Everyone gets attached to something at one point in their life. Me, I'm attached to my Pokémon. Yes, I'm attached to the little pixels and data that make up my beloved Pokémon. I'm attached to the point where I gave my Pokémon back stories, have to trade them when I restart the game, I even feel guilty if I try to remake my team. Silly, I know, to get attached to game data, but I do anyway. No other example is greater than when I got attached to my newest Emerald team.
After much rearranging, my team consisted of a male swampert named Slap (troubled Pokémon murderer bent on revenge), male skarmoray named after my friend Seawhisker (flock got shot down and is bent of revenge), male mightyena named Poochum (exiled and abused by his pack), male manectric named Pooch (his love died), rayquaza named Thanatos (formerly an Angel that got incarnated as a Pokémon), and a female absol named Kuro after a friend (separated from her human friends and reincarnated as an absol). I cared for each of them and paired them up in case they were to be in double battles so that their moves and strengths would work wonderfully together. I trained them all carefully and thoughtfully and made sure each one loved me. I gave each (save for Poochum due to his Thief) an item that would aid them somehow in battle such as quickclaw or incense or leftovers that I saw fit.
With Slap, my idea was that as a mudkip, his parents were killed by poachers. My character, who could talk to Pokémon, found him and promised him she'd help him avenge his parents. As they went on, they learned to respect each other, and Slap quickly learned that she was the only one he would take orders from. When he became a swampert, he was given a cape. His signature move was to break off a whisker (they grew back) and stab his opponent with it.
Pooch was taken in as an electrike by my trainer and quickly fell for a male poochyena I had at the time. That poochyena died, however, when facing Watson (as I was still doing my nuzzlock) and my story was that he couldn't quite get over his death. Poochum, on the other hand, was beaten by his pack and exiled for being gay, later found by my trainer. Pooch and Poochum eventually feel in love and became a couple. Later, Poochum got revenge on his pack when I EV trained him against poochyenas to up his attack stat.
For Seawhisker, I decided that his flock was traveling somewhere when the same group of poachers shot down all in his flock but him. After that, he was stolen by Team Rocket and given a Rocket jacket/cape that he wore around his neck, but he soon escaped. Once he found me, Slap, and Poochum, he fell in line as Slap's second in command.
While Kuro wasn't officially on my team until after I got Thanatos, I did catch her before him. My story for her was that, since she is named after a friend of a friend, she is that friend, but after she died she got trapped in an absol's body. She stuck with my trainer because she hopes my trainer can help her see her friend once more, and she has grown to respect my trainer.
For Thanatos, his story is that originally, he was an angel, but got trapped inside the Pokemon universe as Rayquaza. He tried to reason with Kyogre and Groudon first to stop fighting, but he got scratched above one eye by an outraged Groudon. Later, he was at Sky Pillar trying to think of what to do, since he didn't want his fellow flying and dragon types to die off. Then, his eyes were white. After a while, he decided that if they wouldn't listen to him, the warring Pokémon would fear him. He turned his scar into a feather-shaped one by scratching out a set of curves and made the same scar above his other is. His eyes also turned to the standard Rayquaza black. He then strengthened himself and went off to face the other two, using his outrage to force them to submit and go. He then slept at Sky Pillar until I came along. When he found out Kyogre and Groudon had been awoken to fight, he rushed off to make them stop. Once they stopped he ran back to Sky pillar, where he found me waiting. Convinced I was just as bad as Team Aqua and Team Magma, he fought me until I reassured him I wanted nothing more than to help keep Pokémon safe.
Any time I had to put them in the PC for any reason, I felt bad for having them there. Once I got done what I needed to do, I would immediately take my team back out and battle with them, being sure to keep them all alive and healthy. I hated it whenever any one of my team fainted in battle, always saying I would get revenge for my fallen Pokémon on the monster that hurt them. Any time one of them got a status effect, I'd use a full heal right after the fight and any potions needed, or go to a nearby Pokémon Center. Whenever I fought my friends on Pokémon Colosseum, we always triumphed together. They worked great as a team, and I worked with them. Even outside the game, when listening to music, I would think of scenarios with my beloved team and how they would overcome obstacles. I loved them, and they loved me.
