Happy Birthday, Charizard!
For my Redeeming Culture article today, I have to admit, I was strongly considering running with this as a thesis: “Jesus is the ULTIMATE master, and we’re His Pokémon! He catches us all, and…” But I couldn’t figure out a way to finish the sentence, and it seemed kind of…”icky” to me. I’ve played all of the main series games (if you’re curious: Red, Gold, Ruby, FireRed, Diamond, HeartGold, White, X, AlphaSapphire), and even though the relationship between the player and his Pokémon is one of teamwork, love, and mutual respect, it just…doesn’t feel right to me.
I remember talking to someone in my 8th grade English class about what we wanted for Christmas. I mentioned what I really wanted was Pokémon, and I said something that I’ve said for many Christmases and birthdays since, and really meant it: “If that’s all I get, I’ll be thrilled!”
When I finally unwrapped Pokémon Red Version that Christmas and switched it on, I didn’t know what to expect, but it soon became a feeling inextricably tied to Christmas for me: playing Pokémon in the warm house with a cold blanket of snow outside; struggling to see the non-backlit screen in the dim twilight as we drove home from grandma’s house; begging to turn on the light so I could “just finish this battle” (and, let’s be honest, the five after it). And it became a big part of my life. Obviously.
My first team is, sadly, lost to time. But I know that I named my player “David,” my rival “Kyle”, and chose a Charmander (as every good thirteen-year-old boy did!) whom I did not name. And my Alakazam was my pride and joy back in those days; the two of them took on all comers and always came out on top.
It’s been a long time since I’ve played Generation I, but since the games are being re-released today on 3DS, I might pick it up again. If only to say “hi” to Charizard again. And to whip Kyle’s Blastoise’s butt one last time.