walked around my character suddenly stopped, faced north and flew up without animation.
I arrived in a black place. There were no people, no buildings, nothing. The breathing was still there with the sobbing from before. I walked around for a bit and realized, there was no way out. The desolated cry worked upon my mind and I asked myself: "Is this complete loneliness?"
Suddenly, from the nothing, my character faced north and a battle started. My character faced 'Feerutar', a completely black version of the male player sprite with two red dots as eyes. The breathing got heavier and so did the sobbing.
In tears and shacking, I got out my only Pokémon, Bulbasaur, who was LV1 now.
Feerutar took out a shiny Gengar at LV127.
My Bulbasaur only could use Struggle. When using struggle it would say "Bulbasaur tried to struggle and free himself from it" but the struggle wouldn't do anything to the Gengar. Then the text "It was dragged back in would appear" showed.
The Gangar used Curse and Dark Pulse, until my Bulbasaur was done in 2 turns. "Bulbasaur has vanished".
My Trainer came forward again and the Gengar was able to use Nightmare. The health bar got depleted and then the Trainer disappeared.
Suddenly a very loud static, a black screen and my Gameboy turned off. Completely shocked, I still had the courage. I rebooted my Gameboy but the startup screen was different.
The start text was gone and the background was red like blood. The Venusaur had red dots in his black eyes and blood dripping out his eye sockets and mouth.
I screamed, turned off my Gameboy and I ran down to my mom. I returned, with my mom, back to the old man. I told the story, sobbing. The man listened.
When my story was finished, the man didn't show any emotion and told us that he was sorry. I gave him the cartridge back and never went back to his house.
Now some people say I am crazy or this is fake. But I can still hear him, I can still hear him in my dreams.