Like many children of the nineties, I have some very fond memories of playing Pokémon, specifically Pokémon Red. If I had a lot more time, a pith helmet and a trusty side kick I would go and get the newest Pokémon game and really try to catch them all, like I was Dr. Livingston with kleptomania or something. I’ve just never gotten the whole “pokermans is for kids” thing because the internet has an obsession with this little fuzzball you may have heard of, cats, and Pokémon is basically cats that can breathe fire or lighting or what have you. It is literally weaponized cuteness. Every now and then I like to take a trip down memory lane and play me some Pokémon. In fact, one of my deciding factors in asking for a 3DS for one birthday was the prospect of playing Pokémon Red again. I do have some fond memories of playing Soul Silver a few years ago, which carried some unfortunate misunderstandings. The starting town, in the usual Pokémon tradition, only has three or four houses. The same people are in the same houses all the time, so when you walk into your own house you always find your mother. See, your mom is single in all Pokémon games because Professor Oak didn’t tell your father not to walk in the tall grass and so he never made it to his job in the Pokemart the next town over or whatever. I’m guessing it was an insurance scam with your mom. It’s like Double Indemnity, only in Pokémon! I’m sure Team Rocket was involved.
Anyways one time I walked into what I thought was my house and instantly I felt something was wrong. The television was in a different spot, the table was changed and there was a fat balding man instead of my mom. I had to resist the urge to call out, “MOOOOM! Do we have a new daddy!?” Having only played two Pokémon games I suspect that my opinion on the world as a whole is kind of moot. Allow me a moment to ruminate on the kind of world where you literally cannot go anywhere without being savaged by whole packs of vicious rats and birds. Lately, too, I’ve been running into videos of cats that are jerks, so it makes me wonder if Team Rocket ever has to deal with their Meowth just shoving crap off their table and then being annoying. I mean, it’s not like they can’t just go out and catch another Meowth to run with them, they seem to be kind of a dime a dozen. When the main character starts off, I get the impression he (Or she!) is in their teens. At least I hope that’s the case, otherwise Professor Oak and your mother are sending a grade schooler out into the world to exterminate or capture two of all the animals so that they can put them in balls on a giant ark and…sorry, I’ve been drinking again.
I will say that this may be why I have the option of sending my money back home to mother. She occasionally buys me stuff I don’t need with it, apparently unable to see the irony of buying stuff with my money to assuage her guilt at sending her child out into the wild to repeatedly battle Venomothra and MechaCharizard. The kicker to that is that it’s almost never something I want, like she was in the check-out line at a grocery store and saw something that made her think of me, so basically I’m funding my mother’s impulse purchases on the way out of the grocery store in that game. It also leads to a great awkward moment every time I come home. The mother greets you in the same awkward, halting manner that I would greet a loan shark flanked by two very large men holding baseball bats. “Oh hello! So good to see you again. Or…..is this about your money.” You see mom has become accustomed to a certain kind of lifestyle since she has a superstar son who is rising up through the ranks of Pokémon trainers. The only time I ever went home was when I needed her to pay up on the rent and then it was right back out into the education that only the world of Pokémon could provide. Kill or be killed or be shoved in a plastic ball, its Charizard eat dog out there, which is why I assume we very rarely see dogs in Pokeworld.
You know, I started this post with every intention of talking about how all Team Rocket needs to do to take over the world is start a Pest Control company? What happened to that? I mean, really think about this. Travel between towns is incredibly restricted by the roving packs of angry Pokemon, who attack literally every living thing they see so long as they’re in the tall grass apparently. All they need to do is offer protection from them for merchants at a reasonable price and hey presto, Team Rocket now owns the world. I really do have to kind of call into question a plan for taking over the world that involves the same creatures I have to kill en masse just reach the corner store though. Maybe someone should bring that up at the next shareholders meeting. What exactly was the plan when they started anyways? Collect Pokemon, threaten people with pokemon and then win? I mean, if Team Rocket wants to take over the world than owning a casino seems like a weird place to start, if you ask me. Of course, calling their place in Pokemon red a casino would make the founders of Vegas roll over to snake eyes in their graves. I assume they’re dead, don’t tell me otherwise.
The last time I played Pokemon, my trip through it was cut sadly short by a slight glitch which deserves mention here. You see, in the Gameboy Advanced Fire Red I believe it is, at multiple points you have to pass through small tunnels being watched over by very bored guards. One of them refuses to let you by because the road ahead is closed since it’s too dangerous. I have literally waded through the remains of wild Pokemon to get here and knocked out more people’s beloved pets than the Keystone cops if they were all roaring drunk, what can be out there that’s any more dangerous? What he wants is something cold to drink I think he requires a lemonade or a water. Whatever it was, I had it and he refused to take it. Take the water! Take it, you lazy work shy bastard! Take it and let me pass! Oh well, maybe next time I’ll be allowed into the nice side of town. The reason I stopped playing Soul Silver was far simpler. I was really awful at that game and when I reached the end, where I get to play in the big leagues for the first time, I just got crushed because I had used all my healing items and I didn’t have enough money to buy more, so it was either grind like crazy for hours or just throw my hands up and leave the world of Pokemon to its fate.