An abridged timeline of events in my life related to Pokémon Go.
Started playing Pokémon Go. I had apprehensions about playing a game I damn well knew I was going to find addicting, so I didn’t sign up at launch. However, after a number of local businesses asked me how they could capitalize on the “Pokémon craze”, I figured I had to jump on the bandwagon. I choose Team Mystic, as Articuno is best bird.
Found Questionable Statue, the best dang Pokéstop in the whole of the game. Good lil’ statue there.
Published this nonsense, clearly already hooked by the “fad”.
Evolved a Magikarp into a Gyrados for the first time. There is plenty of water around my local play area, but it’s still worth noting for finally scoring 400 candies.
There was a Snorlax on the boardwalk. It was my first, and, as this was before the radar in P-Go was precise, I literally ran all over town trying to find its exact location in time. I succeeded, but I may have parkoured off a building to do so.
Evolved a Dratini into a Dragonair into a Dragonite. This may have been one of the last Pokémon of Generation 1 to earn its final form in my ‘dex.
Questionable Statue graduated from being a Pokéstop to a Pokégym at some point around here. Very important for my favorite stop to be upgraded.
Found an errant Sandshrew party on the beach. Pretty sure we celebrated until dawn.
I catch Tiny Dancer, a Kirilia that becomes my walking buddy for 352 nonconsecutive kilometers (as of publishing this article).
At my second Pokémon Go Community Day, I encounter Pokémon Fight Club (as chronicled here), and have my first successful Pokémon raid. I get by with a little help from other nerds.
Prompted by interest in having another big raid day (as it was the third ever Pokémon Go Community Day), I hit the boardwalk to hopefully find another “fight club”. I found a raid party, and noticed there was exactly one Team Instinct member in a lobby that was crowded with people from Team Valor and Team Mystic. I asked out loud, “Who’s the Instinct?” and a cute blond replied she was the odd one out. She got a shiny Lugia out of the raid, and I had apparently just met my future wife.
Mareep Community Day was rainy, cold, and altogether miserable. Despite the weather that was only hospitable to electric sheep, there were enough of us to tackle a Latios raid (or maybe Latias. I always get those two confused). One of the people in the raid was the Team Instinct player from the previous month. Given the weather was unpleasant, I asked her if she would like to go grab a coffee to warm up and catch Pokémon from somewhere slightly less freezing. It was super effective.
I caught a Mew on my birthday after finally mastering the excellent curveball throw technique. Exceptional little mirage present.
Participated in my first EX Raid and caught a Mewtwo. It was at Questionable Statue. It was with a certain Team Instinct trainer. It is remembered fondly.
Caught Corsola in Florida. Definitely did not travel alone.
Caught a bunch of giant Magikarp, and earned a medal. Playing by the ocean for the win!
Finally reached Level 40 after, what, two years at this point? This is primarily because I had performed approximately 10,000 raids with that Team Instinct Trainer.
This BS happened.
Occasionally I forget that Pokémon Go is a game designed to make money, and not a freemium soul-mate finding app.
Went on my first cruise with that Team Instinct Trainer. Found that there are gyms that are apparently only accessible by sea.
There is confirmation Pokémon Go is still a thing in the real world.
Back when going to the movies was a viable option, we saw Detective Pikachu at its premiere. We were not the only people in the audience playing Pokémon Go during the previews.
We visit Chicago for Pokémon Go Fest, a national gathering for Pokemon Go players (or just a bunch of nerds that wanted to catch a Pachirisu). We spend the weekend visiting landmarks, museums, and bizarro pizza dispensaries. There was a lot of walking accompanying the inordinate number of Pokélures around the city.
During yet another Community Day (we haven’t missed one together yet), I catch the horrible Shiny Mudkip Zero. It is a blight on my life I will never escape.
I catch a particularly good Roselia deep in Mexico during a cruise that, thanks to a mega-hurricane, goes on a little too long. In the end, everything worked out fine, and we made out better with Hurricane Laura than so many people that lost their homes, but it was a bit dicey there for a while. At least I had accumulated some completed tasks so I could still have my research breakthroughs amidst such strife. It’s the little things that keep you sane.
For our trip to Pokémon Go Safari in Montreal, Canada, I printed out a “wanted” poster for a foreign Pokémon, and pinned it to my dear Instinct Trainer’s backpack. This attracted the attention of a kindly gentleman from Japan that didn’t speak a lick of English, but had a similar “can you trade this Pokémon” sign. Pokémon trading crosses language barriers rather effectively.
Or maybe it doesn’t, because there is somehow a stop in Poland named “Optimus Prime”. That is clearly not the robot in disguise we all know and love!
I catch a shiny fighting/psychic type at the Olympic Coliseum in Greece. This is vaguely appropriate.
I leave a Pokémon in a Polish Gym in December, and I wind up earning a gold medal as a result of it not being kicked out until early February. I’m pretty sure my happiny did not have any problems with customs, but she was surprisingly cold when she got back to the States.
