Gaming Post 35: Pokémon Silver Version

The random number generator chose Pokémon Silver Version. That’s interesting.

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Pokémon Silver Version was a Game Boy Color game that came out in October of the year 2000. It was one of the two video games that introduced players to the second generation of Pokémon (the group of 100 Pokémon that were revealed to players after the first 151). Silver Version’s mascot is the legendary Pokémon Lugia, who had been introduced to audiences earlier that year in the second Pokémon Movie, “Pokémon the Movie 2000”.

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When Pokemon Gold and Silver came out, I didn’t get Silver right away, but I did get Gold Version the first day it came out. I chose Gold instead of Silver because I preferred Ho-oh over Lugia. To me, Ho-oh seemed like a Pokémon that was even newer than Lugia, and that is what made me decide to get Gold first.

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I eventually received Silver as a Christmas present, seemingly on Christmas of 2001, but it possibly could have been 2000. My memories of that time in my life are a bit fuzzy. The only evidence against me having gotten it for Christmas of 2001 (that I can think of) is that Pokémon Crystal was already out at that point, and Silver was considered to be inferior to Crystal. I can’t say for certain whether or not I got Crystal on its release date, but if I really did get Silver for Christmas of 2001, it seems that Pokémon Crystal might have been received on another occasion some time after its release date.

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Thinking about this feels like a time paradox.

I was about 9 back then, and looking back at it, I seemed to be more focused on playing through the story rather than playing beyond the end. I got all 16 Badges in the game and beat Trainer Red like I had done in Gold Version, but in Silver, that’s where I stopped. My starter Pokémon was Totodile because I had already chosen Cyndaquil in Gold, and because Chikorita was in my opinion the lamest of the three.

 

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In those days, I had a guide which I attempted to use with my friend Jonah to complete the Pokédex, but it was a fruitless endeavor. There was no known way to get Mew or Celebi without cheating, and I wasn’t goal-oriented enough to capture the other 249 that were possible to catch. My first real attempt at catching em all would have to wait until Generation 3.

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I lost this guide some time in the past 15 years.

I remember reading that Pokémon Silver Version was considered by the Scholastic Book of World Records to be the most sold video game. I don’t think it was true though, even at the time it was printed. Maybe it was the most sold game during a specific year, but I’m not sure. Even so, if it was true that more copies of Silver were sold than Gold, it seems to indicate that people favored Lugia over Ho-oh at that time, even though the metal Gold is usually considered to be more valuable and thus better than Silver. The reason for Lugia’s popularity might be its design, but it seems to me that people were starting to prefer Pokémon that they were familiar with over those that were perceived to be new. Lugia had its movie, and although Ho-oh did appear in the first episode of Pokémon on TV, I know I never saw that episode until years later, so to many, it was completely new. The sentiment of preferring the familiar would drive some people who had previously liked Pokémon to dislike the newer Pokémon simply based on the fact that they were new and not of the original 151.

 

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As for me, I liked the shiny cartridges.

Pokémon Silver Version was good, but it was pretty much the same exact game as Gold. It was because I had already beaten Gold and Silver that I later found Pokémon Crystal to be not worth finishing until I finally did in 2014, but that’s a story for another time.

 

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Technically, I have still not played through the remake of Pokémon Silver that came out in 2010. I played Heart Gold but it was my brother who played Soul Silver. I’ll be sure to think of an excuse to play through Soul Silver one day.

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In Soul Silver, the HM background color is Silver! Not Gold! It’s Different!

I played Pokémon Silver again in the year 2014. I won’t tell you why, but you may be able to guess. Until the time is right, I’m leaving it as a sloppily kept secret. By the way, here’s a trailer for The Yellow Quest!

 

And here’s a link to the playlist

Thanks for reading!

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Gaming Post 8: Super Mario Bros.

I’m having all the luck lately! The random number generator has determined that my next gaming post will be about Super Mario Bros. for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)!

