As it goes, there is a story of a young boy and his older brother, who resided in the suburbs of Las Vegas, late 2003.
The younger brother, who we will call Todd, happened to spot his older brother, who we’ll call James, playing Pokémon Yellow one night. Todd had always been intrigued by Pokémon, though never getting into it himself. He was more a fan of Dragon Ball Z and rarely paid notice to anything Pokémon related. Though this particular time, Todd spotted his brother playing, while in Lavender Town. James could recall the strange glazed over look on his younger brother’s face, as he healed his Pokémon. He asked if he was tired, and Todd simply frowned at the game and asked, “Why is the music like that?”.
James replied that it was the theme for that particular town, and it was meant to sound eerie. Todd complained that the music was too high-pitched and “annoying”, and that it bothered his ears.
It was obviously the famed “Lavender Town Syndrome.” Though James was ignorant of its existence.
James ignored his brother and continued playing, telling him it was "just the way the game was”. After a lengthy campaign through the Pokémon memorial tower, James was satisfied with his progress. He saved his game and turned it off, Leaving it on his couch. He planned to continue the next day, leveling his Pokémon to match the level of his Pikachu, whom he’s mostly used throughout the tower. He didn’t want his team to become unbalanced.
There was a small detail while saving, that James had only sub-consciously noticed. Instead of the usual warning not to turn off the game, there was another message:
PLEASE DO NOT SAVE THE GAME
It was later that evening when things took a turn for the worst.
Around 10:13 PM, he was just finishing his shower and getting ready for bed, when he heard a loud crash downstairs. He heard his Dad yelling in a scolding tone and knew Todd had probably broken something. He was on his way down when he heard the following conversation:
Father: “What the hell did you throw it for?”
Todd: “I didn’t throw it, I just set it d-“
Father: “-How the hell does it end up putting a chip in my wall if you just set it down? God damnit, boy. I’m not an idiot. Isn’t that your brother's game?”
Todd: “Yes, I was only looking at it though.”
Father: “You’d better hope it’s not broken.”
Todd: “It’s not- Ow!”
James heard the Lavender town theme blare loudly. Much louder than it was possible for a gameboy to play.
Father: “Jesus that thing is loud”
Todd: “Yeah! I don’t-“
James heard a small yelp come from Todd.
Father: “Is James asleep?”
Todd: “Dad, look!”
Father: “That’s an ugly looking…Is that the Pokemon game?”
Todd: “Yeah, it’s Pikachu’s face!”
James finally rushed down the stairs with his towel around his waist.
Todd turned to James, his expression sincere. “I didn’t play it, I just wanted to see what Pokemon you had.” “You threw the damn thing, too.” His father added, “Give that to your brother and leave his game alone from now on.”
“Look at this,” Todd said, showing James the screen. James looked down at the screen.
His heart lurched in his stomach.
The emoticon that pops up when you press your Pikachu in Yellow was up, but it wasn’t a normal emoticon. The little box showed a very disturbing looking Pikachu.
It’s face was distorted into a hideous grin, its teeth bared, sharp and pointy.
It was the scariest thing James had ever seen in a Pokémon game.
“That’s freakin creepy.” James whispered, taking the game from his brother. “That’s way too scary for Pokemon.”
“I didn’t throw it, either.” Todd said. “It was weird. I went to grab it and it like slipped away from my hand really fast.”
“Then you pushed it with your hand, dummy.” James said, turning his game off.
His Dad told the two not to stay up too late, and went to his bedroom. After a few hours of watching TV, it was past midnight, and James began to get tired.
That night he had a disturbing dream.
He dreamed he had come into his room, and saw his brother turned against the wall facing away from him, sleeping on his bed, instead of his own. Deciding he’d wake his brother up when he was ready to sleep, James grabbed his gameboy and turned it on, expecting to hear the normal Yellow version fanfare. Instead he heard a series of one tone ticks, and saw something he had never seen his game do before. It showed a code of some sort, a series of numbers and symbol combinations he was unfamiliar with. He noticed one string of code that was coherent:
$onstart_Ylw if (Savnotice == $null) then /3w202kkkrkkrk110101001000000001010101010???JAAMMEESSSSHEEEELLLLPPPPPPPP!!!!!!!!
James’s eyes widened at the last string of code.
Suddenly the sound of the ticks grew faster and a loud popping was heard. His game sparked from the inside, causing him to drop it out of shock.
After a few seconds of wild popping and sparking, it stopped.
The Lavender Town theme began to play softly.
“What the he-” James started to say
The room suddenly erupted with sound
“IT’S COMING FOR YOU!!!” James heard a voice bellow in a binary/computerized sounding voice.
His curtains behind him began to flutter wildly as if the windows were open. Spinning around, he looked down to find his brother still laying in his bed, facing away from him, somehow sleeping through the entire phenomenon.
A loud crashing sounded behind him, and he whirled around to find his closet door open, nothing but pitch black showing from inside.
Except for two giant glowing red eyes.
James tried to scream but only a small hum came from him.
As if queued by this, the creature in his closes shot out of his closet, grabbing him.
He felt strong vibrations, and then nothing.
James sat up in his bed, sweating profusely. He realized he was dreaming, and sighed. As he was getting out of bed he stepped on something.
He felt chills come over him as he looked down and saw his Game Boy on the floor.
Panicking, he looked towards his closet and saw that it was wide open, not the way he had left it.
James scrambled out of his bed, and ran into his brother's room. He opened the door, and saw the bed empty.
Panicked, he ran downstairs, calling for his brother, looking all over the house. Soon his father awoke and asked him what he was doing up at 3 am in the morning.
Soon, his father found that Todd was nowhere in the house. James’s dad called the police, and organized a search.
His brother was never found.
James would later realize the true meaning behind his dream. In that particular dream, he had taken the viewpoint of his brother, and it was actually James who had been sleeping in his own bed.
His brother had come into his room, and been abducted by the creature that had come out of his closet.
Years would pass, and James would never see his brother again.
But he refused to part with his Game Boy, which never worked from that day forward, or his yellow version of Pokémon. Deep down he knew his brother was gone, the line of code he read on his gameboy that day was a clue as to his location.
His brother had been taken, locked away inside of a game, due to some evil game mechanics designed by someone, or something.
As to Todd’s kidnapper, James found a resemblance in the giant eyes he saw in his closet.
They resembled that of the Pokémon Gengar.