I noticed that I had an interest in video-game controversies a few years ago and like I thought, being the great Pokémon fan I am, I moved on to seeing what kind of problems the classic games were part of.
Within a few hours of research, I learnt quick the rumoured glitches, hacks and stories related to Pokémon Red, Blue and Yellow. Knowing well that Pokémon Green was never localised, it never concerned me to check the English side of Green's controversy. As I was reading through the information on many sources, many websites, I suddenly remembered: I still have MY Red! Well, it is mine now, but formerly of my brother. He was addicted to Pokémon as a kid and, after over ten years since he started his very first game, still had this thing in his mind that kept him interested within the 2010 releases of HeartGold and SoulSilver. He had no need for his GBA and classic '90s Pokémon cartridges so passed them down to me to "start my own journey." I played Red the longest, just because of my fascination for the first release.
I reached for this box under my bed. It contained my brother's GBA, my old GBC, Pokémon Red, Blue, Yellow, Gold, Silver, Ruby, Sapphire, LeafGreen and FireRed; it also had a DS (to play GBA games when the batteries went dead), a DSi, Pearl, Diamond and HeartGold. You can say I did own every Pokémon game in European creation; except my brother still had his SoulSilver. I wait for him to finish then make my own journey on it. He never cared, as long as he had his experience.
I grabbed the GBA, hoping for working battery, and locked in Red. If I remember right, I was almost at the Indigo League. I can't remember why I wasn't there yet. Perhaps I was training up.
When I switched on the GBA, I was happy because first, the battery was still useful; and second, the screen came on without another try. Some games glitch at first so I had to switch off and on again. Not Red. It seems it was never Red.
When I flew to Pallet Town to get back into the game mood, I entered my house and talk to my mother: "..." I clicked A and she continued, "I thought that was you..." She resumed to watch television. She seemed... Scared? How? I don't remember that. I guess that could be a glitch in there I haven't researched on yet. I continued out of the house and into my rival, who I called - traditionally - Blue. I clicked A to talk to his sister: "Oh Blue..." was all she said. She moved to look out the window on the opposite side of the house. I really did not understand.
I flew to my most favourite town - Lavender Town. I know the stories of death, glitching and headaches all too well, but it was a great place to relax to me. I talked to the little girl who asks "Do you believe in ghosts?" I answered "No," she replied
"I guess not... That boy in white... He's in my head." This still made me confused. She does not say that, I know well. I click again and this time, click "Yes"; this time, she says "Of course... We all miss him..." Miss who? Did something happen to Blue?
I wonder if it was him since I have now been flying and wandering around everywhere and never seemed to find him. Wait! Oh yeah! He was the champion at the League. How could I forget? I opened my map and saw I have visited the League, which means I can use Fly to go there quicker.
I used Fly and went over to the League. I checked my Pokémon just to recall what I had: Lv. 53 Venusaur, Lv. 52 Pidgeot, Lv. 53 Rapidash, Lv. 53 Pikachu, Lv. 54 Vaporeon and Lv. 52 Persian. I never nicknamed them because I never thought about it when I got the game from my brother.
I closed the Pokémon tab, closed the menu and continued into the Pokémon League. I saw someone in the doorway; most likely the guy who you talk to battle the Elite Four. I do remember quite a bit about them, and I thought my Pokémon were trained up enough. I bought plently of Super and Hyper Potions and healers, restored my Pokémon and started.
First: Lorelei - an Ice-type specialist. Of course, knowing the advantage, I use Rapidash heavily, but not draining its PP.
Next: Bruno - a Fighting-type. I didn't have the strong memory on Fighting-type advantages, so I used Vaporeon, my strongest. Successful.
Next: Agatha - a Ghost-type. The closest I had to its advantage was Persian so I used him. Again, I am going well.
Lastly: Lance - the Dragon-type, who is the Champion in the next Gen. Easy like the earlier three. I used my healers, my Potions - all six Pokémon were perfect and ready for Blue.
I was walking on then stopped by a Poke Ball, like you find an item in. I don't remember this so I clicked to open it. No item. Nothing.
The screen went black.
The noise was a Pokémon cry. It sounded familiar. It was... No. Pichu? Pichu are in Gen. III. What is it doing in Red?
The dialogue kept saying this over and over until I pressed B. Then something faded onto the screen. It was a Pichu's head. It wasn't its usual happy, cute self. Far from it. Its eyes had blood-tears. Its face had dark scratches across its cheeks. Its trademark smile had been replaced with an upsetting frown.
"Who are you..."
The screen went to me typing my name. My character was, of course, Red. I typed R-E-D. The screen went black for another few seconds then Pichu reappeared.
I was worried. I have been here before and never got close to Blue. This was years ago. What happened? Did my brother hack the game?
"No... More... Red..."
He was out to kill my character. I shut off the game and threw the console in the box and pushed it back. I shut my eyes and concentrated hard on forgetting it.
"He can't hurt me. He can't hurt me. It's just a game. It's just a game." I kept repeating to myself, over and over. A Pokémon game cannot hurt me or make me go insane. I was gripping onto my self-control barely and slowly got my mind off it. My brother must've hacked the game. He must've put this in there to scare me.
