Hello, my dear PUCLonians, and welcome back to The Fluff! As you may know, Pokémon Red and Green were recently inducted in the World Video Game Hall of Fame, and deservedly so, in my very humble opinion.
Eh. They don’t have Whimsicott in them, but I suppose they are classics, in a way…
In a way, Whimsicott? They are classics in every way, even the way in which they are technically rather crappy: they’ll tell you the most common type in Gen I was Poison, but it’s a lie. It’s Bug, because there are bugs everywhere.
As fond rememberance is a fundamental part of classics, I thought this week I’d dive into some good Gen I nostalgia and give you a list of the Pokémon I remember loving the most way back when. (Which for me is sadly not a childhood thing, but I guess I was childish enough even at 17.) Here we go, my top 6 Pokémon… back in Gen I!
Number 6: Growlithe
You’ve maybe heard me tell this story before, but my very first contact with Pokémon was with the anime, and by far my favorite thing about it was Team Rocket. James, in particular, was, and still is, my favorite character in it. So obviously when I found out about his beloved Growlie I decided I would absolutely raise a Growlithe of my own, and as luck would have it, the only game in my local store was Red version.
I remember very well cutting the trees on Route 8 so I could access the grass that Growlithe could be found in, and walking around until I caught one. I’m pretty sure I named it either Growlie or straight up James (that save file was lost to oblivion ages ago, sadly, and my memory is 90% fluff), and that I later evolved it into an Arcanine, but there’s a chance I didn’t take it to the Elite 4 with me, because I started with Charmander (also because of the anime: anyone who didn’t pick poor Charmander, in my opinion at the time, must have had a stone for a heart).
It’s amazing how the anime is possibly the part of Pokémon you care about the least now.
What can I say? When you only care about people who only show up for one minute every episode, and find Ash annoying, it gets old really, really fast. But my love for Growlithe hasn’d faded, and he was part of my main team in White 2, in fact. Good doggie.
Number 5: Butterfree
Of course, starting with Charmander, the only way to get through Brock’s Gym without having the patience of a saint (and a ton of Potions) was to get a Caterpie in Viridian Forest and evolve it to a Butterfree.
Wait, what about Mankey?
Aha! That, my dear, only worked in Yellow version. In Red and Blue Mankey doesn’t learn Low Kick; in fact, the only Fighting-type move it learns by level up is… Seismic Toss. At level 33. So yes, the humble Bug/Flying Butterfree, in a show of immense irony, was always my best bet to beat the Rock-type Gym (aptly, thanks to, well, Confusion).
To this day, whenever I meet a Caterpie early game, I can’t stop myself from catching it and evolving it to its final stage. And having to box it soon after is always a bit sad, even with 800 other Pokémon available to take its place. Thank you, Butterfree.
Number 4: Jigglypuff
Certainly another holdover from my early love of the anime, my affection for the Jigglypuff line has stayed with me for a long, long while. Jigglypuff getting mad and writing all over sleeping people was one of the funniest thing in the show (the epic moment in which she finally gave Brock actual eyes shall go down in history), and I used my first Moon Stone to evolve the Jigglypuff I caught on Route 3 (who needs Nidos, anyway?). Even my Pokémon-scoffing boyfriend, thanks to having a much younger brother, can to this day still sing the Jigglypuff tune from the anime.
I once made a snow Jigglypuff, complete with colored eyes I drew on paper and stuck on the snow; I had a Wigglytuff keychain attached to my backpack for ages (I still own it!), and have even made a few attempts to use this Pokémon competitively (obviously to no avail, even in VGC).
I shall not speak ill of a fellow Fairy type recipient, but… well. Poor Wigglytuff.
Yeah. I think I may have taken it to the Elite 4 in Red version, too, but it’s probably for the best that I can’t remember how it did there. But now, maybe, finally, I’ll get a chance to make Jigglypuff shine! I chose this line as my starter in a campaign of Pokémon Tabletop United that I’m supposed to start soon… if I manage to keep little useless Igglybuff alive long enough, my favorite overgrown marshmallow will finally get her revenge.
