Ok, so lets take a trip. We are going back to when I first got my copy of Pokemon Blue back in 1998, alongside my brother who of course opted to purchase the Red copy because he was a newbie. Him and I were both your typical kids back then, we would game out all day while having Toonami on in the background with whatever what was on at that particular time. Man we gamed hard, HOUR long sessions. My family's living room was always full of screaming "Wow, I hate this stupid cave! I can't see anything because of the Sun's glare!" "NOT ANOTHER ZUBAT!" "Just evolve already Bulbasaur!" Meanwhile, my parents were always 1v1ing on WC2 or just starting to get into SC1 1v1s over lan connections, so they were always telling us to go to our rooms so that they could play in peace.
Are we really old-school for remembering this now?
Eventually we got so sick of our newbie parents that we decided to venture outside of our home to find quieter places to level our pokemon, and eventually we found other kids on our block who also played. We would sit around in circles on our driveways trading strategies and tips, and BMing as usual. Keep in mind that we were all like 8 at the time, so it probably wasn't as sophisticated as I'm portraying it. Basically a mini teamliquid on our block. We made a lot of our current friends from this group of Pokemon players, although none of them still game like we do.
One day, my cousins came down from Canada to visit. I have three cousins from their respective side, one girl and two guys , all 4 years older than my brother and I), who of course were progamers compared to me and my brother. See they had been allowed to get the SNES, while me and my brother had to be content with just an NES, Gameboys, and a PSX. So anyways, when they visited they brought down their old school brick sized gameboys, with our favorie game pokemon. The only difference, they had link cables. Now if you're from the younger generation of teamliquid, you probably don't even remember these things, or console gaming without internet for that matter. I remember distinctly thinking that it was MAGIC that these cables worked, I was besides myself when I watched my brother and my female cousin battle it out.
We don't need warp gates or force fields, we have link cables.
I felt like I was watching an action film. Of course the skill differences were massive, it was like playing only single player brood war then playing on Iccup. My brother got raped. He raged out, went to go play FFT with my other cousins. I stayed though, and I challenged the grand master herself. We must have played at least 25 games before I even killed one of her Pokemon, but eventually I did it. I was intrigued, a game that required skill and not just grinding out levels?
Grand master no more, we discussed high level strategy for the rest of the night.
Anyways, fast forward a year. I had become the Pokemon champion of my elementary school in that time, and everyone now had link cables. It wasn't uncommon to see girls standing behinds their "boyfriends" obsing duels at lunch time, or when the teacher wasn't looking in class. It was a true E-sports phenomena in the world of our school, and I was the Jaedong. My Venusaur was the terror of the school, it owned EVERYONE. People hid their children when I walked by with my gameboy out, because they know blood was about to be spilled.
One day, on the way home from school, there were a group of us on the bus sitting around chatting about Pokemon. The group included my brother, his girlfriend and his friend, all of which are two years older than I. I liked being included in the older crowd, it made me feel popular. Anyways, this kid Steven who is two years younger than I comes up to us, and says "hey, do you guys play Pokemon? My mom just bought it for me a few days ago, it's a cool game!" We all just looked at each other and giggled, thinking he was a newbie. He looked straight at me and said "wanna duel me for fun?" My brother's girlfriend of course egged me on, "do it! it'll be fun!" and I couldn't resist her feminine influence along with the integral need to save face in front of my brother. Excited, I exclaimed "Lets do this!" and we linked up. "Standard rules, right?" he asked, which I confirmed.
For you newbies out there standard rules means no mew/mewtwo, and no potions or what ever they were called.
The fight began, I quickly slew his first 3 pokemon while only losing only half of my Veno. EZPZ I was thinking, this won't take long. His fourth pokemon comes out. MEWTWO. In my head I was like "OMFG WTF YOU FUCKING NERD STOP CHEATING," but I just said "uhm that's cheating..." He responded with a curt "it's in the game, it's fair game..." WHATEVER. He kills my veno and my second pokemon before I bring mewtwo down, I'm PISSED at this point. My Venosaur was pseudo undefeated before that duel. Pokemon #5 in his line up, MEW. "Are you serious man? We're using standard rules... no gameshark.." "It's in the game stop complaining.." He kills my last two, I have like a Pidgeot as my #5 because I usually don't use anything past Venosaur or my second. I'm sweating bullets, I don't wanna lose face in front of my spectators and blood relatives. I started flashing back to my first duels with my cousin, thinking that I was about to let her down. He attacks Pidgeot, it's super effective. GG.
Fuck you Mew, I still hate you to this day.
I leaned over the seat, and hit him as hard as I could in the nose. He started crying and ran off to the bus driver, and I ended up getting yelled at by her and the principal the next day. In the principals office, I remember distinctly that he asked me why I hit Steven, what drove me to do it. I just responded "He cheated, he deserved worse." And I've never looked back. While I regret hitting him, my mindset is still the same. Cheating deserves the worst of punishment, I should have been rewarded for being a little TL vigilante <3.