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This is a classic video game. It’s the first installment of the Super Mario series. The objective is to run and jump through levels from left to right, defeat Bowser the Koopa King, and save Princess Toadstool.

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Here’s the world record speed run of the game.

Now, you may have noticed that this game is full of shortcuts. Without shortcuts, the game is 32 stages long.

Because you can not save in this game, I never thought that I would ever beat it. I always beat the 3D Super Mario games, but the 2D ones I considered to be hopeless for a really long time. What changed my mind about it was something called Restore Points, which were introduced for Virtual Console games on the 3DS and Wii U. Basically, with Restore Points, you can save whenever you want, and return to that point if something bad happens. With such a tool, you basically control the flow of time itself. That said, you never want to create a restore point unless you are sure that your character is safe, otherwise returning to that restore point might only result in losing.

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So, I decided to use Restore Points to run through all 32 stages in the game (without using any of the warp pipe level skips). Though I started by only using Restore Points after each stage, I gradually ended up using them during the stages at moments when I felt that Mario was safe. In that way, I completely finished Super Mario Bros in a relatively short amount of time.

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Though the way I did it was probably not the way it was intended, I finally finished Super Mario Bros. and went on to take on the other 2D installments. I figure that since Restore Points have been implemented by Nintendo itself, it is a legitimate method to complete games if it’s available. That said, just because Restore Points are possible to create, it doesn’t mean that it’s always a good idea to use them. I use them in some games and not in others. In my opinion, using Restore Points to beat a difficult old game often outweighs never completing that game.

So, until the next Gaming Post, Thanks for reading! =)

Gaming Post 4: The Legend of Zelda

Oh snap! The random number generator wants me to write about Zelda 1!

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I first played this game as a part of a Legend of Zelda Collector’s Edition which I had (borrowed) for the GameCube.

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At the time, I was most familiar with the Legend of Zelda series via the Nintendo 64 title Ocarina of Time. The collectors edition featured a demo for the newest Zelda game, called The Wind Waker as well as the full versions of Ocarina of Time, Majora’s Mask, Zelda 1 and Zelda 2. I played Zelda 1 for a little while simply because it was on the disc.

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My first impression of it was that the game was really old. That observation was not inaccurate. Zelda 1 came out in 1987 for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and was one of the first video games that allowed the player to save their progress and continue playing later, which is now the norm for most video games.  Though the game was historically important, I couldn’t take the game seriously due to its outdated graphics. That is, until I finished Wind Waker, Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask and decided to beat all of the Legend of Zelda games.

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This was my inspirational poster.

What I realized then was how fun the original Legend of Zelda can be. Essentially, the point of the game is to find and complete 8 dungeons in the relatively small country of Hyrule. Each dungeon has a fragment of the Triforce of Wisdom, and once the entire Triforce is assembled, you can fight Ganon, the Prince of Darkness.

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When you defeat Ganon, you save the princess, whose name is Zelda. The character you play as is not named Zelda. His name is Link. Link is the hero.

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I know a lot of trivia about this game. For example, the game first came out in Japan for a system called the Famicom. If one had a second controller for the Famicom, the game could use its microphone controls to kill the large bunny enemies.

It was made by Shigeru Miyamoto based on his childhood memories of getting lost in the woods and inside of his family’s house. And finally, Zelda was named after the wife of the novelist F Scott Fitzgerald, who wrote a pretty good book called The Great Gatsby.

If you want to play this game, I recommend getting it on the Virtual Console for either the Wii, the Wii U or the 3DS. The Wii U and 3DS versions allow you to use restore points, but I would personally recommend not using them. My friend Nick used restore points and regretted it because the game is so short. I can beat this game now in probably less than 3 hours if I remember what I’m doing.

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Also, there is a harder version of the game available after you beat the first version, called the second quest, but I would only recommend playing that if you are bored and have an online guide. I used an online guide for both the regular quest and the second quest. It’s possible that some day I’ll post an abridged “lets play” of this game, but I’m not sure when or if that will happen.

On to the next Gaming Post!