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Goodbye Pokémon

It was an amazing journey.

For most of my life, there have been few things as consistent as my gaming habits, and among those, Pokémon has been one of my most played games.

From Kanto to Johto, Hoenn to Johto again, Unova and Sinnoh, back to Unova and to Hoen, a short trip into Kalos, a holiday in Alola, and finally to Kanto for the last time. I've done a bit of everything, captured all that there is to capture, and had loads of joy playing it.

Some of the most cherished memories also steam from this franchise, and how, and where, I was at the time.

From sitting on the shadowy part of recess, trading and battling, listening to rumours of how you could get mew from the truck near the SS Anne. Begging my father for advancement on my allowance, so I could buy Pokémon Yellow.

And overall flexing the fact that I had a trade cable. The commotion felt during the, "Gold and Silver Era," when I managed to snatch a shiny Lugia in all its pink glory. Good times of childhood bliss. At the time it wasn't about competitive values, nor weird techniques to create genetically perfect creatures. Instead, it was that sense of pride in adventure, for adventure's sake, following the vague instruction given to us by older brothers, and older classmates. The feeble attempts to uncover what was being said in the game (as English isn't my mother tongue, making the game a tad harder to traverse as a child), following red herrings, and trying overall to emulate the adventures we all saw in the anime series.

Also during this time, the trading card game was all the rage. I remember collecting them, and the black market that recess could be with shady trades and dubious deals. The respect some cards like the Ancient Mew would command.

This was Pokémon in the first two generations during primary school.

Later on, came the third generation in the marvel of technology that was the Gameboy advance, I still remember my Bionicle plastic container, filled with all sort of coins, saving up to buy the game, cutting early reviews, and reading, and re-reading them over, and over. Trying to explain to my father that the fact that he had bought me Wind Waker didn't change how much I, "needed," to get Pokémon Sapphire. This is my favourite generation, as it was the generation that I played with my father as co-pilot; the generation I played in the last summer we ever spent together. To this day I still have some of the Pokémons that I captured with him at my side. But apart from this, there isn't much to tell about this generation. The Pokémania had subsided by now, and the number of people playing around me dropped a lot.

From here it took a few years for me to go back to Pokémon, the Nintendo DS came out together with generation four, but at the time I had no device to play it. So for a while my, "Poké" career laid dormant, but when the 3DS came around, I came back, starting first with the remake of the Johto region. And it was indeed a return to form, not only was it a nostalgia trip, but once more I had a group of friends to play with, people to trade with, rumours to debunk, and events to try.

This feeling only grew as the fifth generation came around, from getting together to play our own tournaments, Johoto and Unova made me believe that Pokémon was indeed forever.

But alas, as you grow older, even newer connections start to falter, and like that these new alliances became weaker, and when Kalos came around I felt isolated, as now I had left my home country, and even with an internet connection it was hard playing with my friends. The saving grace of this generation was introducing this franchise to my sister, that akin to what I did with the third generation, she saved for a while in order to get her game. Thinking of how she poured a seemingly infinite number of coins and notes in the store, as the clerk gave her "Pokémon X," and her enormous smile after the fact still warms my heart. Not to mention her evolution in-game, from fumbling with the controls, and asking for help in every turn of the game to being able to defeat me in battle, I mean for real, not an, "I'm-going-to-lose-on-porpuse-battle," it made me proud.

Then the Hoen remake came when I went back to Portugal, it was fun for a while, but overall more of a chore than anything else, when Sun and Moon came around, I started to avoid playing and progressing, as it seemed to have lost its mystique, making my only connection to Pokémon, Pokemon Go, which in a way had been another return to form, as the big community around me was interactive and fun, but as the game started to die down, I started to ignore it. Pokémon in the switch was the nail on the coffin, and although fun for a week or so, made me bored, playing it out of obligation, and this Friday i'm going to trade in the game for another one.

So with Pokemon Go uninstalled and Let's Go Eevee on the verge of being traded in, my swan song will be the Detective Pikachu movie. Which, I un-ironically, am looking forward to, as I saw the series when it first got released in Portugal, and it's now being turned into a live-action movie, with, "believable," renditions of the Pocket monsters that had accompanied me for so long.

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