When I was about 10 or 11 years old, I got my first Pokémon game, Pokémon blue for my birthday. As soon as I got the game, I was so ready to tear into the box and, like the box art said, catch ‘em all. I felt so motivated to finish the game and collect the final certificate. I knew about all this because my friends got the game before me and because they were my best friends, spoiled the end of the game for me. But I didn’t care. I had wanted this since it came out – the flashy commercials, the surprisingly creative story and the utter simplicity. It took a little bit of struggling, and blowing on the cartridge to get the game working.

Once I loaded up the game, there was a file already loaded in, so I decided to take a look. The file read “XD002”. I knew about that from somewhere, Pokémon XD Gale of Darkness. I looked at the name for a little while and then opened it up. The character stood poised on the top level of Lavender Town tower. Not thinking much of it, I checked the Pokémon menu. In the menu was a level 91 Charizard – so he picked Charmander as his starter, as well as a Blastoise, level 45, a Raticate named GreySquirrel, level 58, a Raichu, level 83, and a Missingno, level 111. This guy must have done the old man glitch!

I was shocked by the Missingno in the party, so I checked his move set. The moves were HM02, HM02, HM04 and “Save Me”. I had no idea what “Save Me” did, so I switched Missingno to the front of my party. As soon as I did, the menu closed without my direct command.

I went back to the Pokémon menu, GraySquirrel was gone. I checked Missingno’s move set again; 3 HM02’s, and then “How Could You?”. At this point I was quite scared, so I tried to walk out of the tower. A few steps later, I ran into a Pokémon, it was ghost. I checked the bag for the Silph Scope but, it wasn’t there. So I ran;

“You couldn’t escape.”

“Ghost used terror.”

I had never heard of the move terror before, because it shouldn’t have existed.

“Missingno learned Pray for Me!”

I was shaking, I couldn’t believe what was happening.

“Missingno died.”

I was in shock. I was for the first time worried about my Pokémon, or XD002’s Pokémon. The battle ended after that text, I checked on the Pokémon. Missingno, along with all the rest of them, were gone. I sprayed a repel and ran out of the tower. But I didn’t appear to be in Lavender Town, but rather – Pallet Town. I walked to my rival’s door and checked the mailbox;

“Unloved’s House.”

He had named his rival Unloved. I walked in and let out a faint shriek, as the whole house was covered in scratches and holes and… bodies. It was graphic, I was horrified. Without looking at the screen, I walked out. I saved the file and put the game down. I didn’t touch it for almost two years.

Once my family decided to move to Maine, I was cleaning out my room and found the old game. I had forgotten all about it, so I blew on the cartridge, replaced the batteries and then opened the game. The title screen was expressionless and still, there was no character or scrolling Pokémon. I laughed a little, before opening the game and selecting XD002 again.

I was outside of Unloved’s house and I decided to walk to my character’s house. The mother wasn’t there. I thought of a joke my friend had told me, “She’s probably banging the professor,” and walked up to my room. The game froze. I shook the Gameboy a bit and then I teleported back to the top floor of Lavender Tower.

I remembered this briefly and checked my Pokémon, Missingno was there, along with Blastoise, Charizard, Raichu and GreySquirrel. I decided to release Missingno, for no reason other than fear of the future. I selected Missingno, and forgot that I needed a PC to release a Pokémon. So I walked up to Veridian City. I decided to spray my last repel, so I wouldn’t break the game with Missingno. I got to the Pokémon center, and when I walked in, the nurse was turned left, and had what were presumably tears streaming down her face. I decided it wasn’t worth investigating, and checked the PC, selected Bill’s PC and went to the Pokémon menu. I opened the box, and all the boxes were filled with shuckle. I was very confused as shuckle did not exist yet, so I checked on some of them and they were all one of five Missingnos. A Kabutops skeleton, an Arodactyl skeleton, ghost, or one of two cryptic images. I released all of them, it took me hours, but then all I had left were the original 4 Pokémon. All of them had fainted. I was walking around with no Pokémon on me.

