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Precious Metals: Looking Back at Pokemon Gold and Silver

Settle in, kiddos, because Carini’s got a story for you. Let’s set the stage: it was the year 2000. The burly, bearded man you all know and love was no more than 5 years old. The PS2 wasn’t even a thing yet (upon further review, it was. October 2000 in the US. Point still stands – this was a looong time ago). This would be the year I got my first real video game system: a nice and shiny yellow Game Boy Color. This would also be the year I discovered my first true love: the second generation of Pokémon games.

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Pokémon Gold and Silver released in the US in October of 2000. They smashed records, beating out one that Pokémon Yellow set the previous year to become the fastest selling games ever at the time. And rightfully so, as the games implemented more features that would remain or at the very least recur in the series than any other installment (and the games would go on to be remade into arguably the best games in the series in HeartGold and SoulSilver. But that’s a story for another time.) That Christmas, I set out on my very first Pokémon adventure, 5 years earlier than advertised in the television series (suck it, Ash).

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I was mesmerized from the very beginning. The pixel sprites looked mean, yet charming. The 8-bit music might as well have been a symphony to my young ears. I spent days trying to defeat Whitney and her sadistic Miltank, and even more trying to figure out where to go once I finally did. I spent an unholy amount of hours playing that game, even having played through using only a Noctowl (my favorite Pokémon up until Bewear stole that spotlight), save a few HM slaves. I still own that Gold cartridge to this day, and occasionally bust it out to bask in the nostalgia despite my (new to me) Game Boy’s controls beginning to give out.

So, why am I boring you with my stories from yesteryear? As luck would have it, Nintendo rereleased the titles (sadly, just Gold and Silver. No Crystal in sight) last week on the 3DS eShop as Virtual Console titles for a cheap $9.99. As someone who would much rather play with on a physical console than on an emulator, I could not be more thrilled. To relive all of those old adventures, this time with backlighting! I can’t wait to put on my nostalgia cap and receive endless phone calls about the kid down the street’s top percentage Rattata. And I hope some of you will be along for the adventure too.

-Carini

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