We know it well.
The brilliant Satoshi Tajiri made the series in 1996.
That would make me only two years of age when it came out.
My older cousin would always show me his Pokémon cards, and his prized, holographic Zapdos. Well, I eventually grew a little older, but my love for the game grew alongside me. I was only 5 years old when I obtained my first Game Boy Color. I vividly remember that Christmas of 1999, shredding the wrapping paper and discovering a dark magenta pink Game Boy Color. I had the Rugrats in Paris video game, and the 102 Dalmatians video game. I never cared much for them, despite liking Disney and Nickelodeon. None could compare to the passion I had for my precious Pokémon. A few days later, I had gone to Game Stop. It was the first time I had ever been. I had a crisp fifty-dollar bill to spend that day; from some family that Christmas, and I held my cousin Marko's hand tightly, as he had my money in his wallet for me. I instantly ran to the left wall the minute I walked in. I had seen the Pokémon logo. Under the massive logo were the copies of Pokémon Gold Version and Pokémon Silver Version. I smiled and pointed at them.
"I want these!" I pointed, shouting excitedly. Marko shook his head, and I frowned.
"You don't have enough, you can only get one."
"It's only 66 bucks! I've got 50!"
I obviously was thinking he'd loan me the extra sixteen.
"Pick only one, and keep your voice down about your money." I grumbled and pointed at the Pokémon Silver Version. Marko picked up the game and handed it to the cashier. I smiled as I returned home, gazing at the Lugia on the cover. Upon arriving at my Aunt Valerie's house, I tore open the box, and put it in my Game Boy Color, watching the intro.
The Shellder, the Magikarp, the Lapras and Jigglypuff and Pikachu! Chikorita, Cyndaquil and Totodile, as a Charizard breathed his bolt of flames! I was elated at the title screen, and the shadow of Lugia under the sea. I almost never wanted to begin my game, based on my love for the music… but I did. My starter was a Cyndaquil, and I was treating him well. I had gotten to the first rival battle and complained that I wanted Totodile, but it was pointless. I stuck with my Cyndaquil. Eventually, I managed to obtain every Pokémon game of the time: Gold, Silver, Red, Blue, and Yellow. I didn't enjoy my other games as much as I enjoyed Silver and Gold, however. Eventually my prized Silver began to lose its touch and I grew more possessive of Gold. I noticed swiftly the familiar intro, and giggled excitedly as Ho-Oh soared through the sky. I began again with my favorite starter, Cyndaquil. My game and I were inseparable. I trained my beloved starter. He became a Typhlosion, and I recall the "OT" for my beloved Volcano Pokémon. Since the character was male, I gave him a corresponding name: Allen. I remember the moves my Typhlosion had: Earthquake, Thunder Punch, Fire Blast, and Fire Punch. My favorite move that he'd ever used was Flame Wheel, but I unfortunately swapped it for a better move.
Years passed, but game was still in tact. I remember how I had congratulated my Typhlosion when he single-handedly beat the Elite Four and Champion several times. My precious Fire-type was a level 100 Pocket Monster now, and I smiled wide when he eliminated Red all on his own. The rest of my team was not as important to me as this precious Typhlosion, but I still cared for all of my team. My Typhlosion was probably one to not have a nickname, but even now, I refer to my childhood friend as Typhlo, short for his full name.
Simultaneously as I had been playing with my Typhlosion, I was busy with a Pidgeot I'd obtained on my Pokémon Yellow Version. It was approximately Level 86, and couldn't do much to even get passed the Elite Four. This often made me disappointed, but I loved my Pidgeot all the same. I trained it more and more and continued to try against the elite four, until my game refused to work. I cried that day. I wasn't ready for my Pidgeot to leave in such a manner!