It happened right in front of Questionable Statue, mere feet from where we first met for a Lugia raid nearly two years prior. Amusingly enough, that picture was taken by a child who was, of course, on the boardwalk playing Pokémon Go.
As COVID rages and people were afraid to leave their homes, my Instinct Trainer and I take the opportunity to conquer as many local gyms as possible. Hey, we don’t have to interact with a soul to walk around the neighborhood. Blissey takes over the town in the name of Team Mystic.
The rare Double Arlo.
I am awarded a medal for defeating 1,000 Team Rocket trainers. I am truly a hero, but I would like to thank the recent “local” Pokémon Go Fest for granting me so many targets.
I state these words to my Team Instinct Trainer:
I’m a giant nerd. Pikachu is apparently a featured guest at our reception, so I don’t think anyone needs to be reminded of that. But as a result of being a giant nerd, I have absorbed the stories of roughly 5,000 different movies, videogames, and graphic novels. I’ve seen so many super heroes save so many worlds it’s kind of ridiculous. And that means I’ve also seen so many heroes die for the people they love. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen Superman kick the bucket for Lois Lane at least six different ways. And all of these stories, it’s always the same: the hero make what we’re told is the ultimate sacrifice, they die for the person they love.
I’m going to vow right here before man, woman, and children that should not be watching this stream, that that is bullshit. I’m not going to die for you. I’m going to live for you.
I’m not going to take a bullet for you, fight some malevolent monster for you, or die in the vacuum of space for you. I can’t vow that I’m going to do something so super for you. But I can vow that I am going to do the dishes, mow the lawn, and take out the trash. I vow that I’ll go for walks with you, even when the weather is on the Polish side of things. I vow that we will talk, and that I will always be honest with you, and you will always know what I’m thinking. I vow that, above everything else, I will make you happy, to make sure you can be happy, and to do everything I can to see a smile on your face. And when things aren’t cheerful, during any bad times that may be ahead (like, you know, in the middle of a global pandemic), I vow that, while I might not be able to make problems go away with some kind of special move, I will do everything I can to make sure we get through it together. In our world, every storm has an end. Every night has a new morning. And I vow to be with you every morning from this day forward.
I vow to live for you, Trish, and I may not be a superhero or keyblade master or whatever, but I am a man that vows to love you forever.
I also caught a Tepig.
Despite the fact that the previously transcribed vows were broadcast across the world, not a single person seemed to notice the Chrono Trigger reference that was, like, right there. This doesn’t have anything to do with Pokémon Go, but it is nonetheless depressing.
The Pokémon Go Beyond “expansion” is released. Before informing my wife of this update, I remind her she is currently working from home, and needs to keep perspective on what needs to be completed, as we are adults. Fifteen minutes after we have this conversation, she is still in the beanbag chair, and still trying to complete as many Beyond tasks as possible without leaving the room.
I publish an article that is apparently meant to be sentimental, but mostly just talks about Pokémon. Or is it the other way around? C’est la vie.
FGC #554 Pokémon Go
- System: Mobile, so get your Droids and Apples out.
- Number of players: It’s a generally solitary experience, but there is 2 player battling, and 2 player trading. And there are 20 person raids. And you’re kinda sorta playing with everyone on Earth. Let’s split the difference and call it two player like its Pokémon brethren.
- Did you catch ‘em all: There has been no point in this game’s existence that I have had every available Pokémon. I have every Pokémon I can catch locally, but regionals have often escaped me. There was one time immediately after Pokémon Go Fest 2019 when I had every Pokémon except Uxie, but that’s as close as I ever got.
- Goggle Bob Fact: I have been to Athens, Greece once in my life. Three days after I flew out of there, Niantic released a regional Pokémon that exists only in Greece and Egypt. I have never been more mad at a videogame.
- Goggle Bob Fact #2: I play this game every day. I take frequent (nigh daily, according to weather) walks with my wife while playing this game. I have played a lot of videogames in my time, but, if all hours are tabulated, this might be the videogame I’ve played the absolute most in my entire life, even if it is generally “passive”. And that’s saying something!
- Favorite Pokémon (Go edition): Machamp has been a big, burly beast from day one. Conkeldurr came for the throne, and he’s technically better, but I don’t have six maxed out Conkeldurrs, now do I?
- Did you know? Playing Pokémon Go anywhere near a large body of water always generates some weird spawns. Water Pokémon you might expect, but Cacnea? I am so tired of seeing that guy.
- Would I play again: I do.
What’s next? Vaguely related to events mentioned in this article, I’m taking a week off from totally new content. But! I’m going to be updating my World of Final Fantasy Let’s Play here on the site, so if you haven’t seen that elsewhere, it’s new to you! So come back Monday for some fun times with funko fantasies. Please look forward to it!