Hi, I’m Tyler Magruder, or sorryjzargo as I go by on the internet. I am going to hopefully complete a 30/30 this month. If you don’t know what a 30/30 is, it is a blog series where you write one blog a day for a month (on months with 31 days it is called a 31/31). If I miss a day, I will make it up, but hopefully I won’t miss any days and can call this a success.
So, for the first day of my 30/30, I want to talk about a video game franchise that is very important to me. As you can tell by the title, this franchise is Pokémon. Pokémon has been part of my life since I was little, and played a major part in developing my imagination.
In 1997, I started watching a fascinating new show called Pokémon. As a young kid, it had everything I could want: cool characters, silly moments, colorful creatures, and engaging action. It quickly became my favorite show, so imagine my excitement when my uncle gave me his Gameboy along with a copy of Pokémon Red (and Tetris, though that didn’t excite me nearly as much). I immediately launched the game and began on my journey to become the greatest Pokémon master.
Since I had Pokémon Red, I decided to go with Charmander as my starter, and have had no regrets. As a young child, I had no knowledge of strategy, but I quickly discovered the various type advantages. However, my strategy never evolved past spamming Flamethrower and Fly, but that was enough to (eventually) conquer the Elite Four. I was the very best, and it was an empowering feeling.
Like every kid that played Pokémon and had friends, I heard several crazy rumors. One friend told me that if I beat the Elite Four enough times, I could become a gym leader. I fought the Elite Four many, many times but to no avail. The only rumor that turned out to be true was the infamous Missingno glitch, which I exploited frequently.
Around this time, I received a Nintendo 64 for Christmas, and with that brought Pokémon Stadium and Pokémon Snap (among other incredible games). I played the hell out of these games, and even managed to coerce my parents into playing some of the Pokémon Stadium minigames with me. However, these were mere distractions, and they even proved costly to me when my brother shut down the N64 as I was playing Pokémon Red through the Stadium connection, erasing my save profile and ruining my life. However, I persevered and within a few days re-beat the Elite Four, once again choosing Charizard.
Then the first evolution of Pokémon occurred. Nintendo released Pokémon Gold and Silver, but unfortunately I did not have the money to buy them on release. So I waited, and eventually ended up with the superior Pokémon Crystal version. The wait was worth it, and I breezed through the Johto region and then stomped through the Kanto region all over again. I beat the Elite Four and most of the Kanto region when I experienced a tragic bug. I don’t know how, but my starter (Feraligatr) was transformed into a Tauros and my various other Pokémon assumed different forms. I even ended up with an extra Raikou because of this glitch, and my most useful Pokémon turned out to be an Eevee. Unfortunately, I could not decide what to turn my Eevee into, so it remained an Eevee for the rest of my time with the game.
Along with Crystal, I also got Pokémon Stadium, though I mostly played it only for the mini-games because I wasn’t strategic enough to win most one-on-one battles.
Then came Pokémon Generation 3, and my enthusiasm had not diminished a single bit. I devoured Pokémon Ruby. With my trusty Blaziken by my side, I was invincible! I even learned some valuable strategies this generation, including training more than one Pokémon (I had a fairly badass Medicham), but I was still fairly unskilled.
Then came Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen, and I was back where I had started, exploring the Kanto region with my Charizard. I loved it, but unfortunately I never discovered any of the postgame content.
It was around this time that I was at my maximum Pokémon high, and my parents recognized that despite being great games, they were consuming my life. My parents staged an intervention, and through many tears I sold my Pokémon games, never to return to the franchise…