Here's the kicker. One day, when I went to play my game, it told me the file was corrupted and I had to erase my game, my team, my friends-no, my family, because they had grown on me as a family does. I had to start the entire game over without my family to support me.
Then, an idea came to me. I didn't like it, but I didn't want to be without a family. I decided to rebuild my entire team exactly as it was. I didn't like the thought of replacing them all, but they were gone, right? This process started with getting myself a male Mudkip. He didn't have the same nature as the original Slap did, but I used him anyway. One thing I noticed off the bat was that the eyes seemed to be a darker shade than normal. I blinked and they seemed to go back to normal. I assumed it was of my mind. I continued through the game, getting a male Poochyena and naming him Poochum. For some reason, they just didn't feel the same.
I eventually got my Pooch, Seawhisker, and Kuro through hard work. It wasn't easy going through the first few gyms with only a few Pokémon, but I managed. I didn't want any new Pokémon in my new family; I wanted to rebuild my former one. I tried to rebuild them to their former glory, but they just didn't seem as strong. All the gyms and fights dragged out longer and my team fainted more often. Even when facing weak trainers, my team would always have someone faint somehow. It was like the game had a bone to pick with me.
And then I got to Sky Pillar after the last gym. As usual, I trudged up the pillar with my team and stock of Pokéballs, past all the cracked ground, and up to the top. And as usual, Rayquaza was waiting for me at the top. I saved my game in front of the last member for my team and clicked the sprite. The first in my party was Slap, since he knew Ice beam. Aching to have the last addition to my party, wanting to have my family back, I quickly tapped A and waiting for the fight to start as the usual roar sounded. I watched as the battle scene came up, but it took merely half a second for me to notice something serious odd with Rayquaza. Instead of being black, its eyes were white. Normally, someone would assume it was just an error with the game's coding because the game IS ten years old. However, this scared me.
Thanatos had white eyes until Groundon caught him above one eye, giving him a scar, and Thanatos's outrage turned his eyes permanently black. That fact is what freaked me out. I stood for a moment, too petrified to move. Maybe I accidentally clicked something, because the battle started with Rayquaza using outrage, then Slap using Ice Beam. I noticed Rayuaza's eyes had gone back to normal and proceeded to catch the creature after almost killing it several turns (and minutes) later. When the game asked me if I wanted to name it, I clicked yes and proceeded to name it "Thanatos". That's when something strange popped up; a text box asking me "Are you sure you want to choose this name?" Unsure what the game meant, I clicked yes.
I'm not sure if I fell asleep, but I think I did, because the room I was in suddenly got darker, even though I was on the second floor and there were no clouds on this sunny day. I went to fly away from Sky Pillar, but the game wouldn't let me. A text box told me "You can't leave yet!". Rage started to boil inside me, but over powering that was curiosity on what the game was doing, and on top of both of those, fear. I have played through this game several times and never had anything strange, and I've also read a few Pokémon creepypastas that had similar situations. The one thing that calmed me was that this may just be a coding error due to the file corruption…a game breaking coding error.
I walked around the top of Sky Pillar, finding nothing unusual. I kept walking around until I fell through one of the broken blocks of ground. I expected to fall onto the next floor, but instead my sprite fell through onto another broken piece of ground. I kept expecting m sprite to fall onto solid ground, but it kept falling onto broken ground until it passed the first floor of Sky Pillar, even though the first floor of the second half doesn't have any broken ground. My sprite fell onto solid ground, but I couldn't get back up to Sky Pillar, or the top part, since the game told me I was still in Sky Pillar. A box appeared in the corner saying "SubSky Pillar". Now my curiosity and rage were starting to die out and fear was rising. I wanted to turn the game off, even if I had to catch Rayquaza again. I didn't care-I wanted to be out of this.