Number 3: Dratini
As, I think, every other Pokémon player ever, the more elusive and rare a Pokémon is, the more I am inesorably drawn to it (hi, shiny hunters). It is therefore not surprising that the only Dragon type available in Gen I, which was also incredibly difficult to catch, and absolutely adorable to boot, was one of my most wanted Pokémon when I played through Red version.
Totally understandable. Ahhh, the beauty of Dragonair… no offense to your Ruby, but I think when it comes to giant snake Pokémon, Dragonair, and not Milotic, is the real beauty.
You’re lucky that Ruby can’t Dragon Tail you into the next country, but.. yes. At my very (supposedly) mature age, I still got mad at my brother when I recently found out he wrote on my 1st edition Dragonair card (when he was like 6 years old, mind you). I remember spending a ton of time fishing for Dratini in the Safari Zone, and getting incredibly frustrated with the impossible capture mechanics (no, I did not do glitches). I think the resulting Dragonair/Dragonite was my final Elite 4 team member, but again, my memory is like Swiss cheese.
And you hate Swiss cheese.
I do. But in spite of a slight perplexity when it comes to how the line goes from elegant Dragonair to fun guy Dragonite, it remains a favorite of mine. Before I even did the aforementioned Jigglypuff, I once sculpted a small snow Dragonite in my garden, spread wings and all, and it was worth not feeling my hands for the rest of the day.
Number 2: Vaporeon
Fun fact: until at least Generation III, my favorite “regular” Pokémon was Vaporeon. Much like Sublime, I then let myself be seduced by an awesome Gen V Grass type, but unlike him, I have indeed left my first Pokémon love behind.
I mean, I understand. Vaporeon is great, but it’s not fluffy at all. Really, there’s no comparison to be made with my perfection.
Whimsicott, if you don’t learn some modesty, I’m totally going to replace you with Alolan Ninetales. Anyway, Vaporeon was absolutely my only option when it became time to evolve my Eevee in Pokémon Red, and I happily Surfed all over Kanto on its little mermaid tail. Last summer, as Vaporeon rose above all as the powerhouse of early-days Pokémon Go, I named almost all the Eevee I caught Rainer, just in case. (Of course, it only worked once, but I still tried, because why not?) And at PUCLcon, when I found perfect plushes of most Eeveelutions in a store, the only one who joined the obligatory Leafeon in my luggage was my old pal Vaporeon. I guess you never really forget your first love.
Number 1: Mew
But even that first love had to be surpassed by the most insane amount of adorableness I had ever witnessed in my life (and I had held newborn kittens in my little child hands, folks). Behold:
Yes. The Pokémon movie made my heart swell, and this, coupled with its utter unobtainability (there was NEVER a Mew event in Italy for Gen I), made Mew the ultimate dream Pokémon for me in those days. I never had one in my game (again, I didn’t do glitches), but I sighed after pictures of it online. The first Mew I ever got was the Autumn 2010 one, which now sits in a box full of Legendaries in my Platinum game, since I restarted my Soul Silver. It’s level 5, and while I appreciate that the Gen VI distributions were level 100 because it makes them easy to Hyper Train now in Sun and Moon… well, who wouldn’t want to go through a game with a level-appropriate Mew? (I’m so sad that the Mew event for the Virtual Console releases didn’t get here.)
Truly, this is a forsaken land.
But I did get a great Mew for the 20th Anniversary. Besides the ones I got from Wi-Fi in my games, I bought the special GameStop plushes of Mew, Celebi and Jirachi. And let me tell you, when I first held in my hands that soft, life-sized Mew… well. THE FEELS, as I believe you young folks say today, were totally real.
And now, excuse me, but I never did finish those Virtual Console games. It might be time for me to do so… and I might even throw in a little Mew glitch this time around.
Until next time,
The Fluffiest Whimsicott