The Pokémon Letters: Chapter VII

Editor’s Note:

Attentive readers will note that this week’s update has been subject to a slight delay, for which we are most unapologetic. In between one of us emigrating to India and the other one emigrating to hospital, all things Pokémon have gone on the back burner. I’m relying completely upon the good graces of my co-author, Owen Grieve, here. I think he’ll let me get away with blaming my massive creative and motivational lapse on his blossoming career, rather than my own fucking rotten body.

Anyway, does everyone remember what this was about? Deep meditation, coupled with computer analysis of previous updates, indicates that there was some Pokémon Red/Blue being played, and that letters were subsequently being written about it. There was a lot of horseplay and joking around but in the end we solemnly agreed that Owen’s huge fondness for this series of children’s computer games was highly misplaced and instead we sat and watched Robocop in perfect silence, holding hands and bonding firmly over its subtle Christ allegory. 

I’ve a feeling I’ve remembered it wrong, and a folder full of meaningless screenshots taken last October appears to back me up. So join us now as we forensically reconstruct the shattered body of this series in the hope of reanimating it, all so we can kill it off for the final time.

This week: Cinnabar Island

Dear Owen,

All I could remember was that I’d parked ♂COBRA♂ outside the Cinnabar Gym, and quit the game in rage-filled disgust. I just couldn’t bring myself to take that final step off the cliff, but my memory refuses to tell me why. Just what had happened on the path to Cinnabar to excite quite so much abject ennui? Had my Snorlax overslept? Were my Pokéballs feeling tender?

Who fucking knows, eh? Also, who cares. They’re not paying for this shit, so all them non-bloghavers can just suck it up. This is what separates us from the ‘professional’ enthusiast press, Owen. Absolute autonomy, and zero production value or skill. This is a joke, I know I’m fucking brilliant.

Where was I?

That’s right, the Cinnabar Gym.

But before that…

Oh.

Oh yeah.

Yeah. This bit drove me bloody barmy. I can’t remember the exact circumstances, and nor do I care to. I seem to recall a lot of trekking about getting lost, a fair old bit of pushing rocks down holes to block a channel full of water, and endless random battles every single second of the fucking day. Of especial note: You turn into an otter when you go swimming, which is pretty slick for an old game like this.

Eventually we pop out somewhere or other and then we’re outside the gym. Okay.

We pick up some valuable intel about Blaine, our next mark. Just this one gym to do and the guilt of a feature left hanging can finally be assuaged. The tortured hours of sweat-drenched nightmares, the endless haranguing by YOU (in the form of a handful of polite and considerate tweets), all of this can be brought to an end. Elysium, beyond this one door.

For fuck’s s*ke.

A bit of a misnomer, this. Cinnabar shouldn’t even qualify as a village, let alone a town. It’s barely even a hamlet; nay, a parish. In fact, it’s more like a university campus for Pokémon geeks. I check the market for a souvenir, maybe a Poké-U scarf. Go Poké-U!

One of the houses shelters an enormous laboratory complex. At least, I’m able to infer that it’s a laboratory, on account of the numerous scientists just standing about wasting their tenure. Also these weird caches of lab notes that provide some sort of highly intriguing back matter which I will leave to you to explain Owen, since I ignored it, as usual. The place is crawling with wild vermin, indicating some sort of containment breach. We run away from most of the fights because I’m fucked if I’m doing these pencil-pushers’ work for them.

At length, we uncover a secret key, and I capture a My Little Pony figurine.

I instantly drown it in a bucket of piss, in case anyone thinks I’m one of those horrible, creepy Bronies.

Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! ^_^

Since Blaine is the big quiz guy, I decide we’re going to have a crack at some of his questions. But first:

Where is that little dickhead, anyway?

Hmmm.

Chuffing hell.

When we catch up with Blaine, he taunts us about his foxy fireteam of fetishised horses, then expresses his hope that we packed burn heals. We didn’t.

As my love for dogs and flames is well established, I am, for once, genuinely delighted by something in this game. As much as I love WINTERBORN, I would trade him away for one of these without a moment’s regret. I wouldn’t even say goodbye as I left.

NOELOXFORD kicks arse. Yes, he certainly does. I don’t have to tag a single other team member for any part of this fight.

There we go. See you next year.

Yours,

Noel

Click here for Owen’s reply! >>

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