You see, I am a simple college student living alone in an apartment. I was very enthusiastic about the release of Pokemon HeartGold/SoulSilver here in the states. I have purposely locked myself out of all media and the internet aside for school purposes. That means no 4chan, no /v/, no Bulbapedia, etc.
As I was busy with the school year and being poor at the time, I wasn’t able to buy SoulSilver on its launch date. After my school year ended, I ordered SoulSilver on Amazon. However, it would take a week for it to arrive. I decided that during that time, I would replay my Crystal version on my Gameboy Color.
However, I realized that long ago, my mom threw it away because I told her the save went dead, and I was very upset about it then. She also threw away my Silver version, so all I have is my Gameboy Color. As such, I set out to Gamestop and bought a used Silver version, as it’s the only Pokemon game left that they have for the GBC. Ten dollars – fairly cheap.
I went home and started it up for a nostalgia trip. However, that’s where things started getting bizarre, and most likely the reason why you read this.
The Gamefreak logo started up as normal, but it just froze there. I thought the cart was just errored or something, so I turned it off and on. The same thing happened. I tried pressing A and Start over and over, and all of the buttons. Eventually, the logo vanished and there was a black screen for about five seconds. Suddenly, rather than going to the usual menu screen, I was already in the game in a previous saved file, which was odd as I was expecting all of these carts to have been wiped by the poor battery. Either way, I wasn’t complaining, as I would have chosen the “Continue” option to see what the previous guy did anyways.
First off, I checked his trainer information. His name was just “…” – He didn’t have much originality.
I checked his profile and apparently he had 999:99 hours put into the game, with all 16
badges, 99999.9 Pokedollars, and all 251 Pokemon on the Pokedex.
Seeing as he apparently had Mew and Celebi logged also, I am guessing he either used a Game Genie or was a really hardcore Pokemon player back then.
I checked his Pokemon to see what a badass team he has. To my surprise, I saw 5 Unowns and a sixth Pokemon named “HURRY”. I’m thinking that this must be some cruel joke by the person who last played this game, but I decided to check the profiles of those Pokemon anyways. As expected, they were different letters of Unown, all Level 5. I was a bit shaky with my Unown alphabet at the time, but I identified the word spelled out to be “LEAVE”.
As for the sixth Pokemon, it turned out to be a Cyndaquil (mind you, this is before there were individualized Pokemon icons). The Cyndaquil looked normal, but it was Level 5 with only 1 HP left with only two attacks: “Leer” and “Flash”. I don’t know why they named him “HURRY”, but at the time, I just disregarded it. The most eerie thing was that, despite my volume being at max, none of the Pokemon he had said their usual cries. Just pure silence.
Having enough of the team, I closed it. I was parked at what appears to be a room inside Bellsprout Tower. However, for some reason, there were no NPCs around. Even more eerie was that the “pillar” in the middle didn’t move at all, as if just leaning on its side. There was no music at all, and there was no exit or ladder, or least I thought there wasn’t.
I walked around for a few minutes but can’t seem to find a way out. This was certainly not a room I’ve seen in the Bellsprout Tower before. I’ve tried checking my items for an Escape Rope, but the bag was completely empty. There wasn’t any Wild Pokemon either.
Finally, I’ve managed to find a ladder, which turned out to be behind the “pillar”. The screen turned black and the music finally started playing. I had a sudden chill, as I recognize that melody I heard to be the theme you hear when you listened to the radio at the Alph Ruins where the Unown are at.
I immediately realize that it wasn’t a loading transition, but rather I was in a dark room and would need Flash. Before I took care of that though, I immediately checked my Pokegear to change the radio to something more pleasant, but it turns out that there was no Radio card, or even a Phone nor Time cards. There was only a Map card in which Gold (“…” from earlier, and I will call him Gold from now on) was just walking in a midst of black.
I recall that Cyndaquil has Flash, so I turned off my Pokegear and made Cyndaquil use Flash. I didn’t see any message saying “HURRY has used Flash!” or anything like that. The room just became lit just like that, and I soon regretted it. The room was a chilling blood-red with a linear gray path heading south. The ladder I used to go up/down was not there at all.
I had no choice but to head south. The screen got darker every 20 steps I made, until I finally made it to the end, which appears to be a sign. I read the sign, which said “TURN BACK NOW”.
