Pokemon Week! Generation 1: So It Begins
The year is 1998 and a young 10-year-old boy would be introduced to a magical world of Pokémon. It’s hard to believe that over 14 years ago, America was introduced to the original Pokémon Red and Pokémon Blue versions for the Nintendo GameBoy. Originally Pokémon was created in Japan in 1996, but the versions they got were Pokémon Red and Pokémon Green. Pokemon Blue version in Japan was a game with updated sprites and revamped caves. The sprites and the caves would be featured in the American versions. Like most kids at the time though I didn’t care about the origin of the game, all I wanted to do was catch ‘em all on my Pokémon Red version! The premise of the game was so simple: you got a little monster to fight for you that could fit in your pocket and you could acquire more by catching them using various pokéballs. To many children, this game was pure crack and soon it was all over the place.
In addition to playing the games, I and many of my friends had to have everything Pokémon. We had to watch the cartoon, collect the trading cards, and get any toys we could. I remember how much time my friends and I would sit around with our GameBoys and our link cables (oh I just dated myself there) and do nothing but trade and battle. The games followed the story of a young trainer officially named Red and his amazing journey through the world of Kanto. To a 10-year-old boy I imagined I was Red and this was my own journey. In the beginning, players are given the choice of a starter Pokémon; the grass type Bulbasaur, the water type Squirtle, or the fire type Charmander. I personally chose the grass type Bulbasaur (still my favorite starter), and I took it and watched it grow. One of the things kids enjoyed about these games were watching their Pokémon evolve. As a Pokémon evolved, it would change form and grow stronger. It was so cool to see what came next. My journey was long and hard, but I still remember beating the Elite 4 (the final bosses) and my rival and claiming my place as the ultimate trainer.
While I was playing the game, I was also into the cartoon show. In all honesty most kids were; even my sister was although she wouldn’t dare to admit it nowadays. It was so popular that there was even a major motion picture was released and kids flocked to go see it, not to mention the incentive of rare cards to those who went to see it in theatres. Due to the popularity of the cartoon show, a third game was released in America. Pokémon Yellow version was the third game in America and 4th game in Japan. It was to showcase the capabilities of the GameBoy Color and followed the cartoon series more closely than the other games. In it you were Ash and you got a Pikachu as opposed to the other starters. It was a great addition to the line up and I was way better as Ash than the cartoon series one could ever be. This would be the pinnacle of Pokémon, as it would still be successful but never as popular as it was in the 90s. Well folks Pokémon Week has begun! Come again tomorrow to look at Generation 2 and the evolution (see what I did there) of the Pokémon games.