This wasn't fair. I had been playing my brother's old Pokémon Yellow game (he never used it anyway), for a couple of hours now, and I had gotten farther than any of you would have expected in such a short period of time.
I had turned off the GameBoy Colour when I went to go eat dinner, so that I wouldn't waste the battery. After devouring a whole plate of mac 'n cheese, I ran back to the sofa, jumped down on it, and picked up the GameBoy Colour again. I flicked the power button, and the normal Pikachu intro came on. After pressing start, I was given the two options:
"NEW GAME" "OPTIONS"
This had infuriated me. I had saved my game when I turned it off, so why didn't I have the option, "CONTINUE"? I sighed. My brother had owned this game for years. It was probably too worn out to even keep a saved game alive anymore.
Grumpy that all of my hard work had been a waste, I went to go ask my brother if I could sell his Yellow version and buy a new one. Since he never used it, he didn't mind, and said yes.
I went to GameStop, and went to have a look around at the other Pokémon games for sale. Something that caught my eye immediately was Leaf Green version. I had a GameBoy Advance at home, but no games for it yet. Leaf Green would be perfect.
I quickly sold Yellow version for Leaf Green, and took it back home.
Excited, I inserted the cartridge into my GameBoy Advance, and started it up. Everything started out normal at first, but when the title screen appeared, I was a bit shocked.
Instead of "Leaf Green", it said "Poison Purple". "What in the world?" I thought. As far as I knew, there was no such game as "Poison Purple". Where the Venusaur should have been there was just an empty space, and instead of the rusty-coloured background, the background was a deep purple color.
I was quite puzzled, but I decided to just start the game and ignore the unusual title screen. I started up a new game, as there was no saved game already, and clicked past Professor Oak's long Pokémon speech. For a moment there, I could have sworn he sent out an Arbok, which I thought was strange. As far as I knew, I didn't think that he was supposed to send out an Arbok. But whatever, it didn't matter. I was probably just mistaken anyway, since I was speeding past the text so quickly.
After choosing my gender, typing in my name, and naming my rival, the real game started. My heart thumped with excitement. My sprite was in her room, which was the same as every other Pokémon game.
I walked downstairs and out of my character's house. I already knew that Professor Oak wouldn't be in his lab. Leaf Green was similar to Yellow version, so I already knew that I would have to try and walk in the tall grass for Professor Oak to appear in the game and stop me.
I made my way over to the patch of grass, but I was quite surprised with what happened next. Instead of Professor Oak running over to stop me, I was perfectly able to walk through the grass. To be honest, it kind of freaked me out, as I knew this was not supposed to happen in any other Pokémon game. At the same time though, it was kinda cool, that I could walk through the grass with no Pokémon. I decided to keep walking back and forth in it until I encountered a wild Pokémon, just to see what would happen.
After walking for no more than 5 seconds, the battle theme began to play. I grinned, excited about what would happen and what Pokémon would appear. I had a feeling it would just be something common like a Pidgey or a Rattata, but to my surprise, it was an Ekans.
"That's funny...I didn't know Ekans appeared in the wild this early in the game...And I thought they were exclusive to Fire Red? Oh well." As soon as the text, "A wild EKANS appeared", was gone, I saw my trainer's sprite in the battle scene. That was normally where a Pokémon's sprite would be, but since I had no Pokémon, did that mean I had to fight the Ekans?
I pressed "FIGHT", but another box of text appeared saying: "You cannot fight!".
Frustrated, I pressed "BAG" instead, and was shocked to see that I already had 10 Pokeballs with me. I threw one at the Ekans, hoping that I could catch it. I had no way of weakening it, at least not that I knew of, but it was only level 3. Surely it would stay in the Pokeball.
Just as I had guessed, the Pokeball wiggled three times and Ekans was caught.
"Would you like to give a nickname to the caught EKANS?" I was asked by the game. I selected "YES" and named it TOXIC. After that, I checked its summary.
It was a male, level 3 (as mentioned before), and it knew the moves Poison Sting, Wrap, and Bite. Its nature was Naughty.
Pleased with my new Pokémon, I walked out of the tall grass and into Professor Oak's lab to get my starter Pokémon. Well...it wouldn't really be my starter, since Ekans was my first Pokémon, but still.
I walked into the lab to find my rival and the professor facing each other, as if they were having a conversation. As soon as I walked close enough to them, they both turned to me, exclamation points appearing above their heads. Oak ran over to me, and I was thinking that he would let me choose my "starter" Pokémon now, but it seemed that wasn't going to happen after all.
"You're late, KELLY!", he said. "I'm sorry, but I didn't think you were coming, so I gave all three starters to my grandson...Sorry about that! Maybe if you release TOXIC, I'll go catch a new starter for you. You don't want that silly old thing!"