Suddenly, I was asked to answer YES/NO, but there was no question asked. I chose YES as I do not know what it was asking, and the screen went black again, making a “ladder climbed” sound. The Unown Radio music stopped, and in a few seconds was replaced with the not-as-creepy Poke Flute radio music.
I was in another dark room, but I held my breath and used Flash again. Suddenly, it said that “HURRY has fainted!” which was odd since I recall that there was no status conditions like Poison on him, and I clearly wasn’t in a battle. I checked my Pokemon quickly and suddenly he’s no longer in my party. In fact, after a bit of investigating, none of my Pokemon are there, but instead all replaced with Level 10 Unown. I did the same thing as before and spelled out the Unown. My then team of Unown spelled “HEDIED”.
Either way, after that creepy change, the room was lit to reveal myself in a very small room that appears to be only four squares big. The walls of that room were gray bricks, as if I was inside something that was hollowed out. Outside that room appears to be a bunch of graves similar to the ones in Pokemon Red/Blue. I’ve walked around that small room and pressed A but nothing happened.
I’ve already concluded that this was clearly a hacked game and some sadistic fuck sold it to GameStop. However, my curiosity kept me going. I checked the trainer profile of “…” again only to find out that the sprite of Gold was missing his arms. He also seems to appear less smug, but rather seems more sad and empty in a way that I do not know how to describe. For some reason, it also now said that he has 24 badges, which was clearly impossible.
After a few minutes of aimless wondering, my character suddenly spun and did the Escape Rope spinning animation. Instead of flying up though, my character spun downwards slowly, as if sinking.
After that screen, the music stopped. After finally landing, the overworld sprite of Gold is coloured differently now. Instead of the usual red colour he dons, he appears completely white now, including his skin. It’s as if he came straight from the colorless Game Boy games placed into a colored background of the Gameboy Color. I checked his profile, and now, while now is as white as his overworld sprite, he lost his legs and has what appears to be bloody tears from his eyes. It also says he now has 32 badges, which now starts to disturb me as this change of number seems to represent something important.
I also checked my Pokemon, which this time contains 5 Unowns and a Level 100 Celebi without a nickname. The Unown are this time Leveled 15 and spelled out “DYING”. I checked the Celebi’s profile. It was a shiny Celebi, except there’s only half of the sprite. One leg, one arm, one eye. It only has one attack: “Perish Song”.
The area I was in itself was the Sprout Tower with the immobile pillar as before, except everything is apparently red now. I walked north for what felt like forever. Eventually, I finally encountered some generic men and women NPC. They were all lined up to the side just facing the long slantish pillar in the middle. They were also white, and nothing happens when I try to speak to them. I kept on going north until eventually the pillar finally appears chopped off, with a transparent Red in that spot. I went up to Red and without even pressing A, I was suddenly engaged and finally in a battle.
The music starts again, which it sounds like the Unown Radio music again, but played backwards. Gold’s battle backsprite matches his front one with the bloody eyes, white skin, and lack of arms, while Red’s sprite was the same as before in GSC, except transparent. The text simply said “wants to battle!” as if he has no name, and both of us only have one Pokemon each, which is weird as I swore I had six with the Unowns. My shiny Celebi came out, conveniently with half-a-sprite for the back sprite also. The “Shiny” noise and animation was different, as the sounds it made sound like multiple “Screech” attacks used consecutively. Red sent out a seemingly normal male Pikachu, except he is Level 255 and his sprite seems sad and has tears in his eyes.
Rather than the usual “FIGHT/ITEM/PKMN/RUN” menu, I was only given the option to use the Attacks. Since Celebi only has one, I chose it. Naturally, since Pikachu was Level 255, he went first.
“PIKACHU used CURSE!”, lowering his Speed and increasing his other Stats. I’m not even sure if Pikachu could use Curse.
“CELEBI used PERISH SONG!” In three turns, both Pokemon get KO’d – not like I have a choice.
At this point, it didn’t even go back to the Fight menu, as the battle just continued without me. Also note that there were no animations at all for some reason.
“PIKACHU used FLAIL!”, which didn’t do much damage despite his Level and boost as his health was maxed.
“CELEBI used Perish Song!” Nothing happens as it was already used.