I soon tried to obtain a similar glory with my Pokémon Blue version. I chose to name my trainer name as Artemis, after the main character of a book I was reading a few years later in third grade: Artemis Fowl. I chose my starter to be a Charmander, and since it was on Pokémon Blue, and I was playing on a Game Boy Color, the Charmander appeared to be blue as well. I smiled as I played through, using my starter that was named Charmer. I remember naming him after the Charmander in a book I read that was about the games. I would always giggle when my Charmer would rush through the Elite Four with the move pool of Mega Punch, Mega Kick, Flamethrower and Fire Blast. I had eventually gotten into cloning my Pokémon, several years later… and I wanted to try in Pokémon Blue… Before, I had renamed Charmer to match the name of his trainer, Artemis. I was in the middle of a car ride, in my cousin Jacob's car, three years later, leaving me in sixth grade. With only his wife, Robin, and her son, Chad. I tried to clone my prized Charizard, and then it happened. My prized Level 98 Charizard…
"The file data is destroyed!"
I screamed in horror and began to sob. My Charizard, my only remnant of my home after Hurricane Katrina was gone! My precious friend would never make it to level 100… Not like I'd wanted… I never meant to kill my poor Charizard in such a way, but I had, in selfish greed, but I was still horrified.
He had marked my fourth lost Pokémon of my life.
Ah, but I have neglected to mention the predecessor to this loss. Another nicknamed Pokémon of mine, a Kyogre from Pokémon Sapphire Version. It was Naughty natured and caught with a Master Ball. I dubbed this Kyogre a female named Ki-Ki, for in my fifth grade year, I wasn't sure about the pronunciation of the species name. I had just as many memories with it as I did with my precious Typhlo only it was more… detailed. I'd won against the elite four with her, entered her in every rank of beauty contest and won. We had several ribbons, and then Hurricane Katrina, just like my poor Typhlo, tore this Pokémon from me. Until… I had hope. It was just as if Ki-Ki's data floated to my Pokémon Emerald. Same nature, same move pool, same Poké Ball only with less of a waiting time to level up, as it was Level 70, and it was found in another place. I was content then. I had everything I'd wanted at the time, and then I sent it over to my newer Pokémon Diamond for my DS. I reluctantly loaned it to a friend, which was a horrible move by me… She lost it. My heart shattered. My only surviving level 100 that I'd done level grinding with… was gone forever, again.
It wasn't until recently that I became a senior in high school. I was sitting down, about to play my Emerald, and I noticed the screen glitched ever so slightly. I sighed softly, hoping I wouldn't lose my data again… It would just be more pain on my heart. I heard a cry then, coming from the DS. I jumped when I heard it. It was… familiar. I heard Kyogre's Pokémon cry.
"K…Ki-Ki?" I whispered softly. "Is that… you?"
"Master…" it said in a glitched tone. The voice was female. I gasped.
"Ki-Ki! Ki-Ki!" I whimpered into my DS's mic, praying that she could hear me, even though Pokémon Emerald wasn't made for said system.
"Why…?" the voice spoke, and it faded when the intro to Emerald popped up. Everything went normal, except I was crying. When the game loading screen popped up, all I could do was start anew. I began a new file, since my save data had vanished. Everything skipped over, and my character was a male. However, my character was in blackness, and I couldn't move. I found it odd that it represented my character as a male, since I'm a girl, but it never bothered me, so I brushed that off as something different. After pushing some random combination of buttons, I saw my character suddenly move as if he stepped on a teleport tile. I was sent into what seemed like the "Cave of Origin" from Pokémon Sapphire. I started towards the center pool, and heard a jumbled noise, like it was more than one Pokémon's cry…
I bit my lip slightly and shuddered as I made my character head towards the Kyogre over world sprite. There she stood, my prized Pokémon, but she looked like stone. I moved my character to Kyogre, and pressed the "A" button. A text box appeared with words.
"Master… Why did you leave me with that stranger…?" Ki-Ki asked. An option appeared on the screen with the words "APOLOGIZE" and "IGNORE". I instantly chose the apologize option. Kyogre let out her cry again and moved towards me.