I was then given the options "YES" and NO".
"What in the world?! I can't get a starter Pokemon unless I release my Ekans?!" I exclaimed out loud. Well I certainly wasn't going to release TOXIC now. What were the chances of me finding another Ekans again in Leaf Green? They were supposed to be exclusive to Fire Red. Besides, even though I had really wanted a Charmander, I personally liked Ekans a lot better than the Kanto starters.
I selected "NO" and Professor Oak said in reply: "Well if that's what you want..."
After obtaining my Pokedex and what not, I walked out of the lab and through the tall grass, to Viridian City. I battled many trainers along the way(which I found unusual, as I was sure there weren't meant to be any trainers until Viridian Forest), and almost every time, TOXIC could usually take out their Pokémon with just one or two hits.
Once I got to Viridian City, I went into the Pokemart and was given Professor Oak's parcel to deliver to him. I quickly went back to Pallet Town (defeating any wild Pokémon along the way so that TOXIC could level up), delivered Oak's parcel, and finally got to Pewter City.
Defeating Brock and earning the Boulder Badge was a piece of cake with TOXIC by my side, along with some help from my other Pokémon as well. I was also quite happy when TOXIC evolved into an Arbok after defeating one of Brock's Geodudes. As soon as I beat Brock though, he said something that shocked me a little.
"Are you sure you want to keep that ARBOK of yours?" and after that I received my prize money.
I felt a little uncomfortable now. First Oak had mentioned TOXIC, and now Brock too? I tried to ignore these thoughts nagging me like a fly.
After defeating Brock, I made my way to Mt. Moon, and then into Cerulean City, where I could battle Misty and earn the Cascade Badge. I wanted to level up my team a bit more before I challenged Misty though, so I walked over to the Nugget Bridge, and soon met my rival again. He challenged me to a battle, and just like always, I wiped out all of his Pokémon with TOXIC.
After he had been defeated, he said something similar to what Oak and Brock had said.
"You caught an ARBOK?! So that's why I couldn't beat you! Hurry up and release that stupid thing!"
I was getting more and more freaked out all the time by all of these changes to the game, and what everyone was saying about my Arbok. What was so bad about it? I sighed. Well I guess there was nothing I could do about it. No matter what any of these NPCs said, I was going to keep TOXIC as part of my team for as long as I played Leaf Green.
I continued walking on the Nugget Bridge, battling other trainers along the way. Each time I defeated them, they would always say something similar about my Arbok, just as the other NPCs had. They would say things like "Mommy always told me that ARBOK are mean..." or "Someday, that ARBOK won't listen to you anymore. It acts friendly right now, but just you wait..."
Of course, I didn't believe any of this. I just played through the game like nothing happened. But after defeating the last trainer on the Nugget Bridge, I started to think differently.
After defeating the last trainer, text popped up saying "ARBOK are often known to-", but before the NPC could finish the sentence, the game froze. Confused, I turned it off and then turned it back on. Luckily I had saved right next to the Nugget Bridge, so I hadn't lost much of my hard work. All I had to do was defeat my rival and the other trainers again, and that wouldn't be hard with TOXIC by my side.
But after pressing "CONTINUE" on the start menu, I had to cover my mouth to stop myself from screaming.
The Nugget Bridge was broken in half, which made it impossible to cross, and there were tiny red pixels sprinkled all over it, which I guessed were drops of blood.
All of the NPCs, including my rival and the trainers on the other side of the broken Nugget Bridge, were lying down on their backs, with puddles of blood surrounding them. Everything looked absolutely ruined. This was surely far too violent to put in a children's game, wasn't it?
Before I could make my character walk anywhere, an Arbok sprite wriggled over to me slowly and a text box popped up, saying:
"Hi trainer! Are you ready to play?"
I was now utterly scared, and I wished I had listened to all of those NPCs, telling me to get rid of TOXIC.
Before I knew what even happened, my GBA turned off. I was a bit scared to turn it back on, but I wanted to know what happened. It almost seemed as if I had fallen asleep after TOXIC had said "Hi trainer! Are you ready to play?" but I knew I had been wide awake.
I switched the power button back on, and was brought back to the start menu. I was unbelievably scared with what I saw next.
The saved game was named "TOXIC's GAME".
I deleted the saved game, took the cartridge out of my GBA, stuck it in a cardboard box, and threw the box in the trash.
I'm not sure how that game came into existence, or what made it. A hacker looking for some laughs, or something more sinister?...I don't really want to know, to be honest. Since then, I've stuck to the other Pokémon games. And of course, I've never caught another Ekans again. I know it's silly, but I'd rather not risk it...I have an awful feeling that Toxic will manage to find his way into another game if he has to...