“PIKACHU used FRUSTRATION!”, which did a shit-ton of damage, knocking Celebi down to less than 10 HP.
“CELEBI used Pain Split!”, which surprised me as Celebi didn’t even have that attack in the first place. Now Celebi and Pikachu have about 150 HP.
“PIKACHU used MEAN LOOK!” Not like that did anything.
As expected, due to the effects of Perish Song, my Celebi fainted. Except in the text, it said “CELEBI has died!” and instead of the ordinary drop off the screen animation, the CELEBI backsprite just vanished. For some reason, the Pikachu was still up even with Perish Song and it didn’t count as my loss.
Pikachu used one more different attack beyond the 5 attack limit:
“PIKACHU used DESTINY BOND!”
Afterwards, it said “PIKACHU has died!”, with a slow fade-out animation. Apparently, I was the winner, as the transparent Red Sprite showed up and said “……….”
At that point, I just freaked out, as that transparent Red sprite was suddenly beheaded, leaving nothing but his transparent body. The battle then ended at that point and faded out along with the music.
I’m back in the overworld, with another change to the Gold sprite – he’s now as transparent as Red’s overworld sprite. I quickly checked Gold’s profile, where this time the only thing remains of him is his head, with a transparent skin. The head was zoomed in a bit, showing a black void in his eyes. It now stated that he now has 40 badges. I then backed out and checked my Pokemon. They were all Level 20 Shiny Unown, which when spelled out, read “NOMORE”.
I was at what I now know is next to the end. There was apparently no music playing, but for some reason I still felt like something was there that could be heard. I was back in my room in New Bark Town. Maybe finally I get to play this game properly, but who am I kidding. I knew that sadistic fuck must have done something. I “walked” around my room to interact with things, as I’m a bit afraid to go down the stairs to see what was awaiting down there. Note I said “walked”, as while the background was moving, Gold was not moving his transparent limbs at all while doing so, just floating like those ghosts you see in Diamond/Pearl.
As expected, the radio, computer, and TV did not work, so I had no choice but to go down the stairs. I ended up in the same lower level room of my house. Everything appears normal, except mom isn’t home. After failing to interact with anything in this room, I decided to go outside. To my surprise, that door leading outside at the south didn’t work, and instead I just walk straight through it to a void. I continued moving south to see what the fuck was going on. My house vanishes as I head south into the void. It was creepy as when I entered the void, the outline on Gold’s transparent sprite turned white to contrast with the pitch black. Eventually, I reached a white area and Gold’s sprite turned black and transparent again. I continued south without thinking of stopping at all.
After a long trek south, I finally encountered something. It was GOLD’s regular sprite. I talked to it. He said “Good bye forever ….” (notably with a space inbetween the forever and ….), and vanished. As that happened, it said “??? used NIGHTMARE” which at that point, I would not deny that being possible. Gold did another Escape Rope animation spinning slowly downwards like before.
I’m now back into that small hollowed-out room surrounded by graves earlier. Or at least I say I was back there, as there’s no sprite anymore. I tried to walk around but nothing moved – not even wall bumping noise. I checked my trainer profile with absolutely no Gold sprite left. It said I have 0 badges and all the pictures of the Johto Gym Leaders at the bottom were replaced with skulls.
I checked my Pokemon, which were all Level 25 Unown. As expected, it spelled out a phrase that I dared to read: “IMDEAD”.
As soon as I went back to the overworld, the room I supposedly was in was then covered with the same blocks as the walls. I then figured out what exactly that room was when the final text was said: “R.I.P. …”
That room was a big grave, surrounded by other graves. Gold has already been dead. He died presumably a few years after he defeated Red.
He was a young trainer who, despite his efforts in collecting so many badges and attempts at becoming a Pokemon master, was still unable to avoid the inevitable fate of death, and his efforts were eventually forgotten by the next generation.
I was unable to escape from that text no matter what I pressed. I tried resetting the game, and the same thing happened, at which I then finally decided to give up on that horrible nightmare.
After that experience, I will never look at the “gimmick” Unown the same way again. They say that only the first generation have folk tales and legends, but the second generation have shown me how unpleasant the truth can be. I eventually enjoyed SoulSilver immensely, but I still can’t unthink what that rigged game has told me.