For people who might ask, this story is 100 percent true. Yes, I did happen to have a breakdown at the swap meet, one that almost resulted to me going to the hospital. I do happen to still own the cartridge, but never tell a single soul how I really obtained it...
The story begins with an innocent flea market, swap meet, whatever you may call it. I happened to be with my friend's older brother, Tristan, who happened to be somewhat of a collector himself. Collecting old Nintendo-retro type stuff from the era in which we didn't exist.
Anyway, we did end up finding a couple of merchants who sold what we were looking for, but with outrageous prices, no doubt. These merchants tended to be the type which I dubbed RAA (Real Arrogant Assholes), in which they would not shoot out a reasonable amount of money for the merchandise they were selling
Eventually, we got pretty tired of walking. We checked our watches, and glimpsed over at the sun, which was now starting to set. We both looked at each other, both sweating, and shook our heads. This was apparently not our day. We had not found anything…
Until when we started to head back home. We found one merchant, sitting in his chair, under his blue tent to keep himself cool. I looked over at Tristan, who didn't seem to notice. For sure, I had not seen this blue tent when we first went through this swap meet, but I wasn't disappointed, mainly because of the merchandise he just so happened to have
Games! Old Nintendo games! Super Nintendo Games! Everything you could possibly want if you were collecting old, retro, junky, grey-black cartridges! We both stooped down so that we could get a better look at what he was selling, which turned out to be a decent selection. We both picked up a couple of games to add to our collection, as I frequently glanced up and down at the merchant, asking what they price was of certain games
The merchant was a rather husky fellow, who wore a blue visor, and a rather sketchy expression. He told us that these games were going for about a dollar or two, which pretty much made me ejaculate with excitement
Anyways, we both asked a few more questions about certain games, until Tristan finally stood up, and asked if he was ready to go. Of course, I could've stayed there all day, just looking at the amazing artwork on all of these cartridges, but I agreed with him, and attempted to stand up…
As I stood up, my eyes darted across the blue mat once more, eyeing the cartridges once more…when I spotted…THAT
It was a grey, Nintendo cartridge, with a plain black label. I picked it up, and discovered that "PokeMon" was printed across the label, but horizontally, instead of the traditional way. I eyed it mysteriously.
I didn't notice Tristan approach from behind me. It seemed to catch his eye as well, and made me jump when he spoke.
"How much is this one?"
The merchant looked at Tristan, and then the cartridge I was holding. His expression changed entirely, with what looked like a cold wind blew through him. He then smiled with the same sketchy expression from before before he said,
"Take it, my friend…"
We finally got to Tristan's house, after a long night. Today, we intended to just go to the swap meet, but we ended up catching a movie afterwards. We checked the clock. 2am, and I was pretty shocked. We both had no idea that we were out this late.
Tristan stretched a bit, and flopped on the couch. "Good day, Seb. Your not tired, are you?"
I turned to Tristan. I was frickin' exhausted, but not in a way in which you actually wanted to go to sleep. I shook my head no, and then he handed me his bags of games of which we bought
"Here…everyone's asleep. How 'bout we try some of these out before we hit the sack?"
I smiled, and dug out the Nintendo. It was always pretty cool of me to hook up this one system that nobody owned. It made you feel like a complete badass when you pulled out this one grey, cartridge that no one had heard of, and then popping it in, and playing to your heart's desire…
Either that, or it was the nostalgia talking…
We got our sleeping bags ready in case we were to ever fall asleep that night, and while Tristan prepared some popcorn, I stared at the vast library of games we bought…
I stared at THAT game. That one game, with the black label, with the one game that under normal circumstances, had never even appeared on a Nintendo console. My eyes met with it, and I outstretched my hand. The cold, grey plastic sent a chill throughout my body, while Tristan sat down next to me, popcorn in hand, sitting in only his boxers and T-shirt.
I inserted the cartridge into the Nintendo. Something felt as if it didn't fit correctly, but I quickly looked past this, as all games from this era had the absolute pain in the ass when you inserted it into the system.
I quickly pressed the power button, and the screen flashed a shade of white. We had the lights off at the time, so this both ended up startling us for a bit, but the screen only stayed up for about another second longer. The PokeMon Fire Red logo appeared at that moment, (y'know, the one with the shooting star flying past the logo) and then the title screen emerged, with Charizard on the front, like how we both remembered it.
I sat there, motionless. I looked down at my hands, and then back up to the screen, numerous times, before Tristan eventually chimed in with a,
"Uhh...Seb? Is something wrong?"
It wasn't that I was technically ignoring him when he said this, it was just how everything fit into place. It struck me as a bit odd that this young man sitting behind me, who knows just enough about PokeMon than the next guy, would not find it at all suspicious that this one hit franchise would find it' way on a console that it was never intended to be on in the first place....
Screw it. I pushed start, and the familiar openeing began, with Professor Oak telling you all the beginner's shit about PokeMon, saying that the world is filled with them, yadda yaddda BING BAM BOOM!
And then the game started, and we were both shocked. The graphics, as far as we were concerned, were pretty nice. It looked as if they were just ripped right from the original GameBoy, but we didn't seem to notice it, we knew exactly what to do. We walked our ass to the grass, and then got scolded by Professor Oak, telling us, of course, that we need a PokeMon to protect ourselves. I agreed to this decision, and the game forcibly moved both us and Prof. Oak through the same cutscene you see when you play Fire Red on the original GameBoy, but again, whatever.
The game up to this point played the same way it did on the GameBoy, our rival was still a douche, and when we eventually got to pick our PokeMon, something was amiss...
Rather than picking the PokeMon that had the lead against my starter, (which was traditionally the case) my rival picked the PokeMon that had the disadvantage against mine, which both Tristan and I noticed quickly, but didn't have enough time to react, as we were then thrusted into a battle instantly.
To start off, the battle music was there, although in a rather distorted manner. My rival threw out his started and I threw out mine. I scrolled though to my attack option, and was about to press an attack when I noticed...something
My eyes shifted to my "PokeMon" option, where you go to select your PokeMon, and pressed the button. When we first started the battle, I don't think Tristan noticed this, but that little icon which shows you how many PokeMon you have on you looked different. Rather than having only one PokeMon in my inventory, it looked as if there was two.
There it was, right in front of me on the PokeMon menu screen. Bulbasaur, along with something else: A PokeMon with the name entitled, GHOST. I heard Tristan gasp, and proceeded to approach this PokeMon with my cursor. I pressed he button again to check it's stats, and then...
The game crashed. Whiteness. A pure, clean, white canvas stretched across the Television screen. We both looked at each other, eyeballs nearly emerging out of our skulls, when we were just then, greeted by the biggest, deformed, demonic, distorted screech, which seemed to be emerging from the Television.
I grasped my ears, and shut my eyes tightly. I could still hear this screeching sound ringing throughout my mind. I loudly yelled, "Get out! Get out!" and although I couldn't hear myself, I could at least mouth it with great force. I shut my mouth afterwards, pursing my lips, and trying to regain all focus within me.
With this screech, words could be heard from within, cursing, vulgarity, racial slur, stuff that freaked me the hell out. I eventually worked up the courage to open my eyes...
And was greeted...
with a swap meet