I exited the PC, same thing, nurse joy was looking at the healing machine crying. I walked up to her, and pressed “A”. She turned her head quickly, in a violent jerking motion, and stared at me. Her eyes were empty and soulless. She didn’t say her normal speech, but rather just said;

“Are they hurt?” and a yes or no menu popped up. I selected no, as I was afraid if I healed them, I might lose them.

And she said back, “Then why would you bother us?” I had no idea what was happening. I talked to her again, as they were hurt, and she said;

“Do you want them to die!?” and a yes or no option appeared. I stupidly selected yes, out of sheer curiosity. And she stopped crying. She took the Pokeballs, and once they entered the machine they started glowing like usual, and then nurse joy just disappeared as did the Pokeballs. I checked my Pokémon, they were all there but their names were random digits and their sprites looked like bloodied corpses partially rotten. I looked in their descriptions and, it was disturbing and disfigured and misshapen. All of their moves were: “Help Me”, “Help Us”, “Spare Me”, “Pray for Me”, “It Hurts”, or “You’re Coming with Me”. I checked the bag for HM’s. I found fly and surf, but nothing else. And when I selected fly, the game crashed. It wouldn’t move so I turned it off and back on again. When I did, instead of the normal music or images on the title it showed a cryptic picture of Charizard’s severed head. And Unloved sitting on the ground, bleeding profusely. I couldn’t re-enter the game, because each time I tried, it took me back to the image of Unloved and Charizard.

So I started a new game. The professor didn’t appear there to give his speech. But rather there was a text box, saying, “You can’t possibly want to do this again, you saw what happened to XD001, Dark Lugia is dead, you need to go before XD002 gets you.” I read it, analyzed it, and took the game out of my Gameboy. I took the game outside, and put it on the ground, then went into my shed. I got my dad’s axe, and destroyed it with a single swift whack. The game did not survive it, and I made sure. I put the slightly dirt-stained axe back in the shed and picked up the scattered remains of the game. I stared for a while. And then I threw it away, tied it up, and threw it straight into the dumpster. Never was I going to be harmed by that profound copy of Pokémon blue again. It was over.

I walked back inside, found my Gameboy, and Pokemon blue was back in it. I dropped the device, and the game fell out. The art on the front of the cartridge had whited out eyes, no pupils or anything. And there were two streams of blood pooling from the Blastoise’s eyes and mouth. I didn’t touch it. I just stared blankly unable to move.

And then, the Gameboy started slowly flashing on and off, and then powered on. The Gameboy played the Pokémon blue game, even though it was not in the system. I bent over and picked up the device, and then the cartridge. The title screen was still Unloved and Charizard, but the music stopped. I pressed start and opened XD002. He was standing in a long hallway, which I assumed was the bike path near cerulean. I walked for a while, and then found the stairs, but there was a single patch of grass blocking the way. I ran to the other end, in terror. There was another patch of grass, so I walked into it having no other option. The first block I walked into, I found a Pokémon. After the battle animation, a Bulbasaur appeared on the screen, without a bulb. The plant was instead replaced with a bloodied, rotting layer of flesh. I sent out Missingno, and tried to run.

“You can’t leave me here alone.”

I tried to run again.

“Why are you doing this to me?” and then Bulbasaur’s name changed Into XD002.

“You can’t run from me. You are me.”

So I tried to attack, Bulbasaur went first, and used destiny bond.

“Missingno used Save Me.”

“XD002 fainted.”

“Missingno fainted.”

“XD002 died.”

And then the game turned off. I tried to turn it on again out of sheer curiosity, and the Gameboy turned on, but it said there was no game in it. I took Pokémon blue out, and it was back to normal. No peeling sticker, no bleeding eyes, no rotting flesh. When I put the game back in, it loaded a normal Pokémon blue, with no pre-save file. I stayed up all night playing through the game with a new character, who I named XD003. And nothing out of the ordinary happened. I beat the elite 4, and that was it. I was done with XD002, and 3. And that was the only time I’ve ever played that game to this day.

  • Daniel Di Benedetto

    Written well, and though a tad cliche I guess, it was interesting.