PokéMyths: Elusive Legends
Heads up: This article is about the trials and tribulations of finding Mew and Celebi. But, it does go into rant territory. You have been warned.
There’s something about things that are elusive in nature. The “one that got away” mentality is one of those things that pushes us to our limits and then makes us leap over those limits emphatically. Who can say that they never had genuine interest in the Loch Ness Monster? What about UFO’s? It’s fueled by the same thing that keeps people scouring for the winning lottery ticket, or keeps you in search of a spouse that’s every bit as geeky as you. This mental petroleum is called hope. Your hopes, your aspirations, they keep you chugging along (i.e., the same thing that drives you to reach McDonald’s before the 10:45 a.m. breakfast deadline).
There is a point when your dreams are built up and you develop immeasurable expectations. But, what happens when all of those expectations are for naught? How about when those expectations are not only let down, but they metaphorically turn around and sucker punch you in the gullet? Well, that’s what it was like to be a child in the pre-internet era. We were dumb in grade school. We ran around the playground like chickens with our heads cut off, spewing rumors and garbage, especially about games. And one of the biggest offenders was Pokémon. Because of its legendary creatures (Mew and Celebi specifically), the franchise became infamous amongst the younglings as being perhaps the most misleading game ever created.
The truth is that the fault didn’t rest with the games themselves, for the most part. But it was the fault of all of the kids who wanted attention or were seeking the approval of all of their pals. I won’t completely address those jackasses just yet. What I will address is the first huge step towards fantasizing the games even more than they already were. And this was brought on by the developers through the placement of one simple little sprite.
Yep, there it is. The truck has returned. By simply trading over a Pokémon that has learned Cut, you could completely circumvent the S.S. Anne side quest. This means that the ship would remain permanently docked. And, by extension, the dock what also remain accessible for the remainder of the journey. Surfing to the right of the dock would bring you to a patch of land, home to one wayward truck. Contrary to popular belief, you could do nothing to this truck. It was just there, it served no purpose. But, some people just couldn’t accept that. Kids began creating their own mythos for the truck, which ultimately culminated in the rumor that the much-coveted legend, Mew, was hidden beneath its chassis. A truck was even placed in the Generation 3 remakes to mimic this occurrence.
But, it wasn’t there. Nor was it in any other location in the game. Mew was the elusive unicorn to many a young nerd. It was forever out of our reach and there was nothing we could do about it. I myself remember one day in particular at summer camp. This one slightly older kid told me that you could summon a wild Mew by reading the signs on Cycling Road, but only on Blue Version. This, of course, was total poppycock. But being that he was older (and therefore above me on the nerd hierarchy), I took every word he uttered as no less than gospel. Alas, I returned home and tried this “trick” to no avail. I therefore hung up my Mew hunting net and drudged on, believing that there was no way to get that legendary creature outside of using cheats. It wasn’t until about seven or so years later that I found a peculiar video on YouTube. It documented a glitch in Red Version. It was the Mew glitch, a way to get Mew legitimately within the game’s parameters. That’s right, you didn’t need cheats. So, I popped my used up red cartridge into my red Gameboy Advance SP (my handheld of choice at the time). I was skeptical at first, but after reaching the point of the glitch, I was rewarded for my efforts and I managed to capture it, finally. I played through the entire game, crushing all opposition along the way with the most adorable little bundle of death the world had ever seen.
But, the story doesn’t end there. Needless to say, after the success of the first games, Nintendo was quick to get the sequels shipped over to America as soon as possible. This new generation brought with it 100 new Pokémon. But, one of them was a small Psychic legendary, like Mew, named Celebi. Now, being that I actually played Gold and Silver before Red and Blue, I encountered this conundrum first. But I’m going in the order that is easiest to embrace for most people. Anyway, that Celebi was yet another creature that constantly eluded us as kids. But it wouldn’t elude you in the way that a wandering legendary Pokémon would. The odds are that, as a child, you never once encountered a Celebi. This was another case were these bullshit stories were passed around. One, in particular, detailed the creature showing up at random intervals at the Ilex Forest Shrine. Though, whereas the Mew rumors were complete lies, these new ones were partially true.
“Partially” is the key word here. The shrine would host Celebi, but you could only activate the event through the use of the GS Ball. So where is the problem? Why didn’t I just get the GS Ball? Well, it was ONLY released in Japan. So, we citizens outside of Japan got the shaft, big time. Over the next several years, there would be several Nintendo events where the Pokémon was distributed. But as kids, those events were not easily accessible for us, I had never even heard of a Celebi distribution until the recent GameStop event (And by recent, I mean two years ago). But really now, did they expect us all to figure these things out? The internet was not prominent yet and not everyone was subscribed to every Nintendo-related magazine. And with no glitch to obtain it with, the years were unkind to my Gold, Silver, and Crystal Pokédex’s.
These two legendary Pokémon have been made more readily available in more recent years. There have obviously been numerous events and in-game rewards to distribute these legends to the public. The more modern equivalents of these first Psychic legends have not faced anywhere near as much adversity in their attempts at reaching the public. The tactics used to obtain them are still often tedious. But, through use of the internet, we know exactly how to get them.
Verdict 1(Mew): Available legitimately in-game through abuse of the glitch. But, it is certainly not under the truck.
Verdict 2(Celebi): Not available legitimately in-game.