I went to turn off the power, but the power switch on my SP was jammed. It refused to go down. I stared at the screen. I tried using an escape rope, but the game told me, "You can't use that here!". I thought maybe I could let me game die…but that would take hours. The light was still green. I certainly wasn't going to risk screwing my game up or breaking it by pulling it out, and I wasn't going to break my game and SP by throwing it. I decided to try and continue my game and see if I could break the game back to its normal state.
I walked my sprite around the level. It reminded me of the regular Sky Pillar floor only it was a darker shade, and the stairs only led down. There were no wild Pokémon, and no broken ground. There were several floors though, and the game wouldn't let me use my bike, using the typical text box of when you can't use something, with the echoing words of, "There's a time and a place for everything…but not now". I kept following the stairs down, and after a while, I decided to stick my newest, strongest member in front. With my luck, there'd be something strong and evil at the end. As I kept going down, floor after floor, seconds turning to minutes, my fear grew. There were so many floors…and while I didn't notice it at first, I sure noticed that the floors got slowly darker as I traveled down. I also notice that my sprite slowly changed from the typically girl from Emerald to my own trainer design. My trainer design had a torn pirate-like shirt and white shorts with dark hair and a green bandana. She also had lines around her eyes and a belt that held her Pokéballs. And she carried no purse.
I was edgy and paranoid by the time I went down the last flight of stairs due to how dark the dungeon was and how quiet everything was. I already had a problem with paranoia, but the fact of all this and the fact that there was no standard cave music was creeping me out even worse. The noise of going down the stairs made me flinch every time I went down to the next floor. Had I not been so petrified, I would have screamed at what awaited me on that last floor. Now, everyone knows Emerald doesn't have the best graphics, even if it's better than Ruby and Sapphire. However, when I got to that last floor, my game's graphics switched.
Everything was 3D, even if it was just an empty, dark room. The textures were much better than any of the current Pokémon games, and there were even stalagmites and stalactites clinging around the edges of the cave. I could see my trainer walk into the center of the room, and even she was in 3D. And instead of the game being over world, it was looking at an angle behind my trainer, as if stuck in a corner of the wall. But that's not what scared me.
What terrified me was that there were Pokémon in the room. And not just any Pokémon; these Pokémon were the ones that made up my former team, accessories, scars, and all. Slap had his cape; Kuro, her grey-and-silver scarf around her head; Seawhisker, his Team Rocket jacket/cape. While Pooch and Poochum didn't have accessories, they were clearly standing close and "hugging" each other. The Camera then zoomed in on the face of the largest-Thanatos. I could clearly see the scar above his eye that he'd turned into a feather, and the copy of it he'd made above his other eye. His eyes were staring-no, glaring at my trainer. A textbox appeared on the bottom of the screen, though he made no sound. It read, "You TRAITER!"
No-the game erased them! Even if they were in my mind, how could they have escaped into my GAME? This couldn't be them! And shouldn't they have been grateful that I was trying to recreate them? Shouldn't they be happy I was getting my family back? Apparently they didn't see it that way. According to the text, he continued to speak.
"How could you! We trusted you, we respected you! You were the only human that we trusted, the only one I trusted! And you know I hate humans! After you left us, I kept them together in your memory! And you betrayed us!" With that, there was the sound of a Rayquaza's roar, only at a lower pitch and slower timing. It was-it was like a growl. With that, my trainer threw out my newly caught Rayquaza. I saw my trainer make the movement of a command, but before my Thanatos could do anything, the other shot a beam from its jaws, incinerating mine. I noticed that the gold in his eyes was gone. That couldn't be good. I shivered, even though it didn't feel cold. Wait-it WAS cold, even though it was summer.