"You… You're not lying are you?" her text box read. Another option box popped up with the standard "YES" and "NO". I selected no. Then she vanished. It was followed by the sound made when you obtain an item, a text box appeared and it read, "Ki-Ki returned to you!" I pressed "A".
"Master, don't leave me again…"
I continued the game, and everything seemed normal when I left the cave and entered Sootopolis City… I checked my party, and found my level 100 Kyogre there, but also I saw a Pidgeot that had a yellow tinge. I selected the Pidgeot and viewed its summary. It was shiny, level 86, and had a Docile nature. I felt more tears well up.
"Pidgeot…" I whispered softly. I went back to the game and suddenly appeared on Mt. Pyre. I frowned at the screen. It was at the peak, and there stood only the old man. I turned to him and pressed "A".
He was silent, and then disappeared in a flash of white, leaving two Poké Balls. I pressed "A" on the one on the left first. A text box appeared, that had read: "TYPHLO was obtained." The obtaining music wasn't heard, so I picked up the other one. Similar text was in the box, only a different name: Artemis; there was still no sound. I swallowed hard. My precious friends; they were back. I checked the stats of them, and they were all the same as I remembered, and Artemis was shiny, like Pidgeot. More text appeared.
"You abandoned us… How could you…?"
I swallowed a lump in my throat and I heard the jumbled cry, and identified it as my four Pokémon. The screen faded to black, and I saw a text box appear.
"DID YOU NOT LOVE US?"
I let out a quiet sob and more text appeared.
"DID YOU? WE, WHO STOOD BY YOUR SIDE FOR YEARS, WE, WHO COULD TRULY MAKE YOU SMILE TO NO END."
There was a scream heard from the game and I cried silently. They killed me. Both my spirit and character in game had been shattered. The screen turned blood red, and it faded slowly. A second or two later, I noticed a choice appear on the blood red screen: "WISH" or "REVERSE". I wasn't sure which one would do best, so I chose reverse. Slowly the screen turned green, and I was shown the screen for an egg hatching. I tilted my head, confused, and smiled when I saw a Cyndaquil hatch. I instantly named it Ty-Ty, a slight change in name for my Typhlosion-to-be. Almost instantly, the same thing appeared, only hatching with a shiny Charmander that I named Arty, then again with a shiny Pidgey that I happily named Amber. But… there was no Kyogre. I frowned, but after the screen faded back to the screen, I was in the Cave of Origin, where I first met my original Kyogre… I smiled slightly and whispered her name as a text box appeared.
"I've been waiting for you, Master!" then a battle began, with the Kyogre releasing her cry.
"Wild KYOGRE appeared! Go, Ty-Ty!" I whispered as Ty-Ty let out a happy, ringing cry. Unfortunately, Kyogre was level 45 and Ty-Ty was only level 5, so I looked in my bag in game. I saw only one item, and it was in the Ball pocket… A Master Ball. I threw the ball and smiled as Kyogre was caught. "Gotcha…" I murmured softly. I nicknamed my precious Legendary Pokémon, the same as she always was: Ki-Ki. The screen flickered and changed to the faces of my current four Pokémon. They were smiling at me, and a heart appeared. I smiled, and shortly after it faded away. Then I noticed something. Another text box:
"Ane has saved the game."
I smiled wide. I distinctly remember all the different names I used in my various Pokémon games, but… they knew my real name… The Pokémon that I thought could never hear how much I loved them… knew my real name and understood my actions weren't intending to hurt them… I looked at the clock and noticed the time: 12:01. I'd sat down at only 11:45… In fifteen minutes, I'd managed to restore my well loved Pokémon… I smirked slowly as the intro played, and showed my original file with the four Pokémon in my party. I instantly ran into the "tall grass" and began to train, feeling so elated, I couldn't put the game down… just like in December of 1999.