I knew he was in his bedroom - just across from mine - so I went to open the door. Locked. He knew I'd play it. Sneaky.
I banged my fist hard on the door. "Open up! Open up!"
It did. I heard the door unlock and I opened it. I looked to his bed - nothing. I looked behind the door - nothing. Where was he?
"Hey! What did you do?" I yelled. My worry was returning and I heard the door slam and re-lock. The room fell dark, like the screen of my GBA.
"What... Did... I do...?" A soft squeeky voice whispered to me. I couldn't see a thing. What was it?
"Who are you? Where's my brother?" I shouted, my anger taking over. I was on the edge of crying.
"Your brother. He was Blue..." It said. Well, he always had fun and always called his character Blue and his rival Red in Pokémon. But what did that have to do with anything?
"No... Blue..." It replied.
Oh no! How can it be...? I shut the game off! It isn't real! It isn't real!
"No... More... Red..." A candle lit, revealing the bloody face of the Pichu. Why? Why? This has to be a nightmare.
"Please say I'm dreaming."
"Oh Red... You will be dreaming... Forever..."
The sound cut. I couldn't hear. The light cut. I couldn't see. I felt like I wasn't real. Was I... Dead?
I looked forward. My eyes could finally see something... A light. A white light. I was in a large room with golden decorations, designed as Poke Balls. Where was I? I am dead, aren't I? Please! Someone, tell me!
"Red..." A deep voice spoke in front of me. It was Blue... Not a happy Blue. It was sad, with red eyes and a frown. He was wearing all black. He had a Pokémon behind him; a Pichu.
"That's... Your... Pichu?" I stammered. I am praying that I'll wake up sometime soon. I am praying.
"Yes. He's mine. Like him?" His frown turned instantly into a smirk. Of course I didn't. I hate Pichu! I hate THAT Pichu!
"No. I do not."
"Well... I think that's enough talk. BATTLE!"
He let out his Pichu for our first battle. Am I IN the League still? I feel like I am actually IN there.
"Okay. Go! Pidgeot!"
My Poke Ball opened and out came my Pidgeot. It looked strong enough to destroy this Pichu.
"Pichu! Use Curse!"
Curse? I'm sure Pichu can't learn Curse at such a small level. But it did. But like the move, Pichu's HP was cut... All the way. It fainted and I was proud. Finally!
"Alright. One down, four left. Pikachu! Go!" He released a Pikachu, who didn't look as bad as Pichu, but still depressed.
"Pidgeot, Aerial Ace!" I shouted. Pidgeot's attack knocked out Pikachu and I was happier.
"Fine. Charizard! Go!" He chose a Charizard at the start of the game. I remembered. I put Pidgeot back and brought out Vaporeon.
"Charizard! Flamethrower!" The rush of fire burst out of Charizard's mouth and onto Vaporeon, but it was too strong to faint from it.
"Vaporeon! Surf!" The sudden water washed over Charizard and it fainted.
"You're getting lucky! Butterfree! Go!" He released Butterfree, but it didn't hover. Its wings looked broken and ripped.
"Vaporeon! Water Gun!" Vaporeon shot the beam of water at the disabled Pokémon and knocked it out.
"Okay Red... One more... Pikachu!" He opened a Poke Ball and released his Pikachu. I did the same.
"Pikachu! Go!" My Pikachu smiled with revenge-like look on his face.
"Pikachu! Slam!" Blue commanded and Pikachu damaged into mine.
"No... Pikachu! Thunderbolt!" Pikachu shocked Blue's and it fell to the ground, fainted.
"No!" He yelled.
I felt no emotion. It was just a game after all. Not real. No Red. No Blue. No Pikachu.
"You win..." He whispered. "Congratulations. You're the Champion..."
I was overly happy.
He carried the fainted Pikachu in his arms and exited.
"Where are you going?"
He stopped in his tracks and turned.
"... You killed my Pikachu."
I ran out of the rooms after him and caught up with him.
"What do you want? You won!" He yelled.
"I didn't mean to kill your Pikachu."
I wanted to switch off the game, but couldn't. I was IN the game. I had no control.
I flew back to Pallet Town, back to my house. I talked to my mother again.
"Oh Red! I miss you!"
She never noticed me. Was I now dead? I exited and went back to Blue's. I talked to his sister.
"Blue... Red... We all miss you!"
I left and went to Lavender Town - Pokémon's death town.
I entered the Tower and saw Blue, in all black still. I looked down and saw I was in all white.
"I'm sorry Red. Truly sorry."
"Pikachu. Pikachu killed you. Pikachu killed me."
"Yes. Well, it was the Pichu. I evolved it and hoped it would behave more... Instead it shocked us both."
I wanted to return to the real world, where Pokémon is only a game on a GBA. I want to go back!
"I wanna go back!" I yelled. Blue looked at me.
"You can't. I know you wanna go to your real world. Where you can switch this world on and off. You've died though. You can't return."
I'm stuck here. Eternally. I guess Blue's my brother now... I have to make my peace with knowing that a ghost of a Champion is what I have to stick with... But what agitates me most still - that Blood Pichu.