There are many dismal moments that people linger on. The kind of moments that felt like they cheated their ways into life. A positive note in one’s lifelong journey can easily shift tides and become a time remembered with great disdain. One such moment was when I was eleven years old and heavily addicted to Pokemon the Game Boy game.
My brother and I, in our adolescent youth, had caught all 150 Pokemon in our game by trading with each other and making one cartridge the master trainer. The adventure took a good month’s worth of dedication. Now, for an eleven and seven year old, catching all 150 Pokemon was a pretty big deal for us. A pretty big fucking deal. Never had we banded together for such a feat in our lives. To this day we still haven’t undertaken a joint project with one another of such magnitude since we became Pokemon masters.
It was a Thursday afternoon and we both attended a karate school with our younger sister. Since our age divisions were an hour apart, we decided to do the Mew trick and catch ourselves the final 151th Pokemon to officially become grand masters in our field of Pokemonology after we got home. I had brought my Gameboy to totally pwn all of the other ninja’s in training at my dojo while I waited for my class to start. Once it was time to physically abuse my sparring partners with my paddle-like feet (They are so flat it stings when I kick you. A just punishment for making me take off my shoes to rumble.), my sister approached me and asked if she could play my Pokemon game. I told her fine but to not save. She always knew not to and was pretty good about not doing so. Rushing off to class to become a demon of Kenpo, I felt like I had the strength of 150 Pokemon on my karate belt and soon I would add one more. Time flew by and class ended as swiftly as Mankey’s karate chop attack. My siblings and I raced home filled with excitement to finally bring our journey to a close.
For those wondering how to catch Mew in Pokemon Red and Blue:
Sitting side by side on the couch, both of us were on the brink of pissing ourselves from the electricity filling the air around us. That gloomy green and black screen which only a true gamer could find beauty in of our Gameboy illuminated our innocent faces. As we prepared ourselves to load the game, we noticed it said our Pokedex said 1 Pokemon caught. Thinking it was a glitch, we loaded the game anyway. Slowly, as our hearts sank, we realized it wasn’t a glitch. We were in Pallet Town with one Pokemon named Pidgey. The insult didn’t end there. No, no it did not. That Pidgey… was a fucking Charmander. She saved over our game and we were left with a Charmander named Pidgey.
Obviously, we flipped out. Of course we did. It was the only logical reaction at the time. My sister claimed she didn’t do it on purpose and looking at her little round face with missing teeth and helmet-like haircut filled me with mercy. She was too innocent at the time to truly embrace evil and wrong doings. My brother and I never again attempted to catch those 151 Pokemon ever. We were beaten and broken. Our heads were bloodied and bowed. Never again would this kind of madness happen again, we assured ourselves. We took the reins of monitoring saved games in the family from that point on.
It wasn’t until my college years that another apocalyptic event such as this would resurface. I was eighteen at the time that Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas came out and to say the least, it was the bomb-diggity. Every day after my classes I would come home and play GTA:SA for a good 2-3 hours before getting back to business and completing my homework/studying. On the weekends, however, I would play till the sun came up. I found all the little hidden packages in the entire city, found my amusement in kamikazing planes into buildings, had all the districts unlocked, and was nearly completed with the game. If I recall correctly, it said my file had 98% completion or something around this ratio. My playtime was probably 80+ hours by the time I reached this point in the game and I only had one mission left. Carl Johnson was about to reclaim the hood and own this city. Nothing would stop him now.
During my lunch break at school, I decided to go home instead for a little something to eat. My stepfather was playing GTA when I got there and I didn’t think anything of it. I let him play my save since I had all the weapons, hideouts, and the whole map unlocked. Normally, having this kind of freedom to roam around a sandbox game is what brings the most fun. Not having to work hard to unlock everything brings unlimited enjoyments since it allows one to render an unprecedented amount of widespread carnage. Returning to school, I thought nothing of him playing the game since it was part of the norm.
Finally returning to my abode after wanting to cut myself in business class, I was ready to kick some ass and finish GTA:SA. Now I refuse to insult your intelligence as you’ve probably caught on to what has happened I will simply jump ahead to my reaction. Realizing that I had 30 minutes of gameplay on my save and being in the first neighborhood I hulked out pretty bad. Looking back at it now, I shouldn’t have tossed and kicked the living shit out of my PS2 and then sold it to Gamestop along with all my PS2 games but I basically rage quit Playstation 2 after that. I couldn’t believe that the Heavens would look down on me and smite me a second time.
It is since that time I have not allowed anyone to even play the same game I am until I beat it or I make multiple saves on multiple hard drives on my PC in the event someone does something ridiculous again. I have learned my lesson, at least I hope I have. The last thing I need is for my hard drives to die simultaneously and/or someone decides to reformat everything. Safety first and don’t trust anyone with your games. Know what? That’s what I’m going to leave with you. Safety first and don’t trust a single person you love, worship, or admire with your fucking games. Just don’t do it, damn it. Yeah I like how that sounds.
If you’ve had any horrible experiences with game save or progression losses let us know the anguish and sinking feeling in your soul. Feel free to comment!