So recently I’ve been having a strong bout of childhood nostalgia. Maybe it has something to do with my graduation date looming menacingly on the horizon…or maybe it’s my inner adult trying desperately to win against my dogged reluctance to admit I am an adult (if that makes sense?)
Nothing hits me in the childhood like Pokemon…as you can no doubt tell I LOVE Pokemon. Pokemon Crystal was my first game ever. I still remember unwrapping my brand new Electric Purple Gameboy Color, bright and early on that rainy Christmas morning, that seems like a lifetime ago. I’m grinning as I write this, it was such a momentous occasion back then, definitely on par with opening a PS4/ Xbox One. Then I remember turning to the slightly smaller box, the excitement and anticipation raised to a fever pitch as my small shaking fingers unwrapped the game that sparked my love of games: Pokemon Crystal.
Unlike most of my peers, I didn’t start my Pokemon journey in Kanto, no I started in Johto. It wasn’t until a few years later that I discovered Red, Blue, and Yellow version. But in that moment I didn’t care that there was a First generation, I was too busy falling in love with the beauty and splendor that was Johto.
While “First Genners” armed themselves with either a Bulbasaur, Squirtle, or Charmander, I was agonizing over whether I would pick a Chikorita, Totodile, or Cyndaquil…
For me my first love was a Cyndaquil, nicknamed Tracy. I have no idea where the name came from…I guess I knew someone named “Tracy”, but somehow the name stuck. Cyndaquil was my road dog, my ride or die…I loved him…Hell I still love him! (To this day I still name all my Cynadquils “Tracy” in honor of the first one!) From the cute little Cyndaquil in New Bark to Fierce Typhlosion standing proudly by my side at Mt. Silver, Tracy was there by my side through all the blood, sweat and tears that paved every step of my journey, he was my anchor. To this day Typhloshion is still my favorite pokemon ever! I don’t care that he isn’t a meta game power house, I don’t care that he isn’t the most powerful Pokemon, he’ll always be a winner to me. I know this is getting redundant, but Typhlosion is hands down my absolute favorite Pokemon!
So this all started as an attempt to assuage my childhood nostalgia, but now it seems to have become a full blown post (sorry)!
The Pokemon franchise is the embodiment of childhood, the creator Satoshi Tajiri, even admitted that the idea for Pokemon grew from his childhood hobby of collecting bugs, he would search the fields, forests, and ponds in a seemingly never ending quest to catch them all. Even after he’d grown up and out of his buggy hobby, and the fields and ponds were paved over to make way for shopping malls and apartment complexes, Tajiri never forgot the wonder and excitement from his childhood. And you can feel it when you play a Pokemon game, behind all the complex plots and the expansive cast of NPCs and ever evolving species of Pokemon, is a 10 year old travelling side by side with his/her companions/friends. That is what makes Pokemon so nostalgic for me, and that’s what keeps me coming back generation after generation, the heart of the game. That and this gif that hit me in the feels so hard!