The rest of my Pokémon came out and rushed at the others. I heard someone say in a very clear voice, "Treat them as you would poachers." I remembered using that line in part of their story…but that's not what scared me. What scared me was that this line was louder than my SP normally was. It was almost like Thanatos was in my room. My new team was no match. In but a few seconds, they were all just laying limp on the ground, blood spattered around their motionless bodies. And then, I remembered something. Thanatos hadn't known hyper beam yet. The game had corrupted while I was training Kuro, before he could learn Hyper Beam. I jumped as Slap spoke.
"Yes, we got stronger after you abandoned us. Your fakes are no match for us." His eyes were staring right at the screen, as if looking through it as the textbox popped up. It's like he knew what I was thinking. Poochum was the next to speak.
"After you left us, we trained together."
"It wasn't just out loyalty that kept us together anymore, but our pain from your betrayal!" Pooch finished his story. His fur started to spark as he spoke. I couldn't look away from the game, even after the text box was gone. Something was counter-acting the terror inside me, compelling me to keep watching. The screen panned out to show them all walking closer to my trainer. Then, it closed in on Kuro's face. Another textbox appeared.
"It doesn't have to end like this."
"Yes, just tell us why and we might have mercy." The screen went to Slap's face as the text appeared.
"Tell you what?" I whispered the words aloud, almost as if I was so scared that I had to say my thoughts for them to register. A simple word appeared on the screen to answer me. "Why" was all it said. "Why what?" I asked the game. It didn't occur to me that somehow they heard me, even if the SP didn't have a built in microphone. No other words accompanied the "why". "WHY WHAT?" I screamed louder. I could feel something warm slide down my face. Something warm in my cold room…tears? I must have been scared to the point I was crying.
"WHY DID YOU REPLACE US?!" I froze up. I knew for sure that question didn't sound from my game. It was too close, too loud. The screen showed me Thanatos's angry face, even though his mouth did not move, and there was no text box. No-it-it was impossible. Breaching my game was one thing…but…no, it was impossible! I couldn't think of what to say next, but I somehow spoke.
"I'M SORRY!" I was still crying, horror and guilt clogging my mind. I had just wanted my family back; I didn't think that my family could take it so badly. I didn't think how selfish it could look, how cruel. Through my tears, I could see text on the screen. It read, "TELL US WHY!" But I couldn't. I just kept repeating my apology. After that, everything was black. Then, everything was back to normal, or at least it looked that way. I didn't feel cold anymore either. My game was off, probably out of power. I didn't want to plug it back in out of fear of what just happened. I tried not to think about all of this until I fell asleep. Apparently, I wouldn't be getting away easily.
I "woke" in my dream to see my team again, all surrounding me. In front of me was Thanatos. I noticed his eyes seemed to be back to normal. I didn't feel scared, and if I was, my mind didn't acknowledge it. I just looked at them. "Why. TELL US WHY!" I uttered an apology after a while, but I'm guessing he didn't hear. He just said, "Tell us why!" with a growl.
Maybe I should have told them the full truth instead of just saying, "I was lonely!", maybe I should have said it was because I wanted them back. Somehow, after that dream, my Emerald version would never work. I couldn't even turn the game on. It just went white the moment after the Gameboy logo came up and sounded. After a while I just gave up and played Diamond. At least my Diamond version worked, and it was peaceful. The same could not be said for my dreams.
Every night, they came and haunted me. "TRAITOR!" they screamed, "BETRAYER!" they yelled. They always used the same thing, "We trusted you! You betrayed us! You replaced us for your own selfishness!" After the guilt tripping, they would attack me, rip at me, and chase me down. They would cut me up alive and spatter my blood everywhere. And every time they did, one of them would be crying. One time, Thanatos appeared not as a Rayquaza, but as the angel design I'd given him. Black robe, black wings, pale skin, orange staff. This got me crying in my dream, even though they hadn't started with name calling or guilt. Just the look of him that way got me crying. This was the only dream where I found my voice.
"I promise, I didn't mean to abandon you! I'm sorry, I just-I just-I didn't want to be alone!" They didn't take it the way I meant it. I stared into Thanatos's eyes, even if they were shadowed over.
"It's too late for that."