In honor of Pokémon Gold and Pokémon Silver‘s release on the Nintendo 3DS eShop, let’s take a moment to look back.
The brisk autumn air hits my windbreaker, blindsiding my small body with a blast of icy breath. I shiver and scrunch up, causing the jacket to loudly crinkle in just the right way to annoy me. The hairs on my neck stand up before the noise even happens. I look down. The sun may be fading earlier each day, but right now, it seems to hit the screen of my Dandelion GameBoy Color no matter which way I turn. I nuzzle under the coil of the playground slide above me, kicking some mulch around until I’ve found the perfect spot.
“Hey kid,” a voice squeaks, “what are you doin’?” I bet that was a teacher, coming to take my handheld. I glance up and do a quick turn—no faculty in sight. Headed my way, though, is a short, scrawny figure, draped in a green and purple Nike jacket. Its bright denim legs are a blur as it rushes to my den.
“Whatcha playin’?” it asks. As the distance is closed, I realize “it” is a “he,” who is hurriedly patting down his coat pockets. As I begin to think he’s going to write down my name to tattle, he finds his prize: a Teal GameBoy Color. I smile.
“Pokémon Gold,” I declare triumphantly. “I got it a few months ago for my birthday.” Even though the game released just under a year ago, it seemed like no one else had it yet. I quickly flash-back to when I first popped it into my GameBoy in the middle of Pizza Hut. Virtual Dyl snagged a Cyndaquil, while real-life Dyl asked his dad to set the new in-game clock.
(I recommend hitting play here, to set the atmosphere)
The boy smirks, as he audibly flicks the power switch on his handheld. “Lookit this, dude,” he murmurs. I lightly scroll the volume up on my game. Ecruteak City’s theme keeps me company, as I wait impatiently for him to check his digital storage boxes. I stare toward the swings, which are bustling as always. One day, I’ll be the first one to run there, so I can have a nice seat for my game time. As I turn back, my eye catches a flash of sparkling gray, seated directly in the cartridge slot of his GameBoy.
“Wait a minute, you got Silver?” I ask shyly. I knew about it, of course, but I only had Gold.
“Yeah man, check this out!” He turns his screen toward me, as the metallic bird Skarmory flashes across it. I grin—Skarmory is exclusive to Pokémon Silver, and I’d love to have one. Its wings look like they’re made of razor blades.
“What the heck?? That’s awesome! Do you wanna trade one?” I hold my breath. I need this thing.
“Sorry, but this is my only one. You want a Donphan instead? I’ll get you a Skarmory later this week.”
I pause for a second. I can get a Donphan all by myself in Gold, can’t I? Or…maybe not. I should have gotten the strategy guide after all. Either way, this kid is being really nice about it.
“Sure, I’ll take Donphan. I’ll give you a Teddiursa—if ya’ need one.” Teddiursa is a Gold exclusive, so I might as well help him out.
“Oh, I don’t want it. I already got most of the Pokédex, see? I want Celebi, but I don’t think we can get it yet.” A few beeps later, and I’m staring at a near-complete Pokédex. 245 out of 252 Pokémon caught. Holy crap, this guy is good. I wonder how he got so many?
“My friends gimme stuff from their games, too.”
I stare blankly at him, afraid to ask for more Pokémon. He’s got 245? This kid is too cool to be talking to me. I shiver again, trying to muster the courage to request more trades.
“Um, can… Can I also get a Totodile?”
He smiles toothily. “Yeah, let me—”
The bell rings. I grimace, quickly save my game, and turn off the GameBoy. I’ll resume this adventure on the bus. I stuff the yellow gadget back in my jacket, and head toward the school. Before I can get too far, I hear the crackling of leaves and a quick pitter-patter. Soon after, a green-purple blob rushes to my side.
“I’ll trade you a Totodile when I give ya’ Skarmory. Don’t worry! Oh, and I’ll show ya’ how to clone your own Pokémon.” My head snaps around to stare at him, amazed. I don’t even know what he means, but it sounds really cool. I thank him, and we part ways.
My windbreaker crinkles again, grating my ears as if someone scratched a fork against a pot. I love the cold, so I’d totally ditch this thing if it didn’t come in handy for hiding my GameBoy. Leaves brush past as I try to work out what he meant by “cloning Pokémon.” Grass turns to asphalt, which quickly morphs into concrete steps. I stare through the door frame at the tile-covered hallway, already impatient for the coming week. I think I just made a new friend.
Pokémon Gold and Silver added a lot to the Pokémon formula, yet felt like a natural extension of the original versions. Though the games feel slow by today’s standards, I fully recommend grabbing them for the sake of nostalgia. Thank us by either subscribing to Outpost’s email list below, or through Facebook and Twitter.